We all have dreams and visions, and Fortis Academy has enlarged my vision to fulfill a dream that I have had on my heart for decades. Ultimately, the vision is to see Christ’s kingdom rule over all the earth. That is the vision that is implied by the Lord’s prayer, “Let Your kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Jesus would not have taught us to pray that way if it was not God’s desire to transform life on earth. Since God has seen fit to make me a citizen of the United States, my dream has become more specific, to restore the fear of the Lord to America. As a pastor, that dream has inspired all of my labor and choices, and has caused me to constantly seek how it may be accomplished. My opinion is that cultures are created by the faith and values of people. As we become more like Christ, the world begins to look more like heaven. But how do we practically succeed with such a radical vision? My conviction is that a classical Christian education is one of the most powerful ways to transform society, because it puts the dream of a world governed by the love of God in their hearts and gives them the character and skills necessary to make it a reality.
What is the American dream? Today, it often seems like it is tied to money, pleasure and power. Freedom, which was so important to our founding fathers, today is often seen as the freedom to do whatever we want. Yet there was once a different dream in the hearts of American citizens. During the Revolution, their battle cry was “no king but King Jesus.” Their view of freedom was freedom from tyranny and oppression, in other words, freedom from sin. That generation was cultivating the dream that they received through the first great awakening. That is why, during the revolution, they went into the sepulcher, cut a piece off of George Whitefield’s robe and said, “Father, we are finishing the work you began.” What is more, they looked to scripture as inspiration for the laws and institutions they established. They had a dream and a vision to accomplish it by ordering all things according to the wisdom and principles revealed in God’s word and the result was our U.S. Constitution. As Blackstone’s commentary on the law, which was the foundation of American jurisprudence states, stated that any law which is contrary to God’s law is by nature null and void. They also understood that our form of government only works for a moral and religious people, so they immediately founded schools to raise up our children in the fear of the Lord. Most of our universities were founded for this purpose. What they were doing was continuing a great tradition of Western Civilization that was begun in the monasteries that educated the West.
They were so successful at fulfilling their vision, that Alexis DeTouqueville came from France to figure out the source of American “exceptionalism.” His evaluation was that it was due to the fact that Christianity spread its benevolent influence over every area of society. He even enquired what made American women stronger and more industrious than all of the other women in the world. His conclusion was that it was due to the marriage covenant being treated as more sacred in America than in other nations. That is a direct example of how a biblical social architecture was implemented. America is still reaping the benefits of the culture and institutions handed down to us from our fathers, but we have cut ourselves off from its source. The dream of Fortis Academy is to reconnect our children to that great tradition so that they can rebuild our nation upon its founding dream by immersing them in the great tradition that inspired it. That is what a classical Christian education does.