October 22, 2017

“How Did You Stick At It?”

“How Did You Stick At It?”

We were convinced about home education from
Scripture and the nature of the state schools. We stuck
to it as pioneers by faith. Today we are thrilled with the
results. More than that, we can see how much more
effective we could have been if we had not had the
negative responses, the doubt, the insecurity, the lack
of support and the lack of vision. All of these things
have today been rectified.
II Corinthians 3:18 is one of those key passages that
guide my entire outlook on life. It says (in my beloved
RSV): “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the
glory of the Lord, are being changed into His likeness
from one degree of glory to another; for this comes
from the Lord Who is the Spirit.” This says change is
part of the Christian’s life. But not just change for the
sake of change. No, the change is specific and
directional: into the likeness of Jesus Christ and from
one degree of glory to another. To me that clearly
communicates that it is an uphill climb in which I am
to be engaged for the rest of my life. I don’t like the
idea of slogging uphill all my days,
but that is clearly what this is telling
me is a normal part of Christian life.
It is not an isolated idea, by the way:
it is all though Scripture. The Ten
Commandments of Exodus 20 call us
to certain standards which the Lord
Jesus explained in the Sermon on the
Mount (Matthew 5) were actually far
more stringent than most ever
thought, saying we must hunger and
thirst for righteousness, not assume
that He came to abolish the Law,
have a righteousness that exceeds the
Pharisees, be perfect as our heavenly
Father is perfect. Deuteronomy 6:5
says we are to love God with
everything we’ve got, just as our
Lord Jesus also said. Paul writes in
Philippians 3:12-16 to forget the past
while maintaining the standards
gained in the past and press onwards
and upwards to the prize.
In addition Romans 5:17 (RSV) says,
“If, because of one man’s trespass,
death reigned through that one man,
much more will those who receive
the abundance of grace and the free
gift of righteousness reign in life
through the one man Jesus Christ.” Death reigns
on earth at the rate of nearly 100%: I
suppose Enoch did not see death nor did the
prophet Elijah, nor will those left alive when the
Lord returns to wrap up the whole show on
judgement day. But we who received grace and
righteousness (a gift, note, not one we earned by
our good works which the verses in the previous
paragraph and James 2:14-26 and others say we
must still perform); we who are born again
Christians should reign in life more, much more,
than death reigns! But we reign in this life through
Jesus Christ. We reign in life! We don’t just get by; we
don’t just survive; we don’t just struggle through each
month financially and emotionally, wondering what the
purpose of it all is…we REIGN in life!!! We’re on the
top, not the bottom; we’re the head and not the tail; we
are as the wealthiest yet possessing little of this world’s
goods…because we reign through Jesus Christ.
OK, so how do we do that? Colossians 3:1-3: “If then
you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that
are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of
God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on
things that are on earth. For you have died, and your
life is hid with Christ in God.” Romans 8 talks about
how we can now fulfil the just requirement of the Law
by walking according to the Spirit, setting our minds
on the things of the Spirit, not on things of the flesh.
Galatians 2:20 is probably the clearest: “I have been
crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but
Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the
flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me
and gave Himself for me.” Jesus is to continue to live
on this earth vicariously as it were though us. We get
the blessings of an orderly, obedient, peaceful and
purposeful life. And we get persecutions…if we do the
same work as He did on this earth, we need to expect
all the same working conditions as He endured. This
really is what we are all called to do anyway. Luke
9:23-24: “If any man would come after Me, let him
deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow
Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and
whoever loses his life for My sake, he will save it.”
Our whole lives are to be given over to Him that we
may be used as instruments of righteousness in His
hands.
Home education is for us foundational in
accomplishing this kind of life to which we are called.
It is fulfilling one of the first, most primary callings we
have as humans, and even more so as parents: to tell
His praises to others, to inculcate His word into the
next generation, to evangelise and disciple the lost, to
train up our children to live for Him only as totally
committed soldiers of the cross. When I look to the
Scriptures about doing this, I see a very full
curriculum, one that includes the three Rs, all the hard
sciences, exceptional communication, language,
negotiation, mediation and teaching skills all to a high
standard of excellence in the three passages of Genesis
1:28, Matthew 28:18-20 and II Corinthians 5:17-20. In
doing these things we have found we are living, not for
ourselves, but for the glory of God, through Jesus
Christ…the purpose of living, of parenting, of home
educating is to see Christ live through us and
through our children, to see His Word living
and active and motivating and directing our
thoughts, words and deeds and those of our
children. Being focussed on our children has
FORCED us to get our own personal acts
together as committed followers of Jesus
Christ, and suddenly all the traditional goals
of Western life: to gain a bigger house,
flasher car, more paid holidays, a more
prestigious career, comfort, ease and
pleasure…none of these things appear on the
radar screen anymore. But we couldn’t be
more happy or fulfilled or excited about the
present as well as about the future. This is
how we stick at it…because we love it with a
passion!
But wait…there’s more! We Christian home
educators love children so much, many of us
have more than the bare replacement of 2.1
children per woman. Europe is dying: look at
what used to be the bastions of Roman
Catholicism which encourages large
families: Italy now has a birth rate of 1.2 per
woman; Spain’s is a mere 1.15. Of the 10
lowest birth rates in the world, 9 are in
Europe: the 10th is Japan. In addition,
unbelievers are increasing the slaughter of
their children who are conceived and also
engaging in lifestyles that ensure an increase
in infertility and early deaths. If we keep
having large families of 4, 5 & 6, just give us
a couple of generations and we’ll take over
by force of numbers! And then factor in the
advantages of strong family background, excellence in
education because of our desire to do all things well
and God’s favour upon His elect, and I see a bright
future indeed for our posterity…as long as we can
effectively communicate the vision to the third and
fourth generation so that they’ll do the same.
Everything about the state schooling system is so far
from any of this that it is simply irrelevant at best and
at worst is a mix of hostile philosophies and practises
designed to keep Christians lost in the woods of sinful
secularism and worldliness. Once we shed any desire
to be blessed by the MoE or ERO, to be approved by
them more than is legally required, to stay abreast of
their schooling system, to receive resources or advice
from them…once we became more or less one-eyed
about living for Christ alone, we lost a huge load of
useless baggage that clung pretty tightly. As a
consequence we became so much more free and
unencumbered to home educate (that is, live for
Christ). We have been freed to love and indulge our
passion for seeing Christ live in and through ourselves
and our children even more!
We are seeing the fulfilment of Psalm 37:4: “Take
delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of
your heart.” When the desires of our hearts start to
parallel His desires (as opposed to our own or those of
the state schooling system), then He obviously delights
to give us those desires!!

From Keystone Magazine

March 2007, Vol. XIII No. 2
P O Box 9064
Palmerston North
Phone: (06) 357-4399
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email: craig@hef.org.nz

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