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Why is Adventist Education Important?

Broadview Academy, 2007
Far too many Adventist schools across Illinois and the United States have closed in recent years.  Many of the schools that once flourished in previous generations are now either languishing or are long gone.  We must ask ourselves a frank question, “Does it matter?  And if so, why?”
While the “Why?” campaign was born in the climate surrounding the conversations around the future of Broadview Academy, it is designed to address a foundational challenge to Adventist schools across the nation.  We want the events of Broadview Academy to heighten the awareness of the importance of Adventist Education not only in Illinois but across the nation.  Just as a man who is struggling with lung cancer may choose to support the American Lung Association, so does the Education Department of the Illinois Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, wish to raise awareness for the sake of the children.
Since we have a responsibility to do all within our powers to raise our children in such a way that will greatly increase the likelihood that they will live eternally with our Father, King, Creator and Redeemer, we have compiled some quotes that address the importance of Adventist Education.
"This experience of the Israelites is a wonderful lesson for us today. In this time of peril, God-fearing parents, like the fathers and mothers of ancient Israel, should understand the will of the Lord concerning themselves and their children. In planning for the education of their children outside the home, they should realize that it is not safe now to send them to public schools. Parents should endeavor to send their children to schools where they can obtain an education based on a scriptural foundation ... and education to be gained gradually, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little."

 

---Peter's Counsel to Parents, p. 41. & Spalding and Magan Collection, p. 263.

“Upon every Christian parent there rests the solemn obligation of giving to his children an education that will lead them to gain a knowledge of the Lord, and to become partakers of the divine nature through obedience to God's will and way. A child's first school should be his home. His first instructors should be his father and his mother. His first lessons should be the lessons of respect, obedience, reverence and self-control. If he is not instructed aright by his parent, Satan will instruct him in evil through agencies that are most objectionable. How important, then, is the school in the home! Here the character is first shaped. Here the destiny of souls is often largely influenced. Even the parents who are endeavoring to do their best, have not a hundredth part of the realization they should have of the value of a human soul. “

---Spalding and Magan Collection, p. 263.

“Remember now the Creator in the days of thy youth.”

---Ecc. 12:1

 “Dear youth, what is the aim and purpose of your life?...Have you thoughts that you dare not express… of intellectual greatness; that you may sit in deliberative and legislative councils and help to enact laws for the nation?  There is nothing wrong in these aspirations.  You may every one of you make your mark… Aim high, and spare no pains to reach the standard.  The fear of the Lord lies at the foundation of all true greatness.  Integrity, unswerving integrity, is the principle that you need to carry with you into all the relations of life… The important question with you now is how to so choose and perfect your studies that you will maintain the solidity and purity of an untarnished Christian character, holding all temporal claims and interests in subjection to the higher claims of the gospel of Christ.”      

---Fundamentals of Christian Education (FCE), p.82-83.

 “True independence of mind is not stubbornness.  It leads the youth to form their opinions on the word of God, irrespective of what others may say or do.”

---FCE, p.88.

“I am glad that we have institutions where our youth can be separated from the corrupting influences so prevalent in the schools of the present day.  Our brethren and sisters should be thankful that in the providence of God our colleges have been established, and should stand ready to sustain them by their means.  Every influence should be brought to bear to educate the youth and to elevate their morals.  They should be trained to have moral courage to resist the tide of moral pollution in this degenerate age.  With a firm hold upon divine power, they may stand in society to mold and fashion, rather than to be fashioned after the world’s model. 

There can be no more important work than the proper education of our youth.  We must guard them, fighting back Satan, that he shall not take them out of our arms.”

---FCE, p89.

“Satan is making earnest, persevering efforts to corrupt the mind and debase the character of every young person; and shall we who have more experience stand as mere spectators, and see him accomplish his purpose without hindrance?  Let us stand at our post as minute men, to work for these youth, and through the help of God hold them back from the pit of destruction.”

---FCE, p.90.

“A School Fund for Advanced Education.-- Let a fund be created by generous contributions for the establishment of schools for the advancement of educational work. We need men well trained, well educated, to work in the interests of the churches. They should present the fact that we cannot trust our youth to go to seminaries and colleges established by other denominations, that we must gather them into schools where their religious training shall not be neglected.”

---Child Guidance, p. 314.

       “The Adventist interests in propagating education were founded upon the philosophy that students at all levels of schooling possess individuality and should be educated to use their God-given capacities to become individuals of principle, qualified for any position of life.”                                        

---www.sda.org

 “To ensure that the church gives appropriate and professional approach to the church’s education interests, an Education Department was established on all levels of the church’s administrative system, with responsibility to ensure that the Adventist philosophy of education and the principles of faith-and-learning are integrated into the life of each of its 1.1 million students in its 5,600 schools, colleges, and universities around the world.”

---www.sda.org

“True education means more than the perusal of a certain course of study.  It means more than a preparation for the life that now is.  It has to do with the whole being and with the whole period of existence possible to man.”

---Education, 13.

“Give to Missions, but Do Not Neglect Youth at Home.--Shall the members of the church give means to advance the cause of Christ among others and leave their own children to carry on the work and service of Satan? “

---Child Guidance, p. 314.

“The Holy Scriptures are the perfect standard of truth, and as such should be given the highest place in education.  To obtain an education worthy of the name, we must receive a knowledge of God, the Creator, and of Christ, the Redeemer, as they are revealed in the sacred word.”

---Education, 14.

 

 “’This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.’  If this is the price of heaven, shall not our education be conducted on these lines?”

---Periodical Resource Collection, Volume 2, Pacific Press Publishing Association.

 

“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live.  Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” 

 

---Deuteronomy 4:9

 

“To shield their children from contaminating influence, parents should instruct them in principles of purity. Those who form the habit of obedience and self-control in the home life will have but little difficulty in school life, and, if surrounded by Christian influences, will escape many temptations that usually beset the youth. Let us train our children so that they will remain true to God under all circumstances and in all places. In their tender years let us surround them with influences that will tend to strengthen character. “

---Spalding and Magan Collection, p. 264.

 

“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

 

---Deuteronomy 6:6-9

 

“The school is the home that should be a place where children are taught that the eye of God is upon them, observing all that they do. If this thought were deeply impressed upon the mind, the work of governing children would be made much easier. In the home school our boys and girls are being prepared to attend a church when they reach a proper age to associate more intimately with other children. Constantly parents should keep this in view, realizing that their children are God's purchased little ones, to be trained for lives of usefulness in the Master's service and for a home in the future, eternal world. The father and the mother, as teachers in the home school, should consecrate hands, tongue, brain, and every power of the being to God, in order that they may fulfill their high and holy mission. “

---Spalding and Magan Collection, p. 264.

 

“While we should put forth earnest efforts for the masses of the people around us, and push the work into foreign fields, no amount of labor in this line can excuse us for neglecting the education of our children and youth. They are to be trained to become workers for God. Both parents and teachers, by precept and example, are so to instill the principles of truth and honesty into the minds and hearts of the young, that they will become men and women who are as true as steel to God and His cause. “

---Child Guidance, p. 314.

 

“The most essential education for our youth today to gain, and that which will fit them for the higher grades of the school above, is an education that will teach them how to reveal the will of God to the world.  To neglect this phase of their training, and to bring into our schools a worldly method, is to bring loss to both teachers and students.”

---FCE, p.512

 

“Some may ask, "How are such schools to be established?" We are not a rich people, but if we pray in faith, and let the Lord work in our behalf, He will open ways before us to establish small schools in retired places for the education of our youth, not only in the Scriptures and in book learnings, but in many lines of manual labor. “

---Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 204.

 

“The Lord is certainly opening the way for us as a people to divide and subdivide the companies that have been growing too large to work together to the greatest advantage. And this dividing should be done, not only that the students may have greater advantages, but that the teachers may be benefited, and life and health spared. To establish another school will be better than further enlargement of the school at-----. Let another locality have the advantage of one of our educational institutions. Secure for it the best talent, and guard against the dangers of an overcrowded school.”--Letter 253, 1908.

---Medical Ministry, p. 322.

 

 “Train up a child in the way he should go and in the end he will not depart from it.” 

---Proverbs 22:6

“The necessity of establishing such schools is urged upon me very strongly because of the cruel neglect of many parents properly to educate their children in the home. Many fathers and mothers have seemed to think that if the lines of control were put into the hands of their children they would develop into useful young men and women. But the Lord has instructed me in regard to this matter. In the visions of the night I saw standing by the side of these neglected children the one who was cast out of the heavenly courts because he originated sin. He, the enemy of souls, was watching for opportunities to gain control of the mind of every child whose parents had not given faithful instruction in regard to Satan's snares. “

---Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 204.

 

“He will gently lead those that have young.”

---Isaiah 40:11

 

“We desire to erect a church school building for our children. Because of the many calls for means, it seems a difficult matter to secure sufficient money or to arouse an interest great enough to build a small, convenient schoolhouse. I have told the school committee that I would lease to them some land for as long a time as they care to use it for school purposes. I hope that interest enough will be aroused to enable us to erect a building where our children can be taught the Word of God, which is the lifeblood and the flesh of the Son of God. . . . Will you not take an interest in the erection of this school building in which the Word of God is to be taught? One man, when asked how much he was willing to give to the school in labor, said that if we would give him three dollars a day and his board and lodging, he would help us. But we do not want offers of this kind. Help will come to us. We expect to have a school building, in which the Bible can be taught, in which prayers can be offered to God, and in which the children can be instructed in Bible principles. We expect that everyone who can take hold with us will want to have a share in erecting this building. We expect to train a little army of workers on this hillside.”

---Child Guidance, p. 315.

 

“Those who have the truth in their hearts are always openhearted, helping where it is necessary. They lead out, and others imitate their example. If there are some who should have the benefit of the school, but who cannot pay full price for their tuition, let the churches show their liberality by helping them. “

----Child Guidance, page 314.

 

“’Let Us Arise and Build.’[* NOTE: THIS IS A PORTION OF AN ADDRESS GIVEN JULY 14, 1902, URGING THE BUILDING OF A CHURCH SCHOOL NEAR HER OWN HOME.]--We should establish the work in right lines here at Crystal Springs [Sanitarium, California]. Here are our children. Shall we allow them to be contaminated by the world--by its iniquity, its disregard of God's commandments? I ask those who are planning to send their children to the public schools, where they are liable to be contaminated, How can you take such a risk? “

---Child Guidance, p. 315.

 

 

 

Contributors:

Dr. Randall Siebold
Pastor Fred Warfield
Sharon Crowder
Lindzie Warfield
Thomas Morrow
Allisa Meyer
Matt Berglund

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