Grace Christian School

Archives - February 2016

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5/15/19 - By Donald M. Larson, PhD
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4/16/19 - By John Morrison, Former GCS Head of School
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Headmaster's Blog

Archives - February 2016

The "Second Great Civil War?"

February 25, 2016
By John Morrison

In my last blog, I referenced the apostle Paul's description of how the battle for our children’s minds and hearts is a matter of intense, spiritual warfare.  Paul says, "I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ" (2 Cor. 11:3).  A number of years ago, James Dobson and Gary Bauer described the battle for the allegiance of the next generation's minds and hearts as the "Second Great Civil War" in America.  Based on what we are seeing, these words are certainly not exaggerated!

Some who have been following my blogs might wish that I would move on to other subjects. However, the seriousness of this topic cannot be overstated, and we must clearly understand what is at stake.

So it is that Jesus stated: "If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;  and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free"  (John 8:31-32).  A fundamental principle embedded in these words is that our lives are largely a function of our thinking at the level of our basic assumptions about reality.  If our mindset is steeped in false assumptions, these assumptions imprison us to their false reality.. But as our minds are permeated with God's word, we will be set free from false, harmful assumptions and brought into harmony with God's truth.  

So Paul writes: "... do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind ... " (Rom 12:2).  Eugene Peterson puts it like this: " ... don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking" (Rom 12:2; The Message).  Have we become so oriented to our culture’s mindset that we are conformed to it without our conscious realization?  This is why we must provide our children and youth with an education permeated with the Christian worldview and, at the same time, teach them to think critically in evaluating not only the truth claims of Christianity, but also the other worldviews that the culture hurls against them.

I conclude with one of my oft-quoted sayings from Francis Schaeffer, who was deeply burdened with the need to embed within our young people a distinctly Biblical worldview:

It is unreasonable to expect [the young] people of [any]generation in any age to continue in the historic Christian position, unless they are helped to see where arguments and connotations brought against Christianity and against them by their generation are fallacious ... The Holy Spirit can do what He will, but the Bible does not separate His work from knowledge; nor does the work of the Holy Spirit remove our responsibility as parents, pastors, evangelists, missionaries or teachers.  (The God Who is There, pp. 139-140.)

May God strengthen us in our resolve to swim against the mainstream of our larger culture in so equipping our children!

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

Education as Spiritual Warfare?

February 18, 2016
By John Morrison

In my recent blogs, I have focused upon the importance of the basic assumptions that are formed as the foundation of our children's worldview.  Are these assumptions rooted in the false presumptions of secularism, or are they grounded in Biblical truth?

The apostle Paul treats this as a matter of spiritual warfare:

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ ....
2 Cor. 10:3-5

Paul declares that the nature of this warfare is directed toward the strategic realm of the mind.  The fortresses which he is attacking are the "speculations" (vain imaginings and theories)  and "lofty" humanistic systems of thought that are contrary to the true knowledge of God.  Paul is aware that one of the most powerful dynamics in an individual's life pertains to his fundamental assumptions about God and reality.

He reiterates this emphasis a few sentences later in his letter to the Corinthians:

I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.
2 Cor 11:3

Paul here addresses the assumptions that are fundamental to the mindset of his readers.  In the same way that the gateway to Eve's fall into a false worldview (the lie of the Serpent) came through her thought life, so Paul appeals to the Corinthian believers to understand that their set of suppositions about reality are likewise foundational to their purity of devotion to Christ.  He knew that a false set of assumptions would lead to a corruption in their thinking and, therefore, potentially damage or even destroy their relationship with Christ.

Indeed, this was the strategy of the devil as depicted in Genesis 3.  Speaking through the serpent to Eve, Satan questioned her confidence in God's words concerning His directions about how to live in right relationship with Himself.  Eve entertained this different set of assumptions about reality and, at some point, bought into their false premise.  The result was her fall into sinful alienation from her Creator.

This same battle has raged throughout human history, with mankind continuing to buy into Satan's lie, which fundamentally is a false set of assumptions about ultimate reality. In this context, we must ask ourselves, "How diligent are we as parents in courageously shepherding the thought life of our children? What are the assumptions that we are purposefully embedding into their minds and hearts?"   

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

Changing How the Next Generation Thinks

February 10, 2016
By John Morrison

For this week’s blog, I was planning to “move on” to some related, but new themes.  However, it was just too much of a “coincidence” that I received a blog written by Glen Schultz, a life-long Christian educator, making some critical points consistent with much of what I have been blogging in recent weeks.  I hope you will take time to read Glen’s challenging and pointed remarks by clicking here.  

Please also consider passing this along to others!

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

Assumptions Affecting our Children

February 03, 2016
By John Morrison

In recent blogs we have explored how public education and pop culture smuggle the unexamined assumptions under-girding secular humanism into the mindset of our youth.  This is usually done without our (and their) being consciously aware of it.  Concerning this phenomenon, the late Francis Schaeffer observed:

We cannot assume that, because we are Christian . . automatically we shall be free from the influence of what surrounds us. ... It is unreasonable to expect people of the next generation in any age to continue in the historic Christian position, unless they are helped to see where arguments and connotations brought against Christianity and against them by their generation are fallacious. . . . (The God Who is There)

And, sadly, we have seen now for a number of generations the chilling accuracy of Schaeffer’s words. John Dickerson observes, "approximately two out of every three young evangelicals abandon their faith by age thirty."  Josh McDowell adds: "sixty-nine percent of evangelical teens leave the church after high school."  And Lifeway, the research arm of the Southern Baptists, reports: "seventy percent of Christian church attendees from the millennial generation quit attending church by age twenty-three."  (Quotes from Dickerson's The Great Evangelical Recession.)

In the this context, I cannot overemphasize that Christian parents and leaders must be vigilant guardians over those primary assumptions that become embedded within our children's fundamental mindset and worldview.

An authentic Christian education must do far more than merely impart the content of our Biblical faith; we must embed within our children the fundamental assumptions underlying Christian truth, and we must then help them critically examine these assumptions by mentoring them in understanding why they are reasonable and defensible against "the arguments and connotations brought against Christianity and against them" by our militantly secular culture.  Anything less is not a full-orbed and effective form of Christian education!

Such education is hard work and represents a significant sacrifice by both Christian parents and educators.  But in the end, it is one of the greatest investments we can make on behalf of the next generation as well as the future of the church in North America.

May God help us persevere in this great calling.  As C. B. Eavey observed in his excellent History of Christian Education: "So long as the church continued this practice of teaching the Bible (Christian education) it thrived, but when it neglected its teaching function it declined in spiritual life."

May God bring about an awakening in the larger Body of Christ to this great priority of investing in our children and youth through a thorough program of Christian education!

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

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