Grace Christian School

Archives - January 2017

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5/15/19 - By Donald M. Larson, PhD
5/1/19 - By Casey Musselman, Dean of High School Students
4/24/19 - By Casey Musselman, Dean of High School Students
4/16/19 - By John Morrison, Former GCS Head of School
4/11/19 - By Abigail Erdman, GCS 7th Grader
4/2/19 - By Robert Brent, GCS Parent
3/25/19 - By Brian Fitzgerald, High School Principal
3/12/19 - By Brian Fitzgerald, High School Principal
3/6/19 - By Brian Fitzgerald, High School Principal
2/27/19 - By Kristen Lihos, Interim Advancement Director

Headmaster's Blog

Archives - January 2017

The Redefinition of Reality

January 25, 2017
By John Morrison

What I say in the following is certainly in the category of some of the most important content I have written over the years.  I hope my readers, especially parents whose children are in their formative years, will give it careful consideration.

The LGBTQ phenomenon that has emerged in our culture as a powerful engine driving rapid, radical social change must not be viewed as an isolated issue.  As I stated last week, it is the tip of the secularist spear that is piercing our society with a much larger agenda behind it.  

Philosopher Michael Hanby puts it like this: "We now find ourselves in a world in which things that were given — maleness and femaleness, sexual comple-mentarity as normative, the traditional family, and so forth — no longer are. The most radical of these things is the concept that male and female have nothing to do with biology, that they are conditions chosen by individuals, as they will.”  In other words, secularism is about redefining reality (truth); the LGBT agenda is simply spearheading this cultural change.  

This agenda to redefine reality masquerades behind the subtle mask of "personal freedom and liberty."  In high sounding words that, at first glance, seem compelling, Supreme Court Justice Kennedy opined in 1992: “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”  But we must clearly understand that embedded in these nice sounding words is the premise that there is no such thing as objective truth; rather, truth about reality is merely an individual, human-centered construct, according to no less than Justice Kennedy.  This is largely what is meant by those who describe our times as "the post-truth" age.  The fact that “post-truth” is the Oxford Dictionary’s “Word of the Year” in 2016 underlines just how widespread this mindset has become.

But the apostle Paul makes clear in Romans 1 that when man rejects what Francis Schaeffer called "true truth," sooner or later he will crash head-on into the brick wall of reality, much to his own harm.  That brick wall is simply the logical consequence of living contrary to actual reality as God has designed it.  Hildegard, a ninth century Benedictine abbess, observed: " All of creation God gives to humankind to use.  But if this privilege is misused, God's justice permits creation to punish humanity."  This is Paul's point in Romans 1: man can choose to go his own way by rejecting God's truth in exchange for his own humanistic version, but in the end, he will suffer great harm simply as a result of living at odds with God's design.  That is, reality will have the final word!

Either God exists, and He has spoken to us about truth through His revelation in Jesus Christ and His inspired word, the Bible.  Or, man must be the determiner of his own truth and reality.  The latter is what secularism is all about.

So, we cannot be casual about “true truth,” or about teaching it to our children and youth.  The priority of instructing them in God's reality cannot play second fiddle to lesser priorities, such as sports, extra-curriculars, social opportunities, etc.  Truth must be at the core of our children’s educational curriculum and experience.  We as Christians must be passionately radical when it comes to the priority of truth, and we must pass on this passion to our children. Truth must be sown into their inner person in their formative years so that, even if they stray for a time, they will have a reference point to which they can return when they come to their senses, as did the prodigal son (Luke 15:17-20; Proverbs 22:6).

Yet, sadly, so many professing Christians fail to appreciate what is at stake.  Many have perhaps subconsciously bought into the lie that secularism is religiously neutral, when all the while it is rabidly anti-Christian, eroding the faith values of much of the professing Christian culture.  

Paul writes that a characteristic of the "last days" is that men and women will not receive the love of the truth.  As a consequence, they will be subject to a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12).  In stark contrast, may we as the Christian community model for our children what it means to "receive God's truth" and live by it as the highest of all our priorities in this perilous, post-truth age!  

PS. Columnist Rod Dreher more fully develops the above ideas in his excellent blog, “The Dissolution of Truth,” which you can access by clicking here.  It is well worth your time!

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

Critical Mass

January 19, 2017
By John Morrison

In last week’s blog, I quoted a statistic purporting “that half of millennials [age 18 to 34] think gender is a spectrum” of sexual identities rather than the centuries old, binary concept of male and female.  I am not intending here to focus again on the LGBTQ issue; rather, I simply point out that this social phenomenon is merely the extreme, but logical outcome and pointed tip of the larger spear we know as secularism. The above statistic is compelling evidence demonstrating the impact of secularist education and popular culture on our younger generations in hijacking their worldview from traditional to secularist values.  When I use the term “critical mass” in the above title, I mean it in the sense that secularism has permeated our culture to the point where it is now the dominant mindset and driving force. As happens in a nuclear reaction, once critical mass is attained, the dynamic is largely unstoppable in terms of the multiplying process that takes place (as illustrated on the left side of this page).

Here is my pivotal point: this dramatic shift in values, including among younger generations of professing Christians, has not happened overnight.  Rather, it has been more of a gradual, incremental process as secularist influences have steadily eroded the fundamental Christian mindset both within our larger culture as well as our evangelical faith communities.  As the educator I quoted last week observed, we cannot place our children under primary influences where the secularist worldview is dominant and then expect them to emerge unscathed!  In a very real sense, the chickens have now come home to roost, and the “culturally correct,” secularist mindset is multiplying rapidly, even within professing Christian circles.  

And make no mistake ... even if our little ones are in a good Christian school or homeschool, as well as in a healthy church youth group, the larger culture is so pervasive that, in many cases, it steals away these same children.  The primary thing we can do to counter this is to ensure that there is a radical involvement by parents and significant others in walking relationally with our children through the minefields of this rapidly multiplying, anti-Christian culture.

I am not talking here of isolating our children from the world, for they, and we, must learn to live in the world, as God has so ordained.  But to so live, without being of the world, is not going to happen with our children unless they are raised in a strong Christian environment (community) and walk hand in hand in relationships with role models who are living out this radical walk of faith “corem Deo” (before the face of God) rather than in step with the world.

I have used the word “radical” several times in the above.  I do not mean “radical” in the sense of “far out” or “weird;” rather, I mean it in its true sense: “proceeding from and being true to the root.”  That is, Christianity always has been and always will be out of step with worldly culture (1 John 2:15-17), and as our American society continues to move rapidly into hard-core secularism, we as Christians will be faced with the increasingly black and white choice to either to stay true to our Biblical roots or assimilate into a form of “cultural Christianity” that accommodates itself to our larger, politically correct culture.  It should not take a rocket scientist to realize that this is precisely where we find ourselves now!

Thus, if we are to mentor and train our children to be apprehended by the true nature of Christianity, it will take a radical commitment on our part as parents and educators.  Indeed, for most of the history of the Christian church, education of children and youth has been a chief characteristic of the Christian community.  Nowhere do we find any Biblical warrant to turn our children over to secularist educators or to leave them un-shepherded and unprotected in facing the eroding deluge of popular culture in its various forms.

I believe we have reached the point of “critical mass” when it comes to our culture and its impact upon our youth.  Yet, I fear many believers remain quite naive in the menacing face of this secularist powerhouse.  But maybe, after all, this is one of the best things that could happen to us as Christians!  Indeed, maybe this will awaken us from our tendency toward a comfortable, “cultural Christianity” that has accommodated itself far too long to larger culture.  We  have a long line of “witnesses” who have gone before us through the centuries, and who have lived in a hostile world without being of the world (Hebrews 12:1).  They are cheering us on to have the courage to be “radical” followers of Christ, including the all important “how” by which we educate our children!

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

Troubled Waters

January 10, 2017
By John Morrison

After a number of recent blogs celebrating our GCS students and their accomplishments, this week’s edition represents a more somber tone.

                                                                                         Image from Christianity Today

I was deeply troubled recently after speaking with two parents from outside of our GCS community who are having to address with their pre-adolescent daughter the issue of her sexuality.  As a result of conversations with her peers, the curriculum being taught in her school, and popular media, she is struggling with a sense both of her sexual orientation and gender.  She really doesn’t even understand these issues apart from her exposure to them through the above-mentioned sources.  Sadly, this has become somewhat of a popular fad within our youth culture!  In my generation, something like this was largely a non-issue because of our childhood innocence.  But today’s children are being bombarded with these and similar “socially correct” concepts at an increasingly young age by special interest groups intent on indoctrinating them.

When a celebrity like Miley Cyrus states, “I don’t relate to what people would say defines a boy or a girl,” or when a lead story in the prestigious National Geographic promotes an ideology that male and female gender are “obsolete categories,”  then we had better wake up to the fact that these radical agendas are becoming purposefully mainstreamed into the larger flow of our culture and specifically targeted toward pre-adolescent children, as well as our teens!  We should not be surprised, then, when one survey concludes “that half of millennials [age 18 to 34] think gender is a spectrum”  of sexual identities rather than the centuries old, binary concept of male and female.  This is compelling evidence demonstrating the impact of popular culture on our youth in shifting their worldview from traditional to postmodern values.

In a recent blog, Rod Dreher quotes a public school teacher who makes the following observation concerning many of our Christian families:

Christian parents outside of some pretty small circles are blindly walking their children into a firing line that they will have almost zero chance of emerging from unscathed. And the church from what I can gather seems to be just as ignorant. The one institution that should be doing everything in its power to wake these parents from their comas is just as naively trusting in some sort of “godly cultural protection bubble” to shield what will most likely become a lost generation of Christians. (Click here to read Dreher’s entire, informative blog)


I do not intend in this blog to treat this issue comprehensively.  But we need to understand just how radical we must be as Christian parents, educators,and leaders if we are to successfully shepherd our children through an increasingly antagonistic culture where there is a deliberate and powerful agenda intended to indoctrinate them into a radically secularist mindset.  While it is true that there may be genetic and physiological anomalies when it comes to gender, such instances are statistically negligible.  Indeed, we as Christians believe that when God created humankind, He made us male or female (Gen. 1:27).  Yet, for many, celebrities like Miley Cyrus or publications like National Geographic are taking precedence over God’s word!  

As I emphasized in an earlier blog, if the Bible is not our final source of authority on matters of truth and ethics, then we are adrift in a sea of relativity!  May God help us to be fully aware of just how crucial it is that we ground our children and youth in a solidly Biblical, Christian worldview!  These are crucial times in context of the warfare being fought for control of our children.  Let’s not be naive about what is at stake!

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

Coram Deo Illustrated!

January 05, 2017
By John Morrison

I hope all my readers enjoyed a wonderful holiday season.  We are thankful for the time we have had to step back, experience a change of pace, and hopefully renew our sense of vision for the year to come.

I have reflected much upon the profoundness of our school motto, “coram Deo” -- before the face of God.  Whereas Moses could only see God’s “backside” because a full revelation of His Old Testament glory would have been too much for him (Exodus 33:18-23), we find this marvelous truth of an ever-increasing intimacy of “face-to-face” relationship between God and redeemed man in the New Covenant (2 Cor. 3:12-17).  Can we think of anything more wonderful?

That is the context in which the above picture of a GCS graduate and his family stands out for me.  The picture was taken after Nathan Kinder’s (GCS class of 2003) return from his U. S. Air Force overseas deployment last spring. This was the first time his wife and children had seen him for over 6 months.

The joy reflected in the face of his son as well as in his own face illustrates for us just a small glimpse of the deep joy that is to characterize the true heart of Christianity.  Our faith is not primarily about human performance and religious formalism; rather, it is, above all else, about coram Deo relationship!  God wants us to understand how deeply He loves and desires us to be in the kind of relationship with Him that is reflected between father and son in this picture (which really speaks volumes more than my meager words)!

So, may 2017 represent a time when each of us grows much deeper in the realization of this most marvelous redemption and restoration of relationship between God and man purchased by our loving Father through Jesus Christ.  May His Holy Spirit illumine within each of us, and within our children and youth, a deeper realization of this life changing reality!  

Coram Deo!!!

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