Robust Worldview

English: Flowchart of the steps in the Scienti...

English: Flowchart of the steps in the Scientific Method (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How do we ensure that our children do not abandon the faith during their teens or early adult years? John Stonestreet from the Colson Center and Summit ministries recommends that we train our children up in a robust worldview. A worldview that is broad enough and deep enough to handle the challenges of real life. I agree. We need to encourage our children to think deeply and consider the various issues that they will face, so that people do not come along and rob them of their foundation. Teaching our children the rules of sound logic and thinking, the scientific method, Christian apologetics and reasons for belief, and the basic principles and ideas of the major competing worldviews. These practices should help to give our children the foundation that they need to securely build their lives upon.

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How Should We Then Live? Francis Schaeffer

link to Book on Amazon

How Should We Then Live?


Francis Schaeffer’s book How Should We Then Live? This is one of the modern classics of Christian thought. Schaeffer follows the development of Western thought and our various worldviews from the time of Roman civilization to modern times. He frames this development in the attempt of philosophers to explain our world starting with either absolutes or particulars. He gives dozens of examples of the various philosophic schools of thought playing out in art, music, and architecture.

The Reformation in Northern Europe found freedom for creation under the Bible and in its balance of universals and particulars found true freedom. The Renaissance in Southern Europe adopted the humanistic view with particulars only, and therefore had no basis for transcendent growth. As humanism began to infiltrate into the scientific thinking and philosophy of the 1700s and 1800s and on into today, people were faced with the problem of drawing absolute principles starting with particulars. This turned out to be impossible. Trying to come up with a unified, cohesive philosophy of life starting with human experience takes people nowhere.

As he closes the book, Schaeffer lists several pressures that are facing societies today which could push them to accept authoritarian rule instead of chaos. These pressures include: economic breakdown, war or serious threat of war, the chaos of violence including terrorism, the radical redistribution of the wealth of the world, a shortage of food or other natural resources in the world. As these pressures mount people will feel more compelled to give up freedom so that they can have some measure of peace and order. And as the Christian worldview base evaporates from societies in the West, people will have no basis to argue or think otherwise. A modern example played out in Germany when the people cried out for order from the economic collapse of the Weimar Republic and gave Hitler dictatorial power in their country. Not long after as the Germans rose in power under this dictatorship, Chamberlain signed over Czechoslovakia eventually losing most of Europe in World War II. They were hoping for “peace in our time.” What is the proper response? Do we succumb to the breakdown of society and imposed order, or do we as Christians affirm the Christian base that provided the freedoms upon which our nation was originally founded? This can only happen if individual people discover that Christian base in their own lives and then act to influence the consensus. “Such Christians do not need to be a majority in order for this influence on society to occur.” Christians were not in the majority when they changed the entire Western civilization.

Voluntary Associations

Photo, 1 May 1912 – Bain Coll. (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)”]Socialists in Union Square, N.Y.C. [large crow...On a recent WallBuilders Live! episode we got to hear from Mark Mix on the topic of public sector unions. In 1935 union membership became compulsory although there was some softening of this policy in the 40s with Right to Work states. Even at that time it was thought that public sector unions were unnecessary. Fast forward to today, public sector unions comprise one of the largest segments of union workers.

Voluntary associations are much more powerful than any compulsory forced associations. Unions usually break this rule and are therefore not good for companies, government, or workers in general. We might be able to take advantage of this fact by connecting within our union on a voluntary basis to work for union reform, therefore, building a stronger organization within the compulsory union structure.

This reminds me of Seth Godin’s book Tribes. A tribe is a group of people with a mission, a leader, and a way to communicate. A small but motivated and cohesive tribe can get a lot done.

One opportunity to form a tribe is happening right now. Several of us in our district are starting to meet to work our way through the Citizen’s Guide to America’s Founding Documents. This is a DVD course looking at the Constitution from a historical lens. I have found refreshing perspective and encouragement in this program.

Growing up Global vs. American Exceptionalism

English: Composite image of the Earth at night...

View of Earth's lights at night

I’m all for being respectful of and interested in other cultures. Some of my closest friends are from different cultural backgrounds. Unfortunately it is becoming increasingly popular among today’s educators to attempt to cast our lives on the planet as being more meaningful as global citizens rather than American citizens. This practice once again unmoors people from the historical context of real life and attempts to build a fantasy world that has never worked and will never work on this side of heaven.

If you forget where you come from you don’t know who you are. If teachers do not teach the role that America has played in history in the last century (or rather focus on America’s mistakes rather than her successes see my post on poststructuralism), it is no wonder that students blindly accept notions that:

  • America should become like Europe and the rest of the world
  • America should bend over backwards to somehow make up for our place in the world power structure
  • We as Americans should subject our futures and our economic well-being to severe risk because of pseudoscientific environmental doomsday nonsense

Rather than teachers guiding their students to be global citizens, we should instead be teaching children what has made America great… What has made America strong… Why America has been the refuge of choice for millions of people over the last two centuries. We should not teach children that America needs to become like the rest of the world. That is a huge mistake on the part of many politicians and teachers today.

The documentary Agenda: The Grinding Down of America shines some telling light on this discussion. I recommend obtaining a copy and watching it at your earliest convenience. Agenda explains how teaching our children socialist concepts has been weakening America for the last several decades and threatens to destroy her from the inside out.

Teachers as Culture Warriors

Rebecca Hegalin spoke recently on FamilyTalk about becoming a culture warrior. Our culture is pushing against parents and families to uproot their influence in children’s lives. Mandatory preschool and daycare, full day kinder, no parent opt out for various social programs at school. All of these are examples of the Nanny State encroaching on responsibilities of the family. As Daniel Lapin would say the zookeeper taking over the care of the baby animals in the zoo. This encroachment impacts students in significant ways. As the family has been eroded away in our nation, children come to school more commonly in a state of crisis because they have no secure family environment.

Wall Builders had an episode with John Stonestreet of Summit Ministries and the Colson Center. They discussed the concept of Christians moving toward the tipping points in our culture in order to multiply our impact. Entertainment, journalism, politics, and education are all positions that wield extra leverage in our culture. As teachers we have a significant impact on our students. The left knows this and has been targeting schools from primary up through graduate courses with their ideology. Currently, it is not generally acceptable to be openly Christian in the classroom. In fact, there are reports of teachers being relieved of their duties and even sued because of their commitment to openly living our their faith. Thankfully there are a phalanx of conservative Christian legal firms that will take on clients whose 1st Amendment rights are being violated in this way. Please see my Resources page for a listing of some legal organizations that help in these situations.

We need Christians who are both willing to speak up and take a stand for what is right as well as push back when there are attempts at repression. Unfortunately, it is intimidating (at least for me) to be what seems to be a lone conservative voice in a sea of liberal leaning media, policies, and colleagues. I’m afraid of professional or social backlash myself. How about you, dear reader? Do you have concerns about taking a stand for moral causes or for Christian representation in this environment?

Mrs. Hagelin is the author of two books: Home Invasion: Protecting Your Family in a Culture That’s Gone Stark Raving Mad and 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family.

John Stonestreet publishes (among other things) a one minute radio/podcast minute called The Point Radio. He addresses current issues from a Christian worldview.

Marginalizing Christians in Education

gavel

Image by s_falkow via Flickr

There is an effort to marginalize and eliminate the Christian voice from education and the public square. Liberal groups, though they tout a message of tolerance, are actually quite intolerant of Christians expressing or following their beliefs and ethics in the public square.

If you have felt concerned about getting sued or attacked for your beliefs as a Christian, you might be interested in knowing about a story which transpired recently in Florida. A high school history teacher expressed his view that the legalization of so-called same-sex marriage was wrong on his Facebook page. A complaint was filed by someone (not one of his students) and the teacher was put on administrative leave. The school district and principal was contacted by Matt Staver’s Liberty Counsel. They Informed the superintendent that it was legally clear that teachers do not lose their 1st amendment rights when they take their teaching jobs. The teacher was reinstated with no further punitive action. Click here to hear the WallBuilders episode on this event.

If you as a teacher have felt like your Christian views and practices are unwelcome in the public school setting, you could benefit from the support and encouragement of Christian Educators Association International (CEAI). This association’s goal is to support and encourage Christian teachers in the public school setting. They have conference opportunities to meet and connect with other teachers. They know that many teachers got into public education as an opportunity to be missionaries there. There is a training event coming up in the Los Angeles area in the spring. This month they had an article in their magazine Teachers of Vision. It explains some of the misperceptions and misinformation regarding expressions of faith (especially the Christian faith) of teachers in the classroom. I’ll try to add more information on these CEAI activities in later posts.

Waking Up

I started working in public education over 10 years ago. I wanted to make a difference in children’s lives. I had a serious faith in Jesus, but I simply did my job and kept quiet about my faith and convictions. I avoided political issues related to school. When it came to politics or union involvement I kept my head down and did my job. Now I realize that I and many other sincere conservative Christian teachers have done exactly the same thing. We have kept quiet with our heads down and do our best in the classroom trying to love children and teach our students. Unfortunately through this practice of avoidance we have allowed ourselves to become marginalized. By staying quiet and not speaking up, I have allowed wrong policies to become entrenched in the rules and culture of our schools and workplace.

I began to wake up from this broken, weak, retreating position when I began to listen to WallBuilders Live! as a podcast about four years ago. I found someone who was talking about America in a way that I hadn’t heard before, talking about our founding fathers and their faith, and having evidence of original documentation to show their faithfulness. I started to hear a group of people talking about not just fighting a desperate, losing battle against the liberal slide of our nation but actually pushing forward into and winning battles for our nation… a group of people who are optimistic and positive about taking back the land. I’ve become encouraged to take a stand, to speak up, to begin using my sphere of influence to take back the land. For me a big part of the journey that was beginning to get the positive and encouraging input from WallBuilders, from Dave Ramsey, from Chuck Colson, from Zig Ziglar. That’s why I include links to their programs on my resources page and in this post. I want to encourage you to start listening as well.