Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Lamb of God

Does music this side of heaven get any better than this? A ridiculously
talented father and daughter singing about the Lamb of God who takes
away the sins of the world: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIrhABg0QgQ

Saturday, 5 October 2019

How your taxes are spent to prevent parents understanding or influencing what their children are taught

I post about this sort of thing a lot (relative to other topics). Why? Because the UK church urgently needs to wake up. It needs to take back control of its children's education from those they've currently handed it over to: https://anglicanmainstream.org/something-rotten-in-the-state-of-england/

Friday, 4 October 2019

Does God mind if we teach our children bilge?

Influential blogger Tim Challies posits that, as long as you get the other parts of your life right, it really makes no difference whom you choose to educate your children for 35-40 hours a week. Whether their teaching is based upon truth, untruth, Christianity or secularism, he says in his view, God doesn't care. (Please read it - I'm not caricaturing; that's his intended point).

The most efficient way I can think of to respond to that is to juxtapose it with another story that's been doing the rounds recently, concerning how the wholesale corruption of humanities and arts by relativism, the sexual revolution, hyper-individualism, identity politics and various related anti-Christian ideologies is now being extended into other fields that were previously thought to be either largely safe or completely immune. Who would have thought that someone would dare, to advance ideas like mathematical truth is a tool of Western oppression and that the field of mathematics is in need of liberation?

So, I think we should juxtapose Challies' piece with this article by Douglas Murray, a homosexual atheist, bemoaning the inflicting of endless lies on children in the name of "education" and the consequent impoverishing of their lives as a result. Please read that article too, and especially - it's much more truthful and wiser than that written by the Christian.

What strange times we live in. People with no love for God can see that the presuppositions and content of children's education matters and that the current direction of government-led education in the West is down into the pit. But evangelical Christians, commanded above all things to love God with all their minds, heart and soul and strength, commanded to consciously and actively seek the transforming of their minds rather than their conforming to the world, are trying to tell us that there's really nothing to worry about. Bible believers, with verses like Deuteronomy 6:4-6 that instruct us to raise our children in an environment explicitly saturated by God's truth, can still keep this commandment if we send them along to be taught an unending flood of bilge. It's yet one more sort of evangelical Gnosticism ... the belief that as long as we keep the "spiritual" requirements out-of-hours, what we actually do with our flesh-and-blood bodies, hours and brains doesn't really matter or make an important difference.

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

The disease of punditry

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevin-wax/kanye-west-justin-bieber-make-celebrity-conversions/

The above article from the Gospel Coalition unfortunately, through its omissions, perpetuates and encourages a very common mistake in our hyper-connected age. It is the mistake of believing that we ought each to have an informed opinion about people and events that in practical terms have nothing to do with us.

You have rights... when it suits us

The Guardian newspaper has published a long-form article, arguing that it is "urgent" to recognise the rights of the unborn.

Yes, you read that rightly. The Guardian! In fact, they don't just mean the unborn; they include the not-yet-conceived.

But wait... what rights are these? According to the article, the right to require present governments to implement a particular political program regarding the environment. No, not the right to not be chopped up, or vacuumed up, prior to birth. Not the right to continue a life that has already begun. Not that kind of right. The Guardian regularly makes clear that such an idea would be an abomination, despised by everyone except, supposedly, those who detest females (don't ask them about the females who get chopped up).

In other words, for the Guardian, the unborn don't have the right to not be slaughtered; but they do have the "right" to, by proxy, promote the sort of political programmes that the Guardian already favoured.

Could you make something of this level of hypocrisy and callousness up if you tried? Would it sound plausible if you did?

Human abortion is the most evil and depraved practice that currently goes on in the world, and we must keep saying so, and keep pointing it out wherever we can.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Plucking the tree up by its roots

I read this with interest, since I have known Matthew personally in different capacities for a long time: https://www.evangelical-times.org/52204/thinking-the-unthinkable-parents-withdraw-children-from-a-week-of-school/. This post is not really about them personally, but I'll use their story to frame some of what I have to say about Christian and secular education.

Firstly, I applaud and thank the Lord for Matthew and Naomi for their clear-thinking and courage in seeing an issue, analysing it Biblically, and then being willing to take action upon it. Unfortunately, I think a large number of mis-steps that evangelical Christians in the UK are making in recent years fall down on those basic steps (and I do not exempt myself from that).

Unfortunately, it seems to me that the recent controversies over PSHE - which do at least have the benefit of pushing some people over the line who wouldn't have been pushed before - are ultimately a controversy over whether or not we should eat every last piece of the rotten fruit of post-sexual-revolutionary secularism, no matter how many maggots it has and how rancid it takes. If we get to this stage, has not something very important gone wrong a lot earlier? Ought we not to be aiming somewhere down at the roots? If such obvious and gross wickedness can be promoted, how did we get into that situation, and what other damage is it doing?

UK state schools generally provide a comprehensive, year-round education in secularism, by secularists (dogmatic/intentional or functional), and unsurprisingly succeed in churning out legions of secularists (whether dogmatic/intentional or functional). As Christians, our aim is to bring every thought into captivity to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). We think that all children should be given a godly - that is to say, non-secularist, but rather Christian - education. We don't want to just avoid the most rancid fruits of secularism; we want to pluck up the whole tree, replacing it with an entirely different one. The fact that, as documented in the link above, Matthew and Naomi met such a barrage of resistance to reasonable attempts to question and investigate something off-the-scale in its depravity tells you that the new PSHE regulations are not an unfortunate blip. They are not a surprising aberration or freak event. They are utterly predictable, and in that sense, banal. They are part and parcel of the everyday world-view being assumed, practised and promoted within the system.

The fact that one of the most conservative evangelical newspapers (the Evangelical Times) titles a piece on removing your children from this sort of "education" (an education in radical wickedness) for one week as "Thinking the unthinkable: Parents withdraw children from a week of school" tells us how far things have gone. Really? This is unthinkable? This depends upon your frame of reference, does it not - upon what you've previously been thinking?

Wikipedia offers the following definition: "The Overton window is the range of ideas tolerated in public discourse, also known as the window of discourse". This is a known phenomena whereby what is thinkable depends largely the number and positions of people pushing ideas. To pick an example, in 2019, we have professed, proud Marxists leading Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, a short step away from the most powerful political positions in the country. And this is something we're now accustomed to. It wasn't long ago that it would be thought "unthinkable". People who professed such doctrines were generally thought of as loonies, thankfully far from any real power, doomed to failed attempts to sell their strange magazines on street corners wearing dirty anoraks on Saturday mornings, and nothing too much more harmful than that. From my point of view, what ought to be unthinkable, is that, after UK schools have become so thoroughly humanistic, and after the baneful effects of this have been seen for so long, that the evangelical Christian church is still doing so little to make provision for the comprehensive education of its children in the ways of God. That so many Christian parents feel that they don't have many real choices. (In reality, thankfully, in 2019, the options are many, with resources from near and far; but because of the "Overton window" being where it is, a lot of them are still very new to very many, even whilst to others they are "part of the furniture").

Let me finish with an anecdote. Many Christian educators such as myself are used to hearing that it makes no difference; that education is education, and that the errors of secularist education are few, minor and peripheral and easily compensated for with a little extra Christian teaching on the side. Well, recently I started studying using Cambridge University Press (i.e. one of the most highly esteemed academic publishers) text books with a couple of my own children. It took only a few days before they noticed how strongly these - in quite incidental things, of no relevance to the actual subject topics - were pushing a different world-view. The contrast with the Christian text books (no, there are no perfect textbooks, no straw men please!) was stark and obvious. I thanked God that my children discerned this without prompting, and the difference it made. May the Lord open more of my fellow believers' eyes to see the same.