Selected Messages Book 3


Chapter 23—Appeal for a Church School

[Portion of an appeal for a church school to serve the Sanitarium [Deer Park], California, church, Monday morning, July 14, 1902.]

I promised that I would speak this morning in regard to the necessity of withdrawing our children from the public schools, and of providing suitable places where they can be educated aright. I have felt surprised at the apparently indifferent attitude of some, notwithstanding the oft-repeated warnings given that parents must provide for their families not merely with reference to their present interests, but especially with reference to their future, eternal interests. The characters that we form in this life are to decide our destiny. If we choose, we may live a life that measures with the life of God. 3SM 209.1

Every Christian family is a church in itself. The members of the family are to be Christlike in every action. The father is to sustain so close a relation to God that he realizes his duty to make provision for the members of his family to receive an education and training that will fit them for the future, immortal life. His children are to be taught the principles of heaven. He is the priest of the household, accountable to God for the influence that he exerts over every member of his family. He is to place his family under the most favorable circumstances possible, so that they shall not be tempted to conform to the habits and customs, the evil practices and lax principles, that they would find in the world.... 3SM 209.2

Upon fathers and mothers devolves the responsibility of giving a Christian education to the children entrusted to them. They are never to neglect their children. In no case are they to let any line of business to so absorb mind and time and talents that their children, who should be led in harmony with God, are allowed to drift until they are separated far from Him. They are not to allow their children to slip out of their grasp into the hands of unbelievers. They are to do all in their power to keep them from imbibing the spirit of the world. They are to train them to become helpers together with God. They are God's human hand, fitting themselves and their children for an endless life in the heavenly home. 3SM 210.1

The education of our children begins in the home. The mother is their first teacher. When they become old enough to attend school, shall we permit them to enter the public schools? 3SM 210.2

The Public School or Church School?—Many years ago, in Oakland, my husband and I conversed with a public school teacher in regard to the public schools in the city. He said to us: “If parents knew of the iniquity that is to our certain knowledge practiced in these schools, there would be a furor raised in regard to these schools such as neither you nor I can imagine. The young people are rotten; and what kind of homes they have is more than our teachers can tell.” This statement was made over twenty years ago. Have the conditions in our public schools improved since that time? 3SM 210.3

Some fathers and mothers are so indifferent, so careless, that they think it makes no difference whether their children attend a church school or a public school. “We are in the world,” they say, “and we cannot get out of it.” But, parents, we can get a good way out of the world, if we choose to do so. We can avoid seeing many of the evils that are multiplying so fast in these last days. We can avoid hearing about much of the wickedness and crime that exist. 3SM 210.4

Everything that can be done should be done to place ourselves and our children where we shall not see the iniquity that is practised in the world. We should carefully guard the sight of our eyes and the hearing of our ears, so that these awful things shall not enter our minds. When the daily newspaper comes into the house, I feel as if I wanted to hide it, that the ridiculous, sensational things in it may not be seen. It seems as if the enemy is at the foundation of the publishing of many things that appear in newspapers. Every sinful thing that can be found is uncovered and laid bare before the world. 3SM 211.1

The line of demarcation between those who serve God and those who serve Him not, is ever to remain distinct. The difference between believers and unbelievers should be as great as the difference between light and darkness. When God's people take the position that they are the temple of the Holy Ghost, Christ Himself abiding within, they will so clearly reveal Him in spirit, words, and actions, that there will be an unmistakable distinction between them and Satan's followers.... 3SM 211.2

Educating Children in Bible Principles—Some of God's people permit their children to attend the public schools, where they mingle with those who are corrupt in morals. In these schools their children can neither study the Bible nor learn its principles. Christian parents, you must make provision for your children to be educated in Bible principles. And do not rest satisfied merely with having them study the Word in the church school. Teach the Scriptures to your children yourselves when you sit down, when you go out, when you come in, and when you walk by the way. Walk with your children much oftener than you do. Talk with them. Set their minds running in a right channel. As you do this, you will find that the light and the glory of God will come into your homes. But how can you expect His blessing when you do not teach your children aright? 3SM 211.3

I am merely touching upon a few points on a number of subjects relating to the training and education of children. Sometime I hope to treat upon these points more fully, for I have been thoroughly aroused to realize that these matters must be presented before our people. Seventh-day Adventists must move in a way altogether different from the way in which they have been moving, if they expect the approval of God to rest upon them in their homes. 3SM 212.1

Every faithful parent will hear from the lips of the Master the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant ... enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” May the Lord help us to be good and faithful servants in our dealings with one another. He tells us to “consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works,” helping and strengthening one another. 3SM 212.2

Church School Needed at Crystal Springs—We are almost home. We are standing on the borders of the eternal world. Those who prove worthy will soon be introduced into the kingdom of God. We have no time to lose. We should establish the work in right lines here at Crystal Springs. Here are our children. Shall we allow them to be contaminated by the world—by its iniquity, its disregard of God's commandments? I ask those who are planning to send their children to the public school, where they are liable to be contaminated, How can you take such a risk? 3SM 212.3

We desire to erect a church school building for our children. Because of the many calls made for means, it seems a difficult matter to secure sufficient money or to arouse an interest great enough to build a small, convenient schoolhouse. I have told the school committee that I will lease to them some land for as long a time as they care to use it for school purposes. I hope that interest enough will be aroused to enable us to erect a building where our children can be taught the word of God, which is the lifeblood and the flesh of the Son of God.... 3SM 212.4

Will you not take an interest in the erection of this school building, in which the word of God is to be taught? ... we expect to have a school building, in which the Bible can be taught, in which prayers can be offered to God, and in which the children can be instructed in Bible principles. We expect that every one who can take hold with us will want to have a share in erecting this building. We expect to train a little army of workers on this hillside.... 3SM 212.5

There is no reason why this matter should drag. Let every one take hold to help, persevering with unflagging interest until the building is completed. Let every one do something. Some may have to get up as early as four o'clock in the morning, in order to help.... 3SM 213.1

Brethren and sisters, what will you do to help build a church school? We believe that every one will regard it as a privilege and a blessing to have this school building. Let us catch the spirit of the work, saying, “We will arise and build.” If all will take hold of the work unitedly, we shall soon have a schoolhouse in which from day to day our children will be taught the way of the Lord. As we do our best, the blessing of God will rest upon us. Shall we not arise and build?—Manuscript 100, 1902. 3SM 213.2