Nearly four hundred years ago, a great pastor, Richard Baxter warned parents about the great danger of Christian children associating with friends who do not fear the living and the true God. Baxter writes, "Keep your children as much as may be from ill company, especially of ungodly playfellows. It is one of the greatest dangers for the undoing of children in the world; especially when they are sent to common schools: for there is scarce any of those schools so good, but hath many rude and ungodly ill-taught children in it."1
The powerful influence of peers upon a child’s character and culture should never be underestimated. A child might have Charles Darwin, Frederich Neitzche, and ten other atheist teachers lecturing to him four hours a day. But the influence of ungodly peers the other four hours a day will in most cases yield more unsavory influence than the boring lectures from the atheists.
1 Richard Baxter, Christian Directory, Part II, Ch. X, Direct. XV.