Our intentional involvement in what God is doing to draw people to Himself and make them like Jesus through education.
Corruption in the church is not new. I think of the priests who operated houses of prostitution in Geneva, in the 1500's.
The people ran the bishop out of town in 1530. William Farel, a French evangelist, came in 1531. His co-worker, Antoine Froment cried in the markeplace, "We must reform the church in order to reform the nation!"
Farel sought John Calvin, demanding he come to Geneva to apply the theology he was writing about. Calvin came at the age of 27, and rebuilt this broken city on three essentials:
Calvin had no room for a Sacred-Secular Divide. He believed "holy vocations" included the work of the banker as well as the pastor, and advised bankers to not charge high interest rates, identifying this as the sin of "usury" in the Bible. Calvin understood that Jesus is the Lord of all banks.
Geneva became "a city on a hill," where a healthy church of transformed people engaging in God-glorifying work throughout every sphere of life in the city brought righteous commerce and just governance to the public square from the inside out, not the outside in.
John Knox came to Geneva and took what he learned to Scotland. English believers were influenced by Geneva, and later brought the so-called "Protestant Work Ethic" to North America.
See Thomas Bloomer's, "Calvin and Geneva: Nation-Building Missions." Click here.
Martin Luther invented universal education—for boys and girls of all social classes—and he started institutions to provide it. Ever since, Protestantism has promoted education–among the urban poor of the 19th century, on the mission fields, and in Christian schools today. Now a British researcher has found that this Protestant emphasis on education is a cultural influence that persists to this day, even in seemingly secularized societies. He found that countries with a Protestant background continue to have higher education rates than Catholic countries or those of other religions.
Millions of children from Christian homes are indoctrinated daily in the tenets of secularism—by means of silence from two sides.
Separating the Word of God from academics in school has spawned a debilitating yet popular mindset known as “SSD,” or the “Sacred-Secular Divide.” This dualism constricts the Light of Scripture to Sunday morning sermons, and does not apply it to business, law, medicine, art, civil governance or anything else outside the four walls of a church.
A secularized math class that never explores how numbers fit into God’s plan for humans to govern over all of creation, is as senseless as a secularized Sunday School. Once education becomes secularized, God’s Word can then be marginalized, privatized, and made solely personal.
When dualism reigns, Christianity is not applicable to the public square, or to the daily workplace. It’s only good for Sunday morning services, and nothing beyond.
After building strong families, the surest tactic for winning the culture war is plain: Give your kids a better education than their secularist peers.
When Christians are better educated than the non-Christians, Christians will become the major culture-shapers.
Christian Overman, who directs the Seattle-based Worldview Matters and is a commissioned Colson Fellow, believes—and I largely agree—that we’ve lost the culture because we’ve lost our schools—including, in some cases, important distinctives that make Christian schools, well, Christian. “The shaping of nations begins in the minds of children,” Chris says. “Nation-shaping ideas acquired in elementary and secondary schools are not immediately felt on a national level because it takes time for little acorns to grow into giant oaks. But grow they will.”
In a new, thought-provoking e-book, “The Lost Purpose for Learning,” Chris articulates clearly what has gone awry and offers a systemic, intentional, and repeatable solution for Christian school teachers and headmasters, Sunday school workers, and other church personnel who interact with students between the ages of 4 and 18. Come to BreakPoint.org/free to get a free copy of “The Lost Purpose for Learning” to read and to share. It’s simply “must-reading” for Christians involved in education.