Scott & Sarah Kennedy

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Come to my blog people!

Here are some google searches through which people have come to my page according to site meter.

"i wish i was as cool as scott kennedy"

"asian women seeking christian white men"

Monday, May 30, 2005

Who's Job Is It Anyway? - part one

We have considered the question 'Why Schools', and have discovered that for the Christian, all things in life should come under the glorious banner of gloryfying God. We found that the primary purpose of education therefore was to enable our children to bring glory to God in their lives.

But if the purpose of education is an important question, a question of almost equal importance is, who has been given the mandate for this job.

As we think on this, we must really be careful not to let worldly thinking slip in. Our answer must be a God-given answer, not a cultural or pragmatic one. How can we find out who's job education is according to God? We must look into his word.

Now funnily enough we find that the Bible gives absolutely no information on schools. We cannot find a mandate from the Bible for schools as we know them. Michael Drake, a New Zealand principal of Carey College puts it this way:-

"The school is a pragmatic institution, permitted but not required. The home, the church and the state are institutions ordained by God with specific functions, but the school has no such mandate."

The Bible makes it more than clear, that the role of education of children, is first and foremost the responsibility of parents. Deuteronomy 6:4-14 lends support to this idea. Moses is reminding the people of God's law for them, and in verse 4 - 14 he lays out for parents how and when they should be reminding their children about the law of God. It comprehensively covers the whole of life. Now one of you may object, saying "It's impossible to teach the law of God through the child's whole life."

This objection is common, but what I think it shows a lack of understanding of the law of God. The law of God and his truth impinges on every single thing that we do in life. God his law and truth is not outside any single activity that one can think of.

Ephesians 6, also gives insight as to how children are to be trained. In verse 4, we are told that fathers are not to provoke their children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. Now you might think to yourself "How can I bring my child up in the training and admonition of the Lord in Maths, or History?" But I ask you; who made this universe? Who created the order of this world? Who is the God of Maths? And again; who is the sovereign God who controls all history? Our God is God of everything.

Part of bringing our children up in the training and admonition of the Lord is to show them that there is nothing that God is silent on. We must not exasperate our children, by telling them there is a God over all, and then sending them to be trained by people who deny God's existence and shut him out from learning; people who have a larger time frame than we to train them. My parents never taught my little brother that Santa Claus was real. They taught him from an early age that they bought James presents, and not a man in a red suit. Their reasoning for this, was that if they told James he was true, later when they told him "Actually Santa Claus isn't true", that would put doubt about other things in his mind. For instance "Is Jesus true?" Now, I think this is a pretty sound idea, and I'm sure many of you do too. But how many of us transfer this kind of thinking over to our children's schooling? Fathers, we must make sure we do not exasperate out children, by telling them the importance of God in everything, and then having pagans tell our children He doesn't exist.

Fathers, God says that we are responsible for bringing up our children in the training and admonition of the Lord. God holds that we, not schools are responsible for this. So if we get it wrong, it's not the schools we can blame, but ourselves. Some say that when our children get home from school, we can go over what they learnt that day, and then teach it from a Christian perspective.

I raise three objections to this line of thinking.

1. Why bother re-teaching them? Would it not be a better use of time to teach them correctly in the first place?
2. Pragmatically, who actually would do this?
3. Some of the things our children will learn at a secular school are not going to be as outright as evolution, and the subtlety will escape them, and we will have no chance to correct the error.

Friday, May 27, 2005


Folks, my next in the Christian education series has been delayed until next week.

I have an incredibly busy week, some of which can be attributed to having a teenager stay at the flat, and most to a Grace assignment.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Amusing Playground Incident

After the bell, at the drinking fountain.

Child 1: Hey you've got a lolly. You're not allowed lollies at school.
Child 2: It's not a lolly, it's a cough lolly.

Friday, May 20, 2005


Sing yourselves a song. I'm a bit busy today. I know you are on the edge of your seats. Don't fall off now.

Coming soon "Who's Job is it Anyway."

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Purpose of School

Has anybody ever stopped to think about why we have schools? For many of us, like so many other things in our culture, we never use the useful little word 'why' in conjunction with the word school. Schools have become an almost universally accepted part of western culture and life.

So how should the Christian parent see schooling? What purpose should it have? There are many Christians who see school as the place where children learn the skills they need to get a 'good' job later on in life. I would like to suggest this is a poor purpose for schools. There are others who believe schools mystically show children how to socialise in the real world. Again I would suggest this as well as not being true, is an inadequate reason for school. Related to this idea is the idea that schools teach children how to live in society. Once again I would suggest that this is another inadequate reason for schooling.

So then, what should the purpose of school be? For the Christian, the purpose of school must be seen in how it enables the child to be more competent in glorifying God and enjoying him forever. The goal of education for the Christian is training in godliness. We are to bring our children up in the training and admonition of the Lord, as Ephesians 6 tells us.

This is the primary focus of education as God wants it, and therefore the primary focus of schooling for children of Christian parents. If as we believe God has prepared good works for us to do, we must prepare our children for those good works. We act in faith that God will in time bring them into his fold and use them for his service. Our children learn, we learn, so we can better serve God now and in the future with our gifts. We do our best to be approved workmen who can correctly handle the word of God.

But it is not enough for parents to know the purpose of education, we must constantly tell our children why they are at school. This especially applies if they happen to be in a secular school, which promotes unbiblical ideas about the purpose of education. Since most Christians at this point and time have been educated in secular schools, unhelpful ideas of the purpose of education and schooling are rife within Christian circles. I can’t tell you the number of people who have asked me why I bothered doing an Arts degree in philosophy. There seems to be an unhelpful attitude to Arts degrees, as if they are a second class degree. The reasoning is something like “that’s not going to get you a job”. But as we have discussed, the purpose of learning is not primarily about getting a job. It is to prepare you to serve God in your life.

What I believe I have done is given the true and biblical purpose of education. If this is something we agree with, we must ask the question of ourselves: - Where will my children be best equipped for a life of godliness and service to the Lord?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

What is Neutrality?

As a result of discussion on this post, I have decided to post on neutrality. There was some discussion on what neutrality was. So I want to consider whether an education void of ‘gods’ would be neutral.

So what do we mean when we say that secular education is not neutral? We are speaking of neutrality in the spiritual realm. For the Christian, this should be immediately clear. There is no neutrality for the Christian. If something is for God, it is not neutral. If something is for another 'god', it is anti our God.

But one of you will say "But they don't teach from any religious perspective in state schools.” But this statement reveals a certain naivety about the nature of the state education. Of course they teach from a religious perspective in a state school! It's just that out government has for years denied the religious nature of this particular set of ideas about the way the world is. Secular humanism is the worldview which our secular schools have underlying the assumptions of the curriculum, and most of the lives of the teachers in their schools.

What is secular humanism, but a set of religious ideas about the way the world is, and how man should function in this world? Sure secular humanism does not have a conventional super 'God' like the Muslims, or Christians, but it has replaced this religious idea of God, with the idea that man himself is god. Man is the constructor of truth. Man creates his own destiny. So, even secular education, which some regard as a neutral education which doesn’t come from any particular religious perspective, is highly religious. If you don’t grasp this point, you have failed to see where the battle is at, and the devil has already a mighty foothold in the battle for minds.

This is where many Christians have failed to fight the battle. They have swallowed the lie that if we take Allah, Jehovah, Christ, and every other mainstream religious figure and their teachings out of the curriculum we will have neutrality. This is the lie the government would have us believe, the lie we must refuse to believe. To take God out of education is to take up a religious position. It is to say that he does not need to have anything to do with education, and that education is outside the realm of practical Christianity.

Why is this a problem? Well, we know that God is the author of truth, and it is through Christ that we too can know the truth. So if we take him away from our education, we will not understand the world correctly. God is in maths, God is in history, God is in science, God is in language. Take God out of education, and you take away the God who created these things, and you will understand them incorrectly, and out of their true context.

In practical terms how is secular education not neutral. Let me give you a few examples.

A secular school will teach that men and women do not have distinct roles. It will teach that women just like men should pursue a career, and that motherhood is not an important role, and can and should be passed onto ‘experts’ in day-care. Women cannot feel totally fulfilled when they ‘don’t get a proper job’. However as bible believing Christians, we understand that woman was created as a helper to man. Furthermore we believe in the importance of the mother being a caregiver to children. Indeed I should perhaps not imply all Christians believe this, because again secular thinking has crept into the church on this matter of roles; which is again another proof of the dangers of secular education for those who are not ready for it.

Furthermore, a secular school teaches that there is nothing wrong with sex outside of marriage, ‘as long as it’s safe sex’. Homosexuality is promoted along side more traditional idea as a valid option. The most important thing in the equation is that the child must decide what is right for them. And all this is promoted in a context which actively promotes the idea that sex is not a big thing. Christian truth however tells us that sex is a very special thing, and is God’s gift to those who are married.

Learning to read provides an excellent example of how secular education will clash with Christian truth. In secular schools the widespread, and as I understand it now universal practise of a whole language approach, or ‘look-say’ method is used. In this method the child is encouraged to guess words they don’t know. The pictures on the page provide hints on what the correct word might be.

This particular example hit close to home for me. When I first began school, my parents sent me to the local primary school. It was as they say a ‘good’ school. I failed to learn to read. I was seven when my mum had finally had enough, and she decided to teach me to read herself. So my mother tried teaching me by a method known as phonics. The child is taught different sounds that the various letter combinations make, and uses this knowledge when they come across a word they are unsure of. Not long afterwards I could read.

Why do I bring this point up? Merely to show that what people believe will effect how they teach. When there is no God, why should we assume there is any right way of structuring learning? Should not the child make truth for himself? But for the Christian we believe there is order. These competing ideas are evident in the two different approaches to reading.

Spelling is another example of where secular schools are not neutral. What were we taught at school about spelling? It doesn’t matter how you spell words even in your English essays as long as the person marking it can understand what you are saying. In a Christian school however, a child learns phonetically to read, and thus can usually spell reasonably well. But spelling is considered and important part of writing, and is marked. In the secular school, the child makes his own truth, in the Christian school, there is an absolute standard.

And finally there is the area of post modernism. In a state school, much of the curriculum will show a kind of relativism. What is true for one person or social group may not be true for another. People must construct truth for themselves, and they must be tolerant of other’s truths. The Christian school however will teach that there is absolute truth. We may not know for sure what that actually is, but it exists nevertheless. But this postmodernism has crept into the church also. We are urged not to worry too much about doctrinal issues which divide. We shouldn’t debate doctrine or issues, because this is assuming that certain beliefs can be true apart from our own individual experience.

These are just a few ideas of where the battle for minds is at in a secular school. They are not exhaustive. What we need to realise is the secular humanist (religious) worldview pervades the whole curriculum of a state school, and it takes a well equipped and trained adolescent to deal with this.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Comment Etiquette

Well it's nice to know ya'll read my blog. I just want to remind everyone, that there is a certain etiquette we must follow when we are debating issues on my blog.

1. If you have something worthwhile to say, please put your name to it. Don't hide behind anonymity.

2. If you enter into a debate, please enter it by engaging the topic. Don't bring personalities into an issue. The question is whether you think something is right or wrong, not what you think of the person who said it.

3. Do not misquote people.

4. Do not impute motives.

Comments which fall outside these guidelines will be deleted.

A Good Question

Why do Christian parents send their children to schools with syllabuses controlled by our secular government; schools with teachers who are largely pagan and immoral, and expect their children to turn out understanding the world as God sees things?

Giving an education which ignores God's role in every subject is not neutral. It is taking an anti-God stance. When parents send their children to state schools, are they not saying to their children that there are some things in our lives in which God does not need to play a part. Is it any wonder that Christians by and large are compartmentalizing their faith, seeing it as increasingly irrelevant to large sections of their lives. A generation holding to a weak brand of 'fluffy-brained' Christianity will be the result of this systematic brain-washing we are forcing upon our children.

We are told that we are in a battle. Tell me; what battling nation would send their new recruits for training in the nation they are fighting against? Surely this is folly! Our whole lives must be set apart to our God. We must be transformed by the renewing of our minds. How can we expect this to happen for our children, when they are constantly, actively and passively taught in the classroom that God is irrelevant?

Friday, May 13, 2005

If it works....

Jono and I each put out $20 on the bench last night. We decided that this time if we did not get up to have our time of prayer and Bible reading today, we would each cut our money in half. (Actually Jono had $10 and a movie voucher). I don't know if this is the greatest motivation, but it helped us get up and start our readings in Deuteronomy.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Wrapping Up The Series

Well, that's the plan anyway. I am now on part 6 of a 6 part series on John 8, and will be preaching the wrap up sermon on Sunday night. Unfortunately I have been really busy / procrastinating, and really can't be bothered to finish it off. Oh well more coffee methinks. It doesn't help that my sleep keeps on getting interrupted. Last night, the security company that looks after Covenant rang me up at 3:30, and said the alarm was going off in the school.

So I armed myself with a metal bar, jumped in the Alfa and raced down there. The lights of one classroom were on, and the windows were open. I did a check of the building, but turned up nothing, so just reset everything, and re-locked up. But once the adrenaline starts running, it's hard to go straight back to sleep. What makes it worse is that this is the second time in two weeks that they have rung at the exact same time!

As I look back to my title I realise it is misleading. Oh well. Deal with it.

Joke - Courtesy of Alana

Thanks Alana for the happy birthday letter! The joke deserves to be shared.

A farmer was milking his cow. He was just starting to get a good rhythm going when a bug flew into the barn and started circling about his head. Suddenly the bug flew into the cow's ear. The farmer didn't think much about it, until the bug squirted out into his bucket. It went in one ear, and out the udder.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

You know your birthday is cool when...

a) You go to the door in the morning, and those cds you ordered weeks ago have arrived, with like carrot seeds attached.

b) You thrash your younger flatmate (yeah the one who has been mocking you about your age) 10 - 0 in fooseball.

c) Your other flatmate offers to make an awesome breakfast for you.

d) You have heaps of fives in your birthday. Like 5/5/5, on the 5th day of the week. And you're turning 25. Yeah.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Stupid Post

May the 4th be with you.

Monday, May 02, 2005

You Are Invited!

On the 5th day of this week, you are invited to

Scott’s 5 x 5th birthday '05

Date: 5/5/5

Time: 5:55pm & 55 seconds

Venue: My Place

Bring: A filled plate for a potluck dinner, and your presence NOT presents.