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May
27

Will a Trained Child Depart?

Will a Trained Child Depart? “Train up a child in the way he should go (on his own customized path), and when he is old/older/grown he will not depart/will return.” (Proverbs 22:6) This passage has given parents and Bible teachers fits for many years. There are lots of different explanations regarding what this text is teaching (including a few I’ve included in the verse above). If we do our job correctly as parents, does that mean that our children will never go down the wrong trail? What then of the dozens of families we know who trained their children well (imperfectly, but in the right direction), and their children rebel? Does it mean that if we train our children correctly, they may still rebel for a time, but then they will come back to our faith later, when they have gotten the rebellion out of their system? What then of the families we know where the rebellious child never does return to the faith? So which is it? Will they never depart or will they return? I believe the answer to both questions is: Yes. And No. Here’s what I mean: I believe the Proverbs are speaking about general truths, not making absolute truth claims. I don’t think there is any way we can assume that the Proverbs are absolute statements that are true for all people, in all places, at all times. For example (please consider): “Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.” (Proverbs 3:7-8, NKJV) Are all godly people you know healthy? Or what about this: “A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” (Proverbs 10:4, ESV) “The generous soul will be made rich.” (Proverbs 11:25a) Are all the diligent, hard-working (or generous) people you know rich? (I didn’t think so!) “No grave trouble will overtake the righteous, but the wicked shall be filled with evil.” (Proverbs 12:21, ESV) Do you know any righteous who have ever had grave trouble? “The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy man will be put to forced labor.” (Proverbs 12:24, ESV) Unless he goes on welfare! “Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings.” (Proverbs 22:29a, ESV) Have all the skilled craftsmen you know met with world leaders? “The eye that mocks a father and scorns to obey a mother will be...
May
25

Reexamining the Patriarchal Vision

I was recently approached by a mother at a homeschooling convention who heard me speak to the teens on the topic of “Waiting for True Love.” She brought her 11-yr-old daughter up to me and said, “Mr. Wayne, can you please tell my daughter why, when she turns 18, that she needs not to date guys and needs to allow her father and I to pick the person she marries?” I studied her face for a moment to see if she was serious. She was. I told her, “If you and your husband have cultivated an open relationship of trust and communication with your daughter, when she is 18, she will be knocking your door down (figuratively) to get your advice, wisdom, guidance, counsel and blessing regarding who she marries. If you have proven that you are trustworthy, have a good track record of making good and godly decisions, and she is fully convinced that you have her best interests at heart, you won’t be able to keep her away from seeking you out for wisdom, blessing and counsel. On the other hand, if all of that is not in place, then anything that you try to impose from the outside will only back-fire on you and cause even more bitterness, resentment and rejection.” Two Patriarchal Approaches In Genesis, we see two Patriarchal leaders, Abraham and Lot, who I think provide a bit of a sociological antithesis for us. For fathers who are looking to provide Biblical protection and guidance for their sons and daughters, perhaps we can learn from the lives of these two imperfect men. A Lot of Mistakes The Bible refers to the Patriarch, Lot, as “righteous Lot” (2 Peter 2:7-8). This has always bewildered me. To me, Lot seems like the archetype for what a Godly man should NOT do. When you consider his relationship with his daughters, for example, he seems to be absolutely clueless. First of all, in Genesis 13:12, we find Lot separating from Abraham and “pitching his tent toward Sodom.” Every morning as the sun would rise, Lot would awake and gaze upon the Las Vegas of his day. There must have been something in him that longed for that kind of immoral association, for the next thing we discover is that he is quickly living IN Sodom (Genesis 14:12). Even though Lot loved God, and was repulsed by the wickedness of his neighbors (at least to some level), he seemed...
May
21

Common Core Standards — Building the Machine

Common Core Standards — Building the Machine Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve been hearing the debate regarding “Common Core” standards being implemented in government schools. What is Common Core, and should you support or oppose it? As a parent, grandparent, or concerned citizen, you need to be informed on this issue, and act appropriately to this new sweeping change that is taking place in government education. If you want all of the information in one place, download this PDF Document. Here is a synopsis from www.CommonCoreTheMovie.com: The Common Core is the largest systemic reform of American public education in recent history. What started as a collaboration between the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to reevaluate and nationalize America’s education standards has become one of the most controversial—and yet, unheard of—issues in the American public. In 2010, 45 states adopted the Common Core, but according to a May 2013 Gallup Poll, 62% of Americans said they had never heard of the Common Core. Prominent groups and public figures have broken traditional party lines over the issue, leaving many wondering where they should stand. From this website www.hslda.org/commoncore: The Common Core State Standards (“Common Core”) are two sets of K–12 academic standards that outline what students are expected to learn in English language arts and mathematics each year from kindergarten through high school. The goal of this academic checklist is not the acquisition of child-oriented skills such as literacy, proficiency, or increased graduation rates, nor does it embrace the more lofty goal of pursuing truth, knowledge, and wisdom. Rather the Common Core seeks to achieve the utilitarian purpose of making students “college- and career- ready.”1 “College and career readiness” has never been defined by the authors of the standards, notes Dr. Sandra Stotsky, a member of the Common Core Validation Committee who refused to sign off on the standards.2 The motivating force behind the Common Core is not the standards themselves, but the belief that a nationalized, uniform system is the best method of education. The Common Core was written by the National Governors Association (NGA)—an organization of governors, their head staff members, and policy makers—and the Council of Chief State School Officials (CCSSO). The Common Core should be understood as the culmination of a movement that has simmered in America for the past decade to adopt consistent national academic standards and assessments and build bigger student databases. Today, 45 states are committed to the Common Core: two sets of mediocre...
May
12

The Foundations – Ken Ham DVD set (A Review)

Ken Ham is the nation’s leading spokesperson for Young Earth Creationism (YEC). Ken has spoken at hundreds and hundreds of events all over the world, talking about how all of the major doctrines of the church, and issues we face in life, have their origins in the book of Genesis. While Answers in Genesis had previously released teaching videos from Mr. Ham on his key topics, they realized that they needed to revise and update those teachings with new state-of-the-art technology and graphics. So they released a newer series entitled, “The Foundations (Psalm 11:3)“. This set contains 12 sessions (30-minutes each) on 6 DVDs. The topics addressed are (each in two parts): Death the Enemy In Six Days Always Ready (Evangelism and Apologetics) One Blood, One Race (Racism) The Relevance of Genesis Revealing the Unknown God As a staunch YEC adherent myself, and as a parent, I want my children to have the opportunity to hear these teachings as a part of a well-rounded instruction on the topic of origins. I believe that a personal Creator God made everything that exists in six literal 24-hour days, but I also teach my children the theory of Evolution, and the Intelligent Design models as well. They need to be presented with all of the views while they are still in my home, so we can discuss them and they won’t be caught off guard later when they hear views that oppose my personal beliefs. I don’t want them to wonder, “Why didn’t Dad tell me about this view? I wonder what he is trying to hide?” I would challenge parents who believe in Intelligent Design (but not a personal Creator), or unguided Macro-Evolution, or other various Old-Earth views of origins, to do what I do and introduce your children to all of the competing theories. I believe you owe it to your children to allow them to hear the YEC model taught and defended, and no one is more famous for teaching that approach than Ken Ham. This is a video set that needs to be a part of your home, Christian school or church library. The DVD set also comes with a Leader Guide and a Participant Guide for group study. Recommended for ages 12-adult. Israel Wayne is an Author and Conference Speaker and the Director of Family Renewal, LLC. He is also the Site Editor for...
May
8

God’s Not Dead

In the movie, God’s Not Dead, college freshman Josh Harper has his sights set on a future law degree. In order to acquire the necessary credits to achieve his academic goals. Harper signs up for a Philosophy class that is taught by a professor who is notoriously hostile to Christianity. The professor offers an assignment to his class asking them each to affirm the statement, “God is dead,” so that they can move on with their future coursework without being burdened with pesky notions of theism (belief in God) creeping into their future discussions. This causes a test for Harper. Does he go along with the assignment (and the rest of the class) just to get a good grade and pass the class, or does he end up attempting to defend his Christian views against a hostile professor and non-supportive classmates? He chooses the latter. His grade ends up being determined by what the class (not the professor) decides about the merits of his arguments. He faces conflict from his girlfriend who wants him to just do what it takes to get his grade and not rock the boat. It is a real ethical dilemma for Harper. On the storytelling, on thing I enjoyed about this film is how all of the main characters (10 or so) were all intricately connected to each other relationally, even though they weren’t necessarily aware of it. There was, in some cases, one degree of separation for each person, but their lives were all rather intertwined in a very cool labyrinth. I thought it demonstrated well how our lives effect people even indirectly, through a kind of ripple effect, and the choices we make will impact people we have not even met. Regarding the Apologetics of the film, it is proposed by Harper that both he, and the professor, begin with certain presuppositions and assumptions, and that neither can ultimately prove or disprove the existence of God. So he says they need to look to the evidence. At this point, the viewer assumes that the main approach will be Evidentialist Apologetics. It is not. Harper utilizes Classical Apologetics, with the Cosmological and Moral Arguments for the existence of God being primary. It is unrealistic to think that a typical college class will contain all of the elements reflected in this film (a rabid atheist who rails against Christianity, a class that is completely skeptical of Christianity,  a student who can hold his own...

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