As we continue to watch the unimaginable unfold before our eyes in our world, I don’t think the importance of Christian education can be overstated.
It is no exaggeration to say that this is a critical and defining cultural moment. If we don’t get it right, it will affect generations to come. We stand on a precipice where the very notion of truth is at stake and a war for the minds of our children and young adults is unfolding.
A little over a year ago, we felt compelled to begin inviting students to our home on Thursday evenings for the purpose of discipleship. We call it Veritas, which means “truth” in Latin. It was an incredibly fruitful time, and the main focus is Jesus and equipping young adults to understand the Bible, their identity, their purpose, and equipping them with a biblical worldview at this critical time. of their life. As we continue to watch the unimaginable unfold before our eyes in our world, I don’t think the importance of Christian education can be overstated. Here are some reasons why parents and the church need to rethink the important role of biblical education in worldview formation in a post-truth world.
Truth itself is questioned, and objective truth is rejected by our culture in favor of “your” truth and “my” truth. However, Jesus clearly tells us that he is the truth (John 14:6). He does not just proclaim it, he embodies and personifies it. All truth has its origin in Jesus. Paul tells us, in Colossians 2:3, about Jesus: “…in whom (Christ) are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” These are profound statements, telling us clearly that to start from a position of truth and to obtain the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, we must begin with Christ himself. Mathematics has its foundation in Jesus. Science has its foundation in Jesus. Social studies, language arts, and the humanities all have their foundation in Jesus. It stands to reason, therefore, that any system that rejects God starts from a faulty foundation, and its whole structure is liable to fail and collapse. We watch this unfold daily. Is it any wonder that chaos has taken over every aspect of society, including our schools? To reject Jesus is to reject the truth. Postmodernism proclaims there is no truth, but Jesus proclaims I AM THE TRUTH. Only Christian education can make this assertion objectively, and God himself tells us that he is this source of all truth because he is truth.
Our culture is facing a deep identity crisis. While many parents are perplexed by this (Christians and non-Christians), they are helpless apart from Christ to deal with this crisis. Many parents are stunned to learn that students are not just struggling with gender identity, but some are taking on all sorts of alternate identities, from animals to inanimate objects. While this may seem incomprehensible to some, it is the scourge of postmodernism. This is precisely what the Bible tells us will happen in Romans 1 when worship of the Creator (God) is exchanged for worship of creation (self). Not only do we have an identity through Jesus, but it’s so much better than anything in this world. Our students need an authentic sense of identity rooted in Christ and our conferred identity as children of God. Only a Christian education comes alongside churches and parents to help students understand their identity, their world and their place in it.
Coming to an understanding of our identity gives us a deep sense of purpose. Christians do not live for this life, their citizenship is in heaven and they have been given a distinct purpose. So many people spend decades trying with little success and asking themselves the question, “Why am I here?” People who have no purpose struggle in all areas of life. Jesus, however, gives us the greatest purpose of all: to glorify God and enjoy him forever, to know him and to make him known. Most of us are probably familiar with the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19, but my favorite version is actually John 20:21: “As the Father has sent me, so I send you. Christians already have a God-given purpose and a Christ-given mandate. We are a “sent” people, regardless of our individual role, location, etc. Only a Christian education comes alongside churches and parents to help students understand their purpose and challenge them to think from that perspective.
Children spend the majority of their day in a classroom and each day that time is used to build their view of the world. The most recent research tells us that most worldview formation occurs by age 12 for most students. An important example of this is that the majority of people who come to faith in Christ do so before the age of 12. This has important implications for every child and every family. Our children are formed every day, whether we realize it or not. There is a mundane system and a militant culture that works overtime to train our children in their misconceptions of identity and compete for their minds, hearts and souls. It is a matter of life and death, and we have the choice whether or not to send our students to be disciplined for eight hours a day by this system or whether we provide them with something better and rooted in truth. We should not be surprised when we send our children to be educated by Rome and they come back as Romans. If we want them to be Christians and disciples, we must nurture them in all things with Christ as our foundation and especially in the critical years of worldview formation. Only Christian education reinforces this worldview daily and intentionally helps students see and understand what they are learning through a biblical lens and framework.
Parents and churches face a monumental task, but it is not an optional task. Only Christian education comes in partnership with parents and churches to form strong, stable students and disciples who are equipped for life in a post-modern world. It is imperative that we focus on a deep understanding of the Bible and on building a worldview that informs all that students learn. Our job as parents, churches, and educators is to prepare them with a great education and how it relates to the Word of God, the Church, and the Great Commission. If we seek His Kingdom first, everything else will be added to us. Mathematics will be added to us. Science will be added to us. Social studies will be added to us. The language will be added to us. Our students will receive everything they need if they receive Christ first, and their impact on the world will come as they enter life with a firm meaning and identity that is grounded squarely in the person who personifies the truth. Churches, parents and communities in our country must take ownership of the education of our children so that ANY family can have the support and access to an education rooted in truth. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. And these words that I command you today will be on your hands, you will diligently teach them to your children and you will speak of them when you sit in your house, when you go on your journey, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 6:4-7). Aaron Mapes is the senior pastor of the First Assembly of God. He can be reached at 541-447-7254.