Is this moral?

Written by ACE's Vice President and head of curriculum development.

Written by ACE’s Vice President and head of curriculum development.

Children matriculate into Christian school in dire need of spiritual programing [sic] of their minds to accept and desire the things of Christ. Conditioning, according to Philippians 4:8 (whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure. . . .) breaks down secular programed [sic] ideas, thoughts, and habits alien to Scripture. Little by little, day after day in the temple, things of God hammer away at the worldliness packed into the child’s treasure chest of experiences. The carnal nature of children necessitates that adults sometimes do more than just nudge their thinking toward godliness. This fact forms a basis for the use of demerits, detentions, corporal correction, discipline committees, corrective research, etc.

Corrective research?? 

Modern society constantly bombards his mind with negative character drains, things that take his focus off eternity.  Restricting secular access to his mind and conditioning with Scriptural principles breaks down the child’s carnal resistance against God, removing previously (or currently) accepted ideas, values, notions, and concepts. Little by little things of God begin to hammer away at the child’s resisting nature.  At first, the child (especially teenagers) may reject godly standards and principles – yet gradually, negative mental resistance gives way. The Holy Spirit’s first knock at their heart’s door is met by a resounding “no!” The second knock is heard with less offense and resistance; “I will try it but I won’t like it.” Finally, the grace of God wins its way into the child’s heart, bringing the child into conformity with those principles which enable him to succeed in a Christian ministry.

Ronald E. Johnson, Under Tutors & Governors, (c) 1980 Accelerated Christian Education

How can anyone read this and think this is a moral, good thing? Yet the founders of ACE didn’t just believe it privately – they wrote it in a public book because they were confident they would find a sympathetic audience. And they were right.

Under Tutors & Governors page 31

Under Tutors & Governors page 32Incredibly, after leaving ACE, Ronald E. Johnson founded Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum (PAC), which is essentially ACE without explicit mention of God, although the teaching about evolution is highly suspect. But what an unbelievable sellout! After years of producing propaganda for ACE claiming that good education was impossible unless explicitly founded on the Bible, he went and made a secular version. He was more committed to the method than the religion. ACE is as much a cult of ‘individualised‘ instruction as it is of fundamentalism.

Side note: 

A hasty Google found three websites which contain the claim that ACE “is designed for programming the mind to enable the child to see life from God’s point of view.” This claim is lifted verbatim from ACE’s promotional literature.

Now, obviously, none of these websites is active; they all look like they haven’t been updated since the 1990s. But this is evidence that ACE was still claiming this in publicity at least as recently as when the internet started to spread in the mid-90s. These days, they’ve slightly reduced the Brave New World-esque language, so the claim now reads: “the program helps children grow to see life from God’s point of view”. But the curriculum itself hasn’t changed substantially.

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