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18 minuten leestijd

The Calvin Christian School of Lethbridge and Fort Macleod urgently requires, due to enrollment increase, qualified teachers for all grade levels.

We hope to expand to grade 9 in the next school year.

For information, please contact the principal, Mr. A.H. Verhoef, phone 1-402-328-0495.

Applications are to be sent to the secretary, Mr. Adrian DeWilde, Box 142, Monarch, Alberta, Canada TOL-1MO. Telephone 1-403-824-3698.


On November 18, 1980, the congregation of Corsica voted to try to begin their own Christian school. Enrollment for the first year will probably be about 30, D.V. We urgently need two qualified teachers dedicated to our Netherlands Reformed beliefs to undertake this task with the help of the Lord. Please contact Cornie Blom, R.R. 2, Corsica, South Dakota, (605/243-2341) or Rev. J. R. Beeke (712/722-4350).

May the Lord provide.


The Netherlands Reformed Christian School of Rock Valley-Sioux Center is taking applications for the 1981-1982 school year for primary grade level teachers. May God provide teachers of His own choice.

Young people, we hope that the Lord may incline the hearts of those amongst us who are more serious minded to pursue a degree in education. When you firmly believe our doctrine, seriously consider the profession of teaching. The need appears to be growing more and more.

May the Lord graciously provide for our needs as well as the needs of several other schools, supplying us with teachers in His favor.

Interested applicants should contact John Bakker, Rural Route 2, Hull, Iowa 51239 (712/439-2233), or myself. Rev. J. R. Beeke (712/722-4350)


(This article is the 2nd and final part of an address delivered at the dedication of the Rock Valley-Sioux Center Christian School on August 29, 1980. Last month’s article dealt with a five-fold reason why a school building must be set apart by grace unto the Lord.)

Part II

In the second place and in a secondary measure, we desire to dedicate our school building this evening to parents.

Perhaps some will ask: “why to parents?” The answer to this question lies in three simple principles laid out in God’s Word which form the practical basis of Bible-centered education.

Principle #1: The training of children in their totality (i.e. spiritually, physically, morally, emotionally, and socially) is the Divinely-entrusted responsibility of parents. Scripture particularly emphasizes that the father is to be the administrative head of the household. This is sufficiently plain from Ephesians 6:4, “Ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Thus the primarily responsibility of child-raising falls on the parents so that primarily the parents, and not the consistory or schoolboard, will be called to give an account concerning the entire development of each child from infancy to adulthood.

Principle #2: In every area of life a parent is called to train a child according to the unchangeable Word of God. Parents are not called to bring up their children according to their own feelings or their own concepts of admonition, but “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord”. Simply said, they are called to bring up their children 24 hours a day, first, by setting an example themselves for their children according to the Word of God, and second, by dealing with their children on the basis of that Word.

Principle #3: If you as a parent are responsible to bring up your children 24 hours a day according to the Word of God, then it must inevitably follow that it is also your responsibility to see to it that any substitute person and/or thing that has control over and/or time invested in the training of your children must have (as closely as possible) the same Biblical outlook on life as you do, and the same goals concerning the raising of children according to the Word of God as you have. In other words, when you must entrust your children 30 hours a week to a school, you must do all in your power to place them in that school which most accurately and conscientiously seeks to bring your child under the discipline of the Word of God in agreement with your baptismal vow. You do not lose the responsibility of raising your children for those 30 hours. Rather, you are using the most Biblical borrowed representative you can find, to stand in your place to instruct your children 30 hours a week for their welfare.

(1) Thus we wish to dedicate our school this evening to parents who are earnestly desirous to bring every facet of this school under the scrutiny and discipline of the Word of God. Our school is dedicated this evening to parents who insist that everything in Christian education must be unembarrassingly measured by the eternal standards of God’s Holy Word rather than by presenting all sides of an issue impartially so as not to offend anyone. It is not dedicated to parents who are looking for a perfect school, perfect textbooks, perfect teachers, and perfect students, but rather to parents who are looking for a school that seeks to use the infallible Word of God as a compass to guide its entire operation of education. It is dedicated to parents who desire to return to the traditional, old-fashioned, American-founding principle of education: Bible-centeredness. (In the history of American education supplementary textbooks were first added to the Bible, later they became the textbooks and the Bible became the supplement, and finally the Bible was entirely legislated out of the schools. Today there is a drive in secular publishing houses of educational material to remove every last vestige of Biblical truth and principles.)

(2) Our school is dedicated to parents who earnestly desire that Bible be the most important subject taught to their children in an edifying manner day by day. It is dedicated to parents who wholeheartedly agree with J.C. Ryle when he wrote: “You cannot make your children love the Bible, but you can make them acquainted with the Bible; and be sure they can not be acquainted with that blessed book too soon, or too well, for any system of training which does not make a knowledge of Scripture the first thing is unsafe and unsound,” and with Martin Luther when he said: “I am much afraid that all schools will prove to be the great gates of hell, unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of youth.”

(3) We wish to dedicate our school to parents who are earnestly desirous that their children be taught orthodox doctrine on a daily basis, consistent with our doctrinal standards (Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession of Faith, Canons of Dordt). It is dedicated to parents who want their children to be taught: (a) the truth about God—that He is the living, all-seeing, all-knowing sovereign God Who is too holy to look past sin or iniquity; (b) the truth about misery—that they as children sin by transgressing the law of God moment by moment in thought, word, and action, yes, that they are even conceived and born in sin due to our deep fall in Adam, and therefore are so totally depraved that they are unable and unwilling to deliver themselves from their own miserable state; (c) the truth about salvation—that Jesus Christ came into the world as God-man to suffer, die, be raised again, and return to heaven to sit at the right hand of His Father in order to be the complete Meritor and Applier of the salvation of His people, so that in Him there is hope for the chiefest of sinners in the deepest pit of misery; (d) the truth about regeneration—that they as children must be born again and converted by the irresistable work of the Holy Ghost in their souls shall they ever become partakers of such a great salvation; (e) the truth about sanctification—that the way of conversion for God’s child is a way in which self is continually and increasingly cut off from everything, so that he is led to cry out with John the Baptist all his life: “He must increase and I must decrease”; (f) the truth about the covenant of grace—that they as children were born outwardly under the covenant but need the free grace of God through the saving work of the Holy Spirit to be brought savingly into the covenant (contrary to the teaching of many other “Christian” schools of our day); and (g) the truth about eternity—that they are told seriously, as children, of the great separation which shall take place on the judgment day, a separation which shall serve to everlasting well for God’s people and everlasting woe to the unconverted.

(4) Our school is dedicated especially to those parents who are earnestly desirous to use every means of grace that God may provide for the spiritual welfare of their children in the spirit of the Ninevites, “Who can tell what the Lord might do”, at the same time knowing that neither they nor any teacher can convert them. It is dedicated especially to parents who feel something of both the heaviness and impossibility of their baptismal vow to “cause their children to be instructed in the aforesaid doctrine to the utmost of their power’“, yes, to parents who would whole heartedly confess that even if the Lord should use this school for the eternal welfare of only one boy or girl that all the money, time, and effort would have been far more than worthwhile, as the value of one soul is priceless. In a special sense it is dedicated to those parents who have learned at the throne of grace that their child(ren) has a soul for a never-ending eternity—a soul, which, if it is lost, then all is lost.

(5) Finally, our school is dedicated to parents who are seriously looking for a school that maintains high standards of conduct and expectation: academically, outwardly in walk of life, morally, and with respect to authority and discipline.

(a) Academically Christian education has an obligation to strive for excellence. It is a well-known fact that Protestant Christian schools consistently score higher on standardized achievement testing than their public school counterparts. This has been particularly true of our own denominational schools which have continually scored in the upper 5 percentile of our nation. We hope that this high standard will be established and maintained with the cooperation of parents and teachers also in our school, as we must be dedicated to preparing children both for this life and the life to come.

(b) Our school is dedicated also to parents who are not ashamed of our outward walk of life, but who earnestly desire to maintain separation from the world. It is dedicated to parents who feel that they, as well as their children, are in the world but must not be of the world. It is not dedicated to parents who feel that children must taste all of life’s experiences, including sin. It is dedicated to parents who are not worried that their children will be too sheltered from the world, knowing well enough that their children already have too much world in their hearts. It is dedicated to parents who can no more consider turning their children over to a worldly educational system (which shelters children from the truth of God and His Word) than they could believe that God-fearing Israelites would turn their children over for instruction to the Canaanites. Keeping young tomato plants in a greenhouse is not “overprotection”, but an attempt to provide an environment in which the plant may grow strong and bring forth fruit when it is later transplanted. Such is the prayerful attempt of Biblical education.

(c) Our school is dedicated to parents who also desire a sound moral upbringing for their children, for Biblical morality is timeless and changeless. It is dedicated to parents who want their children to be taught in an outward way: responsibility, fairness, kindness, honesty, courtesy, the ability to discern clearly between right and wrong, thoughtfulness and consideration in dealing with others.

(d) Our school is dedicated to maintaining high standards with respect to the much-despised concept of authority. Children must be taught respect for God-given authority. They must be instructed that the authority requiring obedience may be personal—such as parent and employer, or institutional—such as school and church, or civil—such as state and government, or Divine which is the revealed will of God as recorded in Scripture. Lower forms of authority must be subordinated under the higher, and the highest authority, the Divine Will, subordinates all lower authority, for it alone is the supreme rule of all human conduct.

(e) Finally, our school is dedicated to high standards with respect to discipline both in theory and in practice. In theory children must be taught the Biblical approach to discipline, why it is necessary, and how it must be rooted in love. Teachers must strive to teach them the necessity of self-discipline by showing students that freedom is not doing what they want and when, how, why, and where they want to do it, but freedom is confined within the terrain of obedience to God’s laws. Thus, true discipline is not freedom from law but freedom within law. An artist who receives freedom in painting still abides by the rules of art. A musician who may freely produce a remarkable piece of music does so confined within the disciplined rules of music. So children must be taught that freedom can only be found in that which is consistent with God’s holy law.

On this basis they are taught the necessity of being punished when they step out against the law of God or school authority. Biblically, consistently, and rooted in love, they must be disciplined through both rewards and punishments, as well as by continual guidance in every facet of daily life.

(6) Thus our school is dedicated to those parents who so earnestly desire Biblical education for their children that they have not only a preference for it, but a firm conviction that nothing is too great to sacrifice to provide it. In former generations it was not uncommon for a poor farmer to sell a portion of his meager property in order to support Biblical education. To such parents our school is dedicated this evening—to those who have said, “We know the price, have considered the cost, and are willing to make the sacrifice because we can not afford not to place our children under sound instruction”—yes, to those parents who would gladly sign their name beneath Martin Luther’s when he wrote 450 years ago: “If it is necessary, dear sirs, to expend annually great sums for firearms, roads, bridges, dams, and countless similar items, in order that a city may enjoy temporal peace and prosperity, why should not at least as much be devoted to the poor, needy youth.”

Parents, I hope you do not see the school only as a good baby-sitting system which you can ignore. I hope that you will insist on being a part of your child’s educational experience. I hope that your actions will reveal that you have a genuine interest in the welfare of your total child. Take an active role because, next to God, this school is primarily dedicated to you.

Allow me to say, only briefly, that our school must also be dedicated to its students and to the church. To students it is dedicated with the hope that the school may fill in the missing link of the so-called triangle (home, church, and school) which must form one consistent teaching in the life of a child. Listening, reasoning, and communicating are the basic elements involved in educational development, and, as a broad, sweeping statement we may say that listening is the primary task of the church, reasoning the primary task of the school, and communication the primary task of the home. But the critical point is that all three points of the triangle serve to consistently reinforce one another on a Biblical foundation. It is not surprising that research has shown that the major, practical value of Christian schools for children is consistency and reinforcement of what is taught in the home and church.

But, boys and girls, there is still a deeper sense in which we dedicate the school to you. We do so with the hope that the Lord may use it to the eternal welfare of one or more of you. We dedicate our school to you with the secret prayer that there will be one or more amongst you who, while hearing a Bible lesson, or doing a book report on David Brainard, or while studying Pilgrim’s Progress, may be pricked in your heart by the Holy Spirit so that you are led to cry out, “What must I do to be saved? O God, be merciful unto me, a sinner.” That the Lord may give you grace to pray for that great miracle to take place in your life.

Finally, we desire to dedicate our school also to the church with the hope that it may serve to the welfare of our congregations in at least five different ways.

(1) It is our deepest wish that through obedience to the command of establishing a Bible-centered school as expressed in our Heidelberg Catechism (Lord’s Day 38), Church Order (article 21), Church Visitation Rules (section on Education), and Baptism Form (question 3 addressed to parents), the Lord may be pleased to use our school to the spiritual welfare and upbuilding of Zion.

(2) That our school may serve to the welfare of the church by increasing outward knowledge so that preached and read sermons can be more easily followed. That it may enable the rising generation to more fully know what we believe, as well as qualify them to defend such beliefs and explain them to their own children when they arrive to adulthood. That our school may operate on the principle of William Brakel who so aptly said to boys and girls, “Fill your minds with head knowledge about the truth, for if the Lord shall ever be pleased to sanctify the truth to your souls it shall be of great value to you for the rest of your life.” Let us never forget that although head knowledge is totally insufficient for eternity, still it is the soil in which the seed of the true gospel is sown.

(3) That it may serve to explain to the younger generation why we reject certain customs in outward walk of life and why we demand others. Schools must serve the church by explaining why insurance is wrong, why we reject television, why women must wear hats to the house of God, etc. The ignorance of one generation concerning Biblical principles leads to the abandonment of those principles in the next generation. Is it any wonder that in a few of our churches several young girls are beginning to avoid wearing hats when their own mothers can not explain why they are necessary?

(4) That the school may serve the church, in God’s providence, by turning somewhat the tide of liberalism that is increasingly afflicting and crippling also our congregations. That it may be an assistance to the church in maintaining the necessity of conservative doctrine, conservative principles, and conservative walk.

(5) That the school may serve the church in the future by binding families closer to one another and causing more marriages to take place within the church. That the Lord may use it in His providence as a roadblock to stop the great number of young people who are drifting away from the truth of free grace. When the Lord may grant us to add one grade per year, and when parents will insist upon a high school in the future, may God grant that the result may be that many young people remain with the truth and marry within the truth.

In conclusion, and on behalf of both consistories and the school board, we dedicate our school this evening with the hope and prayer that the Lord may cause it to redound to the honor and glory of His Name, and to serve to the welfare of parents, students, and our congregations. It is all dependent upon Him. We cannot make our school Christian. We cannot even make it truly Reformed. And still that must be the goal which we seek by grace. “Lord, grant that even in a small measure Thou may make this school a Netherlands Reformed Christian School. Grant us a crumb of our dedication-text in reality, ‘In all places where I record My Name, I will come unto thee, and I will bless Thee.’ “

May the Lord grant that something of the motto laid down in the third stanza of Psalter 428 may be the living atmosphere within the walls of our school:

“O Lord, how shall a youth preserve his way,

At every turn by vanity surrounded?

In truth, if he Thy statutes will obey,

If on Thy Word his attitudes are founded.

Thou Whom I’ve sought, O let me never stray

From Thy commandments, lest I be confounded.”

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Bekijk de hele uitgave van zondag 1 februari 1981

The Banner of Truth | 20 Pagina's


Bekijk de hele uitgave van zondag 1 februari 1981

The Banner of Truth | 20 Pagina's

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