NOTE No. 5
What is wrong with a Uf good educational program? It seems to be this: we have lost sight to an extent of the two covenantal demands which our Lord holds before us. Genesis 12:1–3 is a very instructive passage for us. When the Lord covenanted with Abraham he placed two demands before him. The first was that Abraham should receive and appropriate the blessings that the Covenant—God had in store for him and which the Lord would sovereignly dispense to the believer. These blessings of the Covenant included much more than personal salvation; included was the promise of a prosperous and enjoyable land as a place for the believer to receive and appropriate redemption for his personal life and for all the various aspects of life. In short, the covenant blessing Abraham was to receive also included the place. the opportunity, and facilities for the believer to carry out the mandate received at the time of creation: to be fruitful, to multiply, to subdue and have dominion over the earth and to live out the full and rich life God held before man, relating the whole of our life to God—to see and to acknowledge him in it all. These latter blessings were as an earthly surely to Abraham for the rich spiritual heritage God had for him.
Now we in our educational endeavors must not lose sight of the first demand in any of its aspects. Christian education, as executed by the various agents, is to hold these blessings before the learning one, teaching him to so develop and train himself that he will be able to receive and appreciate the full covenantal blessing of God for all of life. Hence we teach him the scriptural truths, the way of redemption with all its added blessings, and urge him to receive them. As a saved person he is taught how to live, how to evaluate and appreciate this world, his fellowmen, how to receive and develop the natural blessings of life.
NOTE No. 6
But there is also a second demand of the Covenant. The believer must also be a blessing to all nations, to all men! Education thus receives a far greater perspective, purpose, and task. It is God’s way of training one to receive and to dispense his Covenantal blessings to all men. Believing Abraham and his believing children must be able to absorb as well as impart. That takes real training. Christian education has this as its intent, purpose, goal: so to train God’s people that they become efficient channels of divine blessings to all men for every aspect of life: social, economic, political, etc., as well as the religious. It seems that we as a people are not sufficiently concerned about this second demand.
Could it be that we have not learned to appreciate truly and use the blessings God imparts to us?
Let us illustrate. A student once complained that there was in his Christian teacher a Jack of real conviction, and heartfelt devotion. The teacher was reproducing facts, but there was no evidence of a joyous, living participation in the truths of God, given in special and general revelation. The instructor’s answer was: “But you are getting the facts, aren’t you?” There was no proper conception of what it meant to train lives for the service and the glory of God and for the enrichment of the lives of fellowmen.
Let us face the facts. Too many of us—parents, teachers, professors, ministers, principals, board members are not living testimonies to the riches of God’s Covenant in all its aspects. Are we as active in the Spirit as we ought to be? We busy ourselves teaching and propagating truths but we do not seem to be wholly pervaded and molded by these truths. Yes, we are busy teaching, but we forget to train the whole person: soul, heart, mind, and hand in accordance with God’s dual covenant demands. Spiritual enthusiasm in the service of God is really contagious, but so is religious apathy and unconcern. As the teacher, so the student.
Again, the educational machine is not basically at fault, but the dynamos are falling. Nevertheless, the original dynamo, the Spirit of God, never fails. The difficulty lies in the mediating, the secondary, dynamos! The saved man and woman, who should be so full of the Spirit that they spontaneously train learning ones to be a true covenant people, are at fault! It is not a lack of knowledge, teaching ability, academic degrees, or ordination services that we must be concerned about first of all. Rather it is this: the lack of true sorrow for sin, heartfelt repentance, a serious believing in the total depravity of man and the indescribable grace of a sovereign God. This we lack: true thankfulness, genuine consecration and devotion to the Lord who suffered hell for us. There is much talk of surrender, commitment, conviction, willingness to sacrifice, but too little actual demonstration of these absolutely necessary qualities. There is much talk of love for God and fellowman, but that love is too often only the love of the philosopher and the humanitarian. There is much talk of taking “the truths of God’s Word seriously and applying them but there is too little actual doing of God’s will, too much mouthing of the wisdom of the world as it has been produced throughout the ages.
In short, let us as parents, teachers, ministers really learn to love the Lord and our fellowmen, God’s Word and his truth with our whole heart. Let us take our God and his dual covenant demands more seriously. Let us learn to be truly happy in the Lord and in the inheritance he has in store for us.
A concluding remark may be in order. As these notes are read they may be studied and logically analyzed. Questions will be raised loaded questions—honest questions. But all our analyzing and questioning will not erase the hard facts as they pertain to our excellent educational program, which is not producing as it should.