March 25th, 2013 | Posted by Tim Gallant
March 12th, 2012 | Posted by Jamie Soles
The Honorable Mr. Lukaszuk,
Minister of Education,
423 Legislature Building,
Edmonton, AB. T5K 2B6
Dear Mr. Lukaszuk;
Please allow me to introduce myself. I am Jamie Soles, a husband of one and father of eight, I live in Grande Prairie with my wife and family. We have been committed to educating our children at home for over twenty years now, and have been very pleased with the early returns we are seeing for our efforts.
We are committed Christian people, and we hold the Bible in high regard. We believe that Jesus is God Almighty, the second person of the Trinity, and we regard his word as of paramount importance in how we both raise and educate our children. We believe that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and that if our children are to grow up and be wise and faithful adults, that every part of their education needs to be informed by and saturated with the knowledge of Him. We believe that the whole Bible is the word of God, from Genesis to Revelation, and that this Word teaches us the truth about the origins of the human race, and the development of culture in the world. We regard the word of God as the measuring stick for truth claims of all sorts; if it does not line up with God’s revealed Word, it is not true, no matter how many people may believe it to be so.
We believe that the good news of Jesus really is good news, not just for us, but for the whole world. Jesus has come, and everything in the world turns on Him. He claims to be King of kings and Lord of lords, and that all men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation owe their allegiance to Him, and we believe Him. He calls all peoples, regardless of where they are from or what they believe, to leave behind their old ways and to follow Him, and by His Spirit working in us, we have done so, and we call upon everyone else to do the same. We believe that Jesus frees us from the chains that we had bound around ourselves, thinking we could save ourselves by education, or legislation, or any of our various ways we devised to prop ourselves up.
If Jesus really is who He said He was, then His claims on the education of my children are absolute. I am not free to hand them over to people who will not educate them in His ways. Jesus was once questioned on the lawfulness of paying taxes to an oppressor, in His case, the Romans. He asked for a coin, the unit of money with which the tax was to be paid. When it was given Him, He asked whose image was on the coin. “Caesar’s!”, He was told. He answered that we were to “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” Give to the governing authorities the things that belong to them. Well and good.
Whose image and inscription is on this child? My Bible says that he is made in the image of God. I am to give to God, and not to the governing authorities, the things that are God’s. God claims this child, and the governing authorities cannot have him. All of my children had God’s Name put upon them at their baptism, and His claims upon them were verified in the public assembly of the Church. These are God’s children.
Try to see through my eyes for a moment. When a government agency seeks to lay claim in some way to the right to educate my child as they see fit, how am I not to see this as some form of overstepping authority? I know that God gave the responsibility to educate them in all things in the Lord to me, their father. Our government claims they have a compelling interest in the education of the children of this province. But if Jesus is who He says He is, He also claims this. So who do I believe?
I trust Jesus, and hold your claims as suspect. It seems to me that you folks are over-reaching your authority, both with Bill 2 that you are currently discussing, and with the Education Act that it is intended to replace. These in my house are children of God first, of their parents second, of the church third, and somewhere down the list, of the Province of Alberta.
Might I suggest that you put forward another bill, one that honors Jesus. Exempt all Christian people from governmental interference in how they educate their children. If this seems too exclusive to you, then feel free to exempt Muslims as well, and Buddhists, and Hindus, and atheists. Let us educate our own children. You will get the best citizens you ever had, this way.
Jesus is Lord!
Grande Prairie, AB.
January 12th, 2012 | Posted by Tim Gallant
There has been a growing trend among evangelicals in recent years to disparage “religion” in favour of “relationship.” Without attempting to parse the motives of all the various folk who are so insistent upon this, I want to give just a little bit of reflection regarding why this approach is unhelpful at best, and inevitably, dangerous.
Many people say that by “religion,” what is really meant is legalism or moralism. And since those things are bad, nobody should object.
But we must object. Not only does this logic exclude the basic meaning of the term religion, it forces us into what ends up being a false dichotomy. Under the religion versus relationship banner, it is not only legalism and moralism that get pushed out. All sorts of other things go with it. If what matters is relationship rather than religion, the inevitable connotation is that God is not interested in human beings serving Him in any sort of structured way. And then we get suspicious toward things like organization and commandments. Read the rest of this entry »
January 5th, 2012 | Posted by Tim Gallant
One of the most beautiful promises of Scripture is Zephaniah 3.17: “Yahweh your God is in your midst; the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you with His love; He will rejoice over you with singing.”
This is the portrait of a loving Father, and it is something that we need to internalize – not only as Church leaders, but as congregational members.
If we ask the question: “How often is there something in my life that God could be correcting?” – the answer would have to be, “Always.” Even the strongest believers in this life are en route, are taking a journey in spiritual growth, and are immature in a host of areas. Read the rest of this entry »