Fundamentals of Christian Education


Chapter 60—The Bible in Our Schools

It is not wise to send our youth to universities where they devote their time to gaining a knowledge of Greek and Latin, while their heads and hearts are being filled with the sentiments of the infidel authors whom they study in order to master these languages. They gain a knowledge that is not at all necessary, or in harmony with the lessons of the great Teacher. Generally those educated in this way have much self-esteem. They think they have reached the height of higher education, and carry themselves proudly, as though they were no longer learners. They are spoiled for the service of God. The time, means, and study that many have expended in gaining a comparatively useless education should have been used in gaining an education that would make them all-round men and women, fitted for practical life. Such an education would be of the highest value to them. FE 467.1

What do students carry with them when they leave our schools? Where are they going? What are they going to do? Have they the knowledge that will enable them to teach others? Have they been educated to be wise fathers and mothers? Can they stand at the head of a family as wise instructors? In their home life can they so instruct their children that theirs will be a family that God can behold with pleasure, because it is a symbol of the family in heaven? Have they received the only education that can truly be called “higher education”? FE 467.2

What is higher education? No education can be called higher education unless it bears the similitude of heaven, unless it leads young men and young women to be Christlike, and fits them to stand at the head of their families in the place of God. If, during his school life, a young man has failed to gain a knowledge of Greek and Latin and the sentiments contained in the works of infidel authors, he has not sustained much loss. If Jesus Christ had deemed this kind of education essential, would He not have given it to His disciples, whom He was educating to do the greatest work ever committed to mortals, to represent Him in the world? But, instead, He placed sacred truth in their hands, to be given to the world in its simplicity. FE 467.3

There are times when Greek and Latin scholars are needed. Some must study these languages. This is well. But not all, and not many should study them. Those who think that a knowledge of Greek and Latin is essential to a higher education, cannot see afar off. Neither is a knowledge of the mysteries of that which the men of the world call science necessary for entrance into the kingdom of God. It is Satan who fills the mind with sophistry and tradition, which exclude the true higher education, and which will perish with the learner. FE 468.1

Those who have received a false education do not look heavenward. They cannot see the One who is the true Light, “which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” They look upon eternal realities as phantoms, calling an atom a world, and a world an atom. Of many who have received the so-called higher education, God declares, “Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting,”—wanting in a knowledge of practical business, wanting in a knowledge of how to make the best use of time, wanting in a knowledge of how to labor for Jesus. FE 468.2

The practical nature of the teaching of Him who gave His life to save men is an evidence of the value He places upon men. He gave the education which alone can be called the higher education. He did not turn His disciples away because they had not received their instruction from pagan and infidel teachers. These disciples were to proclaim truth that was to shake the world, but before they could do this, before they could be the salt of the earth, they must form new habits, they must unlearn many things learned from priest and rabbi. And today those who would represent Christ must form new habits. Theories which originate with the world must be given up. Their words and their works must be after the divine similitude. They must not place themselves in connection with the debasing principles and sentiments that belong to the worship of other gods. They cannot with safety receive their education from those who know not God, and acknowledge Him not as the life and light of men. These men belong to another kingdom. They are ruled by a disloyal prince, and they mistake phantoms for realities. FE 468.3

Our schools are not what they should be. The time which should be devoted to laboring for Christ is exhausted on unworthy themes and self-pleasing. Controversy arises in a moment if once-stated opinions are crossed. So it was with the Jews. To vindicate personal opinion and petty interests, to gratify worldly ambition, they rejected the Son of God. Time is passing. We are nearing the great crisis of this earth's history. If teachers continue to close their eyes to the necessities of the time in which we are living, they should be disconnected from the work. FE 469.1

Many of the instructors in the schools of the present day are practicing deception by leading their students over a field of study that is comparatively useless, that takes time, study, and means that should be used to gain that higher education that Christ came to give. He took upon Him the form of humanity, that He might lift the mind from the lessons men deemed essential to lessons which involve eternal results. He saw the world wrapped in satanic deception. He saw men earnestly following their own imagination, thinking they had gained everything if they had found how they might be called great in the world. But they gained nothing but death. Christ took His stand in the highways and byways of this earth, and looked upon the crowd eagerly seeking for happiness, thinking that in every new scheme they had discovered how they might be gods in this world. Christ pointed men upward, telling them that the only true knowledge is a knowledge of God and of Christ. This knowledge will bring peace and happiness in this present life, and will secure God's free gift, eternal life. He urged His hearers, as men possessing reasoning powers, not to lose eternity out of their reckoning. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness,” He said, “and all these things shall be added unto you.” You are then co-workers with God. For this I have bought you with My suffering, humiliation, and death. FE 469.2

The great lesson to be given to the youth is that, as worshipers of God, they are to cherish Bible principles, and hold the world as subordinate. God would have all instructed as to how they can work the works of Christ, and enter in through the gates into the heavenly city. We are not to let the world convert us; we are to strive most earnestly to convert the world. Christ has made it our privilege and duty to stand up for Him under all circumstances. I beg of parents to place their children where they will not be bewitched by a false education. Their only safety is in learning of Christ. He is the great central Light of the world. All other lights, all other wisdom, are foolishness. FE 470.1

Men and women are the purchase of the blood of God's only-begotten Son. They are Christ's property, and their education and training are to be given, not with reference to this short, uncertain life, but to the immortal life, which measures with the life of God. It is not His design that those whose services He has purchased, shall be trained to serve mammon, trained to receive human praise, human glorification, or to be subservient to the world. FE 470.2

“Then said Jesus unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in Him.” These are the terms of life made by the world's Redeemer, before the foundations of the earth were laid. Are the teachers in our schools giving the students to eat of the bread of life? Many of them are leading their students over the same track that they themselves have trod. They think this the only right way. They give students food which will not sustain spiritual life, but which will cause those who partake of it to die. They are fascinated by that which God does not require them to know. FE 470.3

Those teachers who are as determined as were the priests and rulers to carry their students over the same old path in which the world continues to travel will go into still greater darkness. Those who might have been co-laborers with Christ, but who have spurned the messengers and their message, will lose their bearings. They will walk in darkness, knowing not at what they stumble. Such are ready to be deceived by the delusions of the last day. Their minds are preoccupied with minor interests, and they lose the blessed opportunity of yoking up with Christ, and being laborers together with God. FE 471.1

The tree of knowledge, so-called, has become an instrument of death. Satan has artfully woven himself, his dogmas, his false theories into the instruction given. From the tree of knowledge he speaks the most pleasing flattery in regard to the higher education. Thousands partake of the fruit of this tree, but to them it means death. Christ says to them: “Ye spend money for that which is not bread. You are using your God-intrusted talents to secure an education which God pronounces foolishness.” FE 471.2

Satan is striving to gain every advantage. He desires to secure, not only students, but teachers. He has his plans laid. Disguised as an angel of light, he will walk the earth as a wonder-worker. In beautiful language he will present lofty sentiments. Good words will be spoken by him, and good deeds performed. Christ will be personified, but on one point there will be a marked distinction. Satan will turn the people from the law of God. Notwithstanding this, so well will he counterfeit righteousness, that if it were possible, he would deceive the very elect. Crowned heads, presidents, rulers in high places, will bow to his false theories. Instead of giving place to criticism, division, jealousy, and rivalry, those in our schools should be one in Christ. Only thus can they resist the temptations of the arch-deceiver. FE 471.3

Time is passing, and God calls for every watchman to be in his place. He has been pleased to lead us to a crisis greater than any since our Saviour's first advent. What shall we do? God's Holy Spirit has told us what to do; but, as the Jews in Christ's day rejected light and chose darkness, so will the religious world reject the message for today. Men professing godliness have despised Christ in the person of His messengers. Like the Jews, they reject God's message. The Jews asked regarding Christ, “Who is this? Is not this Joseph's son?” He was not the Christ that the Jews looked for. So today the agencies that God sends are not what men have looked for. But the Lord will not ask any man by whom to send. He will send by whom He will. Men may not be able to understand why God sends this one or that one. His work may be a matter of curiosity. God will not satisfy this curiosity; and His word will not return unto Him void. FE 472.1

Let the work of preparing a people to stand in the day of God's preparation be entered upon by all who believe the word. During the last few years serious work has been done. Serious questions have agitated the minds of those who believe present truth. The light of the Son of Righteousness has been shining in every place, and by some it has been received, and perseveringly held. The work has been carried forward in Christ's lines. FE 472.2

Every soul that names the name of Christ should be under service. All should say, “Here I am; send me.” The lips that are willing to speak, though unclean, will be touched with the living coal, and purified. They will be enabled to speak words that will burn their way to the soul. The time will come when men will be called to give an account for the souls to whom they should have communicated light, but who have not received it. Those who have thus failed in their duty, who have been given light, but who have not cherished it, so that they have none to impart, are classed in the books of heaven with those that are at enmity with God, not subject to His will or under His guidance. FE 472.3

A Christian influence should pervade our schools, our sanitariums, our publishing houses. Under the direction of Satan, confederacies are being formed, and will be formed to eclipse the truth by human influence. Those who join these confederacies can never hear the welcome, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant; ... enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” The instrumentalities established by God are to press forward, making no compromise with the power of darkness. Much more must be done in Christ's lines than has yet been done. FE 473.1

Strict integrity should be cherished by every student. Every mind should turn with reverent attention to the revealed word of God. Light and grace will be given to those who thus obey God. They will behold wondrous things out of His law. Great truths that have lain unheeded and unseen since the day of Pentecost, are to shine from God's word in their native purity. To those who truly love God the Holy Spirit will reveal truths that have faded from the mind, and will also reveal truths that are entirely new. Those who eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God will bring from the books of Daniel and Revelation truth that is inspired by the Holy Spirit. They will start into action forces that cannot be repressed. The lips of children will be opened to proclaim the mysteries that have been hidden from the minds of men. The Lord has chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise, and the weak things of the world to confound the mighty. FE 473.2

The Bible should not be brought into our schools to be sandwiched in between infidelity. The Bible must be made the groundwork and subject matter of education. It is true that we know much more of the word of the living God than we knew in the past, but there is still much more to be learned. It should be used as the word of the living God, and esteemed as first, and last, and best in everything. Then will be seen true spiritual growth. The students will develop healthy religious characters, because they eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God. But unless watched and nurtured, the health of the soul decays. Keep in the channel of light. Study the Bible. Those who serve God faithfully will be blessed. He who permits no faithful work to go unrewarded will crown every act of loyalty and integrity with special tokens of His love and approbation.—The Review and Herald, August 17, 1897. FE 474.1