Foundations Chapter 15

August 23, 2016 - 13 minutes read

CHAPTER FIFTEEN  Christian Education An important part of the Cornerstone ministry has been the development of a Christian School. We realize that not every church in our network is able to have their own school but nevertheless the goal of every parent should be to immerse their children in a Biblical worldview. Teaching our children in the ways of God is a great responsibility that God has entrusted to parents. Whether parents choose a public, private, Christian or home school for their children, the fact remains that a Godly education is their responsibility.  ing the children, the earliest schools were in the churches, the teachers were the pastors and the main text was the Bible. Other books were used that reinforced the principles and values of the Bible that taught honesty, morality and character. The church, home and school worked together to provide a God centered education for the children. In good faith parents delegated the responsibility to teach their children to pastors and teachers that shared and reinforced their Biblical worldview.  Children belong to God. In Psalm 127:3 it says, “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord.” The word heritage carries the idea of a loan. In other words children are on loan from God. Parents are stewards of God’s heritage and as stewards they are responsible raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4). That simply means children are to be taught and trained by both word and example that all life involves God.  Schools like Harvard, Princeton and Yale were founded as training schools to raise up young men to preach the gospel. There were no government schools in America until 1837. Until then nine out of ten students attended private neighborhood schools. The first public school was established by Horace Mann, a Unitarian who started promoting a state controlled educational system. In those schools the Bible was still taught. However, in 1905 John Dewy, the father of progressive education introduced socialistic, anti Christian philosophy into the schools and the Bible was separated from academic studies.  Deut 6:5 is considered by Hebrew scholars to be the pivotal passage of the whole Bible. If there is one verse that stands at the center of all other verses, it is this one. “And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.” Jesus called this the greatest commandment of all. Simply put, it means everything we do is to involve God. We acknowledge Him as the source and sustainer of all things. Therefore, we live for him every day of the week and not just on Sunday. That’s the kind of lifestyle that must be imparted to our children. However, for the most part in main stream Christian America today there is a separation between the sacred and the secular that began when parents abdicated their God given responsibility and turned the training of their children over to the government. As long as there continued to be a Biblical worldview there didn’t seem to be a problem. But over time the government schools were invaded and taken over by a godless educational philosophy that no longer acknowledged God as ultimate reality and the Bible as ultimate truth. Let me review a little history.  In Search for Religious Liberty Many of our ancestors came to America in search of religious freedom. The key elements that served to shape the culture in this new land were the church, the pastor and the Bible. When it came to teach-  The Infiltration of Secular Humanism In 1933 the Humanist Manifesto was written by John Dewy and signed by 33 others. This document outlined the doctrine of secular humanism defined as a product of this world, of education and history that acknowledged no supernatural purpose. It represented a worldview that diametrically opposed the Biblical worldview. Over the following thirty years it gradually infiltrated the government school system and undermined Christian based education. By 1963 Bible reading and prayer in government schools had been declared unconstitutional and were legislated out of all public schools. The schools could no longer teach and reinforce the Biblical principles and values of the parents. Instead they became a platform for those propagating secular humanism that the courts declared as a religion. The result has been devastating for America. Student SAT scores plummeted while teenage pregnancies, violent crimes, drug use, sexually transmitted diseases and divorce rates skyrocketed. How could this happen in a nation that was founded on Christian principles? It was due at least in measure to the withdrawal of Christians from involve-  34   ment in helping set public policy. Even today, there are Christians who are reluctant to get actively involved. Having bought into the misapplication of the separation of church and state, they assume that it’s right that Bible reading and prayer be excluded from public schools and that indeed public schools should not promote Christian principles. This has lead to statements like, education must remain neutral, Christian values can’t be imposed on others and morality can’t be legislated. After hearing such things repeated over and over even Christians start believing them and as a result go silent playing right into the hand of the enemy and his schemes against the body of Christ. However, the good news is that not everyone caved in and followed the silent majority. Concerned Bible believing parents who understood the seriousness of what was happening began to withdraw their children from the government run schools and place them in Christian schools that began to spring up all across America. At one point for a period of time there were about three new Christian schools being opened every day. Some parents chose to teach their own children at home. The Christian school and home school movement in America has had a tremendous influence on the spiritual climate of our nation and the reclaiming of our spiritual heritage.  Cornerstone Christian School Cornerstone has been part of this movement since 1990 when we opened Cornerstone Christian School with two teachers and 19 students. Presently we have about 20 teachers and 150 students. In August 2003 a special service is planned for the dedication of a new 30,000 sq. ft. school facility with classrooms for pre-school through eighth grade plus offices, computer and science labs, library and full size gymnasium. While not essential, having a quality facility will nevertheless enhance the already high quality of our education program. Our philosophy of education is that children need a protected environment during the early years of their schooling. What they hear taught in the home, church and school must be in agreement. Otherwise they are subjected to a dualism between the sacred and the secular that will create a conflict of values later in life. We believe that it is very important that our children be clearly taught from a Biblical point of view in the elementary and middle school years. This allows them time to get firmly grounded in what is true before being thrust out into the world. 35  Once they graduate from eighth grade with a solid Christian education they have a Biblical frame of reference for making responsible decisions as they enter the public high school. While still under parental direction and the influence of their church youth group, the high school years become a bridge between the protected environment of the Christian school and the completely free atmosphere they will face in college. It provides a time to test their wings and practice taking a stand for Christ before they are completely on their own. Having been grounded in the truth they will then be able to discern false teaching and will have opportunity to defend their faith in an environment more hostile than the Christian school but less hostile than what is often found on college campuses. Our children must learn to live like Jesus prayed, in the world but not of the world. It is very important that they be thoroughly immersed in the truth but then they must also be helped to live that truth without compromise among people who may think differently. That is best done in increments of exposure rather than a sudden plunge.  Ministry and the Family In closing I have one last word. While raising children is a primary focus for parents, it should never be seen as opposed to involvement in the Body of Christ. Raising Children is a ministry. It is front-line discipleship. Support from other members in the body of Christ is important for accountability and support. In some home settings, however, families can set up a tension between “family” and “ministry.” We have discovered that in some homes parents have an unhealthy suspicion of the church. A separation is made and “family” ministry and involvement is separated from “church” ministry and involvement in an unhealthy manner. These children tend to grow up with distrust, lacking respect for the church. On the other extreme families have no separation between “family” and “church” so that the “the church” is always placed ahead of “family.” These children tend to grow up embittered toward the church. Neither is a desirable outcome. We believe that your family is the “first line” of ministry within the church. It is important to involve the whole family in ministry! Don’t exclude your family from your ministry and don’t exclude your ministry from your family. Involvement in the Body of Christ is an essential part of the process of bringing your children up in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord.”   36   37   Physical Address: 470 Twinkling Spring Rd. P.O. Box 498 Crozet, VA 38 22932

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