Does God Really Care?

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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…

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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.

This Challenged Me!

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As I have been studying the Scriptures, I have become increasingly aware of two themes that run throughout the Bible.  The first theme is most often found in words like these.

…then they will know that I am the Lord God.  Ezekiel 28:24 (NASB)

I have found it fascinating that this seems to be the motivation behind everything that God does.  You find these words, or very similar statements made, whenever God:

  • worked a miracle such as parting the waters of the Red Sea for the Israelites to cross through on dry ground.
  • gave victory to one of His followers like when David defeated Goliath.
  • judged the wicked which was a common prophecy that He gave about several nations through the prophet Ezekiel.
  • brought judgement on His children when they followed after idols rather than following after Him.

God’s desire to be known by all people as the Lord God can even be seen in His decision to create the heavens and the earth.  Psalm 19:1-3 and Romans 1:20 tell us that even lost people have no excuse for not knowing that there is a God because all of creation shouts His existence.

I am sure that you have marveled when reading about how God did supernatural things through ordinary people in Scripture.  What I found intriguing as I studied so many of these accounts in Scripture was the heart motivation of the people that God used.  For example, when David stood before Goliath, he made this bold statement.

This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.   I Samuel 17:46 (NKJV)

One can also see this motivation driving Elijah when he confronted the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel.  After he repaired and prepared the altar, Elijah prayed this prayer.

Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.  1 Kings 18:37 (NKJV)

Following this theme in Scripture has challenged me to realize that God will do whatever is needed in my life so that others will know that He alone is the Lord God.  If I follow after the gods of this world, He will accomplish this through His judgement on my life.

However, if I follow after Him with all my heart, soul and mind, He can show others that He is God by blessing me and/or working through me.  This has caused me to search my heart and check my motivation behind everything I do.  It is my desire to serve Him in such a way that others will see Christ in me and know that He is the Lord God.

What would happen in homes, churches and Christian schools if parents, pastors and educators would pray that God would do a work in their lives so that their children would know that He is the Lord God?  I believe we would be able to witness the next generation surrendering to Christ and possibly turning their world upside down.

Next week I will share with you the second theme that has captured my attention as I study His Word.

How To Obtain Freedom!

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What Is The Key To Freedom?

Last week we looked at how a vast majority of people, including the majority of Christians, are being held captive by false ideas.  Many, if not all, of these false ideas are a result of the education that they received.   This is because no education is neutral or void of spiritual meaning.  The reason why education cannot be neutral is that all education is presented from the teacher’s, parent’s and/or church leader’s worldview.

Since there is a person will either walk in freedom or be held in captivity, we need to know how one can choose freedom over captivity.  Parents, church leaders and educators must understand that education is the determining factor on whether or not a person walks in freedom or is held in the chains of captivity.  This should cause us to realize that we must give our children and youth an education that will lead them into freedom and not into captivity.

The only type of education that leads people to live lives of freedom is a biblical worldview education.  This is because a biblical worldview education is based on truth and the existence of God, who created and sustains all things.  The apostle John, under the inspiration Holy Spirit, wrote,

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)

Here we find Jesus identifying three groups of people.  There were the:

  • unbelievers — these were the Jews who didn’t believe.
  • believers — these were the Jews who did believe.
  • disciples — these were the believers who continued or abided in God’s Word.

Jesus made the bold statement that His disciples, those who continued/abided in the Word, would know truth and truth will bring freedom into their lives.  We must give our children and youth an education, at home, church and school, that is grounded on God’s Word.  Then, the education they receive must teach all subjects and all lessons from a biblical worldview context.  This is the only way we can guide our children to walk in truth and be free.

This year I am helping the Christian school at the church I attend by teaching biology, chemistry and physics.  The school had lost its secondary science teacher and was finding it difficult to fill the vacancy.  It was sad to learn that the school interviewed several candidates but none of them believed the biblical account of creation.  So, I offered to fill this void till another science teacher could be found.

It has been both challenging and exciting to put the philosophy of kingdom education into practice.  I am spending a lot of time helping these teens understand that the study of science isn’t about merely learning the theories and laws that govern life and creation.  They are beginning to see that science helps man solve problems that everyone faces due to living in a fallen world.  These students are coming to understand that everyone is created in the image of God.  Because of this, man has been given the ability to observe, experiment and understand God’s creation ordinances that rule the universe.  Through these courses they can understand the very nature of God, Himself (see Psalm 19:1; Romans 1:20).

When this takes place in a person’s education, he/she comes to know that there is a God who created everything.  They also come to know Him personally and are challenged to abide in Him (His Word).  This results in them breaking free from the captivity of having a false worldview.  Of course, this isn’t relegated merely to the science classroom.  All education should be aimed at this same goal.  This is because all subjects come from some aspect of creation and, therefore, is way of God making Himself known to the students that are studying these courses.

I have been fascinated by what other scientist knew about studying science and coming to know God.  One such scientist was Werner Heisenberg.  Heisenberg was a Noble laureate physicist and one of the fathers of quantum mechanics.  He stated,

Galileo argued that nature, God’s second book, is written in mathematical letters…Kepler is even more explicit in his work on world harmony; he says: God created the world in accordance with His ideas of creation.  These ideas are the pure archetypal forms which Plato termed Ideas, and they can be understood by man as mathematical constructs.  They can be understood by Man, because Man was created in the spiritual image of God.  Physics is reflection on the divine Ideas of Creation, therefore physics is divine service.

Lord William Kelvin helped form the basis of modern physics, the second law of thermodynamics and the absolute temperature scale, the dynamic theory of heat, the basic concepts for electromagnetic theory of light and the fundamental works in hydrodynamics.  As he studied science and discovered God’s marvelous creation ordinances (some people call them laws of nature), he said,

If you study science deep enough and long enough, it will force you to believe in God.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of our children and youth are not getting an education that is guiding them to know and understand that God is the creator and sustainer of the universe.  Instead, they are being indoctrinated in a secular educational system that denies or ignores the very existence of God.  As a result they are being taken captive by false ideas and this captivity leads to destruction and ruin (see Hosea 4).

It is time for the home, church and school to become a unified force that provides children with a biblical worldview education.  When this happens they can go from being an unbeliever to becoming a believer and finally to become a disciple of Jesus.  The result will be life-changing and culture-shaping — because they will be FREE!

Freedom or Captivity?

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Desire To Be Free!

There is one thing that I have witnessed throughout my time here on earth.  Every person longs to be free.  No matter one’s condition in life, there is that desire to live in freedom.  In fact, the reason why tyrannical dictators are known for their horrific destruction of human life is because they are fearful of losing their power.  They know, better than anyone else, that if the smallest glimmer of freedom is seen by their citizens, it may lead to a revolt in an effort to bring freedom to the masses.

Even though this desire to be free from captivity is found in every person, there are many people today who are living in total captivity and don’t even know it.  This is especially true for many Christians.  The Apostle Paul was keenly aware of the subtleness of being taken captive without knowing that it is happening.  This is why he warns Christians to be on guard and don’t allow themselves to be taken captive.

 Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words…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 2:4 & 8 (NKJV)

Paul is talking about a form of captivity that is more dangerous than being taken captive physically by an oppressive government.  He is warning Christians not to be taken captive through persuasive words and false ideas.  This type of captivity is taking place all around us on a daily basis.  What is so troubling about this is that most Christians are not aware of it and may even be complicit in it happening.

The reason why this is extremely dangerous is that there isn’t a person or group of people that come in with weapons and physically attack people and put them in bondage.  Instead, it takes place right before our eyes, throughout each and every day.  The targets of this attempt to take people captive are our children and youth.  We find this occurring in the media, entertainment industry and educational institutions.

We may not see this happening but we are very much aware of the results of it happening.  Most of us seem shocked when we hear of such things as:

  • drag queen story hours taking place with young children in public libraries and school classrooms
  • children thinking that they are a different gender than their biological sex says they are
  • more and more individuals of the z generation desiring to live under socialism and/or communism
  • an alarming number of young adults who describe themselves as being religious nones

Dr. Christian Overman, in his recent blog Delusional Thinking Among Educators Today, gives an example of a school policy that clearly shows that there is an all-out effort to take students captive.

Some students may feel uncomfortable with a transgender student using the same sex-segregated restroom, locker room or changing facility. This discomfort is not a reason to deny access to the transgender student.

Secular education has become more and more intent on taking every student’s mind captive through persuasive words and false philosophy.  The result is that the vast majority of young people, including Christians, are now living their lives in captivity to mere human traditions that are in line with the basic principles of the world.  Recently, a person tweeted about this type of dangerous captivity that is all too common throughout America and around the world.  He related what is happening with people today to what happened to Lot in Genesis 14.

Compromise with the world eventually leads to being captured by the world.  Jeff Johnson

Unfortunately, this doesn’t just take place in secular educational institutions.  It can also take place in Christian homes, churches and schools.  For this to take place all that is needed is to compromise just a little on the truth of God’s Word.  When we place human opinion and research above what God’s Word states, we are headed down the road to compromise and eventually into captivity.

Os Guinness gets right at the heart of the matter when he wrote,

Either we conform our desires to the truth or we conform the truth to our desires.

There is a solution to this massive effort to make every young person’s mind captive to today’s culture.  That solution is to give them a biblical worldview education.  Christian parents, pastors and educators must be as intentional, or even more intentional, about educating their children and youth from a biblical worldview perspective than the world is from its perspective.  Again, I call your attention to something that Jeff Johnson shared recently on social media.  He wrote,

The Christian who is not intentional in developing a biblical worldview will find himself with a worldview that is more culturally shaped than biblically shaped.

As a new school year begins all across the United States, it is imperative that Christian school administrators and teachers be trained to develop a strong biblical worldview and a biblical philosophy of education.  Then, church leaders and parents must also receive training in these two critical areas.  If not, Christians will not have the biblical worldview that they need to have so that they can, then, give it to the next generation.  This is why I have put so much energy into developing needed resources over the past several years.  It is my desire to have such training available to the home, church and school.  It has been exciting to see more and more schools and individuals become KEM Prime Members and use these valuable resources to be better prepared for the battle.

Why is this so important?  It is because the freedom of future generations depend on it!  I pray hundreds and thousands will join me in this battle to bring true freedom to our children and youth.

It Is A Matter of Perspective

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The first Monday of September is designated as Labor Day in the United States.  Each time I think of this holiday, I try to reflect on the meaning of my labor or work.  I recently asked a high school student what her plans were when she finished high school.  She didn’t hesitate at all when she told me what she wanted to do in life.

I want to get a job that is a lot of fun where I can make a lot of money.

Unfortunately, this is the mindset of a lot of people when it comes to their goals for the future and work.  They want to do something that they really enjoy as long as it pays well.  One person has said that work is now defined as something that people do that enables them to consume.  The more they can consume, the happier they will be.

Many other people worship their work.  They put as much time and energy as possible in their work; even if it takes away from spending time with their families.  Many times this group of people are called workaholics because their work consumes almost all of their waking hours.  Their identity is their work.  They seem to be saying, I am what I do!

This is a far cry from how God wants His people to view work.  Christians have lost the idea that work is to be a vocation to which God calls them to serve Him and others.  In addition to the fact that most Christians see work as simply a job to pay the bills and accumulate as much stuff as possible, their children and youth are taking this shortcoming to an all new level.  Recent studies indicate that the majority of millennials actually prefer to live in a communistic or socialistic society where the government is supposed to meet all their needs.

Author and pastor, Tim Keller, gives us a warning about not viewing work as something we do to glorify God.

You will not have a meaningful life without work, but you will lose yourself if you say work is the meaning of your life.

Whether you are celebrating Labor Day somewhere in the United States or you are at work somewhere around the world, I want to challenge you to see your work as something God has called you to do in order to steward some aspect of His creation.  Let’s make sure we do our work for His glory and the good of others.

When Life & Ministry Are Difficult

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Do you ever wonder if you can take much more?  Life is hard and ministry is challenging.  However, God’s Word tells us that we must persevere and endure even when all of life appears to be hopeless.  This morning I opened up my Bible app to read the verse of the day.  I read these very familiar words.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.  Hebrews 12:1 (KJV)

I have often been told that life is not a sprint but a marathon.  Running a marathon is extremely difficult and often painful.  There are certain points in this endurance run where many runners give up — thinking that they simply can’t endure any more.

Mr. George Rogers

Whenever I feel overwhelmed by life and/or ministry, I think about the life of one my mentors.  This man taught me so much about pressing on when everything seemed hopeless.  I first met Mr. George Rogers when he came to handle the finances for the Old Time Gospel Hour Ministries in Lynchburg, VA.  I was serving as the secondary principal for Lynchburg Christian Academy and had to meet with Mr. Rogers on a regular basis trying to get requisitions approved.  Our relationship deepened over the next 15 years.

I was sad to hear that Mr. Rogers had passed away early last week.  As I reflected on his life and his influence on my life, I remembered how I never could complain about how tough life was whenever I was around this giant of a man.  He never seemed to allow life to get him down and discouraged.  Mr. Rogers always called me “Schultzy” and followed it with a deep hearty laugh.  In fact, I called him a couple of years ago and when he was told I was on the line, he laughed and said, “how are you doing, Schultzy”?

You might be wondering  why I am sharing this information in a blog post about endurance and perseverance.  As Paul Harvey used to say on his broadcasts, Here is the rest of the story.  What I didn’t know about Mr. Rogers when I first met him was that he was one of the survivors of the Bataan Death March during WWII.  An estimated 75,000 Filipino and American troops were forced to make this march under intense heat and harsh treatment that resulted in thousands of men dying.  Not only did he survive this horrendous 65-mile march but he also survived almost 4 years (42 months) of torture in Japanese prisoner-of-war camps.

I heard him once share how he was responsible for digging graves for fellow prisoners who died under the harsh punishment of their captors.  Mr. Rogers explained how 10 bodies would be put in each grave and that he ended up burying more than 1,600 prisoners during his years in captivity.

Mr. Rogers Returns Home From War

When Mr. Rogers arrived in the United States after he was freed by Allied forces, he weighed a mere 85 lbs. (he stood about 6’3″).  Doctors told him that his life would be extremely difficult because of the beatings and starvation that he had endured.  Doctors told him that he would only live to 45 or 50 years old.  He would lose all of his teeth, would not be able to have children and could not successfully complete college work.  However, God had a different plan for Mr. Rogers.  He died last week at the age of 100 with all of his teeth.  He had 5 precious children and not only successfully completed college but he also went on to be the chief financial officer for the ministries of Thomas Road Baptist Church, which included Liberty University.

A few years ago the Japanese government invited several of the Bataan Death March survivors back to Japan to pay tribute to them.  Mr. Rogers was asked if he had any resentment toward his captors.  He said that he harbored no hard feelings toward the Japanese.  “Just like we do what we’re told to do as far as the Army is concerned, your [Japanese] men do the same thing.  They tell them to do it; they do it.  Other than that, I think we lived”.

So when life seems to difficult to go another step forward, I think about the perseverance and endurance of Mr. Rogers and realize I don’t have it so bad.  With our strength coming from the Lord, we can stand strong under the most difficult of circumstances.  James understood this when he wrote,

Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.  James 1:12 (NASB)

As we begin another school year with all of its challenges, we must surrender daily to the Lord, bear our cross and follow Him in total obedience.  He will never forsake us and will bear all of our burdens that we turn over to Him.  We can persevere and stand firm until we are called home to be with Him.

Created In God’s Image

By | Public Blog, Uncategorized

In last week’s blog post I shared two very important statements that we need to remember as we get ready to start a new school year.  The first statement explained the goal of traditional, man-centered education.

Traditional schooling prepares students for more schooling that will end up getting them a job!

The second statement centered on the goal of kingdom education.  We must remember that kingdom education exists only  when God reigns as king in the entire educational process.

Schooling must prepare children to fulfill God’s ultimate purpose for why He created man in His image.

One reader commented how we can get caught up in the assembly line of education and forget what the goal is.  Another subscriber wrote that we also forget that education is indoctrination.  Still another reader added that traditions are often a blessing, but sometimes, if they’re not true to biblical principles, they can be chains that enslave the mind and the spirit.

It is so easy to get caught up in the human traditions that shape so much of education today.  As Christians, we want to prepare our children to fulfill God’s ultimate purpose for why He created man in His image.  Francis Shaeffer stressed the importance of knowing God’s purpose for man when he wrote,

Man, made in the image of God, has a purpose – to be in relationship to God, Who is there. Man forgets his purpose and thus he forgets who he is and what life means.

Too often, we use phrases and cliches without ever clarifying the meaning of them.  When this happens, everyone is free to define the terms according to their own belief system.

First, I need to clarify what I mean by the term education.  When I use this term, I am referring to the multi-faceted process of preparing children and youth for the future.  It takes place in the home, church and school.  Too often, we immediately equate education with schooling.  Schooling plays a major role in the educational process but it is only one part of the process.

Second, we must answer this question as we start a new school year.  What was God’s ultimate purpose for creating man in His image?  This is not a new question and Christians have tried to answer this question in the past.  In 1647, the Westminster Assembly developed the Westminster Shorter Catechism.  The very first question was, What is the chief end of man?  Their answer provides us with insight into what the goal of education, including schooling, must be.  It simply states,

Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.

I have combined these various concepts into another biblical principle of education.  It reads,

The education of children and youth must equip them to fulfill God’s highest purpose for man to glorify Him and enjoy Him for life and eternity.

Again, it is important to dissect this statement in order to understand its full meaning.  We all know that God’s Word clearly states that we are to glorify God in everything (1 Corinthians 10:31).  However, we must fully understand how a person actually glorifies God.  Dr. Gary Inrig gives a wonderful explanation of what it means to glorify God.

One’s glory is one’s reputation…God’s glory is not just His reputation but His revealed character, the display of His attributes…To glorify someone therefore is to increase his reputation by revealing his true nature…to glorify God is to live in such a way that His character is displayed and His praise is increased.

God’s glory is who He is; it is His true nature.  This means that one cannot glorify God unless he/she regularly sees and knows God’s glory.  I have discovered that the only way that I can know God’s true nature (His glory) is if He reveals Himself to me.  The good news is that God reveals Himself to us in three ways. God reveals Himself to man:

  • in a general way through Creation
  • in a written way through His Word
  • in a personal way through His Son

Everything a young person studies at home, church and school should guide them into a deeper knowledge of God.  This includes reading both books that God has written and given to us.  These books are Creation and the Bible.  As students grow in their knowledge of God, they will see His glory.  As they see His glory, they can reflect His glory and, therefore, fulfill God’s ultimate purpose for creating them in God’s image — to glorify God in everything they think, say and do.

Here are some questions we need to ask ourselves so that the education we give our children will prepare them to fulfill God’s ultimate purpose for why He created man in His image.

  1. How can this be done in the home?  What do parents need to do?
  2. What is the church’s role in this process?  What does the church need to do?
  3. How can this be done in the school?  How does every teacher, coach and/or administrator accomplish this?

As you answer these questions, share your thoughts with other parents, church leaders and teachers.  The home, church and school must join together and provide our children and youth with an education that guides them to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes (character) that will enable them to glorify God in whatever they think, say and/or do.


The Danger of Being Traditional

By | Public Blog, Uncategorized

I can remember as if it was yesterday.  My former pastor, Dr. Michael Catt, was preaching a message and made a profound statement.  The statement was actually a quote that he had heard Jim Cymbala, Pastor of Brooklyn Tabernacle, say.

It is easier to be TRADITIONAL than it is to be BIBLICAL!

As soon as I heard these words, my mind immediately went to a warning that Paul gave to the Colossian Christians.

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.  Colossians 2:8 (KJV)

This simple verse carries with it several deep truths about how easy it is for Christians to be taken captive.  Here are some takeaways for us to contemplate.

  • Every person has been taken or is being taken captive by some philosophy/beliefs/ideas.
  • Christians can be taken captive by false philosophy/beliefs/ideas.
  • When a person is taken captive by false ideas, the false ideas are always patterned after human tradition.

In my estimation, there is no aspect of present day life that is more based on human tradition than schooling.  So much of what we do, when it comes to the schooling our children receive, is based on human tradition.  I will not take the time to make a lengthy list of all the traditions that make up how schooling in done in our culture.  However, we must understand it is easier to be traditional when it comes to schooling than it is to be biblical.  If fact, in many instances, even Christians will be critical if Christian educators attempt to do schooling in a completely biblical way.

The following example is provided to prove my point.  Last week I was conducting a staff development seminar at a Christian school.  At one point in the seminar, I tried to define the term education.  Everyone seemed to agree that education is a multi-faceted process that includes the home, church and school.  It was also agreed that all education prepares an individual for something in the future.  Education is future focused.

With those important points agreed upon, I asked the staff a series of questions.  As soon as I asked each question, a chorus of voices immediately responded in unison.  The questions focused on what most schooling prepared children for.  The discussion went like this.

Question 1:  What does preschool education prepare children for?  Answer:  Kindergarten

Question 2:  What does kindergarten prepare children for?  Answer:  1st Grade

Question 3:  What does elementary school prepare children for?  Answer:  Middle School

Question 4:  What does middle school prepare children for?  Answer:  High School

Question 5:  What does high school prepare children for?  Answer:  College

Question 6:  What does college prepare students for?  Answer:  A Job

In other words, traditional schooling prepares students for more schooling that will end up getting them a job!  It is very easy for any school, including a Christian school or homeschool, to be traditional when it comes to preparing students for the future.  Very good programs can be developed that will prepare students for the “next level” of schooling and eventually ensure them of being accepted into good colleges or universities.  The reason why it is so easy to follow after this tradition is that parents believe that this is what good schooling is all about.  They have been captured by ideas that follow the tradition of human opinion when it comes to the purpose of schooling.

However, it is much more difficult to be biblical when it comes to schooling.  How would one answer the six questions above biblically?  The answers would definitely not be to simply prepare the children for more schooling.  I believe the answer would go something like this.

Schooling must prepare children to fulfill God’s ultimate purpose for why He created man in His image.

This is a powerful statement that most Christian parents, church leaders and educators would quickly say amen to.  Unfortunately, I have found few Christians who could clearly describe what that ultimate purpose is.  This is because so few Christian adults have received training that helped them develop a biblical worldview.  Thus, they have to try and explain that statement from a secular, humanistic worldview perspective.

As a new school year is upon us here in most of North America, it would be a good time for parents, church leaders and educators to sit down and give careful thought to what should biblically-based education prepare our children for.  Then, we need to develop biblically-based strategies to make sure this takes place in the home, church and school.   We may discover that we need to make some drastic changes to how we educate future generations.  I would love to know your thoughts on this.  So, leave a comment below.

Be Careful How You Plan

By | Public Blog, Uncategorized

While I was at LifeWay Christian Resources, I participated in a leadership retreat that was led by Neil Anderson.  It was at this retreat I learned some valuable principles that need to be followed when planning for the future.  I want to share these principles with you as many Christian school leaders will be planning for the upcoming school year.

Anderson shared with our group the typical planning process that Christian ministries follow.  He patterned this process after the planning process Joshua followed when Israel was going to defeat Ai.  Here is what Joshua did in planning an attack on Ai.  Keep in mind that they had just come off of the amazing victory at Jericho.

Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Beth Aven, on the east side of Bethel, and spoke to them, saying, “Go up and spy out the country.” So the men went up and spied out Ai.  And they returned to Joshua and said to him, “Do not let all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai. Do not weary all the people there, for the people of Ai are few.” So about three thousand men went up there from the people, but they fled before the men of Ai.  And the men of Ai struck down about thirty-six men, for they chased them from before the gate as far as Shebarim, and struck them down on the descent; therefore the hearts of the people melted and became like water.  Joshua 7:2-5 (NKJV)

Many times we plan for the future much like Joshua did in the passage.  The steps, according to Anderson, go like this.

  1. Do extensive research
  2. Develop a plan based on the results from the research
  3. Execute the plan

When the results turn out negative, leaders tend to think that the research must have been faulty.  So additional research is done and these steps are repeated.  Anderson pointed out that God wasn’t mentioned in the planning process conducted by Joshua and his leadership team.  As we discussed this process, we noted that many times Christian leaders add a fourth step.  The process looks like this.

  1. Do extensive research
  2. Develop a plan based on the results of the research
  3. Pray and ask God to bless our plan
  4. Execute the plan

However, if the results are not what we expected or wanted, we go back and do further study or research.  It was at this point that Anderson suggested a better process that Joshua followed after this terrible defeat(Joshua 7:6-8:35).  The second planning process resulted in victory.

  1. Expose and confess any sin in the camp
  2. Ask God for His plan
  3. Execute God’s plan completely
  4. Praise the Lord for any victory achieved

If Christian leaders are told that they are going to be involved in a major planning retreat, the first two things that they grab to take with them is a calendar and a calculator.  However, it may be more advantageous to take two other items with them when participating in a planning retreat — a Bible and knee pads!

Unfortunately, the Israelites did not learn from their disastrous plan on how to capture Ai.  Right after the Lord gave them victory over Ai they fell prey to taking action after their own reasoning once again.  In Joshua 9, Israel was tricked by the Gibeonites.  Again, the results were devastating.  God’s Word records why they failed again in executing a plan to deal with this group of people.

Then the men of Israel took some of their provisions; but they did not ask counsel of the Lord.  Joshua 9:14 (NKJV)

As we plan for the future, lets not make the same mistake that Israel made.  Research can be valuable but it is primarily based on human wisdom and opinion.  There is nothing wrong with being data/research informed.  However, our plans must be from the Lord and Bible-driven.  Here are some additional verses that provide us with good counsel as we plan for the future.

The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations.  Psalm 33:11 (NKJV)

Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts (plans) will be established.  Proverbs 16:3 (NKJV)

A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.  Proverbs 16:9 (NKJV)

There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand. Proverbs 19:21 (NKJV)

May God direct each of you as you strive to fulfill His plan for your life and ministry.