And God said: Language and Nature

The study of the natural world has been in decline, like many areas of intellectual activity. A contemporary response is the advocacy of “scientific literacy,” the ability to apply scientific methods. Among the strategies is the inculcation of terminology and basic facts. This would be more fruitful if the targeted students are personal cultivators of their language – reading, writing, and speech. Most of the time the efforts of ‘scientific literacy’ is like pouring new wine into old wine skins, as in the students possess not the mental/emotional substance (maybe even spiritual) to engraft the information. Language is a primary way we interact with everything under the sun. It is how we understand.

Simply memorizing facts and figures does not shape one’s internal use of language. In the long run, it is what someone values, practices each day. If a student does not actively try to expand their vocabulary to better understand the world around them, any terms someone embarks to teach them will not take root. If the general focus is trending not structural, words do not grow into fields of thinking. They are more as consumer goods to be used then disposed of when obsolete. The minimization or replacement of grammar and phonics during elementary education attests to a culture lacking a foundational stone of language.

No building blocks, no development. Even during the 1100s of the Middle Ages, scholars & clergy belittle language instruction, since words could supposedly mean anything in the grand scheme of things. A church leader reminded his peers of its necessity:

“Reason would remain utterly barren, or at least would fail to yield a plenteous harvest, if the faculty of speech did not bring to light its feeble conceptions, and communicate the perceptions of the prudent exercise of the human mind. . . . Deprived of their gift of speech, men would degenerate to the condition of brute animals, and cities would seem like corrals for livestock, rather than communities composed of human beings united by a common bond for the purpose of living in society, serving one another, and cooperating as friends.”

from: Book 1 – chapter 1 of The Metalogicon by John of Salisbury (1159)

It is quite something to have encountered numerous educators who softly scoff at prioritizing language and arithmetic over ‘science literacy.’ Apparently, it is foolish to focus on the building blocks of thought and calculation before delving into rigorous scientific activity. This is like failing to practice diet and conditioning prior competitive sports. Sure, one could still learn something, except they grow a sapling instead of a forest of understanding over time. Who is to say they even are able to maintain the young tree after the official activity is done? Going back to John of Salisbury, the students’ neglect of language will not promote any social/intellectual endeavor. They go about their days more as animals, concerned with what they currently desire.

Indeed, speech in the mainstream is more for knowing information to meet the whims of politics and economics. The political games of left/right, Democrat/Republican has a major part in forming language. Heck, the main purpose of obtaining a college education is to be of higher value in the job market! Our culture’s speech essentially hinges on a simulated “Game of Thrones” and Monopoly. This has been an ongoing battle for generations, the struggle to speak according to Godly rather than mortal things.

“The heralds of the truth, it is written, “have proclaimed the works of God, and have understood His doing.” Scientific knowledge, by the nature of things, must precede the practice and cultivation of virtue, which does not “run without knowing where it is going,” and does not merely “beat the air” in its battle against vice. Rather “it sees its goal, and the target at which it aims.” It does not haphazardly chase ravens with a piece of pottery and a bit of mud. But scientific knowledge is the product of reading, learning, and meditation. It is accordingly evident that grammar, which is the basis and root of scientific knowledge, implants, as it were, the seed of virtue in nature’s furrow after grace has readied the ground.”

from: Book 1 – chapter 23

The general culture neither teaches speech/grammar nor the pursuit of virtue. We therefore are of no mind or heart for genuine understanding. Our sinful ambitions are seen to be more real than the natural world itself. Learning ones language requires discipline, a self motivation that is truly beyond what we feel is a need/want. Only when we deny our selves to seek after the things of God do we address the truth, good, and beauty in nature. In doing so, vice is not our master, with lustful ignorance not dictating how we learn to speak, as social beings that need to interact with our natural world. Christ’s natural law in our hearts and minds lifts us beyond the cravings of beasts, as well as the warped passions of demons. After all, He is the Word before the beginning.

His divine power has bestowed on us everything that makes for life and devotion, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and power. Through these, he has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature, after escaping from the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love. If these are yours and increase in abundance, they will keep you from being idle or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Anyone who lacks them is blind and shortsighted, forgetful of the cleansing of his past sins.

2 Peter 1:3-9

 

Public Education: Mandatory Mediocrity

How can I have even remote respect for something that as a result of rejecting the Creator/Christ, it lacks the substance to grow a person? Based on the grand assumption all just came into existence, young minds are instructed to know simply for the sake of knowing, that is whatever the government (public) wants them to value. Mix in democracy and opportunism, then you get a mutating alphabet soup of concepts that students are tested on without reason. Instead of gazing into the infinite mind of God, inspired to expand our mental abilities for His glory, most of us are taught to randomly learn for a vain and vague common good.

Fortunately, I was spared this institution very early on. It did not take my parents too long to decide that daycare itself was a poor option for their children’s well being. Now, I am well aware of the objections to homeschooling, as well as private school. The key counterpoint is why worry about the quality of these forms of education, more so the former, when the public system itself is a decrepit failure? Sure, not every child receives an edifying non-public upbringing. Whereas the public school system is a sub par factory. On top of it all, the government decides what values to interweave during the average seven hours at their institutions.

“Moreover, the society of which the child is to be a member is, in the United States, a democratic and progressive society. The child must be educated for leadership as well as for obedience. He must have power of self-direction and power of directing others, power of administration, ability to assume positions of responsibility. This necessity of educating for leadership is as great on the industrial as on the political side. . . . Apart from participation in social life, the school has no moral end nor aim. As long as we confine ourselves to the school as an isolated institution, we have no directing principles, because we have no object.”

from: chapter 2 of Moral Principles in Education by John Dewey (1909)

Public instruction is anti-God and average by nature. It is a supposedly neutral space that is intended as an education for all. How do you stay neutral teaching youth for at least thirteen years of their childhood? How do you employ a universal standard that meets the needs of every student? Why trust politicians and bureaucrats, let us not forget the random administrators and instructors, such utter strangers to have a critical impact in forming what children think and value? It is said we should not trust many perhaps most parents because they are ignorant themselves. Well, it is only fair to make sure everyone shares in the universal mediocre indoctrination.

The number of times I have encountered educators admitting the system is broken but is the best way for children is surreal. No faith in God, though there is plenty for the eventual fruition of the ideal education for all. Amid the fractured reading, writing, and arithmetic, wicked teachings on race, sex, and human life pervade. People and events of history/government are taught according to general racial profiles. Sexuality and gender are treated as casual pleasures. Humans are of primal animal origin and valued according to popular opinion. And who decides all this? State/Federal authorities, along with anyone directly involved politically and/or economically, dictate the information/ideas the youth of a nation are to master.

“In so far as the school represents, in its own spirit, a genuine community life; in so far as what are called school discipline, government, order, etc., are the expressions of this inherent social spirit; in so far as the methods used are those that appeal to the active and constructive powers, permitting the child to give out and thus to serve; in so far as the curriculum is so selected and organized as to provide the material for affording the child a consciousness of the world in which he has to play a part, and the demands he has to meet; so far as these ends are met, the school is organized on an ethical basis. So far as general principles are concerned, all the basic ethical requirements are met. The rest remains between the individual teacher and the individual child.”

from: chapter 4 of Moral Principles in Education

Advanced pupils are still vulnerable to this mortal system. It was a fair number of students that really helped me understand the deficiency. They explained their AP/honors courses, especially the former, are customized for the standardized tests. This means substantial content is absent. A number of them, along with post-secondary students, acknowledge or at least eventually discover their inability to immediately transition into higher levels after graduation. The standard is thereby not excellence.

Perhaps, I am too stupid to understand the grandeur in learning according to the hopes of political/corporate powers. Indeed, forsaking the whims of Christ’s cross to be a consumer of false promises and products is not that appealing. So many of us, including the founders of communities if not nations, did not need the hand of government schooling to pursue knowledge in what God has wrought. Language, history, math, science, the arts and world view are fruit of His obeyed in accordance with holy Scripture. Christ – the Logos – is the incarnation of Creation/Order whom walked among unholy ambitions of men. Fearing God is the beginning of timeless knowledge. To fear anything or anyone else is learning to be an intellectual slave of self, men, and the Devil.

Need for Fidelity.18 Therefore, take these words of mine into your heart and soul. Bind them on your arm as a sign, and let them be as a pendant on your forehead. 19 Teach them to your children, speaking of them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up, 20 and write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates, 21 so that, as long as the heavens are above the earth, you and your children may live on in the land which the Lord swore to your ancestors he would give them.

Deuteronomy 11:18-21

Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:4-9

Giving Unto God & Caesar

Last week was the deadline for filing income taxes. Less than a week ago was the observation of Christ’s death and resurrection. We are expected to give unto Caesar, our human governments. By contrast, we are to surrender unto God, giving our all. Caesar is merely another man that is meant to provide a service to the citizenry. Whereas Christ is the foundation of our very lives. What happens when we allow the mortal Caesars to have control in the areas of the eternal Lord? Disappointment then tragedy comes.

People cause suffering, no more or less than the governing powers. For some reason many call these two, one in the same, to eventually fix the evils of the world. What is even more comical is now in our modern world we are surprised when Caesar is unable to prevent or immediately restore the aftermath of natural disasters. Why do we put so much hope in mortals simply because they have some kind of authority, either through position and/or wealth? If your hope to relieve the human condition lies in human beings, there was not much hope in the first place.

This is also tied into the evils rooted in the love of money. Politicians and rich men alike, what is the outward source of their meager power? Taxes and payments. Unless we give, they cannot act. They promise the goods/services of security and comfort. Sure, they are only human like the rest of us, though with all that money we give, only they can solve what ails us. In case you are wondering, yes, I mean halls of government and even business can share the power of Caesar, in times of peace or war.

But, though the patriarchal system is the earliest form of government, and all governments have been developed or modified from it, the right of government to govern cannot be deduced from the right of the father to govern his children, for the parental right itself is not ultimate or complete. . . . Property, ownership, dominion rests on creation. The maker has the right to the thing made. He, so far as he is sole creator, is sole proprietor, and may do what he will with it. God is sovereign lord and proprietor of the universe because He is its sole creator. He hath the absolute dominion, because He is absolute maker. . . . The despot is a man attempting to be God upon earth, and to exercise a usurped power. Despotism is based on, the parental right, and the parental right is assumed to be absolute.”

from: chapter 3 of The American Republic by Orestes Brownson (1865)

Those who truly hold governance are people who create, as does our Lord. Because what we make with our hands/minds is from what God has made us, we are granted responsibility over a power, not endowed with it. Thus we can set it on the rule of Christ, being creation and children of His heavenly Father, or we may out of foolish desire for ultimate self rule, stake this power in ourselves, in the personal and/or formal halls of Caesar. Indeed, those who play God fail to create good things for the generations, demanding they be given wealth and honor due to their social-economic status.

Just to be clear, this is a warning against the depravity of the love of money, as well as power, whether it be through socialism or capitalism. These two joined are an unholy alliance, though this is for a future post. No matter how a man puts it, Caesar will receive tribute for the services that can be rendered – order and enforcement in this life. By one’s own life, via a politician, or a businessman, the parental figure of a group of people, will become a cruel master when pursuing the status of the Creator in life. Indeed, render unto Caesar a portion of your creativity. But be warned, surrender unto God your very life itself, for He is the holy master of all Caesars, whom will answer to Him in the end.

“The right of the father over his child is an imperfect right, for he is the generator, not the creator of his child. Generation is in the order of second causes, and is simply the development or explication of the race. The early Roman law, founded on the confusion of generation with creation, gave the father absolute authority over the child—the right of life and death, as over his servants or slaves; but this was restricted under the Empire, and in all Christian nations the authority of the father is treated, like all power, as a trust. . . . How, from the right of the father to govern his own child, born from his loins, conclude his right to govern one not his child? Or how, from my right to govern my child, conclude the right of society to found the state, institute government, and exercise political authority over its members?”

from: chapter 3 of the American Republic

 

Let every person be subordinate to the higher authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been established by God. Therefore, whoever resists authority opposes what God has appointed, and those who oppose it will bring judgment upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear to good conduct, but to evil. Do you wish to have no fear of authority? Then do what is good and you will receive approval from it, for it is a servant of God for your good. But if you do evil, be afraid, for it does not bear the sword without purpose; it is the servant of God to inflict wrath on the evildoer. Therefore, it is necessary to be subject not only because of the wrath but also because of conscience. This is why you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Pay to all their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, toll to whom toll is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.

Romans 13:1-7

Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient.So do not be associated with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. 10 Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness; rather expose them, 12 for it is shameful even to mention the things done by them in secret; 13 but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14 for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore, it says:

“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will give you light.”

Ephesians 5:6-14

Crushing Military Might

My dear sister, first class petty officer, of the Navy is currently on leave, before transferring to another station on the American mainland. Indeed, I look forward to her visit. Sadly, like so many of those in the armed forces, they are emotionally if not mentally distant to a degree. Such exposure to the world puts them in a kind of experience that is alien to most people. And at times their very participation in the military power crushes what noble notions they held. Our prayers are that these souls who volunteer to, in the grand scheme of things, defend the nation from foreign destruction and despotism look up into heaven and allow the Lord Christ to crush their despair. They are introduced to raw good and evil, both often overwhelming.

It is a strain in a relationship when you were already not that close to the person in uniform. I wonder that aside from not sharing due to official secrecy and the pain of recollection, do they remain silent for fear that they will sear us with the melancholy they possess, upon learning what chills their heart? Even those more open about the days gone by on and off duty, there is a subtle pause in speech as if to omit/edit to prevent harming the listener. Exasperation can also be a reason. I quickly discovered how ignorant I am about matters active military and veterans personally know. A common statement is something along the lines of “I cannot relate to the majority of people anymore.”

Veterans Returning to Civilian Life – https://youtu.be/nJUKxmsqpz8

President Eisenhower’s (former Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe – WW2) Farewell Address – January 17, 1961 – https://youtu.be/OyBNmecVtdU?t=8m41s

Still, a fair fraction choose to remain in the ranks. For pragmatic and/or noble motivation they persist. Emotions are mixed in an environment of escapism (drunkenness and fornication), boredom, pressure, peril, and culture shock. Despite all this they see the critical role they play in an ever delicate balance across the nations’ peoples. The United States forcefully restrains many from biting, while likewise keeping more order than there would be otherwise. Considering how many conflicts are in effect, the average civilian can only imagine a greater scale of violence. A small fraction of veterans remember the world wide wars. The succeeding generations of the battle hardened share the scent of fear and death, flashbacks to the moments of the ‘thousand yard stare’.

Sadly, what has taxed the spirits of countless soldiers, sailors, and airmen is the underlying corporatism and politicism that catalyzes the missions at hand. To be a pawn for the economic and diplomatic empire(s) of the United States overseas dilutes the honor of defending the strength of the American Constitution. To bear the responsibility of guardian and mercenary cultivates a deep cynicism for the world at large, laying siege to what separates right from wrong. With you soul on the line, what is there for one to do each day of moral uncertainty? When man fails inevitably, repledge your coat of arms to God. If you cannot trust military command or government authority, persevere in the power of Jesus Christ. After all, He will be the only one to heal and sustain the crushed being of a modern man at arms. Civilians should do the same, for like those in uniform, they find human ambition is a vain thing, even the good it possess made perverse.

Let us remember to pray for those who defend the nation, providing us with protection long taken for granted. Imagine a worse state of affairs in addition to the bloody horror already within our domain. The floodtides are still being withheld. The guardians bear a heavy weight, often times facing ingratitude. They learn in graphic detail how wicked mortals are, how ignorant we can be. Still, many endure the nonsense of sinful systems, hoping that some good will come of it. Indeed, may God make blessings out of what we may do for evil. I do not understand your plight, serviceman. I only know the God who does with open arms, with a light burden to carry instead.

So you, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And what you heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will have the ability to teach others as well. Bear your share of hardship along with me like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. To satisfy the one who recruited him, a soldier does not become entangled in the business affairs of life. Similarly, an athlete cannot receive the winner’s crown except by competing according to the rules. The hardworking farmer ought to have the first share of the crop. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

[b]Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David: such is my gospel, for which I am suffering, even to the point of chains, like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained. 10 Therefore, I bear with everything for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, together with eternal glory. 11 This saying is trustworthy:

If we have died with him
    we shall also live with him;
12 if we persevere
    we shall also reign with him.
But if we deny him
    he will deny us.
13 If we are unfaithful
    he remains faithful,
    for he cannot deny himself.

2 Timothy 1-13

Growing Pains of Life

When we think of a naturally painful period for us, one of the first immediate thoughts is puberty. For women, pregnancy. For men by a greater proportion, perilous labor. Aside from these specific conditions of living, there is still the general pangs of growing up, even far into old age. Our bodies have to break down in order to increase or maintain its strength when healing. Our minds have to be stretched by lesser known ideas and concepts to improve understanding. The soul/heart (for simplicity) has to withstand the trials of the day, so we become more resilient to the state of our individual and shared sinful state of reality. Comfort, pain, and healing are fundamental to man, either as a part of growth or for the sake of thriving in a world corrupted by evil.

Childhood is no less of these cycles. In fact, in some ways it is the most fragile time due to the higher frequency of them, for every year a boy or girl enters a new phase distinguishable from the previous. As much as they can be guided by loving parents and elders, they still need to overcome obstacles alone. If they are not encouraged or pushed to deal with them, that part of their life remains more infantile. Those not brought up to overcome physical pain resemble a babies sensitivity. Children left to be ignorant remain in child like dependence. No personal discipline in good results in lack of distinction from evil when it comes to choices.

Ironically, adults who attempt protecting children from pain as much as possible actually compound the discomfort over the years. Mind, body, and/or spirit struggles with poor pain tolerance. Every new opportunity is overwhelming in some way. Like a new born babe, they subconsciously cling for protection. In common extreme cases, anyone who does not guard their comfort as they see fit is against them, perhaps a bitter enemy only wanting to hurt/neglect for selfish gain. The thing is they are rather useless at dealing with evil, since the lesser cruelties of the world are enough to stop them from taking constructive action. Instead, they will follow anyone who makes lofty promises, only knowing how to destroy and take, not possessing the endurance to create and sustain.

“A man must fight long and bravely against himself before he learns to master himself fully and to direct all his affections toward God. When he trusts in himself, he easily takes to human comforts. The true lover of Christ, however, who sincerely pursues virtue, does not fall back upon comfort nor seek such pleasures of sense, but prefers severe trials and hard labors for the sake of Christ. . . . Divine comfort, then, is given in order to make a man braver in enduring adversity, and temptation follows in order that he may not pride himself on the good he has done. The devil does not sleep, nor is the flesh yet dead; therefore, you must never cease your preparation for battle, because on the right and on the left are enemies who never rest.”

from: chapter 9 of Book 2 Imitation of Christ by Thomas a ‘Kempis (1427)

One story from my childhood. I did a season of pewee football, lasting through the initial conditioning, never having experienced so much strain. It was surprising how much my very young body could do. The first day of practicing tackles with our gear, I was shocked by the physical contact. At the half way point, I was losing nerve, making a short plea with my father to quit what seemed too much. Without hesitation, as he slapped my shoulder pads, he said, “Do not be afraid to get hit. It is a part of the game. Do not quit when it is hard. Get back out there!” Because of his care and authority I obeyed, later earning one of my two cherished helmet decals for tackling, the other for endurance running. These decisions my father made continued my course in life for over all growth. He was not going to allow his flesh and blood to stay a child forever. One day I would become a man facing the injustice of the world.

We do not grow stronger just for our own sake. Heck, for mere security in life, it seems easier just to hide behind the abilities of others. More often than not, those who do so think too highly of their own mediocre ability, rarely having tested it through daily trial and error. No, we strive in spite of pain if not misery for things and people beyond our own comfort. It is how God made us. After all, did He not become a vulnerable mortal through Jesus Christ, humbling surviving then thriving into adulthood, prepared to wrestle with bodily suffering, fallen mankind, and the offerings of Satan. How tragic it is that we do not want to submit to the will of God, though we would rather be weak as well as a slave to sin, rather than strong and free under Christ’s sovereignty.

With pride we are angry that we have to experience pain. We are fine just the way we are, right? Well, considering most of our hurt is self inflected, lashed on others, and decided by those near us or far, I would say, we are not quite good as we believe. We have the inclination to behave childishly, because we lack the maturity God has called us to, being a living sacrifice, as opposed to demanding life from other men to cushion ours. Thus it is natural for some kind of hurt to truly give; discomfort comes with what is acquired to share. Those who avoid pain do not make decent givers of life.

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; and you have forgotten the exhortation is addressed to you as sons,

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor faint when you are reproved by Him;

For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines,
and He scourges every son He receives.”

It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.”

Hebrews 12:1-13

Can’t – No, We Won’t

When you agree to be a part of a certain establishment or receive a particular audience, one of the key conditions can be the prohibition of expressing the faith. In this case, signing on to have public/secular school students as guests means a curriculum and theme approved by a Godless state. This practice of keeping religious convictions private, as in out of the public sphere, is thus a choice of willing to do so.

When are we believers going to stop deceiving ourselves about this matter? To salve our own conscience, or perhaps it is a reflection of week spirituality, we declare with a mournful tone, “We cannot share Christ.” Oh no, my dear brethren. We know the conditions of our positions. We decided to do this. In my case, our Christian organization decides to do this. Yes, invite young minds to learn and be physically challenged with no reference to their Creator.

Now, the defense to this ‘strategy’, or whatever it may be called, is supposedly reliance on the Holy Spirit to speak to our visitors. By all means, the Spirit has surely done His work, though is this what God has called the faithful to do? A secondary defense is that this provides revenue to fund the facilitation of Christ-centered groups. Plus, it is an economic benefit to the community. I did not know the Body of Christ negotiated with the world to make His ministry happen. Besides, two consistent trends in feedback reinforce this is not a sound alternative to direct glory of the Lord, the King of kings.

First off, virtually all the spiritual testimonies that are propounded as proof are from groups that come to this place with the purpose of knowing God. Second, because we can be privately Christian but not publicly during secular programs, many if (I hope not) most, view our ministry as a part of the pluralistic social mold. So if anything, are we suggesting to students that faith in Christ is merely a preferred outlook rather than devotion to the Way, Truth, and Life?

“Impatient Christians today explain away the simple beliefs of the saints of other days and smile off their serious-minded approach to God and sacred things. They were victims of their own limited religious outlook, but great and sturdy souls withal who managed to achieve a satisfying spiritual experience and do a lot of good in the world in spite of their handicaps. So we’ll imitate their fruit without accepting their theology or inconveniencing ourselves too greatly by adopting their all-or-nothing attitude toward religion. So we say (or more likely think without saying), and every voice of wisdom, every datum of religious experience, every law of nature tells us how wrong we are.”

from: The Root of the Righteous by A.W. Tozer (1955)

There are those in this organization who were by all means called to be here for longer than others. With that said, we have to reflect honestly with our Lord. As far as His will goes, we can no longer in good conscience claim, “We can’t share Christ.” Instead, we must make prayerful decisions with the knowledge that each of us chose to be in a place where we will not. On top of this, we are being paid by institutions whom do not revere God, to fulfill their expectations on what constitutes education.

I will conclude speaking for myself, though I am convinced at least a few of my co-workers possess the same heart pang. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Thus, these youth are receiving an education without foundation, along with quite possibly a poor witness to what it means to be a disciple of Christ. Indeed, may the Holy Spirit work some good of this in spite of our failures as believers. Still, I can not tolerate having my tongue restrained in what is formally the Lord’s domain, considering the organization would have to enforce these policies. How satirical is that, children of God preventing other siblings from openly sharing about their heavenly Father to little children of the world. My time here draws to a close in due season. Where will I go next? I am not sure. Among my prayers are an open door to any place in any position, where the only person who can be guilty of my silence about the things of Christ our Lord is me. I am reluctant, blessed by place and peers. Nonetheless, not my will but His be done.

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”

John 15:1-8 (Jesus Christ)

Students of the Savage Spirit

This past week I encountered two groups of students (5th/6th grade) of contrasting culture, though possessing a raw impulsiveness. One (Expeditionary Learning model) is well versed in the concrete facts of their physical world. The other (Montessori method) is more imaginative in their outlook. Still, in a unique way they expressed a deliberate self-will. There actions, planned or immediate, were deemed as only natural without thought of moral consequence. Now, what happens when they become discontent perhaps come to despair with the sinful world they inherit?

This is not to say that these children were terrors. Actually, there were a number of redemptive qualities for each group. What I am really getting at is the world view these young ones held. If continued in thought/practice as they grow older, there will surely be disastrous outcomes. Like I said, a raw impulsiveness. In other words, will anybody be able to control them when they come of age? Someone who can direct these headstrong beings shall very likely be of the same mind, just only more cunning.

The first of the two are definitely textbook learners, with the ability to comprehend technical ideas. Displaying excellent communication and motivation, they seem well on their way adapting to the modern world. What may bite this world a decade or so from now is their self-awareness in their role of the evolutionary process. For you see, they spoke indirectly of a view on morals that combines the necessity of animal survival and contemporary social rules. Believing they are animals on close terms with all members of this kingdom, their bodily needs are practically as important as what is right. After all, the first core value of their education model is “The Primacy of Self-Discovery.”

The second is of a more tactile drive, learning according to their individual abilities. They can be intensely engaged and focused on what interests them. Likewise they possess a genuine innocence, a dreamy sense of wonder for the world around them. Behavior often hinges on childishness, not child likeness, for most of them. They are trained to adhere more to their wants than what is outside their concern. Self-control being of secondary value, they are not reliable to adapt to social environments or work together in ongoing tasks. The world is pretty much extensions to their personally customized class rooms.

The inspiration/founder of both educational systems were ‘reformers’ discontent with contemporary society of the early 1900s. They were advocates for science by their own distinction, sharing the attitude that the approach needed to be more man-centered on the individual student. Kurt Hahn, whom Expeditionary is based on, believed that youth were innately good, needing to grow in self-development, less they be corrupted by society at large. Maria Montessori, physician & psychologist, desired children to be influenced in their self-direction towards the “spirit” of science, with the intended goal of curiosity for imaginative mastery of the “mechanics.”

C.S. Lewis, lead Christian author of the 20th century, wrote a lesser known character of a rather forgotten book, which illustrates an ideological force lying in wait to engulf civilization. In “The Pilgrim’s Regress,” the newly converted Lewis depicts the nihilistic ‘Savage’ as a sophisticated conqueror in barbarian dress. He represents a mindset/spirit not of a unique personality but an apathy to modern society due to disillusion from all the ideals and promises unmet. Casually under his elaborate orders are social movements akin to fascism and communism.

The beings for these ideologies in Lewis’ allegory are sub-human trolls, meant to be a parody of the grand ideal humanity is supposed to become under these social systems. Savage was raised in the world below his “honey-combed” mountain fortress. Leaving it behind, seeing it as vain talk, he desires to destroy it, for according to him, “The excellent deed is eternal. The hero alone has this privilege, that death for him is not defeat, and the lamenting over him and the memory is part of the good he aimed for; and the moment of battle fears nothing from the future because it has already cast security away [italics added] (“Furthest North” of book 6).”

This mode of thought is the extreme product of a world view/morality based on the individual will. Being social beings, we assemble ourselves with those of a likeminded will. This applies to a desire to carve out a world for the ‘truly’ fit or one forcefully levelled for all to be equal in social standing. The expeditionary students seemed ready to decide who/what would thrive after the culling of survival. The Montessori pupils only care to strive for what catches their immediate fancy. Those who can manipulate such raw yet refined impulsiveness, can acquire a self-driven horde for self-justified amoral acts, as well as systems of savagery. Lord Jesus Christ, may your Spirit be with us disciples of your Word, to speak and live the Truth before the deceived younger generations, while encouraging those who know You to allow your will be done.

“In the beginning a was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that m Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

John 1:1-13