Christian education in trouble, says pastor
The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly- Proverbs 15:14
Quite a few institutions around the world are owned and operated by churches, but according to education director, Cayman Islands Conference of Seventh-day Adventist, Dr Ivor Harry, some people, even those in church, are blind to the value of Christian education.
"There are forces in our church that are bent on neutralising the importance of (Adventist) Christian higher education."
Dr Harry, who was speaking at the education summit held at Northern Caribbean University, last Saturday, stated that we have conformed to standards of the world, so much so, that we have forgotten our true purpose on Earth.
"Many in today's world are slaves to the pursuit of success and recognition. Vanity stains our efforts and we are constantly engaged in a struggle to outdo our brothers and sisters. This vanity that possesses us is concerned with the external. They are obsessed with earning praise and admiration. There was a time when common modesty and decency kept us from the front of the line. There was a time when it was considered discourteous to advance self at the expense of others."
He added: "People are not troubled any longer by faulty displays and boastfulness. While it is not in any way new to humanity, I submit to you that the temple has certainly been increased in recent times. One key area affected by this new reality is education."
He said that across the world, education has become a full commercial enterprise, with many refusing the offerings of the Christian institutions to pursue studies at name brand schools.
"The intention is not to cast judgement on schools, but I believe we have come to a critical age, one demanding the action from the people of God as we seek to prepare and position the next generation that God has entrusted to us for success of the land."
He further mentioned, "It is God who gives the scientist the mind he employs. God gives you the intellectual ability to think for yourself. Higher than the highest human thoughts can reach is God's ideal for his children. While God encourages the improvement of our minds, while God expects intellectual growth and mental stimulation, it is never the intent for it to come at the expense of a right relationship with Him."
He says that education without knowledge of how to access saving grace is pointless.
"In 2 Timothy 3:15, the apostle Paul says, 'From a child thou has known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith in God'. God specialises in the wisdom that saves."
He added that the consequences are far too great for careful thought not to be given to the selection of educational opportunities.
"If we desire anything, let us desire the wisdom from God. There is a wisdom that leads to salvation. The ultimate purpose of true education is to restore the image of God in man - an image that has been marred and destroyed by sin. If you are bright and you have a degree, but you don't know how to run your family, love your wife/husband faithfully or how to be an example to your children, (then) education has failed you."