Archive for 'Education'

When Christian’s Don’t Understand Christian Education

Posted on July 19, 2013, by , under Education, Seventh-day Adventist.

If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone ask, “what’s the difference between children who go to church school and those who go to public school?”… I’d have a down payment on some fancy car. The real question is not, what is the difference, but rather (in this age of best-practice) what is the outcome? Because I am plainly told in scripture that a child trained in the way in which they should go, will not depart from it when they are old. The word “depart” means apostatize.  I rather like the biblical statistical outcome that my children will not apostatize if they are trained in the way in which they should go while they are young. Besides, children spend most of their day-time hours from K-12 in a school. These are the last days, why wouldn’t I want my child in an environment that is Christ-centered?

Skeptics point to the bad seeds who attended church school and the PK’s who tear up the pea-patch, as the litmus test of Christian education and call it a waste, when in fact many kids in public school are also bad seeds and the Preacher’s Kid wasn’t born in a manger, so setting the bar higher for PK’s is actually a double standard that essentially truncates a fair assessment of the facts.

I attended church school. (I hear many moans). Truly, my life was not the paradigm of  virtue and no one will validate my bid for poster child of Christian education. But like Whoopi Goldberg’s character Ceely in the Color Purple said, “I’m [still] here.” Where am I you ask? I am in the church. I am in God. I am in Sabbath School. I am looking forward to the Second Coming!

Was I always here (in the church), yes and no. I never stopped attending but there were times in my life when my body was on the pew but my lifestyle was far from the sanctuary.

Nevertheless, the seed that was planted by my parents, my teachers, and the preacher eventually outgrew the thorns sown by the devil, the world, and evil influences.

The deeply rooted relationships formed in my youth connected me to my friends in the faith, which linked me back to my faith after I walked away from my faith, so I had to return to my faith, because departing from my faith was like cutting off my life-line. Like the tendrils on the vine can’t get water if it is not connected to the roots, I thirsted for those relationships that were established in Christ, and anything established in Christ is rooted.

I came back to “MY ROOTS.” In order for there to be roots, something must be planted.

This is where people start arguing that the parents can plant the Word so the argument for Christian education is not sustainable. Sure they can, and they must. But parents can’t replace peers.  The relationships and friendships I developed with other kids who attended church school with me, Sabbath school with me, Pathfinders with me, boarding school with me, and college with me, is irreplaceable. Nothing can supplant my experience at Berean Junior Academy, Georgia Cumberland Academy, and Oakwood College. The experience was absolutely irreplaceable. Something was planted.

In this world of pretense, fair-weather friends and relationships that shift with the wind, its great to have a LARGE group of reliable people with whom you share faith, values, diet, the observance of the Sabbath and the ultimate hope in the Second Coming of Jesus!

I know it sounds awfully trite. But my friends played a huge role in my body re-joining my mind back at the sanctuary. As a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, I belong to a worldwide group of believers who come together for youth federations, prayer meetings, church services, Alumni Weekend, Camp meeting, workers meeting and world-wide General Conferences. And when someone is missing, inquiring minds want to know, because in a strange way, Adventist kids are like one big family and we all belong to one  another.

The psychology behind “belonging” is not superficial. Some people choose to join street gangs in order to fulfill the need to belong. While others join sororities and fraternities to get a sense of brother and sisterhood. All I did was went to the closest Adventist school. (Ebonics intended)

The Seventh-day Adventist church has a very unique message. We are a unique people. We eat differently. We dress differently. We SANG differently. And most importantly, we worship differently. Why would any parent subject their children to the uniqueness of Adventism both in the home and on the Sabbath, and then turn around and send them to a public school to be challenged by the status quo of the world?

Sure, remind me that Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, were little lights down in Babylon. But they were also in captivity. Why bring the time of trouble upon yourself early (inside joke) lol for those who are familiar with EGW, and attended PFA, who find the terms “veggie cop” and off-shoots funny; who rush out of the mall on Friday evening in the nick of time and find it imperative to get to church on time (unlike back in the day), because you don’t want to miss praise and worship; who scream, jump up and down, and hug like groupies when they haven’t seen each other for years!

I would let you in on the secret. But it’s a Christian school thing, you wouldn’t understand.