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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?

Is The Church Falling Apart?

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Watkins also noted this when he wrote,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some resources that I have found helpful include:

The Church in Babylon by Erwin Lutzer

We Will Not Be Silenced by Erwin Lutzer

Fault Lines by Voddie Baucham

Why Social Justice is Not Biblical Justice by Scott David Allen

The Magna Carta of Humanity by Os Guinness

Christianity or Critical Theory by Eric Watkins

 

God Has Taught Me One Thing This Month

By | Public Blog, Uncategorized

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summer Is Over!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some Challenging Questions

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It is hard to believe that another school year is almost over.  In fact, several schools held graduation exercises this past weekend.  As this school year draws to a close, several questions have been on my mind.  These questions are critical to the success of our efforts to provide Kingdom Education™ to our children and youth.

A couple of weeks ago, I was doing an inservice with a Christian school staff.  At one point I asked the teachers a question and was somewhat taken back by the quick answers I received.  Here is what I asked them.

Why does your school teach the subjects they do and in the sequence in which they are taught?

Immediately, a couple of teachers shouted out an answer at the same time.  Their answers were these simple words — state and national standards.  A few seconds later another teacher said we teach what we do so students can get a diploma.  Both of these responses are important to Christian educators.  However, I would also expect to get similar responses if I were addressing teachers that were in secular educational programs.

So, here are some questions that I believe are essential to the core mission of Christian education.  Most of these questions are also applicable to parents and church leaders in their efforts to make disciples of the next generation.

  1. How has your students’ knowledge of God increased from what they have studied in your classes this year?
  2. How are your students more mature/complete in Christ because they have been under your teaching this year? (See Colossians 1:28)
  3. In what ways are the students more prepared for life by having you as a teacher, coach or administrator?
  4. In what ways are the students more prepared for eternity by having you as a teacher, coach or administrator?
  5. Did you present the gospel to your students during the year?
  6. What do your students think you believe about God, creation, mankind, knowledge, moral order, purpose and the future by being in your classes this year?
  7. In what ways did your teaching of your subjects differ from what students would have received in a secular school?
  8. Can you list three things you wanted every one of your students to know by being under your teaching or coaching?  If you answered yes, what are they?  How successful were you in getting them to know these things?
  9. Apart from the level of academics, facilities, and/or programs, what distinguished you and your school as a Christian school this year?

These are some daunting questions.  But they get to the heart of Kingdom Education™.  Unfortunately, there are many parents, pastors and Christian educators who would struggle to answer these questions from a biblical perspective if asked.  This is why I am so excited about this summer’s Kingdom Education™ Summit.  It is absolutely essential that parents, pastors, and Christian educators address the issue of education biblically.

At the Summit, we will be taking a deep dive into the Essential Truths of a Biblical Worldview and the Essential Principles of a Biblical Philosophy of Education.  Then, the participants will develop specific strategies that will empower parents, engage the church and transform schools, all through Kingdom Education™.

The Summit is not an event where people will come and practice the three S’s that are common at many conferences—sit, soak, and sour.  It will be a time when we strive to fully understand God’s plan for educating future generations and develop strategies that will put Kingdom Education™ into practice in the home, church and school.

If you haven’t registered yet for the Summit, do so today.  It is filling up quickly and I am excited to see not only Christian school leaders but also pastors and other church leaders coming to the Summit.  We still need YOU to be there and help us get a deeper understanding of Kingdom Education™.  CLICK TO LEARN MORE & REGISTER!

It Is Time For Action!

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When speaking at a worldview conference a few weeks ago, I shared the results from a 1993 report entitled, The State of Christian Education.  Over 500 Christian schools had participated in an evaluative assessment.  The schools were members of various Christian school organizations and the majority of schools had enrollments exceeding 200 students.  One of the alarming statistics in this report was that,

less than half of the parents who have students enrolled in our schools understand and can articulate the mission of Christian education.

After sharing this information, I asked the delegates if they believed the percentage of parents who understood the biblical mission of Christian education has increased, decreased or remained the same since the time of this report.  The response was unanimous.  The percentage of parents who understand the purpose of Christian education has declined since 1993.

I, then, shared another finding from this report.  The report stated that,

almost exactly the same percentage of Christian school teachers could articulate the philosophy and mission of Christian education.

I didn’t have to ask them if they believed the percentage of teachers that know, understand and are committed to a biblical philosophy of education has increased or decreased since 1993.  The silence that fell on the room had answered this question.

Throughout my many years in Christian education, there has also been a concern about the lack of support for Christian education on the part of pastors and church leaders.  It has always been baffling to me how so many pastors are pro secular education or simply silent on the issue.

One of  the foundation stones of Kingdom Education™ is the importance of the three-legged stool.  For Christian education to really make a difference in the next generation, the home, church and school must be united by a biblical philosophy of education.  Considering what I have just shared, the reality is that all three legs of the stool are either missing or severely weakened.  SOMETHING MUST CHANGE!

I am reminded of an article that Joel Belz wrote in 1993 for World Magazine.  The title of the article was, Too Little Too Late.  Belz predicted that,

Christian schools will be found overall to have done a very good job in terms of general education, but will be disappointed in terms of instilling a profound sense of Christian discipleship…Christian school graduates will increasingly outperform their counterparts from public education. But in terms of radical adoption of a Christian perspective on life, the differences — while definitely present — will be disappointing.

Having given my life to the cause of Kingdom Education™, I have to admit that Belz’s predictions have proven to be true.  I am so thankful for the improvement that has been made in the quality of teachers and instruction that has taken place over the past several decades.  I have had the privilege of speaking at many graduation ceremonies.  I am always amazed by the abilities and accomplishments of the students that I get to address at these events.  Christian schools are producing some excellent scholars that go on to accomplish much in every area of life.

However, when I look at the culture today and some of the findings that Dr. George Barna has found when studying the worldview of today’s Christians, I am deeply concerned.  This concern has only grown stronger when I see how false ideologies, such as Critical Race Theory and Social Justice, have crept into more and more churches.  Of course, there is still the reality that we are allowing over 1 million babies to be murdered while in their mothers’ wombs each and every year.

These concerns have had a firm grip on me for the past few years.  I keep thinking that we must get back to the basics.  Something must change in our homes, churches and, even, our schools.  We don’t have to change all the good things that are taking place.  But we must firm up the foundation or the future will be bleak.

As I shared in a blog several months ago, God led me to refine the mission I believe He has given me for Kingdom Education™ Ministries.  Simply stated,

KEM is committed to restore individuals, empower parents, engage the church, and transform schools through Kingdom Education™.

This driving force is what led me and others to hold the first ever Kingdom Education™ Summit this summer.  This event is an attempt to have the home, church, and school address the issue of education biblically.  It will not focus only on improving Christian schools but will be a deep dive into the biblical principles behind Kingdom Education™ and how these principles must be embraced by the home, church and school.

Joining me will be Dr. Sonny Sherrill, Ben Schettler and others who will lead the delegates in developing strategies for the home, church, and school that will result in a more effective effort to make disciples of the next generation.  Topics will include:

  • defining education, the kingdom of God, and Kingdom Education™.
  • identifying the essential truths of a biblical worldview
  • presenting the essential principles of a biblical philosophy of education.
  • four things that every young person must know.
  • the roles of the home, church and school when it comes to Kingdom Education™.

After each presentation at the Summit, there will be group sessions where delegates will develop strategies to empower parents, engage churches, and transform schools through Kingdom Education™.  A final strategy report will be developed from the work of the participants.  As the title of this blog states, It Is Time For Action!

I am excited to see not only Christian school leaders registered but also pastors and church staff members.  There have also been some individuals register who are not with either a school or church.  These individuals know that we must be more determined and united in our efforts to make disciples of the next generation.

It is not too late for you to be a part of this historic event.  You will find more information on the Summit by clicking here.  There is a special discount for schools that are KEM Prime Members.

I am thankful that the National Alliance of Christian Schools (formerly SBACS) is providing grant monies to its member schools to help with the expenses for attending the Summit.  To apply for this assistance contact NACS by clicking on this link, NACS Grant.

 My new two-book series, Understanding Kingdom Education™, is scheduled for release at the Summit.  These two new resources are companion books to Kingdom Education™ that will lead one into a deeper understanding of God’s plan for educating future generations.  A copy of each book will be given to all delegates.

If you share my concern for the next generation, I am asking you to do three things.

  1. PRAY for the Summit and ask God to guide in the final planning and to do a work in the hearts of all who will be attending.
  2. SHARE this blog with other parents, pastors and school leaders and encourage them to attend the Summit.
  3. JOIN us at the Summit.  Your voice is needed.

I have never been as burdened for future generations as I am today.  At the same time, I have never been more excited about and committed to the cause of Kingdom Education™.  I hope to see you in July at the Kingdom Education™ Summit!

More Lessons From History

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Last week I shared with you some of the lessons that God has taught me since I began teaching middle school history classes for the remainder of the year.  History is very important to God and our relationship with Him.  I shared two important lessons I learned in last week’s blog.  They were:

God is always working in history to fulfill one major purpose.  God wants the whole world to know that He is God!

History is a record of God’s works!

There was a third lesson that I learned in this past week’s history classes.

History reminds us of God’s standards!

As image bearers of God, we are to represent Him in all we do.  However, we live in a world where His standards are no longer known, much less obeyed.  When people forget God’s standards, moral decline is always the result.  Paul told the Corinthian Christians that the history lessons found in the Old Testament are there as examples for how we should live our lives.

Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink.  For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.  But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.  Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.  (1 Corinthians 10:1-6)

In this passage, Paul taught a history lesson to the church in Corinth.  In teaching this lesson, Paul reminded the people that the Israelites forgot one of God’s very important standards — obedience.  They had disobeyed God by not going in to take possession of the Promised Land.  The result of forgetting God’s standard was that a whole generation had to die in the wilderness; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

As we study history, we should try to see if people suffered because they failed to uphold some of God’s standards.  When we do this, we can avoid some serious consequences by not living our lives in line with His standards.

A final lesson I learned about history is this.

History is a record of God’s judgment!

All history is a study of the past and how God dealt with people in relation to how the people worshiped and obeyed Him.  This truth is clearly evident throughout God’s Word.  Consider the following passage of Scripture.

So I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed throughout the countries; I judged them according to their ways and their deeds. When they came to the nations, wherever they went, they profaned My holy name—when they said of them, ‘These are the people of the Lord, and yet they have gone out of His land.’ But I had concern for My holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations wherever they went.  “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went.  And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord,” says the Lord God, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes. Ezekiel 36:19-23

The prophet, Ezekiel, writes that God will judge people according to their ways and deeds.  If people profane His holy name by acting contrary to His precepts, God will always bring judgement on those people.  He does so for the sake of His holy name.  God will never allow His name, which represents His character, to be defiled.  When God brings judgement, He does so in order to sanctify My great name.

As I shared these four reasons why history is important to God, some of the students responded that they knew that God worked in history during the times of the Old and New Testament.  However, did He continue to work in the same way after the Bible was written and is He still doing this today?

This is when I referred back to the Six Essential Truths of a Biblical Worldview that we had covered earlier.  The first truth is that God is eternal in both His person and His nature.  I reminded the students that since God and His character are eternal, He cannot change.  If He worked in certain ways to make Himself known in the history found in the Bible, He must be doing the same today.  If not, He has changed and, therefore, He cannot be eternal.

History becomes very important when it is studied in light of these four lessons.  This is the only way to fully understand history and, therefore, accurately interpret current conditions in the world and/or one’s country.  What is even more fascinating is that God works for the same purpose and in the same ways in our personal histories. 

 

What would happen if our students not only viewed the history of the world from this perspective but also their own history and where they are today?  I believe it would transform lives like we haven’t seen in quite some time.  I pray that you and I will never see history as simply a body of facts about people, places and events.  History is a record of God’s amazing plan for mankind!

Lessons From Middle School History Classes

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As I shared in last week’s post, I am teaching 6-9th grade history at our local Christian school for the remainder of the year.  It has been exciting to be back in the classroom and sharing truth with the students.  If you haven’t read last week’s article, I encourage you to do so.  You can access it HERE.  It is my desire to show the students how to study and interpret history through the lens of a biblical worldview.  I shared the 6 Essential Truths of a Biblical Worldview in all my classes as we began to see how one’s worldview shapes one’s understanding of the past.

After doing this, I wanted to make sure that they understood how important it is for them to study history.  In the process of doing this, God taught me some very valuable lessons.  In fact, how I view history today has changed drastically and I don’t ever want to fall back into the mundane pursuit of knowing names, places, dates and events when studying any area of history.  Here are some of the lessons I have learned this past week when it comes to looking at history through a biblical worldview lens.

Lesson #1

It is important to know that behind all history there is a cosmic battle being waged.  This battle is between good and evil; God and Satan.  I was aware of the fact that there has been a cosmic battle going on throughout all the world ever since the Fall.  However, I never actually applied that reality to my study of history.

Lesson #2

When a person suffers amnesia, he/she suffers the loss of memories, such as facts, information, and experiences.  It is important to understand that when someone forgets the past or history, he/she has difficulty understanding the present.  This is because history helps us interpret the present and it can shape the future.  I realize that we are suffering from historical amnesia in our country today.  Because this is happening, the present doesn’t make sense and the future is being shaped in the vacuum of correct history.

Lesson #3

There are always people who are trying to redefine history.  By doing this, they can then explain the purpose of the present and shape the future to make it what they want it to be.  This is referred to historical revisionism.  This is defined as,

The distortion of the historical record such that certain events appear to have occurred and/or impacted history in a way that is in drastic disagreement with the historical record and/or consensus, and usually meant to advance a socio-political view or agenda.

It was eye-opening to help the students understand that each one of us is guilty of doing this at one time or another.  We have done something wrong and when asked if we did it, we change the actual history and present it from a distorted perspective for the purpose of trying to avoid certain consequences that we deserved because of our wrong actions.

Lesson #4

History is important to God!  That is a very simple statement to make.  But, can I support this from a biblical worldview and if I can, how does that impact my understanding of history?  In my study, I found that the word remember is found in 43 of the 66 books of the Bible.  In fact, this term is mentioned 178 times in the Old Testament alone.  This relates to the importance of history because the only thing one can remember is something that took place in the past (history).  You and I cannot remember something in the future.

In order to help the students understand that history is important to God, I searched the Scripture and discovered some amazing truths.  Let me share two of these truths with you in this post and I will share two more with you next week.

The first thing God showed me was this.

God works in history for one main purpose.  God wants the whole world to know that He is God!

Here are just a few times when this truth is made clear in Scripture.

  • When God led Israel through the Red Sea and caused the Egyptian army to follow them, He destroyed the entire army when the Red Sea returned to normal.  In Exodus 14:16-18, we find why God did this.  God states that He did this so that the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.
  • David stood before the giant Goliath.  By all human measures there was no way that David could defeat this giant warrior.  However, David was confident that he would be victorious.  Why?  We find the answer in 1 Samuel 17:46.  David said, This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand and I will strike you and take your head from you…that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
  • We also looked at the battle between Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel.  Elijah prepared the altar, soaked it with water and then prayed to God to send fire from heaven.  What did Elijah say that caused God to act?  Here is what he prayed.  Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God (1 Kings 18:36-38)
  • Another example of this truth is found in Isaiah 45:1-6.  I encourage you to read this passage and see this same truth emphasized.
The next truth we studied about why history is important to God is summed up in this statement.

History is a record of God’s works!

Throughout Scripture I have read that problems always arise when God’s people forgot His works.  That is why we must try to see God’s works any time we study history.  Joshua made this clear when he spoke to Israel after God had brought them through the Jordan River.  His words are found in Joshua 4:20-24.

And those twelve stones which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal. Then he spoke to the children of Israel, saying: “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’, then you shall let your children know, saying, ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land’; for the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over, that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”

Joshua not only taught that a memorial pile of stones was established as a record of the work of God that allowed Israel to cross the Jordan on dry ground.  He also tied this history lesson to an earlier historical record of God’s mighty handiwork that occurred at the Red Sea.  Today we don’t have a pile of rocks like Joshua set up in his day.  However, we have written records of history that should serve this very same purpose. Every record of history should be a memorial stone that reminds us of God’s works.

Over the next couple of weeks, the students will be studying different aspects of history.  Some will study Ancient History.  Another class will be studying South Carolina History.  Yet, another grade level is learning about United States History. Finally, one class will be engaged in World History.  Regardless of the specific course they will be studying, we are going to take every event and look for the following things.

  1. Can they see the cosmic battle between good and evil; God and Satan taking place in this event?
  2. Is there an effort to cause them to experience historical amnesia by distorting the actual historical record to further an agenda?
  3. How did God make Himself known as the true God in this historical event?
  4. What works of God are evident in what took place in this given time of history?

This week has been a powerful learning experience for me.  Middle school history classes have taught me some very important lessons that helps me navigate through the difficult times we find ourselves in right now.  I am more convinced than ever before that God is sovereign and in complete control of His entire creation.  I confident that He is working His perfect plan to completion right on schedule.  I pray my students will see history from a totally different perspective as we study the past with these truths in mind.

 

Living in Babylon

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Several years ago I was at an event and heard Josh McDowell describe what has happened in our culture over the years.  He said that in the early days of our country there was a Judeo-Christian culture.  This was marked by the culture actually supporting the beliefs and values of Christianity.  Unfortunately, we drifted into a post-Christian culture.  McDowell explained that this type of culture was one that merely tolerated Christianity.  Then, he said we are now living in an anti-Christian culture.  An anti-Christian culture is marked by society attacking every belief and value of the Christian faith.

This became very evident to me this past week.  There wasn’t a day go by when I didn’t read an article of how Christianity was under full assault by a totally secularized culture.  Let me share a couple of examples of what came across my desk in just the last few days.

Did you know that if you teach your children a view of history from a biblical perspective that you are giving your children a skewed view of history and a sense that the country is experiencing an urgent moral decline?  In fact, if your children are studying history from textbooks written in the context of a biblical worldview they are being taught with overtones of nativism, militarism and racism?

This is what was presented in an article published by the Huffington Post.  The article tried to attach biblical worldview textbooks to a political ideology.  The title and subtitle of the article made this clear.  They read,

These Textbooks In Thousands of K-12 Schools Echo Trump’s Talking Points.

Their religion-centered, anti-Democrat, anti-science, anti-multicultural message mirrors the Christian nationalism seen at the U.S. Capitol riot.

As I read the article, it was apparent that if you try to look at life through a biblical worldview and not a secular one, you are a danger to society and democracy.  Of course, that means that if I teach students from a biblical worldview and use textbooks written from that perspective, I am an even a greater danger to society because I could possibly be influencing the next generation to become, what the article referred to as, Christian nationalists.  The article inferred that teaching from textbooks written from a biblical worldview leads to the anti-science culture, anti-elite, the identification of Christianity with the military culture.

After reading this article, I was bombarded by reports of what happened when Christians stood for biblical truth and opposed the President’s recent executive orders related to transgenderism.  Two professors at Christian universities were banned from a social media site because they disagreed with the President’s policy on transgenders in the military.  The reason given for such a ban was that their posts violated the site’s Community Standards on violence and incitement.

Then came an article about what happened to a lecturer at another Christian university when she stood on biblical truth when it comes to moral values.  This instructor publicly asked the question, what about parents who don’t want a biological male in their biological daughter’s restrooms?  Such a question was reason for students at the university to report this instructor to various “equity” and “diversity” departments at the university.  The article quoted one of the students who made these reports as being upset because it eliminates another professor as one of our allies, because we have been searching for potential allies and professors for the past 10 years.  

These are just a few examples of articles that I came across over a period of a few days.  There is no doubt about it; we are living in Babylon.  We may not be in bondage geographically but we are in spiritual and moral bondage to a secular, pagan culture.  If you publicly take a stand for God, His Word and absolute moral values, you will be attacked.  If you stand against such ideologies as CRT, you may be called a racist, white supremacist, etc.  If you believe that God created man in His image and He did so as either male or female, you are homophobic and/or transphobic.

Living in Babylon means that we are living in a culture where the only public discourse allowed is that which goes along with the religion of secular humanism.  This becomes even a greater problem when you consider how the secular culture has taken over the meaning of words.  Words such as unity, diversity, science, and equity must be defined according to secular thought.  If anyone dares define them in accordance to God’s Word, he/she is anti-science, a bigot, ignorant, offensive, and/or counterfactual.  The goal is to shame that person to such a degree that it will silence him/her.

This is the same strategy that the late, postmodern professor, Dr. Richard Rorty, suggested when he addressed a group of university professors.

Secular professors in the universities ought to arrange things so that students who enter as bigoted, homophobic religious fundamentalists will leave college with views more like our own.  Students are fortunate to find themselves under…people like me, and to have escaped the grip of their frightening, vicious, dangerous parents.  We are going to go right on trying to discredit you [parents] in the eyes of your children, trying to strip your fundamentalist religious community of dignity, trying to make your views seem silly rather than discussable.

This shouldn’t surprise any of us.  In the early 1900s, Italian socialist, Antonio Gramsci, wrote,

Socialism is precisely the religion that must overwhelm Christianity.  Socialism will triumph by first capturing the culture via infiltration of schools, universities, churches and the media by transforming the consciousness of society.

The question confronting Christians today is not how to get out of Babylon but how does God want us to live while we are here?  Erwin Lutzer in his book, The Church in Babylon, rightly states that there are three options for how Christians can choose to live in a pagan, anti-Christian culture.  They are:

  • assimilate with the secular culture
  • isolate from the secular culture
  • engage the secular culture
The reality is that it is impossible to isolate ourselves from today’s secular culture.  It is all around us and escape is not possible.  This means that Christians will either assimilate into the culture or engage it.  Lutzer explained what happened when Israel was taken captive by the Babylonian king.  Most of the Jews just drifted with the cultural flow, not making waves but living lives that were indistinguishable from the people around them.  

Unfortunately, today’s church seems to be following the example of these Jews.  Lutzer goes on to explain why this is so common when he wrote,

Spiritual assimilation is always the path of least resistance; it is the most natural and cowardly way to life. It allows the culture to exploit our natural tendency to get all the world has to offer with only a nod in the direction of the God we say we love.

God wants us to engage the secular culture in which we find ourselves.  However, it is evident that, by doing this, we will face persecution.  Jeremiah was a prophet who obeyed God and engaged the culture of his day.  When engaging the culture, he started by doing so with God’s people.  Jeremiah poured his heart out to the Israelites.  He spoke only what God told him to say.  What was the result?  Again, Lutzer explains what was Jeremiah’s reward for his faithfulness.

He was rewarded with slander, mockery, and condemnation by false prophets.

Just like today, secular leaders tried to shame Jeremiah into silence.  Of course, we know that Jeremiah didn’t bend under the pressure, and neither can we.  Over the next couple of weeks I want to share with you some things that God has been laying on my heart as to what He wants from His children today as we find ourselves in Babylon.