Snooping Around My Home School

The little postcard I loathe arrived in the mailbox today.  It was from the NC Division of Non-Public Education.  On the postcard, it “threatens” homeschoolers with a visit from a DNPE staff member if the postcard is not returned by the deadline. 

Now, the data they are seeking from my wife and me appears harmless enough.  Will we be running our home school on a normal schedule?  Are we keeping student records on file in our home, such as attendance (that one always amuses me, should we have a chart with blocks checked if our children woke up and rolled out of bed each morning?), and nationally standardized test results from the last year?  Then we tell them how many students are enrolled in our home school, sign and date, and the deed is done.

Simple.  As government redtape goes, it just doesn’t get any easier than this, does it?

So, why am I left red-faced and chaffed every time this little card arrives?

Well, my answer is fairly straightforward: I do not believe it is any of the goverment’s business how I and my wife are educating our children.  I do not think the state or federal government has any right to tell parents what their children must know at every “stage” of life (via standardized tests they foist on even home schooled kids).  Both federal and state governments in this nation have far over-stepped their bounds in the past 50 years.  I kindly request they get out my home with their attendance-record sniffing dogs. 

Fact is, folks, whether you choose to home school your children or not, we all need to realize what is at stake as the government usurps more and more rights of parents in this country.  Would it surprise you to know thousands of American educators at every level (K-PhD) truly believe they can raise your children better than you?  Would you be surprised that thousands of educators believe you should not have the right to raise and educate your own children, not to mention choose the methods of discipline for your children? 

Leave the education of children to the professionals.  You take them to soccer practice and to get ice cream afterwards, we’ll handle everything else.  And whatever you do, don’t you dare, mom, think yourself wise enough to teach your child what is right and wrong, what is true science and what is simple human conjecture, what is absolute in this universe, and how all of  life is to be viewed and interpreted.  Leave that to us.  We’re the experts.”

This philosophy has permeated American culture so much that today, even after so many people have exposed the obvious, anti-Christian, secular humanist agenda of the public schools, 85-90% of Christian parents still send their children to Ceasar for 8+ hours a day.  While I do not think home schooling or public schooling makes a person any more or less Christian, I do lament that more Christian parents are not at least giving home schooling more serious consideration. 

Now again, even if you do not home school, surely you can see the peril of continuing to allow governments to interfere, intercede, and interrupt parental rights over children.  We must fight this attempt to replace parents with professionals.

The Word of God speaks plainly in this matter:

He [God] established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments (Psalm 78:5-7). 

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Eph 6:4).

Raising and educating and training children is a right and responsibility given by God to parents.  Would to God more Christian parents and parents-to-be would begin to view this responsibility for the amazing, gracious privilege it is. 

So, North Carolina Division of Non-Public Education, if you’re listening, we’re raising and educating our children just fine without you.  If for some reason we require your services, we’ll let you know.  Thanks for your continued interest in our home school.  Be assured we are sprinkling some math and science (Answers in Genesis-style) into our Bible-saturated curricula.  

Soli Deo Gloria,

Keith McWhorter (Principal of Sovereign Grace School)

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Millionaire Boys

God made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.
Eric Liddell

Rookie Quaterback Sam Bradford just inked a record deal that guarantees him $50 million.  It is now routine for the top QBs in the NFL to garner $15-20 million a year.  Salary caps?  What salary caps? 

Friends, as long as our culture worships sports teams, sports stars, and sports period, America will continue to witness  professional atheletes’ gargantuan wallets expand ever more.  We love to make millionaires out of boys, and we’ll pay hundreds of our own hard earned dollars to go watch over-grown boys rake in the dough playing a game. 

This is the new “manhood” in America.  As Voddie Baucham put it recently, we define manhood in our culture now with the three B’s: ballfield, boardroom and bedroom

Now, I am not violently anti-sports.  I enjoy kicking back in the recliner to marvel at the skills of golfers as much as the next guy.  And, from time to time, I even toss around a ball in the back yard with my daughters, or kick a soccor ball, or throw a frisbee . . . you get the idea.  

Growing up, I loved football.  Only problem is, I should not have loved a game.  Liking it and loving it are two different animals.  But, in time God has brought me to see how warped my priorities were as a young man.  Like most kids playing high school football, I dreamed of the NFL.  Why?  Fame and fortune, why else?!  The American Dream . . . playing a game for a living and making sick money doing it. 

I am not sure how I tried to line up those aspirations back then with the words of Jesus: “You cannot love both God and money.”  But one thing is sure, I was living out the truth of Jesus’ words, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” 

And this is what so concerns me for Christian parents today.  Far too many are demonstrating to children by their actions (and behavior in the stands) that their hearts belong to sports.  Christian parents fill pews each Sunday and they’ve spent far more time traveling to ballfields, and coaching and watching and cheering than they have reading the Word, teaching it to their children, actually worshipping together in the home, praying together and serving their neighbors together in the Name of Christ.  We are making our treasure obvious.

Add to it the Christian parents who think little of allowing their child to skip a scheduled worship service or Bible study in order to practice or play a game, and you’ve got the makings for raising the next generation of American Dream-chasers.  But American Dream-chasers rarely turn the world upside down for Jesus.  In fact, several generations of Dream-chasers have gutted our churches leaving beautiful, empty, steepled buildings in their wake.

As I think of the NFL, a League where most games are played on Sunday, I wonder where all the Eric Liddell’s have gone.  While I do believe there are genuinely born again followers of Christ in the NFL, I am just eagerly awaiting a bunch of them to get some spine and demand the NFL play their games on some day other than Sunday.  Where do these NFL Christians worship each week?  What local churches do they serve in and what ministries of the local church are benefitting from their spiritual gifts?  How are they living out 1 Corinthians 12?  Can they even live it out given their immensely demanding training and playing routines? 

I am afraid the pandemic of professional sports “owning” the Day of Corporate Worship in America is only deepening the horrific plague of “churchless Christianity” among young adults.  They worship just fine at the ballfield, thank you very much. 

But when their little boy or girl finally gets that college scholarship they have spent their entire youth pursuing on the ballfields, it will be worth it all . . . or will it?

“For how should My Name be profaned?  My glory I will not give to another” (Isaiah 48:11).

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Family Apologetics

“Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth!  I will open my mouth in a parable, I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us.  We will not hide them from our children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and His might, and the wonders that He has done” (Psalm 78:1-4).

My family and I just returned from the Defending the Faith family apologetics conference put on by Answers in Genesis.  While I expect it will take me several weeks to process all I heard and learned, let me simply share some initial thoughts:

1.  Wow!  Those guys and gals at Answers in Genesis really know how to put on a conference.  The information was spot on and very practical, not to mention tremendously challenging.  And, there were sessions for children, teens and women.  

2.  Parents had better wake up in the American church.  If you are a parent and you simply cannot make a powerful argument for the literal six-day creation taught in Gensis 1-2, using the Bible first and science second, then you had better start making time to educate and arm yourself.  Otherwise, how will you equip your children to defend the biblical accounts against the unending onslaught of Darwinian evolution?  You do want to raise, equip, and train your children, right?

3.  The myriad ways Darwinian evolution is peddled to children and adults today is mind-boggling.  Every conceivable media source inudates our culture with the deceitful, bad science of evolution, not to mention the public school textbooks.  Add Oprah Winfrey’s voice to the lovers of Darwinian theory, narrating nature films and promting them wildly, and we have the makings of a total war.

4.  What is really at stake in this clash of the titan worldviews (Bible v. Darwin) is the authority and sufficiency of the Holy Scripture.  Once the church (yes, the church is the guilty party here) began to do interpretive gymnastics to try and accomodate Darwin’s theory into the biblical revelation, what really happened is the church substituted man’s ideas for God’s Word.  The locus of authority shifted.  We, dear Christians, must recover the Reformation principle of sola scriptura!        

5.  The symptoms of prattling away biblical authority in the matters of creation, origins and age of the universe and world are haunting us daily.  They include: gay marriage, normalization of homosexuality, radical feminism, pandemic divorce, single-parenting, intentional childlessness, racism, infanticide (abortion), euthanasia, abandonment of the elderly, apathy towards orphans, genocide, and matriarchy in the home, church, and nation, to name a few. 

Friends, may God open our eyes to see where neglect of the absolute authority of His Word is leading us.  May we rise up in our homes and churches and schools and cities to once again proclaim “the glorious deeds of the Lord.”

Darwin and his followers have sold us a pack of lies, beatifully packaged in the wrappings of so-called “science.”  I will have much more to say on these issues in the weeks ahead.  For now let me just remind us all that this war of worldviews actually started back in Eden:

Now the serpent . . . said to the woman, “Did God actually say . . ?”   

Satan is not all that creative.  Apparently he doesn’t have to be.  He just changes the instruments he uses to get people to doubt the Word of God. 

What of you?  What of your children?  Can you all really defend the Word and contend for the truth effectively?  Are you all armed with true, Bible answers for the plethora of questions being asked to challenge the Word?  If not, or if you simply need to shore up some things in your lives and homes, may I suggest a dual emphasis as a starting point:

First, read and study Genesis as a family, and let the text speak for itself.  God’s Word will not return void!

Second, purchase the series called Answers from Answers in Genesis.  The series consists of four children’s books, three adult books, and three DVDs.  This series will put you on the path to being a family of Contenders for the Faith.   

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Mandy Calnen - Love your site man keep up the good work

Boys Behaving Badly

Well, well, well, Colton Harris-Moore (aka the Barefoot Bandit) is no longer barefoot, though allegedly he is notoriously a bandit. 

While 80,000 + fans on Facebook glamorize, idolize and celebrate this thieving teen, it is worth noting none of them will sacrificially serve time with him (or for him) in his jail cell. 

His own mother has expressed pride in her son’s criminal escapades, and this is what is saddest of all to me.  Colton and his boys-behaving-badly ilk are becoming a pandemic in America.  The Christian church has for decades been warning of the ugly and deadly repercussions of rampant divorce, single-parenthood, and absentee dads.  Recently, the absentee dad has been the subject of notable studies, but the results of those studies could not be more predictable.  Let me summarize them for you:

Children, all children, but especially sons, need Dads.

Earth-shaking, isn’t it?  The Creator’s design for the family – one dad and one mom married for life and investing themselves fully into raising their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord – really works. 

Colton’s biological Dad abandoned him at age 2.  His step-dad died when he was 7, leaving him at the mercy (if such a word can be used of her) of his sin-sick mother.  Whatever she taught him, she surely did not emphasize the 8th Commandment.   

Now, do not get me wrong.  I am not saying single mothers (or dads) are always destined to fail.  Nor am I saying a boy in his teens (who everywhere else but the western world would be considered a grown man), does not stand accountable for his own actions.  Colton is responsible for his crimes and cannot excuse them away.  Ancient Israel tried that with God, but it did not work out well for them (see Ezekiel 18).

But dear readers, my concern is how many other Barefoot Bandits are waiting in the wings in America?  Fifty + years of ignoring and rejecting God’s design for the home is just not working out well for our country.  This is especially alarming when one takes stock of the conspicuous absence of real men and real Dads in our culture. 

We are a Dad-deprived and men-deprived culture.  We are becoming a nation of boys stuffed into hairy, belching, beer-bellied bodies. 

Oh Sovereign God, raise up real men once again in Your church.  Grant to us Dads who will instruct their sons in what makes a man a man, in Your Holy eyes.  May our daughters, too, be blessed to be raised by Christ-like, sacrificially loving men who will model manhood for them day-by-day.  Turn our eyes to the Man of men, the God-Man Jesus, that we might live and move and have our being in Him.  For the sake of Your Son, Jesus, help men of Your church rise up and bless their homes with loving headship and heart-felt worship.  And give us grace to reach out in gospel love to the Colton Harris-Moore’s in our own neighborhoods.  For it was for bandits, bad boys, liars and adulterers You died, precious Jesus.  And wonder of wonders, you are still saving sinners like me.  Be glorified in Your church, O Lord.  Amen.

For a much more intelligent discussion of the plight of men in America: http://www.albertmohler.com/2010/06/22/the-end-of-men-a-hard-look-at-the-future/            

To read up on the Barefoot Bandit: http://www.katu.com/news/local/63636867.html

 

 

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. . . And One Not-So-Great Gospel Resource

From time to time I receive something so utterly ridiculous that I simply cannot pass up an opportunity to comment.  Sadly, these ridiculous things too often come from supposed Christian sources. 

 Recently, I received a book of advertisements for Christian products.  In that booklet, there was an ad for a DVD titled “At Jesus’ Side,” produced by Bridgestone Multimedia Group.  The accompanying description was as follows:

“A sure to become classic animated movie and family favorite.  At Jesus’ Side brings the teachings of Jesus to life for today’s families through the story of five misfit animals on a journey towards love and forgiveness.  Our hero, Jericho, is a vagabond street dog who befriends Jesus and follows him throughout the last week of his life, death and resurrection.”

 The DVD cover has a cartoon picture of Jesus hugging a dog while surrounded by various animals, including a giraffe, elephant, hedgehog, lizard and various dogs.  There is so much insanity here I scarcely know where to begin!  Is this what the church of the living God has come to – that we need to use some fairy tale, “green,” environmentally-friendly, animal-loving cartoon in order to teach the gospel to our children?  God help us.

 Dear friends, do not be misled by “green” versions of Christianity or the gospel.  While God does indeed command Adam, and by extension us, to exercise good stewardship over the creation, we dare not forget that “dominion” was part and parcel to that stewardship (see Gen 1:26; 9:1-3).  Rather than portray Jesus as a dog-lover, why not just let the Word of God speak?

I submit to you there’s more gospel in the first chapter of Leviticus than in 1000 of these idiotic DVD cartoons.  (By the way, go read that chapter and you’ll see God commanding lots of blood-letting of various animals in order to atone for the atrocity of human sin).  When will we wake up and begin to once again embrace the Reformation cry of sola scriptura? 

I am not against Word-centered resources to assist us in teaching the gospel to children, but parents, grandparents and teachers, I plead with you, make it the priority of your lives to open the Bible and by God’s grace “rightly divide” it.  The Word applied by the Spirit is enough; yea more than enough!  Put away all the foolish cartoons, and pick up your Bibles.

And if we simply insist on using dogs to help illustrate and teach the gospel, may I suggest we begin with the account of King David’s kindness to the late King Saul’s lame grandson, Mephibosheth.  Overwhelmed by the King’s grace to a crippled man, Mephibosheth cries out, “What is your servant, that you should show regard for a dead dog such as I” (2 Samuel 9:8)? 

Now, there’s a lot of gospel in this story!  I love the summary sentence: “So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table, like one of the king’s sons” (v. 11).  

And if we still insist on using dogs to teach the gospel, may I then suggest we conclude the matter with the account of Jesus’ merciful kindness to a Syro-Phoenician woman who took no insult to the Master calling her a dog.  No, rather than pander to her hurt pride, she comes to Jesus as a beggar and replies, “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs” (Mark 7:28).        

These are stories worth telling, don’t you think?  And unlike an animated film of a street dog that “befriends Jesus” (I gag every time I read it), the stories of Mephibosheth and the Syro-Pheonician woman are the very words of God.  Thus, they carry the full weight and power and authority of God.  They shall not return to Him void (Is 55:11).     

God give us Ezra’s in this day of utter silliness: “For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach His statutes and rules in Israel” (Ezra 7:10).

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