“I am a man who with the utmost daring discovered what had been discovered before.” -GK Chesterton
GK Chesterton was a 20th century apologist, philosopher, and novelist who had much to say about rebellion. He once quipped that he was so bored of rebellion that he decided to rebel against it and found himself sitting squarely on the path paved by Christian orthodoxy.
Thinking about Rebellion
In these first few days of school I have thought about the task of Christian education in the light of this rebellion. When we think of rebellion we might imagine Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, or even a teenager experimenting with drugs or alcohol, but I doubt many have ever thought of rebellion as Mr. Chesterton did - as one trusting in Christian orthodoxy and living on the straight and narrow. Rebellion presupposes a moral standard, and rebelling against rebellion throws your life right back in line with the moral standard and is even close to what theologians may call repentance.
How Christian Schooling is Rebellious
Now how often have you thought of Christian education as a rebellion? Not much I imagine, but more and more I’m seeing schooling under a Christian worldview as mutiny. A mutiny or rebellion against what you may ask? Well, here are a few short answers.
- A rebellion against hopelessness because what hope lives in merely an atheistic view of the world in which the best we can expect is a dance to our DNA?
- A rebellion against lawlessness because what joy lives in a school where a child is unsafe to attend?
- A rebellion against meaninglessness because what meaning lives in an education that seeks to continually measure our value against standardized test scores?
- A rebellion against wickedness because what freedoms live in school that celebrates and even commands a state run morality and slavery to our passions?
Christian schooling is rebellion against hopelessness, lawlessness, meaninglessness, wickedness, and a host of other words that end in “n-e-s-s”, but more importantly it is a school that reflects the teachings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is in this sort of education that we experience true hope, real joy, profound meaning, and abounding freedom. We hope that this momentary life is not all there is. We experience real joy in knowing that our Savior lives to intercede for us. We experience profound meaning realizing that we have been created and continually loved by our Abba Father, and we experience freedom to enjoy the life we ought to live - the life we were created for and not simply as slaves to our various lusts.
The vision of “education in the light of God’s word” is what ultimately opened up the doors at Lakeland Christian School some 60 years ago. I’m not sure the founders thought in terms of being rebels that far back, but according to GK Chesterton that is exactly what they were doing. So this year, if your child demands the freedom to rebel, tell them that is exactly what they doing by attending LCS.
Bill Riley teaches secondary math at Lakeland Christian School. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.