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Equipping followers of Christ to engage in their everyday work as the work of God, so workplaces are invigorated, communities flourish and culture is renewed to the honor and glory of the Lord.

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Friday, March 29, 2019

Where Is Ms. Esther Speakup?


When it's your turn to speak up, Esther, will you be silent?
Photo by Juan Pablo Arenas  from  Pexels

My long-time friend, Daniel Rareman (not his real name) is a substitute teacher in the secularized school system.

Last year, Daniel was required to take a “Safe-School” training course. This course addressed things like how to deal with bullying, and also included the district’s “transgender” policies, such as calling students by the pronoun of their choice, and a dress code that “will not restrict a student’s clothing choices on the basis of gender.”

And then there was this:  

“All students will be allowed to use a restroom and locker room consistent with their gender identity and/or gender expression or one which makes them feel comfortable.”

To pass this course, teachers were required to check a box signifying they had "reviewed and accepted” the policies.

Daniel Rareman could not check this box. This was the antithesis of a “safe-school” policy.

Dan met with the Director of Human Resources, his direct supervisor, to respectfully explain why he could not check the box. The HR director minimized the transgender policy, indicating it wasn’t really what it sounded like. My friend replied, “But this is what the policy says, and I cannot accept this policy.”

Daniel understood what he was doing, and he was willing to take the consequences.

The Superintendent got involved, along with the President of the School Board. They decided that since Dan had read and understood the transgender policies, he could continue to teach without signing off on them. How interesting.

As I listened to Dan’s story, I could not help but wonder how many other Christian teachers in this district just checked the box. I asked him if he was aware of any other teachers who did not check the box, and he was not aware of any. I suspect there is a reason why. They just checked the box.

Where is Ms. Esther Speakup? If 50% of the teachers and administrators in our secularized schools are Christians, as I have been told, then why didn’t 50% of the teachers in this school district decline to check the box?  Or 20%?  Or even 10%?

The words of Edmond Burke are ringing in my ears: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

There is a reason our culture is going down the toilet. Christians in our state schools, and elsewhere, are silent as it swirls.

Thanks, Dan, for speaking up. 


For a redacted copy of Daniel's letter to the Superintendent, click here. It is instructive. 


For the full transgender policy, click here. 
It is also instructive.


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Friday, March 22, 2019

The Primary Location For Spiritual Formation




“I’m prepared to contend that the primary location for spiritual formation is the workplace.”

This remarkable statement is by Eugene Peterson, written in his book, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places. [Emphasis added.]

Does your church provide training for spiritual formation in the workplace? It’s unusual to find a church with a program specifically to help construction workers, bus drivers and short-order cooks integrate a biblical worldview into their daily work. 

Marriage? Yes. Parenting? Yes. Missions? Yes. Music? Yes. The workplace? No.

I was blunt and forthright last week with pastors. Am I going to "hit" them again today? No apologies here. My aim is not to be critical, but to be constructive. Again, the stakes are too high, and the time is too short. The bottom line is, if the workplace really is “the primary location for spiritual formation,” then we have a problem, Houston.  

I once interviewed twenty senior pastors in the Seattle area, asking about their own church practices regarding helping congregants connect their faith with their work. 20 out of 20 pastors (100%) indicated they believed the local church should play a role in influencing the Monday-through-Friday workplace. A strong majority felt the church should be training, equipping, encouraging, instructing and/or supporting its members in this endeavor.

When I asked what their level of satisfaction was with how their own churches were doing in this regard, the average response was 4.58 on a level of 1-10 (with 10 being the highest). Twelve pastors gave themselves a 5 or lower. Six pastors gave themselves a 3 or lower. In total, 80% of the responses were a 6 or lower.

About 75% felt that having classes that focused on applying Christianity to the workplace would be a positive thing to do, but only one pastor indicated such classes had ever been taught in his church.

When I mentioned the idea of commissioning working people during Sunday morning services to live out their faith in the workplace, most pastors liked the idea. But hardly any had ever done so. A couple of pastors had Sunday service prayer for teachers, police officers and firefighters. Accountants, car mechanics and civil servants, however, were off the radar.

Here’s what Paul Stevens, the author of The Other Six Days, had to say about this matter in an interview I did with him a few years back when he was a professor at Regent College:


 (If the video does not play, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4jLkPzdkuc)


Friday, March 15, 2019

It Would Be Great If Pastors Did This Again




Have you heard a Sunday morning sermon lately on the biblical view of homosexuality?  

Perhaps you've heard a sermon on the biblical view of transgenderism? Or, maybe the biblical view of co-habitation before marriage?

You must have heard a sermon lately on the biblical view of socialism, or free enterprise, right? How about wealth redistribution?

How about a sermon on the biblical view of secularized education? Or, perhaps a sermon on a biblical response to euthanasia? Infanticide?

Maybe you’ve heard a sermon lately on the biblical view of hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural disasters?

Maybe not.  

When I hear of young adults leaving the church these days, I am not surprised. Few churches are addressing the big issues of their day from the pulpit. Have you noticed? 

Yes, I wonder if young adults are leaving the church, in part, because they aren't hearing essential and persuasive messages on the biblical view of socialism, homosexuality and transgenderism. Are you hearing such sermons?

Where are the sermons that will help us all view the big issues of our times through the lens of a biblical worldview, so we can better “understand the times, and know what we should do,” as the Sons of Issachar did in Israel (I Chronicles 12:32)?

Last summer, at Renewanation's Biblical Worldview Training Boot Camp (if you haven’t registered yet for this summer's camp, click here), Stephen McDowell, President of Providence Foundation, shared with us that pastors in the earlier years of our nation's history gave sermons on current issues from the pulpit. 

What a novel idea! They didn't do this in general terms, or just make passing comments, but developed whole sermons addressing the big issues and events of their times.

It would be great if pastors did this again. Maybe your pastor does. If so, thank God--and thank your pastor! 

Below are actual sermon titles Stephen McDowell shared with us at the greatest teacher conference last year. If you are a pastor, perhaps you could consider one or two current issues that are tearing our nation apart, and make them the focus of some Sunday morning messages (yes, in prime time), to help the congregation view these issues through the lens of Scripture. We need help

Look at the sermon titles below [thank you Stephen], and perhaps these will spark some ideas. 

Pastors, I have a special word just for you at the end of these titles:























Pastors: we are living in extraordinary times, and extraordinary times call for extraordinary pastors. Ask Bonhoeffer. If there ever was a time for pastors to say what needs to be said, and to be a mouthpiece for total Truth from the pulpit, it is now. If you are afraid to do this, I don't blame you. But courage is not the absence of fear. Courage requires fear. And when it comes to fear, we only have two choices: the fear of men, or the fear of God.


We may see the day when some of you will be put into prison for what you preach, and some will lose your lives because you spoke the Truth. At the very least, many of you will experience the crushing power of public shaming, when a band of LGBTQ+ advocates, both young and old from all walks of life, including parents with grade-school children, hold signs across the street from the entrance to your church, letting the rest of the community know that here is a group of intolerant bigots, led by a pastor who is an indecent person. You may become the target of a social media lynching. The size of your congregation might dwindle. You may not be able to pay the mortgage on the building, and you may lose it. 


But you will lose it anyway, if you do nothing. Time is short. Now is not the time to let the wrong kind of fear have the high ground. The stakes are too great. The prognosis is not good. Many churches in America are dying. Could this be a precursor to the collapse of a has-been nation? Please read this.

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Friday, March 8, 2019

The Greatest Teacher Conference



“Phenomenal! This has been the greatest teacher conference I have attended in my 13 years of teaching. I am leaving here grounded in my beliefs in a way I never have been before. Y’all changed my life and my teaching forever.”

This is what one very grateful teacher wrote on her assessment form at the close of last year’s Biblical Worldview Training Camp for Teachers and Administrators at the Manderley Christian Camp & Conference Center in Pikeville, Tennessee.

I was privileged to join several other speakers at last year’s event, and I’ll be part of the speaking team again this year. Can't wait!

If you are a Christian school teacher or administrator, and you missed last year’s event, I urge you to seriously consider attending this year’s Biblical Worldview Training Camp for Teachers and Administrators on July 29-30.

If you did attend last year’s event, come back to attend the follow-up camp, on August 1-2, which contains many new course offerings.

These camps are organized and hosted by our good friends at Renewanation, led by Jeff Keaton. This is an organization we greatly respect and highly recommend. 

Although they only have room on-site for 300 attendees, this year Renewanation will be simulcasting the July 29-30 event (only) so schools anywhere in the USA and around the world may benefit from these two days of training. Ten hours of instruction in biblical worldview and how it can be an integral part of teaching any subject will be provided.

If you are a home-schooling parent, you'll be welcome too, and you'll get much out of it. 

Y'all come!

Spaces for the on-site event will go fast, so I urge you to not delay in registering. If you are unable to attend in person, I encourage you to participate in the July 29-30 simulcast.

For more about all of this, including a complete list of speakers and how to register, click here.