Adventist education is grace before grades and Heaven before Harvard. The ultimate goal is eternal life with Christ. Teachers either help or hinder students to realize their eternal destiny. There is no middle ground. That's why a Christian education is so important.
Monday through Friday multitudes of yellow buses ply the roads delivering students to classrooms with good equipment, remedial programs, and learning devices all used effectively by teachers schooled in both the methods and psychology of education. There is no doubt one may depend on public schools to educate our children scholastically. They may even teach the basics of healthful living and a certain degree of ethics. Music, art and physical education are usually masterfully presented. We cannot, however, count on them to help with the most vital of all educational aspects. The public school system will not, cannot, and can never be expected to, encourage the development of a Christ-like character in the students. Even if some teachers would like to present Biblical truths, the law does not permit them to do so. To say it in Biblical terms, their ways and thoughts are not congruent with the Bible.
There are three ways I would like to briefly review where the teachings of the public school differ greatly. First, we teach that each one is a child of God created uniquely in His image. Man did not evolve by chance, but was created perfect with the potential for continued growth and development. Second, although created perfectly, man misused the free choice given and sinned. Yes, there are absolutes in God's laws and to break or disobey these is sin. As a result of sin, all will die. This brings us to the third difference. A Saviour has been provided for our salvation. This is the gift of a loving God who freely gives us salvation through the gift of His Son. We did not evolve over eons of time; we live a few years, and that's all there is. We were created instantly and, after a few short years filled with many challenges, we can look forward to an eternity to come.
I am thankful for an education that emphasizes this truth, and for teachers who share this good news. I am thankful for teachers who were a “spare key” to me and are now influential in the lives of my grandchildren. I am thankful that I can serve as a shepherd to the flock God has given me. The question will be asked when Jesus comes, “Where is the flock that was given you, Your beautiful sheep?” (Jeremiah 13:20). I will answer that question as a parent, a teacher and a member of the church. May God bless us all as we care for His lambs-His flock.