Grace Christian School

Headmaster's Blog

A Wonderful Concert

May 18, 2017
By John Morrison


Elementary School Choir

Let me “change up” my blog emphasis as I take a few weeks to celebrate our GCS student and staff accomplishments.  In particular, I am so proud of our GCS choral students and their teachers and accompanists as a result of their recent spring concert performed at Tinkling Spring Presbyterian Church!

While the pictures can speak for themselves, the radiant faces of our students coupled with their enthusiastic renditions of a diverse and uplifting selection of music was so very deeply moving for many of us in attendance.  As I was “gushing forth” in my praise after the concert, and about how it was one of our best ever, a senior high school student laughed and reminded me, “Mr. Morrison, you say that about every concert!”  But I am always so deeply moved at these concerts that each strikes me as the “best!”  Last week’s event was no exception.

Middle School Choir

I want to express congratulations and my deep appreciation to our three musical directors for their outstanding work with our three choirs: Mrs. Marie Masincup (elementary chorus); Mrs. Karen Palumbo (middle school chorus); Mrs. Lynn Vogan (high school chorus).  These ladies are doing an outstanding job working with our students, and we can never adequately thank them for the way that the pour their heart and soul into their ministry.  To you three, I would say simply that you are making an eternal impact in our students through your tutelage and influence in their lives!

Of course, if I try to thank everyone who made the concert possible  -- the accompanists and parent volunteers, our teachers and administrative team -- this blog would become quite lengthy.  And then there are the wonderful folks at Tinkling Spring who hosted this year’s event..  THANK YOU TO ALL FOR YOUR PART IN MAKING THIS WONDERFUL CONCERT POSSIBLE!

We also thank all of our gifted students for their hard work in preparing this very special blessing for those of us who were able to attend!  We are proud of you!

High School Choir

Truly, we were not only “entertained,” but also experienced a time in worshipping our wonderful Lord through the very uplifting and Christ-honoring music.  Thank you all so much!  

I invite you to join me at tonight’s Arts Night festivities as we continue celebrating our Fine Arts Program.  Student recitals (piano, violin, voice and guitar), as well as student artwork will be presented at the Elementary-Middle School Campus beginning at 6:30 pm.

If you would like to respond to this blog, please email John Morrison at grace@gcswarriors.org.

Fake News (Continued)

May 10, 2017
By John Morrison

In last week's blog where I explored the phenomenon of "fake news," I quoted Romano Guardini: "True illness of the mind and spirit sets in when a man no longer cherishes the truth but despises it, when he uses it as a means to his own ends, when in the depths of his soul, truth ceases to be to him the primary, the most important concern."    Our basic assumptions about reality will dictate the course of our lives as stated in Proverbs: "As a man thinks, so he is."  Thus, the formation of our children's basic assumptions about reality is vital in their spiritual and mental  health, as stated by Guardini.  Furthermore, even if they are not followers of Christ when leaving our homes, when we have deposited Christian truth into their lives, we can trust the Holy Spirit to arrest and convict them when He knows is best!

This is a recurring theme for a growing number of Christian leaders, because it seems the larger Christian community remains naive when it comes to this basic point.  I know that I step on toes when I speak negatively about secular, public education.  And I am thankful for the many very dedicated folks, including Christians, who serve as public educators.  But the system itself is permeated, beyond repair, with "fake news" assumptions about reality which are being proactively embedded in so many of our children.  

In his two-part blog series on "fake news," Glen Schultz makes this point by referencing another Christian leader, Jeff Keaton of Renewanation:

Jeff Keaton, founder and director of Renewanation, regularly asks parents, church leaders and educators the following question.

     Falsehood: How Much Is Too Much?

Keaton goes on to ask listeners if they would keep their children in a school that teaches the following to be true:

     2+2=7

     Turtles are faster than cheetahs.

     The Americans were defeated by the Nazis.

     George Washington was the King of England.

     The law of gravity doesn’t exist.

Of course, everyone responds that they would not keep their children in a school that teaches these things to be true.  However, Keaton then asks if they would keep them in a school that teaches these things to be true:

     God is irrelevant, even non-existent!

     The Bible cannot be trusted!

     God did not create the world!

     Sex outside of marriage is expected!

     Same sex marriage is good and normal!

Both lists of so-called facts are fake news because none of their statements “map to reality” and are “deliberate attempts to spread misinformation.”  The sad reality is that very few Christians would keep their children in a school that taught the first group of statements as being true but the majority of Christians actually keep their children in schools that teach the second group of statements as being true.  Is it because we, too, have become victims of “fake news”?

This may be, for many, an inconvenient truth.  But truth generally has little regard for convenience!  To read Glen Schultz's entire blog, click here.

If you would like to respond to this blog, please email John Morrison at grace@gcswarriors.org.

Redefining Reality (Revisited)

May 03, 2017
By John Morrison

For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth.  Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.
Jesus Speaking Before Pilate (John 18:37)

Saul Alinsky, in his now famous guide to community organizing entitled Rules for Radicals, stated: "... the first radical known to man ... rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom--Lucifer."  Holding up Lucifer as a role model, Alinsky goes on to state: "You have to do what you can with what you have, and clothe it with moral arguments."  In other words, the end justifies the means, and any notion of objective truth is to be replaced with untruths if they help achieve that desired end.

Playing loose with truth is increasingly the mode of operation within our larger culture where powerful special interests are furthering their agendas.  In his excellent blog, Christian educator Glen Schultz examines the widespread phenomenon of "fake news,"  which he defines as "a sensational piece of news which does not map to reality ...  a deliberate spread of misinformation."   He adds:

Michael Radutzky, a producer of CBS 60 Minutes,  states that “fake news are stories that are probably false, have enormous traction in the culture, and are consumed by millions of people.”  Guy Campanile, also of 60 Minutes, said, “What we are talking about are stories that are fabricated out of thin air.  By most measures, deliberately, and by any definition, that’s a lie.”

Fake news is precisely what Alinsky meant as referenced in the opening paragraph above.  I would urge my readers to read Schultz's entire blog on this disturbing trend by clicking this link.

Fake news is not limited to the news media.  In his excellent book, Strangers in a Strange Land, Charles Chaput relates the following:

In 2015, writing in the New York Times, Justin McBrayer--a philosophy professor--noted an odd trend in public schools.  Current standards in his local school district required students to know the difference between facts and opinions.  But in checking his second grade son's homework, he realized that every moral or ethical premise his child encountered was treated as an opinion as opposed to a fact.  "All  men are created equal."  "Copying homework assignments is wrong."  "Cursing in school is inappropriate behavior."  All these things were being taught as opinions, not facts.  

In his essay,  McBrayer argued that such a curriculum "sets up our children for doublethink.  Students learn standards of conduct and mutual respect in school as part of growing up.  That's always been the case.  But today they're also taught that those same standards are, in essence, elegant sounding opinions.”

So, what do the above quote and fake news have in common?  Simply this: reality is being redefined as whatever finite man wants it to be (his opinion) rather than the traditional concept that truth is an accurate description of actual reality!  Of this notion of redefining reality, scholar Romano Guardini stated: "True illness of the mind and spirit sets in when a man no longer cherishes the truth but despises it, when he uses it as a means to his own ends, when in the depths of his soul, truth ceases to be to him the primary, the most important concern."  

Guardini's profound statement reflects the words of our Lord as He stood before Pilate: "For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."  We must recognize that one’s commitment to live consistent with truth is a life and death matter.  In contrast, that which is not an accurate rendition of truth is, in essence, a lie, or as we might phrase it today, false news.  One whose life is based upon such false assumptions about reality, especially as those assumptions pertain to God, is set for a great fall.  And any system of education, at any point where it diverges from Christian truth claims, powerfully contributes to the formation of false assumptions and presuppositions in how our children view reality.   Such an education is based on “fake news.”

This is why, as a vital aspect of our educational emphasis at GCS, we are working hard to teach our students how to discern truth from what is false by cultivating Holy Spirit-enabled critical thinking through our Christian worldview integration program.   This must be an integral aspect of a distinctly Christian education!

If you would like to respond to this blog, please email John Morrison at grace@gcswarriors.org.

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