A Publication of RenewaNation: Helping Children Develop a Biblical Worldview.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2021

A Critical Lifeline

                                 Photo by Jony Ariadi on Unsplash

Hello Friends,

For several months now, I have shared heartfelt article-length commentaries on educational insights. While certainly no self-proclaimed expert, most of the writings were born from a place of firsthand experience and observation, measured against a well-worn Bible with yellow highlighted, tear stained scriptures.  During the last 26 years devoted to education, there has been season upon season of trying hard, pouring in, making mistakes, celebrating “little light bulbs”, and reaping knowledge and wisdom

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. Proverbs 9:10

If there was a reel of transformative highlights from this servant’s educational narrative, it would most certainly give you a glimpse of the confused thoughts of an eight year old student wrestling with a science class discussion centered on creatures who lived millions of years ago while knowing that only two thousand years ago her Savior walked an inhabited, societal sod. Fast forward, she, with wobbly knees and a grade at stake, can be seen respectfully pushing back on a Christian-hating Native American Literature professor’s insistence to compositionally renounce one’s faith. Interestingly, a couple years later, she would find herself standing before a vehemently disapproving administrator when she chose to pray with her students during the early days of “See You at the Pole.” 

Witnessing the potentially detrimental fallacies and pitfalls of public education, she sacrificially determined to forgo professional growth opportunities for the honor of Biblically educating her own three blessings.  With starry-eyed great expectations of the standards that Christian education surely possessed, she soon discovered that public education philosophical methodologies had crept into both Christian homeschool co-op and Christian school pedagogy. The once Deuteronomy 6 hand-to-hand and heart-to-heart pursuit of divine beauty, virtue, and truth had been relegated in many instances to factory styled, “leveled”, numeric grade or score driven checked boxes. Yet, God met her in that valley of disillusionment with a small community of like-minded educators who compassionately poured biblical truth, guidance, and accountability into their sister. Like all wearied, God-focused, life narratives, the brief Ecclesiastes-type ponderings of meaninglessness concluded with renewed Biblical fervor and a passionate determination to “pay it forward” by aiding fellow educators’ to regain their love for, focus, and drive towards pure biblical instruction.   

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.  For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12:13

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3:22-24

Train a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

The highlight reel closes with the camera panning to a broken, yet obedient, servant humbly joining a multitude of silhouettes kneeling reverently in a vast and endless field of honey-kissed wheat. Swaying melodically in a gentle breeze, every grain represents a child tenderly educated about Christ’s sacrificial love and their divine purpose, while collectively forming a chorus of disciples praising and serving their unseen yet ever present Lord. 

It is an honor and privilege to join each of you as you sincerely seek to serve the Lord by teaching His children. Like the blessed and chosen disciples of old, He desires for us to journey together so as to be continuously attached to a non-judgmental, encouraging lifeline of accountability, inspiration, and equipping that is critical to continuing His good and holy work. For the next two months, we are temporarily pausing this blog to lovingly and obediently pour prayer, concentrated time, and resources into the preparation and launch of that community...the REAP website. We look forward to reconnecting with you in September with this critical lifeline.  Until then, we are praying for you and the life changing work you are preparing to do this 2021-22 school year. If you have any questions, or desire to be included on our REAP contact list for future announcements of the upcoming launch, please contact me (tonya gordon) at tgordon@renewanation.org.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

What is Your Why?

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make a man a more clever devil. C.S. Lewis

Dear friends,

Thank you so very much for your prayers over those who attended the REAP conference. They were truly felt and mightily answered.  

Amongst a wealth of Biblical Worldview inspiration and equipping, one powerful truth resounded from the training nestled in the mountains of Tennessee...a willing vessel must intentionally and consistently seek fellowship with Christ in order to righteously fulfill their calling. In essence, it is the “why” of what we do.  The overall task of our Dominion Mandate is to know God, to make Him fully known, and to bend back every facet of life to His original design. The reality however is that we are in a battle with a determined and unyielding enemy who is seeking to render servants prideful, demoralized, and ineffective, and the lost…adrift.  If we, as educators, are not personally pursuing an intimate relationship with and knowledge of our Savior, then how are we to naturally impart His preeminence over all that exists to our students?  

With each sandal-worn, bloodied, muscle wrenching step, Moses forsook physical pain and mental weariness to behold God’s holy voice and stone-carved law on Mt. Sinai.  Despite hateful sneers and reputational damage, Zacchaeus, driven by a passion to gaze at the Savior, clambered up a tree.  Paul, formerly Saul, crossed over the pitch black chasm of bitter contempt and persecution to emerge a complete, martyr-ready disciple of Christ. Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, and others sought after an unreached peoples’ eternal salvation in the face of potential peril by spear.  Cornelia Arnolda Johanna “Corrie” ten Boom and family followed God’s Will to hide Jewish brothers and sisters, despite the risk of death by concentration camp.  One can continue to provide narrative after narrative of the self-denying, Savior-focused course individuals have undertaken over time to make Him known.  Every single one was propelled by a solid spiritual constitution cultivated by intimate relationship with their Savior.

In order to ensure steadfast consistency with our personal spiritual growth, it is imperative that we identify and eliminate deterrents.  The following are a few best practices that will aid in confronting weak or blind spots.

  • reassessment of the strength of our biblical worldview

  • reflection on how we conduct our lives, leadership over and rapport with others in our spheres of influence 

  • re-examination of our motives 

  • reprioritization of our time management and focus

  • recapture our thirst and inspiration of the”why”

If we are faithful to utilize these evaluative measures and grow in accordance with scriptural truths, then we are justly armed when personal, professional, cultural, physical, or emotional constraints ensue.  Our spiritual fortitude will not falter, moreover, our ability to unceasingly pour “living water” into others will not be tainted or hindered.  

A Christian school is Holy Ground. If a staff is riddled with individualistic and/or collective spiritual complacency, then what follows is an affront to God’s intended plan and purpose for His classrooms, halls, meeting spaces, gym floor, sports fields, and artistic stages; yet more importantly His children. The symptoms are quite clear.

  • minimizing the need for ongoing spiritual and professional development

  • establishing sparse expectations for the spiritual culture of the school

  • failing to identify and cultivate legitimate student leaders

  • propagating irresponsible secular educational methodologies such as the cultivation of a test and grade-driven environment

  • the propensity to minimally aid struggling students despite a public commitment to differentiate

  • forfeiting the individual needs of driven and advanced students for the sake of equity

  • feebly casting a biblical vision for the preparation of each graduate

  • ignoring the divine purposes of each student to carry out their dominion mandate through a theology of work mindset

  • failing to see each student as God’s fearfully and wonderfully made Holy Creation, wanting for truth, deserving of our righteous best

There may be vast mountains to scale, mighty trees to climb, seasons of darkness to overcome, daggers of public ridicule to fend off, and intentions of evil to endure; however, if each of us are passionately pursuing our Savior, then collectively we are aligned in righteousness and outfitted to train our students likewise.  Intentionality is critical. There is a thin line between that which we aspire to be versus that which we are.

Author: tonya gordon


Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Holy REAPing


As this week’s blog is being posted, RenewaNation will be in Pikeville, Tennessee hosting a group of Christian educators and administrators at our REAP “Sowing for the Harvest” 2021 Conference.  With guest speakers Dr. Roger Erdvig, Dr. Keith McCurdy, Jeff Keaton, and several presenters conducting biblical worldview subject matter immersion workshops, this year’s conference attendees will experience an inspirational and equipping time of renewal. Since its November, God-driven, inception, REAP has flourished into a powerful biblical education game changer.  This God-sized vision is potentially poised to be the “Cloud & Fire Pillar” for Christian educators.  Having witnessed God’s divine orchestration of gifted, collaborative resources, we marvel at what has been accomplished by a small group of obedient disciples and a limited number of loaves and fishes.

While it definitely should not surprise those of us who have studied and experienced God’s magnificent multiplication, we admittedly have walked these last several months with hopeful anxiety.  Jeff Keaton, founder and CEO of RenewaNation, recently cited Philippians 4:4-7, in our eNews entitled “Do Not Be Anxious About Anything”. In his article, he rawly discussed the error and sinfulness of living in that fashion. Instead, faith and trust in God’s ever-present help should dictate our next wobbly or confident steps. Fast forward to present day, and here we are enveloped by the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, worshipping our unshakable, ever-present Savior, while breaking fallow strongholds and replacing them with life-breathing best practices. 

The RenewaNation Educator Advancement Program (REAP) was conceived by righteous, God-inspired motives to Inspire, Equip, & Transform biblical education.  Although the following letter was written to sincerely welcome REAP’s conference participants, it genuinely illustrates the past, present, and future of God’s intended vision.  

Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; 

break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, 

that He may come and rain righteousness upon you. Hosea 10:12

Dear Christian Educator,

Welcome to the RenewaNation Educator Advancement Program 2021 “Sowing for the Harvest” Conference.  During a colorful, crisp, mid-November morning, our Heavenly Father placed Hosea 10:12 on our hearts.  With it, He cultivated a monumental vision.  Imagine a comprehensive Biblical Education symposium that aids with Inspiring and Equipping Educators and Administrators in Biblical Worldview immersion, as well as providing a well-spring of biblical education resources that Inspire, Equip, & Transform.  This God-sized vision and mission is known as REAP.

There is a volatile battle being waged for the hearts and minds of our youth. Cultural and political agendas and fallacies are being thrust upon our youth through media and public classrooms.  Now, more than ever, we as Christian educators are responsible for equipping students in the ways of our Lord.  Practically, what does that look like?  Our students first and foremost must know God and, through every subject matter, meet Him more intimately.  Every child must be trained on how to effectively communicate to a lost world. No longer are we to prepare our students to just defend their faith. They must be equipped to stand firm on biblical truth and share the gospel. From PreK through 12th grade, we are responsible for saturating every facet of our school’s programs with Biblical Worldview.  

As surrogates of every child’s life preparation for 180+ days, 

our scriptural mandate is clear:

18 “You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 19 You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 20 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, 21 that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth.

Deuteronomy 11:18-20

You have been called to a critical and honorable mission, for every Christian school employee is held accountable for each child that steps through the door.  Collectively, every classroom, gym, and corridor is hallowed ground, for eternal lives hang in the balance and time is of the essence.  Truly understanding the weight in which you bear, REAP’s heart is to walk alongside you.  We at RenewaNation are praying that you will not experience a conference, but encounter an intimate time of renewal and revival.  For the next three days, we humbly suggest petitioning our Heavenly Father to reveal the areas of fallow ground that need to be addressed, spend intentioned time seeking His direction, and reap a fresh focus for biblically educating His children this next school year.  Finally, reflect on the precious faces that are returning to you.  The dedicated Johns, the busy Marthas, doubting Thomases, rejected Leahs, impulsive Peters, brave Esthers, and many more.  

I would like to dedicate this “Sowing for the Harvest” time to Robert Khaleal Coit.  At 14 years old, Khaleal, whose name in Hebrew means crown, had experienced more brokenness than many who have lived a lifetime.  Sacrifices were made in order for him to experience his first consistent year at a school.  In God’s providence, it was a Christian academy.  Quite the comedian, and at times rambunctious, Khaleal was shown abundant patience, love, acceptance, and introduced to Christ.  Through the direct investment of many servants, he accepted the free gift of salvation.  Over a week ago, on a Saturday morning, Khaleal walked into his Savior’s embrace.  As his basketball coach rightly remarked, “We would all be blessed to have a Khaleal in our lives”.  Fellow educators, we do, and so many precious others. May we all strive to prepare ourselves spiritually, emotionally, physically, and educationally so that we may in turn righteously pour into each and every one.


tonya gordon

Director of REAP

Please commit to praying for all God has assembled here in Pikeville.  Our RenewaNation staff is humbly blessed with the honor of pouring into these who have been called to biblical education. Like many other Christian educators across this nation, many of them have navigated an unprecedented school year with a Philippians 4:4-9 mindset and servant leader stance.  May we all take a moment to prayerfully give thanks for their willing sacrifices to continue to biblically sow into our children’s lives this past year, like 14 year old Khaleal to whom our conference is lovingly dedicated. Had it not been for Christian guardians, educators, coaches, and youth leaders choosing to pour into his life despite a pandemic, he might have been eternally lost when he tragically succumbed to injuries from a car accident two weeks ago.

Instead, Khaleal walked into the glory of his Savior’s embrace.  

This is Holy reaping. 

This is biblical education.  

By: tonya gordon

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Christian Education: Milestones or Millstones?


Photo by: John Byer from FreeImages

And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." Matthew 18:2-6

Whether a child is being educated at home or school, the journey can be marked by a series of milestones or “millstone moments”. The Cambridge Dictionary defines a milestone as “an important event in the development or history of something or someone’s life”. In biblical times, a millstone referred to an extremely heavy grain grinding mechanism requiring the force of a large animal to move it. This exhibits the ease in which such a tool could sink the source of condemnation.

Scripture is infallible and the only reliable source of Truth. It is also crystal clear on how our Savior regards ALL children and how they are to be treated. Take into account several verses.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Psalm 127:3

And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.

Mark 10:13-16

"See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven." Matthew 18:10

Ministries involving children, specifically Christian education, should be approached with reverential fear. No calling that has direct access to influencing and molding a child’s or youth’s mind and heart toward Christ should be entered into casually. Whether a homeschool co-op or Christian school, candidates for employment or voluntary service should go through a thorough multi-layered vetting process. Even then, a checks and balances infrastructure should be in place to ensure that sound, biblically-guided accountability is present at all times. The following should be standard qualifications of a Christian educator or administrator.

  1. They have a genuine relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.   

  2. They are able to share their salvation testimony and be in agreement with ALL of God’s Holy Word.

  3. They should be able to demonstrate how to lead a child to Christ. 

  4. They should be able to verbalize what Biblical Worldview is and how it should directly impact education.

  5. They should be able to answer positional questions on controversial topics such as social justice, the biblical definition of marriage, and sanctity of life.

  6. They should be trained in educational methodologies and pedagogy.

If any one of these criteria are absent or weak, then there should be a serious contemplation of whether the individual in question should biblically educate children. There is simply too much at stake to forgo caution, and hope that training will develop in key areas. Too often, Christian administrators and teachers are thrust into positions of influence out of sheer need and friendly familiarity rather than genuine aptitude and preparedness. As a result, students are the unfortunate beneficiaries of sub-par biblical worldview education and potentially harmful millstone experiences. 

Likewise, Christian school board positions should not be haphazardly filled by individuals who do not have a deep passion for or understanding of biblical education. The responsibility of ensuring righteous leadership of a school is critical to each and every child that is subjected to the policies and counsel of administration. As John C. Maxwell so aptly stated “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” While surface successes and numeric growth may indicate advancement, oversight must be present to make sure the core fundamentals are in place. For example, equality not equity is driving decisions, student athletes are held accountable and shepherded, academic best practices and ethical record keeping are being employed, finances are properly stewarded, professional development is respected and encouraged, and most importantly the spiritual culture is flourishing and supportive of biblical worldview training. If leadership is a mile wide and an inch deep, unethical or apathetic, the school infrastructure will inevitably implode. A Christian school board’s primary function is to implement safeguards to avert such detrimental issues. 

Lastly, a school truly focused on investing in children’s biblical worldview development will exclusively regard and cultivate each student’s strengths and giftings rather than treat them as a collective whole. Leadership must resist falling into the “factory mindset” that is prevalent in compulsory education, and seek to meet the needs of each child in a biblical manner. John Taylor Gatto described it well when he stated, “There is not, nor can there be, a one best way to teach a child; each kid is as different as his or her fingerprint. I’ve often thought that God introduced the anomaly of the fingerprint-or of DNA-to hit us over the head with that fact.” Aside from biblical worldview immersion of subject content, students should be afforded every opportunity to be equipped for and grow toward their individual callings.

The combination of sound hiring practices, a solid Christian school board, and a biblically-aligned intentionality to nurture students establishes a trustworthy and robust biblical worldview institution of learning that will prove steadfast. Such an environment will assuredly produce a thriving biblical worldview journey marked by transformative milestones. Our Lord and Savior modeled biblical education clearly. It is imperative that all Christian education entities are found aligned in every area to His modeling and scriptural guidance on training children. Anything less is detrimental to the purposes of biblical education. There are eternal consequences at stake and time is of the essence.

Author: tonya gordon

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Worldview Building


Author: Caleb R. Gordon

When I was a little kid, learning new things was a constant pastime – whether I wanted it to be or not. From figuring out how a trampoline bounced my brother and I to watching the carbonation in soda fizz along the walls of a paper cup, I naturally examined the world around me to make sense of reality and how it related to me. Even when I did not know all the intricate inner workings of trampoline physics or the chemical makeup of Dr. Pepper, I pieced together the things I observed and tested, adding them to a framework, or lens, through which I understood and saw the world. In other words, I was “worldview building.”

This idea of “worldview building” continued far past my early development. In the latter years of childhood, my process of figuring out the world around me translated into the study of History, Math, English, Science, and Religion. Growing up with a homeschool education, my mother embedded in me the idea of “connecting the dots” in my studies at an early age. While at the time, it seemed to be just another time-consuming exercise preventing me from playing outside, I reminisce on these lessons as laying the groundwork to critical thinking and laying the pipeline of coherency to the house called reality in which I lived. Looking back, we were “worldview building” in that sunroom of three desks.

Fast forward to a Christian homeschool co-op in middle school. My experiences in learning about the American legal system and freehanding the charted world from memory began to take on new meaning. Exercises in logic, rhetoric, and persuasive writing proved to be the form and syntax to express the language of critical thinking that had been ingrained into me so long ago. Reading the current issues raging in culture further bridged the seemingly distant reality of “an ancient world in the past'' to a “not so unfamiliar present day” in which I lived. 

Far past middle school, I kept worldview building. My academic career included attending a Christian high school, a real-life application exercise of my worldview. Surrounded by students who had never been taught to “connect the dots” in their subconscious worldview building, I appeared as a bit of an oddity with a different outlook on life. The real difference between those students and myself was that I had been taught the art of connecting numerous beliefs and values into a coherent system. When the Bible teacher poured through the Scriptures in Old and New Testament Survey courses, I saw a historical account of underlying unity and purpose that informed the way that I was supposed to live my life, view the real God who gave this life to me, and worship Him through it. Instead of seemingly unrelated stories of legend or mythology, I realized that the Bible itself was a grand metanarrative of God revealing Himself and redeeming fallen humanity and that I played a role in this divine love story. Through classes in Understanding the Times, I examined political, religious, economic, psychological, and scientific ideologies across cultures that culminated in an awareness of the diverse, complicated battlefield in which this child of the King was called to serve. The students around me in the halls of that small Christian school became real people with real souls in need of the love of Christ. The homework from those dedicated high school teachers turned into opportunities to grow in my knowledge of this reality, informing and adjusting my worldview. Student leadership opportunities called me to invest in others in the way that I had been so long invested in. Through all of these experiences, my worldview revealed true purpose in the seemingly mundane and ordinary life of a student.

Present day, I find myself walking the brick pathways of a Christian university, studying in higher academia for a calling rather than a career. Reflecting on all my educational experiences, I recognize and thank the Lord for the blessing of understanding how my worldview impacts my life and how it has defeated the cultural notion of a divide between my sacred walk with God and a secular walk with the world. Instead, I live with purpose, detecting God at work in my life to advance His Kingdom and seeing every aspect of life and learning as an opportunity to become more effective in fulfilling His purposes for my life. Ultimately, worldview building and connecting is a lifetime process; however, I would never have understood this process and its significance unless Christian educators had not taken the time to invest in me through their calling to show me the importance of worldview. Every child and student can live with purpose. Help them to see how and why they can.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Counting It All Joy


He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” Mark 9:37

This past week witnessed an outpouring of appreciation. Social media sites have been rightly flooded with teacher posts and Mother’s Day sentiments. According to nationaldaycalendar.com, discussions occurred as early as 1944 on the need to “thank” teachers. The conversation was tabled until 1953 when Eleanor Roosevelt pleaded with the 81st Congress to create a National Teacher’s Day. It wasn’t until March 7th, 1980 that it became official. In 1985, the National Education Association (NEA) deemed that the first Tuesday of May would be the start of Teacher Appreciation Week. Mother’s Day had a much longer history that started with a woman named Anna Jarvis in 1908, and was solidified as a national holiday on May 9, 1941 by Woodrow Wilson. It took 41 years to successfully legislate a week of educator appreciation, and much less time to highlight mothers. Before the formalities, there was and has always been, incomparable, heart-moving affirmations resonating throughout homes, co-ops, and classrooms far and wide. 

For mothers, it is the unparalleled joy of hearing the first word, watching wobbly steps, and listening to a heaven-touched bellowing of “Jesus Loves Me”. From learner’s permits, first loves, and next season transitions, a mother’s pilgrimage of faith and thanksgiving remains ceaseless until her final breath. For educators, appreciation is purely gleaned when students demonstrate mastered skills of logic, communication, servant leadership, and a deeper comprehension of scripture. The blessed mentoring journey may end with a cap and gown, but the returns from such an investment live on through Kingdom work. It is the mother and educator whose worldview counts it all joy to be stewarding a child’s future that walks reverently on holy ground.

Before I was blessed with children of my own, my elementary students would ask “How many children do you have?” "Twenty-four," I would exclaim. "I can’t wait for you to meet them! They are so very kind, beautiful, handsome, and incredibly smart!”  Believing every heartfelt word, a group hug commenced with reckless abandon. Later, when I homeschooled my own 3 babies and then taught English to older students, I would excitedly explain "God has placed you here and now for divine purposes. What an honor it is to be a small part of your History! Together, let’s steward this time well, and see what our Lord has for each of us!” What followed was a precious time of mutual respect, genuine exchanges of ideas, a reverent uncovering of God’s created mysteries, and treasured memories of laughter, caring, and maturation.  

Having the opportunity to work in an administrative role at a local Christian school, I was humbly blessed to serve several hundred kiddos and their families. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20 and like every mom and educator’s propensity, I have reflected on and mourned every opportunity lost to have done it better. Over time however, I have humbly resolved that every decision made whether right or wrong originated from a deep compassion and concern for our students. Every child the Lord brought through our doors was His own, and we had been entrusted with a brief, but monumental task. We were to shepherd their hearts and minds to know Him more intimately and prepare them for their Kingdom calling. Unfortunately, tIme moves swiftly. Like watching your child drive away to the next season of their life, Graduation should cultivate similar emotions for every educator.  

During my tenure, I was given the honor and privilege to call the graduates’ names to receive their diplomas. To the overall crowd, it may have appeared as a simple recognition for the next graduate to come forward. For the moms and dads, hearing their child’s name elicited a rush of memories baptized in happy tears, but for those educators who had also lovingly poured prayer and Kingdom purpose into that child, it was an emotional, purpose-clarifying moment in time. With the utterance of each given name, a fearfully and wonderfully fashioned child turned young adult rises and moves anxiously forward. With each step, a slight bit of youthfulness is left behind. With a handshake, grasp of diploma, and tassel shift, the once blurred realities of adulthood suddenly gain overwhelming clarity. Immediately, there is a silent, breath-taking moment of questioning. Parents and educators alike ponder, “Did we give this child our very best?”   

It is no happenstance that Teacher Appreciation and Mother’s Day fall so closely together, as motherhood and education are Biblically intertwined. Although scripture clearly tasks parents with the job of instruction, our culture offers educational choices that share that responsibility. The Biblical mandates on teaching apply to all who commit to that role. With the transformative power and influence each wields, both mothers and educators should reverently kneel each day in gratitude, petitioning the Lord for discernment, wisdom, and strength. To be entrusted by our Heavenly Father to shepherd and disciple one of his own as a parent, educator, or both is an amazing calling. Sometimes it can wearily feel like a thankless job until a May calendar marker; however, the profound reality is that you have an audience of One who sees “how you are receiving and investing in His children, and thus for Him”.  

You, you are changing the world 

One little heartbeat at a time

Making history with every touch and smile

Oh, you, may not see it now

But I believe that time will tell

How you, you are changing the world

One little heartbeat at a time

-Steven Curtis Chapman

author: tonya c. gordon

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

The Verdict Is In


Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash

"The great masquerade of evil has played havoc with all of our ethical concepts.  For evil to appear disguised as light, charity, historical necessity or social justice is quite bewildering to anyone brought up on our traditional ethical concepts, while for the Christian who bases his life on the Bible, it merely confirms the fundamental wickedness of evil."

-Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison

For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license of immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

Jude 1:4

Hello Friends,

The current social climate is heartbreakingly grievous. It seems that the world has turned upside down and inside out. Historically, trouble and chaos are born out of an individual or group’s illegitimate truth or perspective, or worse, concealed dishonesty, greed, and power.   Currently, society seems to be enamored with revolutionaries who have patiently awaited ideal social conditions of fear, gullibility, profound frustration, and deep mistrust to converge into an environment primed for “liberation”.  Justice is being redefined, while the depravity of sin is largely ignored. Christians are either outwardly jumping on the “cancel culture” bandwagon and celebrating fallen foes, or cowering from distorted theological and philosophical attacks. 

Time has witnessed the recycling of such realities and their ramifications, for the societal answer to issues always seems to be the same...blame and obliterate or turn a blind eye. But why?  

The verdict is in …worldview.  

Heavily influenced by the westernized church’s fear of insulting public school proponents, Christian education institutions and organizations have largely become lukewarm and benign in opposing cultural “norms”.  As a result, we are appearing dangerously similar to our counterparts. The similarities are uncanny. Pioneers of the Biblical Worldview education movement are disillusioned by what former colleagues are supporting, and individuals who flee relativistic public education for the private sector are dismayed to find the motivations, instructional practices, and student outcome boxes similarly being checked.       

  • Secularized curriculum ✔ 

  • Instruction for the sake of the 3R’s and standardized testing ✔ 

  • Championship-driven sports programs ✔ 

  • Administrative progressivism ✔   

  • Worldview intentionality ✔

Yes, both are teaching a worldview, but one unapologetically and cunningly weaves it ever so naturally through every fiber without uttering a word, while the other broadly addresses it with the most sincere and careful intention to avoid controversy. 

In light of the present culture, let’s examine public education’s worldview intentionality and success rate.  While the instances of using K-12 classrooms to push social agendas are too numerous to list, I highly recommend checking out EducationWeek for an eye opening view into the educational environment that many Christians still claim “what was good enough for me, is just fine for my child”. As a former public school graduate and teacher,  I can testify that it isn’t the place of innocent adolescent folly supervised by wholesome mentorship that one recounts.  

Currently, my state’s education system is moving to eradicate the advanced diploma and reformulate math credits for equity purposes, while localities are insisting that the color white is a blight on society, and gender parameters are abhorrent. Interestingly enough, this is happening in areas who once naively felt protected by the number of Christian teachers it employed.  The NEA, state governments, and local school boards have proven to be far more powerful than the missional “salt and light” expectations parents have long placed on the shoulders of their child or teacher. 

Aside from legislative intent, let’s examine a more subtle strategy being used to impart worldview. The following children’s book titles are presently being used in public elementary classrooms across the Nation. In Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi, a major proponent of Critical Race Theory, one learns that “Babies are taught to be racist or antiracist-there’s no neutrality.”  In An ABC of Equality by Chana Ginelle Ewing, the mnemonic usage of song and brightly pictured common nouns has been replaced with inviting illustrations accompanied by adjectives such as “LGBTQIA, Oppression, Privilege, Xenophobia, and Ze”. What a vast difference from The New England Primer’s alphabetical usage of “Godliness, Holiness, Pray, Remember, and Trust”!

From PreK to college, is this deliberate exposure successful? Absolutely! How is Darwinism no longer regarded as a theory, and why are multitudes of youth attracted to socialism? Let’s ponder the words of those whose ideas have seeped into and shaped American academia, while comparing them with the infallible truth of scripture.  

“Keep people from their History, and they can easily be controlled.”  

-Karl Marx, Father of Communism 

“Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you.” Deuteronomy 32:7

“My object in life is to dethrone God and destroy capitalism.” Karl Marx

“I appeal to you brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine you have been taught; avoid them.” Romans 16:17

“There is no god and there is no soul. Hence, there is no need for the props of traditional religion.  With dogma and creed excluded, then immutable truth is dead and buried. There is no room for fixed and natural law or permanent moral absolutes.” 

-John Dewey, Father of Progressive Education

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” Romans 1:18

“Schools should take an active part in directing social change, and share in the construction of a new social order.” John Dewey

“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8

Which worldview has taken precedence in today’s culture?

More than ever, Christian education must look and function with distinct differences. 

  • Students must be scripturally and logically able to process fallacies and false teachings.
  • Scripture must be written "on door frames", corridors, hearts, and minds.
  • Instruction must be framed in the Dominion Mandate and Theology of Work.
  • Staff, faculty, and students must be Biblically clear on controversial topics.
  • Biblical character development and servant leadership must be a core focus of the school's programs
  • School culture must reflect our Savior's modeling on how to treat and regard others. 

Silence and inaction wields the power to infiltrate the command of our children’s hearts and minds through observational deceit. Words have unimaginable influence, ideas spawn consequences, and worldview renders judgments of redemption or retribution.

Our children are internalizing a worldview daily, the most important question is which one are YOU providing?


tonya c. gordon