A Late Welcome

Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2015-09-28.

Planning the theme for this year’s blogs.

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: 1 Tim 2:1-6

Welcome to the 2015-16 academic year, a year that promises to be interesting, if not challenging, for Education Unlimited and the home education community in Alberta.

I have started a bit later with my blogs this fall, having had to do many things as we transition from the “old” Education Unlimited to the “new” Education Unlimited. Not that you should notice any major changes, aside from a new school name in future communications. The truck (Education Unlimited) continues to pull the trailer (parents and students), even if there have been a number of needed changes “under the hood”, so to speak.

The rather unpleasant situation that we experienced this past few months has really provided us with opportunity to get a very good look at the present state of private and home education in this province and the situation is not very encouraging, if one looks at things from from a biblical or true Christian perspective. I intend on making my findings this year’s focus in the blog.

I realize that many of you who read this blog may not actually be registered for home education through us. However, most of the issues that I will be addressing this year are common to the greater home education community and so I encourage you all to share this series of posts with other home educating families as it will be important to have open discussion and a collaborative approach to solving, what may be, critical issues ahead.

I would like to start this year with an admission of error. Like most “parents”, especially home educating parents, I have been guilty of protecting families from the “big, bad world” of politics, threats and misdemeanors associated with home education. Choosing to not burden parents with issues I felt I could deal with myself, resulted in my not adequately preparing parents to be vigilant in defending our freedoms, which are being threatened from both outside and within the home educating community. This is why I have chosen to focus on issues that threaten home education this year.

Let’s be clear: Ignorance is the single most important thing challenging the home education community today. This is largely due to the fact that those who would benefit the most from the ignorance of parents, either continue to misinform them or take advantage of their ignorance, rather than sharing the truth with them. This is assuming, of course, that those who take advantage are actually themselves aware of the truth. Preying on ignorance is far easier and more profitable than helping parents come to the knowledge of the truth. However, even when properly addressed, many parents either choose to ignore the issues that threaten us or simply to carry on in the apathy that envisions little more than “what’s in it for me”, an attitude that can only result in our eventual loss of freedom.

You should look forward to being informed and challenged this year as I plan to fully disclose what is at play in the Alberta home education scene. I want to prepare you as adults, concerned not only with home educating your children, but with vigilantly maintaining this freedom, so that your grandchildren can also continue to be educated at home as directed by scripture. Plan on developing a humble attitude of wanting to know the truth rather than of being right. Far too many people are intent on defending their right to be right rather than their duty to seek the truth.


Part of the series First Things First
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2015-10-05.

To be ignorant maybe normal, but it should not be a place of comfort. We should all be seeking to fix it if the opportunity or need presents itself.

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: 1 Tim 2:1-6

Although the word ignorant or ignorance is sometimes used to mean uneducated, unread, unsophisticated or some other “un” word generally used to mean “stupid”, that is not the intention here. Ignorance actually means lacking knowledge or information as to a particular subject or fact. To be uninformed or unaware of certain things is to be ignorant of them. Everyone is ignorant of something as no one can know everything there is to know. In fact what makes life interesting is that others will usually know more than you do about something outside of your experience. If your life mission includes a quest for knowledge and truth, as it should, then your ignorance of a matter becomes the motivator to learning about the things you know little about.

In the movie Forest Gump, he often repeats, “Stupid is what stupid does”, something his mother has taught him from his youth. He has learned that to choose to not learn when the opportunity or need is presented is to be willfully ignorant and doing that is “stupid”, a truth advanced by a character that was portrayed as not very intelligent. Maybe he wasn’t all that intelligent but he was not “stupid”.

Ignorance, therefore, can be willfully sought or unwittingly established, meaning that people are either ignorant because they choose to be or because there is a system is in place to keep people “in the dark”, or ignorant of what is really going on. Often, ignorance exists simply because people fail to “connect the dots”, so to speak. Sincere folks can find themselves advancing factual error simply because they have failed to think things through. If the premise upon which you are offering opinion or advice is in error, it can be assumed that the counsel will be suspect as well.

Ignorance can also be prevalent when only one side of an issue is being presented. Not knowing that there is an alternative, can lead to believing that what we do know is the truth. I once witnessed a man who had been a believer all his life, yet was shocked to hear that creation was still a viable explanation for the origin of things. He was an evolutionist by default, not by design as he had simply never been exposed to anything but evolution. This, unfortunately, is far more common than it should be. The academic world, media and tradition all contribute to a “politically correct” version of the truth, designed to keep people in ignorance.

The most important questions one can ask always has to do with finding the truth so we can minimize the ignorance and associated error. Those who would not ask questions are generally those who are comfortable in their ignorance, which is often said to be associated with bliss. Blissful as ignorance may be, it is not a formula for success. Not knowing the truth means that the alternative is believed. Most should understand that if it is not true, then it is a lie. We are constantly being exposed to variations on the truth which can only be variations of lies. CS Lewis stated once that the best lie is 95% true. Unfortunately, most of what we believe is just that, almost true, but not quite.

Those who would manipulate us are not only encouraged when they perceive that we are ignorant, but will often perpetuate this ignorance to their advantage. If we are to be free, we need to be informed. Ignorance is our greatest enemy, no matter what the issue.

The Prophet

Part of the series First Things First
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2015-10-12.

We know that God desires all men to saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. He has taken care of part one. Are we doing our part by coming to the knowledge of the truth?

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: 1 Tim 2:1-6

I considered it a great honor when Dr. Michael Wagner dedicated his first book, “Standing On Guard For Thee“, to me. He called me a “prophet of home education and a man of action”. Quite a compliment! I considered what a prophet is and what is traditionally the outcome for those prophets we read about in the old testament and got a bit concerned!

Although a prophet is most often seen as a visionary who can see into the future and predict what is going to happen, a prophet is best described as an inspired teacher or proclaimer of the will of God. Since we know that God is the source of all truth, a prophet is nothing more than a person who tells the truth, God’s truth (as there is no truth outside of Him) no matter what the consequences.

Truth is an interesting thing. It either is or it is not. When it is not the truth, it is a lie and we know that the source of lies is not God. “Prophets” who lie are referred to as false prophets which is actually to not be a prophet at all. The old testament directed the Israelites to do away with such a character. However, more often than not, those in power who could only benefit from the perpetuation of lies, also got rid of true prophets, before they exposed the lie they were living. Either way, prophets have had a tendency to have a shorter life span! Our greatest prophet, Jesus, was killed at age 33, yet the truth He left us with has affected every aspect of our lives, whether we know it or not, in every way. He said the truth would set us free, and that when He would set us free, we would be free indeed.

If truth sets us free, then it can be rightfully assumed that to follow or believe something that is not true leads us to bondage. Even though bondage seems bad, most people prefer the predictability of bondage than the challenges of freedom. As a matter of fact, we are often so comfortable in our bondage, we tend to think we are free. There is no one more in bondage than he who believes he is free when he is not.

Freedom is a scary thing! If we are free, we are responsible for making our own decisions along with the associated consequences. It is easier to let others think and make decisions for us, and there seems to be no shortage of people and agencies willing to take advantage of that. In fact, we have been conditioned by media, government, church, school, fear and tradition to do just that. We are not encouraged to question but to obey without thinking. The result is that most people prefer the temporary comfort of bondage over the continuous vigilance required for freedom.

Prophets have a way of polarizing people. That is, people are either going to listen to what the prophet has to say and take his message to heart, or see him as crazy or worse, a threat, in which case, one who must be ignored or silenced. Prophets are usually perceived as heroes or bums, depending on who is getting what message and how that message will affect them. One way or the other, if a prophet speaks, scripture tells us that the word can land along the side of a road or within rocky, weedy or good soil. Few people, therefore, can truly appreciate the calling of the prophet as a disseminator of truth, for only some people are found to be good soil in which the truth can take root and grow. Few are truly willing to search for and come to the knowledge of the truth, preferring to assume or advance their limited and opinionated understanding as truth.

Truth has a characteristic that few consider. Once known, we want to share it with others, not in an indoctrinating way as is so often seen with the dissemination of lies, but in love, for the source of all truth is love. To share the truth in a world that does not want to hear it is an expression of love as it always comes with an element of risk. We should all desire to know the truth and when we find it, to be prophets, men of action advancing and proclaiming the will of God as truth rather than the will of man. In this light, we should be prophetic in our understanding and advancement of what a biblical home education truly is.

The Point of Reference

Part of the series First Things First
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2015-10-19.

A prophet may be proclaiming the will of God by telling the truth, but if we are comfortable with our ignorance of it, we will miss the opportunity to come to the knowledge of the truth and the freedom that comes with it.

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: Amos 3:3

Assumptions! It has always been my greatest source of frustration. I seem to have an incorrigible habit of violating the first Law of Assumption which is to never assume anything! Assuming that everybody wants to know the truth; that people are honest; that others desire to serve God with the passion I have, would wish me no harm and understand what I do, along with a host of other silly assumptions, end up creating a lot of uncomfortable situations for me.

However, I believe that I am not the only one who has the habit of thinking others believe the same things I do, understand the same things I do, and care as much as I do about things that should concern us all. In fact, it is likely a result of our fallen nature that leads us to believe we are the standard for the universe. That is why we need to stop assuming and to start over, using a reliable point of reference.

Before engaging in my goal to clearly enlighten the home education community regarding the things that both threaten and motivate us, it is imperative that we all start from the same page. I realize that I am not the center for comparison and that diversity of thought and action is what makes mankind interesting, intriguing and, at times, challenging to deal with. However, if we are to proceed together, we must agree upon some basic foundational principles, clearly articulated, rather than assuming they exist.

Therefore, to minimize misunderstandings, let me clearly disclose the “assumptions” I am making before proceeding with this agenda of enlightenment.

First, I am assuming that everybody reading this blog truly understands God’s provision of His son as a propitiation for our sins and that there is no way to reach God but through Jesus Christ. I am also assuming that everybody who has accepted the gift of salvation, loves the Lord and desires to serve Him with all their heart, soul, mind and strength, regardless of the cost. What I am saying is that I assume that my audience is made up of sincere followers (disciples) of Jesus Christ and that they would be prepared to die before compromising their relationship with Him.

Secondly, I am assuming that the readers share my passion for seeking and knowing the truth. Not some version of the truth but the absolute truth as discovered through a working knowledge of the Bible as foundational to other works. I trust that others believe that right and wrong are established by God and not by general consensus, popular opinion or political correctness. I want to believe that we are all ready and willing to admit error and to sincerely want to replace wrong with right thinking. Not that I expect to clone myself, as that would be disastrous! I simply desire to see everybody yearn for the truth and the freedom that it provides.

The third assumption that I am making is that everyone desires to serve God first and not man, his institutions, or his directives. We have become so used to having media, government, schools and churches tell us what to do that we seem to have lost the ability to think for ourselves and to question the veracity of the statements and demands made under the banner of truth. We seem to have adopted the directive to not think, but to trust that those claiming “authority” have our best interest and well being in mind and, as a consequence, we are perilously close to becoming mindless automatons, unable to engage in any meaningful challenges to the status quo.

I am assuming that the readers of this blog are sincerely seeking the truth, will allow it to challenge their thinking, and are willing to admit error when confronted with it. I sincerely hope that there is an honest desire to purge the near ubiquitous secular ideologies in favor of biblical knowledge, in order to please God in whatever we say, do, or think.

I am coming from this world view perspective. I trust you agree and are willing to walk with me.

Our Ultimate Desire

Part of the series First Things First
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2015-10-26.

Jesus described Himself as the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). This description describes who we should want to be and the motivation for our lives.

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: John 13:31-35

I love music. In fact music is playing in the background as I write this blog. I find it soothing, uplifting and inspiring. There seem to be no limits to music, ranging from nature’s sounds to a seemingly limitless list of genres made by a plethora of musical instruments that ultimately describes the creative intelligence of man to the glory of God. Music expresses and defines our greatest needs and desires in both a positive and negative light. In fact, I believe that music follows a simple pattern outlined by Jesus when He described Himself as the Way, the Truth and the Life. If this is how Jesus described Himself and we should all know that He is Lord, then it should be easy to understand that, in light of the fact that He is the creator of mankind, this is what mankind yearns for and the ultimate desire of man’s soul. Music reflects this desire as it elevates three things above anything else. Listen for yourself and you will find that music relates to freedom (the Way), love (the Truth) and life (the Life).

Whether we know it or not, those three things are what defines us and our ultimate reason for living. We all yearn for the freedom that seems to escape us in this life. In the movie Braveheart, William, a hero fighting for a free Scotland, shouts, “Freedom!”, as his final word before his execution. People naturally seek freedom for their entire lives, with death as the ultimate expression of it for those who know the Way.

Love is likely the most frequently discussed topic in music and life. It cannot occur without people, so when we discuss relationships we talk about love, because we live for love. God is described as the essence of love, so if He created us in His image and likeness, love defines who we are and therefore, the truth of our existence.

If love defines us, it must be what life is all about. In fact, if you were on your deathbed with only a few days or hours to live, assuming of course that you are still cognizant, I believe the only things on your mind would be God, family and friends… relationship, relationship, relationships. This is love and freedom and life!

So, if we were to stop and seriously think about what matters in life, what is our ultimate desire and goal for everything we do, it has to do with freedom, love and life, which the Way, the Truth and the Life created us for in the first place, and what He provided for us through His incarnation, death and resurrection. Everything is ultimately evaluated using these three measures, with love being the ubiquitous ultimate measure as the standard of God’s essence. Jesus stated: “By this will all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another”. Freedom to love for life; the Way, the Truth and the Life.

As we look forward to investigating what is happening in our world as it pertains to Christian education, let us not forget the measuring stick by which we will judge the rightfulness of words and actions… love that frees us to have life. If it does not represent freedom, love and life in a positive light, it is likely not from God and therefore undesirable. Knowing the Way, the Truth and the Life exposes perversions, lies and death.

World View (Part 1)

Part of the series Hangups
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2015-11-02.

Understanding world view helps us understand why we do the things we do.

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: Col. 2:8

We are all the product of two things: a combination of our genetic makeup (what we inherited through our parents) and the accumulation of all that we have been exposed to in the environment of our lives. The physical attributes (genetics) of our existence is what it is. Although we can and do make modifications to our genetic makeup (with makeup, for instance!) we cannot “change our stripes” so to speak. However, we are born with an astounding ability to learn.

The ability to learn is part of everyone’s makeup, and comes as naturally as sneezing, coughing or scratching when it itches. Granted, different people have differing abilities, ways and approaches to learning, but all human beings learn. We are all “super computers” recording everything we experience in life, whether or not we are aware of it. This is why children are born to parents (not institutions) because only parents (usually) care enough to provide children with as positive a learning environment as possible, knowing that whatever a child is exposed to will become part of who they are and how they see the world. The term describing this is world view.

There are three main “laws” that define world view:

First, everyone has a world view regardless of who they are or where they live. This world view is the processed (passive or active thinking) result of the accumulation of every single experience one has in life, from birth. Generally speaking, whether we believe or disbelieve; understand or lack understanding; know it or not, all world views are based on the premise of the existence or nonexistence of God. People having a shared world view brought about by their collective belief about God, are usually associated with a religious grouping, even when religion affiliation is denied.

Due to the fact that we live in an imperfect (sinful) world, everybody has accumulated bad information, regardless of what has been learned. Therefore, the second “law” is that everybody’s world view is corrupted with misinformation, lies and errors.

The third “law” of world view is based in the age old problem of seeing ourselves as the center of the universe and the corresponding attitude of having to be right. This “law” is based on a natural tendency to defend ourselves. When avoiding a collision or injury, this natural reflex is good, but when it used to defend our “position” regardless of validity, it becomes a handicap to learning and worse still, the underlying reason for every skirmish and dispute, whether it is Muslims vs. Christians; Palestine vs. Israel; left vs. right or Fred vs. Tom.

Everything we say, do and think; all of our fears, aspirations, traditions, religions, faith and so on, is built upon or associated with our world view. Indeed, every decision we make is based on the foundation of our world view, our assumed knowledge of truth, even when this knowledge is faulty. It is important to understand that our world view either directs us to seek or to assume the truth. It is also important to understand that as adults, we do have some control over what we allow to become part of our world view or our children’s.

World View (Part 2)

Part of the series Hangups
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2015-11-09.

Directing and exploiting world views is usually not in the best interest of the person being manipulated.

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: Col. 2:8

Last week, I described world view: that everyone has one; why everybody’s world view is corrupt; and how we defend what we believe to be true. This week I want to show how our world view can be directed and/or exploited.

Those who would desire to control people have long understood the importance and power of world view development and how we become the collection of things we experience. Read or listen to the news with a critical mind and you will quickly see how information can be presented to direct or influence the world view of the readers or listeners. People naturally assume that what is being presented or experienced is, in fact, true. All human institutions, including not only the media, but academia, government, schools, even some modern day churches can be quite adept at “programming” the world view of it’s adherents.

To direct the formation of a world view, all one has to do is to carefully present one side of an issue, throw in a bit of negative information for the opposing view and people will usually come to believe the information without questioning it. Whether the intent or the information is good or bad, deliberately programming people’s world view, using either guilt or threats, is nothing short of brainwashing. This is quite easy to do when people are not engaged in determining right from wrong or truth from lies. People who express an opinion without supporting argument are likely simply repeating what has been placed in their minds by others.

Our understanding of what constitutes a good, “standard” education is a case in point. Since we have had little outside the secular school model presented, advanced, normalized and experienced for several generations, “doing” school has become a fixed element of our collective educational world view, by default. In fact, even though the secular version of education is based on the non-existence of God, those professing a Christian faith in God are still far more likely to advance it or blend it with their faith than to search and follow the directives given in the scripture. Lacking biblical understanding of what constitutes a God directed approach to the training and teaching of children, we default to employing familiar secular educational philosophies creating a rather confused mix of ideas called “Christian Education”. This is true even of home educators, although the likelihood of having a better understanding of the issues is greater for those who are not unquestioningly involved in public education.

To exploit a world view, one simply has to agree with the people, whether their world view is based on truth or lies, developed or directed. Understanding that it is far more difficult to change a world view than to rectify it when in error, manipulators and exploiters will agree with people’s faulty understanding and say or do whatever “seems right” in the eyes of the “potential client”, clearly motivated by self-interest.

Any world view that is ignored and/or exploited will naturally self-perpetuate and normalize. When a particular world view is carefully advanced, it should go without saying that alternatives will be stigmatized as radical. When directing and/or exploiting a faulty world view, people do not “come to” but are “provided with” a knowledge of the “truth” or what an outside agency wants them to believe is true. Basing our world view development on anything less than a sincere desire to come to the knowledge of the truth will only lead us to error in a corrupted world view and result in bad judgments and decisions respecting our lives and those we in turn influence.


Part of the series Hangups
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2015-11-16.

What comes natural is often what we should be overcoming.

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: 2 Tim. 3:1-7

In an ancient movie entitled “The African Queen”, Rosie, a missionary, is mortified to find her rescuer drunk as a skunk. Charlie, the rescuer, is likewise perplexed by Rosie’s reaction and states that the gin, which he has consumed in abundance, is natural. Rosie responds with words that we have repeated, times innumerable, in our house. She says, “What comes natural is what we should be striving to rise up above”. True words, rarely spoken!

It is natural for us to see ourselves as the standard for all things, but standards can only be established by someone or something outside of the system we are in. The only standard that could possibly be outside of ourselves as people is something bigger than people and that can only be God. If God is not seen as the center of the universe, the essence of love, the way, the truth, the life, the standard by which to measure all things whether good or bad, we default to making ourselves these things. Therefore, if we don’t focus on the standards as outlined in the Bible, we make up or become the standard, which is to be self-centered. In fact, there really are only two possible gods; the real God… or ourselves!

We are born behaving as though we are god and until we meet the real God, we go on as though we are the center of the universe. Yet, as much as it may be necessary for us to correct this natural inclination, it requires both resolve and effort to do so and if we are to do this, we must be able to admit that we can be wrong or in error. This does not come naturally.

Why should it be so hard to admit we don’t know or to confess error or to say we are sorry or to ask forgiveness? Even professing Christians, who had to admit they were less than perfect before accepting Christ’s salvation, find it very difficult to do so. Again, it is because we are naturally in competition with God for the centrality of all things.

Bringing this discussion to our focus on education, our limited understanding of what truly constitutes biblical training and teaching within the confines of what God has created, limits our knowledge, and when combined with the fact that we see ourselves as the standard, causes us to advance the secular education we have experienced as the standard. Simply put, if we are the standard and all we know is secular education, then secular education is the standard, since we cannot be wrong. Never mind the fact that most of what we believe is a combination of lies, errors and omissions advanced as normal, right and acceptable. If it is all we know, and we are the standard, it becomes true because we believe it. Even more disconcerting is the fact that we are incorrigible when we begin any argument on the premise of being right.

Until we are fully prepared to step down from our natural pulpit of self-centeredness and the naturally associated self-righteousness and to give place to God as the center of all truth, we will go on, not only advancing, but defending school and all of it’s associated faults as the norm. In fact, if growing in number or making more cash is the objective, those purporting to be advancing home education would do well to play on people’s self-centered notion of being right about what they erroneously understand about education.

Since we are naturally more inclined to advance something from “2 Opinions” than from “2 Corinthians”, we are more likely to advance the only thing we know as truth, even if is not. We default to a secular education mindset, perhaps trying to “Christianize” it in a vain attempt to fix it, because that is all we know and we cannot be wrong. This is what comes naturally, and what we should all be striving to rise up above!

Tradition and Culture

Part of the series Hangups
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2015-11-23.

We reduce our ability to learn about the truth when we put our traditions first.

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: Matt. 15:1-13

Although world view is developed individually, it is largely identified in groupings of “like-minded” people who believe more or less the same thing. Since world view is built on a foundation of an understanding of God, whatever that may be, world views are generally grouped according to “religious” affiliations. These groupings can be very large: as in Eastern vs Western and First World vs Third World; or it can be divisions based on beliefs such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism; or derivatives from a particular group such as Catholic, Protestant, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormon; or even smaller groupings within a particular derivative such as the various denominations of Protestantism. Whatever the grouping, it is dependent on a collective world view about “deity” and its resultant application in life.

The fact that we naturally see ourselves as the centre of the universe and therefore correct in our thinking, because we say so, leads us to naturally gather with those of like mind. As we continue within this grouping, we often forget what the impetus for joining or forming the group was. That is, we start doing things because that is the way it has always been done and not necessarily because we have a definitive purpose in doing it. Tradition is what we do as a group in spite of what is written. Tradition is naturally dogmatic, in that it represents principles or sets of principles laid down by some authority as incontrovertibly true. Dissecting this further, dogma is something, or someone in authority or acting as though they are in authority, telling us what is true, whether or not it is, in fact, true… and it is something we are not to question. Combining the fact that we are told not to question something someone has told us is true, with the natural tendency to avoid being wrong at all costs, you can clearly see how Jesus could state that the word of God could be nullified through our traditions.

Once tradition is set, it slowly becomes culture when handed down from one generation to the next. If tradition is hard to change, culture is nearly impossible to change. It is fixed, whether founded on truth, error or things not important. It is because it is, and not much is going to change that.

Tradition and culture are fine. Indeed, we all enjoy living with tradition and we don’t even question the culture we are part of. Our language, dress and food is what makes us unique and interesting to say the least. However, as much as we can celebrate tradition and culture, it is even better if we know why we believe or do the things we do.

As we are likely to behave in keeping with what we have acquired, whether world view, tradition or culture and since we naturally default to being right, advancing anything that questions what we believe, or think, or do, is usually seen as an assault, attack or “act of war”. We become so certain that we are right that we become “religious” about our understanding. Whether based on facts or opinions, we gravitate to those who agree with our position, often looking to them for support in defence of what we deem to be right.

Secular education has slowly crept in and replaced what used to be largely based on biblical principles. Things advanced as sinful a few generations ago, are now advanced, not only as acceptable but worthy of celebration and it is now “sinful” to suggest that what used to be sin is still sin. Modern secular education system has tapped into the understanding that whatever we are exposed to can become part of our world view and when repeated everywhere can infuse our tradition which eventually morphs as part of our culture over time. Our Christian traditions have been under attack since their inceptions and as a consequence, our western Christian culture has become very secular. Try questioning anybody about anything respecting education and you will see that the majority will see you as an enemy. Question “Christian” education and you are likely to be seen as a heretic. Recommend a return to biblical training and teaching and you are likely to be seen as a lunatic lacking respect for our “tradition” and “culture”. Jesus tried it!


Part of the series Hangups
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2015-11-30.

While religion can be advanced as positive, it often gets in the way of growing in our faith.

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: Heb. 11:1-3

Religion! There are a lot of things that can be said about it, but all of it is dependent on our understanding of what the word means.

I am certainly no scholar of Greek, the original language of the New Testament, so I did a bit of research on the internet to try and come to grips with the word religion. I found the that there are two Greek words that may be translated into the English word religion. One refers to pagan superstition and the other to the externalization of someone’s internal beliefs as used in James 1:26-27. If religion can represent the service and worship of God (or the supernatural) or a personal set or institutionalized system of attitudes, beliefs, and practices, it should be obvious that religion can either be positive or negative in nature.

When looking at the English word, there seem to be two Latin possibilities for the word “religion”: relegere, meaning to read something over and over again; or religare, which is a combination of re (to return or to repeat) and ligare (to tie or to bind). If we consider the second option, religion can mean a returning to restraint or a fastening of the self to something that is considered important. Positively understood, religion is “a reconnecting to something important”, but within a negative light, religion simply means “a return to bondage.”

Even more important to note is that Jesus never calls people to religion but to faith. In fact, Jesus was openly hostile to the religious practices of the Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees, the spiritual leaders and system of that time. They had “twisted” the scripture to become a set of rules that they were zealous to enforce, even if not that good at applying to their own lives. While they advanced a religious set of “dos” and “don’ts” that people feared, Jesus lovingly taught us to simply “be”, by faith.

Understood in light of Jesus’ teachings, religion ends up being the enemy of faith. When Jesus claimed that not all those who say onto Him, Lord, Lord, would enter the Kingdom of heaven, it was the religious, not the faithful who would be rejected. A cursory look at our modern western version of “Christianity” finds that there are likely two negative religious systems at work today. One is a return to the bondage of rules and regulations within a stringently fundamentalist mindset. The other is a watering down of the way through unceasingly compromising with the world, creating a religious system that demonstrates a greater fear of man and his institutions than faith in God. There are, of course, always those who wholeheartedly desire to be of service to the real Jesus who resurrected from the dead, initiating true freedom from religious hypocrisy.

Is it possible that religion is nothing more than a fixed worldview that will not be changed due to the fact that we start any discussion on the premise of being right? Could it be that religion has us believing we are okay when in actuality we have no idea how far we have strayed from the truth, how biblically illiterate we really are, and how insensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit we have become?

What describes you best? What do you believe and put your trust in? Fear or Faith? Government or God? Religion or freedom? Against Him or for Him? Think about it. It could start a new pathway for you.