Does this mean that I believe in Christian schools? Absolutely! In fact, if anything, I do not believe in public schools, which are a primary reflection of the failure of the church. I say this with the fullest respect for the proper separation between church and state, which I fully support. However, I understand that "public schools" are fundamentally religious in nature, regardless of their claims, even by those who do make a genuine attempt not to be.
Understanding the creation is fundamental to religion. If there is a God who made us then He has a right to our worship and to dictate our lifestyle. If we do not believe that we were created, but rather evolved from slime, then we will worship ourselves, which is essentially what secular humanism is, the idolatrous worship of man. Schools that teach evolution are teaching the religion of secular humanism. We must understand that public schools are religious schools; they are the temples of secular humanism and teach the religion of the worship of man.
Some children are also sent to public schools by the Lord as genuine missionaries. They are salt and light. However, if we are sending our children to public school just because we cannot afford to send them to Christian school, I believe that we would be better to cut off any or all luxuries, or maybe even some needs, to send them. We simply cannot afford not to do this.
I also understand that some, especially single parents, could sacrifice even down to the barest necessities and not be able to afford to send their children to a Christian school. This is but another glaring sign of the failure of the church. Why art Christian schools not affordable, or even free, for the children of believers? There are usually several poor reasons for this.
One of the most common reasons why Christian schools are usually so expensive relates to where we place our priorities. If the church in general spent the resources on educating her children that is spent on just the frivolous and unnecessary buildings, or the programs that they lean on to attract people when they do not have the anointing to attract them, many churches could today have a school that would be the envy of the world.
Even so, the primary reason why Christian schools are unavailable for most Christian children, or are so expensive, is the lack of unity in the church. Not every congregation is called to have a school. Some congregations who have attempted to establish their own schools have even been destroyed by it, and many others have suffered divisions or other serious wounds. However, if the church in just a typical school district would unite for the purpose of educating her children, it could provide quality schools which would surpass that of any public or other private school. If the congregations who did not have the calling or anointing to establish a school would contribute their fair share to those who did, all would benefit through our ability to specialize on what we do best.
This article is too short for addressing all of the issues related here. I believe that I am speaking by the Spirit when I say that because of the times and the impending exponential increase of evil, this is an issue that must now be addressed by the church. The longer we wait to address it the more difficult it will be for us all.
It is also important that we do not form Christian schools out of a "ghetto mentality" of trying to completely escape the world. We cannot be the light of the world if we are cut off from the world. This is the reason why many Christian leaders are in opposition to forming Christian schools, but the mandate of God for this is actually the reverse of what they suppose. The Lord wants us to develop schools of such quality, order and peace that the unbelievers will come flocking to our doors to educate their children too. This should become one of the church's greatest evangelistic tools, and possibly its greatest opportunity to impact the next generation for the sake of righteousness, sowing salt and light throughout the nation.
Many congregations, denominations, and movements have already taken much ground in this area, and we need to learn from them so that we do not each have to "reinvent the wheel." There are serious difficulties with most Christian schools, but they must be addressed and overcome through the Spirit who has given us this mandate. Homeschooling is the answer for many, and usually provides a superior education to any public school. Homeschoolers all over the country are forming support groups to provide extracurricular activities, science and physical education facilities and different types of instruction, etc.
Regardless of how we do it, and certainly there would be a variety of implementations, we cannot keep giving our children over to the world to have their minds formed and then expect them to be godly! "For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace" (Romans 8:6).
If we are going to be the "light of the world," we must provide the world with its enlightenment. The church must address this if we are going to fulfill our mandate and prove our love for the Lord by "tending" His sheep, properly. When the church does, in unity, properly address her mandate for education, the properly renewed minds of Christian children and youth will astonish and light up the world with their brilliance.
Most pastors are not called to be the principal or overseer of a Christian school, but for those who are, it may be their primary calling, not a stepping stone to "a real pastorate." Children are not second rate citizens in the kingdom, and children's pastors are not second rate pastors. In God's eyes these are some of the most important positions in the church. We must view pastors of children and youth as "real" pastors and give them the authority due this ministry. Pastoring children properly often requires helping the parents, which requires authority with adults as well, if it is to be done properly.
It is true that the primary responsibility for the education of children lies with the parents, not the pastor. However, having the responsibility for educating our children does not necessarily mean that we do it all. Paul explained to the Corinthians that they had "many teachers, but not many fathers." For a proper education it is likely that my children will need to study a subject that I am not qualified to teach. It is not my place to teach those subjects, but it is my responsibility to see that they have the proper teacher for that subject. No one will replace me as my children's father, but many different teachers may be required to properly equip them for their life and calling. Neither can children's pastors nor church school teachers take my place as the one who should provide the primary spiritual leadership for my children, but they can help. No one of the equipping ministries can do the whole job of equipping the saints--we need them all if they are going to be properly equipped.
It is true that one of the greatest onslaughts of the enemy in history is directed at trying to destroy the emerging generation, because of their calling and destiny. Many churches have programs which essentially entertain and babysit the children so that the adults can sit in the meetings and become spiritual, but the churches of the future, or possibly wifh a future, are those who would rather entertain and "babysit" the adults so that they can equip the children.
The present generation has not heeded its mandate to walk in its calling and possess its promised land, but the next one will. The Lord is now looking for the "Joshuas and Calebs" from the present generation who will lead those into their destiny. The spiritually discerning are not trying to make the children like them, but are trying to become more like the children so that they, too, can enter the kingdom. There is no building program, or program at all, that will pay the dividends like those will which invest in our children. If we love the Lord we will care for both His sheep and His lambs.
The true gifts of the Spirit do not just function at eleven o'clock Sunday morning and seven o'clock on Wednesdays. We should be open to the spirit of prophecy at anytime and anywhere, understanding that the true gift does not have to come with all of the bombast we often attach to it, which would be a stumbling block to unbelievers (and many believers, with justification). The Lord never meant for His church to be limited in the ways that it now is, and He never meant for education, which should fundamentally be the "renewing of our minds," to be limited to a classroom. Life is meant to be our classroom, and in this school we never graduate, we just keep advancing.
True science is not in conflict with Christianity. True science will always lead to Christ because "all things have been created by Him and for Him... in Him all things hold together" (Colossians 1:16-17). As Comenius, who is called "the father of modern education," and was one of the greatest leaders of the historic Moravian Church, once stated, "Nature is God's second book." As the apostle Paul put it, "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made..." (Romans 1:20). Science should be a special domain of the true faith, and Christians, more than any others, should excel in it.
The firm foundation that Comenius sought to establish through education was that Christ had triumphed, that Christ is The Truth, and therefore truth would always ultimately win over error. He believed that Jesus had overcome sin, and that His kingdom was continuing to move forward in history. He saw light as stronger than darkness, peace and justice stronger than violence, and that the love of God, so prevalent in the creation, would prevail in His new creation, men.
The primary purpose of Christian education must never be to try to escape the world, but to shine the light into the world, to show not only a better way, but The Way. Christ Jesus is revealed in everything that was made, and is the reason for everything that exists. In this way, true worship and love for the Creator compels us to true education, and true science, as each should magnify the Lord in our hearts. In this there must be structure and discipline that is born out of the most sublime purpose, that of seeking Christ.
Copyright: 1994 by Morningstar Publications and Ministries. All rights reserved. This article is published courtesy of "The Morningstar Publications and Ministries". If you would like to peruse more articles from the pen of Rick Joyner, visit Morningstar's website.
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