Why Our Schools Need Jesus

Apologist Ravi Zacharias recently asked, “Can you talk of education without first looking into the human heart?”  What he meant is that you cannot teach personal responsibility if you have no moral framework.  If you don’t comprehend what it really means to be human, you cannot identify evil.  And if you can’t identify evil, you have no way to define what is good.

Our education leaders and many politicians have long denied that there is a moral law by which to create a framework for justice.  They’ve offered up situational ethics and an ever-changing definition of good behavior and wellbeing which has failed to produce a kinder, gentler, more peaceful society.

More than anything else, what’s happened to our schools has spawned a worldview leading to mass rebellion, anger, and self-consumed bad behavior because nobody dares to say, “This is wrong!”  Until we admit that a moral law exists, we can never adequately confront evil.  At the moment there are too many in power who resist the idea of a moral law because it implies, rather demands, a lawgiver.  This they refuse to allow.

For that reason, we have for decades been sending out from our schools untold thousands of students who have very little conscience and no compelling reason to care about anyone but themselves.  Ethics, if they ever even consider it, means whatever they prefer for it to mean.  The result is a breakdown of civility across the land, and only the ideals of truth and peace brought by Jesus Christ can ever fix it.

How common is Common Core?

Common defense, commonwealth, common schools are all terms that we value in America because they represent our ideals for the good of all our citizens.  The question is, “Does the Common Core education initiative meet that standard?”  Was it truly representative of America’s values and the democratic way of determining our  governance?  Whenever the money and power that go with education reform are involved, it is always necessary to take a longer and much closer look before answering questions like these.

The nation was led to believe that this take-over of education was fully tried, tested, and affirmed by those who have been duly elected to make those decisions.  However, just as education packages before it, Common Core was never fully researched and tested by real educators in real classrooms.  It was another attempt at building the airplane while it’s being flown. We’ve seen it before with outcome-based education and other initiatives.

We were told that America’s schools are not keeping up with the rest of the world because our standards are too low and not uniform.  Could it be that the same people who were responsible for pushing PC junk standards onto the schools in the first place are now the ones complaining and offering their expertise in fixing them?

Could it be that State governments, teacher unions, and business organizations were offered a carrot on a stick with lots of money behind it to support Common Core?  Big businesses such as testing companies and powerful people like Bill Gates must have seen dollar signs in the development of testing methods which require new materials and new technologies. They stand to make millions. Should these people be the ones to determine what our schools must teach and how they should do it?

Why do we need to have all testing done on-line?  Why do we need to collect massive amounts of data on students?  Why are we trusting people with connections to testing firms and technology companies who do millions of dollars of business with the state’s schools to serve on Common Core commissions?

It appears that the only thing common about Common Core is how frequently it returns to us under different names and window dressings but with the same purpose of putting every part of education under the control of the federal government.

Orwellian Reason Obama Said States Can “Stop Obsessing” About Tests

Apparently the Department of Education has gotten concerned over the outcry from parents, teachers, and unions over burdensome high-stake testing, and they realized they had to do something quickly.  So, they’ve started with an apology and a promise to fix it.

Parents, teachers, school board members, and state legislators must now keep a cautious eye on what is being proposed to take the place of all that testing. “Stealth assessments” are already being devised.

To find out more about how and why states are being pushed to start collecting data digitally, thereby avoiding privacy protection for parents, I urge concerned citizens to check out the blog post below.

Source: Orwellian Reason Obama Said States Can “Stop Obsessing” About Tests

Persecution of Christians in America

Really?  Have we actually come to that?  Three recent cases suggest that we have.

Navy Chaplain Wes Modder was threatened with firing because he used the Bible and followed his church’s doctrine when counseling military personnel who came to him for guidance.  He was doing what he had been commissioned to do, but when his superior officer found that he was explaining biblical teaching on homosexuality, he tried to have him expelled from his position.  Fortunately the Navy has explicit guidelines for chaplains, none of which Modder had violated. He has been allowed to keep his position for the time being.

High school football coach Joe Kennedy has been threatened with “discipline, up to and including discharge from District employment” if he doesn’t stop praying at the 50 yard line after games.  Coach Kennedy, a former marine combat veteran started the practice of going there alone after games to offer a prayer of thanksgiving and blessing for the teams.  Before long other coaches from both teams decided to join him as did several players.  They made this choice with no coercion, but the Washington State school system has decided this must not be tolerated.  If the coach wants to pray, he can only do it in private.

Kentucky Court Clerk Kim Davis asked to be allowed to keep her name off marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples.  Because that was not allowed, she refused to issue marriage licenses.  As a result she was jailed.  The circuit court judge had her released after several days but ordered that she not interfere with her deputies in issuing marriage licenses (which still had her name on them). Legal action is ongoing on her behalf.

Those who pooh pooh the idea that these situations constitute religious persecution obviously don’t see the loss of a job, a business, or freedom as persecution.  They must think that all the person has to do is go along to get along.  In other words give up their strongly held beliefs in favor of political correctness.  Don’t they realize that in areas of the world overrun with ISIS terrorists, Christians are offered the same choice in order to live?

Os Guinness in The Global Public Square, reported that the U.S. “in 2010, for the very first time,… moved into the top sixteen countries of the world where there was a rise in both government restrictions and social hostility toward religion.”

Americans must recognize the truth that this situation is really occurring and if left unchecked will lead to a loss of freedom of conscience and belief for everyone.

Politically Correct or True?

Possibly a majority of people have a negative perception when they hear the term “politically correct”.  Yet, many view truth through politically correct lenses.  For instance, they may think that their favorite news source is unbiased, but that of their neighbor is totally biased to the point of spreading lies.  When asked to give examples, they can’t prove any out-and-out fabrications, but still believe they are getting the straight truth and their neighbor is not.

So, how do we differentiate between what is politically correct and what is true?  First of all, what is politically correct can and will change with time.  Truth never changes.  Slavery was once politically correct in this country.  That is an unfortunate truth about our history.  Those who were preaching against slavery were out of sync with their time.  Their compassionate ideas were considered divisive and a threat to the freedom of slave owners.  There were even Supreme Court Justices on the side of slavery as demonstrated by the Dred Scott Decision. It became the “law of the land” and wasn’t to be violated. It is an unfortunate truth about our history of which many people either aren’t aware or choose to ignore.

We are now witnessing new politically correct ideas that are equally divisive. One of those is the issue of abortion.  Conservatives are against it, and liberals are for keeping it legal.  Social conservatives believe all human life is sacred no matter the age or health of the individual. Liberals believe the fetus is not fully human.  What is the truth?  When does life begin? Through technology, we’ve been able to see the development taking place in the womb–a beating heart, moving legs and arms, thumb sucking, opening and closing of eyes, and we know the blood flowing in the veins is human.  Yet, political correctness rejects it all as proof of personhood in favor of not infringing on the “rights” of the mother. It seems that we care not about what is lawful but only what is legal, and we don’t seem to know the difference.

The same is true of same-sex marriage.  Conservatives are against it.  Liberals are for it.  It’s politically correct, so in some minds it must be right.  But is it?  How do we decide?  Christians who take the Bible as the best source of truth believe Jesus’s words in Matthew 19: 4-6 settle the matter. Liberal minded people who either dismiss much of the Bible as allegorical or irrelevant prefer to believe that Jesus would not disapprove of a lifestyle that is politically correct.

Where does truth come in? Just as in the issue of slavery, politically correct attitudes and behaviors will have powerful and long-lasting consequences.  America is still paying the price for its failure to get it right with slavery.  History may see our generation as one of the most barbaric societies ever for the way we have treated the unborn.  Unbridled sexual license could bring such destruction to the family that America’s way of life will crumble and fall. Freedom loving people from all over the world may have to look elsewhere for what once was the American dream?  History will tell.

What’s Behind Politically Correct Sex Education?

How did our schools become incubators for misguided sex education, radical feminism, and approval of homosexuality? The answer is that it all follows the utopian worldview of secular humanism. Alfred Kinsey, Mary Calderone, Wilhelm Reich, and Margaret Sanger all influenced sex education in the public schools. Colson and Pearcey pointed out that Calderone was a major contributor who viewed sexuality as a means of “transforming human nature and ushering in the ideal society.” Austrian psychologist Wilhelm Reich advanced the theory that sex without any restrictions was man’s only salvation, and his writings became recommended reading in college courses. Margaret Sanger, the forerunner of Planned Parenthood, pushed for abortion rights because she wanted to use it to control the population and to get rid of those she and others considered inferior.

So, what is the underlying purpose behind it all? When secular humanism under the cloak of “progressivism” infiltrated the universities, it brought with it the utopian framework. It was and is an ideology that denies absolute truth and moral law, seeks the ascendancy of man without the religious restraints of conscience, and believes mankind can build his own paradise without God. Of course, what succeeds in the universities eventually takes over classrooms at all levels.

School systems in California and other states are now contributing to sexual confusion and psychological problems by encouraging children to determine what gender they prefer to identify with. They have ordered that children be allowed to use whichever school bathrooms and locker rooms they choose according to their feelings. Recently the state of Tennessee witnessed an uproar of dissent when it appeared that the University of Tennessee had endorsed the use of gender neutral pronouns by its students. Is there any doubt that similar attempts are underway in school systems throughout the nation?

Education Needs Some Real Critical Thinkers

 “Critical thinking” and “higher order” are the great buzz words in education today and have been for several decades. They are a big part of current educational philosophy, but what exactly do they mean?

Most people probably imagine that both of these terms would hold some measure of truth expectation, some thinking that would involve greater knowledge and important realities. However, they are often used to support a philosophy which has no room for truth claims.

It’s important to understand that all philosophies begin with some assumption about God and about the issue of truth, and this one is no different. The secular philosophy, the one being caught as much as taught in America’s public classrooms, says that each individual must determine what is right and what is true for himself through critical thinking. This mindset teaches that truth is relative and changes with every generation. However, Hebrews 13:8 states that Jesus Christ (who the Bible calls the embodiment of truth) is “the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” Malachi 3:6 says, “I am the Lord; I change not.” Jesus made it clear that his words would “never pass away”. (Matthew 24:35) In other words, truth is eternal. Our world has denied this in spite of overwhelming evidence for God as creator and sustainer of the universe.

As scientists discover more information about cells, DNA, and the human genome, they find amazing evidence of intelligence behind them. The apostle Paul in the book of Romans said that the creation of the visible world itself shows the invisible qualities of God. He stated further that even though people could know something about God through what He has made, the wicked refuse to give him thanks. They allow their thinking to become futile, and proclaiming their own wisdom they become fools. Paul would no doubt place some of the greatest leaders in education today in this category, because they are always learning, but are never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. They believe you can start from the premise that there is no God and still figure out all that you need to know.

Education leaders at the university level have successfully pushed the narrative that naturalism and theoretical evolution are equivalent to science and that there are no theistic implications there. Intellectual honesty would force the admission that science has not and cannot empirically demonstrate Darwinism’s claims. Most of those we consider to be the top evolution scientists in the world (i.e. Hawking, Dawkins, Gould, and Weinberg), according to biologist, Dr. Phillip E. Johnson and others, are atheistic naturalists who, in spite of their scientific credentials, more accurately fit the category of intellectual philosophers who jealously guard their territory against religion.

Johnson makes a compelling argument that, “In view of the cultural importance of the naturalistic worldview … and its status as virtually the official philosophy of government and education, there is a need for informed outsiders to point out that claims are often made in the name of science that go far beyond the available evidence.”

Truth seekers must be willing to learn to be real critical thinkers by examining all of the evidence. We can’t allow those who really are dealing in philosophy to claim the scientific high ground. We should demand teaching based on clear evidence and intellectual integrity. We should also demand the teaching of accurate history. There is no good reason not to teach about the historical Jesus, as recorded by writers of the era, both believers and skeptics. Students should be taught about the impact of Christianity on both the ancient and the modern world. Good literature from the past should be read and studied along with contemporary writings. No subject should be scrubbed of any references to religious contributions or discarded because of them.

The education establishment should be required to demonstrate its commitment to critical thinking by showing how it is applying logic and deductive reasoning to all sides of an issue instead of siding with what is politically correct. Educators with such integrity will not fear outside scrutiny of the curriculum. They will not attempt to keep anything hidden.

If there is hope for positive change, it will come through the thinking of those who are willing to become truth seekers who will follow the real evidence wherever it takes them.

Five Big Lies Of Secular Humanism

There are, I believe, five big lies that have brought western civilization almost to the scrapheap of history. Unless they are recognized and refuted sufficiently, the downward spiral will eventually be completed and a return to the dark ages inevitable.

With the rise of naturalism and the resulting secularism came the “God is dead” movement. Atheists jubilantly declared their intellectual fulfillment and headed in droves to the universities to spread their worldview throughout academia. It became their cause celebre, their mission. It mattered not that it was without any real scientific verification. The first big lie – that there is no God, and none is needed – became a part of the fabric of western education.

Secularists were emboldened to take on the whole idea of truth. They declared by their words and their teaching that objective truth is a myth. They assured their minions that people make their own truth at will. The second big lie was hatched and destined to birth a toxic relativism throughout the culture via the schools.

A natural progression from the rejection of truth was the devaluation of language. Words no longer had inherent meaning. People could change the meaning at will. Up could mean down if it served the speaker’s purpose. A few atheist philosophers understood that you cannot get rid of God until you get rid of grammar. Therefore educational emphasis had to change. “Local dialect should be embraced, not corrected,” they said. “If profanity is a part of the culture, it’s no big deal.” Not only were words devalued, so were criteria for excellence in literature and the arts. The third big lie was gaining momentum.

By the dawn of the twenty-first century, secularism was firmly entrenched in the west. Prayer was now excluded from public school activities. Even instrumental Christian music was forbidden. The message was, “See what great things we can do through secularism! Our schools will be just fine without religion.” The lesson being taught was that secularism built this great civilization and can sustain it – the fourth big lie.

The battle cry from the heights of secular humanism now resounds the fifth big lie throughout the culture: “All we need is to totally eliminate religion, homophobia, and capitalism. Utopia is within our grasp!”

Secular humanist “progressives” fell under the seduction of their own lies. They really believe them. They can’t begin to see that if and when they succeed in taking away religious conviction and conscience from society, no police force in the world will be big enough to control the evil that will be unleashed.

Thankfully we are still living in some of the light from Christian values that helped build our society, but once those roots have been destroyed and their light extinguished, how great the darkness will surely be! I pray that a new generation will arise that can see the failure of secular humanism and recognize and reject the lies before it is too late. We need a generation that will embrace truth, righteousness, and justice.

Why Truth Matters For Education

Education is the foundation for civilization, but an education that is not grounded in truth cannot support a civilized society. America and western civilization have long been seeking complete secularization of their schools and downplaying the role of truth. We have now raised more than a generation of students without moral or spiritual training. They have been led to believe that truth is irrelevant or non-existent, and that no one has the right to judge anyone else’s values. This has been a disastrous course leading to moral decay, a rapidly growing incivility, and a looming loss of freedom.  It has also led to failing schools.

Architects of education reform efforts such as “Outcome Based Education” and “Common Core” have failed to bring positive change to the schools. Though they promise higher standards and improved critical thinking skills, they focus more attention on politically correct attitudes, feelings, and social behaviors which have no moral or spiritual foundation. They have helped to produce a post-Christian society that is rapidly cutting off the roots of faith which created western civilization and the ideal of freedom. Unless the tide is turned, the decline will continue to take us further from a civilized, freedom loving society.

It will take much more than Christian schools and home schooling to turn the raging tide. Positive change can only come when we are willing and able to recognize and speak the truth. The problem is that we no longer have a majority in America who believe in absolute truth.  Most have the false impression that believing something strongly enough is all it takes to make it true. However, there is only one infallible source of truth, and that is God.  We cannot know truth or live in real freedom unless and until we know and receive his truth. Jesus Christ taught that holding to his teachings and becoming his disciples will enable us to know the truth that will set us free. (John 8:31-32)

It appears that much of the Church in the West has been complicit in squandering the blessings of God by its worldliness and lack of a bold faith. The question is, “Can Christians experience a rebirth of truth?” Is it possible to reverse the declining direction of our culture? How can believers become real critical thinkers and begin to capture the culture? What part does education reform have in such a renaissance?  These questions are the theme of this site.