Thoughts on Education

Why Christian Education?

Did you know that 2012 Gallup poll showed only 65% of US residents agreed with the statement: “religion is important in your daily life”? This places the US 104th of 147 nations survived, indicating that US residents identify less with any faith than most other nations.

In fact, the number of those living in the US who believe “religion can answer all or most of today’s problems” has fallen to 58%, while the number who believe “religion is largely old-fashioned and out of date” has increased to 28%. 

Okay, so even if religion is not important in their daily lives, how many in the US at least culturally identify with a religious heritage of any kind? The Pew Research Center estimates that nearly one-fifth of the US public-and one-third of those under 30 have “no religious affiliation.” Our children are growing up in a national culture that does not have a biblical worldview.

What about our corner of the nation? Washington State church attendance and membership ranks us at 43rd in the nation according to the Association of Statitians of American Religious Bodies. Within Washington State, Kittitas County ranks 26 of 39 counties for total religious adherents.  60% of our neighbors do not claim to identify with any religion—triple the national average.

How many of those 40% in Kittitas County identify with a faith founded on the Bible (Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox)?  23%--or about 10,000 people in Kittitas County.

Pretending for a moment that Kittitas County was its own nation, how does the percentage of profession Christians here compare to other places in the world? Benin, Ivory Coast, South Korea, Tanzania, and Togo are most like Kittitas County, with about 25% of the population identifying with a Christian faith.

While those who identify with a Christian faith are not the majority, how many people who do describe themselves as Christians have a biblical worldview?  Before we consider the answer, how is a “biblical worldview” being defined?

For the purposes of the statistics cited below, a biblical worldview is defined as agreeing with the following statements:  1) Jesus lived a sinless life, 2) God is the all-powerful and all-knowing creator of the universe who still rules today, 3)Salvation is a free gift  and cannot be earned, 4)Satan is real, 5)A Christian has a responsibility to share their faith in Christ with other people, 6)The Bible is accurate in all of its teachings.

Only 9% of US adults agree with these six statements.

There are many people in who consider themselves Christians.  Let’s narrow it down a bit more.  Of those among the 9% who say they “have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is important in their life today and that they are certain that they will go to Heaven after they die because they confessed their sins and accepted Christ as their Savior,” how many have a biblical worldview?

Only 19% of the 9% who profess a biblical worldview.

Statistically, this means fewer than 1,900 adults in Kittitas County have a biblical worldview and base their salvation on Christ’s sacrifice in their place.   Our community is a mission field!

Among our upcoming generation of parents, those 18-23 years old, less than one-half of one percent have a biblical worldview.  Raising children who know, love, and serve God is something parents need help to do, especially since many parents are first generation believers themselves.

While the population of the US is projected to more than double by 2050, an increase of 272 million, church attendance is likely to rise by only 10 million, dropping church attendance from 20% to only 10% of Americans. Children’s ministries, youth programs, and discipleship are vital ministries for equipping the next generation of believers entrusted with the message of Christ. We need to pray not only for our own children, but also for their peers, other parents, our local churches, and schools. 

Why does a worldview matter? It matters because ideas have consequences.  They shape our values and morals, which determine our actions.  Research shows that a person’s worldview is “primarily shaped and firmly in place by age 13”-before they enter high school.  Only 3% of 13 year-olds in our nation have a biblical worldview.  

While Kittitas County has many caring and capable teachers serving in safe neighborhood schools, Christian teachers in secular schools cannot openly pray with students or talk about a biblical worldview.  We believe this opportunity is vital in our post-modern culture. Before they are freshman, the average student will have spent 11,340 hours in school.    We believe that children learn best when all three major influences in their life—home, church, and school—point them in the same direction.  Luke 6:40 says that “The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.”

The mission of Ellensburg Christian School is to equip students to put their Christianity into action and develop their academic abilities through a biblical worldview, impacting their lives for today and eternity.  How are we doing? 

With no preparation before being asked, 95% of ECS students in grades 6-8 indicated they have a biblical worldview.  (One student disagreed with one statement of the six.)  ECS parents and teachers have a strong partnership that is making a difference.

Please continue to pray for Ellensburg Christian School.  Pray that we would be after God’s own heart, and settle for nothing less than the abundant life that He has for those who seek and serve him.

At Ellensburg Christian School we are privileged to be able to learn together, play together, and pray together as we grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord.  In a Christian learning environment students can examine life while wearing the “spectacles of scripture.”  We can openly state that our worth is based on who we are as an image bearer of Christ.  We can seek truth.  Christian education is a legacy that lasts literally forever—for eternity. 

Thank you for your prayers and support of this ministry to partner with young Christian families in Kittitas County. 

 

Thoughts on Christian Homes and Schools

Why Christian Education?

Kittitas County families are blessed to have caring and qualified teachers in our public schools.  Why should Christian families consider Ellensburg Christian School?

Publications

Christian Home and School fall 2014 digital magazine

This issue contains articles about talking to your children about prayer, banishing bullies, and global connections in education.

 
This issue contains articles about online learning, the value of learning a second language, and studies offering information on Christian education.
 

Christian Home and School spring 2013 digital magazine

This issue contains articles on kindergarten readiness, the importance of music education, reducing stress in children, and so much more!

Christian Home and School fall 2012 digital magazine

Christian Schools International is pleased to introduce Christian Home & School magazine's new digital format!

Quotes

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. “ ~Proverbs 1:7

“Education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. … We must remember that intelligence is not enough.  Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.”  ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)

“The mature fruit of mystagogy is an awareness that one's life is being progressively transformed by the holy mysteries being celebrated. The aim of all Christian education, moreover, is to train the believer in an adult faith that can make him a "new creation", capable of bearing witness in his surroundings to the Christian hope that inspires him.” ~ Pope Benedict XVI (b. 1927)

“You can get all A's and still flunk life.”  ~Walker Percy (1916-1990)

“Education is not the means of showing people how to get what they want.  Education is an exercise by means of which enough men, it is hoped, will learn to want what is worth having.” ~Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)

“The purpose of a Christian education would not be merely to make men and women pious Christians: a system which aimed too rigidly at this end alone would become only obscurantist. A Christian education must primarily teach people to be able to think in Christian categories.”  ~T S Eliot  (1888-1965)

“Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.” ~C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) 

“Christianity gives us a world view; it enunciates principles which underlie all our thinking if we are Christian; it prescribes the governing conceptions in terms of which we are to interpret reality. Christianity is not something tacked on to our world view; it is itself a world view. And the central features of our Christian faith are conditioned by, and in turn condition, that world view.” ~ John Murray (1898-1975)

“What has Christianity to do with education: What is there about Christianity which makes it necessary that there should be Christian schools? Very little, some people say. Christianity, they say, is a life, a temper of soul, not a doctrine or a system of truth; it can provide its sweet aroma, therefore, for any system which secular education may provide; its function is merely to evaluate whatever may be presented to it by the school of thought dominant at any particular time. This view of the Christian religion...is radically false. Christianity is, indeed, a way of life; but it is a way of life founded upon a system of truth. That system of truth is of the most comprehensive kind; it clashes with opposing systems at a thousand points. The Christian life cannot be lived on the basis of anti-Christian thought. Hence the necessity of the Christian school.”  ~ J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937)

"It is this profound Christian permeation of every human activity, no matter how secular the world may regard it as being, which is brought about by the Christian school and the Christian school alone. I do not want to be guilty of exaggerations at this point. A Christian boy or girl can learn mathematics, for example, from a teacher who is not a Christian; and truth is truth however learned. But while truth is truth, however learned , the bearing of truth, the meaning of truth, the purpose of truth (even in the sphere of mathematics) seem entirely different to the Christian from that which they seem to the non-Christian; and that is why a truly Christian education is possible only when Christian conviction underlies not a part, but all, of the curriculum of the school. True learning and true piety go hand =in hand, and Christianity embraces the whole of life—those are great central convictions that underlie the Christian school." ~· J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937)

“It is necessary not only that religious instruction be given to the young at certain fixed times, but also that every other subject taught, be permeated with Christian piety. If this is wanting, if this sacred atmosphere does not pervade and warm the hearts of masters and scholars alike, little good can be expected from any kind of learning, and considerable harm will often be the consequence.” ~ Pius XI (1876-1958)

“The whole inspiration of our civilization springs from the teachings of Christ and the lessons of the prophets." ~ Herbert Hoover (1874-1964)

“The Reformed Christian, who believes that the child is the image-bearer of God, naturally proceeds on the assumption that that most fundamental truth may not be ignored in any part of his education and especially not in his school education... And can Christian parents reasonably expect their children to be imbued with a spirit of true religion if they persist in sending them to a school where for twenty-four hours per week they are taught in a spirit that is fundamentally irreligious, if not positively anti-Christian?  The answer can only be a decided negative.” ~Louis Berkhof (1873-1957)

“Education involves the training of the whole man and of all the faculties, of conscience and of the affections, as well as of the intellect...A purely non-theistic treatment of [English]...would not merely falsify the truth of the subject, but would necessarily make it an instrument of conveying positively antitheistic and antichristian ideas. All history is a product of divine Providence, and is instinct with the divine ends and order... It is self-evident that a non-theistic or a non-christian treatment of...history would be utterly superficial and misrepresenting. It cannot be questioned that morals rest on a religious basis, and that a non-theistic ethics is equivalent to a positively antitheistic one. The same is no less true of science in all its departments...If God is not therein recognized he is denied, and a non-theistic science has always been and will always be a positively atheistic and materialistic one.”

 “It is no answer to say that the deficiency of the national system of education in this regard will be adequately supplied by the activities of the Christian churches. No court would admit in excuse for the diffusion of poison the plea that the poisoner knew of another agent actively employed in diffusing an antidote...atheism taught in the school cannot be counteracted by theism taught in the Church. Theism and atheism cannot coalesce to make anything. All truth in all spheres is organically one and vitally inseparable. It is impossible for different agencies independently to discuss and inculcate the religious and the purely naturalistic sides of truth.” ~ A.A. Hodge (1823-1886)

“There can be, therefore, no true education without moral culture, and no true moral culture without Christianity…. Education is the nurture and development of the whole man for his proper end. The end must be conceived aright in order to understand the process.”  ~Robert L. Dabney (1820-1898)

"The Bible does require that education should be religiously conducted…(Deut.6:6,7 11:19 Ps.78:5-7 Prov.22:6 Eph.6:4)…These are not ceremonial or obsolete laws. They bind the consciences of men just as much as the command, 'Thou shalt not steal.' If parents themselves conduct the education of their children, these are the principles upon which it must be conducted. If they commit that work to teachers, they are bound, by the law of God, to see that the teachers regard these divine prescriptions...This is an obligation which they cannot escape...Christianity requires that education in all its departments should be conducted religiously.” ~Charles Hodge (1797-1878)

“In what age, by what sect, where, when, by whom, has religious truth been excluded from the education of youth? Nowhere never. Everywhere, and at all times, it has been and is regarded as essential.” ~Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

“Cursed be all that learning that is contrary to the cross of Christ.” ~ James Madison (1751-1836)

“The first priority of my life is to be holy, and the second goal of my life is to be a scholar. “ ~ John Wesley (1703-1791)

"Seek not to grow in knowledge chiefly for the sake of applause, and to enable you to dispute with others; but seek it for the benefit of your souls." ~ Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)

“Nothing can be rightly known, if God be not known; nor is any study well managed, nor to any great purpose, if God is not studied. We know little of the creature, till we know it as it stands related to the Creator.” ~ Richard Baxter (1615-1691)

“There never was found in any age of the world, either philosopher or sect, or law or discipline which did so highly exalt the public good as the Christian faith." ~ Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

"I am afraid that the schools will prove the very gates of hell, unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures and engraving them in the heart of the youth." ~ Martin Luther (1483-1546)

"Christian schools help students not only to see the glories of God's creation but also to discern and understand the brokenness of this fallen world....  They are not a withdrawal from the world; they are a lens and a microscope through which to see the world in all its broken beauty."  James K.A. Smith