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Why Christian Education?

No one would question the importance of education, but Christian parents may well ask, ‘Is there any merit in educating my children in a Christian school?’ The arguments that follow are in part adapted from the Discover Christian Schools website and are provided to help you as parents consider the importance of this question as you seek to make a biblically informed decision.

Psalm 24:1 declares that,
‘The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;’
If this proposition is true then it affects everything. If God is the source of life and is ultimately in control of His creation then life not only has meaning and purpose, but it can also only truly be understood in the light of knowing Him!

Richard Edlin once said that,
“Education is not religiously neutral… (it) is always the expression of beliefs about life and living that are held by those who determine the educational process. The myth of religious neutrality in education is dead.” In saying this Edlin rightly acknowledges that ideas cannot be taught from a values neutral position. Facts are constantly interpreted through a belief system that either recognises God’s Lordship over His creation, or one that doesn’t.

At Hastings Christian School we are commited to helping Christian parents fulfill their God-given responsibility to bring their children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). We are convinced that the Bible has the supreme authority over all of life and that teachers and peers have a strong influence in helping shape our children. We believe in the value of being part of a Christ-centred community and we’re passionate about excellence in education and using this for the benefit of society. We are also committed to helping your children develop their God-given potential.

If these convictions resonate with you and you feel the need for a school that supports you and reinforces your biblical values, then read on! HCS may well be the best school for your family.

The centrality of the Word of God in the educational process was the charge that Moses gave to the nation of Israel in the book of Deuteronomy. Christian parents still feel the weight of this daunting responsibility today.

“You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul …. And you shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.”  (Deuteronomy 11:18-19)

What we have here is a clear biblical mandate to saturate our children’s minds with the Word of God.  At a truly Christian school, the Bible will not only be taught for what it is – the inspired Word of God – but that it forms the foundation of all other texts.  When students pursue the knowledge of mathematics, biology and music in a Christian setting, they’re chasing after the knowledge of God. As Solomon the wisest king that ever lived once said

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).

J.Gresham Machen recognised the importance of a comprehensive biblical foundation when he stated,
“A truly Christian education is possible only when Christian education underlies not a part, but all, of the curriculum of the school.  True learning and true piety (religion)go hand in hand, and Christianity embraces the whole of life – those are great central convictions that underlie the Christian school.”

An education that uses God’s Word as its foundational text not only enables its students to think God’s thoughts after Him, it encourages them to be discerning. Rather than merely telling students what to think, they are equipped to know how to think as they measure competing truth claims against the objective revelation of God’s Word.  As a result students are helped to identify and take captive every lofty opinion that sets itself up against the knowledge of the truth as they measure them against the perfect standard – Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

The aim then of a Christian school is not to shelter students from the ‘real world’ but to assist parents in preparing them to stand on their own two feet by providing a supportive environment that helps challenge them to wrestle with competing truth claims and find in God’s Word real answers robust enough to build their lives upon. Instead of being squeezed into society’s way of thinking (Romans 12:2), they are equipped to head out into the world as ambassadors of hope secure in the knowledge of who God is, who they are and what the point and purpose of life is. In short they are readied for life!

Another reason for considering Christian education is that students who have been grounded in the truth of God’s Word day after day during their formative years – both at school and at home – are better-equipped to handle discrepant ideas upon leaving school.  Whether in a secular university or in the workplace, young adults with a solid biblical foundation are far less likely to fall victim to the subtle lies of our postmodern culture.

The importance of a shared vision is made plain in Amos 3:3,
Can two walk together except they be agreed?”

When church and school are both supporting the home, by teaching God’s truth with clarity, and conviction, then parents can have greater confidence that the message that their children receive is a consistent one.

The significance of home and school sharing the same values, philosophy or worldview cannot be overstated. If students are taught that having ‘good morals’ or chasing any laudable pursuit is an end in itself – instead of flowing from and ultimately motivated by a desire to please God – then those admirable endeavours actually serve to lead students away from God and not to Him.

When home and school start with God and His glory as the foundation of all learning and pursuits, then this shared vision provides a harmonious stability that serves to best support the student in their formative, emerging and adolescent years.

Teachers are a school’s heartbeat.  Its pulse.  They are also among the most influential role models in students’ lives.  When everyone – the school boards, the principal, the teachers and the parents – is operating under the same educational paradigm, the unity of purpose can prove to be a real blessing in the life of the pupils that make up that institution.

In Luke 6:40 Jesus said;
A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.”

While this comment was said in the context of a discussion on discipleship, these words should still give every Christian parent reason to pause and reflect on the influence of those they choose to partner with in the educational process. As Proverbs 13:20 states,
He who walks with the wise grows wise but a companion of fools suffers harm.’

Who do you want as an influence in the lives of your children? Like it or not children are impressionable and are strongly influenced by those their own age. Scripture teaches
‘Bad company corrupts good morals’ (1 Corinthians 15:33)

How will you protect the morals you have instilled in your children? While Christian schools are not immune to undesirable behaviour by students, the peers they mix with at Hastings Christian School are far more likely to come from homes which have similar Christian values to your own.

Why Our School?

In the final analysis, all schools have a similar purpose – to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary for life. What sets Christian schools apart is the foundation on which this education is based. At Hastings Christian School, we have a high view of scripture and believe in its relevance today in education and in the raising of children. We have teachers who love the Lord and are passionate about learning. We are driven by a culture of excellence. We believe all our students have talents and skills given them by God. We value the opportunity to work alongside you as parents as together we seek to help your children achieve their very best for His glory. If this is something you want for your children, then we’d love to support you in this.

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