I have been actively involved as a professional educator for over forty years, nearly thirty of them within the home education community, primarily within Alberta but on a national and international level, as well.
I made learning the biggest part of my teaching career. I felt that if I was not truly learning, that is, actively seeking the truth, I could not be a good example to those I was privileged to have in my classroom.
That search for truth led me to discover God’s plan for the redemption of a lost world. I became a believer in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ and an ardent student of the Bible.
During this lifelong quest for truth, I questioned everything I had come to believe was the acceptable norm, especially in my field of education where I was being challenged daily with things I could not connect with the well-being of students.
This led to my wife and I deciding to bring our children home so that we could expose them to the truth while developing the skills they would need to survive and prosper in this world. It was a decision we have never regretted and now advance for all.
Helping parents to acquire a biblical perspective of parental authority and responsibility in the raising, training and teaching of children is more than an occupation for me. It is a passion. It is a ministry that compels me to carry on and share as much information with as many people as possible and to quietly influence as many as possible to discover the truth for themselves.
You will notice that I said discover the truth and not find the truth.
Discovering it means that it already exists. Finding the truth leaves too much room for personal creation and interpretation of the truth or for outside influences to “help” you find it.
Truth has never been relative, created or democratically determined. It just is and it pre existed the dawn of man. That is why is must be discovered.
This is the first in this series of presentations which I hope will bless you as you engage in your own quest for truth. Although the main focus is home education, one can apply the ideas discussed to other topics as it is built on a foundation of biblical understanding.
(A wise man once said) When we’ve chosen to take a different path, we must be prepared to do things differently, and be willing to come into conflict with those who would have us do otherwise.
Think about this. What happens when you decide to do something different? Do people encourage you? Not really. Some may be challenged by your choice while others may actually be threatened by it, but few will applaud it.
The path that you’ve taken as a home educator is a decision to do something different and with that comes the challenges and conflicts of those who would prefer that you do like everybody else.
What is it that makes people react, sometimes violently when someone challenges their position on a matter? To answer that question we need to consider the root cause or foundational premise that directs the actions of people. That brings us to the importance of world view.
World view is defined as what is unquestionably assumed to be true, about oneself, and the world around us. (repeat)
The whole idea of world view actually is the world’s replacement for a word that the “worldly” don’t like to use and that word is “faith.”
So, instead of asking what faith do you belong to, we sort of make it more generic and downplay its meaning, I guess, by saying it is a world view rather than a faith.
Faith is defined as a strongly held belief or theory and world view as what is unquestionably assumed to be true about oneself and the world around us.
There is not much difference in those two definitions and we can see that they are connected as faith is the foundation of world view. Quite frankly, they are the same because both are established on our perception of God.
Everybody has a world view or faith foundation. One of the greatest tricks of the world is to say, “I’m not religious.” I have never, in my entire life, met a person who wasn’t religious, for the simple reason that there is not a person on earth that does not have a world view or faith system.
If you’ve lived, you’ve experienced things, you’ve heard things, you’ve been told things, you’ve read things, everything that you’ve been exposed to has been part of what formulated your world view.
Whether right or wrong, true or false, reality or otherwise, everyone has a world view based on all our personal experiences, whether we are aware of it or not.
Some people can actually point at it and give it a name. Other people don’t know that they have one but indeed they do and it’s based on our perception of God.
Now, speaking of education, how many people have actually been home educated? Very few, I venture to guess. Most of us are actually doing something that we have never experienced ourselves as students.
It’s like telling our children to do something that we’ve never done. A bit of a challenge, to be sure as it must begin with our correcting the errors in our worldview.
So really, when we stop to think of it, what do you think is going to happen when someone starts talking to you as a home educator and asks, what experience have you had with education?
Nearly all of us have been to school. So what do we bring with us? What’s our world view in regards to education? It is probably what we’ve experienced which is, school.
So what do 99.9 percent of the people do when they first start home educating? Bring the school home, because that’s all we’ve experienced, that’s our world view. We’re comfortable there, because that’s what we’ve come to believe is true.
I want to challenge your world view as it relates to education. It’s important, because your world view becomes the foundation of every decision that you’re ever going to make in your life, including all the decisions you will make regarding the education of your children.
It’s important because you want to make the best decisions and your making that decision is going to be based upon what you believe to be true.
I find it’s almost impossible for me to start any session on any topic without first talking about world view. It is that important. Debates that we may have, usually boil down to an expression of faith or our strongly held belief or theory in a matter.
Where are we placing our faith? Where is our world view? Since our world view and faith is the foundation for our intellectual and spiritual being, it becomes the bias.
As a matter of fact, you can see this throughout the world. The Jewish people believe that their world view is the correct one, everyone else falls under the category of gentile. The Muslim people figure that their world view is the correct one and everyone else falls under the category of infidel.
The Christian world view also believes that it’s the right one (and I happen to believe that it actually is the right one) and everyone else falls in the “other category” we refer to generally as unbelievers. All these are faith categories and therefore, all are world views.
So, whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim or any other religion, all world views really have two perspectives; one in keeping with what one believes and another which is what everybody else believes or anything that does not agree with what we believe. This creates an environment of us versus them.
If you think about this, it is the reason for every war that has ever been fought. Both sides see the other side as “the other guys” who don’t but should believe as they do and they are willing to fight over it, whether with words or with actions.
There is another worldview that is actually universal in its religious appeal. It is the enemy of all organized religions because it masquerades as a non-religion. However, there is no such thing as a non-religion because all world views are religious in nature. In fact world views are essentially defined by their perception of God.
This “non-religion” religion is known as secular humanism which can be defined as a religion where man is his own god.
Since secularism advances the lie that there is no need for God, it should make sense that its most hated target would be that religion which offers the truth about God and how He loves the world such that He was willing to come die for it.
Christianity places Jesus as God in the centre of all things, but secular humanism places man at the centre of the universe. Man is in control. It’s man and his world.
Christianity puts its faith in God’s creative ability and His purpose, but the secular humanists put their faith in institutions that are advancing man’s central position within that world. It is not God’s central position, but man’s central position that is being constantly advanced and reinforced through secular humanism.
To the secular humanist, truth is not absolute, but a matter of opinion or whatever someone, anyone, has determined is good for them. Yet there seems to be no lack of enthusiasm for pushing this invented position upon others, often with a zeal that makes it the most virulent of religions.
Even though secular humanism may promote itself as not being a religion, the reality is that it is a religion as it is a belief system, indeed a belief system of very strong convictions.
As a matter of fact, you can prove that by challenging somebody who is a practitioner of secular humanism, and you will find right away how far their tolerance and understanding goes.
You’ll find out in a hurry just how religious they really are. They will jump all over you because you just stepped on their belief system. You have challenged a world view that established itself as right because, it says so!
One of the very first things that ever happened in terms of my Christian life, was when I was sitting in a university biology class. A polite young man stood up and challenged the professor on his delivery of evolution. I wasn’t a Christian at the time, but I admired the man’s courage.
He obtained the professor’s acknowledgement, stood up and challenged him by asking, “Are you not presenting this as though it’s a fact, when it may not actually be a fact? Could it not be just one possible explanation for how things have come to be?”.
The professor asked, “Are you a Christian?” The young man, being an honest person, I suppose, said, “Yes, I am.” The professor then verbally ripped him to shreds.
Now, people have always been important to me. When I saw what transpired between the professor and student, I realized, “You know, maybe evolution is a whole lot of religion, and not that much science.” Because if it was science, it should be able to take the criticism. But, if it’s religion, we’ll fight, because we’ll fight over our beliefs at the drop of a hat.
Another point that I have to make is that when we consider the message of the Christian faith, it’s inclusive of all people. We are taught to love everyone; to be representatives of God himself; to carry on with the ministry of love and forgiveness inspired by Jesus Christ.
Therefore, we are to forgive those who don’t believe the way we do because they, needing the same forgiveness we have in Christ, just don’t understand. They’re just not clear on the truth, likely having invented their own version of it or simply accepted what their culture has advanced.
In any case, we are taught to love others into the kingdom. We are not taught to fight, kill or maim. Not that we are to passively allow others to run roughshod over us, but we are always to consider that God loves all, whether believers or not and we are to demonstrate that love without prejudice.
It is our job as Christians to go and to tell the world about the Gospel. However, we must always keep in mind that every belief system believes everybody should believe as they do. This is our biggest challenge. It is the universal challenge of opposing world views.
Christians actually have it simple. It really boils down to the fact that we actually have but two choices. Simple, but not necessarily easy.
From the Christian perspective, we’re either going to serve the little god (man), who’d like to be God, or the real God. We’re either going to do things that will ultimately lead to destruction, which the Scriptures refer to as things on earth or we’re going to concentrate on the things of God and reap accordingly. Simple, but not necessarily easy.
So, we’ve got Heaven and Hell, and then we’ve got good and bad. It really is a matter of you’re being bad or you’re being good, of you’re being disobedient or you’re being obedient to scriptural directives. Ultimately, you’re going to reap what you sow in the form of the curse, or the blessing. Simple, but not necessarily easy.
You notice there really are only two choices here. We can believe a lie, and operate in fear, or we can believe in the truth, and operate in faith. Put another way, we can be against Him—the scripture refers to that as pleasing man—or we can be for Him, which the scripture refers to as pleasing God. The focus is either the temporal or the eternal. Simple, but not necessarily easy.
Really, when you look at the scripture, we can ask “Where are the greys in scripture? There are none. We’re on one side or on the other. There are no greys. Relativism has no place or support in scripture. The choice is simple, but not necessarily easy.
I have a theory about what greys are. There’s a book called The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. Reading it is a must, if you enjoy bending your brain a little. It’s a book that’s written about a senior devil instructing a junior devil in the art of temptation.
It’s really hard to read after you’re been reading the Bible, which is teaching you how to do good things, and then you’re reading a book that’s teaching you how to do all the bad things. But it’s worth the brain bend just to get a perspective on what’s going on.
Now if I was the devil, and I did not want you to believe in the one true God, what would I do? I’d get rid of the black and white. I’d get rid of the idea of right and wrong. I’d create a whole bunch of greys and I’d make both ends extreme, then I would introduce all kinds of evil as choice on the notion of there not being a right or wrong, truth or lies. No black and whites, just grays. Isn’t that what the world does?
We are constantly fed greys. We are supposed to accept the “progressive” notion that everything is ok because nothing in and off itself is right or wrong. Nothing but greys.
If you challenge this thinking and suggest that there are absolutes in morality, you’re going to find that you’re not going to get a lot of support for your position, you are actually stepping on somebody else’s faith system. One where there is no truth, no absolutes and freedom for all to do as they wish.
However, it is not the freedom to do as we wish that is at issue here, but where will it lead us? You can be worldly-minded or you can be Heavenly-minded. For true believers, it is actually that simple. It is not, however, necessarily easy.
God is the God of diversity. As a biologist, I have learned a lot about many different types of living things and I am constantly in awe of the amazing diversity.
In my career as an educator, I have probably seen tens of thousands of students and I have never met two the same. In fact no two people on earth are the same. Actually, there have never been two people exactly the same, ever. Isn’t that amazing?
Our God is a wonderful God of diversity, but what is man’s response to this diversity? If diversity speaks of creative genius, secular man’s alternative would have to be conformity. Everybody has to look and behave and do and believe and act in exactly the same way.
Have you ever tried doing something different? Do people say, “Good on you”? Do they say, “Hey, that’s something,” or do they actually get all threatened by you’re doing something different?
The wisdom of God is the foolishness of man, the Bible says, and the wisdom of man is the foolishness of God. So if you take a look at it, the worldly side is complicated, it’s very complex. But God’s side of it is extremely simple, so simple that a child can understand it.
Let’s look at another aspect of creation, which is freedom. Whosoever has his soul set free, so shall he be free indeed. There’s freedom on the side of God. But on the other side, we can only expect the opposite of freedom which is slavery or bondage.
On the freedom side we talk about relationships, about valuing people. On the other side, it’s religion. I’ll value you so long as you do something for me. Not, “What can I do for you?” These are different, actually opposing sides.
Putting home education on one side, we can throw home schooling on the other. How do you blend this? How do you blend these two opposing sides? Can you? Can you be somewhat worldly minded and somewhat heavenly minded?
Can you sit on the fence? Can it be simple and complicated? Can you be free and enslaved at the same time? Or are they mutually exclusive? We simply say that there are no blends, there’s only mixes, and the people that try to mix them are truly mixed up.
Carrying on with our discussion on our having a choice between two opposing thoughts, let me give you a really good, quick example.
Evolution and Creation are two entirely different things. Anybody who’s stopped to study it finds they’re mutually exclusive.
Yet if you were to take a survey of people, Christian and non-Christian alike, where do most people sit? Right smack in the middle. Eighty-five percent of people are what we call theistic evolutionists.
They believe in God, and yes, God did create with power, but evolution is how everything came here. That doesn’t make any sense.
It doesn’t make any sense because people are trying to mix, or to blend, two entirely different things, with both sides claiming that they hold the keys to the truth.
And so, every time you watch television, every time you read a book, every time you look in a textbook, or whatever, every time you look at an animal, you’re going to look at evolution, correct? Then you read the Bible and it tells you something altogether different.
You want to believe all the stuff that you’re hearing and reading, and you want to believe everything that’s in the Bible, so what do you do? Put the two together. But what are you? You’re mixed up. Because they’re two separate things altogether. You can’t put them in the same pile.
This is what I really appreciated about the whole idea of having what we call the “dichotomist” view of life. That’s what the Bible shows us. We’re either righteous or unrighteous; right or wrong; heaven-bound or hell-bound.
It’s real simple, so it helps us to understand a simplified viewpoint where self-righteousness is not based on God but “me” and whatever I have determined is right or wrong.
This is where we come from, that is, we believe in scripture, where we find there are really only two choices, the right choice and the wrong choice. That’s how we want to raise our children, and yet, we often fail to make our choices based on right or wrong. We usually prefer to do it our way, not necessarily the right way.
Have you ever stopped to think of that? In a way, we are sort of hypocrites. We tell our children there’s only two choices, and yet we demonstrate our belief that there’s a multitude of choices and that there’s all kinds of possibilities.
The reason we do that is twofold. First, we tend to think we are the centre of the universe and so what we want is what we do. It is also possible that we make bad decisions because we just don’t know the truth. Perhaps it is not ultimately, that important to us.
The majority of people are theistic evolutionists not because they are great believers in evolution, and not even because they’re great believers in creation. It’s because, if you were to ask them to explain the creation story, they couldn’t explain it to you.
They do know it’s in Genesis somewhere, probably the first few chapters. They don’t really know. They haven’t really gone there and studied it. They haven’t read the multitude of books that are out there to help us to understand the creation story.
They really haven’t looked into evolution either. I catch a lot of people that believe in evolution by simply asking how, or why. Ask them a question. Ask them if they believe in millions of years and when they answer yes, ask them why?
Like evolution vs creation, life is also black or white. The only true believers in greys are either misinformed or do not want to be informed. They like their greys because they move the boundaries to suit them. No commitment needed. Just whatever is most convenient and least demanding.
Unfortunately, this is not true. We need to pick a side.
Who said you have to start school when you’re six? Who said you have to be reading by then? Who has determined that life should be taught in pieces called subjects?
Who said that you should continue in school until you’re eighteen years of age? Who said? Who said that you can’t be successful if you don’t do it this way, or you don’t do it that way? Why don’t we ask some questions? Show me, where does it say this? Where did you get this idea? How did you come to that conclusion?
Could it be that it is the only thing you have ever seen or been presented with? Are there alternatives to the way things have always been done?
What about socialization I am asked? My answer is usually, “what about socialization?”. “What is your concern?” You know what I get for an answer? Usually a blank look, because they’ve never actually thought about it. They’re simply repeating what they’ve been told. We’re all guilty of this very same thing. Somebody has done the thinking for us.
In the high school that I taught in for the last fourteen years of the school teaching part of my ongoing career, they had pillars in the cafeteria, and anybody could put up a saying, for a fee. It was another bizarre example of public schools needing to raise additional funds.
My students actually pulled together and collected money because they wanted to write my wise sayings up there for the world to see.
I asked, what was their favourite saying. They simply said, what we hear almost every day: “Think, or somebody will do the thinking for you.”
That’s true: think, or someone is going to do the thinking for you and those who would think for you don’t usually have your best interest in mind.
You know what? We’re all guilty of having people think for us. How many times have you asked yourself, “Why do I believe this?” “Why do we do this?” In the church, when you ask the question, “What’s the answer?” You often get, “Because that’s the way it’s always been done.” That’s not a good enough answer.
My challenge at this point is to simply say: ask questions. Find out. Why is it that we believe the things that we believe? Ask lots and lots of questions. That’s how you are going to learn.
As a matter of fact, who are the best learners in the whole wide world? Two-year-olds. They’ve just learned to talk. They know “mom,” “dad,” and “why?” They’re learning and they are not shy about asking questions, any question on anything, without reservations!
We’ve been emphasizing Christian values and what we should understand and believe. We need to believe in the authority of the Bible.
I’m a creationist because I started to question what I had come to believe. I’ve been studying this issue now for forty years. If I have a choice in believing in millions of years (as told by the media, most books, and every movie I watch) and believing in God’s creation in six days, I’m going to put my faith simply in the Bible.
Because I can’t prove either one. I wasn’t there for either one. Yet, I do have the Bible from which we can read an account that has been around for thousands of years as opposed to the “scientific” explanation that has continued to “evolve” over the last hundred years or so.
I will put my faith in the Bible. As a Christian, I will take the authority of the scripture, and I’ll say, if there’s a debate, I’m going to have to fall on that side. Because, let me tell you, the Bible’s been around for a long time, evolution hasn’t. If I know nothing more, that’s good enough for me.
Ever wonder why Christian schools fail here? Because the teacher believes in evolution? No, probably not. But the teachers are going to have to teach the curriculum. The curriculum talks about evolution, it doesn’t talk about creation at all.
So while teaching evolution, if some little guy puts up his hand and says, “I don’t believe that”, the teacher will likely reply by saying, “Well, I don’t believe it either. You know, we don’t believe in evolution, I’m just teaching it because I have to. We believe in the Bible.”
How far do you think that’s going to go in your child’s life? If he keeps hearing the same evolution story over and over and over again, and all he gets on the Christian side is “Oh, we just kind of believe in the Bible,” and that’s all they get, what will he end up believing?
I am not suggesting here that we indoctrinate our children in any way. I am suggesting that you teach them that there is a universal absolute truth and that they would be wise to discover it. You should present both sides to an issue and then discuss the likelihood of either side being true.
Evolutionists are supporting their side with all kinds of stuff. We really do need to be informed of their side and ours as well. We should start by informing ourselves of what is in the Bible and what it really means.
I believe the family is God’s focus. When I read the Bible I find that the first profession is still the most wonderful profession in the whole wide universe. It’s called motherhood. That was around before anything else.
I believe in a traditional nuclear family, and as a consequence, as a logical extension of our faith in God and His creative powers, we believe in home education. As a matter of fact, I am unapologetic about that.
I believe that children are created by God, and therefore have an innate capacity for learning. How do you stop children from learning? Somebody answered once by saying, “Send them to school!”
Actually, you can’t stop children, anybody for that matter, from learning. They are going to learn in accordance with their natural aptitudes, gifts, talents, interests, individual readiness and opportunity, along with a purpose and a place.
So we who believe that God created children, believe He created them complete. As a matter of fact, if you read the Genesis account of creation, the first five days, He talks about the creation. He looks at it and He says that it was good. But when He created man, He looked upon him and He said that it was very good. So our kids are very good, at least from God’s creative perspective.
We believe that a parent’s responsibility is to develop what has been created. It is not your job to create something of your children. If you believe that, then you’ve bought the lie.
God said children are already created. Our job is to nurture, to protect, and to prepare them for the future. We protect them until they’re old enough for us to start to prepare them. Is there a dividing line between protection and preparing? Yeah, there is. God’s already built that in too.
Let’s take a look at what we would believe to be the Christian home education foundation. Faith, we said, is the complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
The central verse in the Bible is Psalm 118:8. Now what do you think the central verse of the Bible would say? It says, “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” That’s the central verse of Scripture.
Put your trust in the Lord, don’t put your confidence in man. We were just saying that faith was confidence in someone or something. Let’s put our confidence, our faith, our trust in God and not in man. That would be the foundation upon which you would want to build your Christian home education.
Oh, one more thing. Think or someone will do the thinking for you. If you question nothing, you will get nowhere.