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Friday, March 16, 2018

Should Christian Educators Leave State Schools?

An excellent resource for followers of Christ working in state schools is Gateways to Better Education, founded by my friend Erik Buehrer. Click here.

Responses to last week's video, Not Far Away, ranged from, “brilliant piece of work,” and “a powerful, prophetic video!!” to, “the impact of the video is to demonize the schools, and the administrators and about 50% of the teachers and many of the administrators in those schools who claim to be evangelicals.”

A friend asked: “How do we help evangelicals who have kids in public schools, or who are public school teachers, or administrators, to ‘hear’ this message and not feel condemned or helpless, or angry?”

This is a great question! 

Certainly God calls Christians to serve in state schools as surely as He chose Joseph to serve in Pharaoh’s court, and Daniel to serve in Babylon. If you are one of "the chosen," you are not a demon! But are you functioning as a Joseph, a Daniel or an Esther where God has placed you? These are the kind of Christian teachers and administrators we need in state schools today.  

If you are one such dedicated individual, you may be spending time in a "lion’s den," unless you are silent and passive when your time to speak comes up. When it does, remember Esther, who was in the right place, "for such a time as this." Your outcome, however, may not be as delightful as Esther's.

If churches were training, equipping and supporting Christian state school teachers and administrators in how to be Daniels and Esthers in state schools, that would be great! Erik Buehrer is doing this.

It seems that if 50% of the state school teachers and administrators are evangelical Christians, we should be seeing a course correction. Perhaps the "how to" is in short supply.  

Should Christian educators leave state schools? My short answer is, “…do what the Lord shows you to do." And if God shows you to be in a state school, be prepared to do the right thing, as Daniel did. (And be praying as Daniel did, too.)

It is getting harder and harder to work in state schools today, particularly when it comes to dealing with increasing LGBTQ pressures. May the Lord give every believing teacher and administrator in state schools the grace and wisdom of Jesus, to be "salt and light in Babylon." We need such people in the system. 

The bigger question, when it comes to educating Christian children, has to do with the Church. 

More next week. 

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Friday, March 9, 2018

A Challenging Message For Challenging Times

Why are so many young people leaving the church?

As a concerned educator, a grandparent of 12, and a U.S. citizen for 68 years, I am compelled to speak out about the seriousness of our condition as a nation. While our leaders are discussing putting armed guards at schoolhouse doors and having teachers carry concealed weapons, young people are leaving the church like never before.

There is a reason for all this, which I will attempt to address in the video below.

Our trajectory has a painful terminus. If we continue to strong-arm the Lord, the outcome will be a fallen nation. There is only one way to "make our nation great again," and that's His Way (capital H). Yet, as I said last week, this is the One Way our people (and leaders) will not tolerate.

The animated video below is not a happy one. It is unpleasant to watch. It contains some hard and unsparing words for pastors, for the church, for parents, and for Christian schools. I may win some "unsubscribers."

Yet, it is a word I feel strangely compelled to share, for such a time as this. Making this video has been a "tough love" endeavor.

If this video expresses your heart too, I urge you to use the "share" links at the bottom of this post to forward it to friends, or use the social links provided on the You Tube site to forward the video by itself.

A challenging message for challenging times: 

 If the video does not play, or to view it in a larger format, click https://youtu.be/Igd74KblPvU 

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Friday, March 2, 2018

A Nation Untethered

This is Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, where 14 students and 3 teachers were killed on February 14, sprayed with bullets by a troubled young man.  

Photo by Formulanone (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

I'm repeating words I wrote on October 13, after the mass shooting in Las Vegas. Why? Because I hear pundit after pundit saying we need to "fix the problem," yet the "fixes" I'm hearing are band-aids over cancer.  

Our Founding Father Noah Webster, the one-time 'Schoolmaster of the Nation,' said education is "useless without the Bible." In his Preface to the 1828 Dictionary, he wrote: "In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed...No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people."

Today, we want freedom from Christianity, not freedom for Christianity.

How's that working out? 

Webster wrote: "...the education of youth should be watched with the most scrupulous attention. Education, in a great measure, forms the moral characters of men, and morals are the basis of government." 

And: "...it is much easier to introduce and establish an effectual system for preserving morals, than to correct, by penal statutes, the ill effects of a bad system."

Tell us about it! 

Webster said the Bible is "that book which the benevolent Creator has furnished for the express purpose of guiding human reason in the path of safety, and the only book which can remedy, or essentially mitigate, the evils of a licentious world."  

He declared: "Any system of education...which limits instruction to the arts and sciences, and rejects the aids of religion in forming the character of citizens, is essentially defective."

We have fed our elementary and secondary students a steady diet of defective education since the 1960's, when the 10 Commandments were taken off the walls, the Bible removed, and prayer in our schools declared "unconstitutional." Instead, we'll put armed guards at the doors, and teachers will carry concealed weapons.

Webster would have a few choice words for those '60's judges on the so-called "Supreme" Court. He saw the Higher Court above them.

Webster knew the "fix," and declared it in plain English. Today, no civil leader dares to repeat it.

We are living in a nation untethered. A nation untethered from the Bible, untethered from our God, and untethered from Truth.

That's our real problem, and there's only one fix.

The one we will not tolerate.

This painting of Noah Webster (1758 - 1843), hangs in the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.

Painting by James Herring (1794 - 1867) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Friday, February 23, 2018

Got Solutions?

It's one thing to point out problems (as I did last week). It's another thing to provide solutions. See https://youtu.be/ZAEGrH_z8gE

In a recent blog post, I made a statement that may have raised some eyebrows. Actually, I have made a number of eyebrow-raising statements recently, but the particular statement I'm referring to is:

"Regrettably, the secularization of academics can happen in Christian schools as well as state schools, because most Christian school teachers aren't trained to teach academics in the Light of God's Word. Few universities provide instruction in this acquired skill."

"So," some may ask, "what are you doing to fix the problem?"

It's one thing to point out problems, it's another thing to provide solutions. With this in mind, Worldview Matters® provides practical helps for educators, including:

1. Individual coaching for teachers via video conferences of 45-60 minutes, anywhere in the world, to help teachers create lesson plans that seamlessly blend any subject, at any grade level, with the biblical world-and-life-view. Click here.

2. 2-year professional development program for entire Christian school staffs together, focusing on the practical skills of teaching any academic content within the context of a biblical world-and-life-view through a proven process called, the "WRAP" [Worklife Restoration and Advancement Project]. Click here.

Worldview Matters® is now accepting applications for new WRAP schools in the coming 2018-19 academic year. 

The WRAP is available to any qualifying school where English is spoken, worldwide, through on-line training and video conferencing. The number of schools accepted is limited, however, and the sooner applications are received, the better. Contact Worldview Matters to request a WRAP Application, here.

3. E-text for high school students combining biblical worldview with theology of work: click here.

If you would like to speak with Christian Overman about any of the above services, you may request an appointment to chat via telephone or video conference here.

Got solutions?

The teachers, staff and principals of Lighthouse Christian School, in Gig Harbor, Washington, seem to think so. Take a look at the video below of teachers, staff and principals talking about their WRAP training experience. 

(If this video does not play, click https://youtu.be/ZAEGrH_z8gE)

Below is an interview with leaders of a WRAP school in Jos, Nigeria:

(If this video does not play, click https://youtu.be/q9C3Jbe_DLc)

Friday, February 16, 2018

Not Far Away

You can spread the word worldwide in a matter of clicks.

What's far off and not far away at the same time? 

(Far off the mark, that is.)

Click HERE.

If the link does not work, use:


To share "Not Far Away: An American's Lament," simply open it to full screen [by clicking the small square in the lower RH corner of the black reading area], and then click "share" in the upper RH corner.


Onward, upward, and outward.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Why The Church Has Remained So Silent

This "two-decker" pulpit rots in an abandoned chapel in Wales, Great Britain. Someone went to a lot of work to fashion this. Today, dogs sniff bird droppings from the rafters.

Photo by ceridwen [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

If the Bible is irrelevant to the most important things taught in school, then it will certainly be irrelevant to the most important things outside of school, too. This is the devilish outcome of dualism. In the end, we all lose. 

Is it any wonder the biblical foundations for law, civil government, economics and family that once provided accepted harbor lights for our society have been replaced? The incessant move toward the secularization of education and the privatization of Christianity has been enormously successful, being expedited greatly through elementary and secondary schools.

Is it any wonder our youth are disinterested in church today, since Christianity is deemed irrelevant to the majority of their waking hours?

By divorcing the Light of God’s Word from language, literature, science, history, civil government, the arts and sports, we have created a Sacred-Secular Divide that has spanned several generations. The free exercise of religion is now defined as freedom of worship, restricted to a building called “church.” 

What’s more, Christianity, being first secularized then privatized, is now being demonized. Christians are branded “intolerant,” “bigots” and “haters.”

What doesn’t make sense is why the Church has remained so silent about the secularization of education. Bible-believing pastors would never tolerate secularized Sunday Schools. Yet to what degree does the silence of their leaders account for the fact that 85-90 percent of Christian parents continue to send their children to secularizing schools that are indoctrinating yet another generation into a dualistic way of seeing life that will only shape their future for ill—and everyone else’s as well?

Sending children to such schools to be “lights in the world” sounds noble, until they come home thinking like their textbooks, making no connection between any academic subject and the bigger picture of God’s Word. In the end, they are quite comfortable thinking Christianity is for church, or one’s personal life, or for getting souls to heaven, but not for directing a business, designing software, or performing civil service in the here-and-now. They become practicing Monday-morning atheists, and think nothing of it.

Our culture is suffering greatly because of this.

As the United States continues its transition from a post-Christian to an anti-Christian culture, churches still stand in the center of town. The congregants are fewer these days, and (as with other Western nations) the virtual disappearance of biblical thought from the public square is not far away. 

Friday, February 2, 2018

When Dualism Reigns

Millions of children from Christian homes are indoctrinated daily in the tenets of Secularismby means of silence from two sides.

Blackcatuk at English Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Separating the Word of God from academics in school has spawned a debilitating yet popular mindset known as “SSD,” or the “Sacred-Secular Divide.” This dualism constricts the Light of Scripture to Sunday morning sermons, and does not apply it to business, law, medicine, art, civil governance or anything else outside the four walls of a church.

A secularized math class that never explores how numbers fit into God’s plan for humans to govern over all of creation, is as senseless as a secularized Sunday School. Once education becomes secularized, God’s Word can then be marginalized, privatized, and made solely personal. 

When dualism reigns, Christianity is not applicable to the public square, or to the daily workplace. It’s only good for Sunday morning services, and nothing beyond.

Regrettably, the secularization of academics can happen in Christian schools as well as state schools, because most Christian school teachers aren’t trained to teach academics in the Light of God’s Word. Few universities provide instruction in this acquired skill. Adding the trappings of chapel services, Bible verses on the wall, and “Spiritual Emphasis Week” will not fix the problem. It can actually magnify the problem, by reinforcing the Sacred-Secular Divide.

And if we think state education is religiously neutral, think again! Millions of children from Christian homes are indoctrinated daily in the tenets of Secularism while the Church remains silent. 

Indoctrinated is the correct word. Because it is indoctrination in the religion of Humanism, which, as John Dewey, the Father of so-called “Progressive Education” maintained, is a non-theistic faith. A man-centered religion.

So, if it is a religious position to teach—or to imply—that God’s Word is relevant to math, science, history and language, is it not also a religious position to teach—or to imply— that God’s Word is not relevant to these subjects? Both are religious positions, guided by one faith or another. 

A teacher does not have to stand in front of a class and say, “the Bible has nothing to do with our subject” to communicate the message that The Book is immaterial. All they need to do is never mention how any subject relates to the overarching Truth of God’s Word, and thus give students the impression that Secularism is true, by never saying otherwise. Are such teachers really being “neutral?"   

This is the underestimated power of silence! For schoolchildren, this silence is far more effective than speech.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Jesus Is Lord Of The Church, But Nothing More

The difficulty isn't obvious to most, and many who attend the church don't even realize there's a problem.

Photo by Batman007 (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

Not far away, in the center of town, stands a large church. The sermons are replete with Scripture, and the congregation has a reputation as “Bible-believing” people. This is why what I’m about to say is so hard to believe.

The difficulty isn’t obvious to most, and many who attend the church don’t even realize there’s a problem.   

It has to do with the Sunday School.

You see, the Sunday School teachers don’t teach the children and youth that the biblical truths taught in the sanctuary are actually true, and applicable to all of life. They don’t want to “impose” Christianity on the next generation, or sway the youth one way or another when it comes to the Bible.

There is no discussion about how the Bible relates to all of life, provides a standard for moral order, or brings meaning to all human endeavor. This sort of teaching is appropriate for the sanctuary, they say, but not for the Sunday School. The rule-of-thumb for Sunday School is, “neutrality in all.”

This matter is never addressed from the pulpit, lest Sunday School teachers take offense. Besides, the vast majority of parents don’t have a problem with the Sunday School. They figure if they do their job at home, there’s nothing to be concerned about.

Does such a Sunday School really exist? No Bible-believing church would tolerate such a program! Yet most churches, and the parents who attend them, see no problem with a Monday-through-Friday educational system that does the very same thing, five days a week, six hours a day.

Let me explain.

If it is not OK for 1 hour on Sunday to give young people the idea that God’s Word plays a “neutral” role in life, and does not provide the overarching Light and Truth by which all other things are to be understood and measured, why then is it OK to give them this message on Monday through Friday?

Why does the church in general see no problem with schools that provide instruction in academics divorced from God’s Word, where teachers make no connections whatsoever between the Lordship of Christ and math or history, or literature and biology, and where the Light by which all things are to be understood has been thoroughly put out?  

The outcome is not necessarily atheism, but surely dualism: the toxic notion that Jesus is Lord of the Church, but nothing more.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Viktor Frankl

Viktor Frankl, a Jewish psychiatrist, and author of Man's Search for Meaning, as he appeared in 1964, which was 19 years after his liberation from a Nazi concentration camp. He died in 1997, at the age of 92.

Photo by Prof. Dr. Franz Vesely, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15153593

While I don't agree with all of his ideas, Viktor Frankl offers profound insights regarding meaning. 

Frankl maintained: "Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life to carry out a concrete assignment which demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone's task is as unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it."

Frankl's opportunity to implement his "concrete assignment which demanded fulfillment" came in 4 Nazi concentration camps during World War II. These camps taught Frankl to focus on internal attitudes, since he was powerless to change his external circumstances. Frankl was able to bring great meaning to the most miserable conditions. Helping others to do this became his life-mission.  

"Woe to him who saw no more sense in his life, no aim, no purpose, and therefore no point in carrying on. He was soon lost...What was really needed was a fundamental change in our attitude toward life. We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us." [Emphasis by Frankl]

As for "what life expected from us," Frankl meant the responsibilities we all have as co-participants in life. He later wrote: 

"Freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibilities. That is why I recommend that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be supplemented by the Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast." [Emphasis by Frankl]

So great was Frankl's sense of responsibility that he sidestepped a plan to escape with a friend, so he could remain to help others. "I did not know what the following days would bring," he wrote, "but I had gained an inward peace that I had never experienced before."

Shortly after his liberation, Frankl walked for miles through the countryside. "I stopped, looked around, and up to the sky," he attested, "and then I went down on my knees." He had just one thought in mind: "I called to the Lord from my narrow prison and He answered me in the freedom of space." 

Frankl concluded his concentration camp account with: "The crowning experience of all, for the homecoming man, is the wonderful feeling that, after all he has suffered, there is nothing he need fear any more--except his God."