Summary: Advantages and disadvantages of education
Acts 7:22. Volume I. Page 48.
We have heard many severe condemnations of the educational system of to-day, both by learned and unlearned. The strongest condemnation I have heard was by a doctor who had to deal with many cases of immorality among high school students. The ordinary m an knows little of what is being taught in the schools. He may know what was taught in his day, but nothing of the changes which have been made since. He therefore judges the education from the life they lead who receive it, because he argues that if the education is good, it should have a good influence on the lives of those who receive it. If it has not a good influence the fault may not be so much with the education itself, but with the one who receives, for a man can learn to tie a rope to a good purpose and a bad purpose. I fear that we expect too much from a merely secular education. I would like to speak to you therefore this evening on -
The Limitations and advantages of learning, as illustrated in the Life of Moses.
We must consider first it’s limitations, for the reason why few actually get the full value of their education is they expect too much of it. They expect their diploma to give them a soft seat in easy land where the quid doves fall into their month. Like the over confident rabbit they sit down in the cabbage patch while the cumbersome turtle walks ahead and wins the race. Therefore many of our foremost men in this country never saw the inside of a high school and did not warm the bench long in grammar school, such as Washington, Franklin, Patrick Henry, Paul Jones, Lincoln and some money men of our day, as Carnegie, Ed. Bok, James Hill. These men knew that like the turtle they had to work for every inch of their progress, a thing that many with an education do not want to realize. Therefore you need first to be reminded of the limitations of education.
We read here: “And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians.” Moses did not seek this learning of his own accord, but was cast into it by circumstances. Being an adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter, he had to live up to the rules of the house. It was no short course education he received there, but we know that he spent the first 40 years, the most receptive period of his life under Pharaoh’s roof. The education he received there did not differ a great deal from that education given in the public schools today. The Egyptians of that day were not like our heathen Indians who lived by fishing and hunting, but Egypt had a very good educational system as records and ruins and buildings of that time show. We know from records that reading and writing were taught, have practice books of penmanship. They excelled in the study of astronomy and architecture. The pyramids and the Sphinx are still wonders of the world. They wrote text books on history, law, philosophy, medicine, books of poetry, romance. And Moses surely received the best of it in Pharaoh’s house.
Like Moses you have received a worldly education. Like Moses you have been thrown into it by circumstances because the state demands it. Like Moses you should learn also the limitations of that education, as illustrated in Pharaoh the enemy of God. Much of our education material originates from the inside of enemies of God, for the children of the world are wiser in their generation than the children of light. A merely secular education cannot make a God fearing character of you. Therefore mark well the limits of learning, lest you be proved an enemy of God liek Pharaoh, for no man can fight against God and win. An old man illustrated the limits of secular learning to a young man in a very striking manner as told by Zietke: The young gentleman came to his old friend and rejoiced that his uncle allowed him to attend the University and study law. To which the old man said: Yes that’s fine and what then? Etc.
Still education can be an advantage, if it is used to the glory of God. Surely there is nothing in the different branches of learning, if we stick to facts, that should make a Pharaoh, and enemy of God out of a man. Reading, writing, history, science, etc. have nothing in themselves to make a man an enemy of God, if we abide by the facts and do not dwell on blind theories manufactured by the depraved reason of man. Scripture itself encourages wisdom and learning, for it is in itself the greates wisdom and learning and the different branches of learning such as language, Arithmetic, history help to give us a better understanding of Scripture. Thus Moses was not harmed by learning, because he placed it in the service of God, as we read here “and was mighty in words and in deeds.”