Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Teaching Discernment

As part of our homeschool curriculum this year, I began reading a book about St. Francis of Assisi. A little ways into it and I was beginning to really wonder if I had made a mistake.
I was reading that St. Francis, at one point, decided he wanted to become a hermit. But praying to God about it, God told him that he should instead go out and preach the gospel.

So I stopped reading and we talked about whether it would be right for a Christian to be a hermit. What might be wrong with that? Well, God made it pretty clear to St. Francis: he wouldn't be able to fulfill the great commission and preach the gospel if he lived a life of isolation. He'd be in disobedience to God.

St. Francis immediately went out and preached the gospel to a flock of birds. He totally missed the point. (Here's a problem with depending on what you "hear" from God, instead of just reading His Word.)

So I stopped reading and we talked about what eternal value there is in preaching the gospel to birds. (None.) Would the birds go to heaven now? Will they be saved now that they've heard the Good News? (No and no just in case you're wondering.)

Next St. Francis went out and rebuked a wolf who had been tormenting the town.

I stopped reading again and we talked about what St. Francis could have done instead that would have had an eternal impact.

It turned out to be a good lesson in biblical discernment. Nevertheless, I don't recommend the book we chose. ;)


MommaofMany said...

You used it wisely. Many of Tomie de Paola's books are very Catholic. I get them so my Lambies are aware of the false beliefs of the Catholic church. We are in a very Catholic area, so I want them knowledgeable of what Catholics believe, how they are deceived and how to witness the love of Christ to them.

Ginger said...

My kids do know the basics of why Catholicism is not biblical. They know there's no biblical basis for praying to or worshiping Mary and they know that we have Christ as our mediator and it is Him alone who we confess our sins to and are forgiven. We haven't gotten past those basics yet, but there was a lot of error that I had to dispel through that book.
Trial & Triumph has a chapter on St. Francis of Assissi that would have been a much better choice. We're reading it now. ;)

Anonymous said...

Ginger, Thanks for your clarifications!!!!! Appreciate your answering my questions (email) and I continue to enjoy your blog.


MamaMahnken said...

Too funny! We've read the same book and I thought the same things! And yeah, we used it as a lesson too - that's what it was supposed to be, right, part of lessons? ;)