A Testimony Concerning the Promotion of Christian Education

THE OUTLOOK is pleased not only to publish but also to endorse wholeheartedly the accompanying Testimony Concerning the Promotion of Christian Education issued by the Northwest Iowa Chapter of Reformed Fellowship, Inc. Executive Committee members of the chapter are:

DR. PETER Y. DE JONG, President
REV. JOHN B. HULST, Secretary
T. VAN BRUGGEN, Treasurer
J. R0ZEBOOM, Vicar

As a company of Christian believers who rejoice in the salvation provided us in Jesus Christ and who recognize our calling to be ready always to give answer to every man concerning the hope that is in us (I Pet. 3:15), we hereby present our testimony concerning the educational responsibilities which confront and challenge God’s people in this generation.

All Christians, we believe, should humbly acknowledge and joyfully serve Jesus Christ according to the Scriptures as the only Savior and the Lord of all of life. To this end schools on all learning-levels are indispensable. Such institutions, shall they serve the high purposes of the gracious God of the covenant, must be Bible-directed, Christ-centered, and God-glorifying. Each generation must under God come to an understanding of and commitment to the educational imperatives with which the Bible challenges all who confess the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity and truth.

It therefore deeply disturbs and distresses us to see an evident decline of interest in, commitment to, and support for such educational enterprises among leaders and members of the confessing Christian community. This can only aggravate the decline of healthy spiritual life and service among us and further weaken the foundations of home and church, of society and state. In days of opportunity and affluence such as we are presently experiencing, the call comes with unmistakable clarity to renew our loyalty to the mandates which our gracious covenant God reveals in His Word. To this we pledge ourselves in this testimony.

From the heart we publicly thank God for the rich heritage in which we rejoice.

We praise him for the vision which inspired our fathers to establish schools for their children and their children’s children where the God of the covenant would be continually and consistently honored. We praise Him for the devotion with which a large company of teachers, administrators and board members—often at the cost of great personal sacrifice—have served to make these schools strong throughout the years. We praise Him for parents who have been faithful to their calling and for friends whose prayers and gifts have aided to keep these schools in existence. We praise Him for the blessings which He bestowed through these schools to train children and young people in godly fear unto kingdom service.

In thankfulness for all these favors we therefore resolve with the help of our faithful God:

(1) to urge all parents with whom we associate to recognize their covenant privileges and obligations in making use of Christian schools on all levels for the training of their children in the fear of the Lord;

(2) to challenge all young people, especially those who have enjoyed the benefits of such Christian education, to serve Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord in their daily lives and thus also to support these schools with their prayers and gifts:

(3) to encourage pastors to proclaim from the pulpit and in the classroom the riches of God’s truth also as it applies to Christian education. Likewise to urge elders and deacons in their respective callings to support and implement such preaching in their work in and outside of the congregation; and

(4) to remind especially those directly engaged as educators in the schools of the urgency of distinctive Christian teaching, so that understanding of and commitment to the principles which undergird these schools may be deepened among parents, children, and the entire Christian community. Old and young alike will benefit from clear, consistent, and courageous testimonies to the comprehensive authority and message of Scripture for all of life, the riches of God’s covenant mercies to those who walk in His ways, the necessity of personal renewal through the work of the Holy Spirit, and the sovereign Lordship of Jesus Christ. Unless the schools are truly distinctive, they deserve no place in society and no support from the people of God.

All this, we believe, must be done in our day.

In the struggle for the mastery of men’s minds, hearts and lives, the issues must be sharply drawn, in faith-obedience to the Savior-King who calls us to serve Him in all things. Too easily the call of the gospel is muted by a willingness to compromise conviction and practice for the sake of being approved by the majority. Too quickly the truths of God’s Word are reduced to cliches incapable of stirring the soul and arousing the life of those who hear to deeds which delight the Lord and demonstrate our loyalty to His kingdom.

Therefore we also resolve that this testimony shall be made public not only by means of our personal witness but also by means of instructing the Executive Committee to do the following on our behalf:

(1) to send a copy of this Testimony to every Christian School Board and to every Christian Reformed Church Consistory in this area;

(2) to urge the Editorial Boards of The Banner, The Outlook, The Reformed Journal, Calvinist Contact, Christian Home and School magazine, The Christian School Herald to publish this Testimony, as well as to publish and continue to publish articles which set forth the principles and promote the cause of Christian education in and through the schools.

(3) to present this Testimony to the Convention of the National Union of Christian Schools, meeting in August on the campus of Dordt College, as a declaration of our support for their work on behalf of our Christian Schools and our willingness to be of assistance to them in promoting the cause of Christian education;

(4) to send a copy of this testimony to the Christian Reformed Board of Home Missions with the suggestion that our commitment to Christ-centered education be made an integral part of our witness to the nation through the Evangelism Thrust program; and

(5) to request the Board of Reformed Fellowship, Inc., to prepare and make public a list of speakers who are qualified and willing to speak on behalf of the Christian School movement at gatherings organized for that purpose.