Who Says… We Should Not Think?

Part of the series Who says…
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2015-05-25.

The truth is what thinking people come to believe rather than just believing something because we are told it is the truth.

Building on a foundation that God is, that He created the universe and that He ultimately is responsible for our children’s being, should provide ample substance upon which to build our faith. This lengthy series will identify the secular thinking that has eroded that faith.

Bible Reference: John 14:6

Many years ago, I had the privilege of having a retired photographer for a neighbor. He did not teach me much about photography but he did teach me many things about life. He was a thinking man and spent a lot of time pondering important issues and suggesting possible solutions. During his frequent visits to our place, he asked a lot of questions, both because he wanted to learn and to provide a stage to get me thinking more about things I was just taking for granted. He was the one who got me very interested in and directly involved in politics during those exciting Reform Party days. He truly earned the title of my greatest mentor, even though he did not personally share my dedication to faith.

One day, while returning from a long distance business trip, Dave was especially fired up and had a great many questions to ask me. After miles of travel and hours of fellowship, he felt free to ask me a question that he had wanted to ask, but up until now, had not, to avoid disagreement. Knowing I was a teacher and that I had been inside the system for years, he asked a question that put me on the spot. “Tell me”, he asked, “what percentage of the population thinks for themselves?” I did not want to sound arrogant or flippant when answering that question about an issue that had dogged me for years. I wiggled around a bit before answering, “Twenty or twenty-five percent”. I can still clearly remember the body language and posture as he leaned forward to repeat my answer, “Twenty-five percent?”! I thought I had insulted him and in a way I had, but when he continued with, “Twenty-five percent, I doubt that it is ten”, I was set at ease. I had not wanted to insult him with what I had come to know from years of experience as a high school teacher. By the time students reached high school, they had usually been completely programmed to not ask questions or to ask questions for which there was a pre-planned answer. By high school, they had been generally discouraged from thinking for themselves.

Don’t think… just believe, has been the creed of our secular society for decades, even longer. Any experienced leader will know that you can challenge others to check out your statements yet very few will bother. Most people find it easier, less bothersome and time consuming to “just believe”, but they have no idea just how dangerous this mindset is. Unthinking people end up as immature and dependent citizens, precisely what the perpetrating agencies have in mind. A dependent citizenry will behave as self-centered children, seeking what others can do for them and expecting these agencies, whether government, school or church to exercise a form of guardianship over them, the very thing controlling agencies desire. ‘Don’t think. Just believe.’, is a formula for bondage.

I have an opposing perspective when it comes to thinking. “Do think and you will come to believe.” Children discouraged from questioning and thinking remain children forever. Children and adults who do think will eventually come to the knowledge of the truth. That’s how and why God created us. When we discover truth it sets us free, and as we take responsibility for our own lives in keeping with this knowledge of the truth, we become free indeed. Whatever they may be, agencies that want to control us lose their grip on us when we do our own thinking.

Who says we should not think? Those who want to be sure we just believe what they want us to believe, which is not likely to be the truth. Thinking people eventually come to believe the truth, which is the way and the life of freedom. When we are free, we escape the grasp of those who would manipulate us into submissive slavery. Knowledge of the truth is dangerous stuff to manipulating agencies, so they encourage us to believe in their false sense of security by leading us to unquestioningly believe what we have been told is true. Believing something to be true is not the same as believing the truth. Think and you will come to see the difference.

By the way, Dave recanted in his later years. He adjusted his percentage of thinking people from ten to maybe five percent. Are you one of these blessed individuals? If so, keep thinking. If not, I encourage you to start questioning, thinking and challenging things you have just taken for granted. It may not be true and so you should not believe it.

Who Says… We Should Tell The Truth?

Part of the series Who says…
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2015-06-01.

Truth or no truth. Either we are living breathing, saying, telling or standing for truth, or we are not. That’s it.

Building on a foundation that God is, that He created the universe and that He ultimately is responsible for our children’s being, should provide ample substance upon which to build our faith. This lengthy series will identify the secular thinking that has eroded that faith.

Bible Reference: John 14:6

God does! God is truth. Jesus asserted his divinity as the embodiment of truth, claiming He is the way, the truth, and the life, further stating that no one could access the Father, but by Him, which can correctly be projected to mean, in truth. While addressing our hope in Christ, the writer of the Book of Hebrews states that it is impossible for God to lie, an obvious characteristic of the author of all truth!

There is another “author” that must be introduced in this story. Jesus called him a liar and the father of lies. So there you have it. Truth comes from God and lies come from satan. Just as there can be nothing other than God and no god (satan), there is nothing other than truth and lies. Modern day relativism therefore is lying about lies. Truth is not relative to anything. It is or it isn’t. Part truths are lies and part lies are just lies. Nothing is in between the truth or the lie. In fact, lies are actually nothing other than the absence of truth, much as darkness is the absence of light. Satan, therefore, did not even “author” lies, he just chooses to not to tell the truth. So, people do not have to purposely, outright lie to be lying, they can simply not tell the truth or the “entire” truth. There is no sitting on the fence. It is just “the simple truth”. We either know it, tell it, speak it, abide by it and stand for it or we don’t and don’t care or make excuses for not living in truth.

Now, while telling the truth is always the right thing to do, it can and often does, come at a cost, one that most people are not willing to risk. For instance, most professing Christians today would rather not deal with issues involving other people or groups within the church, choosing rather to apply easier to handle virtues than telling the truth and risk being accused of having bad motives. They employ Christian attitudes such as being loving, compassionate, gracious, forgiving, understanding, tolerant or just being nice which are all good, but when used as a cover for doing nothing, other virtues like truthfulness, faithfulness and courage are ignored. This type of “compassionate” church is actually made of up of fearful wimps who hide behind a false caring and sharing “plastic” Jesus that is more a figment of their imaginations than the character portrayed in the Bible. Avoiding the truth does not make the problem go away, it just fails to expose it and prevent it from spreading.

When we see error or sin, what is our approach? Do we ignore it, thinking that God can deal with it himself? Do we leave it up to others to deal with it? The professionals, maybe? Do we believe that it is not really our business to challenge others to clearly evaluate their behavior against biblical principles? What are we actually doing by doing nothing? It is not nothing! Passed off as being tolerant, our failure to expose things that could cause an erosion of faith and principle is more a demonstration of laziness and cowardice than “inclusiveness”. By not courageously exposing sin and error, we tacitly approve of it, enable it, validate it, empower it, allowing it to flourish and to cause its inevitable harm. Why do you think we are in the mess we are in today? Because good men, who knew better, lacked the courage to stand up, be heard and tell the truth so that others would be spared from the evil waiting to overtake them in the lie they choose not to expose.

I am not advocating we start a modern day witch hunt for individuals who fall short of the glory of God as that would entail our starting with ourselves. Actually, that may not be such a bad idea: starting with ourselves, that is. Are we lying to ourselves? If we are, it really won’t be that difficult to lie to others, ignore facing reality, and to not tell the truth about things that ought not to be.

Scripture makes it clear that we are either for or against God. To be for Him is to know Him. To know Him is to know the truth, to advance the truth, to speak the truth, no matter what the cost, so that others can be encouraged to follow the truth that leads to life, sparing them from the false doctrines and false “Christians” that will do them harm. Alternatively, one can also choose to be against Him. Simply avoid the truth and you will be serving the father of lies. Avoiding the unpleasant consequences of telling the truth may seem easier, for now, but ultimately it does nobody any good, licensing evil to take up residence in the hearts and minds of those in our care.

Who says we should tell the truth? You know! And it simply cannot be a part time, sometime effort. If God is truth and Jesus is the truth, then it should go without saying that followers of Jesus (Christians) would not only value, but insist on truth and honesty from themselves and others within the church. If we faithfully and consistently apply this simple understanding, the courage to stand for what is right will come as a natural outcome. This is what is required if we are to advance the freedom we are all seeking. Keep in mind that it is the truth that sets us free.

Who Says… Scripture is Enough?

Part of the series Who says…
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2015-06-08.

We do need to use our heads to understand and apply scripture.

Building on a foundation that God is, that He created the universe and that He ultimately is responsible for our children’s being, should provide ample substance upon which to build our faith. This lengthy series will identify the secular thinking that has eroded that faith.

Bible Reference: 2 Tim 3:12-17

In the movie Luther, when Martin Luther was challenged by the Catholic inquisition to recant his Ninety-Five Theses, he responded that he would recant, if his writings were in contravention of scripture and sound reason. Scripture and sound reason! To live by scripture alone disconnects us from the reality of life and to live separated from the truth of scripture leads to bondage. To live a balanced life we need to have both a foundation of truth (scripture) and the ability to think (sound reason).

One cannot disconnect scripture and sound reason as without sound reason, scripture is just words that can be bent to mean anything. This is what Martin Luther was alluding to when he applied sound reason to scripture. The church of his day had no problem justifying a whole host of things that could be supported using scripture but failed to make sense when sound reason was applied.

One the other hand, when reason is applied, it is not likely to be sound without the moral framework of scriptural principles. Anyone can justify themselves in anything. This is a natural inclination scripture helps us to overcome. The Bible can be summarized as Creation / Fall of Man / Redemption. If we fail to understand the “fall” part, the “redemption” part makes no sense. Therefore, if someone is never wrong, it is because they lack a biblical understanding of the fall. When we are unaware of, or choose to ignore, the fact that sin is in the world and therefore in us, we start to believe that we are faultless, infallible, perfect. Perfect people can do no wrong because they are perfect and since perfection is an attribute of God, we take upon ourselves a sort of “godhead”. God does not need to repent or ask forgiveness and if God does not need to do so, neither does the unregenerated man or woman. The term for this attitude is self-righteousness and it requires the Holy Spirit, not people, to bring this to light.

When people, who claim to be followers of Christ, do things that are clearly in contravention of the scripture, sound reason should inform us that these individuals may not actually be disciples but adversaries of Christ. Jesus said we would either be for or against him. Sound reason should show us that He, being God incarnate, is the same yesterday, today and forever. There is no “principle of the day” or “situational ethics”. Betrayal, lying, treachery, adultery, etc., are just as unbiblical and therefore, unacceptable today, as ever. Sound reasoning helps keep this in perspective, but if sound reasoning is not applied, nearly anything can be justified through the creative application of isolated scripture. You all know what I mean!

Our Christian responsibilities are very simple. We are to love others regardless of who or what they are or do, but we also bear some responsibility in lovingly telling them the truth, if, and only if, we are seriously concerned about their welfare and the welfare of others, excluding ourselves. The basis is scriptural. The application requires sound reason. Sound reason is not directed by feelings but by scriptural truth. This may appear somewhat circular, but you can’t really have one without the other.

Who says scripture is enough? People who may be so “heavenly minded” they are of no earthly good. Common sense dictates that we must use common sense, even when applying scriptural truth. God has never instructed us to be mindless nor to disregard sound reason any more than he has instructed us to neglect His word in our thinking. Disconnecting one from the other makes us puppets or fools. Either way, we are in danger of making big mistakes that could profoundly affect us or others in our community. Think (sound reason) and you will come to the knowledge of the truth (Scripture). If you don’t (no sound reason), you will just believe (what is likely unscriptural).

Who Says… Change Is Bad?

Part of the series Who says…
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2015-06-15.

Often times, the end is not really an end as much as a new opportunity to continue in a new and different direction.

Building on a foundation that God is, that He created the universe and that He ultimately is responsible for our children’s being, should provide ample substance upon which to build our faith. This lengthy series will identify the secular thinking that has eroded that faith.

Bible Reference: Rom. 8:18-28

Well, another year has passed us by and provided more opportunity to learn more things about more things! A year full of challenges and successes, all of which make us stronger and better able to serve the home education community. As there have been some major changes that have affected us this past year, I decided to address the main ones and to provide a link for a more detailed account of what happened to Education Unlimited.

To start, we must first discuss the end! Faye and I were very saddened to be informed at the end of March that the Morinville Christian School had decided not to renew its contract with Education Unlimited for the 2015-2016 school year. Education Unlimited had been contracted to provide home education services on behalf of the Morinville Christian School since 1999, the first year of our operation. Morinville Christian School had played a key role as our board from the very beginning. We were truly disappointed that this had come to an end after so many productive years.

To help you understand what happened, it may be necessary to provide you with a bit of an analogy. When you see a tractor-trailer unit, you see the tractor (representing Education Unlimited) pulling the trailer (representing the parents and students we serve). What most parents do not see or concern themselves about is that the tractor requires a motor (a school) to enable it to pull the trailer. The Education Unlimited tractor motor (MCS) needed replacing. We thank God for miraculously and quickly providing us a “new motor” in the form of the Olds Mountain View Christian School (OMVCS), who have clearly demonstrated a kindred heart and a common motivation in protecting parental rights and Christian education, without need for compromise. This new school has enabled Education Unlimited to carry on with its ministry with no perceptible change to our service for our families. During this change we discovered that our parents were not only very comfortable with Education Unlimited but committed to going forward with us in our ongoing struggle for parental freedom and the determination to teach their children their way, to the glory of God.

(Click for a more in-depth coverage of this topic)

The 2014-15 school year was our first full year with no carry-over of parent resource funding. All our families started with a zero balance and ended with a zero balance. This was necessary to simplify a very complicated process that involved a lot of work and confusion. Parents, staff, school, accountants and government indicated that the carry-over was more trouble than it was worth. As far as parent resources funding is concerned, everything remains the same as before except that we ask parents to take a greater responsibility in planning ahead.

The year 2015 seemed to have started with a bang that led to some pretty scary stuff, including Bill 10 that effectively strips parents of having any authority or say in what goes on in any school in this province, including faith-based private schools. This legislation came into effect on June 1, and even though it has no practical application in home education, should concern all parents of this province. You can learn more about this dangerous law by going to http://parentchoice.ca/gay-straight-alliances-pce-statement/ or http://www.jccf.ca/published-reports/.

May saw a very significant provincial election replace a forty-four year dynasty Progressive Conservative Party government with a majority New Democratic Party one. Time will tell how this will affect home education but two things happened as a result of the PC’s not being re-elected. The cap on funding and the disparaging home education grants were both done away with, resulting in home education being treated fairly in grant distribution and with a small raise. Thanks to all of you who took part in our web based campaign. I am sure your efforts had something to do with these positive decisions.

The disqualification of home educating students who transition to a post-secondary level remains a battle that we continue to fight. Following our web campaign that reached about 4000 people and generated nearly a thousand letters, two more letters have been written, escalating this concern to a higher level, involving more players. Your continued prayer support and dialogue with your MLA is appreciated in this matter.

Who says change is bad? Those afraid of change, I guess. Our new funding policies are appreciated by the vast majority of our parents, who understand the importance of being good stewards. We have a new government that at this time can best be described as: not the old government. We don’t have to concern ourselves about receiving less for notifying with a private school board, nor about not getting any funding for new students. And best of all, Education Unlimited is now working with a school that shares our heart. I would say change was good as it gave us opportunity to learn to trust more in God. Agreed?

Have a great summer. I will resume my “blogging” in the fall!