I love the fact that Fortis Academy is multidenominational in a manner that allows liberty to express our opinions. One of our goals at Fortis Academy is to empower our children to be able to express their opinions with eloquence, persuasiveness and using sound logic. We also want to teach our students to engage in civil discourse in a manner that respectfully listens and responds to the opinions of others. When I was in the Texas State Guard, I was the chaplain for a regimental change of command ceremony, where I boldly glorified Jesus Christ. (The Texas State Guard allows chaplains to be bold Christians.) Afterward, a soldier who was a Jew confronted me because he was offended. We talked for quite a while, and as I expressed to him that I thought the policy to allow Christians to be fully Christian and Jews to be fully Jews in an organization is more respectful to all people and is a good way to encourage civil discourse, his offence turned to excitement.
One of my personal opinions is that we are living in a culture that is highly divisive, and if we allow propaganda to unduly influence us, we run the risk of compromising our Christian character. For example, I believe it is important for all citizens to be involved in politics, and that we should hold deep convictions in that area. Yet, it seems that when people listen too much to the media, regardless of their persuasion, there is a risk of losing civility and charity toward others. Jesus said, “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? (Luke 6:40–41, NKJV)” How can people know how to properly relate to one another if they have not been trained in ethics, and there is no greater teacher of ethics than the Christian faith. This is what many of America’s founding fathers understood, and in the classical tradition, they were convinced that education is about forming the whole person, including their faith and morality. That is what we seek to accomplish at Fortis Academy. The great teacher is Jesus Christ, and the goal is for us to be like Him.
Each year I become more convinced that an education that fails to teach faith and morality robs our children of dignity and of the skills they need to be both successful and satisfied in life. My personal conviction is that the greatest problem with America is that we have lost the fear of the Lord. If all we do is teach academic knowledge and prepare people for careers without forming character and faith, then immorality may rot our nation from the inside out. The great conversation in Western civilization wrestles with the issues that are common to man, but it is the Christian faith and the redemption that is in Jesus Christ that is the solution. An excellent education prepares people to be successful in their careers, but also trains them to be responsible citizens and members of society. At Fortis, we believe this is accomplished through training in Christian faith, thought and character.