Friday, August 12, 2011

The Darkest Sea

I was reading a homeschool forum yesterday.  I noticed there were many parents asking for recommendations on "secular curriculum", noting that many of the current homeschool curriculum choices had a "Christian bias" which was something they didn't want.  The reason being they were personally "non-religious" or, as one said, they were Christians but wanted to educate their children properly. 

Can I throw in my two cents here?  I can?  Oh thanks ;-)

We are living in a postmodern age.  That means: what's good for you is good for you; anything goes; don't hold anyone else to your standard; find your own truth; you can be anything you want to be...and so on.  That's what they claim to teach in schools. "Tolerance" I believe is the word being tossed about to describe it.  It's the mindset that truth is whatever you decide it is.  It's also called "relative truth".  You can have your own ideas, it just might not be the ideas of someone else and that's okay because that's their reality.

If you haven't noticed, postmodern thought doesn't work.  It doesn't work because it can't exist within its own structure.  No one can impart any sort of knowledge without then "creating" a truth to impose on someone else.  To say "there is no absolute truth" would be, in all actuality, claiming a truth.  The term for that state of affairs would be "absurd".  

Since we obviously can't avoid some kind of idea structure, when it comes to finding a curriculum, there are no "non-bias" books to be found.

History is written by human beings with their own thoughts, culture, religion, political ideas and (yikes) "biases" prevailing.

Science is based on the occasionally flawed observations of the human eye.  So far, complexity and order appear to prevail in our galaxy and beyond to others.  (I must have missed the memo declaring evolution something more than a theory - as much as they try to find a scrap of sustainable evidence, bless them.)

English is positively fraught with ideas, biases, feelings, agendas and proclaimed truths.  Goodness gracious, is it anything BUT that??  

Math proclaims truth.  Shocker.  Math shows there is sense and reason.  (That is until you get into all that x, y, z business.  But I've heard it still makes sense although letters being numbers deeply confuses me.  Can you tell I wasn't a math person?)

My point is this: regardless of what curriculum we choose, it WILL be teaching from a "biased" viewpoint.  Either there is order or there is chaos.  Either there is purpose or there is no purpose.  Either there is truth or there is no truth (which is absurd, if you didn't catch that earlier).

What's so sad is that many choose to somehow convince themselves that it is all chaos, without purpose or truth.

And that, my friends, is a "secular" curriculum.

It's the most dangerous, hopelessly dark, bottomless sea into which any educator could throw their student.  There are occasional pieces of truth driftwood that they might grasp as their own, but they will sink eventually.

Without God, the God of the Bible, it doesn't make sense.

We quote Him with "do to others as you would have them do to you", and then throw the rest out.  At least, we try.

Deep inside, we have a need to worship -  we might choose others, or our self, it might be an object, but we worship something, whether we acknowledged it or not.  A desire for relationship, to be loved and understood, is a part of who we are.  A desperate cry for purpose, for order, for truth, is uttered with every beat of our four-chambered heart.  And it absolutely cannot be satisfied with whatever trendy thought pattern is going around at the time.

These desires can only be satisfied through the understanding that:

God has Created all things with order, beauty, function and purpose.

Mankind has rebelled against God, bringing sin to the world.

We are in need of the redemption only God can give through the loving sacrifice of Himself.

God will make all things new and right at the end of time.  Justice will be served. 

The beauty of education from a Christian worldview, in fact the necessity of it, is that it is the only thought pattern that makes sense of our world.

The existence of order in Math and Science? - Intelligent design!
The story of history? - fallen men trying to make it on their own!
English? - the beauty of created words, the struggle of sin, the relationships we identify with throughout the centuries! 

Now I will readily, and sadly, say that a small percentage of Christian curriculum tries to glorify man over his Creator and tells us to be just like a historical figure, pastor, theologian or philosopher (not Jesus).  Some stomp, tromp and spit on any who don't agree with them (notice, not God - themselves).  Some hold biases that they claim to be Biblical but are not.  It's saddening to see the ugly side of mankind in that way. 

But many curriculum, books, lectures and professors seek to shed the light of the Gospel on all things academic.  And that alone makes glorious, vibrant, logical, purposeful sense.

So when you explain why tadpoles turn to frogs, how trees know to shed their leaves in the fall, what makes us fall in love, why we shouldn't pull our sister's hair, how snowflakes can all be different, and why hearing a violin in a minor key brings tears to our eyes?  I hope you will throw the life preserver of God's Truth out into that dark sea....

And then pray fervently they will cling to it.


Lisa said...

Well said, Hannah. Well said :) Love you.

Virginia said...

Amen! The miracle of conception and birth scream "CREATOR"! I don't understand how someone can carry a baby inside them and think that it was all an accident and that no one created that baby to be there.

Jackie said...

Great post. I couldn't have said it better myself. You just have to look at nature to see the pattern or design by the creator's hand.

Sarah :) said...

so.... you're gonna post this on the homeschool forum, right? ;)

Also, don't forget that they may agree with you as far as the "everyone has a bias" part (on the other hand, probably not, but there are a few rational rebellers out there), just not on the "I want the bias of the person I disagree with to write my children's curriculum" part.

Tiffany said...

That was a refreshing reminder. Thanks for your simple eloquence.

Hannah said...

Sarah - I think the thing that most frustrated me, and I forgot to mention it above, was that "secular" curriculum was interchangeable with "non-bias" curriculum throughout the discussion. Really???