“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3–5, NKJV)
A passage like this could be read from a perspective that fosters self-righteous pride which would produce the exact opposite culture that is intended. When we begin with the assumption that God is love and that God’s word, when faithfully approached, fosters humility and love in us, the same passage will produce its true desired end in us. That end is the character and love of Christ. In a similar way, we need to ask good questions when we hear something new and not presuppose that we understand what is meant.
At our 2017 graduation, Dr. Brad Helgerson gave a passionate appeal to our graduates to go forth from Fortis Academy and engage in the biblical cultural mandate. It is a message that describes the heartbeat of our school (which can be found on our website). Yet for many, it was a very new idea that Dr. Helgerson presented.
Among true believers, there are groups who have become fearful about the future of our nation and believe the solution is to retreat from culture. Such a position is a result of their worldview. Fortis academy is a multidenominational school that embraces a worldview of hope and faith for the future of our children and our culture. The idea is that we make the world a better place as we embrace our individual vocations. It was a passion to develop a comprehensive Christian worldview in our community that has launched several worldview small groups. It is exciting that our teachers and co-teachers have begun a dialogue on Christian worldview and by doing so are engaging in a cultural war.
“The culture war” is best summed up by Jesus who declared that the rulers of gentiles seek to lord it over others, but leaders in His kingdom are servants (Matt. 20:25). Humility, compassion, love and a servant’s heart represents one culture that develops when leaders serve the interests of others. Tyranny and oppression represent another culture that results from people using others to serve their selfish ends. Our goal in developing a Christian worldview through education is to hopefully inspire our children with a dream of Christ’s kingdom and how it practically works out in the real world. What we are discussing is not really something new because it can be traced through the history of the church. It has many facets, and it is beautiful. For example, we hear it in comments such as this one from Dr. Spence Jones:
Religion has a message for every rank of human society. Like the sun in the heavens, religion exerts the benignest influence on men of every rank and station. It teaches the monarch humility and self-restraint. It teaches princes to live for others. It teaches magistrates the value of equity and justice. It teaches merchants principles of honesty and truthfulness. It cares for the poorest and the meanest among men; inspires them with the spirit of industry; casts a halo of beauty over the lowliest lot. Nothing that appertains to man is too insignificant for the notice of true religion. For every stage in life, from childhood to old age, religion has some kindly ministration. For every circumstance it affords some succour. It superadds dignity to the prince. It gives a kingly bearing to the peasant. It links all classes (when unhindered) in true and blissful harmony. Tyranny on the one hand, and insubordination on the other, are equally obnoxious to religion.
One can easily imagine the culture such a worldview fosters in society. Here is another example of the Christian worldview:
“Francis Bacon, the “father of the scientific method,” expressed the relationship of sin to science in these famous words: For man by the Fall fell both from his state of innocence and his dominion over creation. Both of these, however, can even in this life be made good; the former by religion and faith, the latter by arts and sciences.”
Bacon is essentially saying that the Christian faith deals with sin in the hearts of man, and through arts and sciences man is able to cause culture to reflect heaven’s rule on earth. This accurately sums up why we are a classical Christian school. We want to develop the highest level of academic excellence because it empowers our children to make the world more beautiful for the glory of God. This is true regardless of whether their vocation leads them to college or not.