Monday, September 26, 2011

To Begin With Vol.I Part 4

The Sage and the School Boy

A lad came by the Fix-it Shop
with another broken toy.
“What is to become of us,"
the old man asked the boy.

What is?” the boy replied,
“we cannot know for sure.
My teacher says what’s truth
for me may not be truth for her.
And 'to become,' she’d say,
means what I want to be
and not, as you’ve suggested,
what God expects of me.
Of us’ the last words of the six,
there at the question’s end,
might mean man's fate is shared
alike with foe and friend.
But since we cannot know
what was or is or is in store,
my teacher says we just exist--
we are and nothing more.
And so, you see, your question
was faulty from the start.
If you had gone to school with me,
you might be just as smart.”

With that the lad took back his toy
and scampered out the door.
“What is to become of us?”
the old man asked once more.
© Copyright -2008 Tom Kapanka
A Sage is a sagacious person, one who knows that the simplest, most penetrating questions of life often prompt the answer man wishes most to ignore. When we talk about education to begin with, we are talking about a learning environment quite the opposite of that reflected by the little boy's confident answers in this poem.

This young lad has adopted a worldview void of scriptural truth in which he believes we cannot know "what is." We merely exist. The teacher he so clearly admires is an existentialist, one who believes truth is not absolute; it is "self determined" within one's own mind. Conflicting and incongruent truths have equal weight--not that it matters, because the meaning of life is meaningless. There is no God, no divine purpose, no plan, We're here; we live; we die... so eat, drink, and be merry. When existentialism gives way to pleasure, we call it hedonism ("If it feels good, do it.")  A good humanistic existentialist or hedonist may add..."Oh, and be nice. Live and let live." But even this advice will not be based in a moral absolute but rather in two pragmatic conclusions: first, being nice tends to make us feel better (and feeling better is almost as important as  "feeling good.") And secondly, "live and let live" reminds existentialists that one's existence should not be cut short by others--everyone is entitled to wander aimlessly around in search of good feelings until they naturally die and go to dust.

Christian education is not just sugar-coated existentialism or hedonism. It is different to begin with, different at its foundation, different at its core, different in perspective. A Christian education teaches all of the essential subjects for life preparation in a context of shared beliefs, including...God is sovereign and man is accountable to Him. All truth is God's truth and the beginning of wisdom is impossible apart from Him. The authority, authenticity, and reliability of the Bible are not enhanced by man's believe nor diminished by his disbelief. 

By being taught from a Christian worldview, students more fully understand the significance of life, the consequences of ideas and actions and each individual’s need for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Tom Kapanka
CCS Administrator

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