What is true education?
Have you ever questioned current schooling practices? I recently have, as I am at the age where education is generally quite a big deal. As I was wondering about what the world had to offer in the line of education, I came across a book by a fellow Seventh-day Adventist, who quotes extensively from the Bible and the writings of Sister White. Which, in turn, inspired me to do my own study. What I found was quite interesting, and the purpose of this study is to raise awareness, and to invite your input. I would greatly appreciate your comments on this subject, as to how you feel about this type of education, and if you would, or would have, attended such a school, or anything else you find interesting. Feel free to email me, at firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to talk about this! God bless, as we seek to do His will.
First of all, let’s look at a quote from ‘The review and herald,’ February 6, 1908, paragraph 5; “ The plan of the schools we shall establish in these closing years of the work is to be of an entirely different order from those we have instituted in the past.” So, if we believe that we are in the closing years of the work, which I do, we know that our schooling will not be the same as it always has. Now, let’s look at a few quotes on the types of curriculum we should be studying. Here is one from ‘Testimonies to the church,’ volume 6, pg 130; “ There is no time now to fill the mind with theories of what is popularly called ‘Higher education.’ The time devoted to that which does not tend to assimilate the soul to the likeness of Christ is so much time lost for eternity.”
We definitely don’t want to go wrong there! Our next quote is from ‘Testimonies for the church,’ volume 5, pg 25; “Our school was established, not merely to teach the sciences, but for the purpose of giving instruction in the great principles of God’s word and in the practical duties of everyday life.” So there is the basic idea of Christian education, namely spiritual, and practical. Our next quote is from ‘Testimonies for the church,’ volume 5, pg 26, 27; “God has declared His purpose to have one college in the land where the Bible shall have its proper place in the education of the youth…The words of God to men, which should receive our first attention, are neglected for the utterance of human wisdom… Never from cowardice or worldly policy let the word of God be placed in the background. Students will be profited intellectually, as well as morally and spiritually, by its study.” So, the Bible should be our number one textbook, followed by supporting books.
Now for the practical training. In ‘Testimonies for the church,’ volume 6, pg 182, we read, “ Many young people will come to school who desire a training in industrial lines. The industrial instruction should include the keeping of accounts, carpentry, and everything that is comprehended in farming. Preparation should also be made for teaching blacksmithing, painting, shoemaking, cooking, baking, laundering, mending, typewriting, and printing…Cottages and buildings essential to the schoolwork are to be erected by the students themselves.” Here is one from ‘Messages to young people,’ pg 179, 180; “Both young men and young women should be taught how to cook economically, and to dispense with everything in the line of flesh food…Women especially should learn how to cook. What part of the education of a girl is so important as this? Whatever may be her circumstances in life, here is knowledge that she may put to practical use.”
Here is another quote from ‘Testimonies for the church,’ volume 6, pg 179; “ Study in agricultural lines should be the A.B, and C of the education given in our schools. This is the very first work that should be entered upon.” Well, now that we have touched on the type of education we should be getting/giving, how do you get a diploma for that? The answer was shocking! Here is a quote from ‘Counsels to Parents, teachers, and students,’ pg 255; “ Our people are now being tested as to whether they will obtain their wisdom from the greatest Teacher the world ever knew, or seek to the god of Ekron. Let us determine that we will not be tied by so much as a thread to the educational policies of those who do not discern the voice of God and who will not hearken to His commandments.” The next one is from ‘Manuscript releases,’ volume 11, pg 165; “ In view of all this, our schools should have little to say now of ‘Degrees,’ and of long courses of study. The work of preparation for the service of God is to be done speedily. Let the work be carried forward in strictly Bible lines. Let ‘degrees’ be little spoken of.” Here is the type of degree we should have. It is in ‘Testimonies for the church, volume 7, pg 281; “ Constantly improve. Keep reaching higher and still higher. It is the ability to put to the tax the powers of mind and body, ever keeping eternal realities in view, that is of value now. Seek the Lord most earnestly, that you may become more and more refined, more spiritually cultured. Then you will have the very best diploma that any one can have-- The endorsement of God.” That is what I want, Don’t you? There is so much more information to be had, and I can’t even come close to touching it here, but I would encourage you to study this subject yourself, and let me know what you find! You may also ask, ‘This information is great, but what if there aren’t any schools that are like this?’ I don’t know. All I know is this, it is a quote from ‘Counsels on health,’ pg 227;
“ I will raise up agents who will carry out my will to prepare a people to stand before me in the time of the end. In many places that before this ought to have been provided with sanitariums and schools, I will establish my institutions, and these institutions will become educational centers for the training of workers. The Lord will work upon human minds in unexpected quarters.” This is GOD Speaking! If God said it, it will happen! We can take courage in this. May God bless you as you desire to do His will!