According to the Scriptures"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel... By which also ye are saved... unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

Why Home School?

By Anthony Bergen
MACHS conference
March 22, 2002

Welcome here. This is “Why Home School”.

If you happened to hear my message at last year's conference, I recommend that you take in a different session because I plan to cover much of the same material.

Why Home School?

Why should we home school?

I noticed that one of the sessions scheduled for this conference is called "Raising World Changers".

What are "world changers"?

In Acts 17 we read:

But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus. (Acts 17:5-7)

Perhaps some of you have heard of the book "Jacks on Taxes". It's written by a woman by the name of Evelyn Jacks. I think she's from here in Winnipeg. Anyway, she's something of a tax expert. "Jacks on Taxes"

Well, do you remember reading "Jesus on Taxes"? You know, where they're trying to trip him up on tax law? I guess some things haven't changed much. I'm no legal expert, but I understand that unlike other areas in matters of law, there's almost a presumption of guilt. It's more like you're guilty until proven innocent.

Did you know that's what they eventually got Al Capone on? The guy was the head of the Chicago underworld, responsible for dozens of murders, and what did they finally convict him of? Tax Evasion.

Well I guess they were going to try to get God on tax evasion because, you remember - First they tried a little flattery - that's always worth a shot - you know: "Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?" (Mt 22:16-17)

You know, the government is always trying to trip us up, aren't they? Well, no, wait a minute: this wasn't actually the government, was it? No, as a matter of fact, these were the religious leaders. Well, the leaders of some strange cult, right? They probably sold flowers out at the caravan port. Actually, these were the leaders of the only God-ordained religious system in the world and it had become almost totally apostate.

Well, you know what Jesus said: "Well I don't want to offend any of you. I mean it's awfully flattering for a simple carpenter from out in the sticks to have an audience with some of the top religious leaders of our day. And you've been most gracious in your demeanor: condescending to ask, what is, after all, ONLY GOD's humble opinion on this matter. I'm just afraid you might be disappointed with my answer. Perhaps I should rethink my position. After all, you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar."

Well, we read:

Jesus perceived their wickedness , and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites ? (Mt 22:18)

And you know he went on to say:

Render ... unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; (Mt 22:21)

You know, that thing about the honey and vinegar - that's not a parable - at least not one of Jesus'. Actually it sounds more like something Satan might say. I'm sure you would catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's true as far as it goes. But don't forget, the purpose of the honey is not to feed the flies, is it? The whole point is: it's a trap.

And you know, Jesus didn't stop there, did he? He said something else: He said: Render ... unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; (Mt 22:21) and unto God the things that are God's.

Well, what are the things that are God's?

Seems to me as I read the scriptures that everything is rightfully God's. God has first claim to everything. And if he has chosen to put anything into our puny little hands it is only to give us the honour of using it in His service.

Jesus is God. And if God picks up one coin and declares that by virtue of the inscription on it that it belongs to Caesar, what does that say about the other coins?

By the way, in those days Caesar claimed to be god and demanded worship. Jesus wasn't siding with Caesar here. When He said give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God that was as offensive to the Romans as it was to the Jews. Typical of God's dealings with treacherous humanity, He said: You're both wrong. In this First Century equivalent of a church versus state power struggle, Jesus wasn't winning friends and influencing people in either camp.)

So why home school?

Was it to raise "world changers"?

I hope you understand that I have nothing at all against the speaker doing that talk. Actually, we have her history tapes. I recommend them for long road trips. And I have absolutely no idea what she means by "Raising World Changers". This has nothing to do with her.

It's just that I do know what many home-schooling Christians mean by "world changers". I know that it presumes a particular outcome: a changed world.

Well, the Bible talks about a changed world, doesn't it.

Well, I just quoted it, didn't I?

These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; (Acts 17:6)

Let's keep in mind who said this: rabble rousers - unbelievers - authorities in jeopardy of losing their positions of prominence. Lobbying the government to further restrict religious freedom. Isn't it possible that they may have been guilty of just a little exaggeration.

Turned the world upside down? By the time Paul was in prison in Rome he lamented to Timothy: "all they which are in Asia be turned away from me" (2Tim 1:15).

The gospel does turn the world upside down, doesn't it. It is the enemy of the world "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." (John 15:19)

"Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmitywithGod? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." (James 4:4)

Remember the sermon on the mount? "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" (Mt 5:38-44)

That's upside down thinking!

All right then! Let's get out there and turn the world upside down! Let's change the world. Write to your member of parliament. Get involved. Let the government know you're going to hold them accountable for how they deal with Christians. And homeschooling.

Wait a minute. Does something seem not quite right here? Turn the other cheek? Fight for your rights?

By the way. Remember Jesus' last instructions to his disciples in Matthew 28. Often referred to as The Great Commission. Does anyone remember what it says there? "Go therefore into all the world making disciples of all nations..."

Try doing a search for "making disciples" in the King James.

Do you know it's not there?

What Jesus said was: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." (Mt 28:19-20)

Isn't that interesting?

Why do the modern versions say "make disciples"? If my job is just to "teach to observe", then I can't take the blame or the credit for how the message is received. But if my job is to "make disciples" then the pressure's on, isn't it?

I mean, if they don't end up being disciples, and God told me to MAKE them disciples, then I messed up somewhere, didn't I? But where? How? The Bible doesn't say. Well this is important! I need to know! I'd better run to my nearest Christian bookstore ...(whatever that means - a bookstore that's been born again? Maybe that's a bookstore that's under new management) I'd better run to my nearest Christian bookstore, and run right past the Bible section - that shouldn't take too long -and see who I can pay to tell me why I'm not MAKING DISCIPLES. What a tragedy there weren't any Christian bookstores in Noah's day. All those years of preaching and not a single disciple.

Are we really supposed to change the world?

Well the Bible does talk about a changed world though, doesn't it:

In 2nd Peter we read:

"the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?" (2 Pet 3:10,12)

And in Jesus Christ's Revelation, John saw "a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away" (Rev 20:11 & 21:1)

That's what God says about "World Changing". But it doesn't sound to me like a home improvement project. Sounds more like he's actually changing worlds.

I mean, if I took my clothes to the dry cleaner and I told them I wanted my clothes to pass away, to melt with fervent heat, to be burned up, set on fire, dissolved, that I no longer had any place for them, and I had a new suit of clothes to replace them ...What would they say?" And when do you want to pick them up?"

Now I realize that you don't normally have to be that adamant to get dry cleaners to destroy your clothes. Sometimes they just seem to be able to read your mind. But you get my point. As I read my Bible, that's the only real "world changing" I see promised.

Perhaps someone is thinking, oh no, not another prophecy kook!

Well, are we only supposed to read verses that don't contain prophecy. And if so, why? Maybe someone will come out with an churchianically-correct Bible version one that has all the prophecy removed so we can get on with the real issues of life.

We could call it the "HOLY BI-". Because it would be missing about a third of it's letters. Many of the circumstances surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus were prophesied in the Old Testament. 30% of the Bible is prophecy, including much of what happened at Calvary, Maybe they would put a sticker on it saying "30% Calvary reduced".

And it could take its place beside the Koran and the Book of Mormon and all the other so-called "Holy Books" that tell us all kinds of nice things about living and loving in the here and now, but can't tell us anything to prove they're true.

Kind of reminds you of all the so-called "wise men" in Nebuchadnezzar's court. "Tell me. What did I dream and what did it mean?" "Well. Tell ya what, yer majesty. You tell us what you dreamt, and me and the boys will be able to make up-I mean- come up with the meaning." Nebuchadnezzar didn't fall for that. And if Daniel hadn't butted in, they would have all been lion food. (Dan 2:5-9) (Today's televised Christian circuses wouldn't have done too well with old Nebuchadnezzar would they? It's called common sense.)

If our God really is God, how could we know unless He told us? We couldn't. I mean, a child knows that universes don't create themselves. (Most of the top physicists are not atheists But all they believe in is some kind of First Cause.) Anybody can tell there is a God. But we would be left to speculate wildly about the nature of this First Cause. And that's exactly what we have today.

Well, I suppose God could put a perfect knowledge of Himself directly into our minds. But without making us robots, how could we be sure that it's true. Hey, I can't remember where I left my keys. And I'm going to be able to tell if my understanding of God has changed over the years.

Well when I want to be able to refer back to something with any degree of certainty-I write it down. I record it. That's why we call these sorts of things "records".

OK, so it's recorded. But anyone can record stuff. How do I know your records are any better than the next guy's? Why should I believe yours?

I wonder if we could turn to Isaiah 46:9-10:

"Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure"

Or let's turn over to chapter 48 starting with verse 3:

I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass. Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass; I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them.”

God is saying: "You want to know to know who I am? I am the God who tells you what's going to happen before it happens."

Now this is something you don't find in the Book of Mormon or the Hindu Vedas or all these other so-called "wise" books (Now, mind you, You do find an attempt at this in the Koran. You know, how the last day will not come until the Muslims kill all the Jews. And of course, some of the Moslems who really take their faith seriously are trying to do just that. But if my God is right, then they're moon god Allah is lying, Because my God said to the Jews: "though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee" (Jer 30:11)

But, you see, I'm not a Christian because I prefer Christ's teachings to those of Mohammed or Buddha or Confusious or Joseph Smith or Mary Baker Eddy.

I mean Christianity says: "There is none that doeth good, no not one." (Ps 14:1, 3; 53:1, 3; Rom 3:12)

It says: "All my righteousness is as filthy rags." (Is 64:6)

Christ said: "Because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not." You would rather believe a lie.  (John 8:45)

No, I'm a Christian because Christianity is true.

The Bible is verified historically. The rich and powerful Mormon organization has spent millions trying to find evidence for those ancient American civilizations mentioned in the Book of Mormon. But they haven't found anything. But atheist archaeologists use the Bible to find ancient cities in the Middle East.

The Bible is verified scientifically. The ancient Egyptians used to rub excrement into cuts to promote healing.

God told the Israelites to wash their hands under running water and to quarantine the sick. (Incidentally, if you want to know which direction health care is headed, consider the increasing problem of doctors who don't bother to wash their hands between patients.)

But, even more amazing - the Bible is verified prophetically. Only God could see the end from the beginning. And furthermore, only the real God could announce the future and still be right. In other words, He could tell everyone what's going to happen, without having to worry about someone using that information to prevent it from happening.

Maybe that's why many prophecies only seem clear in hindsight.

For instance, the hundreds of Messianic prophecies.

"I thirst." (Ps 22:15)
"They pierced my hands and my feet."   (Ps 22:16)
"All my bones are out of joint."   (Ps 22:14)
30 pieces of silver.  (Zech 11:12)
The Potters field.  (Zech 11:13)
Betrayed by a close friend. (Ps 41:9)
"Why have you forsaken me!" (Ps 22:1)

And on and on. It was all prophesied.

The devil can quote the Bible - (eg. Matt 4:6) he must have known at least some of those prophecies. How come he entered into Judas? (John 13:27) He must have thought the crucifixion was his victory. But it was his defeat. He just didn't get it, did he?

In Daniel 12:10 we read: "None of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand."

So I don't apologize for prophecy.

And I tell you that if certain things must happen before Christ can return, if I didn't believe he could come at any moment, I would procrastinate. I would watch TV and movies. I would pursue hobbies. I would read what I want rather than what I ought. If I knew there was a 3 minute warning, I'd wait for it.

But we are called to be watching and waiting now.

Jesus said "be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not the son of man cometh." (Matt 24:44) "But if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come he would have watched." (Mt 24:43, Lk 12:39)

But wait a minute: Why home school?

Well let me say this: If you're homeschooling because you think we're going to change the world into a Christian world you are in for a big disappointment. You are on your own. God has made no such promise. No God has said just the opposite. "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) "all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2 Tim 3:12)

But this is a fairly common belief among homeschoolers: we're going to take over the world for Christ.

I mean in the face of all evidence to the contrary. Look around you. Didn't we just get a first hand lesson on what Jews and Christians in the Middle East have been putting up with for over a thousand years? This is the millenium? Satan is locked up? Then words have no meaning.

Then why home school?

This is not about academic standards. The world's problem is not a lack of academia. We didn't get here because Adam and Eve didn't go to college. Adam took less than a day to name all the beasts of the field and all the fowls of the air. His grandson built a city. (Gen 4:17) In 7 generations they were playing harps and organs and making things out of brass and iron. (Gen 4:21-22) By the 9th generation, a man built a wooden ship so big -we'd be hard pressed to duplicate it today! And the entire earth was filled with violence. (Gen 6:11)

By the way, how many signs preceded the flood. Were there earthquakes? Did all the water turn to blood? Did the stars fall? Did huge hailstones fall from the sky?

Jesus said as it was in the days of Noah and the days of Lot, so shall also the coming of the son of man be. There was violence and every imagination of mans heart was only evil continually. But nothing special happened before Noah entered the ark of safety. They were eating and drinking, buying and selling marrying and giving in marriage. (Matt 24:38, Lk 17:28) It was business as usual. I think these are previews of the RAPTURE.

Last week we showed a couple if visitors from the US Air Force what our licence plates mean. Friendly Manitoba? You heard about it. Robbed and beaten and shot. Or those 2 Mounties? One in Russell and one on the #1.

Is the earth filled with violence today? And is it business as usual despite the violence?

I was, in a way, encouraged to read this. It's from a company that sells homeschool curriculum. Actually, I think they have a booth here today.

"The first homeschoolers were almost entirely Christian in their motivation. And when they went looking for curriculum, they wanted something that reflected the importance of God in their lives. Today, homeschooling is not only widely accepted, it is booming. One report pegs the growth rate at an impressive 15% a year. But homeschooling is threatened again, but not by officials. This time, homeschooling is threatened by its own success. Many choose homeschooling today, not because of Christian conviction, but because they've seen the success rate of homeschools. Ironically, they've failed to understand that God-based homeschools were successful because they were based on God's principles. They seek to duplicate it with curriculum that leaves God outside as in the public schools. Hundreds of publishers have entered the homeschool market. From individuals creating curriculum on their kitchen tables to vast, multi-national corporations and even politicians and celebrities, all have rushed in to find their fortune and indoctrinate students with their worldviews."(CLE)

I don't know if any of you remember a woman by the name of Berit Kjos. She spoke at this conference a few years back. My wife found this on her website a few days ago:

It's called Lauren's story.

I am 11 years old, and I have learned an important lesson this year: it's not easy to be a Christian sixth grader at a public school. One hard test came when my reading teacher told the class that she would be teaching out of the Harry Potter books. I was sure God didn't want me to read about witchcraft and spells, but I didn't want to object either. I don't like to be different and upset my friends. So I prayed. Then God gave me confidence to stand up for my religion and trust Him to help me through it.

I asked the teacher to let me read something else and she found me another book: A Wrinkle in Time. I had never heard of it, so I searched for it on the Internet. I found the website and read some information on it. It seemed just as bad as Harry Potter.

Next, the teacher told me to choose a book from her bookshelf. But it was full of witchcraft books! When I was almost ready to give up, I saw Charlotte's Web. That was the best I could find.

One day she played wiccan music in class using the computer. When it started playing, all of a sudden I could feel like a force coming in to me. Then I noticed it was not a good one. It felt like I was being taken over by something. We were supposed to be taking a test, but I felt myself getting too relaxed to even think. It felt like I was in another world and could not get out of it.

So I started to pray. As soon as I did, the force left me and I continued to take my test. Then it came back over me again. This time it was worse and more scary. I prayed again saying "God please make it go away." Just then the bell rang. I have never been so glad to get out of class as I was that day.

My teacher loves Harry Potter and all kinds of witchcraft and wizardry. She just ordered new books for the bookshelf. One of them is Lord of the Rings. All the rest involve witchcraft.

She was reading a new book the other day and told us the title. The words sounded occult, so I checked it on the Internet. The search brought up about six witchcraft sites. I quickly closed them again. I was glad she didn't read the book out loud to the class.

The worse part is that she tells us that witchcraft is not real. The class seems to believe her. They think witchcraft is fun and games. One person ordered a Harry Potter kit which teaches you how to do spells. The teacher used it during class one day. Everyone seemed to love the magic and the special power! They saw nothing wrong with it since they believe it's all just fantasy. I know that's not true, but the class would rather listen to her than to me.

At first, I was not that worried about all the lessons on witchcraft, because my principal is a faithful Christian. I thought he would understand how bad this is. But he saw nothing wrong with it. When I realized that he approved of it, then I got more concerned. Later, the school board told my parents that our teacher can make us read anything she wants since it's a reading class. Parents can't do anything about it.

It is very hard. Today, when I got to the class that uses the Harry Potter books, there was a satanic star drawn in the top left corner of my desk. I felt sad, because I know that my values offend many of my classmates. They want me to go along with everything.

But I know it's much better to follow God than my peers. Everything is in His hands, and He will always be there for me. When my peers want me to love things that are wrong, He is always ready to help me fight for what is right. He even helps me through a teacher in our school. She is on my side, and every day she tells me not to give up.

Even my two friends that are against Harry Potter are trying to please their peers. So after seeing how they act, I know I need to stand up for God. I think the hardest part is when I pass by my teacher and hear her talking about me. Some of the things she says are not true. Then I try to remember how Jesus was hated and mocked. He stood alone and died a painful death for us. Now I can give something back to Him.

A scripture that encourages me is 1 Peter 5:8-9. It reminds me that I am not the only one going through this.

God's Word:

"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are under going the same kind of suffering." (1 Peter 5:8-9)

By the way: Did you know that most of the Potter books sold in Canada are printed right here in southern Manitoba? In fact by the very same company I work for. Did you know almost everyone that worked on them is a Christian? (Obviously I don't know whether or not they are, but they claim to be.)

Is that what I can look forward to in a Brave New World run by World Changers?

If my experience with Christians is any indication, a "Christianized" world would be nearer to hell than what we have now. Last year at this conference, I spent some time recalling what it was like the last time we had a so-called Christian world. There's lots written about it and I've got some of it at my table. If you know nothing about the Inquisition, you ought to. The Roman Catholic Church was by far the worst, but it was not alone. Read about Luther's view of Jews, or anabaptists. Or read about the imposed theocracy in Calvin's Geneva. Even Zwingli drowned people for being rebaptized as believers.

They never mention it on the TV news but did you know that when the big, bad Israelis withdrew their tanks from Bethlehem last week - only in response to enormous pressure from the so-called Christian West -the brutal torture and killing of Arab Christians by Moslems began again in earnest? (By the way, if the Israelis are the ogres that the CBC's Neil McDonald says they are, why is he always reporting from behind Israeli lines of defense. Why doesn't he live in Gaza or Ramallah?)

But meanwhile, back at the ranch, western Christians are driving nice shiny cars, buying nice big houses, going to nice restaurants wearing the latest, watching the latest, listening to the latest.

Are these our world changers? Studying travel brochures, while others, and especially other Christians, are raped and murdered and starved? I have seen more benevolence among the heathen.

Where in the Bible do we get permission to concern ourselves with CARS and HOUSES and RESTAURANTS and CLOTHES and MOVIES? Where do we get permission to concern ourselves with MUSIC? WHAT ABOUT FINANCES? CAN WE BE WORLD CHANGERS AND ALSO WATCH OUR MONEY GROW?

Can we serve God and mammon? Jesus said if you love God, you'll hate money. (Mt 6:24, Lk 16:13)

Here's one for you. Where in the Bible do we get permission to concern ourselves with retirement strategies, with investments, with careers? How about this one: What does God say about even collecting interest on money?

To the extent that Christians take no thought of tomorrow, (Mt 6:25-34; Lk 12:22-31) put all their hope and faith in Christ and take up their crosses and follow Him (Mt 16:24, Mk 8:34, Lk 9:23), they will be turning the world upside down.

I don't see it happening. And neither does the Bible promise it. Christ said "when the son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" (Lk 18:8)

But in my experience: Home schooling means you drive a beater, you wear hand-me-downs, you get rid of the TV. You forget about retiring. It means a new math book instead of a new microwave. And peculiarity instead of popularity. It means a one income family in a two income society.

And I'm not doing it because I think my kids will be WORLD CHANGERS. I'm doing it because I can do nothing else.

If you're getting discouraged because it doesn't look like Johnny's going to be a WORLD CHANGER, take a walk in a public school. Check out some of the music and videos and TV shows and computer games and websites that Johnny would be into if he went to school. Notice how some of the other Johnnies walk and talk and look and dress and think.

It's easy to get bogged down on all the mistakes you're making and forget the alternative. But remember Lauren's story?

Why home school?

What choice to you have?

Our children will never change the world- that's God's job. But they can be a light to the world.

If you're homeschooling now - they already are.

The very fact that you are putting your children above so many worldly treasures and pleasures is a reproach and an astonishment to the world.

You know, the world's religions offer us an opportunity to really apply ourselves, to make a difference, maybe even be world changers.

But Christ said, "It is finished" and asks only obedience. The zealot who does above and beyond what God requires is lost. Doing more than God asks is disobeying Him. We need to be careful to do only what God says.

God says to bring your children up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. And when you consider the alternative of throwing your little boy or girl in with the mob, and especially when you don't even have to, do you really have a choice?

Last Update: 5/15/2002

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