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.


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