Healing a Divided Nation

Healing a Divided Nation

We are living in both troubling and exciting times.  With recent events in our nation, I have discovered that many people are angry, afraid and feel like something needs to change.  On both sides people are afraid of tyranny and the loss of freedom. On one side we have people who are concerned that the liberal left is promoting a Marxist agenda that will silence all opposing voices and lead to a loss of freedom and will destroy the Republic. On the other side people believe Trump is a tyrant who knows that he lost the election and is manipulating people to keep in power and will destroy the Republic.  It seems to me that the immediate danger to our Republic is the growing root of bitterness that is destroying brotherly love and leading to a civil war rather than civil dialogue.  Forget the “elites” and the “fringe,” most people are committed to their positions because they want to be good, loving and to help people.  Regardless of people’s perspectives, it seems that God has broken the apathy and complacency of almost all Americans.  I believe this creates an incredible opportunity for the church to shine like a light, provide godly leadership and bring in a harvest if we will fix our eyes on Jesus and be a people of hope and faith.

One of the problems we are facing is insecurity.  In a cold world governed by chance where life is ultimately meaningless, there is no genuine security.  Thankfully that world does not exist, but instead we were created by God with purpose and significance.  Indeed, all of history is being guided by His sovereignty to deliver us from the power of sin and death through the gospel into His kingdom where there will one day be no more pain, sorrow, or death.  In addition, when we study history, we see that no matter what people have faced on earth, God’s grace and presence has always been with His people and many times the church has overcome the very wrath of hell itself and brough light and liberty to the world. Once we rest in that truth, we are no longer afraid of what the future may bring.  That is why my prayer for our community is: “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13, NKJV).

When the world sees our faith, hope, love, and the security we have in Christ we will be a light in the midst of a world in turmoil.  Yet, we also need to have a strategy to heal the nation and to pass on the blessings of Christ to our children and grandchildren.  Before I go into that strategy, I will mention that one of the messages of the book of judges is that when the Israelites worshipped Canaanite gods, God handed them over to suffer under Canaanite culture.  When they cried to God, He delivered them.  The principle is that worship precedes cultural change.  Change who we worship, and we will eventually change our culture.  That is why, after God delivered Israel from the oppression of Egypt, He gave them His law.  The purpose was to preserve and pass on true liberty to future generations.  The strategy is revealed in Deuteronomy:

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:4–9, NKJV).

The first part of the strategy has to do with us, our love and worship of Christ.  The second part is to teach our children to walk in the fear of the Lord. While that includes the statutes and decrees of God, the first thing He tells us to do is to tell them about the mighty saving deeds of God in history and by implication, those we have personally experienced.  Remembering God’s saving deeds causes us to trust God even when it seems like the world is falling apart.  Throughout scripture, when people either trusted or cried out to God, the Lord worked mighty deliverances that defied natural human strategy.  The challenge of faith is the same today, do we really believe God can bring salvation in the midst of a seemingly impossible situation?  Whenever people believe God and turn to Him with their whole heart, they find He is mighty to save.  God can save individuals from fear, anger, frustration, and bitterness in our hearts and He can save our nation as well if we turn back to Him and follow His strategy for cultural transformation through the gospel.

With all that in mind, at Fortis Academy we are committed to teaching our children the fear of the Lord and to trust in Christ with their whole hearts.  While I believe the majority of people who are concerned about our society want to help people, the problem is that there are few who truly look to the wisdom of God revealed in scripture to structure society to be a blessing.  Good intentions to save the world that are contrary to Christ and His word create hell rather than heaven on earth. Human utopian dreams always turn into nightmares. Not only do we need the right ethics and structures for society, we need the right people to implement them.  There are few who have walked with God through the refining fire so that they have grown mature in Christ and are able to do what is right in the midst of pressure and temptation.  One of the goals of Fortis Academy and of classical Christian education is to train people in the wisdom of God and to develop the character and virtue necessary to lead people and nations into the purposes of Christ.   I am grateful to be a part of an educational community that is committed to a strategy to heal the nations through investing in the next generation.

The US Constitution Alone Does Not Preserve Liberty

The US Constitution Alone Does Not Preserve Liberty

I remember talking with some friends about the Iraq war before troops were deployed.  I told them that I did not believe we would be able to free the Iraqis because they did not have freedom in their heart.  For years I heard people talking about spreading democracy around the world as though this would bring freedom to people.   In that statement there are two important signs that Americans are losing their understanding of liberty.  The first is that no form of government can make people free if they lack the virtue and faith required for successful self-government.  Just because people vote does not mean they are truly free.  Second, the emphasis on democracy may imply the triumph of secular humanism in the fact that a democracy does not acknowledge an eternal standard of morality but instead determines ethics by the will of people.  Our founders understood this and that is why America was founded as a constitutional republic that looked to God’s standards of right and wrong and biblical truth as a sure foundation for national blessing.  Once the moral foundations of a society are destroyed society crumbles.

Recently I had a dialogue with someone online who demonstrates how we have lost our founding values.  I responded to a video they posted that stated, “Homosexuality is found in 450 species, homophobia is found in only one.  It is obvious which one is unnatural.”  I responded with, “Reason is found in only one species. Apparently when we approve of acting like animals, we lose the ability to think. The laws of nature are understood by reason not the behavior of animals.”  This sparked an interesting dialogue where I discovered the person who posted it is a homosexual, tarot reader, practicing witch, drug user and a professing Christian.  That may sound like someone who is far away from the mainstream, but many of the values and perspectives he proclaimed were very much mainstream.  The values we hold and the lifestyles we live are the foundation of the fabric of society.  If they are contrary to God’s design, then the nation will stray farther into a world of darkness where people will suffer in a broken world separated from the love and presence of God.  When people are no longer able to see self-evident truth, the solution is an army of people motivated by love and empowered by the Holy Spirit, that are armed with the rhetorical skills to captivate the hearts and imagination of a lost generation to turn the nation back to God.   It is our sincere prayer that God will use Fortis Academy to raise up a generation that will restore the fear of the Lord to America.

One key to restoring liberty to America is education.  Rabbi Sacks said, “To defend a land, you need an army, but to defend freedom, you need education. You need parents, families, and homes and a constant conversation between the generations to see that your ideas are passed on to the next generation and never lost. . . . You achieve immortality not by building pyramids or statues—but by engraving your values on the hearts of your children, and they on theirs, so that our ancestors live on in us, and we in our children, and so on until the end of time.”[1]  That is one of the goals of Fortis Academy.

While the US Constitution has created a system of government that in many ways reflects a biblical social architecture, it is only as strong as the character and faith of our citizens.  If we want to preserve the blessing of American freedom and faith for future generations, we need to engrave Christian faith and virtues on the hearts of our children and give them the skills to lead and govern society according to biblical values.

[1] Guinness, Os. Last Call for Liberty (p. 39). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

What is the “Classical education” difference?

What is the “Classical education” difference?

Where did Classical education come from?

“Classical education” is actually a modern term used to describe what was once simply called education.  The term was birthed out of modern day educators asking what type of education those from past generations received that created the type of faith, character, integrity, thinking ability, speaking ability, and skills that produced great leaders and individuals.  The driving passion has always been to give our children the very best education and upbringing that we possibly can.   The revival of classical Christian education is fluid; it’s always growing and maturing as a form of education.  Classical education is like a very large museum with many beautiful, wonder-filled rooms that could be studied over a lifetime. It’s a long tradition of education that has emphasized seeking the truth, goodness, beauty, and the study of the liberal arts and the great books. What are the liberal arts? They are grammar, logic, rhetoric (the verbal arts of the trivium), arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy (the mathematical arts of the quadrivium). This approach to education also includes the study of Latin.  The classical approach teaches students how to learn, how to think, and come up with their own thoughts and arguments vs. regurgitating what they are told.

What makes Classical education so effective?

The approach is successful largely because of its approach to how and when students are taught. Regardless of their learning style, children learn in three phases or stages (grammar, logic or dialectic, and rhetoric), known as the trivium. In the grammar stage (K–5), students are naturally adept at memorizing through songs, chants, and rhymes. If you can get children in this stage to sing or chant something, they will remember it for a lifetime. In the dialectic or logic stage (grades 6–9), teen aged students are naturally more argumentative and begin to question authority and facts. They want to know the “why” of something—the logic behind it. During this stage, students learn reasoning, informal and formal logic, and how to argue with wisdom and eloquence. The rhetoric stage (grades 9–12) is naturally when students become independent thinkers and communicators. They study and practice rhetoric, which is the art of persuasive speaking and effective writing that pleases and delights the listener. Again, it’s this approach to teaching students based on their developmental stage that makes this approach so very effective, and this kind of education that has produced countless great leaders, inventors, scientists, writers, philosophers, theologians, physicians, lawyers, artists, and musicians over the centuries. Classical education never really disappeared, but it did diminish starting around 1900 with the advent of “progressive education”. In an effort to restore this most proven form of education, the K–12 liberal arts tradition has been renewed and expanded again over the last thirty years. More than 500 classical schools have started during that time, and tens of thousands of homeschooling families are educating with the classical approach.

To understand how we express a Classical Christian education at Fortis Academy, it’s helpful to understand the primary objectives:

  • Christian faith
  • Critical thinking ability
  • Character development
  • Ability to communicate and persuade through writing and oratory
  • Proficiency in a wide area of subjects
  • Ability to be self-learning (understanding of the grammar, logic and rhetoric of any body of knowledge)
  • To engage in the great conversation

All of the Classical methods are important and valuable, but we need to be very intentional on how we implement them to make sure that we are always meeting our objectives. These methods include but are not limited to:

  • Phonics based reading and writing instruction.
  • Narration
  • Dictation and copy work
  • Memory Work
  • Mastery and usage (as opposed to cyclical/repetition)
  • Facilitated discussion and Socratic dialogue
  • Lecture
  • Writing
  • Oratory

We also have to keep in mind that there is a difference between mastering a body of knowledge and developing skills.  Reading, writing and arithmetic are skills as are critical thinking and oration.  These skills are of primary importance throughout the whole education of our children. Specialization in a body of knowledge is secondary.  For example, reading, writing , oration, critical thinking and Socratic dialogue skills can be developed in a history or literature class equally.   One of the unique elements of a Classical Christian education is an emphasis on Christian thinking, faith, and character in all of our classes.  This is the emphasis of Fortis Academy, to use Classical methods with Christian faith and principles weaved together to achieve a Classical Christian education that prepares your students for life, both spiritually and academically.

Electives Registration

Electives Registration

Fortis Academy has excellent electives that are open to Fortis Academy and home-school students. Our goal at Fortis is to develop a love for God, for learning and a love of virtue in our Children. Contact us and discover how Fortis Academy can help you give a high quality Christian education to your children.

Electives Schedule and current openings:

Grammar School Non-Core Electives (K-5th Grade)

Friday: Music, Art, Drama, Spanish

Monday: Art

Upper School Non-Core Electives (6th-12th Grade)

Friday: Drama and Computer Programming (3pm)

The Grammar school Friday elective bundle is $1000 for all electives for the year. All other electives are $550 each for the year, $350 each for two or more electives for the year, or $300 each for a single semester.  You also have the option to include it in the FACTS system as part of a payment plan.

Electives Registration form:

Flag Football and Volleyball Sign ups are going on now!

Flag Football and Volleyball Sign ups are going on now!

It’s time for volleyball and football signs up at Fortis Academy.  We are opening up our flag football and volleyball teams this year to Fortis Academy students and home-school students that would like to compete.  This year we are fielding teams for volleyball and flag football 5th – 8th grade.  Please fill out the contact form below and select the sport(s) you want to receive information on and a Fortis Academy representative will call you directly.  Cost for each sport is $250 and both seasons are from August to October with after school practices and games during the week.


Volleyball/Football Sign Up Form