I want to ask about “Education”. Where did education came from? Who
started it? What does the Bible or God says about it? How should a
disciple of Jesus feel about worldly educational systems? In my mind
that education comes from the world, and in our generation in finding a
job the standard of companies are very high. I think our educational
system is a modern invention. Usually the children in our country the
Philippines start school at age of 4 or 5 years old to learn and study
different things until college. As they go to school everyday they learn a
lot even wrong information. What do you think I should feel about this?
I am not an expert in the history of education, but I can say that
educational institutions have existed for thousands of years. The Jews in
the time of Jesus had well-established schools for training rabbis. The
apostle Paul was the product of one of these schools. In the eyes of God,
whether we are highly educated or not makes no difference. He does not
honor the educated more or less than the uneducated. 1Corinthians 1:18-31
talks about this. God is not impressed with our education.
Having said this, I believe it is a mistake to think of education as the
enemy of Christianity. I am a highly educated person by most standards,
possessing a PhD in chemical physics. I work for a college as a
professor. I do not believe my education has hurt me as a Christian
overall, although I can see that some of my pre-conceptions which come
from the style of my education have hurt me in certain ways in my faith.
My education has allowed me to write a number of books which have
encouraged the faith of many believers. It has also prepared me to be a
teacher for many churches. Being educated can help to prepare an elder or
an evangelist. It is helpful for those who take care of the financial
aspects of running a church. The list can go on.
Can the educational systems which are run by those in the world be a
hindrance to Christianity? Yes, they can. Worldly wisdom can definitely
undermine faith in Jesus, but we should not consider the educational
system as the “enemy” per se. What we ought to do is be absolutely sure
to have good Bible education and spiritual training so that the world
influences which inevitable stem from exposure to the world, including the
worldly education can be counteracted by godly influence.
One alternative is to have our children take part in “Christian” education
in private schools. Many of our church members cannot afford this. I and
my family could probably afford private education for our children, but we
have chosen to put them in public schools because we felt the education
system where we live is reasonably good. This is a personal decision, but
I am happy to support the idea of disciples of Jesus sending their
children to less secular schools. Nevertheless, I believe the educational
system is not the ultimate enemy, but rather the philosophy of the world
as a whole. Even if we send our kids to Christian schools, they will
graduate into the world and hold a job in the world. The isolation from
the world will only be temporary. We need to teach about Jesus, about
righteousness, about the reasons for faith in the Bible and so forth IN
OUR CHURCHES. This is the solution.
So, I do not blame you for being concerned about the worldly educational
system where you live, but would urge you to consider that a strong church
and a strong spiritually-focused family life is the antidote. Do not
withhold education from your children as this will hamper them in their
future life as they seek to become influential members of society who can
do as much as possible for the cause of Christ.
John Oakes, PhD