Will Christians Acquiesce to Heresy and Teach It to their Children?

Aug 11, 2022 by David Fowler

Will Christians Acquiesce to Heresy and Teach It to their Children?
This week a prominent private school in Nashville for girls grades 5 through 12 announced a new gender policy: “Any student who identifies as a girl may apply to our school.” Given the prestige of the school, no one should treat lightly a decision like this by highly educated, economically advantaged persons in the school’s leadership. Christians must realize they cannot retreat far enough into their First Amendment religious liberty cloister to hide from what is coming. Here is some help for thinking this through. 

The School’s “Mission” and “Values” are Contradictory

The communication from the school about the new policy begins with these words:
[School X] affirms its history, mission, and presence as a school for girls and young women. Our school uplifts the female voice and perspective and educates our students to embrace our school’s values of integrity, individuality, and respect for others. Harpeth Hall's commitment to an inclusive educational environment is a hallmark of its excellence.
The first contradiction is between the school’s mission and its values. The school’s mission is to females exclusively. Its value is an “inclusive environment.” To exclude males means the school is not an “inclusive educational environment.”

Second, this is a recognition of binary thinking—females are “in” and males are “out”—and non-binary thinking—males can be females, and no explanation is offered for when the one is correct and the other incorrect. 

Third, the school recognizes “the female” as having a “voice and perspective” different from something, presumably a male, which, again, is exclusive in its conception of any shared human nature, which goes to my next point. 

The School’s Policy is Divisive and Ultimately Bad for Females

The previous point subtly promotes a form of inclusion predicated on inherent rivalry and conflict between males and females which is bad news with respect to prospects for social harmony and, in the end, bad for females. Follow me here.

The school seems to deny there is anything ontologically equal between a female and a male such that they could have any similarities in perspectives, presumably about anything, including a shared perspective that bodies matter to how we identify.[i]

Apparently, then, it is either a “man’s world” or a “woman’s world,” but it can’t be a world of beings who are ontologically all humans who may and can share certain fundamental perspectives. This is wholly non-inclusive—there is no shared humanity by which perspectives can be the same, making rivalry and conflict inherent to the human condition. Not a hopeful situation.

But in that rivalry and conflict, guess who will start to “win”? The Mia Thomas’ of Harpeth Hall will eventually hold every school track and swimming record unless the school only attracts nerdy males who think they are female. 

The school has set up a false basis for a distinction between men and women that ignores material realities. Then when those material realities assert themselves, biological women get upset.

This disregard of objective material reality for subjective-only realities leads to my next observation.

The School’s Worldview is Gnostic

Since there is something so distinctive about a female’s “perspective” that a male cannot either understand or share in and must, therefore, be excluded, this is critical theory at work which is Gnostic in nature.

If you are not a member of the group, here female, it is presumed you will not have the same perspective, so you, as a male must be excluded from admission to the school. Conversely, if you are a biological female who was admitted and later want to use masculine pronouns, you may need to be removed from the group.

This is a Gnostic worldview. The group is identified by shared perspectives presumably only a female can have—the “special knowledge” inherent in Gnosticism and belonging only to a select “in the know” group. This is what makes bodies and material realities irrelevant to Gnostics.

Gnosticism is a Christian heresy and the proof of that is found in Scripture, particularly the incarnation.

The School’s Worldview Is Evolutionary

Finally, the School offers this as an explanation for why a policy change was needed:
As the world evolves, so do our students. The concept of gender has expanded and deepened over time. 

The Christian must categorically reject this belief. It is not because the Christian denies there is development over time, because such was expressly stated to be God’s intent when He created man and woman (Genesis 1:28). Moreover, nothing changed in that regard after the sin of first man and woman (Genesis 9:1, 7).

However, what does not “evolve” is the fundamental nature of man and woman as given and defined by God from the beginning. If that evolves, then God is also evolving, especially in terms of His own thinking and knowledge of things. 

There is nothing more clearly declared in Scripture than God never changes and for good and logical reasons I cannot here recount.

Embracing Heresy and It Is Everywhere

For the Christian who takes all of Scripture seriously and as one coherent, continuous story about the revelation of the “mystery of God”—who God is and what He has done—one can only conclude that this school has embraced a fundamental Christian heresy as a core principle and, while subtle, it is nevertheless heresy.

But, let me hasten to add, so have the public schools when they embrace malleable pronouns divorced from material reality.

I hope Christian parents realize that they are undermining core fundamental creational realities when they put their children in these educational environments. What they may not learn explicitly, they will learn implicitly.

I hope Christian legislators understand that public schools are not neutral, and they are funding and trying to prop up heresy. 

I hope Christian political conservatives will realize the types of “education reform” the Republican party advocates do not touch this fundamental worldview issue, and they won’t so long as the First Amendment Establishment Clause remains wrongly interpreted. 

Finally, I hope Christians in general and pastors will understand that heresy has permeated our public institutions and our elite private institutions. There is nowhere to run and hide. 

What Are We to Do?

I think the late 19th and early 20th Century theologian turned politician Abraham Kuyper summed it up best:
When principles that run against your deepest convictions begin to win the day, then battle is your calling, and peace has become sin; you must, at the price of dearest peace, lay your convictions bare before friend and enemy, with all the fire of your faith.

Are you up for it? I hope I have given you a start.
[i] Christianity is the only worldview that provides a basis for a unity and a diversity that are not in conflict, namely, the doctrine of the Trinity and the distinction resident therein between ontological being with differences in what theologians called economic function. When this doctrine is lived out in the social order, there is a basis for harmony without rivalry.

David Fowler served in the Tennessee state Senate for 12 years before joining FACT as President in 2006.

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