Christian education and its relevance in today's world
In times of old, many children were expected to attend Christian schools at the primary level, especially as many institutions were aligned to denominations.
But over the years, this practice has changed and several other factors come into play when parents choose the schools they wish their children to attend.
However, president of the Jamaica Union of Seventh day Adventist, Pastor Everett Brown, has cited a Christian education to be most ideal.
"If education is invaluable to the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, just like evangelism or health ministries, then we must support it, and that support is also a support for those who serve and provide leadership in the education system."
While speaking at the launch of an Education Summit at the Mandeville Seventh-day Adventist Church recently, Pastor Brown highlighted the importance of having children becoming academically inclined, but more so spiritually rounded.
"We need to increase the enrollment in our schools. As a servant of God who benefited from Christian education, I ought to use my influence to make it possible for others."
In his address, he added, "Sin separated man from his maker but our great God expressed His love and mercy for mankind and put in place the plan of salvation to rescue, redeem, reconcile and restore mankind back to a relationship with His God. The word of redemption and the word of education are one - to know God, and to have an awareness of the love of God is the essence of Adventist Christian education."
Brown further stated the position of the Adventist Church and its contribution to education.
"Education is the most powerful tool which you can use to change the world. Christian education is highly important; it is imperative. Adventist education is more than Adventist schooling: it is more than sending your child to an Adventist school. Based on the Word of God, the home, the church, the school and to a lesser extent the community, all in a collaborative way contribute to the holistic education of men and women.
"Children should be instructed in the laws of God. It was God's intention that all children should be taught to keep God as the central focus on their minds daily."
Brown called on the parents to ensure they carry out their duties in directing their children on to the right path.
BACK TO BASICS
"We must get back to basics. The leadership of the church must encourage members to instruct their children to love God and to know God and to embrace the principles of God. The church and the schools are just support systems in place to prepare our children in time for eternity. Education is not just about transmitting information so they can pass exams; education for us, as a church, is life. It is about integrating academics with the spiritual."
He further said, "If you expose your children to world views that will in the end allow them to think that God is not creator, then in that very act, parents, you are rebelling against God."
Acknowledging that many who have not been called to offer services in the field are currently doing so, Brown called on these persons to introspect.
"Our education is deeply rooted in the Word of God and the spirit of prophecy, it is more than an academic discipline. The future to which God has called us lies in Christian education.
"We must not fail God or our children; we must prepare them for the second advent of Jesus and being saved in God's kingdom," he ended.