Fundamentals of Christian Education


Chapter 67—The Essential in Education

The most essential education for our youth today to gain, and that which will fit them for the higher grades of the school above, is an education that will teach them how to reveal the will of God to the world. To neglect this phase of their training, and to bring into our schools a worldly method, is to bring loss to both teachers and students. FE 512.1

Just before Elijah was taken to heaven, he visited the schools of the prophets, and instructed the students on the most important points of their education. The lessons he had given them on former visits, he now repeated, impressing upon the minds of the youth the importance of letting simplicity mark every feature of their education. Only in this way could they receive the mold of heaven, and go forth to work in the ways of the Lord. If conducted as God designs they should be, our schools in these closing days of the message will do a work similar to that done by the schools of the prophets. FE 512.2

Those who go forth from our schools to engage in mission work will have need of an experience in the cultivation of the soil and in other lines of manual labor. They should receive a training that will fit them to take hold of any line of work in the fields to which they shall be called. No work will be more effectual than that done by those who, having obtained an education in practical life, go forth prepared to instruct as they have been instructed. FE 512.3

In His teachings the Saviour represented the world as a vineyard. We would do well to study the parables in which this figure is used. If in our schools the land were more faithfully cultivated, the buildings more disinterestedly cared for by the students, the love of sports and amusements, which causes so much perplexity in our school work, would pass away. FE 512.4

When the Lord placed our first parents in the garden of Eden, it was with the injunction that they “dress it” and “keep it.” God had finished His work of creation, and had pronounced all things very good. Everything was adapted to the end for which it was made. While Adam and Eve obeyed God, their labors in the garden were a pleasure; the earth yielded of its abundance for their wants. But when man departed from his obedience to God, he was doomed to wrestle with the seeds of Satan's sowing, and to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow. Henceforth he must battle in toil and hardship against the power to which he had yielded his will. FE 512.5

It was God's purpose to remove by toil the evil which man brought into the world by disobedience. By toil the temptations of Satan might be made ineffectual, and the tide of evil be stayed. The Son of God was given to the world, by His death to make atonement for the sins of the world, by His life to teach men how the plans of the enemy were to be thwarted. Taking upon Himself the nature of man, Christ entered into the sympathies and interests of His brethren, and by a life of untiring labor taught how men might become laborers together with God in the building up of His kingdom in the world. FE 513.1

If those who have received instruction concerning God's plan for the education of the youth in these last days, will surrender their wills to God, He will teach them His will and His way. Christ is to be the teacher in all our schools. If teachers and students will give Him His rightful place, He will work through them to carry out the plan of redemption. FE 513.2

Students are to be taught to seek the counsel of God in prayer. They are to be taught to look to their Creator as their unerring guide. They are to be taught the lessons of forbearance and trust, of true goodness and kindness of heart. They are to learn the lesson of perseverance. Their characters are to answer to the words of David, “That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace.” In all this they are qualifying for service in the missionary field. FE 513.3

The converted student has broken the chain which bound him to the service of sin, and has placed himself in the right relation to God. His name is enrolled in the Lamb's book of life. He is under solemn obligation to renounce evil, and come under the jurisdiction of God. Through earnest prayer he is to cleave to Christ. To neglect this, to refuse his service, is to forfeit the favor of the Great Teacher, and to become the sport of Satan's wiles. It was the design of heaven by the infinite sacrifice of Christ, to bring men and women into favor again with God. The education that brings the student into close relation with the Teacher sent from God, is true education. FE 514.1

God's people are His chosen instrumentalities for the enlargement of His church in the earth. They are to seek the counsel of God. Worldly amusements and entertainments are to have no place in the life of the Christian. In following the way of the Lord is to be the strength of His people. Their faith in the gift of God's only-begotten Son is to be manifest. This will make its impression on the mind of the worldling. He who takes his position as separate from the world, and strives to become one with Christ, will be successful in drawing souls to God. The grace of Christ will be so apparent in his life that the world will take knowledge of him that he has been with Jesus, and has learned of Him. FE 514.2

“Go work today in my vineyard,” the Saviour commands. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” Let every one who claims to be a child of the heavenly King seek constantly to represent the principles of the kingdom of God. Let each remember that in spirit, in words, and in works, he is to be loyal and true to all the precepts and commandments of the Lord. We are to be faithful, trustworthy subjects of the kingdom of Christ, that those who are worldly wise may have a true representation of the riches, the goodness, the mercy, the tenderness, and the courtesy of the citizens of the kingdom of God.—The Review and Herald, October 24, 1907. FE 514.3