Monday, July 30, 2007

The New High Society

I recently returned from the Arizona Family Home Education (AFHE) conference in Phoenix. The concept of a Home education seems to be exploding as the government's attempts at a one size fits all educational institution crumbles under the weight of Godlessness. As this continues I'm noticing some interesting trends in "high society" vs. so called common folk.


While at the conference I picked up a copy of A Bountiful Blessing by the Eden String Quartet. This is a documentary on an ensemble of four sisters raised on a farm near a small town in Illinois who were educated at home. While viewing this film I found myself inspired to be the best Dad I can be, and for this reason I highly recommend adding this DVD to your library if you're a parent, or if you're not. To see previews click here for a You Tube clip. Lest one think that this is a wealthy family, the mom mentions that they had to borrow eight hundred dollars to buy a piano for the oldest girl to take lessons when she was young. The film also attempts to drive home the point that it was never the parents goal that the children reach for fame and fortune. I say all of this to make the case that these ladies are not who they are because of money, but because of what was instilled into them by their parents; namely the fear of God.

Watching this film the family appears reminiscent of nineteenth century wealth and prestige as these girls, dressed in their gowns, preform in some sort of hardwood music hall or church. I think that perhaps during that century, given the same social status, these girls would have probably been relegated to only tending to children and the homestead while such activities as seen on this film would be limited to the privileged and wealthy. What an interesting twist to the modern feminist movement. Meanwhile today it seems that the privileged and wealthy are expending much of their wealth on lawyers and publicist as they attempt to keep their children out of jail and in rehab. Also, honor and duty, once a mainstay of the privileged class, now appear to be foreign concepts for them as well, while it appears to be alive and well in this family.

Of course this is an obvious anecdotal comparison between the likes of Paris Hilton, Lord bless her, and a relatively obscure family of home schoolers from which arose four beautiful and talented musicians. For sure not all homeschoolers grow up to be Ladies and Gentlemen, and not all rich children grow up to be spoiled brats. But it would seem that the current trends beg a question: Do these four ladies and the Paris Hiltons of our age conduct themselves in accordance with, or in spite of, their up-bringing?

17 comments:

Tina said...

I am going to get that!! I watched the You Tube clip and they sound wonderful, not to mention they look like real ladies.
Thanks so much for sharing.

danny wright said...

Good to hear from you Tina. I've been away for a while. Just so you know I appreciate the info on the debating site.

Penless Thoughts said...

It's all about GOD!!!! Good to see you back, Danny.
Susan

Tina said...

Hi Danny, I have been pointed to another site where I am practicing my skills. LOL
www.samharris.org and then go to forums. I am blessedmommyx5 there. You can tell me how I am doing and join in yourself!

The Millers said...

Dear Mr. Wright,

Thank you so much for your kind and gracious review of our DVD, A Bountiful Blessing. We are completely humbled at the Lord's mercies and grace in our lives and we have to say," As for God, His ways are perfect"!!!

If you don't mind, I would like to comment on two of your comments. First, I am grateful that you mentioned that we are not wealthy. I felt like the DVD could possibly have made people get that opinion. The Lord has blessed us far beyond what we deserve or expected, but He has given us, throughout our 27 year marriage, a typical farmers cash flow "problem". It has been such a blessing in that our children have had an entreprenural spirit and they do not expect their father to hand them money. They took piano lessons from their Grandmother who lives next door, for free, of course. When Megan, our oldest, was in the seventh grade, she started giving a few piano lessons. This blossomed into a large music studio for all four girls which allowed them to pay for lessons with advanced teachers and to buy the instruments which they play on now. They all have worked VERY hard doing hot and heavy LABOR. They view this as positive and speak of it humorously. The fancy piano they played on in the DVD was a surprise gift from their grandparents six years ago. Their grandparents were so pleased with how they had progressed in music that they said they wanted to give them an early inheritance. Needless to say, that was a huge surprise and nothing that they had ever expected.

I am thrilled that you were inspired by my husband. He truly wants to "seek those things which are above, where Christ is..." Col.3:1 I am so grateful that he chooses to read his Bible, apply it to his life, share it with his children, turn off the tv, read good books, go to conferences, hang out with like-minded believers, and work hard to provide. In addition, he is active, fun and adventurous. I have to say that he was not like this when I married him. In the natural, he is a wild-man! But, he has been making one choice after another to grow in Christ. The DVD is a snippet of our lives depicting some of the results of these choices.

"Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up" Gal.6:7-9

Sincerely,

Mary Miller

janelle said...

Great post, Danny. I love it when I hear of other home schooling parents and families who have a commitment not only to the education of their children, but also their spiritual health. Glad you are back to blogging!

Livingsword said...

Wow excellent music! Great video and they have a nice web page. I appreciate the article and topic, well done Danny.

I didn’t “grow up in the Church” and didn’t become a follower of Jesus till in my late twenties and now I am in my early forties, married, no kids. One of the things I have noticed in Christian circles is that those that have gone to Christian school and/or have been home schooled is they are often (not all) very poor at interacting with the world around them (obviously I do not know these very talented young ladies so I am not speaking of them, just those I know who are brothers and sisters in Christ and good friends of mine).

Often they seem “unbalanced” and unable to engage well with others with opposing beliefs. Of course home schooling is prefect for some people and they come out as excellent citizens, but the same can be said of those that go to public schools. Question: if we continue to withdraw from society how can we be salt and light? Are we buying into a “fortress mentality”? How can we best be “change agents”? Jesus and Paul certainly had very good understanding of the world around them and did not “disengage”.

Once again I am not saying this about these lovely ladies, or all of those who are home schooled, but the topic begs the question.

janelle said...

Livingsword,

I have a question. What do you base the "typical home schoolers are withdrawn from the world" mentality off of? Do you know particular home schoolers who are like that? I hear that comment said all the time about homeschoolers, and don't really understand where it comes from.

Being salt and light is not limited to what school you attend. It's not limited by anything except fear of man. Most homeschoolers I know are very evangelistic, and are well spoken and have firm convictions about what they believe. Being "unbalanced" seems a stereotype that often has no ground with which to stand on; in fact, and this is just the ones I know, most home schoolers are familiar with opposing beliefs and are well versed in them and able to address them quite adequately.

This may be just those I know (which are quite a few.) Perhaps your experience has been different?

Livingsword said...

Janelle;
Please understand I am not trying to be adversarial. Also I am not trying to rain on the young ladies in the articles “parade”. I believe that Danny invites this kind of dialogue and so it is suitable for comment.

As I said I am referring to those I personally know who are “brothers and sisters in Christ and good friends of mine”, these are people I care for and count as friends as well as my brothers and sisters in Christ.. I know many people like this from many Churches and denominations. They are not all like this but many are. They are not limited to just my area but in various states, and provinces. Please note I am not speaking of ALL people that have been home schooled or went exclusively to Christian schools.

Some of them are quite evangelistic but because of their background they are “shooting blanks”. They do not “speak the popular language”, but speak churchianity, they think they are communicating the gospel, but people do not understand the message, this is often blamed on “the world” but it is like speaking a foreign language to those in the community. They come across as Ned Flanders from the Simpson’s (Not that that is ALL bad, Ned may be the best rep we have on TV). Many of them come to me asking how to engage with the world around them, I chair the evangelism team at my Church so I am very up on these kinds of interactions; it is a passion of mine.

Please understand I am not trying to hurt anybody with my words.

Respectfully,
Livingsword

janelle said...

Livingsword,

I completely understand what you are saying. I hope I didn't come across as upset or anything like that. I love this type of communication.

As a whole, would you say that public schooled kids are more evangelistic than homeschooled kids? (Danny if you want us to not talk on your blog, delete this and I can move it to mine:-))

When they speak "churchianity" as you call it, what would you mean by this? Can you give an example? I want to make sure I understand what you are saying before I disagree:-) If anything I have said has come across as defensive or adversarial please tell me. For people who don't know me and how I write, I can seem adversarial at times.

danny wright said...

I think "homeschool" is one of those words that cause people to project preconceived notions onto others. It'd be interesting to do a study to see if the home schooled children could be picked out of a room full of children simply by their conduct. Truth be known, I think they could, but it wouldn't be because the HS'ed children would be huddled in a corner not able to cope, but because they would more likely be the ones who are well behaved and polite.

As far as their education is concerned, even if a parent does send his children off to be educated by a government institution, those parents will still need to home school in order to undo all the anti-Christ teaching they received. Furthermore, every child in those institutions is either bored out of his mind waiting on his peers to catch up, or struggling to keep up, such is the nature of a standardised approach to education. Of course even in the unlikely event one has a child that does fit the mean in one subject, how likely is it that he will fit the mean in every subject. Bottom line I believe is that the government run education system, as it stands today, is a disaster and for the children that attend, a tragedy. Sure many children attend and do well in a strictly worldly sense. They get good grades and are indoctrinated with anti-Christ principles, they are very nice, cordial, and polite. They excel in sports perhaps. Then they go to college where the anti-Christ worldview is solidified; they get good grades, stay off drugs for the most part and have a wonderful social life. Then they get out of college, get a wonderful high paying job, get married and have children. But if this were my child I would cry myself to sleep every night for I would realize their eternal destiny. I would rather have failed totally in educating my children academically, but succeeded in teaching them the fear and admonition of the Lord.

Concerning being a light in this world, I don't think this is necessarily the job of a five or six year old. When God was expelled in the 60's, an incredibly massive church, at least from outward appearances, slept. As the church as a whole stands on the sidelines as we murder babies with impunity, divorce our wives and husbands, make way for the homosexual agenda, and stand by to allow generation after generation to be herded into the spiritual slaughter house that is the American education system, the thoughts that I need to send my young children in there to help fix it, in the hopes that they won't get "fixed" themselves, quite frankly seems absurd. The stakes are extremely high, in fact eternal, and the stats do not encourage such a risk. Besides, one must keep in mind that a government really only does two things efficiently: tax and spend. Character building, if on the list at all would be at the bottom.

Ultimately however the whole argument is mute because of the Word of God. The Word says "Fathers teach your children". Mr. Livingsword, I have great admiration and respect for all that you write, and are often challenged by you. But even if you are not being influenced by any prejudices about the home schooled children you know; and in fact, they are somewhat socially retarded, that is not the worst thing that could happen to them; by far.

Livingsword said...

Hi Danny, and Janelle;

Wow the reaction quite amazes me; it really is not that big of a deal to me, also it is not even on the radar as a hot button. I am NOT totally against home schooling, I am just trying to give another perspective, and one that I believe is legitimate. This also sort of seems to substantiate some of what I wrote earlier.

Keep in mind we are all brothers and sisters here. There seems to be a “them against us” mentality that permeates the home schooling “agenda”. Danny in my opinion everything you described in the positive and negative aspects of home schooling and public schools is potentially present in either form of education.

A public education could balance out prejudice, bigotry, etc that could be present in the home; or home schooling may do that better than the public school, it goes both ways. The thing is not everybody doing home schooling is necessarily somebody that should be educating their children in the realm of mathematics etc. You and I know that just because somebody is a parent it does not mean they are also a good teacher or roll model. I know this is also true of public school teachers and other students.

I surly hope that you would be able to instill good Godly values into your children even if they were around non-Christian children or in a public school. The separation of Church and state being proposed inadvertently by home schooling (lack of Christian parent involvement in the public system, etc) cannot be seen as positive, and the ramifications may be damaging to all including those who are home schooled.

Either way this is not a hill I want to die on, I am just giving another perspective, I was not and am not attacking anybody for home schooling OR not home schooling (I think you can be a good Godly parent with good Godly children in the public system or thru home schooling). I think you can be a good parent either way, and children can come out good or bad in both systems.

My peace I give you my peace I leave you.

Incognito said...

A lovely inspirational story.

Shows what you can accomplish with faith.

janelle said...

Livingsword,

Christian parents are taking their kids out of public education because they see the flaws in it. They don't want to be involved in something that is so pervasively anti-Christian; and they don't want their kids involved in that either. Sure, kids can thrive in public education, that is not in dispute. But is this common? I don't think so.

The question is, WHY SHOULDN'T we homeschool, not why should we? To put your child in direct contact with all types of worldliness, let alone a government run education, is asking for them to come out of it looking, acting and speaking like the world. To home school your child with a Christian education lends itself to them coming out looking, acting and talking like a Christian.

Livingsword said...

Janelle;

Points well taken, I very much appreciate the conversation, I think that it is great that some people home school, no problem. Yet I would think that good Christian parents would be able to provide proper modeling, and parenting to their children no matter where they get their “formal” education.

It seems (emphasis on seems) that there is an incredible superiority complex (I am NOT aiming this at anybody in this discussion, or on this blog, it is a general statement) with many home schoolers. Also within many Christian circles home schooling is seen as almost part of the Creeds, it is not, it is a personal decision, but you can still be an excellent Christian parent and send your child to public school.

I do find Christian withdrawal from mainstream society to be problematic. There are tendencies within parts of North American church culture to build walls and not bridges, pretend we love our enemies while we actually hate them, live paralyzed with fear instead of living vibrant engaging lives, such as Jesus going out of His way to meet the woman at the well, to be adversarial towards the government in ways that go beyond Scripture (Romans 13, 1 Peter 2). Do we lack the courageousness of our faith and the creativity of our minds so much so that we cannot fully participate within the mainstream culture? No I do not believe that home schooling is “courageous”, and neither is it cowardly. Do we really deserve to sit in the market place of ideas when we often cannot even speak in a comprehensible manner to those around us?

It seems this kind of thing minimizes our “go to” with society, and instead builds up our “come to” mentality; we are to go unto the world, in the world but not of the world.

In the end of course this is a personal decision keeping in mind the particular child and particular parents but please let us not think that inherently home schooling is more Biblical.

I cannot see Jesus or Paul telling all Christians everywhere to home school their children; that defies everything I see in their lives.

Thank you for the dialogue, I appreciate your openness to listen to other views, and
I sincerely appreciate hearing yours; and that of others here at his blog.

I am thankful for Danny allowing this kind of forum.

Respectfully;
Livingsword

azron said...

Danny,

I like this blog, I will bookmark it.

Yes, I have several blogs - radicaldiscipleship.blogstream.com is my best known.

Please visit it

ron

Frasypoo said...

Good to see you back,will defintely get that cd.
I must say that just on appearances alone there is a vast differance between these young ladies and Ms Paris Hilton.Their faces reflect a softness.
I always say that it boils down to the upbringing !
Good solid Christian values never change.Humility taught at home always follows you on lifes road.