Why the Christian in Christian Education
In the last article, we built upon the idea of being intentional about your choice in educating your children. This is a difficult process to go through, but if balanced with appropriate integrity and information, it provides a valuable asset to parents.
This week we’d like to talk about the idea of “Christian” education. All education is not the same! Some people think that public education is all one generic kind of education, but we know that it is not. The idea that education is driven by values is such a simple and basic truth and yet not understood by most people. It is similar to saying, “I bought a new Lincoln Town Car, but it is irrelevant to me that Lincoln made it.” It is a preposterous idea! Although you may not have thought about it, and you may have only sat in the car once before you bought it, the decision making of the company and the engineers that designed and made that car are all intricately built in and make it what it is. Such is true with education. Regardless of what type of education we examine (public, private, Christian, non-Christian, Catholic, Protestant), our values drive the very essence of the product that we create. Scripture talks about “when fully educated, a student will become like his teacher.” There is great practical truth in that phrase. Understand that it is not just about being like the teacher, but being like what the teacher communicates to the child.
What is the underlying value of Christian education? Christian education, simply put, is an education that is built upon an understanding that God is at the center of the universe. He has created and designed it, and He continues to manage and be involved in it. A Christian education, when fully realized, allows the student to believe that he is uniquely created for a specific purpose and can have an interpersonal relationship with an omnipotent and powerful God. Regardless of the questions of our young students’ lives, such as who they will marry someday or where will they work, Christian education becomes focused on understanding who we are in the context of eternal truths that can guide and direct us along our paths in life. They will know that God cares about, relates to, is interested in, and will have influence in each of those decisions on an intimate level. They will also know that the truths that they learn are part of a bigger picture. And so, in a Christian school, our goal is that everything be from a Christian perspective; whether it be math, or engineering, or science, or social studies. Everything is built around this principle of helping people to realize that they are created to become an intricate work between God and themselves. Our staff spends many hours thinking about how that should play out in every part of the educational process. That is what you are deciding upon when you choose Champion Christian School as the venue for educating your children or grandchildren.
Next let’s look at the uniqueness of Champion Christian in the context of Christian education worldwide. CCS is distinctly Christian. Christian is not just a part of our name or part of some founder’s vision years ago to be lost. It is a unique, daily-driven part of who we are. Every decision that we make takes into account our context of these Christian components, values, directions, distinctives, and actions. As a goal, to be driven from a Godly and distinctive world view involves everything we do, from how we run a basketball team and what referees we hire, or the decision to take a group to Washington, D.C. to engage in the political process in the debate about whether life begins at conception. The idea of God’s truth and how that fits into every aspect of education is a core component of who we are. We believe that desire to integrate the values of Christianity daily influences our lives and our decision-making and is a model that we want children to understand. Christian education when fully realized helps children to understand their unique and wonderful creativity, intellectuality, and relationship ability in the bigger context of living and what is important. This process is real, and it lives daily at Champion Christian.
We also believe that Champion is unique in that we are a community Christian school. This means that although we are distinctly Christian, we recognize that in the context of true and real Christianity, there are a variety of perspectives, churches, and real differences about the nuances of scripture. The Truth of Scripture is the test of true Christianity. However, we also understand that because of the fallen nature of man, and the limited understanding of God that we have, that we can genuinely believe that we are understanding God’s revealed work to us about a particular area, and also that we can have legitimate differences about those understandings among Bible-believing Christians. Those differences don’t include the basics of the faith, such as who Christ is, or does sin exist, or is man in need of a Savior. Those things are all essences of clear-cut Scripture. But there are areas, such as how we baptize, what the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is, is dancing appropriate, and many other questions that are not as clear. Man’s understanding from scripture about these issues vary from denomination to denomination. What are some of the current understandings of evil, and right and wrong, and how do we participate or understand those things? The very nature of Christian education itself is controversial in the Christian community. So at Champion Christian you will find a community Christian school that brings those perspectives together and leaves a forum for discussion and room for each of us in those doctrinal areas to be examined in the light of Scriptural Truth. That is a choice that we’ve made. There are Christian schools that basically are a ministry of a particular church and those denomination’s views are seen as the only way God has revealed Himself to man today. Any other view is not tolerated in the context of Scripture. At CCS, each family and student’s church are given a place of priority in interpreting God’s Word in their lives.
The third perspective on Christian schools that I think reflects the essence of Champion is that we believe in a commitment to the future; which is embodied in a commitment to be contemporary in our ministry. We are not contemporary in the sense of allowing culture to define us, but contemporary in the sense of being relevant to the culture around us. There are a variety of views that the Christian church has taken in today’s cultural difficulties in America. Some have been to run from that culture, to say “we are going to run from the evil, from the difficulties, and protect everyone”. Champion Christian, although in it’s fundamental essence is a safe and wonderful place to be, it is a place that seeks to embrace, interact, interface, and be relevant to contemporary culture and to teach children to use their Christian education to frame that cultural experience. This is based on our understanding that God is bigger than the culture that is around us, and that it is through Him that we have an understanding of that culture and that we become a redeeming force within that culture. The Board of Directors is also doing everything prayerfully possible to ensure that CCS will be here for many years to come, training the next generations to do just that. Next week we will talk about the issues involved in secular education, and their implication on students.
Thank you and may God bless your decision making!