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Glen Schultz

It Is Time For A Reality Check!

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Many times things are not what they appear to be.  When this happens, we can very easily succumb to an illusion.  The picture to the right is an example of an optical illusion that makes an impossibility seem real.

Here in the United States, we have experienced what it is like to live in a land of freedom.   There is no doubt about it; we have a history that has been marked by unprecedented abundance and blessings.

It has become very easy to become complacent and live in the illusion that we will continue to live in a country where we will always enjoy such basic freedoms as freedom of worship, speech, the right to bear arms, to own private property, etc.  However, there have been some dark clouds forming on the horizon over the past couple of years that should be shaking us to the core.  It is time for a reality check!

I have reviewed several studies that have recently been conducted.  These studies were done by such groups as:

  • The Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University
  • The Pinetops Foundation
  • The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation

I don’t have time to share all the results from these various projects.  However, here are some alarming findings that are fast becoming realities in our culture today — especially when it comes to the younger generations.

  • Even though 6 out of 10 Millennials consider themselves to be Christians, only 2% possess a biblical worldview.
  • Between 40 and 50% of Millennials no longer believe in the sanctity of human life.
  • 49% of Gen Z view socialism as favorable and 30% have warmed up to Marxism.
  • It is estimated that between 35 and 42 million young people will leave the church by 2050.
  • Over 55% of evangelical/pentacostal Millennials reject the idea that there is absolute moral truth.
  • 51% of Gen Z-ers believe the United States is a racist nation with a long history of discrimination.
  • 75% of evangelical Millennials believe that all people are basically good.

There is no question about it.  The younger generations are rejecting the fundamental truths, that are grounded in Scripture, on which this country was founded.  As Harry Blamires wrote in the 1960s, there is no longer a Christian mind.  How did we get ourselves into this terrible condition?

The answer to this million dollar question is really quite simple.  We have embraced a secular philosophy of education in our homes, churches and schools.  In reality, we have educated our children and youth to think this way.

We should not be surprised by what we see taking place throughout society.  I have been fascinated by the predictions that Dr. Robert Lewis Dabney made in his book, Disscussions (1897).  In Volume IV: Secular, Dabney made this observation.

If the State assumes responsibility for education, there is therefore a great risk that the education of youth will be perverted to serve an ideological faction.  This will occur by the hateful means of filling their minds with error and passion in place of truth and right.  If the State in America becomes the educator, education must be secularized totally.

He went on to explain what he believed would eventually happen in the country (remember he said this in the late 1800s).

We are attempting therefore an absolute novelty…State education among Americans tends to be entirely secularized.  What is the result?  In this country, there is a general revolt from the Christian faith, even though the country is full of churches, preachers, and a redundant Christian literature.

When you consider the results from the studies noted above, you would have to agree that we are seeing a general revolt from the Christian faith taking place right before our very eyes.  Dabney made one more prediction that has become a reality in this country’s educational system.

But nearly all public men and preachers declare that the public schools are the glory of America.  They are a finality, and in no event to be surrendered.  We have seen that their complete secularization is logically inevitable.  Christians must prepare themselves then, for the following results:  All prayers, catechisms, and Bibles will ultimately be driven out of the schools.

When God’s Word is removed from education, that system can only produce a secular, anti-Christian worldview in the hearts and minds of its students.  It is time for a reality check!  Some things have to change!

This is why Kingdom Education Ministries will be conducting its first ever Kingdom Education Summit this coming summer.  At this Summit, we will be addressing the issue of education from a completely biblical perspective.  As we do so, we want to develop strategies for individuals, homes, churches and schools that will help us raise up a new generation of young people who think and act from a biblical worldview.

 

For more details on this summer’s Kingdom Education Summit click here.  We are offering a special discount on the registration fee to all KEM Prime Members.  If your school or organization is not a KEM Prime Member, now is the time to take advantage of this very affordable membership that will help your staff develop a biblical worldview and philosophy of education.  When joining, enter this discount code, KESDISC21, for an even lower membership fee.  For more information on how you can become a KEM Prime Member click here.

It is time that all Christians conduct a reality check.  Once we do this, we must get back to the Scriptures and address the issue of education from a biblical perspective.  I look forward to seeing many of you in July at the Kingdom Education Summit!

 

A Thanksgiving Like No Other

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It is Thanksgiving week here in the United States.  Throughout my life, it has been a time when family gathered together for fellowship and good food.  We always took time to express our gratitude for all that God had done for us.  I have many fond memories of those times that I got to share with family and friends.

For many people, Thanksgiving is going to be very different this year.  Of course, one could say that everything has been different in 2020; so why should Thanksgiving be the same.  Who would have ever thought that government officials would try to ban families from traveling and being together on Thanksgiving Day.

Even though the world we live in has been turned upside down and life as we have known it seems a distant memory, there is much to be thankful for.  We are going to be gathering together as a family.  It will be the first time in almost 5 years that we will have all six of our grandchildren with us to share in some mighty fine eating.

My oldest son and his son will join me for our annual golf outing that we have done every Thanksgiving Day morning.  Our scores are never very impressive but the laughter and times looking for a wayward shot are worth being together even when the weather has been windy and cold.

As I have been getting ready for Thanksgiving 2020, I have been reminded about how good God has been, is and will be forever.  Yes, I can find a lot of things to be frustrated with.  I find myself easily complaining about Covid restrictions, political bickering, disruptions to my schedule and cancelations of several engagements.

There is one topic in Scripture that has captured much of my thinking over the past few weeks.  It is the topic of contentment.  I will probably share more on this in future blogs, but, for now, I want to share a couple of truths that have put everything that is going on in this crazy, fallen world into its proper perspective.

In Hebrews, we find these words.

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear.  What can man do to me?”  Hebrews 13:5-6 (NKJV)

At a time when we are supposed to be thankful, it is so easy to be covetous instead.  It is natural to wish we could get back to normal and not have to wear a mask whenever we enter a building.  (As a side note, I find it fascinating that the Covid virus hovers at restaurant doors so a mask is required.  However, the virus disappears once you get to a table so you can take it off.)

The writer of Hebrews says that we should live without covetousness.  I know most of the time we equate this with money or possessions.  However, we can live a life of covetousness when we wish our candidate for some office would’ve won, we want to go to church again and give fellow believers a good handshake or hug, or want the freedom to go back to school or work.  Covetousness is simply wanting something that we don’t have more than being thankful for what we have been graciously given.

The key to being free of covetousness is learning to be content.  Again, look at these verses in Hebrew.  You and I are told to be content with what we have!  You might be thinking but I have lost so much and I have so little how can I be content?

No matter what you and I are facing today, we have something that we can never lose and, therefore, we can be content.  What do we possess that we can never lose and, therefore, be content?  It is God, Himself!

God promises us that He will never leave you or me and will never forsake us!  God has promised us His eternal presence no matter what comes our way.

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.  Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV)

No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.  Joshua 1:5 (NKJV)

When we realize that God will never leave nor forsake us, it always results in us not being afraid but being courageous and strong.  And we all know that we need some courage in order to live in today’s world.  When I know that God is with me, I am not afraid of what man might do to me.  Why?  Because God is there to be my helper and, with Him helping me, what can man do to me?

I don’t know what you are facing this Thanksgiving.  I understand that we have gone through a lot in 2020. Many of our plans have been completely blown up.  It may seem hopeless and we don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.

However, I want to encourage you to take some time and reflect back over this year.  When you do, look to see how God was with you and helped you get through everything you faced (it could’ve been worse).  Even if I had lost everything I once had in this world, I am content with what I haven’t lost and never will — God’s presence and help!  For this I am eternally thankful.

The Key To Not Fretting

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I know that the Psalmist was right when he wrote,

Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. Psalm 37:1 (NKJV)

However, I have to admit that I struggle with this at times.  And one of those times is now.  It is hard not to become frustrated when you see the evil that is taking place all around you and it seems like those committing it not only get away with it but almost flaunt it.

Some of the things that can be frustrating are:

  • Being told that churches can’t meet but casinos, liquor stores and abortion clinics keep right on operating as usual.
  • Seeing people physically assault others, burn down private businesses and destroy public property and no one ever seems to be held accountable.
  • Seeing “famous” individuals commit crimes, be given sentences as short as 2 months and then being let out early so they don’t have to be away from home for Christmas while the ordinary person is given much longer sentences with no early release.

It can appear that when you try to live a godly life, you get attacked.  But those who don’t even attempt to hide their wrongdoing seem to get let “off the hook” without any consequences.  How can we live out Psalm 37:1 in today’s crazy world?

When trying to make sense of what is going on around me, I find it helpful to realize my feelings of frustration aren’t something that Christians are just now facing.  God’s people have had these frustrations throughout human history.  It is encouraging to read the Bible and see others struggle with the same things that I struggle with.

One of my Bible heroes is a man named Asaph.  Asaph was a Levite who headed the service of music under the reigns of David and Solomon.  He wrote several Psalms.  In one Psalm, Asaph expressed how he struggled with some of the same things that I wrestle with.

…as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; my steps had nearly slipped.  For I was envious of the boastful, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.  Psalm 73:2-3 (NKJV)

What did Asaph mean by the “boastful” person and the “prosperity of the wicked?”  He explains exactly what he meant by these phrases when he wrote that these people were ones who,

  • were strong and not in trouble like other men (vs 4-5)
  • were not plagued or held accountable (vs 5)
  • were proud (vs 6)
  • wore violence like one would but on a garment (vs 6)
  • were blessed with abundance to the point that they had more than their hearts could desire (vs 7)
  • talked in boastful ways that even mocked God (vs 8,9,11)
  • were always at ease and growing in material possessions (vs 12)

This is what I find myself struggling with more and more as the days wax evil.  In fact, Asaph was so discouraged that he even thought that he was wasting his time trying to live a godly life.  It seemed useless to do so.

Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocence.  For all day long I have been plagued, and chastened every morning.  Psalm 73:13-14 (NKJV)

Let’s be honest with each other and God.  Do you sometimes feel this way?   Is Asaph possibly speaking for you?  I am thankful that everyone wrestles with the same things that I face on a daily basis while I am living in this fallen world.

But, let’s get back to my original question.  Even though I see the prosperity of the wicked all around me and it seems like they are prospering more and more each day, how do I stop fretting about them?   It is one thing to say I am battling what Asaph did in his life.  But it is another thing to not let it overtake you with worry (fretting) and envy.

I am thankful that Asaph didn’t stop at verse 14.  Even though he was having a hard time trying to understand all of this, he knew that living a godly life was not in vain.  The key to seeing the prosperity of the wicked  but not giving up was found in Asaph’s daily habit that is explained starting in verse 16 of this Psalm.

When I thought how to understand this, it was too painful for me—until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end.  Psalm 73:16-17 (NKJV)

When Asaph spent time alone with God, he saw the big eternal picture and not just the temporal happenings that were causing him so much heartache.  It is the same thing that David understood when he wrote Psalm 37.

For they [the wicked] shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.  Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.  Psalm 37:2-3 (NKJV)

Over the past couple of weeks, I have had to change some of my daily habits.  I have stopped watching the news and I have cutback on following things on social media.  I have not only spent time with the Lord each day but I have also dwelt in the Word throughout the day.  As I have done this, I have found that I have feasted on God’s faithfulness.

Any posting I have done on Twitter, FaceBook or Parler has been sharing Scriptures that I have been reading or quotes that help me live a life pleasing to God.  I even have found myself having pity for those who are outside the faith.  They do not realize how God has placed them in very slippery places and if they don’t repent and turn to God, they will enter an eternity of misery like they never imagined.

By entering into God’s sanctuary throughout the day, it has allowed me more time to focus on the work He has for me to do.  I am excited that I will soon be making a big announcement that wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t trusted in the Lord and focused on doing what is good.

I leave you with some more of David’s advice in Psalm 37 (emphasis mine).  I pray that you will follow this advice as you serve the Lord in the days ahead.  Have a blessed week!

Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.  He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.  Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.  Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret—it only causes harm.  Psalm 37:4-8 (NKJV)

Are We Teaching This To Our Children?

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I finished by plan to read the Bible through this year earlier than expected.  So, I began reading back through the Psalms.  Last week I was reading Psalm 34 and saw something that I had not seen before.  Verses 8-11 seemed to jump off the page.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!  Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!  There is no want to those who fear Him.  The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.  Psalm 34:8-10 (NKJV)

There is so much truth in these three verses but what caught my attention was what the Psalmist wrote in verse 9.  The Psalmist urged the saints (Christians) to fear the Lord.  Then the writer declared that those who do fear God lack nothing.  This is quite a promise.

I stopped what I was doing and did a word search on my Bible software about the benefits of fearing the Lord.  Three times in the Psalms, I found that God will bless one who fears Him.  As I continued searching the Scriptures, I learned  how God blesses those who fear Him.  Here are some of the jewels that I found.

  • God’s eye is on those who fear Him (Psalm 33:18)
  • When we fear God, we are given mercy (Luke 1:50; Psalm 103:11,17)
  • God takes pleasure with us when we fear Him (Psalm 147:7)
  • God has pity on people who fear Him (Psalm 103:13)
  • God’s angels protect and deliver us when we fear Him (Psalm 34:7)
  • He honors those who fear Him (Psalm 15:4)
  • God shares His secrets with those who fear Him (Psalm 25:14)
  • God is our help and shield when we fear Him (Psalm 115:11)

There were more blessings than I have time to share what God does for those who fear Him.  As I pondered all of this, I asked myself this question.  What does it really mean to fear God?  One explanation of the fear of the Lord helps bring meaning to this phrase.

The fear of the Lord is the continual awareness that I am in the presence of a holy, just and almighty God and that every motive, thought, word, and action is open before Him and will be judged by Him.

Another person put it this way.  The fear of the Lord involves:

  • a hatred of sin
  • an understanding of who God is
  • developing a reverential fear of Him
  • being led to develop true wisdom

When one fears the Lord, he/she lives with the awareness of both God’s presence and His coming judgement.  As a child of God, we do not have to fear His judgement as our sins have been forgiven.  However, an unsaved person has every right to fear God’s coming judgement.

Since fearing God promises to fully satisfy, this should lead us to have the same desire that the Psalmist had.  Consider what the Psalmist wanted to do once he understood the importance of fearing God.

Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Psalm 34:11 (NKJV)

This must be our desire when we taste the goodness of God, are blessed by trusting Him and are satisfied when we fear Him.  We must do everything we can to have the next generation listen to us.  And what do we want them to know?  We want to teach them the fear of the Lord.  This must be the highest priority for parents, church leaders and educators as they educate the next generation.

 

The more we experience (taste) the goodness of God and fear Him, the more we should beg the next generation to come and listen to us.  When they come, we can’t try to impress them with high sounding words or inundate them with endless bits of knowledge.  We must teach them the fear of the Lord.  Why?  Because God promises that if they fear Him, He will completely satisfy them.  Are you and I teaching the next generation about the fear of the Lord?  If not, we need to start to do so without delay!

The Problem & The Solution

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I am often asked what I believe is the ONE thing that is needed to solve the terrible condition we find ourselves in today.  My answer to this question identifies both the problem and the solution for everything we are currently facing in society.  In fact, my answer is not just for our country but for the entire world.

D. Martin Lloyd-Jones summed up my answer in one sentence.

The problem with the world is we don’t know God!

That’s it in a nutshell.  We don’t know God!  This isn’t only true for society in general but, unfortunately, it is also true for today’s church.  Of course, this isn’t anything new.  God identified this problem when He described the condition of Israel.

Hear the word of the Lord, you children of Israel, for the Lord brings a charge against the inhabitants of the land: there is no truth or mercy or knowledge of God in the land.  Hosea 4:1 (NKJV)

When God says that there is no knowledge of God in the land, the land refers to the nation of Israel — His people.  I am convinced that this is the problem in today’s church as well.  God’s people do not know Him!

God’s Word tells us the consequences that His people will face when they don’t know God.  In verse 6 of this same chapter of Hosea, we see that His people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.  The lack of knowledge that God is referring to is knowledge of God.

The prophet Isaiah records another consequence that will result from God’s people not knowing Him.

Therefore, My people have gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge.  Isaiah 5:13 (NKJV)

Here, again, we find that the lack of knowledge is related to knowing God.  What type of captivity results from not knowing God?  Paul warns us about this in his letter to the church in Colossae.

Beware lest anyone cheats (takes captive) 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)

The captivity that God’s people find themselves in because they do not know God is one of false beliefs and ideas. By being taken captive by false worldviews, people think and act in ways that go against God’s Word.  This is where the church finds itself today.  Christians have been taken captive by a secular, man-centered worldview and, therefore, have lost their influence in the world.

If not knowing God is the problem, what is the solution?  It is simple — we must know God!  I am not talking about simply knowing about God.  This takes place by merely accumulating head knowledge about Him.  What is needed is for God’s people to know Him.  The difference is like night and day.

One of  the best pictures of this has to do with dating and being married.  While I dated my wife, I learned a lot about her.  When we became husband and wife, I knew her — we became one flesh.  I wouldn’t trade years of only knowing about her for one day of knowing her.

Here are four reasons why I am convicted more and more about the importance of knowing God as the true measure of living the Christian life.

Knowing God was His motive behind creation

God didn’t need any aspect of creation to become more God.  However, He created the world as an expression of who He is and did it for His glory.  God wanted to be known (see Psalm 19:1-4; Romans 1:20)!

Man was created in God’s image in order to know Him

Once the created world was in place, God created man in His image.  Man is the only created being that has the capacity to know, love and worship God.  Jonathan Edwards once wrote, God’s last end in creating the world is the creature’s [man’s] knowledge of Him.  For this is the end of all other knowledge.

God redeemed fallen man so that man can, once again, know Him

We know that Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection paid our sin debt and gave us the gift of eternal life.  However, eternal life is regaining the capacity to know God and, thereby, give Him glory (see John 17:3).

God desires our knowing Him more than religious sacrifices

This theme of knowing God is found in all of Paul’s prayers for the churches he started.  He continually prayed for Christians to increase in their knowledge of God (see Ephesians 1:15-17; Colossians 1:9-10).  God’s highest priority for His children is that they know Him (see Hosea 6:6).

J. I. Packer understood the importance of knowing God to every individual when he stated,

Once you become aware that the main business you are here for is to know God, most of life’s problems fall in place of their own accord.

Jonathan Edwards emphasized the need to know God by writing,

Of all the knowledge the two can ever obtain, the knowledge of God, and the knowledge of ourselves, are the most important…He who does not know Him [God], knows nothing else as it truly is. 

If the root to all of the problems that this world finds itself in is not knowing God, then knowing God is the only solution to these problems.  This also means that the most important knowledge that we must give our children through their education is the knowledge of God.  If our children and youth learn great amounts of other knowledge but do not know God, their education is in vain.

Finally, let me share with you some results that would take place in our lives if we were to know God more each day.  J. I. Packer notes these results in his book, Knowing God.

  1. Those who know God have great energy for God.  (see Daniel 11:32)
  2. Those who know God have great thoughts of God. (see Daniel 4:6; 9:4,7,9,14)
  3. Those who know God show great boldness for God. (see Acts 5:29; 20:24)
  4. Those who know God have great contentment in God. (see Romans 5:1; 8; Daniel 3:16-18)

As you start a new week, how will you answer these questions?

  1. How well do you know God?
  2. What priority have you placed in your life of knowing God better each day?
  3. How does knowing God impact your life when it comes to marriage, parenting, work, government, voting, etc?
  4. What priority does knowing God have in the education of your children/students at home, church and school?

We need the body of Christ to have the same attitude that Paul had.

But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ…  Philippians 3:7-8

I end with the words by Dr. S. M. Lockridge.

That’s My King! Do You KNOW HIM?

I Can’t Explain It!

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Is this quote really true?  Can we understand everything so we can explain it?  Last week I shared how there continues to be a battle for the Bible.  However, today’s battle is not simply over the inerrancy of Scripture but also the sufficiency of Scripture.  It seems like every time I see someone say that the Bible is sufficient, there will be someone who will ask this question.

If the Bible is sufficient for everything that pertains to life, then how do you explain __________?

It is true that there are some things in the Bible that I don’t understand and can’t explain.  I don’t understand how this complex universe could be spoken into existence out of nothing (ex nihilo).  Nor can I explain how God’s Spirit can come and indwell every person who is born again.  However, this does not mean that I must look outside of the Bible to be able to explain or understand certain realities of life.

If I could completely understand and explain everything that is in God’s Word, it would mean that I would be equal to God.  Only God is all wise and He needs no one to instruct Him.  Man, on the other hand, is not omniscient and has limited understanding because he has a finite mind.

No matter how many advancements are made in science, it can never be an absolute source of truth.  This is because science can only tell us what makes up God’s creation and the creation ordinances God put into place for it to operate.  The same is true for anything that man develops in an effort to explain any aspect of life.

Job asked God why he was going through such pain and suffering.  After all, Job knew that he tried to live a life of integrity.  If he loved God and served Him, why did God allow all this torment to come into his life?

It is interesting to read the account of Job and realize that God never directly answered Job’s questions.  Instead, God asked Job a series of questions.  I would encourage you to read the exchange between God and Job in Job 38-39.  After Job’s friends tried to explain why Job was going through all of his suffering and Job had given his answers to their attacks, God spoke.  He said to Job,

Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. Job 38:1-2 (NKJV)

God asked who is trying to “darken His counsel”.  What God said to Job was who is man that he would try to damage the integrity of His wisdom?  How was Job doing this?  Job was questioning the integrity of God’s wisdom with words that showed no knowledge.  The term “knowledge” means discernment or understanding.  In other words, God was letting Job know that mere mortal men can never fully understand God and His ways.  Whenever someone tries to do this, their words have no knowledge!

To prove His point, God asked Job some probing questions that no man, even a righteous man like Job, could answer.  God’s first question was enough to silence not only Job but also his friends.

Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know!  Job 38:4-5 (NKJV)

God continued to bombard Job with questions.

Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place?  Job 38:12 (NKJV)

Have you entered the springs of the sea? Or have you walked in search of the depths? Have the gates of death been revealed to you? Or have you seen the doors of the shadow of death? Have you comprehended the breadth of the earth? Tell Me, if you know all this. Job 38:16-18 (NKJV)

Do you know the time when the wild mountain goats bear young?…Have you given the horse strength?…Does the hawk fly by your wisdom, and spread its wings toward the south?Does the eagle mount up at your command, and make its nest on high? Job 39:1,19,26-27 (NKJV)

You and I can study creation and we can see how it works.  However, we cannot answer the question, why does everything work the way it does?  That is because we are not God.  Only God can answer the questions that He asked Job.

After God questioned Job about his understanding of the created world, God gets to the heart of man’s inability to completely understand all of life.  Again, I encourage you to read Job 40-41.  God begins with this question,

Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? Job 40:1

God then confronts Job with this piercing question.

Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified? Have you an arm like God?  Job 40:8-9 (NKJV)

There are other passages of the Bible where one can find God letting man know that He is God and we can never fully comprehend His majesty, power and glory.  Isaiah 40-41 come to my mind.  As I read these chapters, I am overwhelmed by the wisdom and power of Almighty God.  Isaiah sums all of this up with these words from God.

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LordFor as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.  Isaiah 55:8-9 (NKJV)

What am I trying to say in all of this?  It is simply this.  God’s Word is true, inerrant and sufficient for all matters of life!  The fact that we cannot fully understand and explain everything that is in the Bible does not negate its authority.  It simply means that He is God and we are not!

God’s Word Is Enough!

By | Public Blog, Uncategorized

In the mid-1900s there was a battle taking place among Christians concerning the Bible.  I remember reading Harold Lindsell’s book, The Battle for the Bible, in 1978.  Lindsell’s book addressed the issue that was at the heart of the battle at the time – the inerrancy of Scripture.  Bible scholar, J. Otis Yoder, summed up the importance of inerrancy this way.

Biblical inerrancy means the Bible contains no error. It is without error in faith and fact. If we have the self-disclosure of the holy God, it cannot be mixed with error. Error and truth cannot be contained in the same document which claims to be a self-disclosure of a holy, righteous God. If error is mixed with truth, then that is deception which violates the character of God.

The reason this was so important is that there were those in Christianity who claimed that the Bible was infallible but not necessarily inerrant.  The Bible was believed to be true and without error when it speaks to spiritual matters, but may contain mistakes in other matters such as geology, history, or science.

Lindsell argued that if the Bible was inspired by God it had to be inerrant.  He wrote,

However limited may have been their knowledge, and however much they erred when they were not writing sacred Scripture, the authors of Scripture, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, were preserved from making factual, historical, scientific, or other errors . . . God the Holy Spirit by nature cannot lie or be the author of untruth. If the Scripture is inspired at all it must be infallible.

Over the past couple of decades, I have witnessed another battle over the Bible slowly percolating among many Christians.  This battle is not over inerrancy but over the sufficiency of Scripture.  Sufficiency of Scripture is primarily based on these two passages.

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:15-17 (KJV)

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. Jude 1:3 (KJV)

Piper puts it this way.

In other words, the Scriptures are sufficient in the sense that they are the only (“once for all”) inspired and (therefore) inerrant words of God that we need, in order to know the way of salvation (“make you wise unto salvation”) and the way of obedience (“equipped for every good work”).

When one believes that the Bible is sufficient, it doesn’t mean that we don’t have to read anything else to live our lives.  It means that we don’t and can’t find any more special revelation.  Again, John Piper sums it up by writing,

We don’t need any more inspired, inerrant words. In the Bible God has given us, we have the perfect standard for judging all other knowledge.

It is Piper’s last statement that I see at the crux of this battle over the sufficiency of Scripture.  God’s Word is the perfect, final standard for judging all other knowledge.  This means that we must look at all other knowledge through the lens of the inspired, inerrant Word of God.

A subtle shift has taken place in Christianity here in North America that I am very concerned about.  It is very similar to the shift that took place in American education over the years.  This shift was captured in a chart that I included in my book, Kingdom Education.  You will find a portion of that chart below.

In the early days of American education, ultimate truth was found in the Bible.  Any human reasoning that was taught was always in subjection to God’s Word.  Then, a subtle shift started taking place.  The Bible and human reason became equally important in determining truth.  Later, human reasoning became the primary source of finding truth and the Bible was seen as a secondary source.  Today, truth is determined by the individual and his/her experience.  If it isn’t experienced by the individual, then it isn’t true!

This same thing is happening in today’s church.  The Bible, on its own, is no longer being seen as what is needed to understand life and how to live it.  God’s Word is not sufficient; we must look to other sources in order to really understand truth.

Again, I am not proposing that we don’t need to read and study other books.  I am saying that the Bible must be seen as the only perfect standard for judging all other knowledge.  Any other books must always be interpreted through the truth of Scripture.  We should never use man’s wisdom to interpret the Bible.

However, there are growing instances taking place that indicate that the church does not really believe that the Bible is sufficient.  In order to understand the physical universe’s origin, we have to add evolution to the biblical account of creation.  One organization says its mission is to invite the church and the world to see the harmony between science and biblical faith as we present an evolutionary understanding of God’s creation.

There is a growing tendency to turn to such things as Critical Theory and books like, White Fragility, to deal with the sin of prejudice.  However, God’s Word is sufficient to teach us that God has created each and every person as an image bearer of Himself.  One’s gender, color of skin, family, etc. are all an act of a sovereign God, who is not a respecter of persons.

Even in Christian education, the temptation is to take research, or the latest methodology and then add the Bible to it in an effort to justify it.  Instead, we should build our educational philosophy and practice on the truth of God’s Word.  Then, we can evaluate data, best practices and curriculum through the lens of the sufficiency of Scripture.

If I really believe that the Bible is the inspired infallible, inerrant, sufficient Word of God, it, alone, provides me with everything I need to love God and love other people as I live to glorify Him in all I think, say and do.  Again, let me refer what Paul wrote to young Timothy.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousnessThat the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:15-17 (KJV)

Warren Wiersbe explains this so well when he wrote that the Bible is profitable for what is right (doctrine), what is wrong (reproof), how to get right (correction), and how to stay right (instruction in righteousness).  If I believe this, then I can go to God’s Word and address any and every issue that I might face in this sinful world I live in.

It is not enough to believe that the Bible is inspired and, therefore, inerrant.  We must be convinced that it is sufficient and all we need to equip us for a life of faith and service.  The question for each of us is this.  Is the Bible enough?

It’s Not About Politics!

By | Public Blog
I very seldom deal with topics outside of education in my blog posts.  However, I have become very burdened about something over the past couple of months.  So, I am taking a break from discussing education and addressing an extremely controversial topic this week — politics.

 

I have been preaching a four-part series at my church called Mind Blown: Finding God’s Purpose in a Fallen World.  It has been an extremely challenging time for me as I have spent hours in God’s Word in preparation for this series.  In doing so, I have found myself very broken about what is happening in our country.  I want to share several truths with you that God has reminded me of over the past few weeks.

Truth #1

There is no sphere of my life that is outside the Lordship of Christ.  For years I have taught how devastating it is to divide life up into two compartments — the secular and the sacred.  However, God convicted me that I was doing this very thing when I look at government/politics and think that I don’t have to be involved in it.  Politics is a reality of life here on earth and, therefore, God wants to rule in this area of my life as King.

Truth #2

All human life is sacred as every person has been created in God’s image.  Every person has intrinsic value and inherent worth because they are image bearers of God, imago dei.  I was reminded of how God creates each person distinctively different from every other individual.  This truth doesn’t simply apply to a person after he/she is born.  It also is true for every unborn child.  God makes this clear when the Holy Spirit led David to write,

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.  I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.  My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed and in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.  Psalm 139:13-16 (NKJV)

Another example of the fact that life begins at conception is found when God explained His plan for the prophet Jeremiah’s life.

Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”  Jeremiah 1:4-5 (NKJV)

We even find that John the Baptist did something amazing while still in his mother’s womb.

Now Mary arose in those days and… entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.  And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb… Luke 1:39-41 (NKJV)

When Mary was pregnant with Jesus and visited Elizabeth, John the Baptist, who was in his mother’s womb, leaped when he realized he was in the presence of the Messiah.  This is amazing!

The sanctity of human life is not a political position.  Nor is it a personal choice.  It is fundamental to the Gospel.  This is because Jesus became a man, lived a sinless life, laid His life down on a cruel cross and rose from the grave to defeat death and sin for every person that bears God’s image.

When one ponders this wondrous truth, one sees the evil of abortion.  Again, I must emphasize that the issue of abortion is not a political one but an essential spiritual issue.  Since 1973, over 62 million babies have been killed by abortion in our country.  This averages out to more than 2,000 deaths by abortion every single day.

Truth #3

I am accountable to God for how I protect or don’t protect human life.  Most Christians who believe the Bible to be God’s Word will say that they believe in the sanctity of all human life.  However, we sometimes fail to see how much each person’s life means to God.  In my personal study this past month, God convicted me of not doing all I can to protect every human life.

In the Old Testament, we find that God’s people, Israel, were committing an abomination to God.  What was this abomination?  It was the fact that some of them were sacrificing their children to Molech.

The Canaanites had a pagan practice of offering a new born baby to their god, Molech.  This false god was usually formed in an image of a man with the head of a bull.  The idol would have outstretched arms and hands in which the people would place their little baby.  The ritual included burning hot fires around the statue that would heat the statue to a temperature that would cause the baby to actually sizzle to death.  While this sacrifice was taking place, the people would play flutes and pound drums in an attempt to drown out the shrieks and cries of the babies burning to death.

This act was so horrific in God’s eyes that he required any person who practiced this was to be put to death.  But God didn’t stop with just judging those who were practicing child sacrifice.  He also held all of Israel accountable for this horrific sin.

And if the people of the land should in any way hide their eyes from the man, when he gives some of his descendants to Molech, and they do not kill him, then I will set My face against that man and against his family…  Leviticus 20:4-5  (NKJV)

So what does all of this have to do with politics.  As Christians, we must participate in the political process. It is true that government is not the answer to our problems but God did ordain this institution.  I have also held the conviction that no one really votes for a person or a party.  When we vote, we are approving the ideas/platform that a person and his/her party stands on.

This means that I must vote in accordance with whose platform/beliefs best reflects God’s standards, especially when it comes to the sanctity of human life.  I know that this is a controversial statement but I cannot vote for anyone at any level of government who is in favor of the murder of unborn babies!

As I prepared to deliver these messages over the past three weeks, I came to realize that we are under God’s judgement for not doing more to protect the life of the unborn.  We must understand that God is immutable.  That means His ways, purposes and statues do not change.  He will set His face against us if we continue to hide our eyes to this horrific practice of abortion.

 

I am praying that Christians all across the country will not allow the loud sounds of political discourse, COVID-19, and social unrest drown out the cries of the unborn.  We must seek God’s face, repent of our sin of apathy and actually be His salt and light in a dark, wicked world.  The unborn are depending on us!

 

God Is AT Work!

By | Public Blog, Uncategorized

I have never lived through a time when evil is more evident than I have seen over the past few years. Society is under attack like never before in my lifetime.  Consider what we are witnessing each and every day in our country.

  • Anarchy
  • Rebellion
  • Political partisanship at an all-time high
  • Destruction of private and government property
  • Defunding of police
  • Threatening, harming and even killing innocent people because of the color of their skin
  • Rioting and looting without any accountability and consequence
  • Child sexual exploitation as seen in “Cuties”. People are supporting this vileness as being good and moral.
  • Religious freedom is eroding each and every day

When I shared this with KEM’s senior associates, Luke Bowers reminded me that this shouldn’t surprise us considering what Paul wrote to young Timothy.

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NKJV)

We are definitely witnessing these verses becoming a reality.  Because of this increase in evil, Paul challenged Timothy to,

…continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of…which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  2 Timothy 3:14-15 (NKJV)

In times like these, we must follow this same counsel.  We must continue in the things that we have learned from Scripture.  Paul went on to make sure his son in the faith understood the complete sufficiency of God’s Word.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV)

God’s Word is sufficient as it instructs us as to what is right, what is wrong, how to get right and how to stay right.  Therefore, I continue to be optimistic because I know that God IS at work.  Notice I didn’t say that I believe God is starting to work.  No, God IS at work and He always has been, fulfilling His plan for mankind.

What I am excited about is seeing how God IS at work –- especially in the education of future generations.  Through all of the chaos and confusion I am seeing certain points of light beginning to shine on the horizon.  These include:

  • An awakening by many parents of the dangerous things that have happened and are increasingly happening in secular education.
  • Parents are more interested in and demanding more school choice be made available to them.
  • An increase in the number of parents who have chosen to homeschool their children this year.
  • Renewanation launched its virtual school, IlumenEd, with over 100 students. This virtual school is very intentional in making sure all instruction is from a biblical worldview foundation.
  • Christian publishers such as BJ Press developing quality, biblically integrated textbooks to support biblical worldview education.
  • ACSI is preparing to launch a new model for professional staff development in Christian schools through its Flourishing School Institutes.

God IS AT WORK!  I have been sharing with you in recent blogs how God has been leading Kingdom Education Ministries to be more intentional in equipping the body of Christ to disciple future generations through kingdom education.

I have been so excited about the fresh mission that God has given KEM to TRANSFORM individuals, EMPOWER the home, ENGAGE the church and TRANSFORM schools.  As KEM pushes forward to achieve this mission, I envision seeing future generations equipped to create a kingdom culture in their homes, churches and communities so that life will be viewed through lens of Scripture and, thus, bring glory to God.

This is why I am thrilled to announce an upcoming event for Christians who want to see God raise up a new generation of Christ-followers who will turn their world upside down for Him.  July 7-9, 2021 are the dates for the first Kingdom Education Summit.  This event will be hosted by Word of God Ministries in Shreveport, LA.

I am praying that a group of church and Christian school leaders will gather together around the theme, Teaching the Next Generation to Know God.  It is time for the home, church and school to rethink education from a totally biblical perspective.

If you have ever had the experience of climbing to the summit of a mountain, you were no doubt taken in by the majestic view of God’s creation from this high vantage point.  From a summit, one can see all the pieces that make up the big picture.  This is goal of the Kingdom Education Summit.

Pastors, church leaders, school administrators, board members and individual Christians who want to catch a glimpse of God’s plan for educating future generations will dig into Scripture and address the issue of education biblically.  This will be a time to not only see God’s big picture for education future generations but also the role that individuals, parents, church leaders and educators need to play.

Together, we will dissect the 14 biblical principles of kingdom education to see how these apply to the education that takes place at home, church and school.  The goal of the Summit is to begin to develop strategies that parents, church leaders and educators can embrace to be more intentional in making disciples of all nations.

So, mark your calendars and pray about being part of this historical event.  I will be sharing more details about the Kingdom Education Summit over the next several weeks.  Registration will begin with the start of the new year.  Join me in praying for a reformation to take place as we rethink education from a biblical perspective.

Transforming Schools

By | Public Blog, Uncategorized

I have been sharing a fresh mission statement that God laid on my heart several weeks ago.  This mission statement provides Kingdom Education Ministries with a focus for what God wants to accomplish through KEM in the future.  The focus of KEM is to:

RESTORE individuals, EMPOWER the home, ENGAGE the church and TRANSFORM the school through Kingdom Education

This week I want to explain what KEM will strive to accomplish with Christian schools.  First, it is important to understand that when I use the term education, I am not equating it with schooling.  Education is a multi-faceted process that primarily takes place in three institutions, the home, church and school.  This process is future-focused as it strives to prepare children and youth for life and eternity.

In today’s culture, the school plays a significant role in the educational process.  Young people will spend more than 14,000 hours in school during their K-12 years.  This greatly exceeds the number of hours that they will spend at church during these same years.  Therefore, there needs to be an intentional, ongoing effort to make sure the schools our children and youth attend are grounded in kingdom education.

What are some of the specific things that KEM wants to do in its effort to TRANSFORM schools?  When one thinks about the word TRANSFORM, a familiar verse in Scripture comes to mind.

And be not conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.  Romans 12:2 (NKJV)

In the original language, the term TRANSFORM means to “change from one condition to a new form.”  In this verse, it speaks to the need to TRANSFORM one’s mind, the way one thinks.  This is the burden that God has laid on my heart concerning Christian schools.  It is my desire to see a change in how Christian educators think about education.

However, the effort can’t be to change their thinking about education in a lot of different ways.  It must be aimed at “rethinking” education from a biblical perspective.  This is why KEM’s focus is on TRANSFORMING schools through kingdom education.

Why did Paul urge Christians to be transformed by the renewing of their minds?  It was to prove what God’s will was for their lives.  I believe this must be the motivation KEM has in its effort to TRANSFORM schools.  The primary goal is to see schools develop a strong, biblical philosophy of education that determines all that takes place at a school.  It is my desire to equip the next generation of Christian teachers to be able to answer the question, why schooling?, biblically.  I want to see Christian schools know and fulfill God’s will for their existence.

 

It has been exciting to see how many Christian school leaders and teachers have embraced the phrase kingdom education since the release of my book in 1998.  I often read about a school stating that it is a kingdom education school.  Individuals identify themselves as proponents and leaders of kingdom education.  My fear has always been that kingdom education would merely become a buzz word with little thought to its true meaning.  When someone states a commitment to kingdom education, then others will define the phrase for themselves by what they see the individual or the school, making such a claim, is and does.

True kingdom education is not so much about methodology as it is about a specific philosophy.  The foundation of my book is based on the biblical principles that I have found in Scripture that tell Christians why God wants them to educate their children and youth biblically.

If anyone or any school claims to believe in and support kingdom education, that person or school must live out the biblical principles from which the phrase gets its meaning.  Otherwise they are just stating platitudes with no real substance.

KEM’s efforts to TRANSFORM schools is to guide school leaders to change from merely using the term, kingdom education, to embodying the 14 biblical principles in their schools’ DNA.  As we fleshed out this fresh mission, we explained that we strive to TRANSFORM Christian schools by challenging educators to know, understand and embrace kingdom education (14 biblical principles).

It is KEM’s conviction that when this happens, along with RESTORING individuals, EMPOWERING the home, and ENGAGING the church, we will see future generations equipped to create a kingdom culture that views life through the lens of Scripture and, thus, bring glory to God.  I will soon be sharing an exciting event that we are planning where we will launch this effort to rethink education from a biblical perspective.