Dan's Meditations

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Email Debate With Dr. Marcus Newsome
Concerning Education in Newport News Public Schools

Preface: After meeting with Dr. Newsome, I took some time to reflect on our meeting, and emailed him my reflections. As you will see, he sent me back a short reply, in which he did not really speak to the debate that I was addressing. I replied in turn and am now eagerly awaiting his response. I have prayed over all of this and would ask all believers who read this to join me in prayer for God's Kingdom to come and God's will to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven according to the Scriptures. (Please pray in agreement with the Scriptures. Please do not try to manipulate the will of the Lord. Find out what pleases the Lord - and pray accordingly.)
-----Original Message-----
From: Dan Hillman [mailto:danhillman1978@hotmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 18, 2005 9:08 AM
To: Marcus J. Newsome
Subject: Reflections of our meeting
Dear Dr. Newsome,
I appreciate the time we had to meet yesterday. I noticed that your intern, Anne, was taking notes the whole time. I was wondering if you might have her email me a copy of those notes - or if she would rather - she could make copies and I could come pick them up.
I will be spending some time today and tomorrow - reflecting over our meeting - and will be posting my reflections on my blog: meditationsofdan.blogspot.com - which, again I invite you to read and comment on.
It seems to me that you are a man with a certain measure of genuine faith in Christ, but due to the deceitfulness of your heart and the pressures of this culture in which we have been raised, you have a very modern mind. The modern mind isn't all bad. As I said yesterday, most moderns abhor and do not tolerate racism. That is a "good" thing. But that is just a start - and all our "good deeds" are nothing but filthy rags - next to the holiness of God. The modern mind has a knack for triviliazing the complex when it suits them, and making extremely complex the simple when it suits them. The modern mind takes a fairly straitforward passage of Scripture like Proverbs 1:7 ("The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge but fools despise wisdom and discipline.") and then somehow, by jumping through a ton of intellectual hoops, justifies why teaching kids to fear the Lord in the public school system can not be done - but its ok because the state isn't really mandating anything that goes directly against God (Oh, really), and somehow kids are still learning true knowledge. This is of course an argument that either has false premises or an invalid form or both. The simple truth remains that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge - so if a student is to learn any real valuable knowledge, it must be in the context of the fear of the Lord. It is that simple.
The "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's" argument for enforcing the ungodly law of the land (teachers not being permitted to vocally acknowledge God) is a classic case of simplifying the complex. I will not at this moment do a hermaneutical study of that passage of Scripture. But I think that it is complex and great care needs to be taken so that the Scripture is not taken out of context. Using your logic (which oversimplified the passage), Peter and Paul would have stopped preaching immediately when the authorities told them to stop! And then, where would we be?! But, thanks be to God, Peter replied to the authorities, "We must obey God, not men!" The modern mind of the "Enlightenment" is one which is not based on faith, but rather reason. Now, I do believe we need to be able to reason well, but anything that is not of faith is sin. So, the modern mind is depraved and needs to be renewed by the Word of God (Romans 12:2).
Here is reality: Teachers can do nothing of value without Christ. Indeed, teachers can not even take their next breath, much less provide valuable knowledge, understanding, and wisdom to children, but for the grace of God. Therefore, in appreciation to God and out of obedience to His commands, teachers ought to acknowledge God in word, thought, and deed. The psalmist said (under the inspiration of God Almighty), "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so." And in other places, "Praise the Lord." Notice, "praise the Lord" is a command, not just a good idea. Indeed, God inhabits the praises of His people. In other places in the Psalms, it says to let the praise of God be heard and the praiseworthy deeds of God must be taught to the next generation. To neglect this duty is to treat God with contempt. Just as it would be wrong to neglect to teach kids how evil racism and the Holocaust were - it would be wrong to neglect to teach kids the law of God and the praiseworthy deeds of God - of how God has worked on man's behalf, and on how He has promised deliverance to those who put their faith and trust in Him today. God, on His own authority, has mandated this. I am a witness to this truth (that is I have heard from Almighty God on this and so testify to you). More importantly, the Holy Spirit testifies to this truth. He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.
More reality: The Supreme Court has decided that teaching children to pray and to revere and obey the Word of God is unconstitutional. The ACLU has effectively declared war on the church. Sadly, many in the church are apathetic to this, as you have pointed out yourself. Sadly, many more in the church have decided to compromise: that is to play by the rules of the Supreme Court and the ACLU, so that they would not lose their "influential" positions (as if God needs you to begin with). The catch is, the Supreme Court and the ACLU will only allow you to retain your position as long as you are not too influential for the cause of Christ. The cultural mandates of the ACLU and the Supreme Court have gone directly against the cultural mandates of the Bible. To fail to recognize this is to deceive yourself. And how many times does the Bible warn against being deceived?!
A moral wrong can never ever be a civil right regardless of what the ACLU says, the Supreme Court says, or anyone else says. The Laws of Nature and of Nature's God do not permit it.
Proverbs 21:22 declares, "A wise man attacks the city of the mighty and pulls down the stronghold in which they trust."
Many modern evangelical American Christians agree with me 100% on all of this - but most of these people also are living with a defeatist attitude. Every once in a while, someone like Roy Moore stands up for righteousness, and then the ACLU and the rest of the secularists who have a vision for godless America, go to war against him - supposedly in the name of justice (which is really ironic, because without God there is no justice). So, most evangelical Christian Americans just shake their head, and comment that "its just too bad" and then go about their business - without doing anything about it.
Newsflash: The power of darkness is crumbling! See, here comes your God! He comes in power to save! By the power of God, as we lift high the cross of Christ with faith in God Almighty, He will accomplish His purposes. But if we shrink back in fear and in unbelief, and if we deceive ourselves into believing that by shrinking back and compromising we are actually being wise, then God will be most displeased. May God bless you as you seek to do His will on His terms without compromising. May God bless you as you seek to obey the cultural, social, and educational mandates outlined by God in His word - regardless of what any man has mandated. But may God frustrate you, discipline you, and reprove you if you do not live in submission to Him.
May we resolve to remember above all the cross - where Christ died for us.
I am praying for you.
In Christ's Love,
Dan Hillman
p.s. Quick question: Where do you attend church?
Note: In my meeting with Dr. Newsome, he defended his compliance with the Supreme Court and the ACLU by appealing to the Scriptures, "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's." In my mind, this argument is either invalid or has false premises or both. I do not believe that we can blindly follow whatever the government tells us to do when it conflicts with God's Word.

From: "Marcus J. Newsome"
CC: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx (not disclosing this person's email address)
Subject: RE: Reflections of our meeting
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2005 13:41:00 -0400
I appreciate the opportunity to meet and talk to you in person. I hope our discussion provoked both of us to continue our search for truth, knowledge, and understanding, which is revealed only through the Spirit of God. Thank you for the courteous and respectful manner in which you conducted yourself.
Even though you have questioned my faith, motives, actions, and stamped me with labels, I have chosen to make no such judgments about you or your faith.
To your credit, you are the most focused and determined young Christian I have met during my two year stay in Newport News. As I stated yesterday, I desire to know nothing about you except, Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
I pray that you continue to grow in wisdom and maturity.
Marcus Newsome
P.S. I will pass your request on to Ann regarding her notes.
From: Dan Hillman
Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2005 6:24 PM
Subject: Response
Dear Dr. Newsome,
Heeding my wife’s wise advice and the restraint that I believe the Holy Spirit has required of me, I have taken these past several days to think through and pray about your response before responding once again. I think you would agree that my wife was wise to encourage me to "sleep on it" for a few days. And now, by God’s grace, having patiently restrained myself and having had the opportunity to think and pray and rest (and I hope that you have had similar opportunity), I am ready to engage in this discussion, which, as you well know, I believe is of the utmost importance. May God Almighty give us both confessed hearts and ears to hear what it is that He would have us to do.
And now, to respond to you directly.
Among other things in your reply to me, you said, "Even though you have questioned my faith, motives, actions, and stamped me with labels, I have chosen to make no such judgments about you or your faith."
Sir, with all due respect, there are two contradictory statements in this sentence.
In the first statement, you made a certain judgment about me (that I have questioned your faith, motives, actions, etc).
In the second statement, you deny having made any judgments about me.
I believe that, as Christians, we ought to be logical. Educators especially have a duty to model for children how to form arguments based on logic. Ideally, as part of the educational process, children would learn – among other things – how to detect and expose fallacies in arguments and how to construct valid syllogisms. I would say that our society’s future depends on it. (Incidentally, this would be accomplished in the Dialectic stage of a student's classical education).
Secondly, while I freely admit that I have questioned your faith, motives, and actions, I would challenge the notion that I have "stamped you with labels." I have made observations about you, analyzed those observations, and have used words to describe that which I have observed. If you want, you can call such word usage "stamping with labels," but I would call it an analysis and a description. To which "labels" do you object? I would guess that you are objecting to the "modern" label. Is this accurate or did you have something else in mind that I am simply not seeing?
But more importantly, why the defensiveness?
When Jesus taught us, "Judge not, lest ye be judged," he was talking about a particular dark and evil attitude. He was confronting self-righteousness and meanness. Some people say, "The wrath of God is coming, and I’m glad, because you are going to pay the price for your sins." Jesus taught us not to have that attitude.
And I do not.
Jesus was not telling us to be unobservant and naïve. When we consider the whole counsel of Scripture, we see that Christ gives us commands on how to handle conflict. He does not teach us to assume the best about people. On the contrary, he teaches us that people are all sinners. He does not teach us to be passive or to close our eyes to sin.
In Matthew 18:15, Jesus said, "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you."
In order to do this, we obviously have to use good judgment. That means that we can and should recognize sin – whether it be flagrant or subtle. In 1 Corinthians 5:12, the Apostle Paul says, under the inspiration of God Almighty, "What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?"
God has called us together as brothers in Christ and as friends. God has called us to be ambassadors for Him. I want to reaffirm to you that in Christ’s name, I extend to you my friendship, kindness, and charity. My desire for you is that you would be empowered as you do God’s will. It is also my desire that all the children of Newport News would come to the saving knowledge of Christ, and as His disciples to grow in true knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. I want the Holy Spirit to be acknowledged and made welcome in the Newport News Public Schools. This is surely God’s will.
Up until now, you have not really answered my arguments properly. Had a trained logician been present at our meeting or read our correspondence, he would have surely noticed several red herrings in your replies to me. I would ask you to discipline yourself to reply to my argument point by point. If my reasoning is invalid, expose it directly, as I exposed your invalid reasoning (when you made a judgment about me and then claimed that you hadn’t made a judgement about me). If I have a false premise, expose it.
My three big questions to you that I would very much like you to answer clearly and directly are these:
1. Is it your goal to have the Holy Spirit welcome in the Newport News Public Schools? This is a "Yes" or "No" question.
2. Assuming that your answer to the first question is yes, what is your strategy to arrange for the school to be ready to welcome the ministry of the Holy Spirit? I’d like a clear response with Scriptural support, valid deductive reasoning, and strong inductive reasoning.
3. This goes with question 2 somewhat: Do you agree with me that the only three possible options that you have are either to quit, to not quit and begin to declare the gospel, or to embrace the "trojan horse" idea? Why or why not?
As a citizen of Newport News and more importantly as a fellow disciple of Christ, I am calling you to account. God is actively working in our community, redeeming sinners to Himself! Everything we do ought to be for His glory. There are spiritual authorities and powers that I believe are made manifest through politics and economics. These authorities have declared war on the church. There is no neutral ground. And while we debate all of this, children are being raised in an institution that does not nourish authentic Christian discipleship and wisdom. Indeed, it is illegal for a Christian teacher to encourage a student to follow Jesus Christ. If we do not humbly submit to God and dogmatically declare the gospel in love, we will end up fighting against God. In order to justify ourselves, we will probably abandon logic altogether and deny the truth that there is no neutral ground. Indeed, millions in America have already done this.
And children will suffer for it.
If I am wrong, then show me how I am wrong using Scripture.
Just this past week, at Peninsula Community Chapel, Pastor Tom Kenney preached on the need for God’s presence to go with us. In Exodus 33, Moses declared to God, "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here." "Here" was in the desert. "Here" was the place that they would die. So, Moses was effectively saying, "Unless your Presence goes with us, we might as well die." And God was pleased with Moses.
It is impossible to please God without faith and courage. It is time for Christians to quit going with the flow and blending in with our culture. It is time to establish a distinctively Christian community and to call unbelievers to repentance and faith. I want to support you. But I need to know for what you are fighting. In this nation, we are in a battle over ideas. Sadly, too many Christians seek to please people and will not engage in this battle. When Christians are silent and ungodly people are aggressive, we get societies like Nazi Germany and Communist Russia. We will surely reap what we sow.
Galatians 6:14 – "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." I am continuing to lift you up in prayer. My prayer for you is that God's Kingdom would come and the God's will would be done in your heart, in your mind, in your life, and in your speech on Earth as it is in Heaven. My prayer is that you may lead courageously and in humble submission to our Lord Jesus Christ according to the social, cultural, and educational mandates that He has specifically outlined and commanded in His Word, and that many people will be redeemed by the Lord due to the influence of God's work in you and through you. Amen. Let it be so.
Lift high the Name of Jesus!
In Christ’s Love,
p.s. An essay that you may find worth reading that might help you make the Newport News Public Schools a world class educational facility is "The Lost Tools of Learning" by Dorothy Sayers. But I believe that what I have addressed is of greater importance. Anyhow, the essay could be found at this link: http://www.brccs.org/sayers_tools.html

Redeeming Education
Notes and Concerns from Dan Hillman to Dr. Marcus Newsome

Preface: These were the notes that I used as a guide when I met with Dr. Marcus Newsome on August 17, 2005 to discuss the need for the proclamation of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Newport News Public Schools. I gave Dr. Newsome a copy of these notes and a copy of The Paideia of God by Douglas Wilson. Dr. Newsome confesses to believe in Christ. I believe there is definately a certain degree of genuine faith in his heart. However, as we are all aware, he obviously does not openly and outspokenly declare the gospel in the public schools. The ACLU and the Supreme Court would not allow it. I, on the other hand, demand it. And I believe that I have God's authority.

First: Respect needs to be established. I intend to be direct in this meeting. Due to my overwhelming concern for children, I do not intend to mince words. Let it be established from the start that my tough words are being spoken with the children in mind. Let it not be forgotten that I am committed, man to man, to treating you with Christian kindness and charity, as God Himself gives me grace and strength to do so. I offer you my friendship – even though I may or may not offer support to that which you are trying to accomplish.

Aristotle has said, "The fate of empires depends on the education of youth." Abraham Lincoln has said, "The philosophy of the classroom in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next."

As a teacher, these truths cause me to tremble. Before going further, are you a believer in Jesus Christ? Also, do you believe that the Bible is the inspired, infallible, authoritative word of God? After being convicted and sentenced to death for corrupting the youth of Athens, Socrates spoke these words to those who voted for his acquittal:

When my sons are grown up, I would ask you, O my friends, to punish them; and I would have you trouble them, as I have troubled you, if they seem to care about riches, or anything, more than about virtue; or if they pretend to be something when they are really nothing, - then reprove them, as I have reproved you, for not caring about that for which they ought to care, and thinking they are something when they are really nothing. And if you do this, both I and my sons will have received justice at your hands. (Apology)

Recognizing how powerful the medium of education is in molding our society, I define classical Christian education (which I am arguing is the only education worth obtaining): The cultivation of wisdom and virtue, nourishing the soul on truth, goodness, and beauty, by means of the Liberal Arts, so that, in Christ, the students are equipped with the tools of learning and are better able to glorify God. If education is to have any value whatsoever, it can only have value if teachers are teaching that which God would have them teach, in the manner in which God would have them teach it, with the grace God gives to teach it, and with the authority that God gives to teach it – in humble submission to Christ. Indeed, anything of value that is ever taught and/or learned is done so by the grace of God. Learning to appreciate God should be the central mission of education.

Let us discuss the above definition and claim. What do you think?

Proverbs 1:7 says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline."

Common sense (which is given to us by God since we have been created in His image – so we could call it "God-sense") says that one of the ideals of education is to cultivate wisdom.

In the 2nd chapter of Proverbs, we are told how to acquire wisdom:

Accepting Solomon’s words (i.e. Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, and surely all the other teachings of the Torah that Solomon certainly would have taught)
Storing up commands (i.e. 10 Commandments, Proverbs)
Applying heart to understanding
Calling out for insight
Crying aloud for understanding
Looking for it as for silver
Searching for it as for hidden treasure

To those who do this, it is promised that they gain the following:

Knowledge, understanding, and wisdom
A sort of salvation from wicked men
A sort of salvation from the adulteress
Life in the land

(Note that this sort of salvation is not necessarily eternal salvation.)

There are many problems and obstacles preventing this from happening in the public school systems - including Supreme Court rulings, the ACLU, the ideology of the power players on the far left, traditionalists (who are trying to compromise with the left - but refusing to assert God's Word), parents who do not care, Eminem encouraging kids to rebel, adults who defend Eminem, ideas that morals are relative, ideas the homosexuality is to be accepted and celebrated, etc. We must understand the situation for what it is. Education (and, indeed, every aspect of our lives) is fundamentally a religious experience.

First of all, we are created in the image of God in a universe that has been created by God. That God of Nature has ordered that things be done according to a certain order – which of course reflects the nature and character of himself. We see beauty, order, and creativity in Creation, and the thinking person who has had knowledge revealed to him concludes that God is a God of beauty, order, and creativity. But education is a religious experience. As in everything else in life, someone or something is being worshipped. There are spiritual strongholds in high places that are insisting on being worshipped. Creeds are being taught to kids. The question is, "Which ones?" Kids are being taught to dedicate their lives to some ideas. The question is, "Which ideas?" The notion that a school is neutral when it comes to morality, religion, politics, and ideas is absolutely ludicrous.

The good news is that more and more, the everyday people are beginning to see that. I am convinced that those in control already know that. But they keep on spreading the lie of neutrality – so that they can remain in control. There is no neutral ground. A spiritual war is waging. God has given cultural mandates throughout the Bible for which believers must contend. Either Christian dogma will be proclaimed and we will live in submission to Christ and education will be brought under His rule and authority, or we will live in rebellion against Christ, and by doing so, we will teach children in word and deed, to live in rebellion against Christ. People will not call it "rebellion against Christ." They will deceive themselves and others with the lie of neutrality.

Hebrews 1:1-3 declares, "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word." The emphasis is my own. But this is the Word of God. Christ is heir of all things and sustains all things by his powerful word. There is authority and power in the word of God. God spoke the creation into existence. God’s powerful word sustains all things. His word keeps families together – even through the hard times of life. There is life in His word. His word never returns void but accomplishes what it is set out to do.

Plato once said (and I paraphrase), "Let us find the sayings of the most wise, most intelligent people so that we could have guidance through life. But if ever in history, God has spoken, then all the wisdom of men falls silent."

The Enlightenment project is failing. It is time to humbly submit to the Word of God.

Consider this argument:

All people who teach or learn real knowledge, understanding, and wisdom, are people who fear the Lord. Contrapositive: People who do not fear the Lord do not teach nor learn real knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.
A true education is one in which students learn real knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. i.e. true education = acquisition of real knowledge, understanding, and wisdom
Those who do not fear the Lord can not offer nor receive a true education.

I am assuming that you know the difference between validity and truth, but maybe I should not assume that. I did not understand the difference until last year – and I am a degreed engineer and an analytical Christian who has spent considerable time thinking about philosophy. All this to say that my above argument is valid – absolutely. (I even drew a Venn Diagram to make sure of its validity). If my conclusion is false, then it is due to a false premise. If this is the case, then I challenge you to expose my supposed false premise. I am fully aware that non-Christians can and do teach other non-Christians facts and calculus, etc. But, so what? Proverbs is telling us that there is a certain kind of knowledge that we can acquire if we fear the Lord. This is what I call real knowledge. Anything that is not taught in the context of the fear of the Lord is meaningless at best.

So, what does this mean in real life? In my mind, God might lead you into one of two directions:

1. He will lead you to quit.
2. He will lead you to begin buck the powers that be and contend for the faith (as you are commanded to do so in the Book of Jude). You will proclaim God’s Word and cast the vision for the Christian enculturation of youth.

This will stir up a hornet’s nest. And I am not quite sure what would happen if you truly followed the Lord on this. One, you might get fired, but not before stirring things up – Roy Moore style. Two, an entire people might repent and turn to Christ – and you will have the favor of God as you do the will of God.

But regardless of what happens, God’s will for your life is to be found in Colossians 3:17 – "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." This is a command of God, not merely a nice idea. God has commanded that we do justly. No where does God ever say to surrender justice to the will of the masses. I know this is fundamentally un-American to say, but it is certainly the Christian thing to say. Can we really pray, "Let your will be done" if we are not willing to submit all of our labor to the Lord? Can we pray this with integrity if we are not willing to educate youth for the purposes of Christ and in the name of the Lord?

Bottom Line – There is a spiritual battle waging for the hearts and souls of children. There are strongholds of idolatry exalted in high places in our culture. We must not lift up our souls to any idol. Our faith and trust must be in Christ – and we must partner together with fellow Christian believers, especially parents, to labor for the cultivation of truly Christian culture and together to proclaim God’s Word to a lost generation – cultivating growth in Christians and providing the knowledge of salvation for unbelievers. (Matthew 28:18-20)

To these ends we must be vigilant, but we must understand that this must be done in the strength of the Lord as we rest in Him. (Hebrews 4:9-11) As we abide in Him, we will produce much fruit. Apart from Him we can do nothing. (John 15)

"Everything that is not of faith is sin." -Romans 14:23b

Suggested Reading List
The Holy Bible – especially Exodus, Deuteronomy, Proverbs, Luke, Romans, Ephesians, and Hebrews to start. The Bible is the authoritative word of God on all matters of life. Everything that we do ought to be for a distinctively Biblical purpose and cause. We need to form a theology on education then, and these are great books to study as we begin that process.
The Case for Classical Christian Education – by Douglas Wilson
The Paideia of God – by Douglas Wilson
Mere Christianity – by C.S. Lewis (by the way, I don’t totally agree with all Lewis has to say. Still he was a great Christian thinker, and has made great contributions to the world.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – by C.S. Lewis This is a great children’s book, and a great analogy of the gospel. I recommend it precisely because it is a children’s book. We need to have child-like faith if we are going to truly please God.
"Enlightenment Anxieties and the Classical Christian Task" – an essay by Andrew Kern
"The Fingerprint of God" – an essay by Andrew Kern
Anything else by Andrew Kern – check out the Monthly Meditation at http://www.classicalteachertraining.org/newsletter.html

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Getting Ready to Meet With Dr. Newsome

Well, I have been thinking about it, talking about it, praying about it, and writing about it. Now, I have an opportunity to do it.

As most of you know, God has burdened me for quite some time to dedicate myself to redeeming education for the glory of God. Abraham Lincoln once said, "The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of the government in the next." And Aristotle has said, "The fate of empires depends on the education of youth."

As a teacher, the magnitude of such statements causes me to tremble as I attempt to educate young people. I am absolutely in love with the philosophy of classical, Christian education, that is, the cultivation of wisdom and virtue, nourishing the soul on truth, goodness, and beauty, by means of the Liberal Arts (the Trivium and the Quadrivium), so that, in Christ, the students are equipped with the tools of learning and better able to glorify God. These are great ideas, but living up to them is another story. It is easy to change jargon. But merely changing jargon does not make a teacher great. I need God.

But as much as I enjoy pouring out my heart and my life for kids at Summit, my heart is burdened for the kids in public schools. They do not have the opportunity to have truth taught to them on a daily basis. In fact, much of what they learn in their experience in public schools is anti-Biblical. Certainly, kids are not being taught to put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. They are not being taught the Law of Moses. They are not being taught about the history of God's intervention with man. They are not being taught wisdom. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and they are not being taught to fear the Lord.

This is not just. With this burden on my heart, I wrote an email to the superintendent of the Newport News public school system a couple weeks ago - telling him about my concerns and challenging him to really dedicate all that he does to God's glory. This man has attended seminary. He has replied, asking me to set up a meeting so that we could meet face to face.

So, I see this as a great opportunity to make my voice (and really the voice of the church) heard concerning education. I intend to cast a vision of what education could be. I also intend to expose the invalid reasoning and false assumptions that govern the preaching of the gospel of tolerance, and to expose the injustices going on in the leftist-controlled government schools.

Fellow believers, pray for me as I set up this meeting. I want this to be a positive meeting. I am full of faith. I intend to be positive. I also am not looking to make any sort of compromise. I'm not trying to pull education toward a more "traditional, conservative" route. Rather, I intend to respectfully demand that all teachers would teach that which God would have them teach, in the manner that God would have them teach it, in the authority which God gives to teach in humble submission to Almighty God. This, of course, must include the faithful proclamation of God's Word and a commitment to prayer. There must not be any compromise. For the time is coming when men will no longer put up with sound doctrine, but will find teachers to tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. To not be lovingly dogmatic on the important central issues is to sin. If teachers do not teach that which God would have them teach, then the teachers are teaching nothing of value. If the public schools are not going to teach anything of value, then they should not receive any funding.

If any of you disagree with me about what I am trying to do, then let us debate. But let us all be transformed by the renewing of our minds as we read God's Holy Word and apply it to our lives, giving God glory with every breath. Finally, for some of you, maybe God would have you write letters to principals, superintendents, congressmen, parents, etc. Maybe God would have some of you attend school board meetings, where you can proclaim the gospel and God's vision for education, while pointing out all the problems in the public schools.

Honestly, I feel a little nervous about all of this. In no way am I trying to boast, but I think that I know a little bit what Martin Luther must have been feeling as he readied himself to nail the 95 Theses to that church door. Its kind of similar to the feeling you get when you are anticipating a race or a big game. But I know this is more important than that, and frankly, I am concerned that too many Christians are not engaged in this crucially important cultural war.

To God be all glory.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Values Education - The State vs The Family

Check this out.


Is this not abundantly obvious evidence that the left-wing establishment is systematically brainwashing kids with anti-biblical values without regard or "tolerance" for the wishes of parents who disagree with them?

All clear thinking people have realized that values are being taught in the public school arena. However, many of these people have not yet acknowledged - to themselves even - that this is not consistent with the idea which asserts that schools should teach "reading, writing, and arithmetic" and avoid teaching values altogether. Clear thinking people recognize that it is impossible and undesirable to avoid teaching values. By not teaching values, the teacher ends up teaching that values are not important. So, we can not get out of teaching values. Therefore, the values we teach ought to be just, noble, righteous, and good. I would say that the Gospel ought to be preached, for in Christ the whole universe is being held together through His powerful Word. We have been created to bring Him glory, so the entire purpose of education ought to be dedicated to His purposes.

But for those who say that the Gospel of Jesus Christ should not be preached in the school system, my question to you is this: Should the values that are being taught be in harmony with the Bible or against the Bible? Should tax dollars promote "values" that go against the teachings of Scripture? I would suspect that at very least, a fair and honest person would say that the values taught should not go against Scripture (I would hope). But then, how can so many people continue to support the left-wing establishment that is committed to the systematic anti-biblical brainwashing of kids.

Throughout the entire history of western civilization, the 10 Commandments and the values of the Bible have shaped our culture, our values, our laws, and our families. Never before in history has there been a significant push to accept gay marriage and a radical new family structure composed of mulitple dads and/or multiple moms. This is new. It goes against the Bible. It goes against the Laws of Nature. And it obviously does not have a proven track record. On the other hand, traditional marriage between one man and one woman based on the cultural mandate ordained by God Almighty in the Book of Genesis is a wonderful, blessed institution that has been enjoyed and celebrated for centuries. And now, in defiance of the Word of God; in defiance of the Laws of Nature; in defiance of the facts of history; our nation is being pressured to accept and support something totally insane. And my tax dollars are being used to promote this stupid, idiotic, godless agenda.

And a father who objects to his kindergarten kid being so indoctrinated is arrested and spends the night in jail. What's next? Shall we next set up tri-marriages, so that perverts who want to have a threesome their whole life should be allowed to marry each other. Three parents might after all be better than two. Next, we should brainwash kids with the idea that "family" is an archaic concept. Who needs a family? What we really need is a village! A village where everyone is having sex with everyone else and we have multiple dads and moms - none of whom really need to be committed. After all, they all have the right as Americans to walk out any time they want; that's obviously what our Founding Fathers were fighting for. And who am I to judge that this isn't right or good or just? How can I be so closed-minded and archaic? The village is responsible for raising children - not the family. And if a family objects to that, well, then the village will make life especially hard for that family. And if the village decides that a kid is ADD or ADHD, then no problem. Just give kids drugs! Get them hooked on Ritalin and Prozac. (Incidentally, some studies have shown that these prescribed drugs are just as dangerous if not more dangerous than cocaine). That will keep them in line. Never mind the fact that what the kid really needs is a Biblical family - one father, one mother. The kid really needs the 10 Commandments. Worship God. Work hard. Balance your life with appropriate rest. Do not kill, steal, lie, or cheat. Do not covet. Do not misuse the name of God. Put your trust in God. Accept responsibility. What the kid really needs is personal attention, discipline, and love.

I know; I know. I'm archaic and old-fashioned and closed-minded and dogmatic. I should really be more tolerant (i.e. I ought to passively accept Hillary Clinton's vision of America). I shouldn't fight for that for which Christ died. I should not impose Christ on people. I should let those who are against Christ impose their crap on a distracted, unsuspecting, conflicted, and all too often ignorant public. I should let those who have no regard for Christ control education and indoctrinate the children of the next generation with their anti-Biblical values without objection. I should be open-minded to the most inane and outrageous ideas.

John 14:6 - In reply, Jesus declared, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by me."

His truth will continue to march on - as long as I have breath. Glory! Hallelujah!