WHAT IS CHRISTIAN EDUCATION?
In the Churches today, Christian education has its foundation in both the Old and New Testaments and history. The history of Christian formation was preceded by an assessment of Christian education; how it began and how it came to exist. The Old and New Testaments lay the foundations on which Christian education is based because they tell us how the Church’s teachings began and how it came to develop over time. In both instances, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are the author of Christian education, which makes the two Testaments irreplaceable. There can be no better source and explanation than that truth for Christian education. Moreover, the foundation and model for Christian education is not only in the Old and New Testaments, but it also constitutes its content. Through these two Testaments, Christian education is otherwise a Christian education unless used in all doctrine and not the content. For this cause, Timothy was admonished by Paul, the apostle: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). In this context, the origin of the Christian Education is directly linked to the Old and New Testaments
WHY DO WE NEED CHRISTIAN EDUCATION?
Why Christian education? Christian education must, first of all, be for the sake of God. “…Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” (Matt. 22:37). It implies that in any field in which human intellect functions God should be acknowledged, respected, and served. Throughout relation to all moral and social interests, man has a paramount obligation to worship the Lord God with all his soul. That cannot be achieved with an education that deems Christ meaningless, nor calls for the first principle of religion to be the truthful and clear acknowledgment of God in the Bible.
Secondly, Christian education will refocus on the revolutionary distinction between the two kinds of human beings: the regenerated and the unregenerated, in the educational sector. The fall of humanity influenced the spiritual and moral essence of man and the intelligence of the mind. This also had a detrimental effect. In accordance with the Holy Ghost, Apostle Paul shows us what sin has done to humanity, he states.
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools — Romans. 1:21-22
The mission of the Holy Spirit in regeneration is not only beneficial to the spiritual and moral essence of man as well as to his soul; it opens the eyes of his understanding (Ephesians 1:18). He begins seeing things in the light of God, that is, the real sense of the matter. (Psalm 36:9) On the other hand, the unregenerate person continues believing that the truth should be grasped and clarified to human beings; he doesn’t understand a greater level than the human spirit, and can never admit that the sin has corrupted his spirit.
Such extreme division or cleavage within humanity leads to two fundamentally opposite philosophies of life. Such two life philosophies will usually be called the secular and Christian life philosophies. The first is focused on man and insists that man, as he lives presently, is normal; the second is based on God and holds that man, as he lives now, is unnatural (the sin has hit his existence). These two life philosophies are as distant as the east from the west. There’s an unbridgeable gap between them. In one, God is regarded as irrelevant, while in the other, God is considered as all-important. There can be no compromise or harmony between the two.
In addition, these two philosophies of life will ultimately be reflected in two entirely separate forms of education. In secular education, unregenerate humankind has its inner philosophy; regenerate, or a Christian human must also express Christian education in its inner principle.
The unregenerate person always assumes that there is no God. He may have some idea about a diminished, small, finite god; however, he believes that the Christian historical God does not exist. He also believes that man and nature should not be described in the Scripture — they are self-explanatory. On the other hand, the Christian will also not take for granted that the Scripture Lord exists and that He is unconditionally important to all the world’s reality.
The two philosophies cannot be harmonized; they are irreconcilable in their original points and assumptions. The first starts with the human being, and the cosmos concludes with the ununderstood human being and world, the other continues with God and develops a gender interpretation of the true nature of truth. The disparity between these does not apply in any field of life. The Regenerate must accept the major teachings of God, Creation, and Providence as the principal premise of all study; the Unregenerate rejects or deems them irrelevant.
Within an imaginary world, the unregenerate human roams. He assumes that truth arises with him and can only properly justify this in relation to the Creator of the Bible, for human reason alone. On the other hand, Christians know that there are no truths of their own making and that they simply cannot be justified adequately based on human reason. The Christian does not believe in the “just-there” truth. We are made truths, not true objects, and only by believing the teachings of God. God is the explanation that there are facts; creation is the basis from which there is evidence; providence is the way evidence exists. The unregenerate individual often believes that the human mind is an uncreated entity, capable of being the full and final translator of the truth. On the other hand, the regenerated individual understands that the human mind is not produced; it is unnecessary to perceive the absolute and final truth. The regenerated person understands that the true understanding of the truth’s nature is based on divine revelation.
Therefore, education can either be secular, non-Christian, or Christian in its intent and purpose. To mask that distinction is also the fact that non-Christian life theory is being discarded. The vast majority of human beings hold uncritically the non-Christian philosophy of life, even automatically and unconsciously. On the other hand, the Christian philosophy of life needs a transformation in the thought of a human — a transformation derived from the promise of a new creation. This is only achieved through the Holy Spirit’s regenerating work in a person’s deep personality. The irony is that even those who were undoubtedly born-again Christians refuse to see the implications of Christianity on life as a whole and instead view man and the world from the perspective of a pagan or non-Christian theory of life (including education). A lot of Christians appear to have rescued their lives, but the non-Christian way of life is still confusing in their hearts.
THE AIM OF CHRISTIAN’S EDUCATION
The history of God’s relationship with his people is like many other chapters of the Old Testament. His intentions are made known at the beginning of the Psalm. This Psalm provides great motivation for the preparation of Christians. He speaks about when and why our children should be taught. The Covenant of God’s grace and His kingdom are the two big “pillars” of Christian education. The two “pillars” will be used in our Christian schools insofar as the meaning and intent offered by the Psalmist are reflected in our Christian schools, so they represent the kind of schools that Christian Parents wish their children.
The vow of grace
The vow of grace is the first principle of Christian education. In the opening verses of Psalm 78: “What have we seen and learned, what our fathers have said to us? We must not conceal it from their children: we shall inform the next generation of the Lord’s praiseworthy works, his strength, and the wonders which he did.” The vow, in which God created his people and vowed to be their God and their children’s Father, forms the basis of this teaching.
Since God considers us his family, our offspring, He asks us to speak to His own family. One of the responses we give to our children is teaching. This guidance will illustrate a covenantal bond between God and humanity. This guidance has to prove that children of God-fearing parents are not as inherently greater than the children of unbelieving parents, but as said by God, called to believe in Him and to obey Him. Christian parents’ offspring are followers of Christ. He needs them as His offspring to be respected and taught. It dictates how likely they are to obtain an education. The kids of Godly parents should be treated and educated as God’s children and in a school environment where this is known and valued.
The state is not treating its children like this. To the government, children are only an asset, a tool for the benefit of the community. According to the state, the reason for education is to prepare children to serve the government. The children are resources that can be cultivated to be good citizens. It’s a strategic endeavor. This form of educational theory does not please Christians. The way the infant is treated, though, is the first distinction between Biblical and state-controlled schooling. Children in the Christian school are children of covenants and should be taught in such a way that this is evident.
The second point that the author of Psalm 78 says about children’s schooling is the aim of education. He said, “We are going to teach the next generation the loving acts and the strength of the Lord and the miracles he has performed.” The kingdom of God is the entire universe, wherever God reigns. in one phrase, it is to say “the kingdom of God.” And He rules everywhere, of course. His identity is all that remains. This is the true teaching of the entire Bible, even in a cursory reading of the Scripture that is readily seen. Psalm 99:1 says, “The Lord reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved.” Psalm 103:19 states, “The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.”
The vision for Christian education is set out by God’s rule. Everything that the Christian school teaches must be learned from the point of view that God’s grace falls upon it. His dominance over everything. For suggest that subjects like mathematics and sciences like astronomy, physics, and chemistry in a Christian school are nothing more from a state-controlled education, is to ignore the vital instruction of God’s assertions of creation in the entire Scripture.
It is indeed from the content of the education conferred in Psalm 78:4 that this perspective of the kingdom is the basis of what is taught in Christian schools. “We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come to the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and the wonderful works that he hath done,” the Psalmist says. Surely, these works are the topic of the Christian classroom. The subjects taught apply to all things in the world and are all found in the “lovely works of the Lord and his might, and the marvels he has achieved.” The Christian school will teach the royal claim of God over all creation.
In Genesis 18, which is God’s account of Abraham just before Gomorrah and Sodom were destroyed, is a striking illustration of this. The Lord talks about his resolve to teach Abraham what he needs to do in the plain settlements in Genesis 18:17-19. The explanation He says to Abraham is that the patriarch must teach his children in the evil cities. God wants Abraham to realize that the outcome of God’s decision is what will happen. Future generations will never presume why these things happened. The coming children must never be told that history is just the spontaneous actions of people and nativities without a specific goal. The children must be told that God is the one that governs all that happens in the world to “maintain the path of the Lord and add to them and their next families righteousness and justice, the blessings of the covenant that had been promised” instead of the “father of the believers,” that Abraham should have seen the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah. It is the view “covenant” and “kingdom,” which will govern our children’s spiritual instruction.
The goal of Christian Education
The object of the education of Christians is God’s glory, and man’s true well-being is subordinated to God’s glory. His meaning thus transcends human society; it is beyond the human race and beyond. The real prosperity and happiness of man can only be accomplished by making God’s greatness a common goal, to glorify God in all spheres of life, to bring all thoughts captive to Jesus Christ (2 Corinthian 10:5). This means to glorify God in all spheres of life consciously and purposely not just to unconsciously and voluntarily glorify God as a bird, or a blade of grass glorifies God. In education, as in all other matters, we must aim to glorify God. This means that the Biblical God is to be understood sincerely and clearly as the main principle and culmination of all educational activities.