Here's just a couple of my thoughts as I read this:
re: Dr. Ken Ham, Speaking Engagement Canceled
Great Homeschool Conventions' Advisory Board has unanimously decided to disinvite Dr. Ken Ham and AIG from all future conventions, including the upcoming Cincinnati convention, March 31-April 2, 2011.
Dr. Ham believes he was removed for “telling the truth.” That is not true. We agree with much of Dr. Ham’s position.
Dr. Ham was removed for his spirit not for his message. As an invited guest, Dr. Ham’s spirit toward our convention was unkind. Dr. Ham’s spirit toward our attendees was not gracious. Dr. Ham’s spirit toward other speakers was unprofessional. In short, a proud, ungrateful and divisive spirit was projected from Dr.
Ham. Regardless of the message, Dr. Ham's approach sullied the atmosphere of the convention.
We know that many of our attendees agree with Dr. Ham’s young earth position as we do. What created this problem was Dr. Ham’s spirit.
Viewing this homeschool forum as a spiritual trust from the Lord, the Board believes this to be the Lord's will for our convention and searched the Scriptures for the mind of the Lord and the leadership of the Holy Spirit before arriving at this decision. The Board believes that Dr. Ham’s public criticism of the convention itself and other speakers at our convention require him to surrender the spiritual privilege of addressing our homeschool audience. However, we will continue to provide speakers representing the young earth position whose scientific credentials are impeccable and who can testify to saving faith in the Lord Christ Jesus.
Accordingly, we’re pleased to welcome Dr. Jonathan D. Sarfati B.Sc. (Hons.), Ph.D., F.M. as a Featured Speaker at this year’s MidWest Homeschool Convention inCincinnati. (Dr. Sarfati is with Creation Ministries International. www.Creation.com)
Please be assured of the following:
1. Great Homeschool Conventions is unashamedly Christian.
This is clearly reflected in our Statement of Faith on our website.
2. One of the core values of our convention is that good people can disagree and still be good people.
In any educational or religious forum, there will be differences of opinion on variety of subjects, yes, even with respect to Creation. We do not propose to filter everything–allowing you to see or hear only what we have approved. We do not require that an attendee, speaker or exhibitor affirm their agreement to our Statement of Faith, or our Young Earth position. We believe that any disagreements between believers should not be addressed disagreeably.
3. We believe that parent-educators are very capable of making intelligent decisions for themselves and for their family.
We strongly affirm the liberty and freedom of homeschooling parents to do so. Our conventions are designed to help a broad spectrum of homeschoolers and people considering homeschooling. They are not, however, sectarian meetings to promote conformity of belief and practice.
This is an education forum. Our primary concern is to provide information that will enable parents to educate their children. Whereas we will not knowingly promote speakers and material known to oppose Christian belief, we also believe that parents are able to evaluate the material presented to them in accordance with their own convictions.
4. We believe that, whereas debate over ideas is necessary, Christians should not question the integrity, the intelligence, or the salvation of other Christians when debating Biblical issues.
We cannot countenance someone with an attacking, unkind spirit as we believe it would not honor the Savior Whom we serve. Our Board takes seriously the admonition of Jesus in John 13:35, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
The Bible also gives us very practical advice in James 4: "Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge…who art thou that judgest another?" (11, 12)
We believe Christian scholars should be heard without the fear of ostracism or ad hominem attacks. Furthermore, a well-rounded education is not possible without knowing and understanding all sides of an issue. Such a process will, understandably, confirm one in their conviction or persuade them to make a
change. But, again, that is the nature of debate and education.
Accordingly, we cannot and will not permit personal attacks from one speaker-colleague against another speaker with whom they disagree. It creates a spirit of antagonism and disunity instead of mutual respect and Christian charity. The Bible admonishes us that we should be zealous to maintain the "unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace".