All posts by Dr. Daniel Ray

Merry Christmas from OCA

It’s that time of year again. December has come and with it all the joys of Christmas. Among all the things I love about Christmas the music is one of my favorites. I am not the one complaining when local radio stations start playing all Christmas music. I am all about gifts under the tree, the lights in the windows, the cards in the mail, turkey dinners with family and friends, stockings hanging in the living room, and saying “Merry Christmas” to everyone. However, let’s all remember what Christmas is all about.

I am truly blessed. I work at a Christian School, go to a great church, have a Christian family, and Christian friends. Sometimes it is hard to remember to spread the gospel when you are preaching to the choir most of the time.

For many people, Christmas is a time of sorrow. They don’t have the extra money to buy presents for their children, family, and friends. Many are saddened at Christmastime when they think of their loved ones who will not be able to come home for various reasons.

MangerChristmas can be a season of great joy. It is a time of God showing His great love for us. It can be a time of healing and renewed strength. Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. His birth brought great joy to the world. Shepherds, wise men, and angels all shared in the excitement of knowing about this great event. They knew this was no ordinary baby.

Jesus was born so one day the price could be paid for the things we have done that are wrong. The Bible says that all have sinned. We are all born with a sin nature. We do things that do not please God. Through the sins of Adam and Eve, we have all inherited that sin nature. We need to have that removed. The only way is through Jesus. Jesus came so He could die on the cross for ALL of our sins. If we believe that Jesus died for our sins, we can ask Him to come into our hearts and forgive us.

“But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.” I John 1:9

We can truly be happy at Christmas! No matter what may be happening, we can know that we are His children. Look at Christmas in a new way this year. If you have not done so, this is the year to invite Jesus into your heart. You will then have a “Merry Christmas.” The joy and peace you will receive will last forever as you look to God for all your needs to be met. If you have asked Jesus into your heart please spread the word this Christmas season.

Merry Christmas to all,

Dr. Ray

 

So what do you have to be Thankful for?

So what do you have to be Thankful for? Each year we gather with friends and family to celebrate. Celebrate what? For many of us the celebration is about the meal that is prepared. Surely, we have more to celebrate than just food. At OCA we get to celebrate our middle school soccer team winning the ISC conference for four years in a row. We also got to celebrate the life of Chris Hulsey who served as a Pastor and Evangelist in our community for many years. We also get to celebrate the unbelievable task of being part of a Christian school where we teach and worship a risen savior. Yes the pilgrims celebrated coming to a new world and the hopes there was to come. We too celebrate the hopes to come and the HOPE that we have received as Christ followers.

Happy Thanksgiving OCA- enjoy the time off to celebrate with friends and family.

Dr. Ray

Oakwood Christian Academy longs to team up with families and churches to help build stronger relationships with Christ. I am excited to announce that Oakwood Christian Academy is teaming up with movie producer and director Rich Christiano to show the movie “Play the Flute“. This is a wonderful movie that brings to life the ministry of a youth pastor at a new church and trying to get his students to fall in love with God’s word and to act it out in life. The movie will be shown on Wednesday, November 14 at 7:00 p.m. at the movie theater in Fort Oglethorpe. There will be no trailers shown before the movie. I will speak a few words and then the movie will begin. We have roughly 225 tickets available to sell. Tickets are $12 each. I have included a movie trailer below. My desire is for each 7-12th grade student and a parent to attend. We have also invited some area youth groups that our students and families are a part of. Tickets are now on sale. Students need to bring in their money and they will receive their tickets for the movie. First come first serve! I am also fine if younger students want to come as well it is just that some of the content they may not understand completely.

Thanks so much!

Dr. Ray

Biblical Worldview- Help for Parents

As we continue to look at a biblical worldview I came across a great resource for Why Kids Need a Biblical Worldview and Where to Start. This is a great resource for parents. I appreciate the work that Jonathan Morrow puts in to preparing students for daily life and especially after high school from a biblical worldview perspective. The downloads attached are a great tool as well.
Enjoy,

Dr. Ray

Why Kids Need a Biblical Worldview and Where to Start

3 Reasons Every Parent Needs to Know

If you’re a parent, then you want your kids to live well. You want them to flourish. You want them to follow Jesus all the days of their lives. This is a prayer I regularly pray for my kids. But how does this happen? What does this look like? What’s at stake? It starts with building a biblical worldview.

Kids need to know how to navigate reality–all of it.Jonathan Morrow

Three Reasons Why Kids Need a Biblical Worldview

(1) Kids need to know how to navigate reality–all of it. As new parents we want our kids to learn their colors, shapes, and ABC’s as soon as they can. As well we should because this knowledge is essential to navigating life. But what about their spiritual and moral ABC’s? There’s more to life than just the physical.

As parents we need to
equip our kids with how to navigate spiritual and moral reality too. They need to understand concepts like truth, forgiveness, love, justice, authority, creation, faith, and history–just to name a few. So let’s get excited about them reading for themselves but let’s also be intentional about narrating key aspects our faith so they can absorb them into their spiritual and moral vocabulary.

It’s never too late, but it’s great if you can start early.Jonathan MorroW

(2) What kids find reasonable as they grow will depend on what kind of worldview they are building. While its true that worldviews are more often caught than taught, that doesn’t mean we don’t teach. By the way, this is why unfiltered screen time and media has such a powerful influence on our kids. It’s also a mistake to assume that public education at school doesn’t shape our worldview–it’s not neutral to the big questions that matter. Kids default assumptions about reality and how it works (i.e., their worldview) are being set without them (or many times their parents) even realizing it.

The good news is they can catch a biblical worldview in the home too! And they can be taught the truth. This means that not only what we say but how we say things in the home is really important. Our kids are absorbing both. Attitudes matter. Here is what God’s Word says:

“Better a dry crust eaten in peace than a house filled with feasting—and conflict.” – Proverbs 17:1

Our words, attitudes, and reactions set the table for the truth we are trying to impart to our children. We can have air tight theology we want to communicate but it may fall like water on hearts of stone if our relationships with our kids are filled with conflict. As parents, we need God’s grace and help every day with this…I’ll stop now because that is convicting for me as a Dad.

(3) Most people tend to make commitments to God earlier in life. The National Survey on Youth and Religion revealed that 59% of kids “made their first commitment to live their lives for God before the age of 14.” That is in comparison with about 5% from the teenage years (ages 14-17) and almost 5% of emerging adults (ages 18-23). (For more on this, check out Souls in Transition: The Religious & Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults by Christian Smith)

This indicates how formative and important the early years are to establishing a lasting faith. Introducing kids to a biblical worldview early in life makes a difference. But let me be quick to point out that God can do what ever he wants and that plenty of people come to faith later in life. In fact, that was my story. I became a follower of Jesus at 17 as a junior in high school. So it’s never too late, but it’s great if you can start early.

Remember the goal? We want them to live well. And if Christianity is really true (and it is!) then that means grounding them with a biblical worldview. By God’s grace and empowered by the Holy Spirit, this is what we are after:

“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green.”—Ps. 92:12-14

I know life is crazy busy and some days its all about survival mode. And we need to apologize quickly when we blow it. But every little conversation or bedtime story in the context of a loving secure relationship with Mom and Dad makes an eternal impact. Here’s a place to start. I’ve created a pdf that has my top 5 biblical worldview resources for kids. Order one of these resources today, and start reading it together. You can do this!

<< FREE DOWNLOAD >> Top 5 Biblical Worldview Resources for Kids

Do you have a teenager? then check out my top 10 list of biblical worldview resources for teenagers.

CLICK HERE TO GET MY FREE GUIDE: “TOP 10 BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW RESOURCES FOR TEENAGERS”

 

Biblical Worldview- Truth or Fiction

Here is a recent blog entry from Del Tackett of Focus on the Family. We have been pouring into our teachers and staff the truth of a biblical worldview but the outside world  does not seem to have the same focus. This is one of the reasons that OCA is different.  I will be focusing on this topic for the next several weeks.

BLOG ENTRY

A recent nationwide survey completed by the Barna Research Group determined that only 4 percent of Americans had a “biblical” worldview. When George Barna, who has researched cultural trends and the Christian Church since 1984, looked at the “born- again” believers in America, the results were a dismal 9 percent.

Barna’s survey also connected an individual’s worldview with his or her moral beliefs and actions. Barna says, “Although most people own a Bible and know some of its content, our research found that most Americans have little idea how to integrate core biblical principles to form a unified and meaningful response to the challenges and opportunities of life.”

1. What’s a worldview?

A worldview is the framework from which we view reality and make sense of life and the world. “[It’s] any ideology, philosophy, theology, movement or religion that provides an overarching approach to understanding God, the world and man’s relations to God and the world,” says David Noebel, author of Understanding the Times.

For example, a 2-year-old believes he’s the center of his world, a secular humanist believes that the material world is all that exists, and a Buddhist believes he can be liberated from suffering by self-purification.

Someone with a biblical worldview believes his primary reason for existence is to love and serve God.

Whether conscious or subconscious, every person has some type of worldview. A personal worldview is a combination of all you believe to be true, and what you believe becomes the driving force behind every emotion, decision and action. Therefore, it affects your response to every area of life: from philosophy to science, theology and anthropology to economics, law, politics, art and social order — everything.

For example, let’s suppose you have bought the idea that beauty is in the eye of the beholder (secular relative truth) as opposed to beauty as defined by God’s purity and creativity (absolute truth). Then any art piece, no matter how vulgar or abstract, would be considered “art,” a creation of beauty.

2. What’s a biblical worldview?

A biblical worldview is based on the infallible Word of God. When you believe the Bible is entirely true, then you allow it to be the foundation of everything you say and do. That means, for instance, you take seriously the mandate in Romans 13 to honor the governing authorities by researching the candidates and issues, making voting a priority.

Do you have a biblical worldview? Answer the following questions, based on claims found in the Bible and which George Barna used in his survey:

  • Do absolute moral truths exist?
  • Is absolute truth defined by the Bible?
  • Did Jesus Christ live a sinless life?
  • Is God the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe, and does He still rule it today?
  • Is salvation a gift from God that cannot be earned?
  • Is Satan real?
  • Does a Christian have a responsibility to share his or her faith in Christ with other people?
  • Is the Bible accurate in all of its teachings?

Did you answer yes to these? Only 9 percent of “born- again” believers did. But what’s more important than your yes to these questions is whether your life shows it. Granted, we are all sinners and fall short, but most of our gut reactions will reflect what we deep-down, honest-to-goodness believe to be real and true.

3. How does a biblical worldview get diluted?

Here is the big problem. Nonbiblical worldview ideas don’t just sit in a book somewhere waiting for people to examine them. They bombard us constantly from television, film, music, newspapers, magazines, books and academia.

Because we live in a selfish, fallen world, these ideas seductively appeal to the desires of our flesh, and we often end up incorporating them into our personal worldview. Sadly, we often do this without even knowing it.

For example, most Christians would agree with 1 Thessalonians 4:3 and other Scriptures that command us to avoid sexual immorality, but how often do Christians fall into lust or premarital and extramarital sexual sin? Is it simply because they are weak when tempted, or did it begin much earlier, with the seductive lies from our sexualized society?

4. Why does a biblical worldview matter?

If we don’t really believe the truth of God and live it, then our witness will be confusing and misleading. Most of us go through life not recognizing that our personal worldviews have been deeply affected by the world. Through the media and other influences, the secularized American view of history, law, politics, science, God and man affects our thinking more than we realize. We then are taken “captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

However, by diligently learning, applying and trusting God’s truths in every area of our lives — whether it’s watching a movie, communicating with our spouses, raising our children or working at the office — we can begin to develop a deep comprehensive faith that will stand against the unrelenting tide of our culture’s nonbiblical ideas. If we capture and embrace more of God’s worldview and trust it with unwavering faith, then we begin to make the right decisions and form the appropriate responses to questions on abortion, same- sex marriage, cloning, stem-cell research and even media choices. Because, in the end, it is our decisions and actions that reveal what we really believe.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).