Daily Links and News

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DISCOVER CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS

Posted by Bela Franklin on May 21, 2014 @ 8:19 PM

By Harold Naylor, Jr., 


Critical thinking, character education, safety and security, uncovering God-given talents and passions, and developing a Christian view of the world. These are some of the reasons Christian parents invest large sums of money for tuition in a local Christian school.

However, most (90% by some estimates) evangelical parents put their children in the local public school. They (fondly) remember their own school days and declare, "I went to public school and I turned OK."

These parents, and the ones that desire for their children to be "salt and light" in the local school are the reason for the launching of http://www.discoverchristianschools.com/ , a communications initiative to speak directly to parents about the total education of their children.

WORLD magazine's founder, Joel Belz, recently described www.DiscoverChristianSchools.com as “...a notable effort to help parents discover the good things happening on the school front.”

Schools need to band together to get the word out that the local Christian school is the best partner a parent can find for the training of their child. This communications effort also helps schools crystallize and amplify their message as they seek to put critical information on their own web site and into the hands of prospective parents.

If you are a Christian school leader, join our efforts and take advantage of our member benefits by becoming a member today!  Click here to learn more!
 

Why Consider Christian Schooling?

Posted by Bela Franklin on May 20, 2014 @ 9:37 PM

Submitted by Mary Louise Everhart


Christian schools exist in many formats and are governed in a variety of ways. Believers are often put off by the expense and inconvenience of the local Christian school or feel the quality of education is compromised to make room for lessons in faith. To be sure, careful research is called for when exploring Christian school options. There are solid arguments, both biblical and practical, in favor of Christian schooling.

God’s word is taught.
Deuteronomy 11:18-19 presents a clear mandate to saturate children’s minds with the Word of God. In Christian schools the Bible forms the foundation for all other texts and the truth of scripture is integrated into all academic disciplines. Students learn to inquire and decide through the lens of obedience to scripture. They learn to think while grounded in God’s ultimate truth.

The school shares your valuesA formidable partnership between school, home and church creates an environment in which biblical attitudes and values are consistently reinforced. Behaviors like respect, patience and thoughtfulness are applauded not mocked. Teachers who love and fear the Lord can offer students timely encouragement and appropriate correction. Christian schools have become a safer emotional and spiritual place for students to grow.

Academic achievementRigorous academic experiences need not be sacrificed in exchange for the Christian school experience. Many Christian schools are able to engage students in challenging courses while also giving them opportunity to explore individual gifts and creative talents. Parents would do well to investigate curriculum choices, college admission success and other post high school plans of any Christian school. Increasingly, Christian schools are also able to meet the educational needs of students with other kinds of learning issues.

Christian schools are often accused of being “hothouses” where students are unnecessarily and artificially insulated from the forces of the secular world. To be sure students are protected in Christian school. They are also grounded in God’s word and nurtured in their ability to articulate their faith. This strong biblical foundation better equips them to handle and refute the discrepant ideas they will meet when they have grown ready to appropriately interface with the culture.

Parents are encouraged to examine the schools in their community and pray about the educational environment they select for their children.

For additional information on the value of Christian schools and for assistance in locating Christian schools in your area visit www.DiscoverChristianschools.com

I Believe in Education!

Posted by Bela Franklin on May 19, 2014 @ 7:19 PM

Commencement Address by

Everett Piper
President, Oklahoma Wesleyan University


In a recent address to the graduates of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Dr. Piper began by saying, "I believe that the best education is one which is tested by time, confirmed by experience, validated by reason, and ultimately grounded in Scripture."

Dr. Piper also made several other "I believe . . ." statements to his listening audience, and now, by extension, to his reading audience.

I believe that the academy is the gate keeper of our individual virtue and our national conscience. 

I believe that all intellectual and moral training must be anchored in our Creator who endows us with the rights of life and liberty and that if we build education on any foundation but Him we will lose our conscience and shortly thereafter lose our freedom, our joy, and our ability to pursue happiness.

I believe that our future lies in the hearts and minds of today’s students and that all cultures are but one generation away from irrelevancy and extinction.

I believe that what is taught today in the classroom will be practiced tomorrow in our churches, our companies, our communities and our country at large.

I believe in absolutes and that if we don’t teach them, learn them, and cherish them that we will be cast about by every wave of human desire, political promise, and selfish ambition.


A Great Reason for Christian Education

Posted by Bela Franklin on May 15, 2014 @ 7:18 PM

By Steve Cornell

Senior pastor, Millersville Bible Church, Millersville PA

In the very near future, America will cease to be the primary sending nation for Christian missionaries. Already large numbers of missionaries are being sent from places like Latin America, India and South Korea (to name a few). They are even being sent to reach Americans. Why is it that evangelical Churches in America are full (especially in their Mega forms) and yet a steadily decreasing number of Christians answer the call to take the gospel to the ends of the earth? The answer might surprise you. Let me explain.

A major ideological shift: The tyranny of tolerance

In the last twenty to thirty years, we (in the West) have experienced a major ideological shift with regard to religious truth. America, as a free nation, has supported the existence of a diversity of religions. But, with the recent shift, we have moved to a required acknowledgment of the validity of each religion as a truth option. Tolerance, we are told, mandates this outlook on religious beliefs. And, in the new system, no exceptions to tolerance will be tolerated. Tolerance is considered the peacekeeping virtue of a pluralistic society. It is the primary quality for maintaining pluralistic civility. Yet while peace and respect for diversity are important, gaining them through socially imposed tolerance is misguided and dangerous. It is also a departure from the proper understanding of tolerance itself.

The true virtue of tolerance is unnecessary when people surrender or silence commitments to real differences. Tolerance only becomes a functional virtue when two people or groups of people strongly disagree and yet treat each other with respect. Where disagreements either do not exist or do not matter, there is no need for tolerance.

Ironically, the tolerance being required today is a form of intolerance. It requires people to keep their differences to themselves. It promotes a monolithic culture—where everyone is increasingly forced to conceal the multi-cultural dimensions of society. What we end up with is diversity we can’t talk about lest we offend those who disagree. An entire generation of Americans have been socially conditioned under the tyranny of tolerance.

Pressure on religious communities:

In the cause of promoting and protecting pluralistic civility, social pressure is particularly placed on religious communities to de-emphasize all positions that could be perceived as claims to superiority among the religions of the world. Under the tyrannical rule of the twisted version of tolerance, people have been conditioned to be deeply suspicious of attempts to privilege one religious tradition or teaching as normative for all. If a religious tradition claims to have special access to truth about God, it is considered intolerant no matter how respectfully it relates to others. Absolute religious and moral opinions are considered potential threats to pluralistic civility.

Division of truth: Personal and public

Social conditioning based on radical tolerance is strengthened by the division of truth into personal and public categories. Moral and religious opinions are widely viewed as matters of personal taste like preferences for chocolate over vanilla. Media and academic elite (the primary means for social conditioning) have tried to persuade the public that moral and religious opinions (unlike scientific facts) are merely personal matters we should keep to ourselves. An unsuspecting public has been taught to marginalize and trivialize religion and morality into a private sphere irrelevant to life in the real world.

Public education: learning environments for the tyranny of tolerance

Participants in public learning institutions face an imposed rule of tolerance that requires acceptance and celebration of each person’s moral and religious beliefs and practices. In his extensive research concerning the thinking and beliefs of American teenagers, Professor Christian Smith suggested that among today’s young students, “The strategy for dealing with religious and moral disagreement is: ‘You don’t go there’” (Soul Searching). To avoid hurt feelings or unnecessary conflict, young people have learned to avoid particulars and absolutes and talk about everything in strictly non-offensive ways. This is the safer option if they wish to be accepted rather than ostracized.

This social conditioning has produced in our young people (and in many adults) in our churches an in-articulacy with regard to the faith. A learned capacity to talk about differences becomes unnecessary in a society that asks us to avoid speaking in particular or absolute categories. As a result, large numbers of people are not only unable to articulate what they believe and why they believe it, they are guarded against beliefs that are too particular or in any way exclude or offend the beliefs of others.

Even if they actually hold to particular moral or religious beliefs, they have learned to suspend their commitment to them in most social circumstances. And, since they have been taught that moral and religious opinions are merely matters of personal taste, why stir things up over such matters? You don’t go there.

Exceptions to the rule of tolerance:
Exceptions to this rule of tolerance are found in areas where society decides acceptable views for everyone. The primary tools of influence on these matters come through the media and academia. Elitists in these fields pressure others to see things their way or face ridicule and condescension. Uniformity of opinion is required for all who wish to be considered open-minded and progressive. Those who see things differently will be labeled (among other things) narrow, backwards and right-wing conservatives.

For examples, homosexual lifestyles and gay marriage must be considered acceptable. Abortion is a fundamental right and not the taking of innocent life. All religions lead to God in their own way and the value of religion is found not in its truthfulness but in the benefit it brings to adherents. As long as you are sincere in your efforts to serve God, it doesn’t matter what religion you follow. Conversely, one must never publically refer to what the bible teaches—outside of Church at least. Those who are brave enough to do this should expect to hear collective groans and sighs about the presence of “one of those radical Christians.”

No need for evangelism or apologetics classes:

Under this kind of social conditioning, it becomes unnecessary to be trained in moral argument or to learn how to constructively engage someone in a discussion about different beliefs. Young people in particular might question the value of such training. Why talk about things that could be perceived exclusive or violations of pluralistic civility. Some might even suspect hidden imperialistic agendas designed to oppress a minority group or to impose your politics on others. Let’s not go there.

A growing number of people actually feel that there is something morally repugnant about followers of one religion maintaining that they are correct in their beliefs and that sincere adherents of other religions are mistaken in what they believe. Most college students, for example, accept the idea of some creative force behind the existence of the universe. “What is a debated topic is how you move from this rather impersonal force to the beliefs of a particular religious tradition, and especially whether in affirming the truth-reliability of one path, you must stand against the truth-reliability of all other paths.” (Professor Daniel Liechty, Illinois State University). The new tension is not about belief in God but whether or not it is “safe” to believe in one absolute deity. The tyranny of tolerance has scared people into postures of neutrality. It feels safer to choose not to believe anything too conclusively but to hold all beliefs in their broadest terms. The by-product is a culture that has lost its ability to think, discuss and debate. “Whatever” has become the common response to differences on morality and religion. In this environment, it becomes increasingly hard to train people to share and defend their faith.

A new social etiquette

Social etiquette requires acknowledgement of the independent validity of every faith. Those who attempt to convert people to their religious beliefs are viewed as religious chauvinists. It’s not enough to maintain (as we should) that each person is free to follow and express his or her own religion. Now we must treat each religious belief as equally valid and abandon, as unacceptably arrogant, any attempt to convert others to a different religious opinion. Strangely, this approach “… forecloses on open-mindedness in the same breath by which it extols the virtues of open-mindedness. Both the irony and tragedy of this fierce intolerance stem from the fact that it is done in the name of tolerance” (D. A. Carson, God and Culture). The new mantra is: “No exceptions to tolerance will be tolerated”. Effect on Christian witness and missions Should we be surprised that Christians with a missionary faith feel intimidated by this attitude? How can they obey Jesus’ call to, “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19), without being considered rude and intrusive? Under the tyranny of tolerance, how should we think about Jesus statement, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the father but through me” (John 14:6)? Should we change Jesus’ words and make him say, “I am a way, a truth, and a life. People can come to the father through me or any other means they desire.”

It’s tempting to feel marginalized by the selective tolerance of our culture. The primary object of intolerance is Christianity. Islam doesn’t receive the same level of ridicule and hostility. Professors who openly mock Christianity wouldn’t dare attack the Islamic faith in university classrooms. But like the first followers of Christ, we must not compromise the message of salvation. In a fiercely pluralistic and polytheistic Roman society, the early apostles testified of Jesus that, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). They did not offer this as a personal opinion among many equally valid options. This was proclaimed as a fact of prophecy and history.

When Jesus described his true disciples in the beatitudes (see Matthew 5:10-16), he included persecution as distinguishing mark (cf. John 15:20). Persecuted people live provokingly different lifestyles in the world. They are true difference-makers and Jesus picks up on this when he reminds his disciples that they are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. He also cautioned them not to follow the temptation to dilute the salt or hide the light. The followers of Jesus must be like well-lit cities on a hill that cannot be hidden. We must capture strategic places of influence for Jesus and not allow ourselves to be marginalized by the pressures of selective intolerance.

Witness with wisdom and grace:

Considering the atmosphere I have described, Christian witness should be offered with wisdom and grace. Scripture that is particularly applicable exhorts us to, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:5-6). Given the prevailing distortions of tolerance and the misdirected attitude toward religious beliefs, it is also wise to emphasize the inclusive parts of our message. The good news of salvation is meant for all people.

At least seven truths related to the gospel apply to all people - without exception.
1. God has demonstrated his love for all people (John 3:16).
2. God desires the salvation of all people (I Timothy 2:3-4).
3. God has made provision for the salvation of all people (I John 2:2).
4. God commands all people to repent (Acts 17:30).
5. God will hold all people accountable for their response (Acts 17:31).
6. God takes no pleasure in anyone’s rejection of his provision (Ezekiel 18:23,32).
7. God will save all people who place faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:16).

Final note: A Good reason for Christian Education

Christian Schools and colleges provide learning contexts for our children and youth to talk freely and openly about absolute moral and religious beliefs. They do not have to suspend their commitments to these beliefs or feel unsafe to discuss them. They are able to learn how to articulate why they believe what they believe. Many who work in these environments are discouraged due to decreasing enrollments and funding. Yet the work being done in Christian education is vital to the advancement of the gospel and the preservation of liberty and justice for all. Keep on providing the context for faith to flourish!

Questions for discussion:
1. What are the long-term affects for those who spend large amounts of time in environments where they learn to avoid talking about particulars and absolutes?
2. Would a learned ability to suspend commitment to one’s belief lead to moral compromise in similar circumstances?
3. How can churches address these matters and the issue of inarticulacy regarding the faith?
4. How does Christian teaching that all people are created equal in the image of God serve as the only reliable basis for true tolerance?
5. Does tolerance ask too little of people?
6. Would it be better to use the word respect instead of the term tolerance? If so, Why?
7. How would a call to radical neighbor love over tolerance be more socially transformative from a Christian perspective?
8. How do the salt and light metaphors relate to the roles of Jesus’ followers in the world?

A Great Reason for Christian Education

Posted by Bela Franklin on May 15, 2014 @ 7:18 PM

By Steve Cornell

Senior pastor, Millersville Bible Church, Millersville PA

In the very near future, America will cease to be the primary sending nation for Christian missionaries. Already large numbers of missionaries are being sent from places like Latin America, India and South Korea (to name a few). They are even being sent to reach Americans. Why is it that evangelical Churches in America are full (especially in their Mega forms) and yet a steadily decreasing number of Christians answer the call to take the gospel to the ends of the earth? The answer might surprise you. Let me explain.

A major ideological shift: The tyranny of tolerance

In the last twenty to thirty years, we (in the West) have experienced a major ideological shift with regard to religious truth. America, as a free nation, has supported the existence of a diversity of religions. But, with the recent shift, we have moved to a required acknowledgment of the validity of each religion as a truth option. Tolerance, we are told, mandates this outlook on religious beliefs. And, in the new system, no exceptions to tolerance will be tolerated. Tolerance is considered the peacekeeping virtue of a pluralistic society. It is the primary quality for maintaining pluralistic civility. Yet while peace and respect for diversity are important, gaining them through socially imposed tolerance is misguided and dangerous. It is also a departure from the proper understanding of tolerance itself.

The true virtue of tolerance is unnecessary when people surrender or silence commitments to real differences. Tolerance only becomes a functional virtue when two people or groups of people strongly disagree and yet treat each other with respect. Where disagreements either do not exist or do not matter, there is no need for tolerance.

Ironically, the tolerance being required today is a form of intolerance. It requires people to keep their differences to themselves. It promotes a monolithic culture—where everyone is increasingly forced to conceal the multi-cultural dimensions of society. What we end up with is diversity we can’t talk about lest we offend those who disagree. An entire generation of Americans have been socially conditioned under the tyranny of tolerance.

Pressure on religious communities:

In the cause of promoting and protecting pluralistic civility, social pressure is particularly placed on religious communities to de-emphasize all positions that could be perceived as claims to superiority among the religions of the world. Under the tyrannical rule of the twisted version of tolerance, people have been conditioned to be deeply suspicious of attempts to privilege one religious tradition or teaching as normative for all. If a religious tradition claims to have special access to truth about God, it is considered intolerant no matter how respectfully it relates to others. Absolute religious and moral opinions are considered potential threats to pluralistic civility.

Division of truth: Personal and public

Social conditioning based on radical tolerance is strengthened by the division of truth into personal and public categories. Moral and religious opinions are widely viewed as matters of personal taste like preferences for chocolate over vanilla. Media and academic elite (the primary means for social conditioning) have tried to persuade the public that moral and religious opinions (unlike scientific facts) are merely personal matters we should keep to ourselves. An unsuspecting public has been taught to marginalize and trivialize religion and morality into a private sphere irrelevant to life in the real world.

Public education: learning environments for the tyranny of tolerance

Participants in public learning institutions face an imposed rule of tolerance that requires acceptance and celebration of each person’s moral and religious beliefs and practices. In his extensive research concerning the thinking and beliefs of American teenagers, Professor Christian Smith suggested that among today’s young students, “The strategy for dealing with religious and moral disagreement is: ‘You don’t go there’” (Soul Searching). To avoid hurt feelings or unnecessary conflict, young people have learned to avoid particulars and absolutes and talk about everything in strictly non-offensive ways. This is the safer option if they wish to be accepted rather than ostracized.

This social conditioning has produced in our young people (and in many adults) in our churches an in-articulacy with regard to the faith. A learned capacity to talk about differences becomes unnecessary in a society that asks us to avoid speaking in particular or absolute categories. As a result, large numbers of people are not only unable to articulate what they believe and why they believe it, they are guarded against beliefs that are too particular or in any way exclude or offend the beliefs of others.

Even if they actually hold to particular moral or religious beliefs, they have learned to suspend their commitment to them in most social circumstances. And, since they have been taught that moral and religious opinions are merely matters of personal taste, why stir things up over such matters? You don’t go there.

Exceptions to the rule of tolerance:
Exceptions to this rule of tolerance are found in areas where society decides acceptable views for everyone. The primary tools of influence on these matters come through the media and academia. Elitists in these fields pressure others to see things their way or face ridicule and condescension. Uniformity of opinion is required for all who wish to be considered open-minded and progressive. Those who see things differently will be labeled (among other things) narrow, backwards and right-wing conservatives.

For examples, homosexual lifestyles and gay marriage must be considered acceptable. Abortion is a fundamental right and not the taking of innocent life. All religions lead to God in their own way and the value of religion is found not in its truthfulness but in the benefit it brings to adherents. As long as you are sincere in your efforts to serve God, it doesn’t matter what religion you follow. Conversely, one must never publically refer to what the bible teaches—outside of Church at least. Those who are brave enough to do this should expect to hear collective groans and sighs about the presence of “one of those radical Christians.”

No need for evangelism or apologetics classes:

Under this kind of social conditioning, it becomes unnecessary to be trained in moral argument or to learn how to constructively engage someone in a discussion about different beliefs. Young people in particular might question the value of such training. Why talk about things that could be perceived exclusive or violations of pluralistic civility. Some might even suspect hidden imperialistic agendas designed to oppress a minority group or to impose your politics on others. Let’s not go there.

A growing number of people actually feel that there is something morally repugnant about followers of one religion maintaining that they are correct in their beliefs and that sincere adherents of other religions are mistaken in what they believe. Most college students, for example, accept the idea of some creative force behind the existence of the universe. “What is a debated topic is how you move from this rather impersonal force to the beliefs of a particular religious tradition, and especially whether in affirming the truth-reliability of one path, you must stand against the truth-reliability of all other paths.” (Professor Daniel Liechty, Illinois State University). The new tension is not about belief in God but whether or not it is “safe” to believe in one absolute deity. The tyranny of tolerance has scared people into postures of neutrality. It feels safer to choose not to believe anything too conclusively but to hold all beliefs in their broadest terms. The by-product is a culture that has lost its ability to think, discuss and debate. “Whatever” has become the common response to differences on morality and religion. In this environment, it becomes increasingly hard to train people to share and defend their faith.

A new social etiquette

Social etiquette requires acknowledgement of the independent validity of every faith. Those who attempt to convert people to their religious beliefs are viewed as religious chauvinists. It’s not enough to maintain (as we should) that each person is free to follow and express his or her own religion. Now we must treat each religious belief as equally valid and abandon, as unacceptably arrogant, any attempt to convert others to a different religious opinion. Strangely, this approach “… forecloses on open-mindedness in the same breath by which it extols the virtues of open-mindedness. Both the irony and tragedy of this fierce intolerance stem from the fact that it is done in the name of tolerance” (D. A. Carson, God and Culture). The new mantra is: “No exceptions to tolerance will be tolerated”. Effect on Christian witness and missions Should we be surprised that Christians with a missionary faith feel intimidated by this attitude? How can they obey Jesus’ call to, “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19), without being considered rude and intrusive? Under the tyranny of tolerance, how should we think about Jesus statement, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the father but through me” (John 14:6)? Should we change Jesus’ words and make him say, “I am a way, a truth, and a life. People can come to the father through me or any other means they desire.”

It’s tempting to feel marginalized by the selective tolerance of our culture. The primary object of intolerance is Christianity. Islam doesn’t receive the same level of ridicule and hostility. Professors who openly mock Christianity wouldn’t dare attack the Islamic faith in university classrooms. But like the first followers of Christ, we must not compromise the message of salvation. In a fiercely pluralistic and polytheistic Roman society, the early apostles testified of Jesus that, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). They did not offer this as a personal opinion among many equally valid options. This was proclaimed as a fact of prophecy and history.

When Jesus described his true disciples in the beatitudes (see Matthew 5:10-16), he included persecution as distinguishing mark (cf. John 15:20). Persecuted people live provokingly different lifestyles in the world. They are true difference-makers and Jesus picks up on this when he reminds his disciples that they are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. He also cautioned them not to follow the temptation to dilute the salt or hide the light. The followers of Jesus must be like well-lit cities on a hill that cannot be hidden. We must capture strategic places of influence for Jesus and not allow ourselves to be marginalized by the pressures of selective intolerance.

Witness with wisdom and grace:

Considering the atmosphere I have described, Christian witness should be offered with wisdom and grace. Scripture that is particularly applicable exhorts us to, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:5-6). Given the prevailing distortions of tolerance and the misdirected attitude toward religious beliefs, it is also wise to emphasize the inclusive parts of our message. The good news of salvation is meant for all people.

At least seven truths related to the gospel apply to all people - without exception.
1. God has demonstrated his love for all people (John 3:16).
2. God desires the salvation of all people (I Timothy 2:3-4).
3. God has made provision for the salvation of all people (I John 2:2).
4. God commands all people to repent (Acts 17:30).
5. God will hold all people accountable for their response (Acts 17:31).
6. God takes no pleasure in anyone’s rejection of his provision (Ezekiel 18:23,32).
7. God will save all people who place faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:16).

Final note: A Good reason for Christian Education

Christian Schools and colleges provide learning contexts for our children and youth to talk freely and openly about absolute moral and religious beliefs. They do not have to suspend their commitments to these beliefs or feel unsafe to discuss them. They are able to learn how to articulate why they believe what they believe. Many who work in these environments are discouraged due to decreasing enrollments and funding. Yet the work being done in Christian education is vital to the advancement of the gospel and the preservation of liberty and justice for all. Keep on providing the context for faith to flourish!

Questions for discussion:
1. What are the long-term affects for those who spend large amounts of time in environments where they learn to avoid talking about particulars and absolutes?
2. Would a learned ability to suspend commitment to one’s belief lead to moral compromise in similar circumstances?
3. How can churches address these matters and the issue of inarticulacy regarding the faith?
4. How does Christian teaching that all people are created equal in the image of God serve as the only reliable basis for true tolerance?
5. Does tolerance ask too little of people?
6. Would it be better to use the word respect instead of the term tolerance? If so, Why?
7. How would a call to radical neighbor love over tolerance be more socially transformative from a Christian perspective?
8. How do the salt and light metaphors relate to the roles of Jesus’ followers in the world?

Fresh Air

Posted by Bela Franklin on May 14, 2014 @ 7:21 PM

When was the last time you encountered someone whose countenance and manner toward you literally felt like a breath of fresh air?

Do you ever find yourself wondering if you have that effect on others, or wishing that you did?

The truth is, the presence of God in our lives is meant to visible and felt by those around us. However, this doesn’t just happen. It takes a deliberate choice in the way we live and order our lives and priorities. It takes learning how to seek God with a WHOLE heart, mind, soul, and strength.

If you long for this kind of life for yourself and your children, then maybe, among other things, it is time to consider choosing a Christian education for your family.

We can help you find a Christian school and fulfill the directive we have been assigned as Christian parents.

 

By: Harold Naylor 

Daily Diligence

Posted by Bela Franklin on May 13, 2014 @ 7:38 PM

What are you teaching your children daily?

In Deuteronomy 6:7, parents are instructed to teach their children the word of God with diligence. In fact, parents are specifically instructed to teach their children throughout their entire day, from the time they rise in the morning until they go to bed at night.

And yet, most of us have either chosen or find ourselves forced to accept lifestyles that make obedience to God in this area of our lives virtually impossible. 

While God certainly understands the reasons that keep us from spending all day, every day with our children, He has not lessened His requirement of instilling His Word in them consistently and constantly from a very young age. We believe that choosing a Christian school for your child can help you fulfill the directives found in God’s Word.


DiscoverChristianSchools.com - Where Christian education is priceless!

 

By: Harold Naylor

Parenting With Vision

Posted by Bela Franklin on May 12, 2014 @ 7:22 PM

When was the last time you wrote down some of your parenting goals?

Raising kids with Christ-centered hearts is the greatest challenge Christian parents will ever face. Not only that, but it is not a challenge that is confronted and won in a day, week, or even a year. Rather, it takes many, many years of diligence, consistency, and prayer on the part of parents, and even then, success is not guaranteed.

This is why writing down your parenting goals or a vision for your family is so important. As the years pass and individual challenges come and go, it is important that we keep our eyes fixed on our ultimate goal.

Choosing a Christian education is a great way to start approaching the job of parenting with new direction, purpose, and a vision that includes God at the center.

 

By: Harold Naylor

Playing at Eternal Things

Posted by Bela Franklin on May 09, 2014 @ 7:17 PM

By: Paul T. Neal

I am sorry to say that I had not read any book by Frank Gaebelein until I recently picked up a copy of Exploring the Bible off of a friend’s library shelf. Reading this work reminded me of the value of the Christian classics just as we see the value of other classics in literature.

Gaebelein’s ideas on Christian education are significant and timeless. Based on an independent school model with a powerful faith component, he argues that the Bible can be a “unifying principle” in education. That sounds very much like our current terminology of integrating faith throughout our curriculum. And he believes that the effects of this would be eternal:

In its liberty to work out its own educational philosophy the independent school has a strategic opportunity to recover the bible as the unifying principle of modern education. Not all independent schools will choose to use their liberty for this purpose. But if only a few will make the choice whole-heartedly, influences of immeasurable value will enter our national life.

He also encourages taking the importance of integrating scripture throughout education seriously. Written in the preface of the 1950 edition, his warning rings true in the 21st century:

One thing is certain. In this day of intense and total political loyalties, the merely nominal in religious education is not enough. Only a school program and administration and faculty wholly committed to the preeminence of Christ through an educational philosophy centered in the Bible will suffice. Half-heartedness in Christian education is little more than playing at eternal things. And, like all trifling with that which is holy, it damages the soul.

Finally, in the preface of the initial edition written in the 1920s, he sounds as much like a prophet as he does an educator:

The chief sin of American education is a sin of omission. While our schools and colleges have room for all manner of studies, from Latin to athletic coaching, among all of these there seems to be no place for one study of supreme importance. The Bible is practically excluded from our national education.

The great thinkers in Christian schooling are worth revisiting. I would love to know how Gaebelien and other “Classic” authors have influenced some of you!

Children of the State

Posted by Bela Franklin on May 08, 2014 @ 7:28 PM

Don’t be surprised at socialized education’s product

Joel Belz - WORLD Magazine
Reprinted with permission

If you want a classic example of how fast a whole culture can be turned on a dime, redirected by 180 degrees, try this: Just when it seemed, through the 1980s, 1990s, and even well into the past decade, that a socialist mindset had been successfully put down in the United States, back it comes—with a vengeance.

"Free markets are better for everybody," Ronald Reagan had taught us. So we deregulated. We reformed welfare. We defeated Hillary's nationalized health care. We popularized tax cuts. We watched the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics collapse, and we applauded the market economy in Europe. Talk radio exploded.

And, as fallen humans are wont to do, we also abused our freedom.

Which always provides an excuse to those with socialist inclinations to argue that we need to be regulated again, that we need stacks of new rules to curb our excesses, and that government needs to be called in to make everyone behave. And that's why you find a newly muscled Uncle Sam these days shutting down big investment brokers, buying huge equity clout in traditional banks, and rumored to be ready to buy similar shares of Ford, Chrysler, and GM.

All that under a supposed pro-free market Republican administration! So nobody's going to be very surprised if under an Obama presidency there will be a redoubling of Sarbanes-Oxley, re-regulation of the airlines (and just about everyone else), universal health care, a new budget line for carbon and energy, restrictions on talk radio, and increased taxes to pay the staggeringly higher bills.

Much of that has happened, may I suggest, because we also long ago conceded the most critical territory of all. While strenuously wrestling over business and banking and health care and energy and a dozen other issues, we cavalierly handed over to the state a perpetual 90 percent share of the nation's educational interests. America regularly has about 50 million children enrolled in K-12 schools, and about 20 million more in colleges and universities—and while the pattern fluctuates a little, 90 percent of those 70 million young people regularly get a state-flavored view of reality.

Socialized medicine? Most of us recoil at the idea. Socialized airlines? Reminds us of Aeroflot. Socialized banks? When it happened last month, it terrified us.

But socialized schools? Nine out of ten of us patronize them regularly.

And we do so with na'ry a thought or concern about how such an arrangement affects next week's election, or the election after that, or the lifetime of elections to come.

I am blessed to have had parents who did look ahead. Half a century ago, my father said often: "If I fail to feed my children, the government will step in. If I don't house them, the government has programs to help. Of course, I don't intend to turn those duties over to the government. But I would much rather have the government feed and house my children than to have the government shape their minds."

That's why, if I were ever forced to become a one-issue person on the political front, my single issue would be freedom of choice in education. With a nine-to-one edge in value-shaping influence, why shouldn't the government be producing products who think government-sponsored-everything is best?

When I enthusiastically endorse the Christian school and home school alternatives, I don't do so primarily because of their effect on the electoral process. Christian education isn't about filling the registration rolls of the Republican party.

But it is about producing thoughtful and earnest citizens. The bells of freedom on every front traditionally ring more clearly where a biblical value system has been inculcated. No one should expect anything resembling such a result from secularist state-sponsored schools, which will naturally glorify the state. No one should be surprised when that's what happens.

So I say: Go get educated about what Christians are doing these days in education. Go online to discoverchristianschools.com, a notable effort to help parents discover the good things happening on the school front. Go to hslda.org to learn about the growing impact of home schooling families throughout the nation.

It's too late, to be sure, to have much impact on next week's election. But so long as there are more kids and future generations, and so long as they have minds and hearts to shape with God's great truth, it's not too late at all to make a difference for elections yet to come.

If you have a question or comment for Joel Belz, send it to jbelz@worldmag.com.

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Big Ideas to Consider:

1. There are basically two kingdoms: a kingdom of light and a kingdom of darkness. It seems strange to have those who walk in darkness educate children of light. It doesn't fit.

2. If Jesus Christ is Lord, then He is Lord of all. We cannot divide things into secular and sacred.

3. All truth is God's truth, and God's Word sheds light on our path. Only in His light can we see light. Education is not focused on possibilities but on certainties found in God's Word.

4. Deuteronomy 6 tells parents that, in all they do, they should provide a godly education 24/7.

5. Three key institutions that shape a child are the home, the church and the school. Children are served best when all three institutions point them in the same direction.

6. Only an education that has the liberty to address the whole child -- social, intellectual, emotional, physical AND spiritual -- reaches the possibility of excellence.

7. The best preparation for effective service is to be well grounded in one's mind before direct engagement of the culture.