105 thoughts on “Selective Education”

  1. The one thing that just burns me about the IFB Christian day school that my grandson went to is they don’t want to label a kid “dyslexic” or having a “learning disability”, but if the child acts up because the child is frustrated then they are more than willing to label them “rebellious”! 😈

      1. The pastor’s son-in-law was the principal of the Christian day school. He came straight out of college, never taught a day in his life, and he’s the principal! Sure, I know why — cuz he was the pastor’s son-in-law, and King Tommy had to make sure that his daughter was taken care of!

        Our grandson went from K4 – 2nd grade; and one month into 3rd grade, our daughter pulled him. Now, the reason she pulled him is because the principal, in one meeting with me, said they were going to do everything possible to help our grandson. The next morning, in a meeting with our daughter, she was told if he acted up again, he would be expelled!

        Now, the only 2 teachers in that entire school who had any type of degree were King Tommy’s son-in-law who was the principal, and his wife, who had a masters in something from Faithway — his buddy’s college. Every other teacher in the school had no formal training! Yet, when an a seasoned, experienced teacher is telling you a student has a learning disability, the 2 who actually had some training ignored it and wouldn’t address his learning disability.

        The reason they wouldn’t address it — BECAUSE THEY HAD NO FORMAL EDUCATION TRAINING AND HAD NO IDEA HOW TO HELP HIM! Because they were so concerned with “labeling”, but they would label him rebellious!

        1. I’ve always thought that, too! I also feel that ALL schools — private or public need to be accredited! There NEEDS to be a checks and balances in any school!

  2. This is not necessarily true. Is ‘education’ in this case defined as the concept of learning, or as the material being learned? If the concept of learning is against your beliefs, then yes – your beliefs are hiding something from you. However, if the material by which you are educated goes against your beliefs, then it would be incorrect to say that your beliefs are hiding something from you.

    1. If a core tenet of your beliefs is to refuse to listen to opposing ideas then that is still accurately described as “hiding something.”

      1. So in this case, ‘education’ is defined as the concept of learning new information. (or, as you said, “refusal to listen to opposing ideas”) Thanks for the clarification. I agree.

    2. Fundamentalists will say that evolution is contrary to their beliefs or the scientific age of the earth is contrary to their beliefs or the dinosaurs living before humanity on earth is contrary. Many believe psychology and psychiatry are contrary to their beliefs.
      I would say their beliefs are hiding something from them…because their beliefs are not letting them experience God outside of their narrow definition of Scripture.

      1. There seems to be a growing movement on the right to deny science and even to prohibit or hinder the teaching of science in state schools. This is not confined to the theory and mechanism of evolution (important as that is, given that none of biology works without it), but also human health and reproduction, ecology, climate science, and many more areas of knowledge.

        As the old saying goes, you have a right to your own opinion, but you don’t have a right to make up your own facts and insist that other people respect them.

        1. Galileo put it best when he pointed out that if God is the author of both Scripture and nature, then the two cannot be in conflict. He believed that if our understanding of nature seems to conflict with Scripture, then our understanding of one or the other must be incorrect. (He assumed it would generally be our view of the Scriptures that was incorrect!!)

          I would add that another possibility is that God is not the author of every idea and notion contained in the Scriptures. In fact, many Biblical writers frankly admitted to not having everything figured out and to lacking access to the omniscience of God.

  3. Some educatORS are, sadly, against orthodox Christian beliefs, though. And instead of keeping it to themselves in the classroom, they strive to inculcate their views in the children.

    1. 13 years in public school, a year at a Little Ivy, and more credits on two state campuses, and I’ve met exactly one. I could not have told you the religion or lack thereof of any of my teachers except the ones who actually went to my church, and they never talked about their religion during class time.

      Now, that one was a doozy. “Gnostics existed, therefore no Jesus! 😀 ” Er, no.

        1. I work at a “secular community college”. I never discuss my “religion” with my students, but if they ask me about my FAITH — that’s another story! God has done the miraculous in my life and has saved me from myself and has so far kept me from cancer for 5 years now! At our last board breakfast where we celebrate years of service at the college, our president, when recognizing me for 25 years said when she thought of me, she thought of positivity!

        2. [“God has done the miraculous in my life and has saved me from myself and has so far kept me from cancer for 5 years now”] was he as ‘miraculous’ when – by your beliefs – he GAVE you that cancer? Seems he’s an a**hole for only giving you that 5 years. I don’t believe & guess what – cancer free 100% of my 44 years . Smoking, recreationals…, beer, bad, bad food & I keep up w/ my 18 & 20yr old sons. but, yeah…cool guy tho. seems if he has that power he had it to prevent it all around (because you probably believe satan or ??? put it in your body) instead of 5 years of hell (lucky compared to 2-3yr olds that never know one day w/out cancer until they die) to guarantee your eternal adoration. Creepy.

    2. Ironically, the state school I attended was for more diverse and tolerant of different views than the fundy U I attended. I never once heard a disparaging remark against religion at University; whereas I heard many jibes against the “wrong” kind of religion (even Christianity) at F-U.

    3. I have taught for 23 years in the public system and have never seen any indoctrination by a teacher. At the private/Christian school that my son attended for two years, indoctrination was all there was.

    4. After many years right up through graduate school, I have met exactly one (1) professor who was overtly anti-religion. I teamed up with a nice Jewish kid from tidewater Georgia and an older Californian Mormon who’d done his mission in Japan to take him on. We all did well in the class and felt — including, to be fair, the professor — that it was very educational.

  4. “Don’t let them fool ya.
    Or even try an’ school ya.
    We’ve got a mind of our own.
    So go to hell if whatcha thinkin’ is not right.”

    —Robert Nesta Marley

  5. For a long time I didn’t understand where the anti-intellectual label came from. Then I listened to Tony Hutson glorifying his ignorance. “All I need is a KJV and Strongs concordance”. “I know a little Hebrew and a little Greek; the little Greek runs a restaurant and the little Hebrew cleans my shirts”.

      1. oh whoops! sorry! I didn’t mean to reply to Joshua’s comment. I hit the wrong button. I had started to, but what I had to say about Tony Hutson was so ugly I had to delete it.

        1. Let’s cut Tony some slack. Afterall we just learned from him that pink ain’t for boys. Amen?

        2. Tony Hutson clad in poison-ivy slacks is an image both wonderful and horrible at the same time.

          Bring it on!

        3. Tony Hutson doesn’t believe pink is for men. he has his bald pink head stuck up his fat pink arse

  6. I shudder that my fundie sister-in-law is teaching high school SCIENCE, for crying out loud. She doesn’t understand why I take issue with it, and do so vehemently so much so that she doesn’t even dare talk “creation science” near me anymore as I will get up and leave the room, lest I say anything uncivil.

    When you’re in the echo chamber, you can’t hear the outside.

  7. In my view, the problem with fundies is not necessarily seeing science, politics, etc through an Orthodox worldview (which I do myself), but rather creating a worldview that is inconsistent with Orthodox teachings.

        1. I didn’t think they were that teachable. 😉 I prefer human students – their follies overlap mine better. À chacun son goût, I suppose.

  8. “When I think back to all the crap I learned in high school, it’s a wonder I can think at all. But my lack of education hasn’t hurt me none. I can read the writing on the wall.”

  9. Education is imperative. However, fundies have it right when they say that God does not value education.

    The Forbidden Fruit was on the Tree of Knowledge. Granted, it was the Knowledge of Good and Evil, but in a very practical sense, all knowledge is that way. Knowledge presents distinctions between right and wrong, true and false, okay and better, new ways versus old ways. Education causes people to question what they are told instead of simply accepting direction.

    So the Hebrew children in King Nebuchadnezzar’s court were schooled in all the wisdom of the Chaldeans, but that learning proved useless. Joseph was a slave in Potiphar’s house, but his ignorance proved mightier than the King’s Counselors in interpreting the Pharoah’s dream.

    Paul discounts wisdom and learning, saying that all pales before the power of the Gospel. In the Gospels and Acts, the Educated Class (the Pharisees and Sadducees) were stymied by “unlearned and ignorant men.”

    Even Ecclesiastes, written by Solomon, decries education and says it is ultimately worthless. Better a live of ignorant piety!

    Is it any wonder that Fundamentalists decry education, and call funding it a waste of money from the pulpit? They have been assured from Scripture that ignorance is better than knowledge.

    So it is really no surprise that “Christian education” would seek to exclude from the learner any “worldly” information. Science can be sacrificed. History can be (and is) rewritten. “Truth” has no value or existence outside of the Scripture. That is why global warming can be ignored.

    All one has to do is conveniently forget that science actually works, that computers aren’t magic, that we do see change over time (aka, “evolution”) and that the story the creation tells is not one of a magic appearance 6000 or so years ago. Christians are, after all, to ignore evidence and rely on things unseen, by faith.

    And I proved to myself years ago that I was much too interested in knowledge to be a good fundamentalist (or Christian in their defining contexts). Had I been in the Garden, I would have beaten Adam and Eve both to the tree, consequences be d***ed.

    1. An interesting other point of view. I agree that eduation does not add to our value in God’s sight. However, neither is God opposed to education. We are supposed to grow in knowledge of Jesus Christ; we are to study to show ourselves approved to God. At the same time, as with many things, there is the danger of pride in eduation (“knowledge puffeth up”).

      1. Of course, as with many things, the Scriptures can be interpreted in more than one way. You pointed out that “knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.”

        The “study” in “study to shew thyself approved” does not mean “study” as in obtaining knowledge. It means to be diligent. It is a common error in our understanding of the English of that time.

        I will admit that the Scripture does not set itself against education. But then, the theme of the lowly triumphing over the mighty because of God’s miraculous help (not because of preparation or study) is repeated over and over in Scripture.

        Once I saw this, I looked for a long time to find a counterexample. There was none.

        One reason we do not see it naturally in Scripture when we read is because we are culturally conditioned to value education. We value it, so we don’t see the contempt with which it is treated in Scripture.

        But in every case, where “book learning” or “worldly wisdom” and experience is a factor, the Scripture completely discounts it. Moses had to spend 40 years in the wilderness to unlearn his Egyptian knowledge before he could lead the Israelites. Job’s learned friends were wrong. God will not allow boasting in wisdom or knowledge. The only wisdom or knowledge valued is that found in and given by Christ. “The Greeks seek after wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, to the Greeks foolishness and to the Jews a stumblingblock.”

        As a note, this discounting of knowledge seemed to be common in Israel. They were simply content with not knowing or knowing how. Even the Temple had to be built by King Hiram, deconstructed and then built by the people of Israel under foreign supervision! The Israelites simply could not do it themselves.

        I would be happy if someone could show even one clear direct command to seek knowledge of something other than about God. The Proverbs passages do not count. They are talking about spiritual knowledge, not about the knowledge of the world around them. Solomon, the one whose wisdom was greater than all the rest, came to a bad end — proving to everyone that great wisdom and knowledge were worthless to a godly (or happy) life.

    2. I’ve been thinking this over lately, and I’ve concluded the following:

      Acts 17:22-23 “Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too SUPERSTITIOUS. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye IGNORANTLY WORSHIP, him declare I unto you”
      See also Luke 13:1-5 and John 9:2

      Job 15:2 “Should a wise man utter VAIN KNOWLEDGE, and fill his belly with the EAST WIND?”
      **note: In Jobs area, the east wind is characterized by hot, dry conditions which does not produce vitality**

      Eph 1:17-18 “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the KNOWLEDGE of him: the eyes of your understanding being ENLIGHTENED;…”

      1. I like your equations. However, in the context of the passages, KNOWLEDGE does NOT refer to knowledge of the wide world or its processes or what is in it. KNOWLEDGE in the context of these passages is exclusively the knowledge of God, knowing God, worshiping God, understanding the Scripture as the source of all knowledge needed in life.

        1. You were fine until you wrote: “understanding the Scripture as the source of all knowledge needed in life.”

          Unless you mean the Old Testament.

    3. I do not agree with your conclusion that God does not value knowledge or education. The examples you have given–Joseph in Egypt, the Hebrew Children in Nebuchadnezzar’s court, Paul’s statement that all is considered to be dung—does not devalue knowledge. The conclusion I reach is that knowledge is great and something to seek after but alone it doesn’t satisfy or meet its fullest purpose.

      Without knowledge and skills, Joseph would never have risen to the offices he did in Potipher’s home or in Pharaoh’s government. Without faith, Joseph might not have been able to use the offices he had attained for the salvation of his family. The same with the Hebrew children in Nebuchadnezzar’s court.

      1. …And the quote from Ecclesiastes must be considered in context. Ecclesiastes is a book that requires very careful exegesis because it’s written from two points of view by the same author. (Life with God, or “faith” and life without God). When it says that knowledge, or learning is vanity, that’s the “Knowledge-Faith=Vanity” equation described above.

        Here’s another equation to consider: (Knowledge x Faith) +( Love x Justice ) + Humility= Wisdom

        1. I have difficulties with someone trying to be picky with the interpretation of Ecclesiastes.

          Now, of course, as a non-fundamentalist. As a fundamentalist I gladly accepted their hermeneutics which tended to excuse and explain away into insignificance the parts of Scripture they were not comfortable with.

          Remember, a primary tenet of fundamentalism is the inerrancy of Scripture. The contorted arguments they have to come up with to allow Ecclesiastes to remain in the Canon while maintaining inerrancy is highly amusing.

          Since fundamentalists claim the Scripture is inerrant, then so Ecclesiastes must be — which gives all sorts of afterlife problems for their Theology! Well, and difficulties everywhere else.

          But they blithely ignore the difficulties with “pat” answers the go against their own hermeneutic and actually uses more “modernistic” analysis. Never telling, of course. And the sheeple absorb the excuse without realizing the internal contradictions.

        2. Rtgmath: was your response directed at me? Since when does interpretation of a Scripture – in context – equal “being picky”? Perhaps I didn’t explain myself clearly enough. It wouldn’t be the first time. I’m not claiming that Ecclesiastes is (or isn’t) inerrant. And I’m certainly not going to debate or defend anyone’s dogmatic “take” on that book.
          I also agree with CS Lewis. Until we go “higher up and further in”, we are in the shadowlands. So rather than defend my study and understanding of Solomon’s writings in Ecclesiastes, I’ll defer to your insight and say: you certainly may be right…

        3. Hmmm, I don’t think my first sentence really said what I wanted it to say. I, too, have not expressed myself well at times, and this looks like one of them.

          I am sorry.

          I have heard lots of preachers say that Ecclesiastes was written from the perspective of an unsaved person or “the natural man”, and that God divinely inspired it that way as an example of how not to think. Oh, it was the best that the natural man could do, but it was still the natural man’s thinking.

          Of course, when inerrancy was being discussed, Ecclesiastes was not mentioned.

          Later, when I began hashing out these ideas, I was astonished that the inconsistencies hadn’t grabbed me and driven me crazy. I had just gone with the flow. (Today I realize what the “flow” was!)

          Of course, I could be wrong, too. I’d thought I was right before, when I followed fundamentalist hermeneutics. Rethinking the issues has put a great deal of uncertainty into my thoughts — emotions that do not usually make their way into my writing.

          My point on the inerrancy was not directed at you. It came more on my note of how fundamentalists treat the whole of Scripture (as inerrant), but trying to excuse the parts (they don’t want to be inerrant) from the standards they set for Scripture as a whole.


        4. Thanks for clearing that up. Or, as Emily Latella would say; “Oh! That’s very different……….Never mind!”

    4. Dear rtgmath:

      “Truth” has no value or existence outside of the Scripture.

      Which means that Jesus is not the truth. Gnosticism — pure and simple.

      I was once told that `knowledge isn´t the answer.´ I replied, `neither is ignorance.´

      You could tell that the guy didn´t like that. 😥 😥 😥 :mrgreen:

      Your `no value or existence´ statement carries a ship load of theological import. Those who believe that really can´t have a doctrine of common grace. God isn´t active in such a world. All you can do is `snatch a few brands from the burning.´

      In the world you describe, the heavens clearly do not declare the glory of God, and God has very much left himself without a witness. So much for Scripture.

      Christian Socialist

      1. It is a problem. Fundamentalist reductionism produces inherent contradictions in their belief system. Those who follow the “logic” created by their reductionism inevitably find themselves where you described.

        In my opinion, limited as my intellect and faith may be, the only way to properly read and honor the Scripture is to recognize that men wrote them, that men’s perspectives and errors of perspective are present in them. The “facts” in Scripture may be wrong.

        But the Scripture tells us of man’s experience with God, and no person’s experience with God in that entire book is the same. Abraham’s experience with God was unique. So was Moses’. Every disciple saw Jesus differently. There is not, nor can there be, a cookie-cutter theology that is completely correct.

        I rather liked C.S. Lewis’ interpretation of this. In the last book, a man from the country south of Narnia found himself in Aslan’s country. When Aslan welcomed him, he professed confusion. He had hated Aslan all his life, thought Aslan a false God. He had worshiped another god, whom he though was true and right and good.

        Aslan told him that the good and the worship he had attributed to the other god had really been about Him. His lack of knowledge was not his fault. He had still loved good and hated evil.

        In our exclusivity, we blithely attempt to cast into Hell many whom, I believe, God will not send there, but will welcome into His Kingdom.

  10. And it’s sooo much easier to laugh condescendingly at the “Educated” from the pews of ignorance than it is to work towards a degree in any discipline that requires thought, research, and enquiry.

    Some MenO’Gid ridicule education as a tool to keep the sheep ignorant and dependent. Sly bastards…

    1. And the only “worthy” education is at one of the Good Ol’ Boys’ Christian colleges like Trieber’s, Sexton’s, Greg Baker’s in Ajax, Ontario, or Hyles-Anderson! Where the piece of paper you get can’t even buy you a cup of coffee! Can I get a Hay-men?

      1. You are wrong! I have a degree from one of those institutions and it most certainly can get you a cup of coffee! Of course you have to serve all the customers and clean the fry station first but you can totally get a cup of coffee on your break if you want!

        1. “You are wrong! I have a degree from one of those institutions and it most certainly can get you a cup of coffee! Of course you have to serve all the customers and clean the fry station first but you can totally get a cup of coffee on your break if you want!”

          No, that just actually proves my point — how many hours did you have to work for that cup of coffee? :mrgreen:

          I know you’re being sarcastic.

        2. @Dragonwing14

          I can rant all day long about how much time and money I spent obtaining a useless piece of paper from Fundy U. I put in hours of backbreaking work at my secular job, worked the bus routes and got top grades at Fundy U. All for a “degree” that is utterly useless. I spent years paying off my debt to that place too.
          I had to go back to being a first semester freshman when I returned to college. Thankfully, I now have a real degree.

        3. Apathetic or whatever:

          I’m not disagreeing that a degree from one of “those colleges” isn’t worth anything in the “real world”.

          I’m not saying that you can’t rant or rave about how much money you wasted at a Fundy U.

        4. When I mention that I have a degree from BJU, people roll their eyes and laugh. They say they can’t believe that I came from such a place.

          When I mention I actually have two degrees from BJU, people are astonished.

          Then I tell them my last degree is from Clemson, they relax.

      2. Greg Baker doesn’t have a college anymore. He committed suicide a couple of years ago when he was discovered to be having an affair.

        1. Yes, you are right — Greg Baker committed suicide rather than owning up to his unacceptable behavior. Pastor Robert Wall is the new head of Faithway. Pastor Wall was the pastor of Fostoria Baptist Church in Fostoria, MI before this. Our former IFB’s pastor’s son was the youth pastor at Fostoria. Ironically, when Pastor Wall took the position in Ajax, Todd had to step down from being the youth pastor.

          Recently we have heard that his dad is starting his 5-year plan to retirement. He is training the associate pastor and youth pastor to take over when he leaves. Now, in 2009, he was saying from the pulpit that when the senior pastor steps down, it is policy that the youth pastor or associate pastor step down too. Seems that these two concepts contradict one another, don’t you think?

        2. Yes, our former IFB pastor was supposedly best friends with Baker, Trieber and Oullette. We had a couple’s retreat where Renee Oullette was the speaker. Other than when he spoke, his wife and he disappeared and had little or nothing to do with the couples who were attending.

          The only time he really interacted with us was when he was trying to sell his books and CDs to us.

        3. Unacceptable behaviour? Good grief please tell me you’re being sarcastic. Those of us who know would call it predation, abusiveness, and so much more from a man in a position authority.

          This is a second glass of wine night now.

        4. O.k. I’ll call him out, Finallyme — Greg committed suicide because he couldn’t be a man and face up to what a lie he had been living. He claimed to be a HOLY man of God. He claimed to live righteous and pure, but that must be pretty hard to do when you’re sleeping with other women than your wife; and yes, I DO consider that unacceptable behavior, and I think he took the coward’s way out!

      3. Faithway in Ajax was a mess and much was papered over in the aftermath of Pastor Baker’s death, but I’m afraid that bringing up his demise doesn’t give any of us (familiar with that situation) any real justice but does cause his surviving family real pain which they didn’t earn. Those fundamentalist leaders who fail us deserve our scorn but who is going to pay for going after a dead man? Not him, that’s for sure. At some point, we have to let things go.

        1. Yep, I understand what you are saying, Ericbrindamour, but I don’t know how long its been for you, but “the wound” of what all these pretentious, arrogant men who, through their LIES, made me feel like I was a failure as a Christian for years, is still very fresh with my husband and I.

          For 14 years, pastors like Trieber and Baker (because our pastor was “best friends” with these guys), made my husband and I feel like all our efforts to try to live a holy, separated life and to be “good Christians” was futile — that all we really had was ‘fire insurance’.

  11. Unfortunately tyhat’s a very glib and poorly worded poster (typical of the internet).

    NAZI education that teaches a sub-human status for Jews and justifies their extiction on that basis is against my belief that genocide is wrong.

    Does this mean my beliefs are hiding something from me?

    1. yes, I used a nazi analogy on the intetnet.

      But if you quote goodwin’s at me, then you clearly do not undertsand the analogy.

      1. True, but I think pushing this axiom to the extreme is valualbe. to simply state “every axiom has a reductio” is an excercise in reduction itself. Let’s not use that catch-phrase as an excuse for a surface-only level of analysis.

        What constitutes “education” is the elephant in the room. What McGrath is referring to is “education that is consistent with modern moral standards”. That is, education which promotes evils, can be resisted, but education that does not promote evils should not be resisted.

        Of course, the fundamentalist wing just draws the line of “evils” in a different location to McGrath.

    2. There is a difference between education (being taught how to think) and indoctrination (being taught what to think).

  12. If there is any doubt, almost certainly under pressure from activist evangelicals, the 2012 Texas GOP platform takes a stand against critical thinking.

  13. John 17:17: (Jesus praying to the Father): Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

    I John 4:1-6: Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

    Deuteronomy 11:18-20: Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates:

    I Timothy 6:3-5: If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

    1. Nice! The old passive aggressive posting of verses with no comment. Thanks, but…no thanks.

  14. There are many things that can be taught under the name of “education.” Jeremiah 10:2 says, “Thus saith the LORD, learn not the way of the heathen . . . ”
    Also, Paul said in Romans 16:19, “I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.”
    That being said, it was a great day for me as a young adult when I realized that I didn’t have to be afraid of the truth. The truth is what the truth is.

    1. And yet Paul himself was intimately familiar with the writings and poetry of pagans given that he quoted them…in Scripture!

      1. Such as in his discussion on Mar’s Hill. But I am curious what you think is meant in verses like Jeremiah 10:2 and Romans 16:19.
        I definitely believe that there are some things that God would have His people to be ignorant of. There are also times that we have to be aware of some error and false teachings and simply compare them to the truth of Scripture. For example, I will let my son check out books about dinosaurs from the library. But I have taught him that any reference to “millions of years” and “evolution” is not in line with the Bible. A lot of nights when he goes to bed we talk about books that he is reading from the library and what might be right or wrong with them.
        I will also tell my son about things that people believe and do that I do not believe the Bible supports. Among other things, we have talked about abortion, evolution, and Calvinism. (and, no, I am not trying to place those subjects in the same category.)
        However, there are certain things that he cannot read, watch, play, etc. because I do not want those thoughts placed in his mind. I do not believe that I am being anti-education when I do this.
        Personally, I also read many sites that I have a lot of disagreements with, but they challenge me and sharpen me. Hey, I even read SFL! :mrgreen: But there are some sites that are so full of things that are unholy or “heathen” that I refuse to go there. But, again, I do not believe that I am being anti-education when I do this.

        1. And while I know you have every right to not believe evolutionary theory, I would implore you to explore it, to understand it, and to know what it actually says — NOT what fundy books or Creationist websites tell you it says.

          Evolution is based upon an immense amount of data producing multiple lines of evidence from every scientific discipline. The amazing thing is that the input, while it continues to be used for adjusting what we know, has never been contradictory to the theory.

          If you would know what you are talking about to someone else, you should study it. Ignorance in such an area could very well make someone unwilling to accept your gospel or your faith, as they will see it built on ignorance.

        2. I agree that not everything falls under the heading of “education.” I wouldn’t, for example, advocate becoming addicted to meth just so you can learn what it feels like.

          But that’s a far cry from saying “don’t read books by pagans!”

          I’d be interested to know if in your talks about issues whether you’ve given him exposure to the actual positions taken by the other side. Far too often discussion on things like evolution end up being nothing more than a session of name-calling against the “godless atheists” who think we “came from monkeys” instead of an actual discussion of the evidence and scientific process.

          ETA: Cross-posted with my evolution comments.

        3. The Bible also tells us to be wise as serpents (I always thought that was so unusual that THAT metaphor was used!) and yet as harmless as doves. We do need to be aware of other ideas and philosophies. I guess for me it’s what I “marinate” in. I don’t mind reading a book or looking at a forum with people who hold widely different views than I, but if that’s where I’m spending ALL my time, I find my attitudes subtly changing so I try to make sure that my general focus is on things that edify me as a believer.

        4. The really ironic thing about that saying is that most serpents are harmless to humans, while pigeons and doves carry psittacosis, a very severe bacterial disease. They spread it through their droppings.

        5. The Creation stories, yes, both of them, were poetic stories, not meant to be viewed as factual or scientific. They were stories created by ancient sheep herding nomads who had no knowledge of science or even the idea of something like science.

  15. Bird poop! You’re too funny BG! Nothing ironic about it, if you consider what we are to be careful of—wolves(false teachers)in the first part of Matt.10:16. How does a serpent and a dove react in the presence of a wolf? I guess, the dove could take careful aim! 😆

  16. I like the hover-text!

    I decided to leave Patrick Henry College after it reasserted its commitment to riding the neo-conservative extreme evangelical crazy train. Michael Farris, the college president at the time, actually stated in a faculty meeting that St. Augustine was burning in hell because he was “a Catholic” and stated that he did not believe that Presbyterians or Episcopalians could possibly sign the college’s extremely bland statement of faith (e.g., I believe in the Bible, the Trinity, etc.). They kicked out a junior who converted to Catholicism by having a ceremony in which every single student was required, on pain of expulsion, to re-sign the statement of faith because this one particular student stated that he no longer believed that only 66 books comprised the Biblical cannon. Farris and his toadies on the faculty wrote a string of e-mails and articles in the college newspaper proclaiming that because the Bible is all true then all truth must be contained in the Bible. One statement that stuck in my mind was: “The Bible does not tell you how to fix a broken doorknob. The principle, however, that you must fix it, is contained in the Bible.” (What???)

    Anyway, I told my parents that I had decided to transfer to the University of Dallas because I felt that there were no academic standards whatsoever at PHC and that their view of “truth” was basically “whatever we say the truth is . . . oh yeah and the Bible too.” My mother became extremely irate with me and finally screamed: “I don’t know what kind of truth you think you are going to find at a Catholic university that you can’t find in the Bible!!!” I told her that point of view was EXACTLY why I was leaving PHC!!

    1. If your mother believed that (ie. that ALL truth is contained in the Bible), how would she address history after AD90?

      Speaking of history, what did PHC believe/teach in relation to the US Civil War (a/k/a War Between the States, War of Northern Aggression, or whatever other name they may use in the south)?

  17. I think my favourite thing to remember in terms of this is how often Jesus asked questions. “Who do you say I am?”, “Which of these three was like a neighbour to the man who was robbed?”, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”, “Whose portrait is on this coin?”, “Oh you of little faith, why are you so afraid?”, “Who touched me?”, et cetera. He asked over 170 questions in the 4 gospels. If I am to be like Jesus, it seems like asking questions is a pretty big deal.
    Beyond that, I frequently repeated a maxim to myself back when I was stuck being mildly fundy and struggling with gaining knowledge and considering things that might be *gasp* doubting! ‘God gave us a brain, He meant for us to use it’.
    (I’m gonna be applying to grad school – wish me luck!)

  18. Yes! A thousand times, yes!

    I’m finding this kind of truncated educational philosophy in the fundamentalist homeschooling movement, exemplified by Vision Forum, Kevin Swanson, and the Botkins. At the History of America Mega-Conference, Doug Phillips sneered at “government schools”, while Kevin Swanson discouraged homeschooling parents from letting kids read “demonic” authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne and Mark Twain.

    I’ve listening to a 7-part homeschooling webinar by the Botkin family for my blog, and it’s a doozy. So much of the education they’re advocating is meant to restrict children’s thinking and keep outside influences away from them.

    1. It is about power and control.

      My parents homeschooled me and my sisters. My mother used to say, “Value the truth more than anything. Always follow the truth. ”

      And while she said truth with an obvious capital, it became quite apparent that she really didn’t mean “truth,” but her version of the truth.

      Her homeschool literature condemned “the New Math.” So she felt comforted that she couldn’t teach me algebra. Things like Imaginary Numbers were obviously untie, Satanic and introduced by Communists into the curriculum to bring destruction upon the United States. When I said I had read about them in Popular Science and believed they existed, she got out the Paddle. She laid in until I swore I didn’t believe in them.

      I went to BJU. My parents really did not approve of me going to school, much less such a liberal one, but I was old enough to make my own choices. In taking math, I found out about Imaginary Numbers. I decided to call my mom and tell her what I had learned.

      You can already see what’s coming, can’t you?

      It felt like the phone lines froze all 2500 miles between us. The very moment I said the name, the frost in her voice was thick, disapproving, with the bold “I don’t want to hear about it” aroma, plus the subtle flavorings of “how could you?”

      I realized then that Truth wasn’t the issue. Belief was mightier than facts.

  19. trikxXx October 26, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    [“God has done the miraculous in my life and has saved me from myself and has so far kept me from cancer for 5 years now”] was he as ‘miraculous’ when – by your beliefs – he GAVE you that cancer? Seems he’s an a**hole for only giving you that 5 years. I don’t believe & guess what – cancer free 100% of my 44 years . Smoking, recreationals…, beer, bad, bad food & I keep up w/ my 18 & 20yr old sons. but, yeah…cool guy tho. seems if he has that power he had it to prevent it all around (because you probably believe satan or ??? put it in your body) instead of 5 years of hell (lucky compared to 2-3yr olds that never know one day w/out cancer until they die) to guarantee your eternal adoration. Creepy.

    I’m sorry but I really don’t understand your comment.

  20. trikxXx October 26, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    [“God has done the miraculous in my life and has saved me from myself and has so far kept me from cancer for 5 years now”] was he as ‘miraculous’ when – by your beliefs – he GAVE you that cancer? Seems he’s an a**hole for only giving you that 5 years. I don’t believe & guess what – cancer free 100% of my 44 years . Smoking, recreationals…, beer, bad, bad food & I keep up w/ my 18 & 20yr old sons. but, yeah…cool guy tho. seems if he has that power he had it to prevent it all around (because you probably believe satan or ??? put it in your body) instead of 5 years of hell (lucky compared to 2-3yr olds that never know one day w/out cancer until they die) to guarantee your eternal adoration. Creepy.

    I don’t blame God for me getting cancer. I DO blame my cells for mutating, but God allows people to go through things for MANY, MANY reasons — not always punishment.

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