Jump to content

Menu

Christians, new earth and Sonlight


Recommended Posts

I don't think this has been discussed; sorry if I missed it!

 

http://johnscorner.blogspot.com/2009/01/are-you-being-treated-like-child-who.html

 

Sonlight is being excluded from the Christian Home Educators of Colorado conference because a few of their Usborne books include evolution and old earth stuff.

 

This is so upsetting to me. As if Christians don't have enough working against them, now we're tearing ourselves up from the inside! Is the prevailing Christian thought that you have to believe in the Young Earth theory or you're not a Christian?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's RIDICULOUS!!!!!

 

I don't care whether they're young earth or old earth. What I care about is whether their curriculum forces one opinion or another on me and the answer to that is no. They even have a full page or two on it in EVERY instructor's guide explaining how YOU are the Parent and YOU are responsible for deciding what your kids will learn. Young earth, Old earth, the moon is made of green cheese. ridiculous.

 

:rant:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, and one more thing :D I don't belong to my state organization, and I 100% agree with his last statement.

 

If you're involved in homeschooling, especially Christian homeschooling, I wonder if your state convention sponsors may be keeping you from hearing the "other side" in debates that concern you?

 

I don't need the states regulating me and telling me what/how to teach my child, and I certainly don't need the "Homeschool Organizations" doing it either.

 

OK, Now I'm really done;)

 

Thanks for the link, I think it's important.

Blessings!

Dorinda

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's as if people cannot think for themselves regarding curriculum choices.

 

And let me just add that I am not renewing membership in our state Christian home school group for similar reasons. They haven't taken to banning curriculum programs, but they do expect, in my view, a certain "type" of Christian. Things have taken a turn within the group where if you don't fit that mold, and don't agree with those things, you are really uncomfortable at many of the functions. There is a lot of judgment involved. I don't DO judgment!

 

Anyway, just had to throw my 2 cents in to this one. It makes me want to buy Sonlight just because...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that is a real disgrace. There are plenty of Christians, myself included, who don't believe in the literal seven day creation, but who are still VERY much creationists! Besides, my dd is fascinated with the different ideas and philosophies regarding creation and we enjoy discussing them and I teach her open mindedness while still "teaching" creation- isn't that our job? If we keep our dc from the ideas of- whatever else- now, then are we properly preparing them for them for their future in the world? I think having other ideas addressed in the history encyclopedia are great because I wouldn't buy a book JUST on evolution, but I want it discussed at home YKWIM?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, are you saying that organizations aren't allowed to have rules/standards as to who participates in their activities? That seems a dangerous road to go down. . . .

 

There are many places that people can see Sonlight - other curriculum fairs, their extensive website, etc. It's not like access is being truly denied access to information about a curriculum.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, are you saying that organizations aren't allowed to have rules/standards as to who participates in their activities? That seems a dangerous road to go down. . . .

 

There are many places that people can see Sonlight - other curriculum fairs, their extensive website, etc. It's not like access is being truly denied access to information about a curriculum.

 

I think their guidelines are a little discriminatory. I understand if they denied someone like Goddess Moon Circles Academy from attending, but this is SONlight. And their reasoning is on a very minuet point. It's not like they are claiming paganism and wanting to attend the conference.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, are you saying that organizations aren't allowed to have rules/standards as to who participates in their activities? That seems a dangerous road to go down. . . .

 

There are many places that people can see Sonlight - other curriculum fairs, their extensive website, etc. It's not like access is being truly denied access to information about a curriculum.

 

The problem is that the state homeschool groups are usually the ones holding the curriculum fairs. That is the case in our state. The only other way to look at curriculum is to ask around by word of mouth or order it.

 

Although I believe in young-earth creationism, there are many Christians who do not. This is not a fundamental element of the Christian faith.

 

Paula

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, are you saying that organizations aren't allowed to have rules/standards as to who participates in their activities? That seems a dangerous road to go down. . . .

 

Of course they are *allowed* to have rules. I don't think anyone has suggest that we go down the "dangerous" road of not allowing such rules.

 

But we are allowed to criticize the actions of other that we find disgraceful. Are you suggesting we not be allowed to do so because such criticism is ... what? Dangerous? Reasonable minds will disagree on whether such a standard is a good one, and I can't think of any reason why Christians on a homeschool board can't share and discuss the standards that a homeschool organization pubishes regarding which curriculum providers are invited to a conference. Some will agree with it, some will disagree. Isn't that okay?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the point is the assumption that a Christian h.s.ers = young earth. As one poster pointed out, there are plenty of Old Earth Creationists out there who very much consider themselves Christians.

And this is precisely why, although we are Christians, I try to keep all our materials as secular as possible. It takes too much time and energy to wade through what might be contrary to our beliefs. I think school is school. We live our faith so we don't have to include it in school work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is the prevailing Christian thought that you have to believe in the Young Earth theory or you're not a Christian?

 

Yeah, it probably is, among a certain circle. Just as women are our own worst enemies, so it is with Christians.

 

From the days when I first looked into homeschooling, 9 years ago, I was turned off by virtually every organization/curriculum that specifically identified itself as Christian...and I'm a Christian. Go figure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Although I believe in young-earth creationism, there are many Christians who do not. This is not a fundamental element of the Christian faith.

 

Paula

 

I have been told to my face that if I don't believe in a young earth that I am going to hell. It was a very one-sided discussion. I had not, and did not, share my views, I simply suggested that Hugh Ross and Reasons to Believe had an incredible rate of converts among intellectuals based on an old-earth creationist view.

Edited by laughing lioness
spelling error- again!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And therein lies the reason I don't belong to organized homeschooling groups. I don't need their organization to "protect" me from opposing viewpoints. I'm a young earth creationist, but I have *gasp* Usborne and DK science books on my shelves, along with science books from ICR and AIG. It's a dangerous thing to NOT know what the other side believes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the point is the assumption that a Christian h.s.ers = young earth. As one poster pointed out, there are plenty of Old Earth Creationists out there who very much consider themselves Christians.

 

I'd be nice if you had rephrased that, at least for the sake of peace, instead of implying that there are old earth creationists that just "consider" themselves Christians. It came across a little judgmentally I felt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just for the record, most Sonlighters that I am aware of, or have read posts from, consider themselves young earth. As John said, Sonlight either doesn't schedule the pages in Usborne that imply evolution or they make sure to address the issue in their notes so that parents can discuss it intelligently with their kids. Sonlight has always felt the best place to come across some of these controversial issues is in the home with their parents. If you read any of their literature you will see this philosophy. They have many books that have things in them that a conservative, evangelical Christian would disagree with. But again, they always address it and give the parents the resources to discuss with their kids. This won't work with every family but is definately not undermining a family's faith. I think that is my biggest problem with them being kicked out of this conference. Most people who use this curriculum would be right on with this group but they take a different approach to teaching their kids.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many hs groups now have a literal 6 day creation in their SoF. At kleast the last 2 I saw, did.

 

We haven't joined any of those groups since DH joined the Catholic Church in 2005. Used to be, the "head of household" could sign a SoF (ie, DH, who was an evangelical at the time and did not use the Cathoilic Bible, the sticking point for me as a Catholic and most SoFs. But once he joined the Church, none of could sign it. I actually had no problems, or at least not as many as you would think, as a Catholic in a group with evangelical/ultra-conservative Christians.(We were in S.MS and there was no other group!) People are much more willing to rationally discuss things than these groups at first lead you to believe. Yes, there were a few who would not want my kids at their house, but by and large, that was never the case. HSing was the common bond, and a love for Christ, regardless of denomination. Heck, we even went to election day co-op type things as the lone Democrats, and people never shunned us. (OK, maybe a few, but still, not so bad!)These groups do their members a disservice by promoting this type of ultra-narrow definition of Christianity.

 

We've joined no groups since then- no need as we have many neighborhood kids around now.

 

I am fearful of the current trend towards very narrowly definied, legalistic and ultra conservative Christianity as the "face" of hs'ing. I think it hurts the hs'ing community as a whole. And I love me some Sonlight, so I feel badly all those attending are missing out on some really, really great literature based curriculum!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And this is precisely why, although we are Christians, I try to keep all our materials as secular as possible. It takes too much time and energy to wade through what might be contrary to our beliefs. I think school is school. We live our faith so we don't have to include it in school work.

 

Dagnabbit, Parrothead, I think this is the first time I've disagreed with you. I don't super-check our stuff for theology points. I pick what I think will be best and we discuss differing points as they come up. I've had at least as many differing points with secular books as with Christian. Great opportunities for discussion!

 

We don't avoid evolution like the plague. We discuss it. It's out there, let's talk about it. Maybe laugh a little, too.

 

But I find that 'secular' doesn't not mean absent from sharing some form of belief. Everyone has an opinion and it's rare to find even a secular book that doesn't let a little that opinion shine through.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, that seems rather exclusionary. I was an unschooler until this past year (really, just since January) who used Sonlight literature (certainly not the IG's, etc.) to enrich my kids' lives. If this athiest, unschooling family can find a place for Sonlight in our lives, I find it hard to believe Christians cannot. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just for the record, most Sonlighters that I am aware of, or have read posts from, consider themselves young earth.

 

I've used Sonlight, including their boards, for 8+ years and I wouldn't say the same. SL users really do run the gamut and it's not my impression that the majority are "young earth" believers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the point is the assumption that a Christian h.s.ers = young earth. As one poster pointed out, there are plenty of Old Earth Creationists out there who very much consider themselves Christians.

 

And there is a very large contingent of Christians who accept evolution as well. :)

 

I've found this Christianity=creationist attitude all over. I've even met incredulous athiests who thought creationism was some universal core doctrine and so denied I was Christian (when I was more certain of my faith).

 

I don't think this is simply about creationism for those using it too exclude fellow Christians or companies like Sonlight though. There seems be some bigger theoligical politics surrounding this that's a reaction against less literal and more liberal elements of Christianity. It would be an interesting thing to explore.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dagnabbit, Parrothead, I think this is the first time I've disagreed with you. I don't super-check our stuff for theology points. I pick what I think will be best and we discuss differing points as they come up. I've had at least as many differing points with secular books as with Christian. Great opportunities for discussion!

 

We don't avoid evolution like the plague. We discuss it. It's out there, let's talk about it. Maybe laugh a little, too.

 

But I find that 'secular' doesn't not mean absent from sharing some form of belief. Everyone has an opinion and it's rare to find even a secular book that doesn't let a little that opinion shine through.

 

I agree. This is what I was going to say. (Especially the highlighted parts.)

 

And I'm a bit of a Parrothead fan too. :001_smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks OP for posting this! I think this reaction is completely absurd. While I don't think Sonlight is right for our family, I love the idea that they expose kids to many different viewpoints. It is the parent's job to discuss beliefs, not some Christian homeschool organization. Funny, I recall Jesus hanging out with prostitutes, tax collectors, fishermen, and other general "riff-raff", but I guess that part of the Bible isn't as important as the Creation story. I also thought Jesus taught that the greatest commandment was love the Lord your God, not "Thou shalt believe in the literal 6-day creation or you will not be invited to our party." But hey, what do I know. My church baptizes babies, which is apparently the same as sacrificing babies, so I'm not a "real" Christian.:001_rolleyes:

 

I hate that Christians treat each other this way. I stopped telling people I was an old-earth creationist because they would look at me like I had Ebola. I'd almost rather admit I smoke crack in my closet than admit I think the earth may possibly be more than 6,000 years old. Can you imagine what they would say if I told them I was a Democrat?) I'll teach my kids both. They can decide for themselves. That's my whole reason for homeschooling. I want to give my children the tools to make up their own minds, not mindlessly follow along. :rant:

Edited by wendilouwho
bad grammar
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds to me like part of the problem is that the term "Christian" is too non-specific. Maybe we should start having homeschool groups labeled more specifically so that they can choose whom is represented at their activities without the controversy. For instance, if this was the Catholic Homeschoolers of Colorado, no one would think twice about them excluding Abeka or Bob Jones from their fair. Maybe new groups should be formed so that no one is offended, we could have the Seven-Day Creationists Christian Homeschool Group of Colorado and the Old-Earth Christian Homeschool Group of Colorado.

 

I still stick by my original statement, that if an organization has a set of beliefs by which they operate, and a company does not agree with those beliefs, it is up to them whether they include certain companies or not.

 

I also want to point out that the article only presented one-side, Sonlight's.

 

I have used Sonlight in the past and we enjoyed the materials but John Holzman is VERY outspoken about this issue and the issue is presented in every I.G. that I have. Yes, you can ignore it (which I've done) but it's still there and I would say it's very agressively presented in that he doesn't just say, "This is what I believe" and go on, he defends his position for pages and pages.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't over-rely on Usborne books. We balance the type of books we use, but....

 

Even if you're young earth, it's hard to get the same information and illustrations all in one book like Usborne does.

 

Especially when you're teaching history to a young child. The idea of something happening 3,000 years ago is foreign enough. The pictures help the child visualize.

 

I could sit all day describing a *shaduff* to my kid. :001_huh: A picture is worth a thousand words. In that particular case, I'm going to have to go with the picture and fewer, well chosen words.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a young earther, but can I just say how ridiculous that is? There are some resources, that will be "off", for us, here or there, but rather excellent overall comparatively. I take it as a teaching moment. My kids have learned that they will hear, "billions of years ago". They will even have to take tests in university and answer to the teachers' satisfaction, not necessarily their own. This is life. We don't have to agree. Here are their reasons and here are our's. This isn't so drastic as to have a bann against them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hate that Christians treat each other this way. I stopped telling people I was an old-earth creationist because they would look at me like I had Ebola. I'd almost rather admit I smoke crack in my closet than admit I think the earth may possibly be more than 6,000 years old. Can you imagine what they would say if I told them I was a Democrat?) I'll teach my kids both. They can decide for themselves. That's my whole reason for homeschooling. I want to give my children the tools to make up their own minds, not mindlessly follow along. :rant:

 

:lol::lol:

AMEN SISTER!

 

If you smoked crack in your closet, they would have hope for you. If you're an Old earth creationist democrat, they probably figure you're too far gone.:D

Dorinda

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We're young earth Creationists and we love both Sonlight Science and Usborne books. It doesn't offend me when people or publishers think differently than I do about things. I don't want my children to grow up being offended left and right. I LOVE that Sonlight helps us to focus on teaching our children to listen to others with respect and to treat others with dignity... no matter what the issues are.

 

Each year, I attend less and less of our state homeschool convention. The last couple of years, I only visited the vendors. And, Sonlight's booth was one of the only reasons I was there at all! In our state, the conventions have become less and less about homeschooling and more and more about a particular brand of political thinking... one I intentionally shun. We're almost completely dominated by the "back to patriarchy" type ministries and while I don't have a problem with them being there, I do have a problem with their being the FOCUS of why we are there. I think the focus should be homeschooling (duh) and not a particular brand of theology.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Each year, I attend less and less of our state homeschool convention. The last couple of years, I only visited the vendors. And, Sonlight's booth was one of the only reasons I was there at all! In our state, the conventions have become less and less about homeschooling and more and more about a particular brand of political thinking... one I intentionally shun. We're almost completely dominated by the "back to patriarchy" type ministries and while I don't have a problem with them being there, I do have a problem with their being the FOCUS of why we are there. I think the focus should be homeschooling (duh) and not a particular brand of theology.

 

It feels so good to hear a YE creationist say this. I've begun to pidgeonhole all creationists and assume they fine with the political themes running through some of the homeschooling groups and such. I've been assuming you guys weren't independent thinkers. Nice to see my stereotypes and assumtions blown completely out of the water by the posters in this thread! :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We don't avoid evolution like the plague. We discuss it. It's out there, let's talk about it. Maybe laugh a little, too.

 

 

We don't avoid Creationism/young earth. We discuss it. It's out there, lets' talk about it. Maybe laugh a little, too. ;):D

 

Astrid

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is why I only attend inclusive homeschooling conventions. Many Christians don't hear about them because many Christian groups look down upon associating with other groups. Many people in my state are shocked to hear that there is another statewide convention. For years, they believed that the Christian convention was the only one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I supported CHEC for years before my kids were actually school aged. About five years ago, CHEC started really narrowing its focus and becoming very dogmatic. I not only quit financially supporting them, but also quit going to the conferences and throw their newsletters right into the trash. I have heard that the man that runs CHEC also runs the most legalistic church in Colorado. I have never been there, so I can't say for sure. They do great work at protecting our homeschool rights and keeping up with politics, but their narrow brand of Christianity is so disturbing to me, that I can't support them any more. :001_smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We don't avoid Creationism/young earth. We discuss it. It's out there, lets' talk about it. Maybe laugh a little, too. ;):D

 

Astrid

 

Exactly! :D To pretend everyone in the whole world thinks as we do and to not acknowledge what others believe.....seems an awful lot like The Truman Show, ya know?

 

If reading a page in an Usborne book is going to make a child rebel against everything his parents have taught him.....maybe they weren't teaching him so well. Or maybe, he was going to grow up and make his own choices anyway? Cuz I hear they do that sometimes. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you're involved in homeschooling, especially Christian homeschooling, I wonder if your state convention sponsors may be keeping you from hearing the "other side" in debates that concern you?

People who don't know the "other side" have no one to blame but themselves. There are multidinous other ways of learning all sides of every issue; they're called "homeschool discussion forums." :-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem is that the state homeschool groups are usually the ones holding the curriculum fairs. That is the case in our state. The only other way to look at curriculum is to ask around by word of mouth or order it.

 

Although I believe in young-earth creationism, there are many Christians who do not. This is not a fundamental element of the Christian faith.

 

Paula

I guess I'm used to being in big states, where not only does the state hs organization(s) put on a convention but so does several regional groups.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nothing new here. Raymond & Dorothy Moore were blacklisted from state conferences in the late 80"s over curriculum.

They were blacklisted because they stirred up trouble. They decided that it was wrong for there to be Christian groups which only allowed Christians, that a statewide association shouldn't be Christian (he said this at a Christian statewide association convention), and wrote "Homeschool Burnout," in which he blasted The Teaching Home, Gregg Harris, Mary Pride, and others--not by name, but anyone who had been around hsing long enough at that time recognized his descriptions of how hsers burned themselves out by following TTH et al. There's more, but (1) I don't remember all the details any more:glare: (2) I no longer have some of the documentation I used to have, and (3) it no longer matters. But at any rate, he was not blacklisted over curriculum.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They were blacklisted because they stirred up trouble. They decided that it was wrong for there to be Christian groups which only allowed Christians, that a statewide association shouldn't be Christian (he said this at a Christian statewide association convention), and wrote "Homeschool Burnout," in which he blasted The Teaching Home, Gregg Harris, Mary Pride, and others--not by name, but anyone who had been around hsing long enough at that time recognized his descriptions of how hsers burned themselves out by following TTH et al. There's more, but (1) I don't remember all the details any more:glare: (2) I no longer have some of the documentation I used to have, and (3) it no longer matters. But at any rate, he was not blacklisted over curriculum.

 

The person that was sharing with me what happened was very involved in CA state homeschool politics at the time had a totally different perspective, though the parties you mentioned were the ones that I understood to be invovled. But it does bring up an interesting point- how invovled and how controlling "should" we be, given clear convictions. Back when Gentle Spriit magazine was folding there were a lot of emails and phone calls flying around (we recieved one from CA when we lived in OH) and several of the also above mentioned people lost businesses and paid lots of money in lawsuits because of controlling behavior that amounted to what the courts saw as slander. It's a fine line.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

.... As if Christians don't have enough working against them, now we're tearing ourselves up from the inside!

well, if satan gets a choice over whether to mess w/ atheists or groups of Christians, who do you think he'll target??

 

because of that, i have to admit i'm not shocked.

 

i do think the groups have the right to have a specific SoF, just as i have a right to not attend and/or create a secular group, Christian or not ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...