Legalities! A Practical Guide to Home Education – Getting Started (Part 5)

We live in a world of rules and regulations that generally have us do what we are supposed to do rather than what we want to do. In any case, we do need rules to avoid living in chaos, even if we don’t like them at times. Education is a good example.

The question is: who has authority over children, particularly when it comes to education? I intend to fully explain this someday, but for now, let’s just say that the parents who have brought the children into the world would obviously have the responsibility to train, teach and raise them, which is not possible if they do not have the God-given authority to do so.

Suffice it to say that parents are given the legitimate authority for all things pertaining to children. While government may claim to have this authority, God has not given it this authority. Simple logic should bring us to understand that God would not give children to parents and expect government to educate them. Had that been the case, most parents would have deemed potty training as a government responsibility, no doubt!

Once it is clear that parents have the God-given authority and responsibility to train, teach and guide children to adulthood, it is important to note what has to be done to stay out of trouble with the government and its false claims.

Too often, people quote the “render unto Caesar” passage as license to give our children to the government, but once again, consider that God gave them to parents, with no provision for handing off or abdicating the responsibility for raising them.

The rules in Alberta are simple, yet complicated. I am not going to deny that there are ways one can simply ignore the government directives respecting the education of children, but sometimes it is easier to simply play along.

Every child between the ages of six and sixteen in this province must be registered to receive some kind of education. Parents have the option to enroll students in a choice of schools, bring school home or educate the children the way they see fit.

Obviously, it is no burden, at least not at this time, to simply let the government know that the children are being educated, by you, at home, in a way that you approve of. This allows the government to think that it has authority while allowing you to exercise your God-given responsibility to train, teach and guide your children in keeping with God’s directives.

It may appear to be a compromise to some, but giving government what they want, which ostensibly is a desire to see all its citizens get a quality education, while parents retain authority to do so, is not “sin.”

Once understanding our place in this process, the question becomes, with whom will I register or notify? Alberta is unique in funding its home educated students without jurisdictional boundaries. This means that students can be registered either with the local school “authority” or any willing, non-resident one.

I do not recommend registering or notifying with the local school board. The local school system likely has little to no sympathy for, or understanding of, home education and so will naturally direct parents and students back to school, in one form or another. Not only do they believe that only schools can educate children, but there is also a monetary incentive for doing so.

Registering or notifying with a non-resident board provides far more choice and options. Once again, one must emphasize the importance of finding a board that will serve you, rather than manipulate your allegiance to their own benefit. Willing, non-resident boards can be public, separate or private schools, but very few, if any, truly understand the heart of unschooling parents.

It is also important to understand that since home education is funded in Alberta, money can become the primary focus, not only for home education providers, but perhaps even for home educators. Money should be the last criteria for choosing which school “authority” to notify with.

I have created a document that you may find helpful entitled, “Questions a Christian Home Educator Should Ask…” which lists a number of considerations for everyone involved in home education, including the parents. You can find it on our web site, by going to Resources, clicking on Home Education Guide and following through the steps provided to specifically address your present home education situation.

Summarizing, don’t simply believe what you are being told by potential home education providers. Knowing that your children come with money should alert you to go beyond the rhetoric.

Go to their web sites; look into their history; ask yourself, how has this board contributed to the long term best interest of home education? Consider the extent to which school based philosophy and accreditation is advanced; and make sure you will be the authority, otherwise you will be brought right back to the school-based thinking you want to escape.

Oh, and remember, just because a large number of people are doing something, does not mean what they are doing is right or the best option for you. If you make an informed decision in keeping with what is best for your family’s spiritual well-being, everything else will be added unto you.

Choice in Education? Alberta Programs of Study Series (Part 2)

One thing I do appreciate about the Alberta education system is the emphasis on the importance of choice in education. If you are familiar with the politics and the history of education in this province, you’ll know that it wasn’t always that way and that recent events show a continuing lack of true commitment to real choice.

When we take a closer look at the choices that we currently have, there is a pattern that we should be able to see:

If you go to public school, you’ll be following the Alberta Programs of Study.

If you go to separate school, you’ll be following the Alberta Programs of Study.

If you go to charter schools, you’ll be following the Alberta Programs of Study.

If you go to the accredited private schools, mostly likely you’ll be following the Alberta Programs of Study or in the least, some facsimile.

Blended programs have always been required to follow the Alberta Programs of Study.

ADLC online distance learning programs follow the Alberta Programs of Study.

Post-secondary admissions are largely based on the Alberta Programs of Study; and

Home education is often, if not usually, compared to or measured using the Alberta Programs of Study.

With all the options or “choices” that we have for education, all follow or reference the Alberta Programs of Study.

Think about this in terms of “ice cream”. Real options for dessert would be between ice cream, cake, pie, cookies, pudding, etc. If all I’ve given as options for dessert are different flavours of ice cream, I have told you that you will be eating ice cream. This is choice without control, which is really no choice at all.

There is another way we can look at this choice. If I threaten you with a beating, but give you the option of taking that beating in the hallway, bathroom or outdoors, have I given you any choice other than where you will take your beating?

Similarly, if we have an education system offering a “choice” of where a single option of programming will be taken, we are not offering real choice in education. It is more like giving you an option of where you would like to take your beating!

If all the choices that we have in education involve the Alberta Programs of Study and you determine to do something different in your home education program, you’re probably going to be challenged on it because we are not really free to choose. We are expected to abide by the status quo.

Remember that both the School Act and proposed new Education Act are committed to a single publicly funded education system. Obviously, that is what we have when a single option for programming is offered as choice. We may have a choice of venues, but not of programming.

What could be the objective of advancing a singular, secular program under the guise of choice? Back to the common values and beliefs mentioned in the preambles of the School and Education Acts.

Through its commitment to one public education system, the secular government limits our options such that most students will be exposed to the “common values and beliefs” determined not by the people or parents or students, but by the government.

The only place where real choice still exists is in traditional home education, where you are free to do something other than the government program. But, keep in mind that you are only free to do so, if you are informed of this option.

Considering that it is far easier for home education providers to normalize government programming than to educate parents, who are likely more familiar with doing things the school’s way, there exists the perfect opportunity to perpetuate the government’s version of what an education should be.

However, we must always keep in mind that if the government is committed to a single public education system with a single option for programming, how long will it be before it reaches into home education as well? What will you do, if or when that day comes?

Common Values & Beliefs Committed To…?? Alberta Programs of Study Series (Part 1)

Click here to watch this entire series’ video playlist on YouTube.

Now that we’ve established the importance of world views, we’re going to apply what we have learned by looking at government curriculum, known as the Alberta Programs of Study, in this province.

My twenty-five years of teaching in the public system and over forty years’ experience in education has provided me with insights that I want to share with you. I hope this leads you to be better informed regarding public education and programming.

Today, we are going to take a look at what government programming is; what foundation the Alberta Programs of Study is based on; and why we should seriously consider what we are getting into before we adopt it as part of our children’s upbringing.

Psalm 118:8 states that it is better to trust in the Lord, than to put our confidence in man. Being the central verse of the Bible, we can assume that this message is the central message of the Biblical narrative.

Applying this directive, we can question whether the Alberta Programs of Study is leading us to put our trust in God or to put our confidence in man. To answer that question we need only ask what place the Lord has in the government’s programming? Point zero something? Zero point one maybe, but zero would be a pretty fair average and certainly not in a positive light.

So, is it leading us to trust in the Lord or to put confidence in man? Who wrote it? Why was it written? Where is it taking our children? Upon what world view is it based?

To answer those questions we will take a look at what the Alberta School Act of 1988 has to say. Right in the Preamble, before anything else, it says, “Whereas the education community in making decisions should consider the diverse nature and heritage of society in Alberta within the context of its common values and beliefs.”

Similarly, in the proposed new Alberta Education Act, Section 16 (1) reads: “All courses or programs of study and instructional materials used in a school must reflect the diverse nature and heritage of society in Alberta, promote understanding and respect for others and honour and respect the common values and beliefs of Albertans.”

There are a lot of questions one can ask regarding this statement! Did you know that in Alberta we have common values and beliefs? I find this a rather interesting statement in light of the fact that we advance ourselves as a multicultural society, which, I am sure you would agree, is not fertile ground for “common values and beliefs”.

I’ll bet you, we could probably start a culture war right now, if we were to suggest what some of these common values and beliefs could be. Since they have to be based on culture and we are a province of many cultures, advancing one set of common values and beliefs essentially tramples on another!

If it is possible to have common values and beliefs within the province, what are they? Does the government actually believe we have common values and beliefs in the Province of Alberta or is it just as possible that it wants to establish them through its education system?

If we were to actually list these common values and beliefs, who would be able to contribute? Christians? Not likely!

The problem is, even if given the opportunity to do so, we can’t even agree on what Christianity is, much less find common ground that we could advance as our “common values and beliefs.” How do you think we managed to create so many denominations?

Besides, how well do you think the world would receive our common values and beliefs when quoting from the Bible? Advancing the common values and beliefs of one world view essentially trumps those of another. Our biblical world view may work for us, but it is not likely to work for others.

So, our first concern regarding the public curriculum is the stated but unlisted “common values and beliefs” upon which the legislation respecting education is based.

This legislation also says that we are committed to something. What, exactly is it that we are committed to? Let’s go back to the 1988 Alberta School Act.

Going right back to the same Preamble that claimed we have common values and beliefs, it also says: “Whereas the Government of Alberta affirms its commitment to the preservation and continuation of its one publicly funded system of education through its two dimensions: the public schools and the separate schools.”

The preamble to the new Alberta Education Act has a similar statement which reads:

“Whereas the Government of Alberta believes in and is committed to one publicly funded education system that provides a choice of educational opportunities to students and that honours the rights guaranteed under the Constitution of Canada in respect of minority language and minority denominational education through the dimensions of public, separate and Francophone schools.”

Is there any mention of private schools or home education in this last statement? Well, they’re certainly not part of the preamble. Could it be that neither is really as important to the government as a singular monopoly system that can make sure we are exposed to the common values and beliefs mentioned in this province’s School and Education Acts?

So the government is committed to one public education system, using one curriculum that establishes what the government deems to be our common values and beliefs.

If you’ve had any experience with government education officials, you should know that the government is very committed to its “commitment”!

Knowing how great an influence school has on children, the question of greater significance is, what is the government ultimately committed to?

Goodbye For The Summer

Part of the series Wrapping Up 2015-16
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-05-30.

A rather lengthy summary of this year’s Education Unlimited activities.

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: Eph 4: 1-24

Wow! What an incredible year this has been, especially in light of the fact that the Morinville Christian School (MCS), The Home Education Exchange (THEE) and MCS’s former principal gave the appearance of collaborating to kill the EU ministry, destroy the EU organization and steal the students that neither agency had done a thing for, essentially forcing the EU parents to decide whether to stay with MCS or move their children to another school, the Harvest Baptist Academy. After overwhelmingly failing in their apparent hostile take over attempt, another agency, ROOTS, joined MCS to form a rather polygamous union that was sure to rattle the government, who could not comprehend how large populations of students could be moved at will to another school!

Think about this from the government’s perspective. When has an entire school ever moved from one community to another? In the real world, such craziness would never happen but when Independent Contracted Home Education Specialists (ICHES is a term invented to give credibility to organizations that have no place in the government’s world) start moving from one private school to another, both private schools and ICHESs are legitimately called into question. Counting Families Learning Together’s move from the Lighthouse Christian Academy to the Red Deer Catholic system a few years ago, ten agencies (private schools and ICHESs) have been involved in the greatest transfer of students from one school community to another ever to have occurred in the history of education in this province. I cannot be sure that the massive clawbacks that occurred this year are directly related to this craziness, but I can say with a fair degree of certainty that the likelihood of the perpetrators of these very large transfers of students, considering the overall implications of these moves for the Christian home education community, is very small.

What could have been the primary motivation behind this insanity? Student welfare? Or is it more likely to be school and ICHES welfare? Were parents consulted before their children were unilaterally transferred to another school in another community? Don’t the parents have the last say as to where they want their children registered? How can any agency, let alone ones that claim a Christian faith, so brazenly ignore parental authority and trade in students as though they were a commodity? No wonder the government is concerned, as even the secular world would find such manipulation of students offensive. Please understand that while being forced out of MCS after sixteen years of association, EU continued to honour the authority of parents by clearly communicating with our parents both by personal phone call and by letter, what their options were and not what we had decided for them!

Speaking of parental authority, another thing I did was bring to light the news about the Alberta Home Education Association (AHEA), our provincial organization supposedly representing the home educators of this province, having sent the Minister of Education a letter offering a form of evaluation and reporting on home educated student progress. Did you know that the organization created to defend home education has now grown to the point where it feels it has the “authority” to tell all parents, facilitators and schools how they will conduct the evaluations of student progress? How about the fact that one “ICHES with a large number of students”, arrogantly assuming to be speaking not only on behalf of all the parents associated with them but for every home educating parent of the province, has volunteered to conduct a pilot program of this newly minted evaluation process? When were the parents and providers consulted about this? Were you consulted before AHEA and the ICHES with a large number of students decided to violate parental authority to appease a ruling that had not actually been made? This unprecedented move strips parents of their authority and validates the Minister’s false claim to having authority over parents in the training of children. If it is a matter of having to answer for the taxpayer funds that private and home education are receiving (remember that we are taxpayers too), then a simple solution is to refuse the funds, if and when it comes with an obligation for evaluation. Given that choice, most parents would likely have opted out of the funding in favour of freedom, but agencies that would cease to exist if the funding was to be discontinued are likely to have a bit of a different perspective on this matter! When parental authority over their children is being violated by agencies trading in students and others willing to sacrifice it on their altar of survival, we don’t really need external enemies to destroy us!

Besides being unbelievably busy making the myriad of adjustments that came along with working with a new school after sixteen years with MCS, Education Unlimited had to make some serious changes in order to completely separate ourselves from the diminishing crowd of ever more compromising ICHESs. We morphed from being an ICHES under MCS into being a highly developed digital management system for traditional home education. Funny how things go, isn’t it? Others may have meant evil for EU, but God used this opportunity (it sure did not feel like an opportunity at first!) for good as we developed not only our web site ( to better serve our school and home education community, but another web site ( which is sure to minister to Christian home educators around the world.

What can be described as the craziest, most nonsensical year we have ever experienced within the home education community was made even more bizarre by the unexpected and unprecedented moves by the Department of Education. Aside from having to wait until January before receiving any funding, our school (Harvest Baptist Academy) underwent three intensive audits this year, likely brought about by their sudden and overwhelming increase of students when having thrown our families a life line and an alternative to MCS. Our new management system proved itself to be outstanding as we seamlessly provided up to date and accurate information in keeping with all rules and requirements. Add to that, a pile of issues like Bill 10, Motion 504, public pressure to defund private schools, the retroactive reinterpretation of the proper use of taxpayer funds in home education, along with an overall near impossible intransigence of the self-declared infallibility of government bureaucrats, and you have a picture of what this past year has been like. It is likely that most home educators of the province were more aware of these last events as they involved a bit more media coverage and changes to funding expectations.

In preparation for these final blogs, I reviewed all the blogs that I have written this year. I was pleased by the outcome and truly thankful for the Holy Spirit’s direction as many times, even I was impressed with what had been said… and I am the one who said it! I encourage you all to start back in September and read through the year. You will get a glimpse of my heart and how it passionately beats for the Christian home education community, the authority of parents and true Christian education. It is sure to encourage you. I nearly never hear from anyone and would dearly love to know not only how these blogs are doing but what you may want to see in the future. Please email me ( to let me know how these blogs have affected you this year.

I want to end by thanking Brian Coldwell, the chairman of the Independent Baptist Christian Education Society, the operators of the Harvest Baptist Academy and all the staff of HBA for giving us a reason to carry on. It has been a great pleasure to have been able to have fellow defenders of Christian education stand beside us as we advance and defend parental authority in education. Thank you, HBA.

Finally, and most importantly, I want to take this time to thank each and every one of you for encouraging us, not only in word, but by being cooperative during these unprecedented times of change, both from without and within this ministry. We may have experienced bell ringing and death defying events, along with some exhilarating things as well, yet we have never lost our focus. We exist to serve our Lord, our schools and families, but most importantly we desire to be of service to our parents as they reclaim their proper authority for the welfare of their children by training their hearts to love the Lord their God with all their hearts, souls, minds and strengths to become servants of the Most High God.

God bless you all. Lord willing, I will “blog” you again in the fall. Please keep us in prayer.

Have a great summer!
Léo Gaumont


Private Christian Schools (Part 1)

Part of the series The Problem
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-03-14.

If these schools are “private” and “Christian” why are they insisting on “public” and “secular” programing?

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 John 4:1-6

It is hard to imagine how any thinking parent could ever believe that government, displaying no allegiance to God or his word, but rather openly hostile towards biblical teaching, could possibly have their children’s best interest in mind. However, it happens all the time. For some reason, the fact that government cannot give birth to children escapes their notice and through a lack of knowledge regarding scriptural directives, parents not only validate and empower the government’s claim to authority in education, but try to emulate its leadership by creating Christian versions of the same thing, something called Private Christian Schools.

Now to be fair, schools do have their place. In countries where illiteracy is high, they have a very important part to play in enabling children to function in the modern world. In our country, where most parents have at least some level of literacy, parents could and should do as directed by God and educate their own children at home. Even so, there is no doubting the fact that not everyone can do so. In a perfect “Christian” world, those that could, would be there to help those that couldn’t or shouldn’t. However, as you may have already noticed, this is anything but a perfect world!

So why have Christian schools? In my opinion, the biggest reason for the creation of Christian schools is the unquestioned normalization of what we have all come to believe as “education happens in schools”. Christian parents who think this way simply carry forward the idea, but within an assumed Christian context and environment. Since we are in an imperfect world where everyone is left to fend for themselves, Christian schools can be a real asset and a positive alternative to public schools, if indeed the leadership, staff and program are…well,… Christian!

Unfortunately, when unfunded, private schools struggle with the high cost of running a school and the need to properly recompense teachers and staff. Few parents can afford high tuition, therefore private schools usually end up seeking help from government. However, this help comes with “strings” attached. Knowing that increasing the amount of government programming used makes things not only easier, but potentially more profitable, it is easy to see how the secularization of “Christian” schools can be accelerated with increased government funding. Once on this path, the private school leadership starts to become increasingly focussed on survival, consequently developing a willingness to do anything demanded of them by bureaucrats, in exchange for continuing existence and support. Attempting to meet the government program with a collection of Christian resources often leads to completely adopting the public program and all of its directives. Private schools can become so much like public schools, they need only apply to become a part of the public system and disappear completely as “Christian” alternatives. Sadly, a true story.

I have always wondered why any Christian school would want to meet this government mandated secular programming at all, never mind trying to Christianize it! If God had given government authority in education, I would understand. However, the prevalent idea that government has something important to say about the training of children is more of an unquestioned cultural “habit” than of reasoned Christian thinking. I suspect this is likely due to a similar misunderstanding of the authority of government within the Church, since it too seems to have placed government ahead of God for it’s existence and survival.

Not every Private Christian School has sold its soul to the devil, but there are few, if any, which do not acknowledge government as in control of all things educational. If we think about it, what is supposed to set private Christian schools apart is that they look to God as the provider and director of all things, including the training and teaching of children. To say that Jesus is Lord on the one hand, then look to government for provision and direction makes a mockery of what a Christian education should entail. Why are Private Christian Schools looking to government for direction and support? Could it be because our culture has developed a greater fear of government than faith in God, when it comes to education?

Schools (Part 3 – More On Dishonesty)

Part of the series The Problem
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-03-07.

Advancing government programming as the only option for education is dishonest.

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: Prov. 1:19

Last week I shared a bit more of my universal observation of schools. Not that I have been to every school in the universe, but what I have observed of nearly all schools I have experienced is that they are often dishonest. I observed dishonesty in the rhetoric about the deep concern for the educational welfare of the children and all the associated meaningless platitudes and promises so often displayed on the school marquees. It may not be the case for every school but I also frequently observed dishonesty with the handling of money. Most schools quickly took advantage of any potential loophole, knowing full well that the chances of getting caught were slim. I am not convinced that anything has changed, even though the electronic age makes it a little harder to do.

This week I want to talk about another form of dishonesty, so universally accepted that it is not even recognized as dishonest. The idea that government sets the expectations, the programming, delivery and accreditation for education is so rarely questioned that even home educating parents who had to escape the system very often bring the system home with them. Home education providers often see this as a marketing opportunity and not only make this government program available, but may even try to simulate it, often employing dishonesty as their primary tool. There are two ways this can be accomplished, but first let’s briefly consider that by collectively acquiescing to government claims to jurisdiction in areas reserved for parents, Christians are in danger of committing a serious offence before God. By recognizing the government’s claimed lordship over children and education, are we not actually behaving in a “treasonous” fashion respecting Jesus’ Lordship? Since God never gave government authority in the training and teaching of children and since we cannot serve two masters, should Christians be succumbing to this error?

Another consideration before discussing the two ways to mislead home educating parents, is that if the government is in “competition” for lordship with Jesus, then we can certainly assume it will not be advancing the truth. Parents make a grievous mistake when they think that it really does not matter what the children are exposed to as long as they are “educated”. Perplexingly, parents often make a bigger issue about junk food being offered to students in school while saying nothing about the junk being fed to their minds. Should we not pay more attention to the fact that junk food goes through and is eliminated while junk thoughts and ideas are not? This oversight has serious implications for world view development. But then again, could it be that this is actually the objective of government programming in the first place?

When government programming is accepted by home educators through either selective courses, blended or fully aligned programming, it there really any good way to ascertain that the rules are being followed? How could even the most astute bureaucrat be able to determine if the blended program, for instance, is using the Alberta Program of Studies and not a facsimile; that the approved resources are being used; and that it is being delivered by a certificated teacher and not a parent representative? Indeed, this kind of situation is perfect for cheating. Just offer the parents a bit more money and they will not tell the government that the school is not doing what it is supposed to be doing while the school will not report the student’s failure to meet the requirements! Even if rules are followed it is trying to fit a child into a program rather than a program to the child.

The second way that we can cloak dishonesty is to take advantage of the fact that there is no good way to assess if high school credit requirements are met. There is an assumption of honesty, but there is lots of room for “professional” interpretations. Consequently, as a certificated teacher, I can award credits to anyone for anything without really having to defend my decision. Even though credits can be awarded without accessing the associated funding, high school level funding is completely tied to the awarding of credits. Unscrupulous home education providers taking advantage of parental ignorance and fear, promising government “approval” through credits and diplomas are likely more motivated by money than service.

The “Church”

Part of the series The Problem
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-02-15.

He who is not for us is against us. Jesus said so.

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. Please understand that while it is our responsibility to tell the truth, we must never lose sight of the fact that our enemy is not made of flesh and blood and that we ultimately have the choice to conform and compromise or to stand on principle. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: John 19:15

I heard a sad story the other day. A particular church group had been through a gruelling year of personal failures and calamities that truly questioned the soundness and effectiveness of its supposed “Christian” teachings. Incredibly, at that church’s AGM that year, the treasurer got up and announced that in spite of having had to wade through some rather difficult waters, aside from seeing leaders go down in shame along with people left injured along the way, the “church” had had its best year ever! I assume this to be the normal expectation of a church treasurer, but is this perhaps indicative of how many “churches” are measuring success? If this is their focus, how does the modern institutional church view education?

In times past, when government acknowledged the Christian heritage of the country, bureaucracies were smaller, decentralized and not nearly so autocratic. Churches were free to do what they were supposed to do and were more likely to influence the government than the other way around. Schools were also free to recite the Lord’s prayer, to recite the Bible and to expect Christian behaviour. Often, the local church and school were so intertwined that it was hard to delineate the end of one and the beginning of the other. Everything seemed to work to the benefit of the citizens. Such was certainly my experience from, oh, so long ago!

Times have certainly changed. Today, nearly every church, school and society has been incorporated as an entity that answers to the government which dispenses permission to exist and directives on how to behave. Government has been empowered such that all things must be approved through an ever growing secular bureaucracy. When the state takes on the nature and responsibility of the God it desires to replace, it becomes all powerful. When it becomes all powerful, even things that belong to God, like the church, come under new management, as directed by the king. When this happens, those institutions which should be vigilantly defending the things of God seem to develop a new focus while losing sight of their true purpose. As a consequence, the “church” seems to have, unfortunately, evolved from the body of Christianity to the building of churchianity, from equipping the saints to filling the coffers, from going about God’s business to becoming a business about God.

Whereas the training and teaching of children has always been the responsibility of parents as per the authority given them by God, education, (as in government mandated compulsory attendance to some form of government approved school) has usurped this freedom, in much the same fashion as what has happened to the church. This has had the negative effect of forcing both churches and Christian schools to look to government for approval and support rather than to God. There exists a sense of dread that, should either do anything to displease this new “lord”, the authority to exist and/or the ability to either access funds directly or issue tax receipts for donations will be lost. This replacement of faith with fear has resulted in these new “government agencies” not only sanctioning and advancing, but defending things approved by government as though they were ordained of God, including the public education programming and processes that makes no mention of God, Bible or Christianity.

As a consequence of the church’s desire to accommodate government demands, home educators often find it difficult to receive encouragement, support and direction through the local church. In fact, there is a greater likelihood of being persecuted than encouraged for determining to do what God has directed parents to do. This is not to say that all church organizations are like this. However, one must remember that if it is not wise to bite the hand that feeds you and if the church is going to look to government for its “existence”, it had better not challenge assumed government ”authority” or risk corporate death. Even though taken out of context, “Render unto Caesar” is often used to justify this activity of self-preservation. Did this natural instinct for institutional preservation before Caesar not also motivate the Pharisees when they resisted Jesus during his earthy ministry?

The Government (Part 3) – The Ministry of Education

Part of the series The Problem
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-02-08.

Are we aware of why the government insists on compulsory education?

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. Please understand that while it is our responsibility to tell the truth, we must never lose sight of the fact that our enemy is not made of flesh and blood and that we ultimately have the choice to conform and compromise or to stand on principle. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: 1 Kings 12:28-30

In the last two installments of the blog, it was suggested that from our Christian world view, government was initially established as a result of the rejection of God and that God has allowed government jurisdiction over some things, but not all things. Furthermore, it was shown that although rulers do have power, it is only when they follow the directives that are given by God that they are operating in the authority of God. It is therefore important, if we are to follow what has happened in the world of education, that we understand that the initial creation of government was not God’s desire as much as the desire of men; that government often expands beyond the established boundaries that are clearly off limits as “God’s things”; and that the government is only representing God’s authority when it rewards the good and punishes the bad, as determined by God and not by man.

So, there most certainly is a place for government and we are to honour it when it is abiding according to God’s rules. But, what if it is not abiding by God’s rules? What if the ruler has determined to rewrite the rules to suit him? What if the king simply does not acknowledge God? Do you think that such a government will lead you in the right direction or… somewhere else?

Historically, there have always been both good and bad governments, determined largely by how it respected God’s parameters for governance. I am hardly a historian, but I suspect things started going in the wrong direction once it was suggested that science could explain everything without need for a “God”. Many things changed with this new development and with it came compulsory education. Schools had been around for a long time and parents welcomed the opportunity for assistance in the training and teaching of their children, but making it compulsory was not met with enthusiasm, for it was seen as an encroachment, undermining and replacing the authority of parents. In fact when compulsory education was first introduced in the USA, some children had to be forced to attend at gunpoint! Parents clearly saw that being coerced against their will was actually to claim a jurisdiction that did not belong to the king.

Time has a way of making yesterday’s error or omission today’s normal. Not only is compulsory education accepted today, it is expected. In fact, the very agencies that should be questioning whether children should be educated under the control of government or family are more likely to attempt to fix the problem by creating another version of the same problem! The normalization of deviation from the truth has always been a gradual process, usually cloaked in seemingly good motives. After all, who could argue against providing opportunity for a good education? The question is, good for who or good for what?

Parents, as the only possible instruments for the creation of children, have been directed to lead their children to God so He could lead them in their lives. Since the need for God is built into each person, if we do not acknowledge the real God we will follow anything masquerading as Him. With this in mind, and considering the potential for unlimited power, it is easy to understand how a king who does not acknowledge God could easily be tempted to fill a godless vacuum by attempting to replace God with himself.

A compulsory education system created by an agency desiring the role of God, would never point to the true God, but rather to a counterfeit. In other words, if the king is not following God’s rules, the only rules left to follow are his and since he is not eternal, his rules will not only be constantly changing, but directing his subjects away from the one true God. Such is the Ministry of Education. Exposing children to this type of program not only fails to meet God’s expectation of parents for children, but encourages the perpetuation of this system. Why would any believer want to encourage a program that is directing away from God? Why would we even want to emulate or reproduce such a process? Yet, most will and do willingly participate without even questioning why they are doing so, or whose side they are working on. Few realize how destructive this is to our Christian faith.

The Government (Part 2) – Render Unto Caesar

Part of the series The Problem
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-02-01.

Government expects us to simply do what they say. Do they have that authority?

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. Please understand that while it is our responsibility to tell the truth, we must never lose sight of the fact that our enemy is not made of flesh and blood and that we ultimately have the choice to conform and compromise or to stand on principle. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: Rom. 13:1-7

Last week, I showed that our world view of modern government can be traced back to when the children of Israel demanded of Samuel, a king like the other (non-believing) nations, which was essentially a rejection of God’s kingship. As a consequence, the rule of government has traditionally been away from God, something that seems to have been expedited of late!

Modern day government is seen as all powerful and in possession of all authority by most people, including the majority of professing Christians. “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s…” is very often recited as instruction to honour government in all things, but on closer inspection, the context of this passage of scripture is not related to all things, but specifically to the paying of taxes! What is often neglected when quoting this passage is the second part which reads “…and to God the things that are God’s”. Obviously, some things do belong to the government, but not everything, as some things clearly must belong to God. To give what is God’s to government is condemned by this passage. We would, therefore, be wise to understand what belongs to Caesar (the king or government) and what belongs to God or we may be in danger of violating God’s directives.

To further provide enlightenment respecting the place of government, a study of another passage of scripture, which is also often quoted as instructing us to accept all things from government as God ordained, is in order. In Romans Chapter 13 we are directed to obey civil government. However, we are given the specific qualifications required of a ruler to legitimize his authority. Rulers are to be ministers of God who reward good and punish evil. Obviously, what is good or evil is not left up to the discretion of the ruler or government but what is clearly delineated in scripture. Simply being in power does not automatically make a ruler a minister of God, but he who abides by what God has commanded or forbidden. Therefore when a ruler commands what God has forbidden or forbids what God has commanded, leadership qualifications as outlined in this passage are being violated and disqualifies the government’s directives. Can you think of any modern day examples of this?

In determining the legitimacy of government action, we can therefore use two main measures. Firstly, we ask whether what is being enforced truly belongs to “Caesar” or to God. Secondly, we can ask whether or not the government’s actions are in keeping with what God has declared as good or evil. Government (rule) has a legitimate place when it enforces laws (power) in areas ordained by God (authority) and only if it abides by what God has outlined as good or evil. Otherwise, it is encroaching in areas that are not ordained by God and/or blurring the lines between right and wrong.

How is this related to education? If God has established government and the parameters by which it can operate, what is government doing in the business of education when children clearly do not belong to government, but to God? If the government was a minister of God, would it offer Godless, anti-Christian, unbiblical programming that normalizes a secular, socialist agenda to God’s children? Or would it be encouraging parents to take the responsibility that they have been given to train and teach their children in keeping with the authority given by God and what He has demonstrated through His Word as right or wrong?

How have we arrived at this present situation? Likely a slow but deliberate taking over of “what is God’s” along with a gradual perversion of right and wrong. What is most discouraging is that those who knew better, allowed the ruler to do so, and as a consequence, the ruler’s false claims to authority have been validated, empowering him to force us to accept his version of right and wrong.

The Government (Part 1) – A Brief History

Part of the series The Problem
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-01-25.

Government was initially established when the people rejected God.

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. Please understand that while it is our responsibility to tell the truth, we must never lose sight of the fact that our enemy is not made of flesh and blood and that we ultimately have the choice to conform and compromise or to stand on principle. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: 1 Samuel 8

In the movie trilogy, Back To The Future (1985-1990), some very interesting cases of “reaping what has been sown”, are cleverly presented. Without doing a movie review, the story is based in Hill Valley (a rather oxymoronic name, don’t you think?), presented as a stereotypical town ostensibly built on a premiss of definable rights and wrongs. A return to the past redirects an unscrupulous man named Biff, to be able to predict future sporting event scores with pinpoint accuracy, causing him to become insanely wealthy and powerful, rewriting the entire makeup of the town. Returning to the present from the future, without knowing that the past has been changed, our protagonists, Marty and Doc, find themselves no longer in the original Hill Valley, but in a place more aptly named Hell Valley (not so oxymoronic!). The difference is quite dramatic. The original town had certain values you could depend on. The remade one lacked anything even resembling decency and order. I realize that I am taking a bit of license as the movie did not mention the likelihood of the first town acknowledging God and the second denying Him, but Christian logic would dictate that the obvious reason for the shocking differences between the two towns would be the place God occupied in them.

Imagine a place where God has been given no place at all. We actually get a glimpse of that in the Revelation of John, and it is not a pretty picture. As a matter of fact, the time is referred to as “the great tribulation”! On occasion, when I find myself in such a Godless environment where evil seems to be the operational standard, I am reminded of the unbelievably dark nature of the second town in that movie. Take God out of government and you get “Biffville”, an anarchic, self-serving, ugly place to be.

Enough talk about the movie! What about real life? Are we or have we kicked God out of the public square? To properly answer that question we need to look at another account of a change in leadership, a true story coming from a more reliable source, the Bible.

Initially, there was Adam and God. Then as the human population grew, the patriarch of a family represented God. As time moved on, tribal leaders took an overarching responsibility, eventually leading to the judges. Two things need to be established before carrying on. First, God has always been God. He has never changed and has in no point ever, been out of control. The second point is that whether we talk of patriarchs, tribal leaders, priests, judges or kings, all come after the fall and all are noticeably imperfect.

The last judge mentioned in the Bible was a man called Samuel. He was a good (not perfect) man but he had bad sons, so bad in fact, that the people of Israel did not want to be ruled by them. So, they asked Samuel (not God) for a king like other nations had. When a displeased Samuel consulted God, two things came to light. First, God clearly saw this as a rejection of Him and His leadership. The second point is that in spite of God’s warning that a king would confiscate their children and property, the children of Israel still wanted an earthly king! Samuel warned them that they would regret that decision and we have ever since.

God warned the children of Israel right from the start that a king would negatively affect the family, property, freedom, etc. Of note is the fact that the king, what we now know as the government, was initially founded and established upon a rejection of God. Not all governments are evil, however when people reject God, something else has to take His place in their lives and that is usually a king (government) lusting for that position. Modern government, acting as “God”, has mandated that all students attend its schools and follow its curriculum in order to advance its secular socialist ideology directing us away from God to man, while forcing everyone to pay for it through taxes. We were warned of that in Samuel’s day when the people first chose a man over God. This may be another example of something that doesn’t change! It really is a Bible version of having traded in Hill Valley for Hell Valley.