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Glen Schultz

Immanuel – God With Us!

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With Christmas just a little over a week away, I wanted to share with you something that continues to boggle my mind.  Of course, everything that surrounds the true meaning of Christmas is absolutely amazing.  However, there is one truth that I know I will never fully comprehend.  This truth is stated in both the Old and New Testaments.

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Emmanuel.  Isaiah 7:14

Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which translated means, “God with us. Matthew 1:23

Whether one spells this name with an “E” or an “I”, the meaning is the same.  When Jesus was born as a baby, God came to this earth.  It is hard to comprehend that the Creator of the universe took on human flesh and dwelt with man right here on earth.  I love singing the little chorus that speaks this truth over and over again.

Emmanuel, Emanuel.  His name is called Emmanuel.  God with us, revealed in us.  His name is called Emmanuel.

As I prepare for Christmas, I am consumed with the truth that God loved me so much that He came and dealt among us.  This should impact how we live our lives each and every day.  But then something else happened because Jesus became God with us.  He went to the cross and died for our sins and rose again forever defeating sin and the grave.

When I repented of my sins and believed in my heart that Jesus was Lord, I was born again.  What is amazing about that is that it was no longer simply God with me but now it was God in me!  His Spirit lives within me.  So this Christmas I am rejoicing that they called His name Emmanuel – God with us!  But I also praise Him because of what happened on that first Christmas, I can now say that God is in me.  I can’t fully comprehend this truth but I have a new creation in Christ.

Here are the questions that I have asked myself as Christmas approaches.

  1. How is my life a reflection of the truth that Emmanuel came to this earth?
  2. How is my life different because He indwells me each and every day?

I pray that each of you has a blessed Christmas.  I look forward to being back with you in 2020.  Together let’s live our lives knowing that God is both with us and in us.  Can you imagine what 2020 might hold in store if the reality of Emmanuel consumed us each day?  Merry Christmas!

 

What Does It Mean?

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It is amazing to see how the meanings of words change over time.  Unfortunately, many Christians fail to understand that this is even happening.  This results in them using words and thinking that everyone is defining them the same way they are.  The end result is utter chaos.

Another thing that I have witnessed over the years when it comes to the meaning of words is that we use common words and phrases and never really define them.  This leaves the meaning of those words and phrases left up to how the hearer defines them.  Once again, the result is chaos.  Words are important but knowing their meanings is equally, if not more, important.

My good friend, Mark Kennedy, recently sent me a brief article. Mark is the ACSI Director for Eastern Canada.  In the article, he illustrated the results that take place when definitions change or people use words without really knowing the true meaning of them.  He wrote,

Over time, the definitions of words change – occasionally they change quite a bit. An innocuous example is the word ‘silly’ which comes from the old English word ‘saleg’ meaning ‘happy’. Over many decades that meaning (and spelling) changed gradually so that saleg – ‘happy’-, came to mean ‘blessed’, then ‘pious’. From pious its meaning changed further to ‘innocent’, from ‘innocent’ to ‘naïve’ and then from the mid 16th century on, it evolved into its current meaning – ‘foolish’.

Over the centuries, some definitions just evolved on their own. But in our day, the functional meanings of a few key words have been intentionally altered for political and/or social engineering purposes. The word “Gay” is a prime example.

And for other words, their common daily usage has come to mean the exact opposite of their long-established definitions. So ‘tolerance’ now implies the furious rejection of any perspectives except those promoted by the wielders of worldly power. And ‘inclusiveness’ carries with it the intentional and scornful exclusion of anyone whose beliefs conflict with ‘political correctness’.

Most of us can relate to what Mark is saying in these few sentences.  You may have even been accused of being bigoted or worse because of how you “misused” some of these words.  Mark went on in his article to show how the changing of definitions has affected education.

Along the same lines, the term ‘liberal’ has been so misused in our culture that its roots are obscured. ‘Liberal’ comes from the Latin “liberare”, meaning ‘to set free’.  According the original meaning, the word ‘liberal’ isn’t about the rejection of traditional ideas or the unquestioning acceptance of the new.  From its root, the word ‘liberal’, is all about freedom.  This makes me think of Jesus’ words, “It is for freedom that you have been set free!” Gal 5:1. And of course, the Scriptures defines what freedom really is and who is able to supply it.  So, a ‘liberal’ education is one that sets students free according to God’s standards– the very thing I hope we are doing in Christian schools.

As I read this brief article, I asked myself this question.  Are we providing students with an education that sets them truly free?  Jesus also spoke these words.

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

If the education we are providing our children is going to set them free, it must lead them to abiding in God’s Word to the point that they will know truth.  When they know truth, they will be made free.  Mark finished his article with a quote by a Catholic theologian named Peter Kwasniewski.  Kwasniewski wrote,

The point of liberal [freeing] education is not to form perfect beings on the model of already perfect beings but to initiate a lifetime of apprenticeship to the one true Master, Jesus Christ, freeing the mind from the debris of a collapsing civilization and freeing the heart from the chafing shackles of confined and self-centered desire. Students who receive such an education are granted the opportunity to find a spiritual freedom that is more precious than all the riches of this world (emphasis mine).

After thinking about the world that our children and youth are growing up in, I found myself in full agreement with Mark’s closing thought.

Young People Need an Education that Inspires Them to Seek God’s Face!

Measuring Success

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It is hard to believe that another year is coming to a close.  It seems like 2019 just started a few days ago.  Did you set any goals for the year or make any New Year’s resolutions?  Did you achieve success this year?  Everyone desires to find success but how can one measure and determine true success?

Unfortunately, too many people measure success by the world’s standards.  I have found that there are four criteria that are often used to measure one’s success.  I call them the four Ps of worldly success.  These are:

  • power
  • prestige
  • possessions
  • position

These measures of success are closely related to one another and often overlap each other.  Some believe that if they had the power to do whatever they desire, that would bring them success.  Others think that having a certain appearance that is prestigious in other people’s eyes will determine their success.  A great number of individuals strive to obtain success through financial wealth and/or possessing more and more stuff.  Finally, there are those that believe they will be successful if they were able to climb the corporate ladder and get to the top.

The sad reality of measuring success by these criteria is that they are all temporal measures.  In fact, if I use any or all of these measures for determining success, I am setting myself up to eventually be a loser.  This is because a day will come when I won’t be able to maintain a certain level of power and I will lose any sense of prestige – whether it is my physical appearance or some other form of status.  Possessions can also be lost in a moment of time and someone will eventually replace me in any position I might hold.

I have found another very interesting thing about people who try to find success by striving for one or more of these worldly standards.  It seems like many who achieve these measures of success struggle with such things as depression, addiction, broken relationships, etc.  Examples of this are common in professional sports and Hollywood.  Why is this so common with people who seem to have it all — power, prestige, possessions and/or position?

Many years ago, I read a study that tried to measure what caused people to feel successful in life.  Even though many people believed that achieving one or more of the four Ps of success would bring them satisfaction in life, they found out that even when they achieved one of these measures, something was still missing.  It was discovered that the one thing that gave a person a sense of true success was when someone that he/she saw as being a significant person in his/her life approved of him/her.

I have come to believe that this is true for each and every individual.  For many people this significant other person might be a parent, coach, spouse or teacher.  This is why a person can be seen as being very successful and may even have a large fan base and still end up destroying his life.  It is because there was someone that he wanted to please but that person never gave them the affirmation he was looking for.

This is why it is so important for parents, pastors and educators to speak truth in love into the lives of those they influence.  It is your approval they may be seeking more than anything else in life.  Sometimes the most difficult person you have to deal with is the one who desperately wants your approval.  This is why it is so important to see every person as an image bearer of God.  When we do this, we will see their true value and will treat them appropriately.

Yes, we need to do all we can to encourage and challenge others to be the best that they can be as image bearers of God.  However, it is also important to look at our own lives and examine what we are measuring our success by.  Is it one or more of the four Ps?  Or is it someone that we really want to have approval from?  The truth is that the things of this world will eventually fade away and other people will disappoint us.

So how does one find true success.  I believe it is to make only one person our most significant other in our lives.  That person is God, Himself.  When God becomes our significant other, we will never be disappointed.  Probably the most familiar verse in the Bible about success is,

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.  Joshua 1:8 (NKJV)

When do I accomplish the greatest sense of success in my life?  It is when I,

  • surrender daily to God’s will
  • spend time with God in His Word
  • obey Him
When these three things are directing my life, I am successful.  Paul found true success by striving to do these three things.  When he did them, his priorities changed and he found true success.

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 (NKJV)

The need for power, prestige, possessions and/or position fades away when I make Christ my significant other.  When this happens, I am successful!

A Sense of Urgency!

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Recently, I had the privilege of speaking at a worldview conference sponsored by Precept Marketing and BJ Press at the Creation Museum.  These conferences are conducted 3-4 times a year at various venues around the country.  The team of speakers that has been put together is impressive, to say the least.  Jeff Keaton, chairman of Renewanation, George Barna, Ben Schettler, President of the Center for Truth in Love, and Dr. Brian Smith, BJ Press always bring very challenging messages on the importance of developing a biblical worldview and teaching from that perspective.  Dr. Ken Ham closed out this specific conference.

The reason why I am mentioning this in this week’s blog is that I came away from this conference with a greater burden about what type of future our children and youth will be faced with.  There was a different spirit throughout this 3-day conference than what I had sensed in others.  Each and every speaker closed his presentation with a strong challenge to the Christian educators present to be more determined to instill a biblical worldview in the hearts and minds of their students.  There was a sense of urgency like I had not experienced previously.

As I have been contemplating all that was presented and praying about how to move forward in my own ministry, I continuously came across articles and other information that caused me to realize the enormity of the crisis that is facing us in today’s culture.  I saw a commercial that someone had referenced as being the “creepiest commercial” he had ever seen.

This commercial was produced by Coca Cola for its Argentinian audience.  It shows parents and others preparing young people in drag and other LGBTQ symbols for participation in a “Pride” event.  It is shown with a soothing rendition of the song, You Will Never Walk Alone, being played in the background.  Toward the end with teenagers going off to join a “pride parade” with who I supposed was a father watching and these words on the screen.  What you feel when someone wants to choose to be happy.  The screen then shows these words before showing the Sprite logo.  You are not alone!  As I watched this in disbelief, I was once again hit with a sense of urgency.

Right before leaving for church this morning, I came across an article that shook me even more than this commercial had.  This wasn’t something that was shown in another country.  Rather, this was a report about something that happened right here in my backyard, so to speak.  This article reported on what happened in a public school in Texas a short time ago.  The Stream published an article on November 16th with the main title, Texas Teacher Defends Drag Queen Class.

The article reported about a Cosmology class at this school that invited a drag queen to come into the class to “teach students how to apply makeup.”  As you might expect, this resulted in an outcry by many parents who took their concerns to the district’s school board meeting.  Even though this should have been enough for parents, especially Christians, to stand up and say enough is enough, there was even something more outrageous that was included in this article.  It was reported that another teacher in the school posted these thoughts on social media.

I believe that raising a child is the responsibility of the community, and that parents should not have the final say. Let’s be honest, some of you don’t know what is best for your kids.  Parents believe they should be able to storm the school in the name of political and religious beliefs if something happens in the school that they are morally opposed to. They forget that we make a promise to prepare their children to live in a diverse world. We are not required to protect the misguided, bigoted views of their parents. (emphasis mine)

At first, I couldn’t believe that I was reading about how teachers in our society’s school system look at parents and their moral values.  The quote by this teacher also included the following advice to parents.

If you want your children educated with your values, find a private school that will do it. The public education system is not here to serve your archaic beliefs.

Finally, the truth behind the values being taught in secular educational institutions is being boldly announced.  The principal of this school addressed the parents at the board meeting and explained the two major factors that drive their educational decisions.  They are:

  1. Is this what’s best for kids?
  2. Is this going to help us grow academically?

She then explained, “If the answer to these questions is no, then we move on. But if the answer is yes, then we are moving in the right direction.”  However, who determines the answers to these questions?  It is not the parents!  It is the educators!  The teacher who posted the above statements on social media also spoke at the meeting and boldly stated, “I think as a district we need to make an initiative to teach our kids to be tolerant and respectful.”

Driving to church I was overwhelmed by the sense of urgency that had been weighing heavily on my mind ever since I left the Creation Museum a few days ago.  However, the sense of urgency was not about how dark the culture around us is becoming.  It is not about what the media is bombarding our young people with or what is happening in secular schools as they indoctrinate the next generation in atheistic and/or naturalistic worldviews.  The sense of urgency that I am burdened about is where are Christians — parents, church leaders and educators — when it comes to our worldview beliefs.

If Barna is accurate with his research, the reality is that a very small percentage of Christian adults possess a biblical worldview.  When this is looked at from a generational perspective, it is clear that the younger generations are less likely to think biblically about all of life.  In fact, only 4%, 1 of 25, of individuals that make up the Millennial Generation (which is the primary parenting and teaching generation today) has a biblical worldview.

Over the past several years, the conviction about the absolute necessity of providing a kingdom education to children and youth has taken a firmer grip on me than ever before.  So that you understand what I mean by this, please note that kingdom education only takes place when God reigns as king in the entire educational process.  For God to reign as king in the education provided children and youth at home, church and school, every parent, church leader and educator must know what God’s Word says about education.  This requires those of us who are influencing the next generation to embrace a biblical philosophy of education and develop a strong biblical worldview.  This won’t happen when we attend a workshop on these topics and then move on to other things.  Since I have been involved in the teaching profession for over 50 years, I understand that I have to continually renew my mind and intentionally study to better understand God’s plan for educating future generations.  If this is not being done on an intentional and continual way, will Christian schools be an answer to the madness that is happening in secular schools each and every day? Do you sense the urgency?

Has It Lost Its Meaning?

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We hear it all the time!  We use it all the time!  However, how often does one take the time to think about what it means?  That is a question that I have wrestled with for several years.  You might be asking yourself, what on earth is he talking about?  I am talking about the term “Christian”.  Here are just a few of the many ways I have seen and heard “Christian” used,

  • a Christian worldview
  • thinking Christianly
  • the Christian mind
  • a Christian environment
  • a Christian nation
  • Christian education
  • a Christian school
  • Christian leadership

You can probably come up with several more ways that the term “Christian” is used to identify someone or something.  Recently, I was reading the findings of some significant research that ACSI has done on identifying key elements of a flourishing Christian school.  You can find the report here.  It is not my intention to review this research in this blog.  I mention it only because I found another way that the term “Christian” is used.  In this report, an article by John Hull was referenced.  In an article, Aiming for Christian Education, Hull identified the,

…Christian perspective as the defining concept in Christian education

The report went on to quote Hull as stating that the,

Christian perspective must reshape and redirect the curriculum, pedagogical theory, student evaluation, educational, goals, and school structure

First, I want to say that I completely agree with what I think the author is saying.  However, my question is, what is a Christian perspective?  When the term “Christian” is used as an adjective, how do most people define it?  I believe it has become so subjective that it has lost almost all of its true meaning.

Luke was one of the New Testament writers who used the word Christian in the book of Acts.

And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.  Acts 11:26 (KJV)

The first thing one needs to understand about this very important term is that believers did not refer to themselves by it.  They referred to themselves as disciples, brethren, saints, believers, etc..  It was unbelievers who called the disciples “Christians.”  Most Bible scholars believe that the term was used in a derogatory way as it implied a form of slavery.  These unbelievers looked at Jesus’ disciples as slaves of Christ!  From this original meaning, the term “Christian” became equated with the concept of being “Christ-like.”

John wrote about the deep meaning that comes with being associated with the name of Jesus Christ,

He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.  1 John 2:6 (NKJV)

If we are going to be called by His name, we are to walk as He walked — our life should reflect His life!  Unfortunately, the term “Christian” has been so watered down that this type of accountability has all but disappeared from the life of the average believer.  In fact, when I conduct staff development workshops and ask believers what the term “Christian” means today, the most common response I get is that it refers to a person who is nice and goes to church.

Because of this subjective use of the term “Christian”, I very seldom use it any more.  It is my conviction that we need to be more objective when referring to the various topics like the ones listed in the bullet list above.  This is why I believe it is important to use another term to describe such topics and that term is biblical.

What meaning do you give to such terms as:

  • biblical worldview?
  • thinking biblically?
  • biblical mind?
  • biblical education?
  • biblical school?
  • biblical leadership?
  • biblical perspective?

I can remember a time when a group of writers were developing an administrator handbook for early childhood programs.  I was given a draft of the manual to review.  It was a well-written manuscript and I only had one change that needed to be made.  I told the editor to go back to the authors and have them change every time they used “Christian” to define something to “biblical.”  The first reaction I received was that there were some things that could be referred to as Christian but may not be biblical.  I said, really?  How can something be Christian and not biblical?

You may have heard the statement, the one who defines the term usually wins the debate.  It is time to move from the subjective to the absolute.  Let’s make sure we are biblical in all we think, say, and do.  What are your thoughts?  Be sure to leave a comment below.

We Have To Be Ready!

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For the past couple of weeks I have been sharing with you some of the cultural battles that we are facing and how it impacts the education we give our children.  There is no doubt about it.  We are in an intense culture war for the hearts and minds of future generations.  It is important that we understand the intensity and seriousness of this cosmic battle.  However, what is more important is that we are prepared for what we most likely will be facing in the very near future.

I read a blog that was written by Dr. Irwin Lutzer a couple of days ago.  Dr. Lutzer has consistently sounded warnings about how we, as Christians, are facing similar challenges that Christians in Hitler’s day experienced.  Some of his earlier writings were quite frightening to say the least.  I found this recent article to be equally alarming.

In his post, he shared what happened to a pastor and his church a few weeks ago.  This particular congregation is facing some pretty intense persecution.  These attacks are a result of a sermon that the pastor preached on October 13th.  The sermon was taken from Genesis 1.  As part of the pastor’s series on Genesis, the pastor preached on Genesis 1:27 and what God says about gender.  He explained what this verse clearly states.

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created themGenesis 1:27 (NKJV) (emphasis mine)

Lutzer noted that the message was “thoughtful, welcoming, and non-judgmental.”  You probably have guessed what happened on Monday following this sermon.  There was a social media firestorm that brought strong condemnation on the pastor and the church.  Lutzer explained,

The current culture rejects civil discourse, rational discussions, and honest evaluations of biological and scientific evidence accepted by many doctors which state that gender tampering can be harmful for children and, for that matter, adults.

He went on to state,

Simply raising these questions has resulted in hatred and vilification of anyone who dares to ask.

The point that I took away from this post was that anyone who stands for truth and biblical morality better be ready for strong opposition and even persecution.  We are already seeing early signs of this and it is only going to intensify as we continue living in a secular society.  I found it interesting that when I opened my Bible app the other day to read the Verse of the Day, it said this.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.  Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  Matthew 5:10-12 (NKJV)

Lutzer decries that the church has succumbed to the idea that Christians must be known for what they are for and not what they are against.  This has led to a deafening silence about major cultural issues.  The consequences of this silence can be disastrous.

Lutzer challenges Christians to face the moral crisis of our day with courage.  In fact, he explained that,

It has been aptly stated that “a Christianity without courage is cultural atheism.”

Christian parents, church leaders and educators must be equipped for battle!  This is especially true when it comes to giving our children and youth a biblical education.  I found several questions swirling in my mind as I thought about the coming battle that we most surely will face.

  1. Are we willing to stand firm on Scripture when it comes to such issues as gender fluidity and other related topics?
  2. What will be our response when opposition and persecution comes?
  3. What will we do when accrediting agencies try to force us to accept positions that go against God’s Word?
  4. Are we ready for opposition that may come in the form of rejection by athletic and/or fine arts organizations?
  5. Will our staff members and families stay with us when we take a stand on truth and biblical morality?

These are the real questions that are key to the sustainability of biblical worldview education in a pagan society.  The answers to these questions will, I believe, depend on whether or not our staff and board members, parents and church leaders develop a strong biblical worldview and know, understand and are committed to a biblical philosophy of education.

My fear is that many will not be prepared for this challenge.  I continue to be concerned about the lack of staff development on these critical matters.  I am not suggesting that we ignore methodology and best practices.  What I am saying is that we must become more intentional on instilling a biblical worldview and biblical philosophy of education in the hearts and minds of our teachers and parents.  That is what Kingdom Education Ministries is all about!

As Lutzer put it, silence is not an option.  However, if we don’t think biblically, we won’t have anything to say!  Lutzer’s closing words need to be heeded by all of us.

I think I hear Him [God] saying to us what He said to the church in Sardis:  Wake up and strengthen what remains.

Alarmed But Not Surprised!

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Are you surprised?

I am more and more convinced that the most important thing that all education does is to shape the worldview or belief system of the student (regardless of age).  This conviction has been reinforced each and every day as I see what is happening in society.  I also realize  that what is happening in society or the culture ends up happening in homes, schools and even in churches.  The only thing that somewhat amazes me is when I see and/or hear Christians being surprised by the “shocking” things they are confronted with.

An example of this is something that has been in the headlines this past week.  It seems like everyone is alarmed about a situation where a mother has been reported about driving her son to become a female.  Reports that the boy’s father was being denied his rights to stop this effort to transexualize his son.  It was even said that the mother of this young 7 year-old boy was going to have him go through gender altering chemical treatment and surgery.

More than likely, you have heard about this.  The outcry about this was everywhere.  Social media was filled with shock and condemnation about the possibility of this taking place.  People from all walks of life were wondering how can the culture allow something like this to happen.  It became so bad that a governor and state attorney general had to get involved and try to stop this type of “idiocy” from taking place.

I, too, have found myself being angry when I witness some of this insanity that has become so commonplace in the world today.  However, I am not surprised at all by it.  What can we expect when generation and generation of young children and youth have been indoctrinated by a secular education system for the past 100 plus years.  There has been and continues to be an atheistic worldview undergirding secular education throughout history.  God is ignored or denied and evolution is the only “scientific” answer to the origin of the universe and life.

This has led to two similar “isms” that now dominate the thinking of people in the world today.  The first one of these is called materialism.  This philosophy can be defined as,

physical matter is the only reality and that everything — including thought, feeling, mind and will — can all be explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena.

The other “ism” is naturalisim.  This term carries with it this meaning.

all can be explained in terms of natural causes and laws.  Nothing has moral, spiritual, or supernatural significance.

This is why Carl Sagan opened his Cosmos series with these words.

The cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.

Young children are hit with this same lie when Actual Factual, the world’s foremost bear scientist, answers the question, what is nature? with these words.

It’s all that is, or was, or ever will be.

The only thing that is eternal is the cosmos or the material world.  If this is true, then there is no eternal God that created man in His image.  Therefore, man has no greater significance than any other material thing.  Man is just a natural phenomenon that is like anything and everything else.  This is why some lawyers are arguing to a judge that Happy, an elephant in the Bronx zoo, should have the same rights as humans — including the fundamental entitlement to liberty.  Their argument is that this elephant should be considered a person.

If everything can be explained in terms of natural causes, then man being imago Dei is a false belief.  This is why it was reported last week that the suicide rate of 10-14 year olds has almost tripled between 2007 and 2017.  The “experts” blame this on social media and bullying.  However, all of these other “reasons” are a reality of what happens when human beings are no longer considered to be image bearers of God.

I am convinced that if something drastic doesn’t change it is only going to become more bizarre and disastrous in the very near future.  When I read about a judge’s ruling concerning a doctor who was fired because he refused to refer to a bearded man as “she” because of his religious beliefs, I realized what we are going to face in the coming days.  The court ruled that,

the Bible, especially its teaching that man was created in His image, male and female is incompatible with human dignity especially because of its lack of belief in transgenderism.

The judge went on to rule that this doctor’s religious beliefs goes beyond just personal, private thoughts.

Those beliefs form part of one’s wider faith [Christianity] and this wider belief also does not satisfy the requirement of being worthy of respect in a democratic society.

WOW!  Christianity is not worthy of respect in a democratic society!  This is because biblical Christianity is built on the truth that God created everything and He created man as the capstone of His creation.  Man was created in the image of God and, therefore, has inherent worth and value.

In closing, I want to go back to the premise for this post.  Christians should not be shocked by what we are witnessing in our secularized society.  In fact, we should be taking responsibility for a lot of this.  We are the ones who have educated the majority of our children and youth in secular educational systems from birth through their teenage and college years.  Parents, pastors, church leaders and educators have chosen to have a secular worldview education shape their beliefs and values.

As the depravity of man becomes  more and more evident, what will it take for Christians to wake up, stand up and say enough is enough.  We will no longer give our children over to the world to educate.  We, the home, church and school, will unite and provide our children with a biblical worldview education.  I pray we won’t wait until it is too late!

When Will We Wake Up?

By | Public Blog

It is hard to comprehend where society has slid to over the last decade.  I would have never thought we would be facing what we are having to deal with in everyday life today.  If you have been receiving these blog posts for any period of time, you know that I am very concerned about how Christians are educating their children.  I once was convinced that when it became clear that secular education was destroying the hearts and minds of students, Christian parents would rush to give their children a biblically based education.  However, that has not become a reality by any stretch of the imagination.  It seems like, no matter what is poured into our children’s minds, parents seem to be okay with it.

I believe that one of the main reasons why we continue to provide our children with a secular education is because we somehow think that it isn’t so bad in our school.  Yes it may happen in some rare cases in other schools but not where we send our children to school.  Unfortunately, it is happening in every secular educational program, whether it be in public, private or home schools.

Another reason why we don’t concern ourselves enough with the education our children are receiving in school is that we think that schooling is only about academics.  The home and church deals with the spiritual aspects of life.  Whenever I hear something like this, I realize that many, if not most, Christians don’t understand what really takes place in every educational institution.  All education is aimed at shaping a child’s worldview — his or her belief system.  Kevin Swanson makes this point very clear when he wrote,

The main business of all education is the communication of ideas.  Upgrade: 10 Secrets for the Best Education for Your Child

It is time to wake up and understand that every educational effort is driven by the pursuit of some god.  This fact was brought home to me, once again, last week.  My good friend, Dr. Christian Overman, has been publishing a series of blogs on the dangers of Critical Race Theory.  Last week’s post was especially startling to me as I read it.  Dr. Overman showed how politically correct mathematics has become in many schools.  As I read this post, I thought about all the times when I have heard people say that math education is one subject that can be taught in a spiritually neutral manner.  After all, math facts are just that — FACTS!

The reality is there isn’t a subject that can be taught void of installing some beliefs and values.  Overman wrote about how one public school’s math curriculum contains the following objectives.  (Click here to read Overman’s article.)

The students will be able to identify how math has been and continues to be used to oppress and marginalize people and communities of color.

The students will understand how Western mathematics has been used as a means of power and oppression.

The students will explain how math dictates economic oppression.

Students will discuss essential questions such as: Who holds power in a mathematical classroom? and When has math been used historically to resist and liberate? and Who gets to say if an answer is right? and How can we use math to measure the impact of activism?

Did you get a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach as you read these objectives?  Do you fully understand the battle that is being waged through this math program?  Can you believe that students are actually being told that math is relative?  This is what is being implied by the question, Who gets to say if an answer is right?  There will be some parents who learn that this is going on and they may voice some concerns.  However, the majority of parents, including most Christian parents, won’t even know this stuff is being taught to their children or, if they do, they won’t do anything about it.

Listen to the sad words that one educator posted on Twitter a few days ago.  This teacher was apologizing to new teachers who have been told that teaching is all about engaging students in meaningful learning experiences.

New teachers, I’m sorry if we veteran educators have misguided you about the profession.  It’s not about cute classrooms & trendy ideas.  It’s political.  It’s advocacy.  It’s the front line of battle for the future of our nation.  Go no further if you’re not ready.  Jim Dearybury

Education, especially schooling, has never been, is not now, or ever will be spiritually neutral.  All education is determined to shape the worldview of its students.  I only wish that Christians would wake up.  I pray to see the day when Christians would have the same determination to shape their children’s worldview biblically as the world has to shape student’s belief systems from a secular, anti-Christian worldview perspective.

Does God Really Care?

By | Public Blog, Uncategorized

I am eternally grateful to many of you who regularly comment on one of my posts and/or send me quotes, articles and other information.  One of my readers recently sent me a link to an article that immediately captured my full attention.  It was the title of the article that I found so fascinating.  It was written by a pastor and the title was,

What if God Doesn’t Care a Whole Lot About How You Educate Children?

After seeing the title to the article, I immediately clicked on the link and carefully read what this pastor and parent had to say.  I was intrigued to find out how he answered the question.  As I read the article, I realized that the author had asked a very important question.  However, he didn’t try to answer it.  Instead what he really answered was an entirely different question.  The question he answered was,

What if God Doesn’t Care a Whole Lot of Where You Send Your Children to School?

This person did what so many parents and church leaders do when it comes to educating their children.  They make the fatal mistake of equating education with schooling.  It is true that schooling plays a major role in education.  However, education is a multi-faceted process of raising a child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  By multi-faceted I mean it involves the home, church and school.

As I continued reading this article, I saw similar things that I have heard throughout my ministry in education.  The article presented several opinions that this person had about schooling.  Some of these included (keep in mind that he is talking about “schooling” not “education”):

  • Christians have elevated education into one of the most important elements in the successful raising of our children.
  • An important goal of parenting is to raise children who are well-skilled and well-adjusted so they can contribute to society.
  • Christian parents have the “additional” goal of raising children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord – hoping that one day they will come to faith in Christ.
  • Christian parents are equally divided about where they send their children to school: public, Christian or homeschool.
  • There is little observable difference between the outcomes.
  • Children educated in these different ways have turned out to be successful, godly adults and others have turned out to do very poorly in life and reject the Christian faith.

The author concluded that perhaps God doesn’t care [which option we choose] nearly as much as we think He does.  He went on to say this.

Maybe God doesn’t care which option we choose as long as we choose on the basis of conviction and then make sure that we don’t act as if that choice alone will make or break our children.

 

Again, I want to make the point that every time the writer used the word education he really was talking about schooling.  Throughout the article there was no mention of any Scripture that he used in making his decision of choosing a school for his children.  I thought to myself that if I wanted to know if God cared about how we educate our children, I would try and see what God’s Word says about it.

At the end of the article, readers were given the opportunity to respond by writing a letter to the editor.  So, I responded by doing so.  I shared with the writer that I did not believe that he gave an answer to the question he initially asked but merely talked about how each parent must prayerfully choose a school for his/her children.  I stated that the Bible does not tell Christians where to send their children to school.

However, the Bible has a lot to say about how we educate children such as one can find in Deuteronomy 6, Psalm 78, Ephesians 6 and Psalm 127.  Then, there are all the references in Scripture where God warns us about the danger of sitting under false teaching and false teachers.

It was interesting to read another article by this writer explaining why they had chosen, along with their child, a Christian college.  Read carefully what he wrote.

As happy as we’ve been with our children in public schooling, we do think there’s value in having that year of (a year at a Christian college), what really comes down to worldview training.

I found that statement very interesting to say the least.  This is exactly what I see taking place in the vast majority of Christian homes.  Parents will send their children to secular schools from kindergarten through high school and then send them to a Christian college so that they will get some “Christian worldview” training.  The problem with this is that, as George Barna has found, the worldview of a child is pretty much formed by the age of 13.

What was eye-opening to me as I tried to wrestle with all that I was reading was something that the writer’s son had to say about his schooling experience.  In yet another article by this pastor, he asked his son some questions about his experience in public schools.  In one question the young person was asked about any negative influences that public schooling had on him.  His answer was very revealing.

Of course. You can’t soak into a worldly culture for years and not be changed. Probably my most egregious offence was adopting a two-layer view of everything. At school, my response to a given question would be one thing, whereas if I were in church, I would respond quite differently.

The young man went on to say that he read Nancy Pearcey’s book, Total Truth, and realized that he had compartmentalized his life into the sacred and the secular.  He then had to take two years in order to renew his mind and think biblically about all of life.  It was evident that his parents were intentional in trying to give their children biblical instruction at home.  However, this is more the exception than what happens to most children who end up receiving a secular education throughout their elementary and secondary years.

There are two concluding thoughts I want to leave with you.  The first thought I want to make is concerning a statement that this writer made in the article that was sent to me.  He stated,

And do you know what I have observed?  I’ve observed that there’s little observable difference between the outcomes (public, Christian & home school).

I hope that this causes you to think about what is the focus and what are the results that we are striving to accomplish through Christian and home schooling.  Yes, there are differences between the different schooling choices as the Cardus study has reported.  However, the reality is that too many of our children have been and are continuing to leave the faith in their late teenage years.  If there is little or no observable difference seen in our children’s lives due to their schooling experiences, are we willing to ask ourselves why?  Could it be that what is happening is because Christian and home schools are not being true to God’s ultimate purpose of education?    I will never forget something I heard Dr. Albert Mohler say several years ago.

The Christian school cannot be secular education dressed up for church.  It must be the church armed for intellectual battle!

The second thought I have is that we can’t merely try and see if God cares about where we educate our children.  The home, church and school must answer the bigger question.  Does God care a whole lot about HOW we educate our children?  The answer to that question must be answered with a definitive YES!!!  This means that we cannot go on in the same way we have over the past several decades.  It is absolutely mandatory that the home, church and school address the issue of education biblically!

 

This is why I have dedicated whatever time I have left to developing resources that do exactly that.  It is exciting to see hundreds of Christian school educators being trained in developing a biblical worldview and philosophy of education through the resources that are available through my Kingdom Education Ministries’ Prime Membership.  If your school is not a member, I want to urge you to consider becoming one TODAY.  Contact me by clicking HERE and I will send you information on how to do this.  God cares a whole lot about how we educate our children.  Let’s make sure that we are doing it His way!

So Go Our Children…

By | Public Blog, Uncategorized

Last week I wrote about a theme that is found throughout the Bible.  The theme is that the motivation behind everything that God does is that everyone will know that He is the Lord God.  Since this concept runs throughout the Scriptures, it should play a major role in how we educate our children and youth.  Everything should be designed to guide students in knowing God.

There is a second theme that I regularly come across when reading God’s Word.  In an effort to put it into understandable words, I would state something like this.

The beliefs and actions of parents, specifically, and adults, in general, will have a significant impact on their children’s future.

One example of this theme is found in Numbers.  The children of Israel were ready to enter the Promised Land.  Moses sends a small detail of leaders into the land to see what it is like.  When they return, the 12 men give a glowing report of the richness of the land.  However, they also reported several obstacles that they would face if they tried to enter the land.  There were giants in the land and the cities were well-fortified.  Unfortunately, 10 of these leaders convinced the entire nation that it was too dangerous to try and take possession of the land that God had already promised was theirs.

Only Joshua and Caleb were willing to act as if God’s Word was true.  They had seen the obstacles just like the others.  The difference was that these two men knew that God said the land was theirs.  So, they knew that God was bigger than all of the obstacles put together and He would give them victory if they only trusted Him.

Well, we know the story.  The Israelites decided not to enter the Promised Land.  Because of their lack of faith, God judged them.  He said that none of that generation of adults would ever enter the land.  So the entire nation of Israel wandered in the wilderness for the next 40 years, until an entire generation of adults died.

What does this account have to do with the theme that I stated above?  The answer to that question is found in Numbers 14 where we find these words.

And your sons shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years, and bear the brunt of your infidelity… Numbers 14:33 (NKJV)

Another translation says that their children would be wanderers in the desert for forty years where they would bear the penalty for [their] acts of unfaithfulness.  The actions of the parents caused their children to suffer.  What parents believe and do affects their children.

I found a similar account in Ezekiel.  In chapter 23, God tells the prophet how Israel lusted after the things of the world.  Because the nation prostituted itself with the pagan idols of society, God would bring judgment on the people.  He would make known their sinfulness.  God also predicted that something would happen to the people’s children.  Two times in this chapter God says the same thing.

…they took away her sons and daughters…they will take your sons and your daughters.  Ezekiel 23:10, 25 (NKJV)

As I read this passage, I realized that the idols of this world that I chase after will actually capture the hearts and minds of my sons and daughter.  Knowing this caused me to consider if there were any idols that were worth the loss of my own children.

Another passage of Scripture came to my mind as I contemplated all of this.  In this passage God was once again speaking through one of His prophets.  This time it was the prophet Hosea.  Listen to these chilling words.

Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.  Hosea 6:4 (NKJV)

If I don’t know God’s Word and live by it, it can cause my children to reap some very heavy consequences.  The worldview or beliefs of parents will have an impact on their children’s lives.  This reality is recorded in Jeremiah where God explained why children were following the Baals of the world.

…but they have walked according to the dictates of their own hearts and after the Baals, which their fathers taught them… Jeremiah 9:14 (NKJV)

I don’t think that the Israelite fathers sat their children down and taught them how to follow after the Baals.  However, they taught their children how to do that through example.  Their children saw them follow after the Baals and they simply followed in their fathers’ footsteps.  What we believe and how we live our lives will have a greater impact on our children’s future more than the words we speak and the subjects we teach.

In his research on the state of religion in young people’s lives, Christian Smith concluded that we get what we are!  Scripture makes it clear.  Our worldview drives all of our actions and together these things shape the future of our children.  It has been several years ago that I heard a quote by James Montgomery Boice.  Years later, these words still haunt me today.

The sacrifice of one’s children to demons is so terrible we can hardly imagine it.  It is a sin caused by a combination of pagan religions of the most debased kind. But are we so sure that we never practice it ourselves?

You might be thinking to yourself right now that you would never be found guilty of such an abomination as sacrificing one’s children to demons.  That is what I thought until I read the rest of Boice’s statement.

We do if we desire worldly success for our children to the point of thrusting them into a pagan environment today or encouraging them to live like the world accommodating its morality just to get ahead.  If you worship any of the gods of this world whether wealth, fame, sex or power, they will become a snare to your children.


I believe that this theme found in Scripture must have a major influence on how we educate our children.  The education we give our children must lead them to know the Lord God.  We cannot afford to give our children an education that is focused on the pursuit of the ‘gods of this world’ such as wealth, fame, power, sexual immorality, etc.  I don’t want my children and/or grandchildren to have to wander in the wilderness of an anti-Christian culture and bear the penalty of my acts of unfaithfulness.  I must give them a biblical worldview education!  Their future depends on it!

Next week I am going to deal with a dangerous question that was presented in an article that I was sent recently.  You don’t want to miss what I have to say.  It deals with this same principle.