A Headmaster’s Perspective
“Men’s” magazines have women on the cover; women’s magazines also have women on the cover. Women are just more beautiful than men. A beautiful woman is like an army with banners. Just give up. I met one of these women and I was intoxicated. I fell under her spell. I have not recovered and I do not hope to. We are four daughters into the adventure now. I am now convinced that Eve was created last because her glory was overwhelming. No defenses for that.
Strangely, classical Christian education is having an “Eve moment” of sorts. Suddenly, we have become attractive. Like a rib enlivened, we are now being called by cable networks, educational experts, and staid theologians who are quite willing, now… finally… to sidle up to us and put their arm around us for a selfie.
The classical Christian schooling movement is currently in an unexpected position. We are the cute girl. I get more emails from salesmen these days. These calls should make us wonder: what have we done to deserve this attention? The answer is simple: we have faithfully pursued the mission we have chased from the beginning. Good work … so far.
God is growing classical Christian education, but to continue the faithful start we have to understand the challenge we are facing, the joy we should be experiencing, the peace that sustains us, and the temptation that now faces us.
The challenge of standing fast is staring into the eyes of people who disdain you. A faithful woman does not give in to the suitors who would surround her when her husband is away. Penelope saw the leering gazes of lustful frat boys. They disdained her queenship and her faithfulness. She waited on a man who could string the bow. Our culture will disdain us. We need to stare back with contentment and craftiness. We might sew during the day and undo the sewing during the night if need-ed. Anything to be faithful.
We also need to experience the joy of standing fast, remembering what faithfulness means. There is nothing better than being found faithful by someone who trusts in you. Those who invested the ten and the five minas discovered this; so did wives whose husbands went away to war. Imagine the joy of feeling that you were faithful to your mission during a challenging time. What could be better?
There is also peace in standing fast in Christ’s calling upon your school during these challenging times. Others might compromise, but I have been so encouraged that classical Christian schools have refused to adopt worldly standards or compromise positions to !t into the zeitgeist of the culture. Instead, we have become attractive to many Christian families by refusing compromises.
There is a temptation that comes with faithfulness, however. The temptation that comes with standing fast is giving into the popularity that mimesis causes. Mimesis is a concept as old as Eden but I learned it from Rene Girard. Mimesis is when someone or something becomes desirable by being desired. Cain hated Abel because Abel’s sacrifice was acceptable. Cain desired that acceptance and hated Abel who received it. Classical Christian schools have become desirable. We are desirable not because we have all the bells and whistles, but because we seek to be faithful to Christ and our mission. Popularity is no substitute for God’s blessing. We must continue to be faithful.
The faithful wife is beautiful. Classical Christian schools are not Christ’s bride. The Church is. Like the Church, we must strive to be faithful to God’s calling amid the confusion that swirls and the whims that shake our culture. Be faithful. Nothing is more beautiful. ✤
TY FISCHER Headmaster at Veritas Academy in Leola, PA, and ACCS Board Director of Strategic Growth.