Daily Links and News

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The Importance of the Teacher

Posted by Bela Franklin on March 12, 2014 @ 7:35 PM

Does our Lord Jesus speak to the importance of a teacher?

Jesus states in Luke 6:40 that, "A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher." I believe this instruction sums up Jesus' own philosophy of education.
We cannot find anywhere else where Jesus specifically and personally mentions the training of the young, and impressionable. So, this must be very important.
So, if we adults want to be trained by godly teachers how much more should we want our children to be trained by men and women who not only rely on the Bible, but see the world around them through the lens of Scripture.
The pupil will be like the teacher – that is an idea to meditate on.

Why Do Christian Children Leave The Faith After 13 Years of Public School?

Posted by Bela Franklin on March 11, 2014 @ 2:16 PM

A well thought out article on the design and roots of public schooling and the effects on our children.

Click here for the full article!

Excerpt: 

Is this what’s happening? John Dewey, remembered for his efforts in establishing America’s current educational systems, was one of the chief signers of the 1933 Humanist Manifesto. The Humanists have been interested in America’s education system for nearly a century. They have been absolutely successful in teaching children that God is imaginary and contrary to “science.”

It appears Jesus was right when he said “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40).

Guard Your Heart

Posted by Bela Franklin on March 07, 2014 @ 8:41 PM
Proverbs 4:23 instructs us to guard our heart, above all else, "for it is the wellspring of life." How can our children guard their hearts?
What does guarding our hearts actually mean? The verses following Proverbs 4:23 give us some ideas. They include "[putting] away adversity," "[keeping] corrupt talk far from [our] lips," and keeping our feet from evil.
When it comes to our children, it is up to us as parents to help them learn how to guard their hearts, starting now. Partnering with a Christian school can be an excellent way to help ensure that your children are being taught how to walk in a manner that will help guard their hearts.
And in God's eyes, our children's hearts are valued beyond description.

A Great Reason for Christian Education - Steve Cornell

Posted by Bela Franklin on March 06, 2014 @ 8:23 PM

A Great Reason for Christian Education

 

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 - Harold Naylor

Posted by Bela Franklin on March 05, 2014 @ 7:16 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.

Dances with wolves

Posted by Bela Franklin on March 04, 2014 @ 10:30 AM

Here's a great article by John McArthur about the way Christians should approach risk and danger.  As parents looking after their children, we must tend to them wisely and bravely.  

Click here for the full article!

"[A] shepherd whose vision is myopic[:] He has never seen a wolf clearly with his own eyes. He therefore believes the threat of wolves is grossly exaggerated. Even though his sheep keep disappearing or getting torn to shreds by something, he refuses to believe that wolves are the ones harming his flock. He declares he is tired of hearing shrill wolf warnings from others. Finally concluding that people’s “negativity” toward wolves poses a greater danger to his flock than the wolves themselves, he takes out his reed and plays a gentle tune to lull the lambs to sleep."

 

The Ultimate Reason for a Christian School Education - By John Fedele of DiscoverChristianSchools.com

Posted by Bela Franklin on February 28, 2014 @ 2:30 PM

In these ever changing times I find it interesting to read the variety of “reasons” given to parents in considering a Christian School education. The fact that Christian schools have weekly chapels, memorize Scripture, study the Bible, or that our schools are safe places for kids, or that there is a positive learning atmosphere, those things are all important, but they are not the essence of a Christian school education. They are good, things, but they do not fully represent in my opinion what a Christian school education is really about.

The first and most important thing that you’re going to find in a Christian school is an education that is presented from an eternal perspective, meaning, students are taught about the reality that there is a God, and His will for each young person is to know him personally as Savior and then, to begin learning how they can become totally devoted disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

  • It’s an education about having children understand the need for a personal relationship with the Creator of the Universe, and how that Creator can profoundly impact and interact with their lives right here, right now as well as for the rest of their lives.
  • It’s not just about the sweet bye and bye or punching a ticket for heaven, but it’s coming to a deep awareness and a knowledge that a student’s life can make a difference right here, right now and that they are being equipped to impact God’s kingdom and ultimately, to influence the world in which they live.
  • It’s not about students learning to adjust or adapt to the culture, but rather having students learn how they can change the culture and ultimately the world wherever they go.
  • It is not about getting an education that prepares students to get into the best college, to get the best job, to make lots of money, so they can buy “stuff” and be happy. Getting a good education is important, don’t get me wrong, but if that is the end goal and the only goal, and our children are not equipped or prepared to live lives of meaning and service, to live lives that make a difference in the lives of others, then we have failed in our mission to truly educate them.

James Braley, noted Christian educator said it best, “It’s changed lives, changing lives!” It’s the impact of a teacher’s changed life, changing the individual lives of his or her students. And those students going out and doing the same.
Christian parents, isn’t that what you really want for your son or daughter? To have them grow in relationship with their Creator and live a life of purpose and meaning, having them being able to discern and discover God’s will for their lives and to have access to His blessings, goodness and favor, and not just simply “grab the gusto?” That’s what students will receive at a Christian school, an education that is from an eternal perspective based on a personal relationship with God that will be lived out in some kind of service to the kingdom of God and to others. It is an education not only of the mind, but of the heart as well, to love God, and to love and serve others.
An education for an eternity! The ultimate reason to consider a Christian school education!

Christians and Public Education

Posted by Bela Franklin on February 27, 2014 @ 6:31 PM

 An insightful and well supported piece by S. Michael Craven on both public and Christian education.

Click here for the full article

Excerpt: "F. W. Parker, the so-called father of progressive education and inspiration for John Dewey (an educational reformer), told the 1895 convention of the National Education Association (NEA) that 'the child is not in school for knowledge. He is there to live, and put his life, nurtured in the school, into the community.' According to Parker, the family home and religious faith must give way to a "grander vision" for society that is cast by the state. Recent initiatives promoting acceptance of homosexual conduct, historical revisionism, multiculturalism, and the like reveal the antireligious and anti-Western nature of this 'vision.'"

The Glory of God and the Life of the Mind - Albert Mohler

Posted by Bela Franklin on February 13, 2014 @ 1:56 PM

A great article by Dr. Mohler expressing the value of christian education and the need for an informed Christian world view.

http://www.albertmohler.com/2010/11/12/the-glory-of-god-and-the-life-of-the-mind/

Excerpt: "The fact that God would command that we love him with our minds indicates in a most profound and unmistakable sense that our Creator has made us to know him in order that we would love him and to seek his glory above all else. Understood in this light, our intellectual capacity and the discipleship of the mind are to culminate in the development of a Christian worldview that begins and ends in the glory of the self-revealing God of the Bible."

Friday - November 16, 2012

Posted by Bela Franklin on November 16, 2012 @ 7:42 PM

Take a look at a Bible course curriculum developed by The Christian Academy's Bob Walton.  Another example of the excellent teachers in Christian education!

Click here!

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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.