The Frustration of Modern Education

Van Til 3

“Our work as educators would be hopeless and futile if we engaged in it on the principle of synthesis discussed above. But what joy it is to know that Christ has come to save man and his culture! The first Adam by his sin refused to undertake the cultural mandate given him. When he was told to subdue the earth he would not do so as unto God his creator. But the second Adam undertook anew what the first Adam, and all men with him, failed to do. Now then, we who are saved by grace, we who have by the Spirit of God been born from above, need not beat the air. There is for us a true synthesis of all things in Christ. And we may offer this Christ to all men that they too with us might escape the futility and the absurdity, the immorality and the blasphemy, of seeking to synthesize what by their very sinful act they are all the while destroying. The task of educators who do not educate in and unto Christ is like the task of Sisyphus as he rolled his stone to the top of the hill only to see it roll down again. If the facts of the world are not created and redeemed by God in Christ, then they are like beads that have no holes in them and therefore cannot be strung into a string of beads. If the laws of the world are not what they are as relating the facts that are created and redeemed by Christ, these laws are like a string of infinite length, neither end of which can be found. Seeking to string beads that cannot be strung because they have no holes in them, with string of infinite length neither end of which you can find; such is the task of the educator who seeks to educate without presupposing the truth of what the self-attesting Christ has spoken in the Scriptures.”

Cornelius Van Til, Essays on Christian Education (The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company: Phillipsburg, NJ, 1979).

The Family as First Educators

“It needs more than ever to be stressed that the best and truest educators are parents under God. The greatest school is the family. In learning, no act of teaching in any school or university compares to the routine task of mothers in teaching a babe who speaks no language the mother tongue in so short a time. No other task in education is equal to this. The moral training of the children, the discipline of good habits, is an inheritance from the parents to the children which surpasses all other. The family is the first and basic school of man.”

R. J. Rushdoony

Why Non-Christian Education Fails: Godless Education

Antitheses in Education

The principles by which believers live are squarely opposed to the principles by which unbelievers live. This is true in the field of education as well as in the church. Accordingly we speak of antitheses in education. These antitheses cover the whole educational field. They cover first the field of educational philosophy. This is of basic significance, but is often overlooked. In the second place these antitheses appear in the field of what is to be taught, i.e., the curriculum. Finally these antitheses appear when we consider the child or the young person to be instructed. Under these three aspects we shall try to bring out the antitheses in educational philosophy.

Non-Christians believe that the universe has created God. They have a finite god. Christians believe that God has created the universe. They have a finite universe. Non-Christians therefore are not concerned with bringing the child face to face with God. They want to bring the child face to face with the universe. Non-Christian education is Godless education. What is of most importance to us in education, that which is absolutely indispensable to us, is left out entirely.

Godless education ignores or denies that man was created responsible to God. This implies that sin is not a transgression of God’s law. Hence Christ did not need to die in our stead. Godless or non-theistic education is therefore also non- or anti-Christian education. Godless, non-Christian education naturally becomes humanistic, i.e., man-centered. If man does not need to live for God, he may live for himself If then we want a God-centered and truly Christian education, we will have to break away completely from the educational philosophy that surrounds us.

Non-Christians believe that man is surrounded by an absolutely unknowable universe. Man is grasping in the dark, except for the little light that his own mind is radiating as a headlight in the mist. Christians believe that originally man lived in the light of the revelation of God and that in Christ as the fact-revelation and in Scripture as the Word-revelation, man is in principle restored to that true light of God.

Accordingly non-Christian education dashes first this way and then that under the delusion that it has pierced the darkness, or it stops altogether in utter despair. Often non-Christian educators do away with the idea of a definite aim or purpose in education altogether. They talk of “functional adjustment” to one’s environment. But if man does not know the road and drives in the mist, why should he “step on the gas”? As Christians we know the purpose of education. We also know what should be the content of education. Finally we know that a definitely Christian method is to be used in the instruction of a definitely Christian content.

Non-Christians believe that insofar as man knows anything, he knows apart from God. Man’s mind is not an electric bulb that needs a current if it is to show any light, but it is rather an oil lamp that carries its own supplies. Christians believe that everything is dark unless the current of God’s revelation be turned on. We cannot even see any “facts” without this light. Non-Christian teachers will accordingly sometimes think they really have and know the “facts” and can teach the child all about them, and then again when they see that the “facts” are really in the dark they will give up in utter despair. Christian teachers know that not a single “fact” can really be known and therefore really be taught unless placed under the light of the revelation of God. Even the laws of arithmetic cannot be known otherwise.

We need to become more conscious of these basic distinctions. Unless we are conscious of them, we shall never have genuinely Christian schools. To be conscious of these distinctions does not mean that we must spend much more time on the direct teaching of religion than on teaching other matters. If we teach religion indirectly, everywhere and always, we may need less time to teach religion directly. To be conscious of these distinctions does mean that the plan of curriculum is to be God-centered. Man exists for God. But in the created universe other things exist for man. Hence in this sense the curriculum must be man-centered. Only thus can it become God-centered.

Non-Christians believe that the personality of the child can develop best if it is not placed face to face with God. Christians believe that the child’s personality cannot develop at all unless it is placed face to face with God. Non-Christian education puts the child in a vacuum. In this vacuum the child is expected to grow. The result is that the child dies. Christian education alone really nurtures personality because it alone gives the child air and food.

Non-Christians believe that authority hurts the growth of the child. Christians believe that without authority a child cannot live at all.

Non-Christians do speak of the authority of the “expert,” but that is not really authority. Christians want authority that is based upon the idea of God as man’s Creator and of Christ as man’s Redeemer.

Thus we see that the antithesis touches every phase of education. To try to enforce the idea of the antithesis at one point and to ignore it at others is to waste your energy and your money. We cannot afford this.

Van til 2
Cornelius Van Til and Eric H. Sigward, Unpublished Manuscripts of Cornelius Van Til, Electronic ed. (Labels Army Company: New York, 1997).

Blogging the Revised Ontario Sex-Education Curriculum: 12 things you must know

Many parents are shocked to learn what has been happening in their children’s schools. This situation, however, was many years in coming. Scott Masson has a very good video here.

My purpose in this entry is to simply make 12 concise statements about the Government of Ontario and its view of you and your children. Once you know these things, you may plan accordingly.

  1. The Government of Ontario does not see your children as really yours. The children you birthed or adopted belong to the state, which determines what is best for your children in health, education, and their general welfare. At best, parents are seen as “co-parents” with the state.
  2. The Government of Ontario determines what is fact and truth in matters of sexuality.
  3. The Government of Ontario will state that their view of sexuality is based upon scientific fact. This is not true. It is based on a collection of theories that express the strong desires of a few people.
  4. It has been decided that homosexuality and transgenderism, and the vast varieties of experience brought for by these orientations, are as normal and correct and right and true as heterosexuality.
  5. The actions of non-heterosexuality good, even if it includes what has been for years considered sodomy.
  6. These orientations and behaviours are not to be avoided, cured, treated, pitied, or restricted; rather, they are to be embraced and accepted as fully as heterosexuality.
  7. Children must decide for themselves what is right, and parents, religion or tradition may or may not be a part of this decision.
  8. Non-heterosexual orientation may occur at any time in a person’s lifetime, including the preschool age.
  9. Gender is not sex. The sex you were born with is not necessarily your gender. This is called “gender fluidity.” Your child’s gender may be “fluid,” and you as a parent have no right to interfere with it.
  10. When your religious views contradict those of the government, which will occur most often in school, your religious views must yield to those of the government.
  11. Historically, the family is the place of nurture and education, health and wellbeing. The state sees the schools and other state institutions as superior to the family. The state sees the traditional family is a its competitor. This curriculum is a part of the Government of Ontario’s attempt to effectively destroy the traditional family.
  12. Individuals do not have rights, only groups have rights, and those groups must be approved by the state. You, your child, and your family have value only as they contribute to society, and society that is worthy is determined by the state.

resistance

Blogging the Revised Ontario Sex-Education Curriculum: the experiment is over.

Stevenson Quote

Public education, which I define as taxpayer funded, government controlled, and compulsory, is a very recent development in Canadian history. What is also clear, that given the backdrop of human civilization, taking education from the home, church, or synagogue and placing it in the hands of the government has a very short history. As an experiment, we may see that it has largely failed.

I believe that public education, as presently defined and practised, is an experiment that must end. It has not produced the fruits that parents desire, and all too often has produced children who are more indoctrinated in the will of governments rather than educated for critical thinking and moral knowledge.

Anyone who calls to end the present system will be met with charges that he is anti-education. It must be kept in mind, however, that education and school are not the same thing. Public school and church academy are not the same thing. There are a variety of means to educate, but the family is primarily responsible. So insofar as public education now seeks to  pit child against parent, it is time for the parents to once again take full control of their children’s education. Those who doubt this is true should remember that in 2001, parents were given a tax break in Ontario if they paid tuition to a private school, whether or not that school was religious or not. The Liberal Government does not believe in competition in forming young minds, however, and quickly cancelled the tax deduction when they came to power.

The problems we face today have been very long in coming. Public education has, from its beginning, been against a Christian worldview, and therefore set against Christian families. The moralistic lessons that were once taught in public schools gave false sense of security to religious parents. That day is past, and the mask is off.

Homeschool or private school: your children are your responsibility.

Please read this quote, then be sure to make note of when it was written. Could it be that we’ve been in this struggle much longer than we first thought?

“The whole development of modern society has tended mightily toward the limitation of the realm of freedom for the individual man. The tendency is most clearly seen in socialism; a socialistic state would mean the reduction to a minimum of the sphere of individual choice. Labor and recreation, under a socialistic government, would both be prescribed, and individual liberty would be gone. But the same tendency exhibits itself to-day even in those communities where the name of socialism is most abhorred. When once the majority has determined that a certain régime is beneficial, that régime without further hesitation is forced ruthlessly upon the individual man. It never seems to occur to modern legislatures that although “welfare” is good, forced welfare may be bad. In other words, utilitarianism is being carried out to its logical conclusions; in the interests of physical well-being the great principles of liberty are being thrown ruthlessly to the winds.

The result is an unparalleled impoverishment of human life. Personality can only be developed in the realm of individual choice. And that realm, in the modern state, is being slowly but steadily contracted. The tendency is making itself felt especially in the sphere of education. The object of education, it is now assumed, is the production of the greatest happiness for the greatest number. But the greatest happiness for the greatest number, it is assumed further, can be defined only by the will of the majority. Idiosyncrasies in education, therefore, it is said, must be avoided, and the choice of schools must be taken away from the individual parent and placed in the hands of the state. The state then exercises its authority through the instruments that are ready to hand, and at once, therefore, the child is placed under the control of psychological experts, themselves without the slightest acquaintance with the higher realms of human life, who proceed to prevent any such acquaintance being gained by those who come under their care.

J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism, New Edition. First published: 1923. (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009), 8–10.

Blogging the Revised Ontario Sex-Education Curriculum 4: "It's too heavy, Pappa!"

One of the criticisms leveled against the Revised Ontario Sex-Education Curriculum is that it is age-inappropriate. If understood, however, that the plan is to make transgenderism and homosexuality normative, it becomes clear that younger is much better. It is much harder to unlearn what has been taught at early ages, and this is why such material is delayed until High School.

Corrie Ten Boom is well known among Christians as a Dutch woman, who, along with her immediate family was imprisoned for sheltering Jews during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. They were betrayed and sent to concentration camps. I believe that only Corrie survived to tell the tale, and she lived to old age.

She is the Corrie in the article excerpt below. Although this was written in 2013 about the US president Obama and his Attorney General, ,Eric Holder, the principles of the destruction of childhood apply to Ontario today. Please take the time to read the whole article here.

“Corrie Ten Boom, in her autobiographical The Hiding Place, relays the story of when she, still a young girl and traveling with her father, asked him what sex was. He told her to try to lift his packed luggage bag. She couldn’t. He said he would be a cruel father if he made her carry this heavy bag. Just like that bag was too heavy for her, the knowledge of which she was inquiring was too heavy. But when she grew stronger and more mature, she could bear it. It was a timely metaphor from a very wise father, and quite to the point. Sexual knowledge is too glorious for a young child to bear. Every good parent understands this implicitly. It is not a mere social construct that makes parents uneasy when their children begin to inquire into this more glorious knowledge before they are ready to bear it. And when a child learns of it prematurely, it tends to twist and pervert her just like a heavy object would twist a young tree growing under the weight.

Understanding the nature of glory in this way, especially is it pertains to human sexuality, exposes the cruel agenda of sex-education in our government schools. The Enemy would crush our children with the weight of sexual glory in the hopes of perverting them and even robbing them of that very glory. Given the statistics of divorce, unmarrieds and abortions since the advent of sexual “liberation,” the scheme seems to have worked nicely. Satan is not so much interested in attacking the family generally as He is in crushing the woman (man’s glory) and the fruit of her womb. He has always targeted the womb, lest the woman be saved through childbearing.”

Corrie Ten Boom risked her life to save Jews from the Nazis

Corrie Ten Boom risked her life to save Jews from the Nazis

Blogging the Revised Sex-Education Curriculum 3: Math is Hard

Critics of critics of the Revised Ontario Sex-Education Curriculum are now pushing back, fearful of the result of the upcoming parents’ strike on May 4th-8th. They are pushing back, saying that parents are misinformed, and likely have not read the document. It is being said that the most radical elements are not even present in the curriculum.

The problem is, the document is in many places benign (and boring), and does not get into the worst part of this program. This is because the document does not go into the explicit detail that the curriculum ultimately will, and the graphic nature of the program, necessary to teach young children, has not be unveiled. Please don’t misunderstand–there is enough in the official document to create all the alarm. The in-the-school outworking of this guide will be horrible.

The Toronto District School Board has been at the forefront Comprehensive Sex Education. For example, The TDSB has distributed this poster, included here, that shows that, not only does “love have no gender” but it isn’t limited to two, either. But polyamory is not mentioned in the curriculum, isn’t this reactionary? No, because the curriculum is only a minimum guideline that allows any kind of deviance to be promoted. If parents think this curriculum is only about two people in committed relationships, they are naive indeed.

tdsbswingersgenderposte

Blogging the Revised Ontario Sex-Education Curriculum 2. It is illegal to convert.

Conversion therapy will be illegal in Ontario. So if a person becomes a Christian (converts) he/she (or any other of the 50+ genders) must not convert to the sex with which they were born.

Remember, that when faith is private, the realm of the private shrinks and the rule of the state increases. The state now owns your emotions and affections.

Wynne calls conversion therapy dangerous, saying it has no place in Ontario

Keith Leslie, The Canadian Press

TORONTO – So-called conversion therapy that attempts to alter someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity is “dangerous” and should not be practised in Ontario, Premier Kathleen Wynne said Thursday.

“There is no place in Ontario for conversion therapy, which is based on the premise that being gay or transgendered is wrong and needs to be corrected,” she said. “The use of conversion therapy to dissuade a person from self-identifying results in neither outcome and should not be tolerated.”

Wynne, who is gay, spoke in favour of an NDP private member’s bill that would make it illegal to attempt to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of someone aged 18 and under through therapy.

The premier said she had a lot of life experience when she came out in her mid-30s and understood her sexuality, unlike young people.

“I had the benefit of 36 years of life experience and I understood my journey in a way that an eight-year-old or a nine-year-old cannot possibly,” she told the legislature. “They can be vulnerable to the notion that being gay is a choice, rather than being integral to who you are.”

Private member’s bills rarely become law in Ontario, but it’s equally rare for a premier to speak in favour of one and to vote for it.

The bill by New Democrat Cheri DiNovo was approved unanimously on second reading Thursday and will go to the legislature’s justice committee for consideration.

“I want to dedicate this to all of those victims who’ve been electro-shocked, shamed, suffered induced vomiting, induced paralysis, told they’re not male or female enough,” said DiNovo.

“There have been studies done that show children that have been through conversion therapy are eight times more likely to commit suicide than those who have not.”

DiNovo said there are no professional bodies anywhere in the world that support conversion therapy “but it’s still going on” in Ontario, which she discovered while touring the province with a committee on gay-straight alliances in schools.

“We had psychiatrists come before that committee that testified the majority of their practise was conversion therapy,” she said. “Many of them were informed by fundamentalist religious convictions … but many others across the faith spectrum say this has nothing to do with faith or religion.”

There are no medical guidelines in Ontario that support therapy that would “convert” someone’s sexual or gender identity, said Wynne, who promised the government will make sure the medical profession is aware of that fact.

“(Health) Minister Eric Hoskins will be sending a letter to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and other relevant colleges explaining that their rules should not allow conversion therapy,” she said.

DiNovo said she wants to make sure conversion therapy is no longer covered by Ontario’s health insurance plan because some doctors have billed it under general counselling.

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© The Canadian Press , 2015

 

Blogging the Revised Ontario Sex-Education Curriculum

I am using the next few blog posts to highlight the Revised Ontario Sex-education curriculum. This first post is about values:

From the curriculum for grades 1-8:

“Parents are the primary educators of their children with respect to learning about values,
appropriate behaviour, and ethnocultural, spiritual, and personal beliefs and traditions,
and they are their children’s first role models. It is therefore important for schools and
parents to work together to ensure that home and school provide a mutually supportive
framework for young people’s education.”

At the outset, if the government of Ontario really believed that the parental role is important, the parents’ religious values would not be so immediately dismissed. The consultation of parents was done by allowing one parent from each school in the province to weigh in on the program. Judging by the persistence of the protests,, it seems the wrong parents were picked for consultation. Less than 1% of parents were consulted. It should be noted that the curriculum demands the surrender of the Christian parents’ values to the values of the state. This would, I believe, be true of many non-Christian religious values.

A question period video is available about this consultation.

For those outside Ontario, Kathleen Wynne is the Premier of Ontario, similar to a governor of a U.S. state. She is also a lesbian.

Original document here.

The Gospel and Education

“The foundation of true education is the truth that man, though fallen and sinful, is made in the image of God the creator and king. Education is a core implication of the gospel truth that Jesus Christ is Lord over all the earth.”

Video by Joe Boot of the Ezra Institute for Contemporary Christianity here.