Living Stones Academy

Educating by atmosphere, discipline, and life

No awards here

on November 1, 2010

The late Rich Mullins once said something that resonated with me. Ok, he said a lot of things, but one thing that stood out always made me feel a certain kinship with him: “I never quite fit in. I’m too liberal for my Christian friends and too Christian for my liberal friends. I’m never just one group.” Old camp buddies of mine will laugh, remembering how I was always asking, “Can I have more than one?” when asked for a favorite or top whatever. But in addition to that, I too have always found this a challenge: where do I belong?

Fortunately I married a man who has the same problem. So together, we don’t exactly fit in anywhere. We’re members of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, but there are many conversations we’ve stayed silent in during fellowship time because we weren’t quite that hyper Calvinist. We’re now part of a chapel (military base overseas) that includes people from all walks, and not one Chaplain who is from our denomination, so often we’ll hear comments that we inwardly grin or cringe at (or both) and remain silent (“as far as it is up to you. . .”). And now, we’ve joined the ranks of home schooling. Not just any home schooling either: Charlotte Mason style. And from all my blog reading, research, shopping, and tip-finding, I can tell we’re never going to quite fit in here either.

I knew that from the start, having a background with home schooling. But it never occurred to me just how outcast we would be should we be more vocal in our large circle (I don’t necessarily mean our local circle, I mean home schoolers at large and in general). A recent newsletter from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine really highlighted this for me. So . . .I figured a top ten list was in order!

Top Ten Reasons We’ll Never Be Asked to Speak/Share at a Home School Seminar

10. We believe in teaching evolutionary science as it is believed and taught, not merely in derisive dismissive propaganda. Simply saying, “Isn’t it silly that people think we all came about by accident?” or “All dating systems are flawed and can’t tell us anything” or “IT’S A CONSPIRACY!!”, isn’t teaching or helpful or informative. We think it important to teach our children exactly WHAT those scientists say, not our own twisted interpretation. Because one day our children are going to read something that sounds reasonable, or listen to someone that sounds smart, and think, “Well, that’s not how my parents taught me,” and all our teaching will come into question. They will not be equipped if they don’t know what’s really out there. We have no reason to be afraid of the truth, because of we have it on our side. The only reason parents avoid teaching it is out of fear. Obviously we’ll teach creation science, but alongside it will teach the other.

9. We don’t think all the founding fathers of the United States were devout Christians. I’m really not sure, having grown up in that culture and looking back on it, why on earth it is so important to Christians to be able to say that? Because this is another thing that one day, kids are going to read something else, and start to doubt everything you’ve taught them, if you’ve taught them this and made such a big deal about it. It is not vital to the Christian faith whether they were or not. The fact is, there is a lot of proof (not revisionist history, I’m talking the actual writings of these persons) that they were not all devout Christ followers. So why try to say it? There’s a lot of smack talk in Christian circles about the “revisionist history” being taught in public schools, but frankly anytime you ignore certain facts or dismiss certain arguments you are revising history one way or another.

8. We refuse to teach our children that all public school teachers and administrators are Satanic witches gleefully collecting young souls for the devil. Yes, that’s laden with sarcasm, but I was once a young person who really thought that based on what I was being told, and was actually afraid to be thrown back into the system, especially entering high school, and begged my mother to home school me because I was so scared to be exposed to such evil. After one year of home school I went to public high school, and you know what I found out? Non Christian, evolutionary teachers living all kinds of sinful lifestyles truly believe what they are teaching, love children and want to expose them to what they think is the truth, and they are deserving of our respect for their hard work and our prayers for their eyes to be opened. Fortunately God had from the beginning put a spirit of discernment in me, and no matter how messed up the church and the people in it get I have faith in the Christ of the scriptures. But most church-raised kids that enter the public school arena decide that these smart kind tolerant people are better to be listened to than their parents. It’s another untruth that we don’t believe in filling our kids up with. Which leads to . . .

7. We don’t think scientists and teachers are deliberately teaching something they know to be a lie. That’s an extent of the above. But when I keep seeing home school material out there that talks about the great cover up in science and what not, there is this implication that every person on that side of the issue knows the truth and is deliberately selling a lie. That is simply untrue and unfair. You may well pull out the verse in Romans that says they know it in their hearts, but to say that means they really know it means you haven’t been around (and really had a relationship with) a non-Christian lately. They don’t really “know” it in an intellectual, knowledgeable way. Maybe something in them tells them something is wrong, but they do not recognize it as sin or as a need of a savior. Maybe there’s someone at the top of the food chain that’s propagating lies, but the minions below really truly think it’s really true.

6. We don’t use the King James Version exclusively. In fact I can’t recall the last time I personally used it. Yes, it’s pretty, but the assertion that it’s written at a 4th grade level (I think that was the argument I heard) just never sits with me. What 4th grader do YOU know could tell you what, “I wist not whence they were” means? Also, as accurate as I know it was, one has to remember that words change. There’s a particular verse that I’ve always read as “made propitiation for”, that in KJV says “atonement”. Although accurate in 1611–it literally meant what it says, “at-one-ment”–that word is now used in a totally different way, to mean the entire work of Christ. So words have totally changed their meaning–heck, in the past 50 years words that used to be used innocently enough can get a kid backhanded these days! And, strangely, I’ve yet to find a home school related blog, web store, curriculum, etc that does not use the KJV. So I guess we’re left on the outside here too.

5. We don’t think non-home schoolers  should be sneered at, chided, derided, or condescended to when they make innocent inquiries (“What grade are they in?” “Was it because the school wasn’t good quality?” “Aren’t you worried about them being up to par with what the schools are teaching?”). Remember: they’re probably voicing their own fears. They’re parents too, and are relating on that level. They most likely only know the system, and don’t understand a world outside it. We believe in understanding and empathy and try to remember the fears we had too.

4. We plan to use curriculum and books and authors that might not be 100% Christian, if at all. I keep seeing, on sites that recommend free resources, people complaining about the recommended site not being Christian in background. You know, you can still LEARN from them! Glean people. And while I’m at it, we won’t be owning the Christian yellow pages either.

3. We don’t believe the Reformation was about being anti-Catholic, nor that Martin Luther was without fault. This is mostly for those of our denomination, but I have been surprised at how widespread is the celebration of Reformation Day amongst all home schoolers. It’s surprising because I can tell how many are of Baptist background . . . and Luther supported the execution of what were called “anabaptists”. At any rate, this is another one that has been distorted. Very few of the reformers WANTED to start a new church, wanted to break away. They are called “reformers” because that’s what they were trying to do: reform or change the Church. They wanted it to change, to return to the Bible. But the people in power were unwilling. It was not about anti-Catholic, and in fact I know few Catholics who don’t own a Bible, and have seen the Psalters used in mass. If not for the reformers, those things would not exist. So it’s about the truth of scripture being available to all, and down with corruption. Something the Protestant church is not free of in itself. All churches of all ages need a reformation.

2. We don’t think Obama and all other Democrats are the antichrist. And we don’t like Sarah Palin.

And the final reason why we can’t ever speak at a home school convention . . ..

1. We actually like Harry Potter. 🙂

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