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Glen Schultz

His Lovingkindness Is Everlasting

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The title for this week’s blog is taken from Psalm 136. The New King James version translates this phrase, His mercy endures forever. Today is Sunday, January 16, 2022 and I find myself sitting in a small country motel room in Northwest Georgia in the middle of a winter storm warning. It also happens to be my 75th birthday.

When I think back over my life, I have to echo the Psalmist when he writes that God’s lovingkindness is everlasting. His mercy endures forever is found at the end of every one of the 25 verses in this beautiful Psalm. As I sit here and reflect back on 3/4 of a century, I am absolutely amazed at God’s wonderful mercy and lovingkindness.

As I started my day in His Word, I read about God’s lovingkindness and mercy as He led His people safely through the Red Sea and, then, destroyed their enemy that was in hot pursuit. Exodus 15 is Moses’ song of praise to the Lord after seeing God’s lovingkindness. Moses began his song by declaring the awesome power of God.

The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; my father’s God, and I will exalt Him. Exodus 15:2 (NKJV)

When I think about how God has led me throughout my teen years and my adult life, I must declare the same thing that Moses did when He realized who God really was.

Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? You stretched out Your right hand; the earth swallowed them. You in Your mercy have led forth the people whom You have redeemed; You have guided them in Your strength to Your holy habitation. Exodus 15:11-13 (NKJV)

I can say this about my life when I think of how God redeemed me from sin and brought me into His holy family. He has shown His wisdom and power as He has led me over the years. There have been so many wonderful examples of how He has blessed me beyond measure that I cannot count them.

When I continued reading about God’s lovingkindness for Israel, I was struck by how He provided for every one of their daily needs. He made bitter water sweet (Exodus 15), gave them manna for bread, meat when the complained and rest after six days of labor (Exodus 16), and gave them fresh water from the rock (Exodus 17). Once again, I have been blessed to experience every one of these blessings in my life.

After God did all these amazing things on behalf of Israel, one finds a wake up call to what it is like living in a fallen world.

Now Amalek came and fought with Israel… Exodus 17:8 (NKJV)

Of course, the record shows that God strengthened Joshua and he defeated the Amalekites. At the end of the battle, God made a very strong prophecy concerning Amalek.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” Exodus 17:14 (NKJV)

Even though Amalek’s days are numbered, God told Moses that He would have to battle Amalek throughout the rest of human history.

…the Lord has sworn: the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation. Exodus 17:16 (NKJV)

One finds the Amalekites being a thorn in the side of God’s people throughout the Scriptures. Saul lost his kingdom because he spared Agag, the king of the Amalekites. In fact, it was an Amalekite that killed Saul and took the crown off of his head and gave it to David (see 2 Samuel 1:1-16).

Amalek represents the flesh, our fallen human nature. In reflecting on my years, I have seen that I have had to battle the flesh each and every day since becoming a Christian. This has been especially true after experiencing many of God’s blessings. My flesh is constantly waring with my spirit for control. I am thankful that God’s indwelling Spirit strengthens me to win the battle with my flesh as long as I daily surrender to Him. I look forward to the day when Amalek, my flesh, is completely blotted out.

One final blessing came to my mind today as I thanked God for giving me these 75 years to know and serve Him. That blessing is in the form of the people God has brought into my life and continually uses to conform me into the image of His Son. Fifty-three years ago, God gave me my wonderful wife, Sharon. I don’t know how I could have made it through the daily grind of living for God without her at my side.

He also blessed me with three precious children and six grandchildren. The older one gets, the more he or she realizes the importance of family. As my children texted me birthday wishes today, I responded by telling them that God has blessed me beyond measure.

I am also grateful for the people who have helped me fall in love with God and His Word. Paul Kienel, Roy Lowrie, Jr, Gene Garrick, Tony Fortosis, and many more helped me develop a biblical philosophy of education that I have termed, Kingdom Education™.

Being blessed to sit under the teaching of such giants as John R. Rice, Francis Schaeffer, B.R. Lakin and Josh McDowell, to name a few, played a significant role in helping me understand the importance of thinking biblically about all of life. These men taught me that God’s Word is not only true but is applicable to my everyday life.

One of the greatest blessings that God has given me is the privilege of sitting under the preaching of godly pastors. Jerry Falwell, James Merritt, Glenn Weekley, Michael Catt, Mike Lewis and James McMenis are some of the pastors who have faithfully preached the whole counsel of God and shaped by life in significant ways.

Finally, there are thousands of believers, like you, that I have had the privilege to connect with over the years. It has been an unbelievable joy to have been able to talk with, teach and counsel faithful followers of Christ who are in the trenches each and every day.

I don’t know what the future holds but the one thing that I know is this.

God’s lovingkindness is everlasting. His mercy endures forever. Praise the Lord!

It Is All About Me!

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My wife and I were driving home from San Antonio, Texas after Christmas. We were going through a small town in rural South Carolina when my eye caught a billboard. The sign had a picture of a woman and a simple message in large letters. It read,

Love Yourself First!

As I continued driving, I thought to myself that the billboard accurately described the society in which we now live. The concept of loving oneself first permeates every area of life, including how many people view Christianity. One might hear someone declare that “it is all about Jesus.” However, if you listen closely and watch how they live, it isn’t all about Jesus. It is all about me.

This dangerous belief can be especially seen in the sports world today. This is the season of bowl games in college football where a long season culminates in the opportunity for many teams to compete on national TV. However, things have changed and what would have been considered unacceptable at one time is now common place.

It seems like every announcer for every game listed players who had “opted out” of playing. Why weren’t they playing? It was because they didn’t want to risk injury as they were entering professional football’s draft.

Not only did many players “opt out” of playing in these season finales, it is also common to hear of players entering what is called the “transfer portal.” This means that college athletes can decide to transfer to other colleges if they can get a better offer than the one they currently have.

We see this taking place at the high school level as well. I have lost count of the number of high school athletes who have recently decommitted. This means that they had made a commitment to attend a certain school but now want to withdraw from that commitment or the agreed course of action.

I liked what former NBA and college basketball coach, Tubby Smith, recently posted. He said,

“We had over 800 Division I players transfer last year. C’mon. Teaching ’em how to quit. That’s what we’re doing. Things not going well? Quit. I remember calling my dad when I was a freshman…’Dad, people not treating me…this and that…I’m unhappy here.’ My Dad, he said, ‘Son, somebody do something to you?’ No. ‘You’re still getting your scholarship aren’t you? They’re still feeding you? They’re still housing you. You’re still getting your education?’ I said, ‘Yes, Sir.’ He said, ‘You can’t come home. your bed’s been taken…but you can join the Army.” Best thing he ever said to me.”

It is not only players that are exhibiting this “love yourself first” mentality. It is also seen in coaches. It has become a common occurrence for coaches to simply walk out on their contracts because they can better themselves and make more money.

This may be taking place because institutions are also breaking their contracts and dismissing coaches simply because they didn’t win enough games. I have even seen this happen immediately after a school extends a coach’s contract. Whatever happened to the biblical teaching that our yes should be yes and our no should be no?

This idea of me first has been creeping into our homes and churches. Divorce among Christians continues to increase. Many times marriages end simply because one or both of the parties aren’t happy. When one is not happy, then the best thing to do is “love yourself first” and get out of the “bad” marriage.

The attitude of “love yourself first” is much of the motivation behind the pro-abortion movement. It is all about the feelings of the woman with no concern for the innocent life of the unborn baby.

 

Christian Smith’s studies showed that the most common religious beliefs found in Christians today can be termed Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. Here, God becomes a divine butler that a Christian calls on when life isn’t going well. God is expected to come in and make the person happy and then go back to Heaven until He is needed again.

We see example after example of individuals who once claimed to be Christians who are now denying the faith. The term used to describe this change of lifestyle is “deconstruction.” This is the same belief that the student athlete has when he or she “decommits” to a school. They are saying that Christianity is simply an organization and that they want to withdraw their previous commitment to it.

What is the message we are teaching the next generation when it comes to life, in general, and Christianity, specifically? Are we preparing them for the harshness that is a reality they will face because they live in a fallen world?

They must understand that “love yourself first” will have disastrous effects on their lives. Our words and our lives must demonstrate the truths of authentic Christianity. Jesus made it clear that it isn’t all about me.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. Matthew 16:24-25 (NKJV)

But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave to all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. Mark 10:42-45 (NKJV)

Paul considered himself to be a bond slave to Christ. He wrote that true Christianity always exhibits Christlike humility.

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:3-8 (NKJV)

As we start a new year, may we not only say with our lips but also prove it with our lives — it is all about Jesus!

The Goal of All Education

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Argument in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health

This past week was an interesting one to say the least. One of the highlights of the week was having the opportunity to sit down and talk with Drs. George Barna and Tracy Munsil. Dr. Barna is the Director of Research at the Cultural Research Center (CRC) while Dr. Munsil serves as the Executive Director of the Center. The CRC serves as the biblical worldview research and resource arm of Arizona Christian University.

At this meeting we discussed CRC’s findings that have been published in the book, American Worldview Inventory 2020-21. The findings of this study are quite troublesome as they relate to the state of today’s Christian adults. There were a couple of statistics that stopped me in my tracks.

I found it fascinating that 50% of American adults accept the orthodox biblical view of God as one who created and controls the universe; is omnipotent, omniscient, and without fault; and is just in His decisions. However, only 34% of these adults believe that God is involved in their lives. God exists but He doesn’t influence my life is what these statistics are telling us.

Another startling finding in this study reflects the beliefs of adults concerning the existence of moral absolutes.

Forty-eight percent of born again Christians believe that identifying moral truth is up to each individual and, therefore, there are no moral absolutes that apply to every person, all the time.

This reality plays out as Christians are equally likely to turn to one of three sources for moral guidance.

  • Other people (30%)
  • Their personal beliefs, feelings and experiences (31%)
  • Religious faith (29%)

As I dug deeper into this annual report, certain things in today’s culture became more and more understandable. One example of this concerns today’s debate over abortion. Most of you are aware that the Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case. This case may determine the future standing of abortion in the country.

In light of this Supreme Court case, consider some additional findings of the CRC’s Worldview Inventory. The Inventory asked adults what they would do if someone came to them and asked for advice about getting an abortion. The responses were heartbreaking.

  • 22% would tell the person it was okay to have the abortion
  • 44% would tell them no, don’t do it
  • 11% would tell them it was not a moral issue
  • 15% would offer no advice
  • 8% did not know what advice to give

These findings are a clear illustration of the belief that every individual must determine moral truth on his/her own. This caused me to understand why Justice Sotomayor made the following statement related to a baby in the womb reacting to something painful taking place.

There’s about 40 percent of dead people who, if you touch their feet, the foot will recoil. There are spontaneous acts by dead brain people. So I don’t think that a response to — by a fetus necessarily proves that there’s a sensation of pain or that there’s consciousness.

What really caused me dismay as I was following this case was seeing some of the reactions to it from Christian leaders. One pastor was remarking on social media how encouraging it was to see evangelicals coming together in unity in their concern over abortion. However, he went on and made this statement in the Tweet.

This proves that evangelicals really do care about social justice issues(emphasis mine)

The sanctity of human life is not a social justice issue; it is a biblical, moral issue! The Bible clearly states that God created man in His image. It also says that God knows individuals before they are shaped in their mother’s womb (Jeremiah, Jeremiah 1) and that He carefully knits each of us together while in the womb (David, Psalm 139).

You may be wondering why I am writing on these issues. It is because the American Worldview Inventory 2020-21 simply shows us the sad condition today’s church is in. If we don’t recognize the problem, we will not know what needs to be done to change what is taking place in our country each and every day before our very eyes.

The findings I have shared and the confusion there is on biblical moral values are only symptoms of a much deeper problem. What is happening in our homes and churches is the result of decades of secular education that has shaped the worldviews of its students.

Christians must come to grips with a truth that I have written about on many different occasions. All education is religious in nature. There is no such thing as a spiritually neutral education. Alan Bloom in his book, The Closing of the American Mind, makes this point with these challenging words.

Every educational system has a moral goal that it tries to attain and that informs the curriculum. It wants to produce a certain kind of human being.

Secular, humanistic education wants to produce human beings who do not believe in God nor His Word. It wants to produce autonomous individuals who will do whatever is right in their own eyes. What Dr. Barna reported in this annual worldview inventory is the end product of an educational system aimed at doing away with Christianity having any influence in society.

Battles over things such as abortion will never end unless we change the way we educate future generations. More than ever before in our country’s history we need to make sure the home, church and school is united on a biblical worldview foundation and, together, are determined to make disciples of the next generation.

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The information shared in this blog is taken from American Worldview Inventory 2020-21: The Annual Report on the State of Worldview in the United States by George Barna.

Would God Recognize You & Me?

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Many years ago, I was given a book that was written by two Australian Christian educators. In their book, Reclaiming the Future, Lambert and Mitchell made a very important statement. They wrote that every kind of teaching and learning is based upon a shared vision of life. The phrase “a shared vision of life” is another way of saying a worldview.

In this simple statement, the authors were presenting a very important truth. All education takes place within the context of a worldview. This means that there is no such thing as a neutral education. In fact, all education is religious in nature and is an effort to communicate someone’s religious beliefs and values to the learner.

Neil Postman, in his book The End of Education, and Kyle Idleman, in his book gods at War, equate a worldview to a “god.” Postman explained this concept this way.

Behind every educational effort is the pursuit of some ‘god’ or ‘gods’…A ‘god’, in the sense I am using the word, is the name of a great narrative, one that has sufficient credibility, complexity, and symbolic power to enable one to organize one’s life around it.

Of course, a “great narrative” is what every worldview is. Idleman makes this same connection between a “god” and a worldview when he wrote,

It is time to select a god and serve him; it is time to select a worldview and let it remake you.

Here we see that, not only does all education take place in the context of a worldview, but it also results in the learner pursuing some ‘god’ in his or her life. The challenge Christians have is to make sure that the education they give their children and youth is taught within the context of a biblical worldview and, as a result, they pursue the true God.

Lambert and Mitchell went on to explain how all teaching and learning leads to some form of spiritual transformation. We need to give careful attention to a progression that will always take place in a child’s education. As you read their quote, keep in mind that one’s worldview can be equated to the “god” that is being pursued.

All people serve some ‘god’ or ‘gods’ in their lives and, in turn are transformed into the image of their gods.

In other words, the end result of all education is that children and youth will, not only serve some god, but also be transformed into the image of that god. The god that they will become like is determined by the worldview taught throughout their educational experiences. This concept is not something that various educators developed on their own. It is a truth that is taught in Scripture. Consider the following passages.

Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they do not speak; eyes they have, but they do not see; ears they have, but they do not hear; noses they have , but they do not smell; hands they have, but they do not handle; they have feet, but they do not walk; nor do they mutter through their throat. Those who make them are like them; so is everyone who trusts in them. Psalm 115:4-8 (NKJV)

The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they do not speak; eyes they have, but they do not see; they have ears, but they do not hear; nor is there any breath in their mouths. Those who make them are like them; so is everyone who trusts in them. Psalm 135:15-18 (NKJV)

As I contemplated these passages of Scripture, I was reminded that the “gods” of people will eventually become the gods of a nation. The “gods” of a nation are made from the worldview that is taught through the nation’s educational system.

There is no doubt about it, our nation today is serving many false gods. This is because the vast majority of the nation’s people have been taught to serve these false gods by the worldviews that have been taught in their homes, churches and schools.

When you consider that fact that less than 7% of all adults in the US have a biblical worldview and only 1 in 4 born again Christians have a biblical worldview, we must acknowledge that we have embraced the false “gods” or worldviews that have been the foundation of the education we have given our children and youth through the last several decades.

This isn’t true just for those who have attended secular public or private schools. It is also true for those that have graduated from Christian schools and, even, been home schooled. The reality is that far too many Christian adults have been conformed to the image of a secular ‘god’ and live their lives based on a secular, man-centered worldview.

We are entering the Christmas season. This is a time in the year when we pause to consider that God took on the form of a man and dwelt among us. His reason for doing this was that He could give His life as a ransom for our sin and we could have a personal relationship with the living God.

As we take time to worship the Messiah, may we also evaluate what worldview or “god” is the basis for what we are teaching the next generation at home, in the church and at school. Is a biblical worldview foundational to the textbooks our children are using, the media they are consuming and the lessons we are giving them everyday? If not, it is time to make some changes. We cannot afford for the next generation to be conformed to an image of a false god. If God were to come back today, would He recognize His children because they are like Him or have they been conformed to the image of a false worldview?

The Danger of Forgetting

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You may have heard the old adage before. Too many people forget what they should remember and remember things they should forget. I have found this to be very true in my own life. Paul addressed the need to forget certain things in his letter to the Philippian Christians.

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.      Philippians 3:13-14 (NKJV)

It is important that Christians do not dwell on the past but continually move forward in an effort to serve Christ faithfully here on earth. I cannot change the past or will I ever have the opportunity to relive it. However, the future is always before me and I don’t have to repeat past mistakes.

Even though it is important to forget some things, it is equally important to remember certain things. I have been reading and rereading Psalm 106 over the past several weeks. I was gripped by this Psalm and how it is so applicable to what I see going on in the world today.

The Psalm begins by praising God for His goodness and lovingkindness. It also stresses how God blesses those who “keep justice” and “practice righteousness.” If that isn’t needed in today’s world, I don’t know what is.

However, in verse 6 there is a shift away from the character of God to the sinfulness of God’s people.

We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly. Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Your wonders; they did not remember the multitude of Your mercies, but rebelled by the sea—the Red Sea. Psalm 106:6-7 (NKJV)

God had done many miracles in their sight and had brought them out of bondage in Egypt. Even though He had shown the people His awesome power, it didn’t take them long to forget all that He had done. In fact, they seemed to have completely forgot what God had done for them by the time they arrived at the Red Sea.

They soon forgot His works; they did not wait for His counsel, but lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tested God in the desert. Psalm 106:13-14 (NKJV)

This brings me to the main point of this blog. It is very dangerous to forget God’s works! When God’s people forget His works, it leads to a series of practices that carry with them terrible consequences. Here are some of the things that Israel did when they forgot God’s works.

  • They craved things of the world which resulted in God giving them what they wanted. When God gives us what we lust for, it always brings heartache and becomes our own discipline (see Jeremiah 2:19). (verses 14-15)
  • They rejected God’s leaders and many died as a result. (verses 16-18)
  • They made their own god and were only saved from destruction by Moses’ intercession. (verses 19-23)
  • They did not believe God’s Word and a whole generation died in the wilderness. (verses 24-26)
  • Finally, they intermarried with the culture and ended up in captivity to the very nations they had “mingled with.” (verses 35-41)

All of these things started when God’s people simply forgot His works. As I have studied this passage of Scripture, I see some of these same things happening among God’s people today. Consider the following.

  • We have forgotten many of God’s amazing works that He performed in the founding of this country and how He blessed it over the years.
  • This has led us to crave the things of this world more than Him and He has given us prosperity to such a degree that it is fast becoming our destruction.
  • We have forsaken godly leadership and have instead chosen leaders who completely ignore God and His Word.
  • We no longer believe that God’s Word is sufficient for all matters of life and faith and believe that we have to use man’s writings to help us understand and interpret the Bible.
  • We have intermarried with the culture to such a degree that it is hard to distinguish us from the secularists that are our neighbors. At a recent worldview conference I was speaking at, Dr. George Barna reported that the most common religion in America today is a syncretic one. We have intermingled with the nations.

Forgetting God’s works carries with it disastrous consequences. However, this doesn’t begin at a national level. It begins in the individual Christian’s life. A nation doesn’t forget God’s works unless the people of the nation first forget them. The same is true in our homes, churches and schools. It is crucial that each of us remembers the marvelous works of God that He has performed to bring us into His family.

Remembering God’s works must play a major role in the education we give our children at home, church and school. As a new generation of administrators and teachers move into our Christian schools, they must be taught the awesome works that God has performed in the past to make our schools what they are today.

We cannot allow ourselves to crave the trappings of secular education and forsake a biblical philosophy of education. We must protect our schools from mingling with the false ideologies that are taught in schools of education, presented in secular textbooks and sometimes tied to accreditation and certification standards. We must believe that God’s Word is the only source of absolute truth and must view every thing that man writes through the lens of Scripture.

Psalm 106 ends by giving us hope for the future. This hope is only found in God alone.

Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the Gentiles, to give thanks to Your holy name, to triumph in Your praise. Psalm 106:47 (NKJV)

Our only hope is to cry out to God to save us. May He separate us from the world as we live in this world. We must also have the right motivation for God to save us. It is not so our lives will be easier. It must be so that we will give Him thanks and praise Him no matter what we may be facing.

As we come out of a Thanksgiving break and enter into the Christmas season, may we remember the grandest of all of God’s works. This is the work God did by coming to this earth, becoming one of us, and dying on the cross for our sin only to come out of the grave and defeat sin and death. When we remember all of God’s works, our response will be that of the Psalmist when he ended this Psalm by writing the following words.

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting! And let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the Lord!        Psalm 106:48 (NKJV)

Preparing Our Children For Life & Eternity

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Today we are engaged in a fiercely fought war.   One does not have to travel to Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran or some other part of the world to encounter the battle that is raging.  All one has to do is visit any home, church or community to find the war taking place in full force.

I refer to this war as a culture war.  A culture war is a war of ideas and the two sides are fighting for their ideas to be the driving force in everyone’s life.  The two sides have ideas that are in total opposition to one another.  The ideas of both sides in this war are trying to provide answers to the two most important questions in life.

  1. What is REAL?
  2. What is TRUTH?

One thing that we must all realize is that the major target in this culture war is the hearts and minds of our children.  Both sides want to capture our children and have them believe their ideas about reality and truth.  Paul reminds us of this battle in Colossians 2:8.

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.

The ideas that come from the tradition of men and the principles of the world want to take our children’s minds captive.  This is because when one’s mind is taken captive by ideas, those ideas drive the person’s attitudes and actions in every day life decisions.

The second reality of this war that we cannot overlook is that the major front of this war is being fought on educational turf.  The reason why this is true is because the main business of all education is the communication of ideas from the one doing the educating to the one receiving it.

When most of us think of education, we immediately narrow our thoughts to what takes place in a school. However, education involves what takes place in three very important institutions in every society – the home, the church and the school.

The home is still the most important influence on a child’s education.  Scripture makes it clear that parents have the greatest responsibility for what ideas are communicated to their children.  Deuteronomy 6, Psalm 78:1-7, Psalm 127:3-5, Proverbs 22:6, Ephesians 6:4 are just a few examples found in God’s Word that emphasize the truth that parents have the primary responsibility for the education of their children.

The church also plays a significant role in educating a child.  The local church is God’s instrument to proclaim His kingdom to a lost world.  The Bible clearly teaches that the church is to teach, another word for educate, its members so that they are equipped to do the work of the ministry.  One of the most important “works of the ministry” is parenting the next generation of young people.  It is critical that the church come along side the home and provide support to parents in educating their children.

The third institution that plays a role in a child’s education is the school.  Schooling has a major influence on the education of a child.  A child attends school six-hours-a-day for 180 days a year.  This represents 1,080 hours each school year – a significant number of hours that a school has opportunity to communicate its ideas to the hearts and minds of our children.

Some parents who are reading this article might give a big sigh of relief at this point.  They can say to themselves that they are adequately preparing their children for the future because they are Christians, they attend a church and their children are in, what they believe to be, a good school.  However, every parent needs to understand what it takes to properly educate one’s children.

True education can be defined as the process of preparing a child intellectually, physically, socially and spiritually for life and eternity.  This means that we must make sure that the ideas that are communicated to our children through the home, church and school are preparing the total child not only for this life but also for eternity.

In the forward of my book, Kingdom Education, Josh McDowell makes a profound statement.

The ideal way to help our kids not only to reject the postmodern worldview (a set of ideas) but also embrace deepened Christian convictions is to align church, home, and school into a unified whole that arms our children with the truth and protects them from distortions.

According to McDowell, the key to winning the battle for the hearts and minds of our children is to align the home, church and school with a biblical philosophy of education. If we are going to win today’s culture war, we must give our full attention to all aspects of our children’s education.  It is absolutely necessary that the home, church and school are educating our children from a biblical worldview perspective.

Unfortunately, we have been losing the culture war over the past several decades. The world has been taking a majority of our children captive to its false beliefs and values. Many years ago, I came across a “little story” that explains why this is happening.

A Little Story

This is a story about four people named EVERYBODY, SOMEBODY, ANYBODY, and NOBODY.

There was an important job to be done and EVERYBODY was sure that SOMEBODY would do it. 

ANYBODY could have done it, but NOBODY did it.  SOMEBODY got angry about that because it was EVERYBODY’s job. 

EVERYBODY thought ANYBODY could do it, but NOBODY realized that EVERYBODY wouldn’t do it.

It ended up that EVERYBODY blamed SOMEBODY

when NOBODY did what ANYBODY could have done.

We can’t afford to repeat this “little story.” The home, church and school must come together and give our children a biblical worldview education. Anybody and everybody must do it!

A False Sense of Security

By | Public Blog

The Debate That Turned An Election

You may have been like me last week and watched with interest the results of some elections that took place. What especially caught my attention was the gubernatorial race in the state of Virginia. Now, most of the time a governor’s race in a distant state wouldn’t garner much attention. However, last week’s race in Virginia had national attention because of what took place during a televised debate.

In that debate one candidate boldly proclaimed that parents had a right to be involved in their children’s education. The other candidate took the opposite position and actually said,

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.

I wrote about this in an earlier blog. As the campaign came to its conclusion, the candidate who made this brash statement continued to double down on his belief that the state has the final authority in the education of children and youth. The other candidate even went so far as to promise voters that certain human ideologies would not be taught in the government schools if he were elected.

The results in this race sent shock waves all across the country. This is because the candidate who was little known and was predicted to lose by a large margin actually won convincingly. When Youngkin was declared the winner, it was noted that parents rose up and carried him across the finish line. One news report stated that Youngkin,

…seized on a late-stage stumble by McAuliffe, who during a debate suggested parents should have a minimal role in shaping school curriculums.

Let me state right up front that I was thankful that this election turned out the way it did. It did send a message that the education of children is the responsibility of parents and not the state. However, I am fearful that results like we saw in Virginia will give parents, especially Christian parents, a false sense of security. Allow me to explain.

Even if the governor elect in Virginia is successful in removing various teachings from the state’s schools, does it make secular education safer? I agree that some teachings such as CRT and social justice are grounded in an unbiblical worldview and are very dangerous ideologies to be taught to children and youth.

However, what is still a reality when it comes to public school education is that it has been completely secularized. Secular education, as I have written about many times, is in no way spiritually neutral. It denies or, at least, ignores the existence of God and, therefore, betrays its students. Futurist, Alvin Toffler, said it best when he wrote in the 1960s,

All education springs from some image of the future. If the image of the future held by society is inaccurate, its educational system will betray its youth.

American society is secular, period. Its view of the future does not include an eternity with heaven or hell as everyone’s eternal destiny. By believing that this life is all there is, today’s secular society has developed an educational system that will not only betray our youth but also will not prepare them for the real future as is set forth in Scripture.

 

I have witnessed some other things that happened in the past that caused Christians to have a false sense of security when it comes to the education of their children. I will only take time to mention one such occurrence. Quite a few years have passed since the very first See You At The Pole rallies occurred.

Since that time, students, teachers and parents have gathered outside around school flag poles to pray for students and their schools. Again, I want to clearly state that I am thankful for these sacred assemblies and the thousands of students who openly take a stand for God by participating in these important events.

When these were first taking place, I heard many Christians joyfully make statements that demonstrated their exuberance to see God and prayer brought back into the nation’s public schools. Unfortunately, no such thing ever happened. This is because once the time around the flag poles ended, students went into buildings to receive a totally secular education where the God that was just worshipped and prayed to remained at the flag pole.

I am encouraged that parents are now waking up and are willing to take responsibility for the education of their children. However, parental responsibility can’t be limited to how one votes. Parents must do everything in their power to make sure their children receive a biblically based, Christ centered education. Only then will we be able to give our children an education that will prepare them for the real future and not betray them.

I Was Challenged & Convicted!

By | Public Blog

Last week I had the privilege of speaking at a VIP Worldview Conference sponsored by BJ Press and Precept Marketing. It was held at the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter.

One of the highlights of these conferences is to hear from some amazing speakers. Dr. Bryan Smith, Jeff Keaton, Ben Schettler and Dr. George Barna always challenge those in attendance on the need to provide children with a biblical worldview education.

This particular conference was marked by a sense of urgency that was evident in every presentation. I came away even more determined than ever that the education we give the next generation must be built on a strong biblical worldview and a biblical philosophy of education. This must be a reality at home, church and school.

Dr. Barna shared that his research shows that the most dominant worldview among young Christians is Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. That might sound like a lot of mumbo jumbo but it is a very dangerous belief system that too many Christians live their lives by.

In order to understand this worldview system, it is best to compare it to genuine Christianity. Consider the table below.

It is important to know where our students are coming from when we are attempting to help them develop a biblical worldview. I realized when listening to Barna that most of our students, including those who claim to be Christians, most likely have a worldview that is in conflict with authentic biblical Christianity.

There were several truths that were emphasized by each and every presenter. It  is important to note that we, as speakers, do not get together and plan what we are going to present. A few of the common themes that were presented at this conference were:

  1. Neutrality is impossible in education.
  2. Every educational effort is religious in nature.
  3. There must be greater intentionality on the part of parents, pastors and teachers in their efforts to make disciples of Jesus Christ when it comes to educating the next generation.
  4. We can only give to students what we, ourselves, possess.

As I contemplated where the younger generations of people are in relation to a biblical worldview, I asked myself how can we reverse some of these dangerous trends. A couple of things came to my mind.

First, I understood that I needed to examine my own life and worldview. Do my beliefs reflect a true biblical worldview or are there things in my life that line up with Moralistic Therapeutic Deism? One thing that Barna said really struck home with me. He shared that the vast majority of Christians have developed a syncretic faith. This is a faith that combines beliefs from two or more religions into one belief system.

Next, I realized that I must be diligent in renewing my mind. I have always believed that renewing one’s mind is not a one-time activity but a life-long process. We have been born with a faulty mind and are bombarded with falsehoods on a daily basis. Paul’s challenge in Romans 12:2 is that Christians must be continually renewing their minds.

Finally, I was reminded of how important it is to connect all knowledge to a biblical worldview framework. Dr. Renton Rathbun shared some questions that teachers must ask themselves as they plan their lessons. These questions demonstrate how a biblical worldview is an essential part of every subject that is taught. This is because a biblical worldview is the only worldview that matches reality.

  1. What is the basis of truth for this subject?
  2. Why does this material matter?
  3. How do I account for my beliefs about this subject?
  4. How do I make connections from this subject to the real world?
  5. To what degree can I place my confidence in this subject?

Biblical worldview education is more critical today than at any other time in our nation’s history. Secular education is doing its best to shape our children’s minds in a way that is completely anti-biblical.

I never thought I would see a day when boys would be allowed to use a girls’ bathroom because they “identified” as a girl. But an even greater shock was when I heard a school board and superintendent deny that a rape occurred in one of their bathrooms due to this absurd type of policy. Then last week, I saw where not only a boy was crowned homecoming “queen” at his high school but the entire crowd cheered when it was announced.

This should not surprise anyone. When God’s existence is denied, anything and everything is permissible. The challenge to Christians is that we must be distinctively different from the world.

We cannot afford to attempt to be simply “better” than secular schools. Christian schools must not take a secular model of schooling and merely Christianize it with Bible classes and chapels. Here are two questions that need to be answered.

  1. Are we simply operating a traditional Christian school?
  2. Or are we operating a biblical Christian school?

We must never forget that there is no neutrality when it comes to how we educate future generations!

Is The Church Falling Apart?

By | Public Blog, Uncategorized

I was reluctant to read an article that was recommended on social media recently. It was one of hundreds that I have come across that seem to follow a common line of thought. This line of reasoning goes something like this. If you take a stand on certain “political” issues, you are putting your faith in politics rather than in Christianity.

Of course, the problem with this line of reasoning is that many spiritual matters have been moved into the political arena and, therefore, prove that one’s political views are more important than one’s faith. I am not writing this blog as response to this type of thinking. Instead, I am simply giving you the context of the article that I decided to read.

As I read through the article, I came across something that caught my attention and caused me to slow down and read the words more carefully. The author of the article interviewed several Christian leaders. One of those leaders was James Ernest of Eerdmans Publishing. He was quoted as saying,

What we’re seeing is massive discipleship failure caused by massive catechesis failure. The evangelical Church in the U.S. over the past five decades has failed to form its adherents into disciples. So there is a great hollowness.

It was explained that catechism is the process of instructing and informing people through teaching. Ernest said that the Church has failed to do this type of teaching.

Alan Jacobs, a professor at Baylor University, stated that,

Culture catechizes. Culture teaches us what matters and what views we should take about matters…On the flip side, many churches aren’t interested in catechesis at all. They focus instead on entertainment, because entertainment is what keeps people in their seats and coins in the offering plate.

Jacobs went on to explain,

Pastors…get to spend, on average, less than an hour a week teaching their people. Sermons are short. Only some churchgoers attend adult-education classes, and even fewer attend Bible study and small groups. So, if people are getting one kind of catechesis for half an hour per week and another for dozens of hours per week, which on do you think will win out?

As I continued reading, I realized that behind all the politicization that permeated the main thrust of the article was a clear articulation of the real problem today’s church is facing — we are not making disciples! And I must add, it isn’t because of politics. It is because of the ideas or worldviews that are shaping our minds — especially the minds of our children and youth.

Ernest and Jacobs understand that the condition of most people who call themselves Christians is a lack of biblical thinking. They realize that the church does not have the opportunity to biblically shape the minds of its members because the church has influence over them for such a small amount of time each week.

This reality was noted in some more of what Jacobs said.

People come to believe what they are most thoroughly and intensively catechized to believe, and that catechesis comes not from the churches but from the media they consume, or rather the media that consume them. The churches have barely better than a snowball’s chance in hell of shaping most people’s lives (emphasis mine).

What continues to amaze me is that these people see how the church cannot compete with the culture because of the church’s limited time of influence on lives. However, they only see this when it comes to the lifestyles of the church’s adult membership.

Even if the church had more hours of influence in the lives of its adult members, I wonder if it would make any significant difference in how they look at life. I say this because adults have developed their worldview or belief system at a much younger age. Once this is developed, it is very difficult to change one’s worldview.

The real problem is that most Christians continue to send their children into secular educational institutions, at all grade levels, where they are bombarded daily from a secular, anti-Christian worldview perspective. If the few minutes an adult sits under biblical teaching each week can’t compete with the media’s influence, how much more dangerous is it for children to have their minds molded by today’s secularized schools?

Until the home, church and school are ready and willing to address the issue of education biblically, we will continue to lose future generations to the world. It won’t be because of their political views. It will be because we have failed to make disciples of our children and youth and allowed the culture to disciple them!

Referenced article: The Evangelical Church Is Breaking Apart by Peter Wehner, The Atlantic.

It Has Been A Challenging Two Months

By | Uncategorized

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