A Sidekick's Blog

Re-Thinking My Next Career

March 11, 2015
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I’m about to get my Associate of Arts degree in History. Yay for me. I minored in Education, taking three courses that are required for certification as a teacher here in Florida, so I have them out of the way when I transfer to my next school to finish my B.A. (also in History, perhaps something else). Finishing up my classes this semester, I’m taking the last two of the three required education courses, Introduction to the Teaching Profession (EDF2005) and Diversity for Educators (EDF2085). What I am learning in those classes has me seriously reconsidering becoming a schoolteacher, at least in a “public” (I prefer the term “government”) school.

The Diversity class, as expected, is nothing but a State-mandated propaganda course in political correctness. The textbook is filled with suppositions that are not only unfounded, but also completely at odds with the principles upon which our own nation and government were founded: Personal responsibility, limited government, local control of local issues, free markets, freedom of opinion, debate, economy, and as little government regulation/intrusion/control as possible. The Diversity coursework assumes not only that government can solve every human weakness and problem in the world (poverty, inequality, prejudice, sexism, etc), but that government should cure every human failing and solve every social problem, using government’s one unique asset: The power of coercion by force.

Harry Browne said it best on page 31 of his wonderful 2003 book titled, Why Government Doesn’t Work:

But coercion never produces harmony. How harmonious are people who are being forced to act against their will? Most likely, those who are coerced will resent those who benefit from the coercion. This sets group against group; it doesn’t bring them together.

Instead of persuasion by reason, by debate, by discourse, or by “voting with your wallet” in a free market, the answer is to simply use the force of government to impose sanctions on those who disagree. But the real answer to injustice and bigotry is the gospel! The human heart must be changed from within. Dressing mud-loving hogs in nice clothing does not change their nature, it’s just a waste of nice clothing. But God has been evicted from government, and from government schools in particular. So a lot of clothes get wasted, and government responds by spending more money on nice clothing and passing rules against mud, and spending even more money to incarcerate hogs for doing what hogs do. It’s a reincarnation of the lesson that Prohibition apparently failed to teach us: Legislating “morality” – even so-called secular morality – doesn’t work.

But it isn’t just “political correctness” that has me re-thinking my next vocation:

My other class, a much better put-together class that I have actually enjoyed and learned a great deal from is called Introduction to the Teaching Profession. It really is a good introduction to that career as far as I can tell. Largely free of the politically correct assumptions that must be accepted in order to succeed in the Diversity class, this one has shown me what is expected of educators in government schools and given me a far greater appreciation of teachers, their work, and the impossible constraints placed upon them. If I can’t even get an A in my Diversity class without violating my conscience (I’m only maintaining a C average in that class because I refuse to violate my conscience), what in heck am I going to do when my paycheck depends on it?

Teachers are not trusted to know what they’re doing, much less given any liberty to teach, except “to the tests.” Their evaluations and livelihoods are directly tied to student test scores rather than to better measures of actual learning. Zeal for accountability runs roughshod over students, families, teachers, and schools alike. Ideologically-based social experiments take deep cuts right through living human beings to achieve political objectives that cannot benefit anyone but the elites who profit from coercive testing and coercive government programs. I honestly cannot see myself as willingly having any part whatsoever in such a corrupt system, but I deeply admire and pray earnestly for Christian believers who are somehow able to survive there (so far anyway) while maintaining a clear conscience. In all honesty, I don’t think I could. God bless those who can.

So should I only look at private Christian schools? Should I look at teaching overseas where there might be, somewhere on this shrinking planet, a system that benefits students rather than existing only to achieve ungodly political ends? Does such a country even exist on Earth? Should I forget about teaching in the K-12 range and just major in the subjects I love and am passionate about, only to teach on the college level as a curmudgeonly professor at some little private Christian college? I have to admit, I think I’d love that. But I was hoping to work as a K-12 teacher on my way through a Master’s program. That would give me the benefit of gaining teaching experience before I jumped into a college faculty position (not to mention keeping student loan debt at bay). Now, I wonder if that is even possible.

Please share this post with any Christian educators you know. I would really appreciate some advice and counsel on this – counsel I cannot get from guidance counselors at my school. I need to hear from Christian educators about this. Christians who put God first, who do not surrender their principles for a paycheck, and for whom teaching is a true calling rather than just a job. Advice can be posted in the comments section below. I read them all.

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Defining “Reformed Baptist” (again)

March 9, 2015
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It’s surprising how quickly the meanings of words and definitions change.  In fact I’m sure that a lot of plain, longstanding theological definitions are deliberately changed – without saying so – in order to “justify” some new and completely unorthodox theological position while making it appear orthodox by using familiar terminology.

Federal Visionists in my former denomination have turned the Reformation on it’s head to justify such unorthodox things as paedocommunion and salvation-by-sacrament, yet most of them claim the Westminster Confession and the Three Forms of Unity.  All they had to do was apply new definitions to the old terms and viola – they’ve undone the Reformation using their Reformed Confession.  They know that their heretical position cannot be justified in Baptist theology, so they call even 1689-Confessional Baptists “non-Reformed.”

Absurd.  They’re a heckuvalot further removed from the Reformation than any Reformed Baptist is.  But it seems that, again, Reformed Baptists – just at a time when we are rediscovering our own roots and restoring our churches to their historic heritage – have to defend our very existence again, as others change the meanings of plain, long-understood theological terms.  Linked below is a wonderfully clear article which I hope will help cement our identity.  Enjoy:

Defining “Reformed Baptist” (again).