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Glen Schultz

It Has Been A Challenging Two Months

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My pastor, Mike Lewis, began addressing some very controversial issues a couple of months ago. At the time, I didn’t know that I would be asked to join him in this challenging task.

Just mentioning such topics as “wokeness”, “critical theory”, “intersectionality”, and/or “social justice” is sure to get reactions of some kind or another from just about everyone. However, he knew he needed to address these issues because they have become topics of everyday conversation in our country, including our homes and churches.

Eric Watkins, in his article Christianity or Critical Theory, wrote,

When the church is extensively infiltrated by distinctively secular ideas, it is worth taking the time to study these influences and to give them serious consideration…Whether or not we are familiar with these concepts, they are very much becoming a part of the air we breath.

My purpose for writing this blog is not to do a thorough analysis of critical theory and its modern day derivatives. Instead, I want to share with you what God has taught me through all of this about the bigger issue that is behind these ideologies.

The passage of Scripture that Pastor Mike used as a foundation for what he shared was the familiar verse found in Paul’s letter to the Colossian church.

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. Colossians 2:8 (NKJV)

Lewis explained how we must be vigilant and not allow human thinking that is based on a secular worldview take us captive. This is where I was asked to join him in addressing these issues by looking at them through a biblical lens.

Paul wrote about the battles that Christians were and would always be fighting in his letter to the church in Ephesus.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)

I was intrigued by the fact that our fighting is against “powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual hosts of wickedness” and that it was taking place in “heavenly places.” It was at this point that I was reminded of the biblical account of Lucifer falling from Heaven and taking a third of the angels with him in his effort to become god.

From this time on, there has been a cosmic battle taking place between God and Satan, good and evil. This is the battle that we are ultimately engaged in today.

We know that with the creation of man, male and female, God ordained His first institution — the family or the home. While studying this, I realized that if the Fall had not occurred, this would have been the only institution needed for man to establish just societies.

When Satan attacked Adam and Eve, he was also attacking the institution of the family. The strategy Satan used to deceive man is the same one he uses to deceive us today. He puts forth his counterfeit lies against God’s truth claims. The challenge we are constantly facing is choosing whether we are going to believe God’s truth claims or Satan’s lies.

With the Fall, the home/family could no longer establish just societies on its own. So, God established His second ordained institution — the state or government. The purpose of the state was and continues to be punishing evil and rewarding good. In other words, government was established to protect the home and society.

When Christ died on the cross for man’s sin and rose from the grave to defeat death and the grave, God established His third institution — His church. The church is the body of Christ that is to take the Gospel to a lost and dark world.

In Satan’s ongoing effort to become god, he carries out his cosmic battle against God here on earth. His strategy is three-fold. He wants to:

  • destroy the family
  • control the state
  • weaken the church

As I attempted to analyze the ideologies that my pastor knew needed to be addressed, I constantly was on the lookout to see if any of these strategies of Satan were involved. I was amazed at how things started to make sense as I viewed these ideologies through the lens of Scripture and this cosmic battle between God’s truth claims and Satan’s lies.

It is amazing how history makes sense when it is studied from this biblical perspective. For example, I saw how immediately following the Reformation which brought the church back to the inerrancy and sufficiency of Scripture that Satan launched his counterfeit movement — the Enlightenment.

Watkins also noted this when he wrote,

One of the great, idealistic hopes of the Enlightenment was that man would finally be free from God and the various biblical, pre-Enlightenment ideas that led man captive.

Satan’s ultimate lie is always the same — man can be his own god (see Genesis 3:5).

From the ideologies coming out of the Enlightenment, came the teachings Hegel, the Frankfurt School, and Marx. All of these worldviews have some things in common. They all want to destroy the family and build the state.

Consider the beliefs of Herbert Marcuse leaders of the Frankfort School. Watkins writes,

Marcuse believed that one of the greatest negative achievements of civilization is the nuclear family. He suggested that the family be replaced by socialized, (i.e., secular) alternative institutions. The family should be controlled by public powers.

Of course, Karl Marx also wanted to do away with the nuclear family. The state was to be the ultimate social institution that would be responsible for the education of all children.

As I followed these various ideologies, they seemed to merge into the worldview of critical theory and out of critical theory came the various ideologies bombarding our homes and churches today.

The big question that I had to find the answer to was “Are these ideologies, especially critical theory and social justice, compatible with Christianity?” I found myself agreeing with Christians such as Voddie Baucham, Scott Allen and Eric Watkins.

It is true that you can find Christians who endorse critical theory and social justice. But it is hard to find critical theorists and social justice philosophers who endorse Christianity. Watkins explains why these theorists reject Christianity,

Christianity fosters unsafe ideologies and institutions that perpetuate anti-scientific thought, intolerance for certain sexual behaviors, parochialism, patriarchy, and punishing authoritarianism for any who do not conform.

I want to challenge you to always assess ideas, beliefs, and values through a biblical worldview lens. Are they espousing philosophies and ideas that are in line with Satan’s lies aimed at:

  • destroying the family?
  • controlling the state?
  • weakening the church?

If so, we should guard against them and stand on the truth of God’s Word.

Some resources that I have found helpful include:

The Church in Babylon by Erwin Lutzer

We Will Not Be Silenced by Erwin Lutzer

Fault Lines by Voddie Baucham

Why Social Justice is Not Biblical Justice by Scott David Allen

The Magna Carta of Humanity by Os Guinness

Christianity or Critical Theory by Eric Watkins

 

The Myth of Neutrality

By | Public Blog

I continue to be amazed at the number of parents, church leaders and educators who hold the view that education, especially schooling, can be neutral. Even if a teacher attempts to teach math as a body of neutral facts, such as 2+2=4, this would not be teaching that is value free. In fact, it might be the most dangerous type of teaching that can be thrust upon a student. By trying to teach any subject neutrally tells students that God is irrelevant to that subject.

I read two articles this past week that were clear demonstrations on how schooling is becoming more and more dangerous when it comes to indoctrination of students. Both of these articles clearly showed how today’s educational system has become a threat to parents who believe that they should have a say in what their children are being taught in school.

The first article covered a debate that took place between the two candidates for governor in the state of Virginia. One candidate made the following statement.

You believe school systems should tell children what to do. I believe parents should be in charge of their kids’ education.

The other candidate responded with this statement.

I’m not going to let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decisions. I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.

In case you might be thinking that this was simply political rhetoric, this candidate was asked later about his statement. His stance on who needs to be in control of what values and beliefs a child should be taught was quite clear.

Listen, we have a board of ed working with the local school boards to determine the curriculum for our schools. You don’t want parents coming in in every different school jurisdiction saying, ‘This is what should be taught here’ and, ‘This is what should be taught here.'”

Of course, much of these types of public statements are being made in response to parents who are becoming increasingly concerned with what ideologies are being taught in their local schools. More and more parents are realizing that schools are teaching students what to think rather than how to think.

When parents become aware of such dangerous teaching, they are going to school board meetings to make their concerns known. One would think that school boards and educators would welcome parents becoming involved in their children’s education. At least, that is what they say they want.

However, as these parents are standing up against the indoctrination taking place, instead of being welcomed, they find themselves being silenced and even required to leave. Parents can be involved in their child’s schooling as long as this involvement doesn’t interfere with the dangerous philosophies that are being taught.

After reading the statements by the gubernatorial candidate in Virginia, I read another editorial by Dr. Everett Piper in the Washington Times. In his editorial, Piper references a letter that the National School Boards Association recently sent to President Joe Biden. Piper wrote that the letter was “to warn the President that our nation’s schools are under the imminent threat of ‘domestic terrorism.'”

What is this threat of domestic terrorism? The letter states,

…public school officials are facing physical threats because of propaganda purporting the false inclusion of critical race theory within classroom instruction and curricula…The classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism…As such, NSBA requests a joint expedited review by the U.S. Departments of Justice, Education, and Homeland Security, along with the..FBI…

Wow! I have seen social media posts of parents attending local school board meetings denouncing the dangerous and destructive ideologies being taught to their children. The presentations have been bold and forceful. Some of these “protests” have actually read pornographic material to these board members that were right out of the textbooks they had approved.

Instead of thanking these parents for bringing these matters to their attention, they are now being reported to the President of the United States and labeled as domestic terrorists. This is extremely dangerous when elected officials, at the local, state and national levels, make it clear that parents should have no say as to what their children are being taught.

It is becoming clear that the government believes that children belong to the state not to parents. This is important because whoever believes children belong to them, also believe that they, alone, should determine what children are taught. This isn’t something new. History shows that when the government takes responsibility for the education of the children, dire consequences are always the result.  Consider these statements and think about what they led to in various countries around the world.

The education of all children, from the moment that they can get along without a mother’s care, shall be in state institutions. Karl Marx

Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted. Vladimir Lenin

Dr. Erwin Lutzer wrote a book several years ago titled, When a Nation Forgets God. In his book, Lutzer explained how Hitler viewed Germany’s youth as belonging to the Reich. Parents were responsible for feeding the child’s body but the state would feed the child’s soul — what the child would believe.

Dr. John MacArthur wrote the following warning to parents when it comes to raising (educating) children.

God Himself has given the responsibility for raising children to parents — not to schoolteachers, peers, childcare workers, or other people outside the family — and therefore it is wrong for parents to…shift the blame when things go wrong…Parents must involve themselves in their children’s lives enough to insure that no other influence takes precedence.

We are living in challenging times. This is not the time for parents, church leaders and Christian educators to remain silent to the subtle indoctrination that is taking place in schools all across the country. It is not enough to merely speak out against such indoctrination. It is time to take action and take control of our children’s and grandchildren’s education.

We must destroy the myth of neutrality when it comes to the education of our children!

Every Christian’s Main Purpose

By | Public Blog

 

Will These Children Become Disciples of Jesus?

Shortly after the second edition of Kingdom Education™ was released, I was asked to speak at a large Christian school administrator & board member conference. This was the first time I was able to present the 8 biblical principles of Kingdom Education™ that I had included in the new edition of the book.

I explained to the delegates that Christian school leaders needed to know, understand and be committed to a biblical philosophy of education. If this were not the case, the school would eventually drift from its God-given mission. The response was extremely encouraging as several came up and shared how good it was to be challenged to stay grounded in these 8 biblical principles.

The coordinator of the event shared with me that the presentation was definitely challenging. However, he went on to say that an author of a book that the organization was promoting would disagree with me on a couple of issues.  When I asked for more specifics, one issue that was mentioned caught me off guard.

The issue raised had to do with the third principle of Kingdom Education™.  This principle reads,

The education of children and youth must have as its primary goals the salvation of and discipleship of the next generation.

I asked why anyone would have a problem with this principle? It was explained to me that this particular author would say that evangelism and discipleship are responsibilities for the church not Christian schools. I was taken back but quickly responded that it was obvious that this person did not understand what biblical discipleship was all about.

That interaction took place almost 20 years ago.  However, I wonder if there are parents, pastors and Christian school educators today who may hold the same belief that this author did.  I believe that over the years, discipleship has become a process of going through a series of Bible studies within small groups in a church setting. If this is the thinking of many Christians today, it is no wonder why the church has failed to make disciples that can impact culture.

There is really only one mission for every Christian and that mission is to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). This mission is for every parent, pastor, church member and/or Christian educators. No matter what mission statement a church or a Christian school develops, it should be tied to the Great Commission.

It is time for Christian school leaders to connect their school’s specific mission to Jesus’ call to make disciples of all nations. This will cause some other questions to be discussed and answered.

  1. What is a disciple of Jesus Christ?
  2. Can a Christian who is not a disciple make disciples of other people?
  3. How does the school’s mission support the Great Commission?
  4. How is this principle of Kingdom Education™ implemented throughout the school’s educational program?

When we see the condition of the world today, it is absolutely critical that the home, church and school form a united front to do everything in their power to make disciples of the next generation.  This will require the gospel to be central in all we do so that every student understands his/her need to be born again.

After salvation, the disciple making process must begin immediately and be intentionally implemented throughout the young person’s education at home, church and school. When this happens, we will see young men and women equipped to go out and impact the culture for Jesus Christ.

I’ve Been Thinking

By | Public Blog

In the 1800s something took place that Francis Curran, a professor of the history of American education, referred to as a revolutionary development in the history of education and in the history of Christianity.  What was this revolutionary development?  According to Curran, it was the surrender by American Protestantism…of the control of popular elementary education to the state.

He went on to predict that once one area of education went under state control, it would simply be a matter of time when all levels of schooling follow suit.  The results of this monumental shift in who educates our young has been catastrophic to say the least.  I have written about the devastating results of secular education for years.  It has been sad to see the predictions of men such as Robert Lewis Dabney come true.

I am thankful that many Christians have tried to right the ship through the modern Christian day school movement.  It was exciting and encouraging to have been part of this movement when Christian schools literally were exploding on the scene in the 1970s and 1980s.  However, I have been doing a lot of thinking about what has been accomplished and what hasn’t taken place over the years.

Almost two years ago, our entire lives were turned upside down by the Covid virus.  One result of this pandemic was that just about all schools went virtual.  This meant that children and youth were, once again, at home receiving their education.  Because of this, parents started realizing what their children were being taught in the state school system.

Many parents were shocked to learn that schooling was not just about the 3 Rs.  There was something else going on.  G.K. Chesterton understood what education is really about when he wrote the following.

Every education teaches a philosophy; if not by dogma, then by suggestion, by implication, by atmosphere.

It has been amazing to hear how Christian school enrollments are increasing all across the country.  I continually read reports of how homeschooling is also exploding at an unprecedented rate.  However, these occurrences have also caused me to give a great deal of thought to where the movement is headed.  As I have been contemplating the current state of our country and Christian education, I find myself asking more questions than I have answers for.

Recently, a pastor asked me a question that stopped me in my tracks and I am still trying to find an answer to it.  We had been talking about the reality that the home, church and Christian school have not done a good job on making disciples of Jesus Christ.  It is true that there has been a strong emphasis on evangelism but we seem to have come up short on actually making disciples who are impacting the culture.

His question was, “what would a Christian school look like if it were totally built on a biblical discipleship model?”  At times, I have wondered if, at the beginning of the modern Christian day school movement, we had done it all wrong?  Did we take a secular model of what a school is and bring it under the auspices of a local church or Christian school board and simply attempt to Christianize it?

I have found myself asking a lot of other questions like these.

  1. Are we trying to just have a more “excellent” program than the neighboring public or private school?
  2. Has the effort to be “college prep” Christian schools caused us to adopt the typical course offerings that all other forms of schooling have thinking that God’s will for 98% or more of our graduates must be to go to college?
  3. Is there a better way of bringing the home, church and school together in a unified effort to make disciples of the next generation?

As I have wrestled with these questions, I have wondered if it is even possible to change how we do schooling to better fulfill the Great Commission?  How do we get parents to take the time and rethink how God wants them to bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?  Are church leaders willing to do whatever is necessary to assist parents in fulfilling their God-given responsibility of educating their children biblically?

As you can tell by the title of this blog, I have been doing a lot of thinking.  I am not saying that a lot of good things are not happening in Christian schools all across the country.  I also realize that many homeschooling parents are doing some wonderful things as they educate their children at home.  As one of my former pastors once said, I simply have a “holy discontent” to want to do more.

I don’t have the answers to these questions but I share them with you to see if there are any other parents, pastors, administrators and teachers who may be thinking similar thoughts.  If so, I would love to know your thoughts and, hopefully, some answers you have found to these all-important questions.  Please leave a comment below and let’s pray that God will give all of us wisdom and direction as we strive to provide Kingdom Education™ to future generations.

 

The War In Heavenly Places

By | Public Blog

For the past few weeks, my pastor has been addressing some very challenging topics in his messages.  These topics, such as wokeness, social justice and critical theory, etc., have challenged all of us.  Whenever one simply mentions one of these terms, it sparks some very strong reactions from those in attendance.  Most reactions are very emotionally charged due to personal experiences or what people have been taught or by various narratives that have bombarded people through the media.

Today, I was asked to preach a message to help people look at a bigger picture of what may be going on behind the scenes as it relates to these important issues.  In order to understand these issues that are causing division in our homes, churches and communities, we need to set aside our emotions and view these through the lens of Scripture.

As I was praying and preparing the message, I was reading in Ephesians and came across a very familiar verse.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places.  Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)

I had read this verse hundreds of times in the past.  However, this time some of the words seemed to jump off of the page and I began asking myself some questions.  Who or what are these principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual hosts of wickedness?  What does it mean that this battle is in heavenly places?

 

The Bible tells us how Satan was once a part of God’s angelic host.  In Ezekiel 28, this angel is referred to as the anointed cherub.  This cherub rebelled against God in an effort to become god.  He fell from Heaven and took 1/3 of the angelic host with him.  The war we are engaged in started in Heaven and was between God and Satan.

When God created the heavens and the earth, He created man in His image.  We read in Genesis 1 that He created man as both male and female and the two joined together in marriage and became one flesh.  Here we see that God defined marriage to be between a man and a woman.  This union was the creation of God’s first institution that He ordained — the family or the home.

Of course, we know that Satan immediately attacked God’s creation and tempted Eve with two lies.

  • God’s Word can’t be trusted.
  • You can be your own god.

Yielding to this temptation brought sin, disease and death into God’s creation.  Satan’s attack on man in the garden wasn’t just an attack on the man and the woman.  It was also an attack on God’s institution of the family.  Ever since that day, Satan has tried to destroy the family.

Because of sin, God established His second institution to provide order to His creation.  This institution is known as the state.  In Romans 13, Paul explains that the role of the state was to punish evil and reward good.  When the state protects both individuals and families according to its God-given responsibility, we will have just societies.

Once again, Satan set his sights on this new institution designed by God — the state.  He doesn’t aim at destroying the state like he wants to do with the family.  Instead, he simply wants to control it.  Throughout history Satan attacks the state by changing its role from being the protector of people and families to becoming the provider of the people’s needs.  Then, the state can become god with Satan in charge.

When God redeemed sinful man through the finished work of Christ on the cross, He established His third institution — the Church.  Satan immediately unleashed the powers of darkness to attack the Church.  I believe that Satan knows he can’t destroy the church.  This is because the Church is built on the solid rock of Jesus Christ.  So, Satan simply wants to weaken the Church and make it unable to shape the culture.

Satan’s ongoing attacks on God’s three established institutions, the family, state and Church, are Satan’s attempts to become god.  It is a war that started in Heaven and continues to be waged in heavenly places.  But the individual battles are fought here on earth and we are Satan’s targets in these battles.

The principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual hosts of wickedness are Satan’s band of demons who fell from Heaven with him in his rebellion against God.  God’s Word provides us with a glimpse of how the battle we are waging today is against these spiritual foes in heavenly places.  Consider a startling conversation that is recorded in the Old Testament book of Job.

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answers the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”  So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side?…But now, stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.”  Job 1:7-12 (NKJV)

This is a powerful picture of the battle Job faced against rulers of darkness in heavenly places.  It was a battle that Job had to fight in here on earth.  However, it was part of the war that was being waged in heavenly places.

We are engaged in the same war as Job faced.  Even the suffering that righteous people face on a daily basis must be seen in light of the cosmic struggle between God and Satan.

Satan wants to be god and he is trying to do this in his attacks on the:

  1. family or home
  2. state
  3. Church

If we are going to understand what is going on in our country today, we must view it through the lens of Scripture and the ongoing cosmic struggle between God and Satan.  We must never forget that Satan wants to destroy every family. He also wants to control the state and weaken the Church.

Before Satan can destroy any of these institutions, he must first bring division.  Once people are divided, he moves in all the forces of evil to destroy and devour them.  I want to challenge you to look at the ideas/beliefs that are dividing everyone, even Christians, today and try to see these dangerous ideologies as Satan’s attempt to be god.  We must realize this battle is not against flesh and blood.  It is a war in the heavenly places.

Mission Impossible

By | Public Blog

I can remember as a teenager being glued to the TV each week to watch an episode of Mission Impossible.  Each week actor, Peter Graves, led a  team that was given an extremely dangerous mission to accomplish.  How would the mission be accomplished when the team was up against overwhelming odds?  In order to accomplish the mission, every person on the team had to fulfill its role at precisely the right time and in the right way.  In the end, they always accomplished the mission.

God has given His children a mission to accomplish here on earth.  It, too, is a very dangerous mission and it requires every team member give careful attention to what needs to be done.  This mission is the same for the individual, the home, church and school.  The mission is referred to as the Great Commission and was given to us by Jesus before He ascended into heaven.

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.  Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV)

Most churches, Christian schools, and other Christian organizations have developed a mission and/or vision statement that expresses their purpose and guides them in all they do.  Whatever the individual institution’s written statement is, it must aim at accomplishing the Great Commission found in Matthew’s gospel.  Every Christian is to be striving to make disciples of all nations! 

Unfortunately, this is not happening throughout Western Christianity.  In a recent Barna Group report, it was found that only 17% of today’s churchgoers had heard about the Great Commission and thought that they knew what it meant.  The Disciple Nations Alliance provides evidence that most Christians have redefined the Great Commission to mean only saving souls for Heaven and planting churches.

When we see what is happening across our country and around the world, we must admit that we are failing at making disciples who know and live out all that Jesus commanded.  It is evident that you cannot make disciples without saving souls.  But it is also true that you can save souls without making disciples.  This has to change.  The Great Commission must be the driving force behind the lives of individual Christians, the home, church and Christian school.

However, there is a problem that must be addressed in order to complete this mission.  For someone to make a disciple of Jesus Christ, he or she must first be His disciple.  What does it take for us to be disciples of Jesus Christ?  When answering this question, many Christians will refer to Luke 14:27.

And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.

Here Jesus tells His followers that there is a cost to being His disciple.  Being His disciple requires each person to die to self and live for Jesus Christ.  In today’s world, dominated by “self”, few Christians seem willing to pay this price that is required to be a disciple of Christ.

However, God’s Word gives us some other insights into what it takes to be a disciple of Jesus.  In John 8, Jesus is talking to some Jews who had just become believers.  He challenges them to go beyond being a mere believer to becoming one of His disciples.

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.  And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32 (NKJV)

To be a disciple of Jesus, one must “abide in My Word.”  Another translation reads that a disciple must “continue in My Word.”  A disciple of Jesus Christ must take up daily residence in the Bible!  God’s Word can’t be something we just visit once in a while at church.  It must be our dwelling place.  Paul makes this clear when he writes,

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV)

Dr. George Barna is the director of the Christian Culture Center at Arizona Christian University.  The Center has done extensive studies on the worldview of today’s Christian.  The findings are troublesome — especially when it comes to Christians having the ability to make disciples of all nations.

 

  • 75% of evangelicals and 76% of charismatics reject the Bible’s teaching that people are not basically good; we are sinners.
  • 58% of evangelicals and 49% of charismatics reject the Bible’s teaching that people cannot earn a place in Heaven by being good or by doing good works.
  • 42% of evangelicals and 38% of charismatics reject that the Bible is the primary source of moral guidance.

The reality is that today’s Christians are not “abiding in God’s Word” and, therefore, are not disciples of Jesus Christ.  This means that we are not capable of making disciples because we are not disciples ourselves.  Darrow Miller makes a statement that is not only frightening but is also being proven to be true.

If the church is not discipling the nation, the nation is discipling the church.

As a new school year begins, we must ask ourselves some important questions.

  1. Do we understand God’s mission for our lives?
  2. Have we truncated the Great Commission to only mean saving souls for Heaven?
  3. Are we willing to die to self and live for Christ?
  4. Have we taken up residence in God’s Word or are we merely visitors?
  5. Have Christian schools selected board members and hired teachers who are disciples or just believers?
  6. What are we doing to become Christ’s disciples so we can disciple the next generations?

If we are not disciples of Jesus Christ, the Great Commission is truly a Mission Impossible!

God Has Taught Me One Thing This Month

By | Public Blog, Uncategorized

Ever since the Kingdom Education™ Summit, my life has been a whirlwind.  The start of a new school year is always busy but not like it has been this year.  By the time September rolls around, I will have been at six different Christian schools in six different states conducting 10 full days of professional staff development.

I have sensed a deep hunger for understanding and applying Kingdom Education™ like never before.  Administrators and teachers want to fully understand Kingdom Education™.  They want to know what Kingdom Education™ is from a biblical perspective and what needs to happen for a biblical philosophy of education to drive everything that takes place at their schools.

I am so thankful that all three books on Kingdom Education™ are now available.  These three resources lay a biblical foundation for education, challenge the home, church and school to embrace Kingdom Education™, and provide application exercises to help apply Kingdom Education™ to everyday life in our homes, churches and schools. I encourage all parents, church leaders and educators to consider studying these resources.  Click HERE to learn more about these resources.

Through all that has happened in these last two months, God has taught be an extremely important lesson.  I have become more aware of the importance of the home when it comes to the education of children and youth.  G.K. Chesterton once said,

The Family is not only an institution, but a foundation, the foundation of nearly all institutions.

As I have led Christian educators into a deeper understanding of Kingdom Education™, there seems to be both an excitement and worry when it comes to implementing a biblical philosophy of education.  The excitement is because they know that Kingdom Education™ is necessary for them to fulfill God’s purpose for their calling to Christian education.

Of course, God’s purpose for Christian school educators is also His purpose for every parent, pastor and/or church leader.  That purpose is what Jesus said right before He ascended into heaven.  It is called the Great Commission.

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.  Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV)

Every Christian’s purpose is the same — we are to make disciples of all nations.  Of course, this must begin in the home where parents see their most important task is the discipleship of their own children.

Even with this excitement of being involved in making disciples of the next generation, the teachers were anxious and wondered if this was actually possible.  As we discussed this challenge, the condition of the home took center stage.  Yes, there are many families where the parents are committed followers of Jesus Christ and believe that the discipleship of their children is of highest priority when it comes to how they educate their children.

However, the vast majority of parents who have enrolled their children in Christian schools, do so for a wide variety of reasons other than giving their children a biblical worldview education.  Their main focus is preparing their children for college which is seen as a must if their children are going to be successful.  Being successful is usually determined by their children’s economic achievements.

If and when leaders of a Christian school step up and make the discipleship of their students their number one goal, there is a fear that parents will think that the school is lowering its standards.  If this happens, parents will no longer keep their children in these schools.

Yet, if we don’t get back to establishing Kingdom Education™ as the driving philosophy behind all we do, the result will be even more tragic.  Students may continue to outperform their counterparts in secular schools but they will not become the disciples of Christ who can actually advance God’s kingdom in today’s world.

Something must take place right away.  We must answer some very challenging but vital questions.

  1. How can we get parents to understand their God-given responsibility to provide their children with a biblical education at home, church and school?
  2. Who is going to disciple today’s parents?
  3. How can the church and Christian school equip parents so that they are able to educate their children biblically?
  4. How can school leader and teachers effectively partner with parents so that Kingdom Education™ becomes a reality in the home and school?

Alan Pugh addresses this need to better equip parents in his book Rethinking Discipleship: Why Christian Schooling.  He writes,

When I hear pastors say, “Schooling/discipleship is the responsibility of parents,” my response is, “Of course, parents bear responsibility for discipling their children.” Who is responsible, however, for equipping parents for such a challenging role?  Isn’t it a primary role of the church?

It has taken us many decades to get to where we are today.  It is going to take time to turn this ship of education around.  However, we must start today.  I invite every reader to engage in conversation about how the church and/or the Christian school can engage and equip parents so that they will be committed to Kingdom Education™.  Share your ideas by leaving a comment below.

The Fear That Leads To Knowledge & Wisdom

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Below are two verses that most of us have read and quoted many times.  This is especially true when it comes to being involved in Christian school education.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;  Proverbs 1:7

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.  Proverbs 9:10

As is too often the case in one’s walk with the Lord, we quote verses like these but never dig deep into their meanings.  In Proverbs 1, the word beginning  means the chief, first or foremost.  It carries with it the meaning of the start of something.  The writer is stating that the fear of the Lord is the essence of true knowledge.

The term translated beginning in Proverbs 9 is a different Hebrew word.  Here, it means the prerequisite.  Before you can get wisdom, you must first fear the Lord.  The verse goes on to tie wisdom to the knowledge of God and understanding.  Warren Wiersbe says when you attend to getting wisdom, you get a deeper knowledge of God.

If the fear of the Lord is the beginning of both knowledge and wisdom, what does it mean to fear God?  As I studied this, I was challenged by several things that others have written.  Wiersbe wrote,

The fear of the Lord comes when we acknowledge from our hearts that He is the Creator, we are the creatures; He’s the Father, we’re His children; He’s the Master, we’re His servants.

Charles Bridges defines the fear of the Lord as the affectionate reverence by which the child of God bends himself humbly and carefully to his Father’s law.  Poole’s commentary on Proverbs 1:7 states that the fear of the Lord is the foundation without which all other knowledge is vain and useless.

Recently, I was viewing a Q&A session at the 2021 Fellowship Conference when a participant asked the panel what does the fear of the Lord look like to the everyday Christian.  This man explained that when he first became a Christian, he had a real awareness of the fear of God but he seemed to have lost it over the years.

Michael Durham of Real Truth Matters first defined the fear of the Lord this way.

A biblically balanced view of who God is that leaves you absolutely awed by Him. You do not fear God until you see Him as He is faithfully revealed in Scripture.

He went on to explain that the problem with Christians not fearing God arises from a skewed view of who He is.  If you emphasize God’s love over His other attributes, you end up with no honor or respect of God.  This is because you see Him as this syrupy, kind, gentle, meek God.  However, if you only define God by His attribute of justice, you will never draw near to Him because you will be morbidly afraid of Him.  We will only fear God when we know God as He is faithfully revealed in Scripture.

Today, we are seeing many Christian “celebrities” leaving the faith.  They, for some reason or another, no longer claim to be Christians.  In fact, some of them are offering counsel and courses on how to deconstruct your faith. Dennis Hanbarger posted an interesting statement on social media related to all of these deconstruction stories.

I’m noticing that so many deconstruction stories, when distilled down, essentially amount to: “God isn’t who I wanted Him to be.”

So, how does one mature and grow in the fear of the Lord?  I want to go back to the panel discussion I referred to earlier.  Paul Washer responded to this man’s question about what should the fear of the Lord look like in our everyday life.

To continue in and grow in the fear of the Lord, you have to get in Scripture and discover who He is. As you discern more and more who He is, the fear of the Lord will not diminish but will increase.

Washer explained that there are two necessities to understanding the fear of the Lord.

  1. The study of God’s Word — The more you know Him, the more you will reverence Him.
  2. Community of believers — Be around men and women who are examples of people who fear the Lord
As students come back to school, they need to see that their teachers understand who God is and walk under the umbrella of honor, respect and awe of God throughout each day.  In order for this to be a reality, every Christian parent, church leader and educator must be in God’s Word daily and know who God is as He is faithfully revealed in Scripture.

When this happens, the next generation will come to know the fear that leads to knowledge and wisdom.

The INSIDIOUS Danger of Secular Education

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I am strongly opposed to any child being given a secular education.  This is because there is an obvious danger to this type of education.  However, I am more concerned with an insidious danger that comes with all secular education.  In order to understand my concern and opposition to secular education, it is important to define terms accurately.

The term secular is often thought of as simply being neutral when it comes to spiritual matters.  When looking up the definition of secular in a dictionary, one will find definitions such as these:

denoting attitudes, activities or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis

not subject to or bound by religious rule

Thinking that secular education can be spiritually neutral has led many Christians to believe that this type of education is not dangerous.  After all, it is not “anti-Christian” or “anti-God”. It simply focuses on facts and knowledge without trying to attach some religious meaning to everything. Thus, the majority of Christian parents naively send their children to secular schools for their education.

It is because of this very fact that I believe secular education is insidiously dangerous.  Again, defining terms in today’s culture is extremely important.  The term “insidious” comes from the Latin words “insidiea” and “insidere”.  These words mean to ambush, trick, or lie in wait for.

A dictionary definition of insidious is:

something that proceeds in a gradual, subtle way with harmful effects; treacherous; crafty

So, what is the insidious danger of any and all secular education?  It is not what is explicitly taught to students.  There is no doubt that there is a lot of false teachings that takes place in secular institutions.  One will find these falsehoods in what teachers present in their classrooms and what authors write in secular textbooks and other instructional resources.

However, the real danger is in what is omitted in secular education.  It is what teachers and textbooks in secular education don’t say that makes this danger so insidious. Dr. Paul Vitz’ book, Censorship: Evidence of Bias in Our Children’s Textbooks, was published in 1986. In this book, Vitz reported the results of a government-funded survey on the way religion and traditional values were represented in 90 widely used reading and social studies textbooks in United States schools.

Dr. Vitz summarized his findings with these chilling words.

Religion, traditional family values, and conservative political and economic positions have been reliably excluded from children’s textbooks.

As I have already noted, the real danger of secular education is not necessarily what it teaches but what it doesn’t teach.  In the elementary textbooks that Vitz reviewed, he found some startling realities when it came to how religion and religious values were covered.

0 out of 60 textbooks (approximately 15,000 pages) have even 1 word referring to any religious activity in contemporary American life. None of these texts have even 1 mention of people who go to church or synagogue, who worship or pray or have any religious influence on their lives or on society.

It must be noted that Vitz did not report that these social studies textbooks were anti-Christian in how they presented our country’s history.  However, they were all insidiously anti-Christian by leaving out all references to Christianity when presenting the foundational beliefs that were integral to the founding of our country.

By simply omitting this information (and not making nasty, caustic statements about Christianity), teachers and students may not notice this anti-Christian bias.  When something is left out, it implies that it is not important.  The result is that several generations of young people have completed their education without learning how God has worked and continues to work throughout human history.

I have been careful in my selection of words throughout this blog.  When referring to secular education, I have avoided the use of the words public or school as much as possible.  This is because secular education can take place anywhere — in the home, church or school.

Now, there is no question that public school education has become completely secularized since its inception in the 1800s.  However, private, charter, Christian, and, even, home schools can also provide children with a secular education.

In fact, the home, church and Christian school can and, in many cases, have embraced a secular philosophy of education.  When this takes place in an institution that claims to be Christian, the same insidious danger will be present.

As a new school year is ready to begin, it is important that parents, church leaders and Christian educators make sure that they are providing their children and youth with a thoroughly biblical education.  This must begin in the home and carry over into to the church and school that children will attend.

Christians must be more vigilant and make sure that they avoid the insidious danger that always comes with any form of secular teaching.  We must remember that the danger of secular education proceeds gradually and subtly.  But, it is always treacherous, crafty and harmful.

Christian school educators must be more discerning when it comes to textbook selection, programs conducted, and the worldviews of the board, administration, faculty, coaches and staff that are given positions of influence in the lives of students.  There needs to be intentional and ongoing training to help these individuals know, understand and embrace a biblical worldview and a biblical philosophy of education.

We must always remember that it is not just the obvious anti-Christian philosophies and ideas that are taught that are so dangerous.  It is also about what is omitted and ignored about God and truth that is the INSIDIOUS DANGER of secular education.

Summer Is Over!

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Where did the summer go?  It is hard to believe that a new school year is getting ready to start.  Looking back over the past few months, I find myself amazed at all God did in my life and ministry.  I am ready to move forward in my efforts to advance His kingdom.

Even though I have not posted any blogs for several weeks, it has been an extremely busy and productive time.  It was good to take a break from posting to dig into the riches of Scripture, spend some quiet time with the Lord and, once again, prove His perfect will for my life.  Here are some of the highlights from this summer.

I conducted the first Kingdom Education™ Summit at Word of God Ministries in Shreveport, LA in July.  God did a work that exceeded all of my expectations.  Over 120 pastors, church leaders and Christian educators from 17 states met for 3 days to address the issue of education biblically.  I am grateful for the wonderful assistance that  Dr. Luke Bowers, Mr. Tim Euler, Dr. Sonny Sherrill and Mr. Ben Shettler provided to help make the Summit such a success.

It was the first time since writing Kingdom Education: God’s Plan for Educating Future Generations that I was able to define and present this philosophy in detail.  It was encouraging to watch as the delegates realized that education did not equate to schooling as they discussed how the home, church and school had to embrace the biblical principles of Kingdom Education™ in order to fulfill the Great Commission and make disciples of all nations.

At the Summit, I was also able to introduce two new companion books to my original book, Kingdom Education: God’s Plan for Educating Future Generations.  After months of writing and editing, Understanding Kingdom Education: A Challenge for the Home, Church, and School and Applying Kingdom Education: Following God’s Instructions for Educating Future Generations became a reality.  Delegates at the Summit were given complimentary copies of all three Kingdom Education™ books.  Click Here for more information on these new resources.

Each day of the Summit a different aspect of Kingdom Education™ was presented.  The first day focused on Understanding Kingdom Education™.  On the second day, the delegates broke into work groups focusing on Applying Kingdom Education™.  Advancing Kingdom Education™ was the focus on the final day of the Summit as challenges were given to the home, church and school along with corresponding panel discussions.

God did another amazing thing over the summer.  More than 50 years ago several Christian school leaders saw the need to train a new generation of Christian school educators.  Dr. Roy Lowrie, Jr., Dr. William Male and others started what became known as the International Institute for Christian School Educators (IICSE).  The Institute met on the campus of Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana for many years.

As a young Christian school administrator, I attended IICSE in 1978.  It was during that week that God started developing in my mind a biblical philosophy of education.  It was also at the Institute that year that the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) was formed.

Many years later, Dr. Lowrie moved IICSE to the campus of Columbia Bible College, now Columbia International University.  I had the privilege of being one of the keynote speakers at the Institute the first year it was held at CIU.  Unfortunately, Dr. Lowrie had unexpectedly passed away just prior to the event.

Over the years, IICSE has maintained its original mission to present and instill a biblical philosophy of education in the hearts and minds of Christian school educators from around the world.  The Institute had a profound impact on many of my fellow Christian school educators of my generation.

This summer, Dr. Milton Uecker, contacted me to ask me a very important question.  Dr. Uecker has directed the IICSE ever since Dr. Lowrie’s passing.  He and the team from CIU had been led of God to transfer the Institute to another organization that could carry on its rich legacy.  I was humbled to learn that Kingdom Education™ Ministries was chosen to assume the leadership for the IICSE.

Dr. Uecker was unable to attend the Summit; however, he put together a short video announcing this partnership with the Lowrie Center and Kingdom Education™ Ministries.  Click Here to watch.

As the new school year is getting started, I am excited about several opportunities I have to provide staff development sessions at various Christian schools.  Over the next few weeks, I will be challenging today’s Christian educators to understand and apply Kingdom Education™ in all they do.

It is my prayer that God will continue to lead Kingdom Education™ Ministries as we strive to restore individuals, empower the home, engage the church and transform schools through Kingdom Education™. I ask that you join me in praying for God to unite the home, church and school into a unified whole to make disciples of all nations!