How About Returning to Healthy Confrontation?

Disclaimer:  When I share Bible verses, I share them to help the reader better understand my view on life.  IN NO WAY, am I proselytizing (LOVE THAT WORD – MAKES ME SOUND SO SMART)!!  You see it as proselytizing!  I see it (sharing Bible verses) as… “WHO IS PAUL EVERTS?”  Please, keep reading this article and frankly all my articles through the lens, “Paul just wants to help the world and how he sees helping the world is ONCE-IN-A-WHILE, giving us a ‘Jesus-Word-or-Two.’  Then, it is up to the Reader to accept Paul or not.  Paul is not in the game of “Make-Everyone-Like-Me-Agree-With-Me!”  Paul has lost too many of those games 🙁 🙁 

  • If you appreciate this article, please consider helping us during this sabbatical from teaching.  Diana and I appreciate it.

Christ and Christianity Revolutionized Work 

  • Matthew 13:55 … Is not this (Jesus) the Carpenter’s son? 
  • Luke 22:24-28 … A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest.  And he said to the “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them … But not so with you.  Rather … the leader (is) as one who serves .. I am among you as the one who serves.” 
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:10-11 …  If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.  For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies.  (Paul’s thought:  the number of ‘busybodies’ has increased since the invention of ‘social media.’)  
  • 1 Corinthians 10:31 … whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
  • Colossians 3:23-24 … Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.  You are serving the Lord Christ. 

I share these Bible verses with you NOT TO EVANGELIZE or hope you will accept Jesus Christ in your life. NOPE!!  Not at all.

For selfish reasons, I share these with you, so you can better understand why I need a sabbatical from teaching high school music. 

On or around October 29, 2018, I was given a letter of reprimand for saying to my students, “God blessed me by having me teach at Pincecrest (Fictitious name) High School and I am here to God’s work.”  I was also given a letter of reprimand for saying, “Life doesn’t suck.  You suck.”  Now, is the word suck ‘harsh’ / ‘crass’ / ‘unprofessional?’  I will let you decide.  Do the students say the word ‘suck’ / understand the word ‘suck?’  Is it part of their everyday vernacular?  YES!  ABSOLUTELY.  Shoot.  Some have even used that word to me and one another.  UNBELIEVABLE (sarcastic tone).

Let’s look at that cute / innocent quote:  Life doesn’t suck. You suck.  Is that a lie?  NO!  We have control to make our lives suck or don’t suck.  I strongly believe that philosophy.  I also believe if we taught our children that philosophy, their lives would be better!  Alert:  I also believe if taught them the Ten Commandments, their lives would be better.  Just saying …

On or around April 7, 2021, I had the following exchange with an administrator.

  • Administrator:  You and I are Christians.  Right?
  • Me:  Absolutely.
  • Administrator:  As hard and as difficult as it is for me to do this and say this to you, you need to leave Jesus Christ in the parking lot.
  • Me:  Are you telling the black students to leave their blackness in the parking lot?  Are you telling the gay students / faculty to leave their gayness in the parking lot?  Are you telling the Jewish students to leave Abraham in the parking lot?  Does this directive ‘leave Jesus Christ in the parking lot’ just apply to me?  To all Christians? 
  • Administrator (and probably too many of you):  It’s separation of Church and State. 

Here is part of my understanding of “Church / State.”  The Separation of Church and State – WallBuilders

As a growing / maturing Christian, I just need to take a sabbatical away from teaching music.  I need to heal my physical-self (lose weight / eat better / intentional workouts / etc.) and heal my spiritual-self (get more into the WORD OF JESUS CHRIST).  Y’all who are so kind as to say, “Congratulations on your retirement!”  Ummmm…. $4,500 a month retirement pay is not enough money to ‘retire.’  Tuesday, February 1, 2022, I begin looking for a job!  Now, there are states that I could live on $4,500 a month.  California?  PLEEEEEASE… I wish!  

As you can see with the verses I have cited (given from the January 2, 2022, Mark Driscoll Sermon) and the stories I have shared, I cannot work in the environment of an average California Public School District.  When it comes to a job / work, our values need to align with our employer’s values.  I do understand that my faith needs to be on my time.  I get that and I need to do better with that.  I do love talking about Jesus Christ.  I do love reading about Jesus Christ.  And, at any time, a friend or colleague asked me not to, I obliged. 

However, there are those who also enjoy talking about Jesus Christ and reading about Jesus Christ.  So, just because ONE… literally ONE… doesn’t, none can?!  Why is this?  Because ‘tolerance’ has changed.  And not a change for good.  

And then, I will leave you with this directive given to me on October 15, 2021: 

  • Refrain from making sexually charged comments to students, including but not limited to telling students that ……………… you “love” them. 

I will let that directive above simmer for just a moment. 🙁  🙁  🙁   

The below in BLUE is taken from a website by Milt Reynolds on November 16, 2013… NINE YEARS AGO.  Can you imagine how the world is today???  Nine years after this (BELOW IN BLUE) was written?  Eegads!  

We should teach what true tolerance means:

The New Oxford American Dictionary has not caught up with the change, but the modern, popular definition of  “tolerance” is radically different (I believe, dangerously perverted) from the “old” meaning.

 Oxford defines TOLERATE as “allow the existence, occurrence, or practice of (something that one does not necessarily like or agree with) without interference.”  The word originated in the early 16th century from “tolerare,” Latin for “enduring pain.” 

TOLERANCE is the ability or willingness to tolerate something, to “endure the pain” of the existence of something. 

What is the new definition?

According to D.A. Carson, “tolerance” has changed from accepting that lots of people have different views, some of which are wrong, to agreeing that all views are equally true.

What difference does this make? 

A diametric difference!

Mark Driscoll recently wrote an essay about the changing definition of “tolerance” that helpls explain the ground-shifting difference between the “old tolerance and the “new tolerance.” 

The old view of tolerance was based upon three assumptions: 

  1. There is objective taught that can be known,
  2. People believe they know what that objective truth is, and
  3. Disagreements, dialogues and debate will give everyone an opportunity to learn, grow, change and possible arrive together at the truth.

The new view of tolerance refutes all three assumptions: 

  1. There is no objective truth than can be known,
  2. People do not have the truth but only what they believe to be the truth, and
  3. Disagreements, dialogues and debate are useless and lead to needless conflicts and prejudices

Anyone else notice how intolerant the “new tolerance” appears? 

It denies moral absolutes by holding to the moreal bsolute that there is no moral absolute.

It denies that anyone knows any truth. 

It denies discussion or debate. 

If “tolerance” truly has changed its meaning for us, is that because there is no other word that accurately represents the new meaning, or is it because there is no better way to change people’s minds than be controlling word definitions?

What other English word captures the intent of the “new tolerance?”  What other word means to agree with every opinion and to discourage disagreement or debate?  Answer:  AGREE.

Agree.  The modern world’s highest virtue has become “agreeability.”  One person says coffee, and all the world must say coffee.  Another says yes, and all the world must say, ‘yes.’ 

Even as I write this, I must make my examples benign, lest others erupt in hostile “tolerance.”  When a person’s value or power is threatened by disagreement or debate, their response is to gather a mob and throw stones. 

The other word that comes to mind at this point is “insanity.”  Conformity to a common opinion of coffee versus tea will never happen for humans.  Why do we think it can happen with morality?  We will never reach a consensus concerning some moral opinions.  We will never be without the need to disagree, dialogue, and debate.

If you wish for no conflict, do not call it “tolerance.”  Call it for what it is:  AGREEMENT.

Ladies and Gentlemen … Gentlemen and Ladies …

Please consider that just because you are offended / have issues doesn’t mean everyone has the same feelings you do.  Maybe YOU (including student) need the counseling to better understand what the person’s intent is / was … or better yet … 

Please consider talking to people and listening to people.  The examples I gave (October 29, 2018 / April 7, 2021 / October 15, 2021) never included a parent conference.  I was never given the opportunity to meet with the students / parents who were so offended / so upset that I would say ‘God’ in front of their student or “Life doesn’t suck.  You suck” or be as open about my Christian faith as other teachers are open about being Gay or supporting Black Lives Matter or even something so offensive as, “I love ya.” 


I believe every teacher (probably everyone, regardless of profession) should be afforded the opportunity to meet with every ‘angry’ student and parent.  Afforded the opportunity to explain their side of truth.  And more importantly, afforded the opportunity to offer an apology and the opportunity to improve.  

In my 30+ year career in teaching high school music, I gave every child / student the opportunity to improve / admit their mistake / say ‘sorry,’ both as a musician and as a human being.