Friday, October 30, 2009

Coming to a Town Near You

Here is a video of a British couple who were arrested for arguing against Islam.

Here is a British couple who were questioned by police after making comments against homosexuality.

Before you think these things could not happen here think again. The new hate crimes bill recently signed by President Obama is vague enough that it is not too hard to imagine someone complaining about the truth of God’s word being hateful and thus being illegal. What is interesting is that it seems the idea of something being hateful only flows in one direction, against Christianity, as many make hateful comments against Christianity but that is to be considered free speech.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

What if my husband says he does not want to homeschool?

I was on Facebook the other day and the question came up with regards to homeschooling as to what a wife was to do when a husband wanted to send their children to the government schools. So this led me to add this question to my previous list, see the bottom of this post for links to past posts. While this is not really along the same lines as the other usual objections to homeschooling it is a very important question that needs to be addressed.

First I would like to address the opposite of this question, what if my wife does not want to homeschool. I will admit this question is heard very little but there may be those that hear it. For those husbands that have this issue the key is not to dictate that the wife is to school the children, husbands need to lead by example. I hope it has been clear throughout this entire series that the issue of homeschooling needs to be grounded in scripture and God’s decrees and not in the ineptitude of the government system, as inept as it is. So, as the leader of the family, husbands need to lead their wives to see that homeschooling is not simply a choice but God’s design for the family. However, things must not stop there as it is also not enough for husbands to convince their wives but they must also help as they are able. We as husbands need to serve our wives and sacrifice ourselves as Christ sacrificed himself for His church (Eph 5:2,25). This may take the form of moving from where you live and even taking a different job, doing whatever it takes to disciple your children as God calls us fathers to do. The bottom line is as husbands we need to lead in more than just words but also in action.

So in the instance where the wife is the reluctant spouse, husbands need to lead by action and not just dictate what needs to be done. Find ways to help in the process of homeschooling and show your commitment to the process. In all of this bathe everything in prayer and in leading your wife to see this is all being done in obedience to God’s word.

Now for the question I started with which is by in large the norm for most families. I will confess it was for our family as it was my wife that saw the need to homeschool years before I did, yes I said years. It was her diligent and prayerful conviction that allowed her to convince me to homeschool over what I am sure were years of frustration. But even then it took more years than it should have for me to come around. I was convinced that this homeschool business would be OK for the primary years but once high school came we would need to seek change. I thank God that He changed my heart before then. That gives you some background so you can see that what I am sharing here is what I should have done and not what I did. It is only by the grace of God that we are where we are today, but that is God. He is faithful when we are not.

So what are wives to do if their husbands do not want their children homeschooled? Well, I can do no other than start with scripture which says that wives are to submit to their husbands (Eph 5:22-23) and work to help their husbands see the need for homeschooling (1 Ptr 3:1), in a God honoring way. If you honor your husband, and thus honor God, God will strengthen you in discipling your children, along with your husband, until God changes his heart. The tough part of this for wives is that they are not required to submit to that which God forbids and so the question arises as how does this relate to homeschooling. Scripture places husbands as responsible for the family so the wives submission to them in this area is not the same as the wife desiring for their children to go to government schools. This is one of those areas where one needs place full trust in God for their children and I realize this is not easy with all that transpires in the government schools. If wives will submit to their husbands in a God honoring way I am convinced God will honor them and care for them and their children. God can give you the stamina and strength to disciple your children and to counteract the government schools until their husbands comes along. Remember that God does not simply call us to Himself for salvation and leave us but is working in all we do as well as having His hand on all those around us, even disobedient husbands. We may not know why God does not change their hearts but as with me He does this in His way and in His time.

As far as practical advise I would suggest wives give their husbands biblical reasons for homeschooling and resources that will help them see this. Some very good resources I have found and would have liked to have had earlier are: When You Rise Up by R.C. Sproul Jr. as well as the CD series from the 2009 Leadership Summit. Both these resources are biblically grounded and challenging. I know when I read R.C. Jr.’s book the lights went on for the first time as it related to God’s plan and reasoning for homeschooling/discipling. For too long I had simply been looking at what form of schooling appeared to offer the best education but I had neglected to look at what we are truly called by God to do and that is disciple God honoring children first and foremost. Education will happen but it is not our primary reason for homeschooling, raising children that honor and glorify God is. Another resource I have found is an article written by Israel Wayne called A Christian Education Manifesto which is chock full of verses and biblical evidence for the need to home educate.

While I do not like to tell people to change churches I do fear that there are too many churches with pastors that are falling short by condoning Christians sending their children to the government schools. If possible speak to your pastor and work to help him see what God desires but at the end of the day you may need to find a church that supports homeschooling. Pastors need to realize that by their lack of conviction with regards to homeschooling they are enabling fathers to keep their children in the government schools and they are in the process not doing wives or children any favors.

So that is a short overview of this issue and I pray it has been some help. You can read over the previous posts I have done on the subject of homeschooling, see below, as there is much biblical evidence in them and they may also help to answer some objections that are commonly used to avoid homeschooling.

Series Posts
1) Christian Homeschooling and Charter Schools
2) What is the purpose of Christian Education: Part 1 & Part 2
3) Should the Government be involved in the Education of our children
4) Why are we so easily swayed by the money & items offered by charter schools?
5) Should not my children be in the public school to be lights in a dark place?
6) Why do we need to meet man’s standards for education?
7) Why do we need relief or a respite from the presence of our children?
8) Isn't how we educate our children a preference?
9) What if my husband says he does not want to homeschool?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bow Making

Thanks to Paul for placing this video on the Vaughnshire Farm Blog.

This man really knows what he is doing and is a real craftsman.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A New Look

Well after a few years of blogging I have finally changed my template. Thanks to my son Andrew for making the changes for me.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Around the Web and Blogosphere (10/13/09)

Here is a Tribute to Chris Klicka, who just went to be with the Lord, by Israel Wayne. Also, here is a post by his wife Tracy: PRECIOUS IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD IS THE DEATH OF HIS SAINTS... The video below is a tribute by J. Michael Smith, Michael Farris, and Doug Phillips:

From the Vaughnshire Farm Blog, Suicide of the West, Paul says, in commenting on the carton he posted:

“The missing piece I see is that Islam is not pointing the gun at our families but yet we have embraced the liberal Hollywood life style that is in fact a style of death. We kill our unborn children, we have killed the institution of marriage, our churches have been over run with radical arminian theology, and we wonder why our culture is crumbling. First we turn our back on God and look to the state to save us, and then we wonder why Uncle Sam is committing suicide. He is not equipped to be the saviour of all men.
We have one hope – Repent! Turn back to a gracious Creator and seek to honor Him in every area of life. Otherwise, it is RIP America.”

How true.

This looks like it will be a great conference - Family Economics: A practical, Biblical Vision for Work, Wealth, Debt, and Inheritance in the 21st Century. The speakers will be R.C. Sproul Jr., Dennis Peacocke, Scott Brown, Kevin Swanson, and James Lansberry. It will be held at The Rock Church in Castle Rock, Colorado which is about 1 hour outside of Denver and is being held March 5-6, 2010. If you register by December 12th the cost is $99 per family.

Speaking of conferences don't forget the Sufficiency of Scripture Conference December 10-12, 2009

The Swine Flu Shot

Have you ever listened to the drug ads on TV and all of the side effects that can occur? It’s amazing that anyone would take these things. Now think about the current swine flu vaccine and ask has anyone, other than individuals speaking out about it, mentioned the possible side effects, no. HMM.

While I am not really a fan of rap but this video by the Health Ranger is good. At the end of the day do we take the drugs that are making millionaires out of the pharmaceutical company execs because we are too lazy to take care of the bodies God has given us. I am not saying there is no place for drugs but we have become a people addicted to pills, pricks and potions to “solve” our woes when we do little to prevent them.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Isn’t how we educate our children a preference?

As I come to the end of the series on homeschooling I think this last question in its broadest sense is the one I have heard as much as any other. At the heart of this question is the idea that God’s word is not specific or explicit enough as to give an answer. For me this comes from a couple issues. One is from those seeking to justify sending their children to the government schools who are seeking to do so by claiming God leaves this up to each of us. The other angle that this question may come from is in not seeing God’s word as sufficient for all things thus there are things, such as how we school our children, that God’s word does not speak to in a clear manner. I think if you have read the previous posts on homeschooling you will see that this is not the case. God is specific that we are to raise our children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Eph 6:4) and this does not happen in government schools.

Now the actual answer to the question is Yes and No. It is yes in that there are no specifics as to curriculum or method of teaching explicitly set out. But even here I would say God’s word is more specific than most give it credit. By this I mean that while God may not say use Saxon Math or some other specific curriculum we are to judge even a math curriculum by where it places God in the context of the curriculum. Now this may sound strange to some as one may ask what does God have to do with math but He has everything to do with math. We need to raise children that understand that math does not work without God and thus God is to get all credit in the endeavor of math. This same principle applies to every subject so we need to see how any curriculum we are evaluating deals with God so that our children see God as integral to all areas of study. Remember that what your children learn early on they will carry into their later life. Thus there is room for preference in curriculum but that is only within the parameters God sets forth in His word.

But this is not the usual direction the “preference” question is intended to go. As I said before the usual direction taken is to find allowance to have others teach our children in the public sector, the question of homeschool vs. Christian school is for another day. The conclusion that seems abundantly clear from scripture is that while there is an area of preference in what is taught the area of preference with regards to being able to send our children to government schools is were God answers the preference question with a definite “no.” It is not only our duty to be responsible for the training of our children we are also tasked to protect them from all that the government run schools are seeking to instill in our children. Since Jesus says that a disciple will be like the one discipling them (Luke 6:40) it seems clear we as Christian parents should be the one doing the teaching.

Over the course of this series I pray that the articles were taken as they were intended. To both encourage and challenge parents to not simply do what they feel is right but to do what God commands as right. In a day and age that balks at absolutes let us understand that God’s word is absolute and in the area of schooling our children it is much more explicit than it is often given credit for. Even if the government schools were neutral, if such a thing was even possible, we would still be called by God to raise our children ourselves. As believers we need to make sure our decision to homeschool is not grounded in the state of our government run schools but is grounded in the all sufficient word of God. Yes the government schools direction should make our decision to homeschool easier, it really should, but even then our decision is to be grounded in God’s word not our preference.

My call to you, if you do not already, is to do whatever it takes to take your children out of the government schools. Seek God for the strength and direction to accomplish this change. It may not be easy and it may not happen overnight but it needs to happen. If your lifestyle must change it must change. If you need to seek help, do that as well. Again this must all be done with your conviction coming from scripture as it will be God’s word that will sustain you when things get tough and if your conviction is anything other than biblical you will be tempted to give in if things appear to change or the trials appear too hard.

Please read over the links below as much of the biblical grounding for our call to disciple our children is given in them. This is not a call we are to do in our own power as if that is the case we will fail. This is a call that is to be done in God’s power and for His glory.

Series Posts
1) Christian Homeschooling and Charter Schools
2) What is the purpose of Christian Education: Part 1 & Part 2
3) Should the Government be involved in the Education of our children
4) Why are we so easily swayed by the money & items offered by charter schools?
5) Should not my children be in the public school to be lights in a dark place?
6) Why do we need to meet man’s standards for education?
7) Why do we need relief or a respite from the presence of our children?
8) Isn't how we educate our children a preference?
9) What if my husband says he does not want to homeschool?

Friday, October 09, 2009

An Evening on Eschatology

While I have just started listening to the audio I thought it prudent to get the link up now for the great discussion on eschatology, An Evening on Eschatology, that was hosted by Desiring God and Bethlehem College & Seminary. As one who as a new believer thought that the only issue to be settled was whether to be Pre-Trib, Mid-Trib, or Post-Trib resources such as this from Desiring God Ministries are very important. The audio and video has been made available for free on their web site and I would highly encourage you to download it and listen, or view it.

This is a two hour discussion among Jim Hamilton (professor of New Testament at Southern Seminary in Louisville), Sam Storms (pastor of Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City), and Doug Wilson (pastor of Christ Church, Moscow, Idaho) moderated by John Piper. The three historic positions of the Christian church are defended by each of the participants: Pre-millennialism, Amillennialism and Post-Millennialism.

Download the discussion and enjoy but above all seek to see what God’s word says about His coming. While I stared out, after I realized there were more views than dispensationalism, Pan-Millennial (it will all pan out in the end) I soon realized that as I studied scripture I was going to be forced to not avoid the issue of eschatology. There are too many texts that when being interpreted correctly will lead in an eschatological direction and we cannot simply “pan” over them. As with all things we should, with humility and diligence, seek to see what the word of God says on this subject and realize that simply because it may not be easy that is no reason to avoid this area of study.

After listening to this audio, probably a number of times, I may review it at a later time.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Around the Web and Blogosphere (10/07/09)

The Continuing Collapse: October 2009 by Bruce Shortt Exposing Government Schools: The Youth Ministry of the State Church of Secular Humanism. A look at government run schools for those that still think that it is OK for believers to send their children to these halls of humanistic indoctrination.

Paul Vaughn links to an article and video by the BBC on large families in his post Fighting the ‘Contraceptive Mentality’. The article by the BBC is in general complimentary as opposed to many other articles written about large families.

Israel Wayne has a good post, Christian Schools vs. Homeschooling, where he looks at the question that follows after one realizes that the government schools are not where their children should be. All too often Christian parents assume that if a school is “Christian” it is OK but not only is that assumption often incorrect it still avoids the core issue of parents discipling their children in all areas of life and not turning that God given duty over to others.

Scott Brown at the NCFIC is starting an Elder Discipleship program that would be of use to many churches trying to train up their men to be Elders. Check out the site and see the great thought that has been put into this resource.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

What I am Reading

I am in the process of reading a number of books with of course God’s word at the top of the list. Here is what else I am reading:

Presuppositional Apologetics: Stated and Defended by Greg Bahnsen and edited by Joel McDurmon: This is a very good book to help one gain an understanding of what presuppositional apologetics is. So many people by their starting point in conversations with the unbelieving world as well as their focus of argumentation during those conversations often reveal a lack of trust in God’s word. When I say lack of trust this is not to say these people do not believe God’s word or it’s inerrancy but by “lack of trust” I mean trust in the power of God’s word. Bahnesn, in as far as I have gotten, does a great job of explaining not only the reason to hold to presuppositional apologetics but also how it should be used.

Revolution Via Education by Samuel Blumenfeld: If you still think it is fine to send your children to the government schools you need to read this book. Some of the things mentioned in this book may be a shock to some. Mr. Blumenfeld reveals how the goal of government education is not to education but to make good little socialist, my wording. He also has some interesting things to say about the prevalence of dyslexia that exists int todays schools and how it can be directly related to the educational goals of the government schools.

Confessions by Saint Augustine: I am reading this with my children as they work through the Christian Classics Study Guide that Generations with Vision has produced.

Theonomy in Christian Ethics by Greg Bahnsen: I am slowly working through this book. Not that it is overly difficult but with so much to read I am simply working through this book as time permits. Having gotten through chapter 2, The Abiding Validity of the Law in Exhaustive Detail (Matthew 5:17-19), I would say this chapter is one that all should read that question the continuing validity of God’s law for believers today.

Lastly, I recently finished James E. Adams book War Psalms of the Prince of Peace: Lessons from the Imprecatory Psalms. The imprecatory Psalms are usually a troubling section of scripture for many because of the subject matter. They also raise the question as to whether we should be praying these Psalms and if so how. Many like to recite the Psalms and sing them but avoid the imprecatory Psalms. This book gives a good overview of these Psalms and may help you to see how they are valid to pray and helps to show how this is to be done.