September 21, 2021

Leaving the Fence Line for the Front Line

Leaving the Fence Line for the Front Line

by Craig Smith

I recently read the following in response to a Christian children’s magazine:

“I guess I feel sad that Western churches (generally) are so unappealing / powerless that we have to imitate the world to attract people – especially young people. On the other hand, I accept we have to be relevant to our world if we are to earn the right to speak to their needs.”

But when churches do this, and far too many do, it shows they have clearly lost the plot. Imitating the world does not make you relevant, it only makes you an imitation. An imitation is a copy, a non-original. More than likely it is a scaled down and cheaper version of the original. That is, when churches imitate the world to attract people, they lower the Gospel and the Church of Jesus Christ to the level of just another cheap imitation entering the marketplace, hoping to attract a few customers away from the Real McCoy, the higher-quality genuine article.

Which raises a rather scary question: what, then, is this genuine article some churches are so keen to imitate? The excitement of life in the fast lane: a carefree realm of worldliness, transient emotional liaisons, recreational sex, the pursuit of eternal youth and flight from responsibility.

So here the church youth are encouraged to move right up to the fence line of total sinfulness, to live all their days along that fence line (except on Sunday mornings) in order to be relevant and to witness. But they are told they mustn’t go over the fence line into that next paddock, no matter how much greener that grass looks, because that paddock belongs to the devil.

The result?  Very predictable. The church has all these young people (the ones who haven’t left yet) who are totally dissatisfied with everything. Life in the fast lane has turned out to be a very restricted strip along the fence line, forbidden to reach into that next paddock which contains all the genuine-article pleasures and experiences they’re only allowed to imitate on the one hand; and on the other hand seeing way off in the distance of the opposite direction the unexplored, virgin territory of sanctifying godliness (you know, Galatians 5:22-23 characteristics). That is obviously a boring, unpleasant place, for none of their friends are out there, and hardly any of the other church members for that matter…..just one or two of those Holy Joe eccentrics, and who wants to be like them?! So their choices are to stay where they are and be miserable; go the Holy Joe route and possibly be even more miserable but with a promise of good things later on; or jump the fence line to join the fun, gambling that they’ll be able to jump back before it’s “too late”.

Such churches are asking their youth to aim at bare minimums: to live a life with a minimum of true worldliness and a minimum of true godliness is to have a minimum of challenge and purpose. This is luke-warm, spew-you-out-of-My-mouth kind of stuff. And to live that while exposed to maximum temptation along the fence line is madness. No wonder the church youth suffer so many casualties and attract so few stayers.

The Lord created us all for tougher assignments than this. Playing footsie with sin at the fence line while countless “youth leaders” and “youth pastors” endlessly advise how far is too far and how much is too much – and each advising different amounts – is pathetic. Gird on your spiritual armour, young men and maidens, for the Lord is calling us to His Front Lines!

Romans 12:1-2, II Corinthians 3:18, Ephesians 4:22-24, Philippians 3:12-14 and plenty of other passages all talk about being totally, utterly different from the world and moving in a totally opposing direction to it. Galatians 5:22-23 especially invites us to aim at maximums, go the whole hog, to have it all, to blaze full-steam ahead, to carry it to the extremes, to max-out where there are no laws against being as loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlled as you like! Such lives, dedicated first to loving our Lord1 and second to loving one another2, present the excitement and challenge youth crave: they will battle their sinful selves, the sinful world and the lazy “Christians” all around who don’t want to be shown up. Such lives are also totally relevant: relevant to God, to all of creation, to all our fellow humans.

Believe it or not, evangelising the lost may not be number one on God’s priority list. There are many passages, nay, chapters and books3, in the Bible given over to God tenderly describing the relationship He wants with us and among us, a people He chose for His own possession. We are purchased with the blood of Christ, not so we can do His will our way (“evangelising” the worldly by becoming worldly), but so we can submit ourselves to Him as instruments of righteousness in the hands of the Master.4

The sin-cursed and fallen society around us may, from their corrupted and fallen viewpoint, consider us irrelevant. But that is because it is they who are detached and separated from reality – the knowledge of God – and it is they who are irrelevant to God, to all of creation and to their fellow humans as they commit murder, abortion, euthanasia, genocide, infanticide, embryonic research and manipulation, spread disease and death through immorality and homosexuality and who serve the creature (animals, trees, mother earth) rather than the Creator. They need saving from this state of futility and insanity, they need facing up to the fact that they are headed for hell; they do not need us trying to identify with their fallenness or affirming them in their worldliness or trying to be relevant to their misguided view of things. They need us to point them to higher standards in all areas, to be modelling this ourselves, to see us moving in this direction while urging them to join us. They need to see us struggle with and resolve peacefully, gainfully and victoriously the same kinds of problems they have: problems with parents, with children, spouses, employers, employees, workmates, the IRD, neighbours, relatives, in-laws, budgets, drink, porn, anger, gambling, drugs, etc., etc. They need us to love and serve them, to practice hospitality so they experience the heavenly environment (or so it should be) of Christian fellowship, making some hungry and thirsty for such righteousness. They are dying to see what real, heart-level, loving, self-less relations between friends and spouses and siblings look like, for that’s what they want. They need us to be the light set on a hill. They need to see reality in us: open, honest, transparent reality. And when they do, brothers and sisters, they will beat a path to your door, ring you all hours of the night, share the most intimate details of their lives at the drop of a hat if they even suspect you might be able to help them and refer all their messed up mates to you as well. At this point you will never lack any opportunities to evangelise but will be more involved in making disciples than simply “witnessing”.

If the local congregation doesn’t catch the vision, we as Christian home educating parents must certainly stop and reassess: can we continue to offer our youth a cheap imitation of the world and worldliness in the form of “Christian rock”, “Christian teen youth camps”, “Christian teen magazines”, “Christian tattoos and body piercing”, that is, life in the fast lane, or rather, life along the fence line, when the Lord is waiting for us to join Him at the front lines? How can we expect our youth to play with fire and not be burned?

“Let the time that is past suffice for doing what the Gentiles like to do…Above all, hold unfailing your love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins. Practice hospitality ungrudgingly to one another. As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who utters oracles of God; whoever renders service, as one who renders it by the strength which God supplies; in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To Him belong glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:3, 8-11 (RSV).

Notes:

1. The Scriptures define love toward Him as obedience to Him. See I John 5:2-3.

2. Our neighbour as ourselves…the two greatest commandments on which rest all the Law and the Prophets, Matthew 22:37-40.

3. For example, Deuteronomy 6-7, most of each of the Epistles

4. Romans 6:13

From Keystone Magazine

July 2003 , Vol. IX No. 4
P O Box 9064
Palmerston North
Phone: (06) 357-4399
Fax: (06) 357-4389
email: craig@hef.org.nz

To order a subscription to Keystone Magazine do one of the following:

send email to sales@hef.org.nz with visa number

post cheque or visa number to PO Box 9064, Palmerston North, New Zealand

fax: 06 357-4389

phone: 06 357-4399

Trademe (fees added):  http://www.trademe.co.nz/Members/Listings.aspx?member=2366144

Sella (No added fees):  http://www.sella.co.nz/store/4ym9qg/home-education-foundation/display-100

Tough Questions People Ask – How can I keep going?

Tough Questions People Ask

by Craig Smith

Under extreme pressure, I elected to send the children to school last year. At first they loved it (and I hated it!)  I was more stressed trying to get them ready, do homework I didn’t understand, and I just didn’t see them much or know what they were doing.  As time went on, complaints started that someone was picking on me, or the work is too hard and stuff like that.  It became a real grind for all of us.  In the end, after one and a half terms I took them out again, and I really hope I never ever put them back in school. I still have the same troubles at home, I doubt, I think I’m holding them back, I slack off at times, I get grumpy and frustrated, the kids fight and don’t want to work and so on. How can I keep going? — (Home educator in New Zealand, March 2003.)

For what it’s worth, I’d like to talk about vision.

When you have a fire in your belly, when you are passionate about something, when you have this goal out there in front of you that just so motivates you every time you think about it that you can’t wait to drop whatever you’re currently doing and get back to it…..this is vision.

With vision nothing is a problem. The old saying, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” becomes your life’s theme song. Things that to normal people become hurdles and barriers – lack of income, stress, criticism, self-doubt, tiredness, children who are disobedient and factious – these problems melt away for a person with vision, for the glory of what they see out there ahead far, far exceeds the hassles they have to deal with up close. Paul the Apostle said the same in Romans 8:18, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” His mind was fixed on a vision, a goal, a reward, an objective out there in the future that was so exciting and glorious, it enabled him to put up with all sorts of garbage in the meantime…and dangerous things, too, like being stoned and left for dead, persecuted and chased from town to town, beat up and imprisoned, etc.

When you look at this vision, this goal out there in the future, the things up close shrink in size, become as temporary encumbrances that you may even simply shake off or push aside. A freight train rumbling along toward its goal at the end of the line is not easily slowed down or derailed. A person so motivated by their own vision will normally so intimidate, awe, bluff, convince, scare, inspire or otherwise affect onlookers that these onlookers will either not bother to be a hindrance, not themselves inspired or motivated to opposition, or they will join you!

So how does one get such a vision and then how does one maintain it?

Read visionary material. Talk to visionary people. Listen to visionary tapes & CDs. Gather with other visionaries at home education workshops.1

We have long said that in home education, the best and most important thing is to read good books to your children. We would now modify that and say the best and most important thing is to read good books yourself. What you the parent read and listen to and watch yourself is ultimately more important than what you read to them or allow them to watch or listen. Why? Because what determines your reading/watching/listening habits will determine what you do with and build into your children.

This is what has driven Barbara and I for 25 years of married life. We never wanted our children to be run-of-the-mill good all-round children. We wanted them to be total misfits…in a good sense….people who were going to be trained up to be part of the solution rather than simply remain part of the problem. Never once did the idea that we might be seen as different or odd bother us: it was seen as part of the territory, almost a guide that we were on the right track! We have always told the children that there are three kinds of people in the world: the tiny minority who make things happen; the much larger group who watch things happen; and then the vast majority who ask, “Hey, what happened?” We did not give them an option: we told them that we and they are to be part of that first group, end of story.

People tell us of how they need time out for themselves, to refresh, to relax, to focus on something else, to develop themselves in another area. I have a lot of sympathy for these sentiments. I have a number of hobbies I really enjoy. I have bought many books I would love to read. Into these things I have invested much time and money in the past. They have languished for many years now, covered in the dust of inattention. Why? Because, as I perceive it, apart from short breaks to re-group and re-focus, and as long as we pace ourselves wisely, the glory of the vision diminishes (and sometimes eliminates) the impact of the frustrations close in, meaning over all, the stress is less!

That is to say, we do not seem to have a dichotomy of the daily grind on the one hand from which we would like a spell, and on the other hand the blessed holiday breaks to which we are constantly looking forward. Every day is to us a holiday…not that we can just suit ourselves and blob out….that is a state into which we can settle for about 45 minutes max, and then we get really uncomfortable thinking about all the time we’re wasting, all the profitable things we could be doing.2 No, every day is a holiday in that we are doing what we really want to do! We are looking forward to each new day and squeezing from each as much as we can! We burn the candle at both ends in this quest. We are exhausted every night but are up same time each morning diving straight into our tasks.

We are now fully occupied with working for home educators in many ways. We each put in about 50 hours a week for the Home Education Foundation here in New Zealand; we contribute time, effort and resources to three local support groups; the nationally heard Radio Rhema now has us doing a live half hour slot once a fortnight; and the Keystone Journal of Christian Home Schoolers which we publish for the Foundation is dedicated to this very thing…developing vision in Home Educators. This is part of our vision: to help others, dads in particular, catch a vision for how incredibly powerful can be their impact, and the impact of their family and the impact of each of their children on the community, the nation, the world.
Now, does this mean we are driven by the tyranny of the urgent, don’t know how to say “No” to other people crowding their agendas in on us? Well, to some degree this is the case: but then, that is part of why we are here – to be of service to others. Long time ago Barbara and I were challenged not to do those things that others could do, but instead make it our business to do those things others can’t do or don’t want to do. I tell you, we have found that this approach has pretty much left most of the really interesting and challenging fields wide open to us and very few others! There is plenty of elbow room when there is little competition.

The hurdles and difficulties of life are almost entirely in the mind. If you focus on the hurdle or barrier in front of you, it is enormous and intimidating. If you are focussed on the glory of the vision way ahead of you, the barrier in front is actually suddenly difficult to see, just as a person standing directly in front of you is almost lost in the brightness of the sun just behind them. That doesn’t mean the barrier isn’t just as real…it just means that as you move toward your goal, either the barrier moves or you move it. If your focus is beyond the barrier, then beyond it your energies and efforts will generally take you. But if your focus is no farther than the barrier itself, then that is how far the energies you have rallied for the task will take you.

As Christian Home Educators in particular, if God is for us who can be against us? (Romans 8:31.) Many of the saints who continued to proclaim the Gospel in the face of fierce persecution did so because they understood this verse and the sovereignty of God more than do we today. They knew and operated on the basis of the fact that until the Lord chose to call them Home, they were unstoppable, indestructible, and so would carry on doing what they knew they had to do, what they were called to do.

Here is a great source of motivation: reading biographies of the saints: Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, CT Studd, Adoniram Judson, Gladys Aylward, Martin Luther, William Carey, David Livingston, David Brainerd….the list goes on and on. Read any stories of pioneer types: mountain climbers, polar explorers, the settlers in South Africa or North America. Home Education is still a task for real pioneers, for we are still slashing our way through mostly uncharted areas of family dynamics, social ostracism, educational philosophies, methodologies and content applicable to home tutoring in the 21st century, the political implications of being outside the near monopoly of state schooling, etc., etc. And being pioneers, life is just plain hard. No one understands you. You are constantly going against the grain of the majority. Your motives are continually being judged by others as devious and/or divisive. When you actually survive all that and get used to it, then you find yourself unable to bear graciously with the fools, the curious and the ignorant who constantly come to gawk at the strange sight you present.

And a strange sight it is. Our daughters aged 23 and 16 are doing a night class in making ball gowns. No one understands why they want their necklines so high or the fit so loose. Their peers at even church camps cannot understand why they don’t want to join them in constant talk about fashions, boys and makeup…..but the camp parents wish they had another dozen like them when they come asking for extra jobs to do after voluntarily doing every undone job in sight. No one understands why our sons aged 21 and 19 are not out chasing the girls and dating. But they are in demand as workers who put in a full day’s work and don’t stop til the job is done to a high standard, who get offered apprenticeships and full-time permanent jobs when they aren’t even seeking them.

In fact just this month I bade farewell to these two sons as they flew off to the USA for a year. They will buy a car in California and drive 2/3 of the way across the USA to a family business in Illinois that is keen to have them work for them. Then they are thinking of driving across Canada to visit Alaska before heading all the way down to Texas for a further six months. No, we are not worried that they will get involved in drugs. No we are not worried that they will sow wild oats and pick up some terrible sexually transmitted disease. Why? Because we have seen our vision coming to fruition in these men, who have never set foot inside a state school class room, even as we struggled with them and our other four children, and the adoption hassles we had with two of them, and our own marriage problems and difficult situations over the years in our employment and in our church. Through all the difficulties, by the grace of God alone, we kept, no I need to say HE kept us focussed on the vision of raising a generation of totally committed disciples of Jesus Christ, young people who are not merely able to cope with this bad old world, but young people who are going to tear this place apart and, Lord willing, turn the world back round the right way.

Now don’t think it’s been a piece of cake for these children: they’ve had to struggle being raised by us, two ex-pleasure-is-everything hedonists who imbibed our world views from the likes of Elvis, the Beach Boys, Janis Joplin and the Rolling Stones. While trying to clean up our own personal acts, we did only what we could, inconsistent and tentative as it was, to disciple our children according to the Scriptures. But one thing we know: by the Grace of God the vision was there in our hearts and so we talked of it often…..and over the years our children have seen it and embraced it for themselves!!!! Hallelujah!!

How do we know they have embraced it? Because the reason our sons are going to Texas, leaving behind excellent paying jobs in Illinois, is to commit themselves to a six month internship where they will trade three days of work for room and board plus two days of lectures and mentoring in how to be men of vision, leaders in their future marriages, homes, communities, churches. In short, they are studying to be Partriarchs, without doubt the most hated target of the Feminist agenda and the most totally un-PC item on the menu of our modern society. The older son, in fact, is going for a second bite of this cherry: he and the oldest daughter only returned last December after nearly two years in the USA pursuing these very things: unpaid work and service experience with relations and friends, paid and unpaid work and service with friends and different organisations with visionary people at the helm.

Two families I particularly have in mind here are Bill & Diana Waring of Beyond Survival & Reaping the Harvest fame with whom NZ home educators have a special friendship (www.dianawaring.com); and Bob & Linda Schneider of Rainbow Resource in Illinois (www.rainbowresource.com). Two organisations I particularly have in mind are: Summit Ministries who impart a Biblical world view to young people bound for tertiary campuses or the work force (www.summit.org); and Vision Forum who also impart a Biblical world view and leadership skills particularly into young men (www.visionforum.org).

We also know they have the vision because they also have the multigenerational family ideals, as much as is possible with only two generations to work with! The 23, 21 and 19 year olds have been spending a lot of time with their 10 year old little brother, taking him out with them when they can, because he is their brother. In the evenings what activity do they choose above night-clubbing (which they’ve never done) or movies or videos? Playing cards and/or sewing while listening to me, their dad, read books written 100 years ago on the various family responsibilities of parents and siblings or more recent publications on courtship, modesty, etc.

The King James version of Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision the people perish”. Other versions say something like, “Where there is no prophecy the people cast off restraint.” Casting off restraint indicates a loss of self-discipline, getting into the “Do your own thing” mentality, which is also a recipe for perishing. A vision requires self-discipline, delayed gratification, labouring away today in the hope that eventually things will be as you have desired.

Now, Barbara and I have discovered a little secret here, a little something to give us the edge, the confidence that our desires will be fulfilled. We ask the rhetorical question, “Does the will of the Lord God come to pass? Do things turn out the way He desires?” The answer is obvious: God’s will is always accomplished, on earth as it is in heaven, for who can resist, thwart or nullify His will? So, we said to ourselves, if we set our puny personal desires and aspirations aside and long for and desire the same things God desires, surely as His will is accomplished we are going to be the most fulfilled and satisfied people around! And so it has seemed to us right up to this very day!

We see ourselves here in this place and at this time for a reason: to positively impact as mightily as we can for the Lord whatever comes into our sphere of influence. The marching orders for this very thing are repeated throughout the Scriptures, from Genesis 1:28 through Matthew 28:18-20 through II Corinthians 5:17-20 through Revelation 12:11. Home education is to us the one viable way we ordinary families can accomplish this task all by ourselves, yet in concert with one another, without waiting for some committee to organise it or for some government department to fund it (as if they would!) or for some self-proclaimed professionals to approve of it.

Develop a vision for your own family. Embrace it and run with it, you parents and each child as well! There just won’t be enough hours in a day thereafter, and each day just won’t come soon enough! “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” – Hebrews 10:24-25.

Notes:

1. However, let me sound a warning here. I’m definitely not talking about new age, humanistic methods of visualisation and pep-talking one’s self to success such as one finds in virtually every single multi-level or network marketing scheme under the sun. I’m not talking about the short-sighted goal of “financial independence.” The high-sounding Million Dollar Personal Success Plan of early MLM-er Paul J. Meyer, Founder of Success Motivation Institute, which goes like this: “Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe, and enthusiastically act upon…must inevitably come to pass!” (emphasis added by me) is about as humanistic, unBiblical and antiChristian as you can get.

2. And I’m not talking about financial profitability here. Three passages of Scripture have been our guides in this area: Proverbs 14:23, “In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to want”; I Corinthians 15:58, “Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labour is not in vain”; and one on giving: Proverbs 3:9-10, “Honour the Lord with your substance and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will be bursting with wine.”

From Keystone Magazine

March 2003 , Vol. IX No. 2
P O Box 9064
Palmerston North
Phone: (06) 357-4399
Fax: (06) 357-4389
email: craig@hef.org.nz

To order a subscription to Keystone Magazine do one of the following:

send email to sales@hef.org.nz with visa number

post cheque or visa number to PO Box 9064, Palmerston North, New Zealand

fax: 06 357-4389

phone: 06 357-4399

Trademe (fees added):  http://www.trademe.co.nz/Members/Listings.aspx?member=2366144

Sella (No added fees):  http://www.sella.co.nz/store/4ym9qg/home-education-foundation/display-100

Explain Why You Do — Make Others Wonder Why They Don’t

Explain Why You Do —

Make Others Wonder Why They Don’t

By Craig Smith

Men must know what they are about. Men must be able and willing – maybe even to the extent that they are seen as aggressive about it – to articulate why they do as they do. When it comes to home education, we men must be able to defend not only our family’s chosen lifestyle but also defend and protect our wives and children from the harassment they can sometimes receive from what we shall charitably call “well-intentioned” friends, neighbours and relatives.

We say “well-intentioned” only because they are acting according to what their conscious and unconscious beliefs tell them about your home education endeavours: that you are cutting your children off from proper socialisation, from a quality academic education, from the excellent resources and professional teaching experiences available at schools. That is to say, in their ignorance and lack of having thought the issues through, they try to get you to conform back to the present day cultural norm of sending your children off down the road at age five. They want you to join them in abdicating most of your parental responsibilities; in ensuring that your family is thoroughly fragmented; and most of all, in making sure that your children will be less under your influence and authority and more under that of the local peer group while on the playground and the professional social engineers while in the classrooms.

We must deal with a number of issues, recognise what is going on and come to a conclusion that we can then defend from the Scriptures.

Who is Responsible?

First, who is responsible for the education of our children? What say the Scriptures? Most of us are already very familiar with Deuteronomy 6:6-7: “And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children….” The very first two statements, verses 7 and 8, after the introduction to the entire book of Proverbs, say pay attention to God and to your parents: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge…Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and reject not your mother’s teaching.” Ephesians 6:4: “Fathers….bring [your children] up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” That is, while it may be Biblically permissible to delegate the educational task of our children to someone else, the secular state can have no responsibility in the education of our Christian children. To give our children into the care of these secular humanists is akin to committing lambs into the care of wolves. Let us no longer be timid about proclaiming this proposition: Bible-based education with a thoroughly Christian world view is the only alternative for the children of Christians.

So with this conviction firmly in your hearts and minds, men, your wives can confidently refer any neighbour or relative to you as soon as they start giving her a hard time about home education. It gets them off her back, the main objective of your role as protector. A real bonus here is that you can just about guarantee they won’t have the fortitude to bring it up at all with you, the hairier, more testosterone-charged member of the family!

What if it is fellow church members – even your pastors – who express concern about your home education and who actually do bring it up with you? Pour the acid on them! Don’t let them get away: make them justify (for one day they’ll have to do this before God) why it is ok to send children of Christian families into the government schools, those temples of secular humanism, to be trained to think like pagans.

Perhaps it is time we ourselves began to call for a co-ordinated commitment by the Christian leaders in this country, by church pastors and the larger Christian community, to support every ongoing effort and to initiate even more efforts to enable Christian parents to get their children out of the government school system and into home education or, if that really cannot be done, into decent Christian schools.

State Schools Are Anti-Christian

A second issue is how to demonstrate that state schools are teaching from anti-Christian philosophies. This is simple. In the first place Section 77 of the NZ Education Act demands that in primary schools “the teaching shall be entirely of a secular character”. According to every Minister of Education since David Lange in 1984, that means “with no religious instruction or observance”. To rule Christ out of the classroom is clearly anti-Christian.

Is history taught as “His story”, looking at the way God deals with mankind over time? Is history even taught in state schools? Has it not been replaced by the non-subject of “social studies” wherein one culture is as valid as another? Is maths taught as a discovery of the orderliness in God’s creation that we can use to have godly dominion and responsible stewardship over the earth? Or is it taught as an invention of the mind of man that can be used to manipulate people, the environment and the economy for the greater good of all?

Is evolution taught as fact or as theory in science? Check out English language skills: grammar was dispensed with some time ago; spelling is on its way out; the “whole-word” approach to reading has crippled many thousands of children, most of whom could easily pick up reading once instructed in phonics; and essay writing is virtually impossible to teach in 45-minute classes when it takes sustained concentration to formulate a thesis, break it down into a number of points, explain each one coherently and then tie them all together again in a convincing conclusion. Maybe that’s why professors in most of our universities complain that first year students can’t write essays. Illiteracy is a friend of the enemy, a hindrance to us people of the Book.

Secular Morality Is Immorality

A third issue is the moral one. The people teaching children in state schools come in all kinds of moral configurations including practising and unrepentant paedophiles, sodomites, lesbians, fornicators, de facto arrangements, adulterers, etc. Some of these are starting to come to the notice of the authorities, if media headlines of late are anything to go by. The children populating the classrooms also bring with them an apparently increasing amount of experience in fornication, lesbianism, incest, pornography (print, video, internet and live), homosexuality and abuse of all kinds. Sex and sexuality education programmes in the schools assume children are little more than feral animals with insatiable and uncontrollable urges that require instruction in condom fitting, contraception strategies, STDs and how to obtain abortions.

We cannot even assume that private or integrated schools calling themselves “Christian” are clear on the distinctives of a Christian world and life view. A Christian school this writer helped to get established invited the secular D.A.R.E. drug programme into their classrooms. They took over for three afternoons a week for five weeks! Their first unit was on self-perception, and they – remember this is a secular crowd in a Christian school – they first of all explored the question, “Who am I?” So how does a secularist answer such a question in a Christian school? That you are a creature made in the image of God? That you are fallen in Adam and possess a fatal sin nature? That your only salvation in this life and the next is in Jesus Christ? That you have a soul for which Christ died and for which the devil is going to make constant ploys to deceive into his camp? That God commands you to repent? That you have a sure home in heaven if you do, and that you will roast in hell forever if you don’t? That you are called by God to be an ambassador of Jesus Christ here on this earth, to bear the ministry and the message of reconciliation to a crooked and perverse generation all around you, a generation who really doesn’t want to hear? Or will they say you are a child of the universe, a citizen of mother earth, that you are very special to your family and have the ability of making others feel special too, that you are free to do as you like, as long as you don’t harm others or limit their freedom to do as they like?

Schools Are Malevolent

There is something about the whole concept of “school” which appears to be malevolent. It has been a favourite tactic of social engineering by statist control freaks for many centuries. Plato (427-347BC) wrote a book called Laws in which we read on page 804, “The children shall come (to the schools) not only if their parents please, but if they do not please; there shall be compulsory education, as the saying is, of all and sundry, as far as this is possible; and the pupils shall be regarded as belonging to the state rather than to their parents.”1 Plato gives a further insight into statist education, both ancient and modern, when he writes, “If anyone at all is to have the privilege of lying, the rulers of the state should be the persons; and they, in their dealings either with their enemies or with their own citizens, may be allowed to lie for the public good.”2

Prussian kings sought to instill social obedience into the citizens through indoctrination. Every individual had to become convinced, in the core of his being, that the King was just, his decisions always right and the need for obedience paramount. A series of schools edicts that for the first time made clear that education was a task of the state, finally culminated in 1763 when Frederick II made schooling compulsory for all children between five and thirteen. In 1794 all schools and universities were made institutions of the state.3

About 1832 a group of wealthy Unitarians in Boston adopted the Prussian system as their model for instituting publicly funded schools in America, because in that system the state had complete control, parents had no influence and children were entered at the earliest age. The group designed a three-part plan: (1) compulsory attendance, (2) a state teacher’s college degree prerequisite to certification as a teacher, and (3) state owned and operated schools. When the Massachusetts state legislature hesitated to enact such legislation, the Unitarians offered to help pay for it, 50/50. They did, and in 1837 the first state public school system in the United States was established. Soon other states followed suit.4

Karl Marx, 1818-1883, identified free, compulsory and secular state education as one of the tools through which the proponents of Communism would take over the world. A contemporary of Marx, Abraham Lincoln, saw something similar, but expressed it somewhat differently: “The philosophy of the classroom is the philosophy of the government in the next generation.”

Edward Roth, in his 1906 book Social Control, said, “plans are on the way to replace community, family, and church with propaganda, education, and mass media. People are only little plastic lumps of human dough.”

In the May 1949 issue of Progressive Educator magazine, Kenneth Benne declared: “… Teachers and school administrators should come to see themselves as social engineers. They must equip themselves as change agents.” He was merely spouting the same language as the “Father of Progressive Education” John Dewey.5

The Humanist magazine published a prize-winning essay in its Jan/Feb, 1983, issue entitled “A Religion for a New Age” by John J. Dunphy. He lays all the humanist cards on the table, including the fact that secular humanism is not just a philosophy but a religion.  Part of this essay reads as follows:

I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being.

These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of the education level — preschool, day care or large state university.

The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new — the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of Humanism, resplendent in its promise of a world in which the never-realized Christian idea of “love thy neighbor” will finally be achieved.

New Zealand’s own Phillip Capper, past president of the PPTA, said, “What I would like to see in the political debate about education is a recognition that public education is an exercise in social engineering by definition.”6

All Education Has an Agenda

This is only scratching the surface of the evidence. Never let anyone get away with saying that education or schooling is neutral: all education has an agenda….it’s in the very nature of education itself (as you’ve just read in the statements quoted above): to change the way people think. Your own home education also has an agenda….and you need to be able to articulate it, or you may find yourself following an agenda set by someone else, an agenda you just picked up from what sounded like good ideas from here and from there. Sadly, many of us start home education with the ideas we imbibed during our own state secular schooling days. Such godless ideas do not work the righteousness of God: we need to dredge our minds, re-evaluating everything according to the Scriptures.

It must also be acknowledged that many Christian schools have been hijacked by teachers and administrators who are more influenced by the secular humanist, Marxist and socialist doctrines they picked up in their own public schooling than they are influenced by Biblical doctrine. And if a Christian school was ever turning out effective Christian disciples, it would immediately become a prime target for the enemies of the cross.

This is another reason why we men must be committed to home education and to running as Biblical a home environment as we can: to keep our children immersed in a tightly focused Christian family, the most foundational and least-able-to-be-hijacked institution around. The key to its Christian soundness, men, is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ working through a husband and father who, as head of his house, is as committed to the Scriptures and to becoming as knowledgeable and articulate as he can be.

These articles in Keystone are written with this purpose in mind.

Notes:

1. Robert R. Rusk, The Doctrines of the Great Educators, 1954, London: Macmillan & Co., p. 30.

2. Plato’s Republic, page 389, as quoted in Robert R. Rusk, The Doctrines of the Great Educators, 1954, London: Macmillan & Co., p. 15.

3. “Public Education versus Liberty: The Pedigree of an Idea” by Michiel Visser, http://www.acton.org/programs/students/essay/2001winners/index.html

4. “We Are Losing Our Children”, Remarks to the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee by T. C. Pinckney, Nashville, TN, September 18, 2001, http://sepschool.org/SIG/losing.html

5. Dennis Cuddy, 20 Years of Federal Change Agentry, pg.1.

6. Dominion Sunday Times, 14 October 1990.

From Keystone Magazine

March 2003 , Vol. IX No. 2
P O Box 9064
Palmerston North
Phone: (06) 357-4399
Fax: (06) 357-4389
email: craig@hef.org.nz

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Maths

Maths

by Craig Smith

Many of us, when starting out home educating for the first time, feel we haven’t got a clue how to tackle maths. We weren’t so good at it ourselves at school, and our youngest siblings started doing a type of maths at school we never saw before, and how will my children ever learn trigonometry and calculus from me?

OK, calm down. As in any other area, because you are the child’s parent, an adult, and have been around the block now a couple of times, you know from personal experience what kind of maths they need to learn. Unless it is clear they are going into engineering as a career, you can probably forget about the trigonometry, geometry and calculus. Just don’t worry about it for now. What maths do you use on a daily basis?

counting addition subtraction
multiplication division measuring
fractions decimals money
estimation proportions percentages
budget balance cheque book

That is what your children will need. And if they master those things, — and I’m talking about really mastering these things well —  they will be streets ahead of their peers, not to mention set up for the rest of their lives.

Take things in a logical progression: there are the concepts and then there is the method of manipulating those concepts with pencil and paper. Until they are starting to read, the pencil and paper work is off the menu. But until then there are the concepts to learn!

Learn to count using anything and everything: pebbles in the drive, chairs around the table, cars parked in the street. Go over it and over it until they have it memorised backwards and forwards. Virtually everyone has already done this as it seems to come naturally. Both parent and child appear to love it. Use this same methodology for all concepts until age 10 or so. Parents and other adults (such as school teachers) get tired of the repetition years before the children do, so they look for shortcut methods, and the schools have demonstrated that these only short change the students’ grasp of the facts.

Do addition and subtraction with pebbles, beans, matches, whatever. When they can read numerals (“5” is a symbol, a numeral, which stands for a number of things, five to be exact. Get your terminology right for it will eliminate massive confusion later. “376” is a three-digit numeral which stands for quite a large number of things.) Anyway, when they are reading numerals, write all the maths facts (addition & subtraction first; multiplication later) on flash cards and drill them until they know them randomly without hesitation. We made it a game to see how many they could get right in 60 seconds — each child raced only the clock, not another child. (Once they are individually good at it, then they can challenge each other, but it is too discouraging while they’re still just learning them.) We drilled them against the clock maybe 3 or 4 times each day, not even 15 minutes each.  Before they had them mastered, they were reading, and so we moved to pencil and paper computation.

This is a lot trickier. Adding 12563 and 35412 is great fun as is subtracting 3124 from 5376 for there is no borrowing or carrying over. Ours all loved doing these over and over. When you get into carrying over as in 59 plus 78 or borrowing as in 120 minus 75, the concept of place values and the concept of “0” become absolutely critical and must be thoroughly mastered before they can progress. Take your time over this. An abacus can help. Schools often don’t tackle this until age 9 or 10, but children can learn this a lot earlier. Every child is different, remember, but if we can motivate them by doing it with them and making it pleasurable rather than a pain, they will progress rapidly.

From Keystone Magazine

January 2003, Vol. IX No. 1

P O Box 9064

Palmerston North
Phone: (06) 357-4399
Fax: (06) 357-4389
email: craig@hef.org.nz

To order a subscription to Keystone Magazine do one of the following:

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Defining a World View part 2 and final

Defining a World View

Part 2 (Final)

by Craig Smith

Part I ended with rhetorical questions about the suitability of using Dr David Noebel’s set of ten defining disciplines of any world view as a basis for one’s home education curriculum. In his landmark book, Understanding the Times and also in later works such as The Battle for Truth and Mind Siege, Dr Noebel compares and contrasts the four major world views of the Western world (Biblical Christianity, Marxist/Leninism, Secular Humanism and Cosmic Humanism/New Ageism) in regards to a set of 10 areas of thought and study. It is Dr Noebel’s contention that any world view of consequence will address each of these areas: Theology, Philosophy, Biology, Psychology, Ethics, Sociology, Law, Politics, Economics and History.

How often do you reach for a book in any of these subject areas? For most of us, all of these subjects, with the possible exception of history, would rarely be given a second thought. Yet, when you do think about it, our children (not to mention ourselves!) need to be clued up in each of these areas, for we deal with them in essential ways virtually every day. Understanding these things will allow us and our children to be incredibly well-equipped to run our own families and households, to be leaders in the church and to be sought after in the community for our wisdom. Hey, do you see a pattern here? It’s what the Lord has promised ages ago: read Deuteronomy 28:1-14. Part of the promise – as well as the condition to its fulfillment – is in verse 13: “And the Lord will make you the head, and not the tail; and you shall tend upward only, and not downward; if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God…” Having a Biblical world view is knowing what the commandments are in every area of life, being able to think God’s thoughts after Him because our minds are molded and drenched in His word as opposed to being polluted by the stuff disgorged from TV, radio and the papers.

Let’s look at each of these 10 disciplines in turn.

Theology: A world view will have a position on the existence and nature of God. This is foundational to any world view. In the Christian world view Jesus is God. There are statements to this effect and situations described which indicate this all through the New Testament. Prophecies in the Old Testament indicated the same. Next time you read through the New Testament as a family, a fascinating, faith-building study is to simply note down all the passages which point to the divinity of Christ. Here are a couple of starters: John 1:14, John 10:30, Titus 3:4 & 6.

Humanists and Marxists posit Atheism for their theology. This is a logically self-defeating stance, which few even pick up on. They have to first posit the existence of God, theism, in order to then take their stand against it, a-theism. New Agers are pantheistic, believing that God is or is in everything.

The down-stream implications of any of these positions are quite dramatic: A Creator means a creation that reflects the Creator’s character in its workings, that is, in its biology, history, law, politics and all the rest and strongly implies a purpose to existence. No creator implies things just got here by themselves somehow and there probably is no purpose to anything, apart from whatever purpose you as an individual care to attach to things. No Creator, no God, means Man is the ultimate, if he so chooses, and can call all his own shots, a very popular philosophy among tyrants over nations and tyrants over their fellow kindergarten classmates. The Pantheist sees no distinction between the divine and the creation: they are one. So you are god, I am god, the whales and dolphins are gods, the earth is too.

Philosophy: A world view seeks to understand the nature of reality (ontology) and how one would determine what is real, what is knowledge, what is truth (epistemology). For Christians, all truth and knowledge are found in Jesus Christ, “The Logos of God.” John 1:1; John 14:6; Colossians 2:3. There is a material world and a spiritual world, both created good by God, but fallen into sin and corruption. So the world around us and everything in it, both material and spiritual, both natural and super-natural, is reflective of God’s glory, yet not as good as it was originally. There are things which are always true. Whatever we know to be true, we only know because God has revealed it to us.

Other views are naturalism, materialism and dialectical materialism which deny any spirituality or the super-natural. Because they’ve put on these blinders of denial, the first two are fairly fatalistic. Things are the way they are because natural or material forces, action and reaction, stimulus and response, pretty much determine everything. Dialectical Materialism is much more dynamic, and if you’re at the top, you can have a lot of fun manipulating others through the common acceptance of this process. When two ideas seem to be at loggerheads, just find the common ground and synthesize the two. This new idea will eventually come against an opposition, so, as before, look for the common ground and synthesize once again. There is no permanent truth in this process. Whatever works (for you) right now is true, is best. This is pragmatism with no parameters.

The Cosmic Humanist / New Ager is not exactly spiritual as Christians would understand it, but more like non-naturalism, that is, denying the reality or ultimacy of the material. The super-natural is all there is: “may force be with you” kind of thing.

Can you see the extremism of non-Christian world views? It is either all one or the other, totally materialistic or totally non-material, while the Christian is not so narrow minded as that and recognizes both! The others say all is run by the mind of man or determined by the blind forces of nature, while Christians see mankind given the opportunity to work with or against God, to be driven by or to harness the natural environment around him. If you want to do some reading on philosophy to find out a bit more, please be careful what you start with: a nonChristian work in this area can really get you totally confused and twisted up. And don’t start with “Christian Philosophy” where you get into arguments for the existence of God. For crying out loud, surely we’ll just take that as a given. It might be best to begin with some basic logic lessons: Christian Education Services, 55 Richards Ave, North Shore City, cesbooks@intouch.co.nz, ph. (09) 410-3933 and Geneva Books, 13 Tararua St., Upper Hutt, wibo.lisa@actrix.co.nz, ph. (04) 527-0565 have books in this area. And two home educated young men in the USA, Nathaniel & Han Bluedorn, have published material as well as a website dedicated to this pursuit; www.christianlogic.com .

Biology: The origin of life on earth is an essential ingredient of every world view. The stance one takes here is not only determined by the previous disciplines (Theology and Philosophy) but also determines so much of other disciplines down-stream. Jesus is “The Life,” John 1:4. If God did not make life, but it made itself, then life is not sacred, it is simply impersonal bits of matter cobbled together,  and there are no areas of research / experimentation one should rule as off limits. If you have already ruled God out of existence, evolution is your only biological option. There are lots of excellent resources in this area: Answers in Genesis, PO Box 39005, Howick, Auckland, ph. (09) 537-4818, www.answersingenesis.com or do a web search on Creation Science.

Psychology: A worldview will explain the nature of man. Jesus reveals the evil intentions of man’s heart as a result of the Fall and indwelling sin. This is not the way man was created – he was created good – and man can be redeemed from this fallen state: not by his own efforts, but by the unmerited grace of God in Jesus Christ. So the Christian understands that humans are not innocent at birth nor do they live at any time on earth in a state of “normalcy”, but are always carrying in their bodies the cancer of sin which manifests itself in a tendency to rebel against all authority and to hate others. Jeremiah 17:9; Jeremiah 10:23; John 3:19; Romans 3:23-25.

NonChristian psychologies see man in a state of innocence and normalcy. He may be able to order his own ways, individually or collectively, toward certain goals or he may be destined to no more than what his personal genetics and material environment allow. If collectively man could eliminate those things in his environment that cause him to do evil (poverty, illiteracy, ideas about competition to get ahead of others, superstitions about being sinners) then we would live in a paradise on earth. Christians know that only God can usher in a paradise, and that only after Judgement Day and the creation of new heavens and a new earth.

Study Romans chapters 1 through 8, chapters 1 and 7 especially. Get a hold of Martin Luther’s “Bondage of the Will” (it is online at: http://www.graciouscall.org/books/luther/bondage/toc.html) Or read up on the doctrine of sin or the doctrine of total depravity (a lengthy article and a book on these subjects are at: http://www.bible.org/docs/theology/hamart/sin.htm and http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Depravity/depravity.htm .

Ethics: The basis of ethics, from whence it derives its authority, whether it is unchanging or developing, are key issues in every world view. Jesus is “The true Light that gives light to every man” John 1:9. Love for God first and for others second is the command of God guiding Christian ethics. Matthew 22:37-40. It is totally “other” centred. And there are unchanging absolutes of right and wrong. Other views which have abandoned God of necessity embrace evolution, see selfishness as normal and therefore are stuck with an ethics of relativism, doing whatever you like as long as you don’t harm others or impinge upon their freedoms. For a practical exercise, just watch TV for a while and see how the concepts of right and wrong, good and bad, are handled or how the virtues of truthfulness, fidelity, chastity, honesty, faithfulness and any altruistic or “other” centred motivations are dealt with in entertainment programmes and in advertising. Read the newspapers and listen to our politicians in the same way. You’ll see we’ve come a long way….a long way from Christian truth.

Sociology: What is the foundational relationship in a society, the basic unit? Jesus endorses marriage of one man to one woman as the family, as the building block of society. Matthew 19:4-6. It is prior to and more basic than the state or the church, for the family can and has survived a collapse of the state or the church; but neither the state nor the church could survive the collapse of families. Yet the nuclear family is under attack. Scan the papers for a week and note the comments, the reports, the economic and legislative propositions that tend to put the traditional family in a bad light or at a disadvantage while promoting alternative arrangements as normal, legitimate or preferable.

Worldviews with man at the center instead of God will promote any ad hoc arrangement of individuals, ultimately including animals, as a “family”. In addition, such worldviews swing between the ultimacy of man as an individual and man as the collective. Sometimes the individual is more important than the group, and so a family composition can morph from day to day if desired or even remain unconsidered since it is a collective concept of lesser importance than the individuals within it. At other times the group is more important than the individual, and so individuals are expendable for the sake of and preservation of the group’s equilibrium: abortion, eugenics and euthanasia become major tools for preserving sociological health and well-being.

Only Christianity has the perfect balance between the one and the many, between the importance of the individual and the importance of the group and their interdependency and responsibility toward one another. This reflects the perfect balance of our Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Law: The ultimate source for law is a worldview issue of paramount importance. The questions are, “Who’s in charge here? And who says so?” Jesus acknowledges the central importance of law. “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17-20.

False views of law started in the Garden when the serpent cast doubt on God’s authority to make the law by asking, “Did God say…?” and then by contradicting Him by saying, “You will not die.”. Eve fell for all this, and took us all with her, when she decided she could get into this law-making business for herself and make her own version of God’s law, suitably modified to suit her own personal tastes.

Some see the Old Testament as having three areas of law: the moral (the 10 Commandments), the civil (for controlling the society) and the ceremonial (that connected with the Temple worship). Some of these say that Christ’s sacrifice and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost have replaced the ceremonial law and that the civil law was only for OT Israel and that we only need follow the moral law. Some of these then include the 4th Commandment (the Sabbath Day) and others leave it out. Others say we are still bound by both the moral and the civil laws. It is certainly true that all of Western Society has basically written the OT civil laws directly into their own civil law codes. (And they seem to be busy these days systematically going through the statute books to eliminate or pervert any Biblical statutes: abortion on demand, no-fault divorce, de factoes and homosexuals living “in the nature of marriage” getting property and inheritance rights being some examples.) Still others say that the Old Testament is old and thoroughly discarded today for Christ came to bring something entirely new. This is a form of dispensationalism that I personally reckon to be well off the track, very dangerous, indistinguishable from most types of secular humanism which also scrub out the past and make up their own rules as they go, loosely based on their interpretations of various parts of the New Testament only, and characteristic of cults I know well such as the Cooperites in the South Island. The bottom line is that we must all be clear about 1) the source of law and 2) the applicability of Biblical law today. Jesus said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4), which obviously includes the entire Old Testament and the entire New Testament.

Politics: Civil government, as part of God’s creation order for man, is consistent with some kind of worldview. While the Lord Jesus Christ did not come as a political figure, He nevertheless is King of kings and Lord of lords, the One to Whom everyone will give account, the One before Whom every knee will bow and every tongue confess to be Lord (Philippians 2:10-11). John 19:10-11; Romans 13:1.

The civil government, or central government or Parliament, is only one government among many, and not the most important one. Sound strange? Then you have imbibed a nonChristian world view in the area of politics. The first government is the self government of the individual. Then there is the government of the family, with dad at the head carrying the lion’s share of the responsibility and catching all the flak and shielding mum and the children. Mum carries a fair measure of the family government and the children are all under Dad’s and Mum’s authority. There are the church governments and the government of your workplace. Each government has its own legitimate sphere of influence.

The problem with nonChristian politics is that most of them see no problem with the civil government extending (unilaterally without so much as an invitation or by the manipulation of another nonChristian concept of the democratic ballot box) its influence, nay, its controlling power, over the spheres of influence of other governments, in particular the government of the family and that of the individual. State-funded compulsory schooling is a major body-blow to the government of the family, weakening it considerably. Home education of any description is a very strong political statement, for here you have families taking the government back away from the state.

Economics: The stewardship of both the natural resources and created wealth is done in every society according to some sort of world view. Jesus recognizes the legitimacy of taxes and of private property as well as the importance of individual and familial economic responsibility. Matthew 22:21; Acts 5:4; II Thessalonians 3:10; I Timothy 5:8. Collectivist economies tend to deny the concept of private property and personal responsibility, which means the individual is not motivated to take risks in development for he does not keep the fruits of his labour. Historically such cultures remain poor and underdeveloped. Home educators can have some great experiments with economics: Toss the weekly budget money on the table and democratically divide it up among all family members. Let each one feed him or herself for that week. Later let each take turns being responsible for feeding the entire family in subsequent weeks. If the family wants to upgrade their stereo system, for example, have a family pow wow over the usual food, power, clothing, entertainment and petrol bills and work out ways to save money in each. Over several months let the money saved be put into a special fund. Notice how money can be saved and an expensive item purchased with simple lifestyle changes over time. Or simply budget so many dollars less each month, redirecting the balance straight to the stereo fund. Notice in this case how one’s lifestyle very quickly adjusts to the realities of the funds available. Ensure that the children get plenty of regular chores without pay and extra chores for pay with the opportunity to spend their earned cash on whatever they like. But also build into their earning and spending patterns the habit of tithing to the Lord His 10% plus laying aside another 10% for their own future, specifically money they will not touch until needed for buying a house.

History: History is His Story as He works out His purposes among men. History culminates in Christ. It is not a collection of interesting yet unconnected and purposeless occurrences over time. John 20:30-31; I Corinthians 15:3-4. Neither is history cyclical or aimless; it is linear, with both a beginning and an end. Christians know a lot about both the beginning and the end and can therefore order their ways accordingly.

A fascinating study on your own life history is to draw a personal timeline, giving yourself 80 years (be optimistic!) Note the length of time you were a child, a teen, independent and single, married. Note the times when the children came along and approximate when they may leave, showing a solid block of your parenting years. Note also your retirement years. Somehow show that after death your final state as alive in Christ and with Him extends forever in that one direction. See how it puts some things into perspective: that most of life is lived as married: that’s number one. Then as married with children or maybe married and retired is longer on your timeline. Either way, note how insignificantly long are those “youth” or “teen” years that our culture seems to portray as all-important. Note also that those years are or should be used to prepare for the next section: that of being married. Make timelines for your children too, and help them see where they are in relation to what is most likely up ahead. The perspective this kind of project can give is great for forward planning. If you are 28 and plan to be a fully credentialed auto electrician and mechanic plus own your own business with two staff and earning enough to allow you to put in only three days a week by the time you’re 45, you can map out the kind of progress you’ll need to make. How available will you be for your children’s education during the build-up years? How essential is it to “be there” at 45 if it means you really aren’t going to be available for your children during those all important formative years. How many more children are you likely to have between now and then? Will it mean your wife is going to need your assistance more than you would like to hit your goals by age 45?

Other world views ultimately see both history and the future as irrelevant to self, so the tendency is to live for self today: the old “eat, drink and be merry” syndrome.

Only a systematic Christian faith (as opposed to the usual smorgasbord variety) has a world view which is comprehensive, cohesive, consistent and complete. With such a world view Christian home educators can more than cope with the world; we can conquer it.

From Keystone Magazine

November 2002 , Vol. VIII No. 6
P O Box 9064
Palmerston North
Phone: (06) 357-4399
Fax: (06) 357-4389
email: craig@hef.org.nz

To order a subscription to Keystone Magazine do one of the following:

send email to sales@hef.org.nz with visa number

post cheque or visa number to PO Box 9064, Palmerston North, New Zealand

fax: 06 357-4389

phone: 06 357-4399

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Sella (No added fees):  http://www.sella.co.nz/store/4ym9qg/home-education-foundation/display-100

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