Summary: Establishing advocacy for Christian Education is not only needed in Post-Modern Christianity but required by the Word of God. To be an apologist for Christian Education falls short of God’s mandate.
Apologist or Advocate…Christian Education
Written by Ernest W. Corty
Inspired by Dr. Alan Pure, President of “The Barnabas Group”
We have a powerful story that we don’t tell today. The story could be rooted in the truth that our Christian Colleges and Seminaries offer courses in Systematic Theology, Thematic Theology, Eschatology, and other skills and talents, but there is no Basic Christian Education Component being taught to our pastors and students studying in these areas.
Consider Proverbs 7:1-7 New International Version
1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: 2 for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; 3 for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair; 4 for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young- 5 let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance- 6 for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. 7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
We have stumbled into an era, society if you will, where we must be advocates and not just apologists. Let me explain what I mean by that statement: Biblical Christian Reality is based on the biblical truth in regards to God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and His Church and is found in the Word of God. Biblical Christian Reality is based on biblical truth in regards to family and the Bible’s view on marriage, children, etc. Biblical Christian Reality is based on biblical truth in regards to our personal time with the Lord in prayer, study of His Word and meditation then application. And yes, Biblical Christian Reality must be based on biblical truth in regards to how we as parents and society educate our children.
Here is the point of this article. The Biblical Christian Reality that is the norm of North American Culture has a tremendous need today! The need is that the biblical mandate with regards to the Christian Education of our children is somewhat apologetic but certainly not one of advocacy. The only education the vast majority of children partake of today is that given from the perspective of a secular world. A world bent on declaring that Christian Education and Christian Heritage are politically incorrect and intolerant in design.
But there remain a few battlefields, gates to do battle at if you will. Take (Psalm 127:5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. KJV). Christian Education today is training children to do battle at the crossroads of our society. Christian Colleges, Christian Schools and Christian Home Schooling fall within God’s biblical mandate today. Sure we are apologists with regards to knowing that Christian Education exists. We are apologists in regards to making easy generalizations of Christian Education (see below). But we are nowhere near advocates for Christian Education. Ponder the following statements recently given by Dr. Alan Pue, President of The Barnabas Group at a Christian Conference of Christian School Administrators and Christian School Board Members.
1. Less then one percent of college students attend a Christian College or University
2. 50 percent of evangelicals abandon their faith their first year at secular colleges and (75-80% lose interest or go into a cocoon with regards to their faith) at secular colleges, Josh McDowell
3. 90 percent of evangelical parents never consider a Christian School or Christian College for their educational needs
Consider the following reasons (not in order) why Christian parents do not send their children to Christian Education institutions or Home School:
1. Misconception of quality…Public Education is better quality then Christian Education or Home Schooling.
2. Are not aware of a biblical responsibility they have towards their children’s education.
3. Finances will not allow them to choose Christian Education…the average American family carries over $8,000 in credit card debt. Christian Education costs about half that amount for one child.
4. A belief that the churches of today can train children within the mandates of II Timothy 2. When in truth the vast majority of churches have decreasing Sunday School programs and struggle to offer viable Vacation Bible School programming. Many children manipulate their parents into not sending them to Sunday School or church.
5. Like the Great Society debacle of the Johnson Years in the early 60’s, many parents believe that an education, at whatever cost to a child’s spiritual life, is the only hope for their children to make lots of money tomorrow to fulfill the Great American Dream.
6. Parents are overwhelmed with information today and because of the information that bombards them; refuse to take the time to continue the momentum in regards to telling the truth of their conversion experiences and where those conversion experiences took place. Christian campuses, Christian camping programs, and Christian parents Home Schooling lead the way in conversion experiences today. Time spent in Christian education and camping is immeasurable with regards to a person’s current walk with the Lord.