Things I Think
1. In light of the new uproar over transgender people and bathrooms, I don’t think it’s helpful to keep quoting Genesis; “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”(Genesis 1:27 ESV)
While I do believe that passage is true, it neglects to mention or take into consideration the fall.
The fall twisted, bent, and marred, every aspect of what it means to human and our sexuality was not spared in the wreckage.
It shouldn’t surprise any of us that a lot of people have issues involving sexual identity.
There is only one cure for any and all the wreckage of the fall and that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ…and our main concern should be how to deliver that Gospel in a way that it can be heard.
2. I have a Facebook feed full of pastors doing tours of Israel and other foreign lands. I sure hope they all find a way to get home and get some rest before they have to go to another conference…
3. The call to boycott public schools assumes that everyone can afford private schools. A cruel assumption for many…but not for those who can go with their “pastor” to Israel, I guess.
4. Every time evangelicals call for a boycott that never really materializes, it simply confirms the idea in the mind of corporate America that they can do what they will without consequence.
5. The early church consistently engaged a hostile culture with love and sacrifice in the face of oppression and opposition. I’m thinking that the only way they were able to do this was by being more concerned about advancing the kingdom of God than preserving or protecting those of men. I could be wrong…
6. I also had this thought that maybe if we quit lusting for temporal power the power of the Spirit might be manifest again. I was probably drunk…
7. Now that we have embraced the categories of narcissism and other personality disorders when speaking of fallen or rogue leaders we have effectively eliminated the category of “sinner”. I’m not qualified to make psychiatric diagnoses so I’ll just continue to call for repentance, not therapy. Therapy might help…after they repent and seek new professions.
8. Just as a programming note, we will be following up with more on Saeed Abedini. I think he’s in the running for being the biggest fraud in evangelicalism and as soon as I find some energy I’ll be setting forth the evidence for my assumption.
9. Heaven will be a bummer for some because I understand that there will be nothing to be pissed off about…
10. If the “gates of hell will not prevail against the church” even in in the face of cultural decline, we’d probably better start planning for the future…
Testing… we had the snot hacked out of us last night so we may have some issues today.
Well, number 9 made me laugh out loud!
Number 1…there is so much to take in with that thought. Just yesterday my 13 year old grandson and I were having a good conversation about this issue. He was having a hard time getting his head around why anyone would want to live that way…I told him I do too. After discussing it for a while, we were able to agree that Jesus would not want us to mock or abuse those folks, but to treat them the way Jesus would. He came for broken people…sinners like us…He came to save, heal, restore. God calls us to love. I felt privileged to have the opportunity to remind that precious boy about the grace and goodness of God.
I should close the comments after yours…that was perfect.
Amen and amen…
Speaking of getting hacked, I think someone hacked my mind with a few of these items. Love #9.
I enjoy and agree with number one here on “Things I Think.”
Along with that, I am terrified of the prospect of boys in girls restrooms at my daughters’ schools. It’s not the genuine transgendered I am so concerned about. It’s kids going into bathrooms. That Obama is threatening school districts with taking away government aid over this issue is insane. Would he like boys going into his daughters’ locker rooms when they were in middle school?
Generally, I’m ho-hum when it comes to our nation’s politics. I’m not proud of that and neither am I ashamed. But this really gets me fired up because I have little girls.
No one is responding! Lol. Okay, I’ll stick it on Facebook.
Thank you Nonnie for reminding us that we are just another category of sinner than a transgendered person.
#2 Trips to Israel….
When I went to CC, they were always sponsoring trips to Israel that would “Change your life, don’t miss out!” Of course, only the wealthier members of the congregation could afford to go and have their lives changed; I think the pastor himself got a free trip if he gathered enough pilgrims. I am not against pilgrimages to holy places; I’ve been on quite a few myself. It just always rubbed me wrong that the same wealthy people went on these things year after year and came back all bubbling and I always wished some of the impoverished people of the parish could have that experience.
Of course, these evangelical trips to the Holy Land miss out on all the good stuff because as you may know, all the good places are owned by the Orthodox Church and my old pastor refused to visit these churches and shrines.
#9 I was listening the the local Catholic radio station this morning and apparently, Lady Gaga has been attending Catholic mass lately. Some people, apparently, don’t trust her motives – Is she there to swipe the Host to use in a diabolical ceremony? Some think it’s a publicity stunt. Most of the callers thought it was wonderful she was coming to church because that’s where sinners need to be.
I wrote an article here a couple weeks ago about the restroom issue. I then took to Facebook a few days ago after Obama’s move of threatening schools. I did so because I had similar concerns and sentiments as you.
I didn’t get a lot of reaction on Facebook, partially because I don’t have a ton of “friends” there as some do. However for some in our culture, if you express such concerns you are a hateful bigot. Does not matter if you only express concern for those who may get abused or violated by allowing open restrooms and say nary a derogatory word about transgendered individuals. You’re still the scum of the earth!
So be warned. 🙂
I think most of us are upset with this.
The question I have is after the rage is spent, then what?
I am seeing more Christians muttering about taking up arms…and I don’t see that as a biblical solution.
#4 I avoid certain businesses without observing an official boycott. I avoid Starbucks except for bathroom breaks, with demonstrates how I feel about that company. I did use Target’s bathroom this weekend and came out alive.
I did notice that our local Target had the outter doors to both bathrooms wide open when they have always been closed in the past. I think this was an effort made by the local manager to prevent possible predators from having too much privacy.
It’s funny people have the reaction to Lady Gaga. She is actually a fine woman. I don’t know her religious background, but she is not the character she presents on stage — and she is one heck of a classics singer. Her and Alice Cooper know where their character begins and ends as opposed to most.
The obvious answer to your question is that the only ultimate hope is in God changing hearts.
My attempt in speaking to the issue on Facebook was to try to give a rationalized thought to what was going on that maybe some who were caught in the middle could have something of value to think on. That if by any chance a couple undecided people could be swayed that was is happening is dangerous, that’s just a couple more chances that the innocent could be protected in our culture.
My appeal was not a come to Jesus plea. But rather one to try to protect those who could be abused. In fact, I made no references at all to God or the Bible or Christianity. I think if we’re going to mix a come to Jesus appeal with such an issue, we have to be pretty careful how we go about it as the issue can be quite volatile and it can be pretty counter-productive if our approach is wrong.
Once again Michael, thanks for saying what so many of us here have observed for decades, even though ironically to some others here, YOU are the only one allowed to say it.
Even with the phoniness, it’s refreshing to come here read thoughts which begin from the standpoint of what God’s Word clearly says, and not someone’s wallet, fears, emotions, when its popular or other phoniness.
So the answer is obvious, but how do we follow through with how we think God would want to use us is the tricky part. 🙂
Boycotting public schools paves the way for the super rich to privatize the school system in the US so they can make even more money by training your kids to be good little workers for the companies they (the rich) own. They are already making loads of money by owning the testing companies that are “grading” the standardized tests your kids are forced to take. Those same tests are huge data mining opportunities, as well as a way to “prove” the teachers are not doing their jobs well enough. However….if you buy into their companies new (online or charter) schooling for your kid, the test scores are guaranteed to rise! Just pull your tax dollars out of the public schools, they allow people to per in the wrong bathrooms after all, and designate your tax dollars towards our company’s school.
Test scores (on the tests we make up, distribute and score) go up…your kids pee in the proper place (because you’ve been fooled to think that is the true issue when it’s not), and we make shitloads of money by using your tax dollars to train your kids how, not to think for themselves and become our competitors, but to do as they are told and become our employees.
Go on then…boycott away….
I don’t get it – the rich kids get to go to baseball / football academies and get big school scholarships and us poor kids don’t. So??
No matter what anyone likes to think, the rich have privilege and nothing will change that.
And I don’t want it to change – that is what makes people strive to better themselves financially.
Well done…much to grapple with there.
And just exactly are you going to pull your tax dollars out of the public schools? I haven’t seen that option on my property tax bill. Seems to me now and until law is changed if you choose private schools you just get to pay extra, no property tax break for you.
I agree so much, Costco Cal. The pro-potty partners reject our concerns, claiming we are labeling transgenders as molesters (which is a huge leap of [ill]logic). They then label us as transgender haters.
That’s not the issue at all for me; it’s the risk of opportunist men and boys having unquestioned access to my daughter when her pants are down or her skirt is up, to physically molest or photograph her. The guys won’t even have to put a dress on to get unquestioned access. They can just walk right in, because who in the world would question if they are truly transgender? I’d be interested to see a survey of what imprisoned pervs think about this issue.
Re MLD’s #14,
I have only one beef with Lady Gaga. Her Bowie Tribute at the Grammys.
Back to the bathroom discussion…
You don’t have that option.
Yet. But you will.
I’ve said the same things for so long I bore myself.
All the “Christian” political actions have availed little.
I think we need to start from the ground up being the church and using the tools that the Bible says are our “weapons of warfare”.
Those are all about spreading the Gospel by living our lives and engaging in our vocations as loving, sacrificially giving, ambassadors for the kingdom who spend more time in prayer meetings than ranting on social media.
My thought is that we intentionally forsake political power and seek the power of the Holy Spirit.
I’ve also asked God to make me taller..
I generally don’t “boycott”, but I came a step closer after seeing Target’s F-you commercial. Did anyone else catch that? I have only seen it once, last Thursday night after 10 p.m. People were singing a jingle in Spanish, and one person appeared to be a transgender/transvestite. In a wheelchair.
Michael’s #25 – My thoughts exactly.
RE: Public schools. I pulled my kids out two years ago. Now they go to a much smaller academy. My main concerns were violence, and my daughter being made fun of because she doesn’t wear the latest fashions. Both problems were solved. I know all the kids and all their parents, and there are no fights. Everyone wears the same uniform, so there is no bullying about clothes. Personally, I would never send my children to public school again.
Which is why in my Facebook posting I made no mention of God or religion. Purely tried to appeal to people’s reason and common sense. For the sake of those who I believe could and will be harmed by allowing open restrooms.
If I’m going to make an appeal for people to see Jesus, I’m probably not going to do it at the same time I’m making an appeal for a political issue. Too many chances of wires being crossed.
Kids protesting here…
“Therapy might help…after they repent and seek new professions.”
I said something in this vein on my Facebook today before reading this. Here’s a loud “Amen!” 😉
I have no idea what London is talking about. I just spent the last 13 years of my life intimately involved with my son’s education – which was accomplished through a public charter school, home-based curriculum for 11 years, and private Christian high school for the last 2 years.
He just got accepted into a university with a 93% decline rate this year. (Now if Bernie can only stage a comeback so he can get sworn in and pay for my tuition bill by the Spring 2017 semester 🙂 )
Bottom line. Do what’s best for your children. Period. Every family will answer that personally. And have different answers.
Christianity has nothing to do with any of it. Nor does some grand corporate conspiracy scheme involving test scores and data mining by the super rich….
Just because you don’t know what I’m talking about, doesn’t mean I don’t.
Google educational data mining for a start, then google privatizing education, etc.
You’re fooling yourself if you think there’s not loads of money to be made by those who want to privatize education and do away with Public schools.
Steve is a good example of taking care of your own business – doing what is right for your family — at the same time paying his taxes to support the public school.
The teacher’s unions / lobby have all the politicians by the short hairs – there will be no “doing away with the public schools.”
I have four daughters.
I pay taxes.
I am righteously angry over this.
And I need wisdom in how to express that anger.
Vote in the next school district elections. If you’re really PO’d run in them.
In the mean time, tell your daughters to use the restrooms with a friend.
Lastly, repent of your anger.
Be angry and sin not. So I will not repent.
I agree with MLD that Steve’s personal story #31 is laudable.
Michael said: “The early church consistently engaged a hostile culture with love and sacrifice in the face of oppression and opposition.”
I don’t know how they could have done that unless they had sincere love for the people around them. It’s easy to hate, lash out, be angry, and rant about stuff. It is much harder to find the heart of God and make our rest in that, and in return treat all people with God’s love. That requires taking up our cross…
The other side of it was that I think they understood the power of God and loved not their own lives unto death. I’m not sure we’re there yet. We’re still too busy trying to prove that we are right or arguing with people when the battle is spiritual and has to be fought that way.
Not that we shouldn’t speak out on issues that matter. I believe we should. But you can’t win a spiritual battle by arguing with your enemy. Doesn’t work.
If any commenter thus far has a daughter in public schools, not university, I will listen to what you have to say.
Actually, better than that, I will take some time and cool my jets and pray.
CC – I will tell you I agree very much with you. When my daughter was in 6th grade she came home and we had to sign a paper for sex education, we did. The next week she came home terrified saying how the teacher was passing around cucumbers, putting rubbers on them and talking about engorged penises in mix gender class – wham, all my kids were in private school the next week.
I look back now 30 yrs later and realize it probably wasn’t for her sake but mine and I don’t think my blood pressure could take it.This would have been 1985 — lord have mercy on my soon to be 13 yr old granddaughter … I don’t want to know.
to add – she is 42 now and seems to have survived – me, not so much.
CC – I have three daughters in public school. Two are actually in charters, but they are still public, ultimately under state control. At their charter school, more than half (my best guess) of the students are Christian, and a very large chunk of the non-C are traditionally minded people, so I don’t worry too much about them.
My oldest is at a regular public school. She’s just finishing up her 10th grade year, so we’re holding on for dear life for the next two years, counting down the time. The state I live in is fairly conservative politically and our school district board is dominated by conservative folks, so that seems to help a bit as well. So far, knock on wood, we’ve never encountered anything crazy like MLD mentioned with the cucumbers.
I’m sorry, I guess my comments won’t help you much. If my kids were of the age where they were just starting school, we’d homeschool for sure.
I really like number 9.I’m going pass that one along.
Not sure if anyone is familiar with Rosaria Butterfield here. Former lesbian and liberal professor. Came to Christ, repented, got married, A pretty intriguing story of how she came to Christ through the friendship of a pastor who didn’t hammer her, but showed her love and grace.
Anyway, on her website she as an FAQ section, and in it was this question and response:
Q. As a Christian, how can I be better at reaching out and being a friend to those who do not agree with my convictions?
A. Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” The line “need of the moment” is important. Too often in our relationships, we feel as though we must speak our full heart on all matters. We feel dishonest if we don’t spell out the whole story of gloom and doom as we see it when we see people we love making dangerous decisions. We panic, say more than we ought, and then justify this as honesty. We would do well to show ourselves people who value humility, gentleness, and patience, as Jesus does with us. We also should not fear learning from people who think differently than we do, and welcoming the chance to dialog across these differences. Finally, we must be very careful about thrusting private conversations into public venues. Real heart changes happen in private not public spheres.
We did it all: home, public and private schooling. Not so much in protest, but just discerning what was right for our kiddos at the given time. Time invested well at home will negate a lot of the weirdness out there.
This is stupid and pathetic, it took some thirty years but I have learned. I use to consider being a teacher a calling and I was honoring God and all that clap trap. I have come to repent of that nonsense and I am just trying to get by until I can retire and slither away. Yes another gift from the faith.
The idea of sending my daughter to public school makes me kind of sick and stressed out–though my concerns have little to nothing to do with where transgender students are going to the bathroom. I hate how dictatorial they have become and how they try to cut down the parents’ authority. If my child is sick I as her parent should be able to keep her home from school as long as I feel is reasonable until she is better without having to take her to the doctor to get a note just to prove that she is genuinely sick. I shouldn’t have to sign a waiver because she’s not vaccinated. I shouldn’t have to buy specific brand name supplies when cheaper generic options are available.
The local newspaper ran a story about parent/teacher conferences and mentioned that the parents were seated in the tiny little kid seats. I find it hugely disrespectful and demeaning that they would not be provided with appropriate adult-sized seating.
I’m also concerned that children are now supposed to enter kindergarten knowing how to read. There are plenty of studies that suggest that reading early isn’t that big of a deal.
It troubles me immensely that the public schools here pretty much only offer all day kindergarten. That’s way too long for 5 year olds to be in school.
I think homeschooling would be the best option for her and for me (because I’m not sure I’m going to be able to handle the constant rage that I’m probably going to experience when I have to deal with the stupidity and bureaucracy of the public schools). The only benefit that I can see from public schools is that they’re essentially free child-care, and since I’m the one in our family who works and my husband isn’t necessarily physically able to be a stay-at-home dad I might have to avail myself of that free child care. But doing so is probably going to kill me.
J2, you will make a wonderful home school teacher.
J2, see if there’s a charter school that is based on Waldorf ideas.
Trey hasn’t had a teacher yet that we don’t hug when we see them outside the school.
I have tremendous respect and admiration for public school teachers.
#7-I think instead Christians need to ask if a person with a mental, emotional, past drug history, past addictive history, personality disorder, greedy or even a brand new believer qualifies for ministry leadership? I am not saying folks with “issues” can’t be used by God in some mighty ways, but do they qualify for Pastor, church leader or para-church leader based on scripture? Probably not.
If someone truly has a mental, or emotional issue, I doubt that could be classified as sin really. Would be like saying someone born with blue eyes has sin because of the wrong eye color. Not saying that people with disorders don’t have sin but am wondering out loud if I can say their mental problems qualifies as sin? I think this classification is why we keep hiring the wrong people in leadership and getting into tons of trouble in ministry. All these sick folks have to do is repent and life is honky dory. Might be much more complicated than that and maybe we need to screen our leadership a bit better. The expectation is way out of whack and is bound to lead to problems, damage in the churches, and casualties. Maybe the blame needs to be shifted from the sick person to those that hired sick people in hopes we can change who we get into leadership positions. Hope I am making sense.
I will also say that my mom was a public school teacher for her entire career, and my wife was a public school teacher for 12 years. I too, love and respect public school teachers. They are not the reason we had to find different options.
The term “public” is humorous. Public ALWAYS means Govt owned/controlled, paid for by the theft of taxation.
Your children’s education is your responsibility.
Even though I had the horror cucumber experience, I do not see anything similar with the school system of my grand children. Looking back, here is the issue as I see it in 1985. The culture war fueled much more hate – the Moral Majority, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson etc were creating such fear that what we saw in my daughter’s classroom was the natural backlash.
Today things seem much more clear. Teachers are not the problem – the problem is that they have given away all of their power to their unions and lobbies who in turn have given it all over to the government —- for a price.
God loves homosexuals and transgender people as they are, not as they should be.
***J2, you will make a wonderful home school teacher.***
I think I’d do a good job too, but, like I said, the problem is more finding childcare while I need to work. I will check if there are any Waldorf based schools in the area.
Did I detect a tone of cynicism in #2?
There is nothing virtuous or noble about the adjective before “teacher” depending on if it is public or private. I had two close friends who were both at different times in their careers. Same person(s). They did not change just because they were getting paid by the state tax dollars instead of parents’ tuition money.
There are great teachers in all avenues, and there are terrible ones too. We have both public and private school teachers at our church – they are all, equally, wonderful people and I am sure their students are blessed.
As for my friends, the public schools paid more, had greater benefits and greater job security than the private but in both cases they wish they were still teaching at the private school as far as the other hastles public teachers face with so many of the students (both of these examples were high school) compared to students who mostly are there wanting to learn (or at least who will get in trouble at home if Mom and Dad’s tuition money is wasted)
I repeat my earlier point – Parents do what is right for YOUR children and family situation. Christianity has nothing to do with it. Or put another way, nothing in Christianity says that a parent is not responsible for their children’s welfare (including education) and should follow the opinions of others.
God will guide you how to raise YOUR children when it comes to education, and everything else. The Bible is His revelation, and you won’t find anything there about public versus private versus homeschool teaching.
I am happy to pay taxes for public education. After 23 yrs of homeschooling, my remaining children are in public school and doing well. I’ve also spent the last 7 years volunteering in public high schools and have been up close with a lot of students and teachers.
I am happy that all children have the opportunity to get educated and be productive members of society. I’m extremely grateful for the teachers who are underpaid for their education level and choose to sacrifice for their students. I’m grateful for those teachers who do far more than educate – they advocate, support, are sometimes are their students’ best cheerleader because parents are absent, abusive, unavailable, etc.
Just because you may be the best person to educate your kids or find the best private education for your kids does not mean that all kids have that kind of advocate. It’s not all about your kids, folks.
Julie Anne – While I agree with all you said, your last sentence strikes me a little odd.
“It’s not all about your kids, folks.”
In a sense, it is all about my kids. I can do things in the community, pay taxes, and all that, but I can’t raise a stranger’s children. I raise my children. I decide what is best for us and our household. While I am concerned for the welfare of other people’s children…mine will ALWAYS come first, and I will do what I have to do to ensure the welfare of my own children.
If every parent thought the same way, we would no problem.
As a parent, it is mostly about my kids although of course we should care about other people’s kids as well.
I’m very grateful for public schools and the experience T had in them.
Our elementary school was the best thing that he could have been part of…relatively poor, about 40% Hispanic, and staffed with a lot of love from both teachers and parents.
His ‘worldview” and his heart for people were shaped in a godly way without him even knowing it.
I didn’t say your kids don’t come first, JTB. I’m saying we should care about all kids. After all, these are your kids’ peers.
Julie – I get it. My response was mostly because that is what was said to us when we pulled our kids from public school. “Hey, it’s not just about you kid. If the Christian parents take all their kids out, then what?” Etc, etc. etc. My answer is that if my kid was threatened with violence on a regular basis, and made to feel less because we wouldn’t allow her to wear certain clothes…sorry, it’s all about my kids.
Kids going to school 4 days a week: Change you can believe in GOP style.
That’s what they mean by “opportunity”.
Doing what is best for your kids, with the belief you know what “best” is for your kids is nonnegotiable. The moment anyone thinks or says they know what is best for YOUR kid, that is the moment the conversation ends. And the conversation HERE was whether to educated your kids in public, private, or homeschool. Christians, and everyone else, have no business telling someone else what is best for that child’s education.
That being said, obviously does not lead to a conclusion that we don’t care about the children of our community, state, nation, or world. Obviously.
However, to take the discussion to that level – which is not what the context about public, private, homeschool was all about – is to then get 100% political.
To talk about school problems, solutions etc. is to talk politics – once you take it out of the realm of “what I do in my family with my children”
I know it will be a shock to many, but some of us cretins on the right have views on education that are rooted in what is best for the children of our neighbors – and we weep at the many problems in education around this country because it is the children that suffer. And ANY special interests (right or left) that put themselves ahead of our kids.
My guess is that about 75% of my readers are on the right and are registered Republicans.
Thus, I doubt that they would consider themselves “cretins” and as part of the non Republican minority here I don’t believe we consider them “cretins”.
I think my own church is 100% Republican, with the exception of Trey and I. 🙂
“Doing what is best for your kids, with the belief you know what “best” is for your kids is nonnegotiable.”
This is an arrogant statement. People can do what they believe is best for their kids without believing they know what is best. That sort of inflexible mindset can give a parent tunnel vision or a closed mind from the data of changed situation.
I would suggest a more open and prayerful mind regarding decisions on what future course of action is best and continues to be best.
“By contrast, elder brothers [like the elder brother in Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son] divide the world in two: “The good people (like us) are in and the bad people, who are the real problem with the world, are out.”
Younger brothers, even if they don’t believe in God at all, do the same thing, saying: “No, the open-minded and tolerant people are in and the bigoted, narrow-minded people, who are the real problem with the world, are out.” But Jesus says: “The humble are in and the proud are out” (see Luke 18:14).
The people who confess they aren’t particularly good or open-minded are moving toward God, because the prerequisite for receiving the grace of God is to know you need it. The people who think they are just fine, thank you, are moving away from God. “The Lord . . . cares for the humble, but he keeps his distance from the proud” (Psalm 138:6—New Living Translation).
When a newspaper posed the question, “What’s Wrong with the World?” the Catholic thinker G. K. Chesterton reputedly wrote a brief letter in response: “Dear Sirs: I am. Sincerely Yours, G. K. Chesterton.” That is the attitude of someone who has grasped the message of Jesus.”
Timothy Keller, The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
Someone used the New Living Translation so you know they are not orthodox and the article cannot be true. 😉
“This is an arrogant statement. People can do what they believe is best for their kids without believing they know what is best”
I’ll just be arrogant then. I know what is best for my kids.
“I’ll just be arrogant then. I know what is best for my kids.”
You don’t even know what’s best for you.
Has anyone read the part about our minds being corrupted by sin?
We all have to make decisions based on what we think best for our kids.
Kids and situations differ, so I have no problem with anyone doing what they think best for the ones they are responsible for.
“You don’t even know what’s best for you.
Has anyone read the part about our minds being corrupted by sin?”
Jean – then I’d suggest you lock yourself in a room and never come out. You are far too dangerous to be allowed any decisions.
I, on the other hand, have a life to live, and I shall live it empowered by The Holy Spirit with the God-given responsibility of my children’s well-being.
Arrogant as that may be, I WILL take care of my children.
Nothing in my post implied that a parent is not supposed to investigate options, gather information, learn as much as he/she/they can – and of course make corrections as warranted. MLD, Josh, and I have all testified that we changed schools at some point for our children – and all for different reasons too. Others in the thread have asked questions of the community.
If the best choice is to send your child to a public (or private) school, does that mean you don’t care about what they are studying, going to the parent/teacher sessions, making your voice known? I hope not. I can’t imagine any organization, much less one that had my kid several hours each day, that I did not consistently monitor – and speak up when needed.
I talked to a LOT of parents about schooling and choices when our son was in the crib and toddling around…before kindergarten time arrived. We live literally a few blocks in a community with its own elementary school! I have talked myself to lots of young parents now that I have many years under the belt – to share my experiences, answer questions.
But there is no way anyone is going to convince me their Bible implies that God is going to tell someone else how to best educate YOUR child and not tell you. I hold that truth on just about every facet of life. If someone’s theology has them playing the role of Holy Spirit in the lives of other people then I must object – but I doubt anyone here has that mindset.
But that is why it is relevant to this thread. Parents who are in the information gathering, what is best for my child stage, sometimes can be bullied by someone in the world, articles online, or often someone in the church saying they MUST send them to a public school, or they MUST avoid a public school at all costs or they MUST send them to the school that their church runs etc.
Every family, every child, every situation is different, as is every district, region of the country etc. God will guide us in these decisions – as He will in all decisions in life.
This continues on by the way….if a kid is 18 and strung out on drugs and the parents are loosing their minds in grief, confusion and anxiety, there will always be someone who insists they MUST do XYZ….I know people who did the “tough love” sleep on the streets thing and it was the best wake-up call possible and the kid got sober and all is great. I know people who did that and the kid was dead before the year was out (one example in less than 48 hours). God will guide the parents in these big decisions because the parents know their children better than anyone.
Likewise with school. I can give disaster stories of public school, church school, private secular school, and homeschool. Pick a card, any card. No magic wild card that guarantees a problem free education. In each case the parents were influenced by others, or they were apathetic, or even selfish, and the children suffered.
Jean @73 – I was just amen’ing you last week when you talked about how we could walk in the power of the Spirit day by day, confessing and repenting of sin as the Spirit convicted….
That was YOUR post last week. Why would God entrust you with decisions about your children but not guide you by His Spirit to make those decisions if He is able and willing to do so in other aspects of life?
“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.'”
The only certainty you have:
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
As for the present, we live by faith.
Only in retrospect will we see where good decisions were made, where bad decisions were made, where we didn’t get our way, and it turned out to be a good thing in spite of our desire at the time, or where we were thwarted in some endeavor by evil. But, in any event we return to the certainty we have that “all things work together for good”.
But, the fact that all things word together for good is not because of our certainty, wisdom or intelligence, but because of our faith in God.
“Likewise with school. I can give disaster stories of public school, church school, private secular school, and homeschool.”
You are right – in the end my oldest and my youngest ended up back in public school. It is not always right for everyone. My middle son stayed all the way through for the spiritual side … he was astar pitcher on the baseball team 🙂
Has anyone on this blog ever made a decision that at the time of the decision he or she thought was “best” for him or her or immediate family, only to realize later that such decision was a total disaster, a major screw up? Am I the only one who makes bad decisions?
I think the point being made is that each parent is the best arbiter over what is good for their own child.
To be even more specific, better than other people who feel qualified to make those choices.
We all make mistakes in parenting, but at the end of the day, I know my kid better than anyone else, and God gave him to us to raise, not anybody else.
MLD – I sometimes wonder if after I avoided the jungle that was the middle school in my backyard, if I had gone back to the large Glendale public high school instead of the little place I was at if I might have gotten drafted. I competed and beat all those guys in the summer city leagues so it’s not like I wouldn’t have played. We had a lot of scouts but even if a managed to strike out the side, it must have looked like a joke since we were playing teams like Queen of Angels (literally).
Of course, I could have more easily become a burn-out in that environment too…more than I was that is…
We had a kid who transferred like that from our school to the local high school for basketball reasons – his Dad was an ex-star in the Big 10 (of course his son did not inherit all that skill and it never really worked out for him to be “discovered”) . My parents pushed the academics first. 🙁 Sports second. Church expendable once I started playing in travel leagues in 10th grade.
Thank you Michael @81.
Jean, my theology is such that if I do prayerfully, AND thoughtfully/informatively make a decision that I think is in the best interest of my child at the time and it does not work out – then I can trust God had a purpose in what seems outwardly as a mistake, and of course He will lead me to correct it.
I have no such assurance if I abdicate parenting decisions to whatever Dr. Phil, James Dobson, or the sewing circle or Bible study happen to say…..I can learn from all those sources (maybe), I certainly can listen to them….but to just do what others say for our children…when THAT becomes a disaster, rather than trust there is a greater purpose in the lesson I would argue the lesson from God is “don’t abdicate your parental responsibilities anymore”
I agree with your #81 to a point. Parents have the vocation to raise their children and have a lot of knowledge about them. Okay.
However, many parents do not have the acumen to evaluate all educational decisions on behalf of their children. And that is not a defect on their part. However, acknowledging their limitations, they consult others with some expertise in that area who help them.
My father was an immigrant, who was an orphan by birth, with an 8th grade education, who became successful as a chef. He loved his children and wanted the best for us, but didn’t have the acumen to evaluate all of our educational options and needs. However, he was a good judge of character and sought help on that issue.
I see the same thing play out with other people.
I think one of the problems our country is facing is that everyone nowadays thinks they’re a know-it-all about all kinds of stuff.
However, he was a good judge of character and sought help on that issue.
Isn’t that what I said above?
“Nothing in my post implied that a parent is not supposed to investigate options, gather information, learn as much as he/she/they can”
Yes – I believe I did say that.
I wish to add that “good judge of character” is a gift from God.
And acknowledging it would seem to speak against using an argument like “Has anyone read the part about our minds being corrupted by sin?”….
Your Dad had some challenges others may not have – but the corruption of our minds from sin was not listed as one of them.
but he LOVED you, and wanted what was BEST for you
And you seemed to have turned out OK, Jean 🙂
I think you have illustrated our point. 🙂
“And acknowledging it would seem to speak against using an argument like “Has anyone read the part about our minds being corrupted by sin?”….”
My comment about “our minds being corrupted by sin?” is not intended to say we shouldn’t make any decision or that our decision are not often good, but that it is by the grace of God that we have all our blessings and not because of us. But, that we fulfill our various vocations to the best of our ability, realizing that we need to be forgiving and forgiven, because we fail others and others fail us.
The other thing that concerns me about some of your writing is that lots of kids with awful parents do just fine, while other kids with attentive and devoted parents end up in serious trouble or dead. So, I don’t think parents should put so much pressure on themselves that either (1) the parents take credit to any success the kids have or (2) the parents were terrible parents if the kids have serious problems.
“And you seemed to have turned out OK, Jean”
There are a lot of scars (on me and others). But I’m still kicking, and Michael let me back on the PP, so I can’t really complain.
The context is education. You are an educated person, Jean. “You turned out OK”
Your other concerns are not even in the same zip code of anything I suggested in this or any thread in 8 years…
Does Jean have sons or daughters? 😉
***However, many parents do not have the acumen to evaluate all educational decisions on behalf of their children. And that is not a defect on their part. However, acknowledging their limitations, they consult others with some expertise in that area who help them.***
So who should be the arbiter of whether or not a parent is competent to make decisions regarding their children’s education? And, if the parents aren’t competent, who should be the one tasked with making those educational decisions?
“Does Jean have sons or daughters?”
You can ask me. I have two sons, both in their 20s.
“So who should be the arbiter of whether or not a parent is competent to make decisions regarding their children’s education? And, if the parents aren’t competent, who should be the one tasked with making those educational decisions?”
It is the parents responsibility to assess their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to all critical decisions regarding their children. I never used the term “competent”, which has a legal connotation. There are obviously cases of legal incompetency, and in those cases a court and/or child protective services might be called in. But that is not what I was discussing.
I engaged in a substantial amount of education planning for my two sons. It involved some different elements from what has been shared here, so I will share two major points and then can expand if anyone has further questions.
From very early, it was our hope that our boys would go to college. We understood that white male college applicants are a dime a dozen in the entrance process, so getting into a good school was going to bring its challenges.
My first strategy was to live in the best school district I could possibly afford. If you live there, they have to let you in. 🙂 In the Chicago suburbs, where my kids began their schooling, there are dozens and dozens of school districts. We moved to the New Trier School District and lived in essentially a shoe box for 7 years, so that the kids could attend college prepatory level grade school.
In addition, we tacked on sports, in our case swimming, because in many cases good grades are not enough. Having a good extra curricular activity, whether a sport, theater, music, etc., can be an excellent “resume builder” for college entrance. In addition, you know where your kids are, they keep busy, and learn critical time management skills. Caution: Not all sports and extra curricular activities are equal for these purposes.
If anyone wants additional detail, let me know.
***It is the parents responsibility to assess their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to all critical decisions regarding their children.***
So ultimately a parent is the one best suited to make educational decisions for their children and either make them themselves or determine who they should work with as they make those decisions.
Jean, how did your sinful mind make all those decisions? I mean, even what books to read, or who to listen to on the subject. Your sinful mind warps those decisions too.
You shoulda called me. I could have pointed you in the right direction.
“So ultimately a parent is the one best suited to make educational decisions for their children and either make them themselves or determine who they should work with as they make those decisions.”
In our country, the people have decided to give parents the responsibility and wide latitude to exercise their responsibilities. “Best suited” varies from parent to parent, but is generally irrelevant in our society. The bar regarding competency is extremely low, so public and private resources which support families with education about parenting and educational issues, along with good public educations options are important IMO for the sake of families with challenges of various types.
“Jean, how did your sinful mind make all those decisions?”
Imperfectly. Some went well; some went poorly; some I would do the same; and some I would do quite differently.
Man. It sounds like you are just as arrogant as we are. I mean, you actually did your best making decisions raising your own children? How dare thee.
In our country, the people have decided to give parents the responsibility and wide latitude to exercise their responsibilities.
Jean, no disrespect intended. But is that how you see this discussion?
You don’t see God in this?
Put another way, if “our country decided” that parents no longer should have that responsibility, and Congress or some state’s legislature “decided” that THEY would take that responsibility for themselves (through some educational bureaucracy) , then that would be OK? Because those discussions are under way – limiting educational choice and opportunity. Especially in regards to homeschooling.
I hope you would think that our basic rights, including the right to raise our children as we as parents see best, come from God and not the whim of government…..
You have the freedom to choose which government regulated educational institution and method you wish to use – you have no freedom to educate and / or raise your child “as we as parents see best.” – and I as a citizen would object to anyone who tried to do so.
I do see God in this. I endeavor to see God in all my thinking about all issues. But, from my reading of the Bible, He and His Word are in a very different place than some of the views you ascribe to.
MLD – Picket the Amish then.
MLD – there is a context to this discussion and I am not saying we should not have laws to protect children from evil parents. Let’s not argue for argument sake
Josh, I had no idea that Amish did not have to educate their kids and did not need to observe and follow any health & welfare conditions. No even the Amish work with in gov standards.
He and His Word are in a very different place than some of the views you ascribe to.
Well….that was pretty insulting. I’ll ignore it.
I repeat (since you ignored me) – do parental rights come from God or do they come from “society” (i.e. government – even if elected by the people)?
It’s a simple question
MLD – Educate thyself – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisconsin_v._Yoder
Josh, and we objected – just as I said I would.
“I repeat (since you ignored me) – do parental rights come from God or do they come from “society” (i.e. government – even if elected by the people)?
It’s a simple question”
It’s not a simple question or answer.
1. Parents have rights and responsibilities from God.
2. Government is an institution from God also, which has responsibilities towards parents and children.
3. Children have rights and responsibilities from God.
Why are you insulted that we read the Bible differently? When we read it differently, we hear different messages from God. No insult intended on my end.
Good. So you’ve already picketed the Amish.
But I see this conversation is actually just Jean attacking Steve, like usual. I read #69 as a shot at everybody, but looking back, it was just a shot at Steve. Followed up by #101, another shot. And I’m sure Jean is physically ill again.
So, MLD, whether you or I agree with what the Amish do with their children doesn’t matter. Jean hates Steve.
(sigh) – I see nobody wants to talk about education anymore and we have waded into the “penumbras and emanations”
Thanks, Josh. I shouldn’t have said “nobody” wants to talk education…..
I don’t get it, man. It is frustrating, as I’m sure it is to you.
I’m not in the mood today to respond to some of the ridiculous comments made by our friend J to the B. But, let me assure everyone, I don’t hate anyone here, and I like just about everyone, including you and J to the B.
Then why are you a constant jerk to Steve then?
I don’t think consistent disagreement and different perspectives qualify as “hate”.
Jean comes at things from a entirely different perspective than Steve and that is going to look more fractious than it probably really is.
When you start by telling someone they make you sick, that’s a little more than disagreement. Right?
If we called everyone here out on the use of emotional hyperbole, there wouldn’t be anyone left.
Some of us don’t get along well, some of us get along sometimes, and everyone basically gets along with you. 😉
I don’t see any reason for concern at this point.
Josh – when I said “and we objected” I was referring to our country objected and hence a supreme court case.
Some would say we had no right as a society) to object as parents can do what they want.
In this case, I thought I was having a conversation, but then looked back and realized that it was just Jean going after Steve again. Felt like a waste of time, and not conductive to conversation. I made my point, and have now responded to you about it. That’s all.
That article on Linkathon by Steve Lawson reminded me of the way things go here sometimes. Sometimes the disagreement is healthy and in some ways even beneficial. Other times it goes way over the top like the Lawson article. And while there are bound to be personal conflicts here and they may even be proper or necessary to express at times, at other times the disagreements become unnecessarily personal.
We survive through it all at this place. But that’s not to say that we could or should do better.
Just my two cents.
And since I have an article posted today, I may have used up all my cents (or sense) today. 🙂
Come on, let’s all put our big boy pants on.
I get that you are friends with Steve…who also likes to take shots at people like the blog owner.
The blog owner allows it for the sake of community.
No one here is blameless and like a cheap buffet, we avoid certain things and consume others.
And I’ve called both you and Steve on it before.
Its no biggie. Somebody acted like a jerk, and I told him. I’m cool.
I’m more concerned that we haven’t heard from Em in a couple of days…
I missed Em also – yesterday I almost posted an outrageous Lutheran doctrine statement just to draw her out.
Hopefully, she’ll check in today…I get worried.
Michael your pastor’s heart is shining through… 🙂
My #99 began…
“Jean, no disrespect intended. But is that how you see this discussion?”
And I was hoping to confirm what has been said throughout about the God given role of parents overseeing their children. I’ve tried to avoid politics even though the topic of education in the USA has plenty of political aspects to it.
I find a disconnect between Jean’s argument that as Christians, sin has still warped our ability to make good decisions for our children which was discussed yesterday in depth by many here – with today what SEEMED like him telling me that a government of elected citizens, which would include many unbelievers, somehow have a better collective mind without the Holy Spirit, to decide what is in a child’s best educational interest than the parent)
I sought clarification, and did so quite charitably.
(Yes, the Bible speaks about God ordained government, in the context of the sword and the context otherwise that we be left alone 1 Tim 2:2 – someone show me where there is any context to education over a parent’s children as a God-given role of government – even in the theocracy of OT Israel it was the parents’ responsibility)
But as an American (and a Christian for that matter) I certainly see the value of truancy laws, accreditation procedures for schools and of course to protect children from evil parents who claim “best interest” as an excuse to abuse, neglect and hurt their children.
The problem is some people in this country think homeschooling IS abuse, neglect, and hurtful to children…..but then we wade into politics once more so I will wade on out of that pool for this thread.