Wherein does the Christian school differ from the Public School system? What basic principle is there that makes night-and-day difference between the instruction given in them?
It is this: All the instruction in the Christian school is based upon the fundamental and undeniable truth that of God and through Cod and unto Cod are all things, as Paul writes in Romans 11:36; while in the Public School System the child is taught that things are not of God, they simply evolve from some pre-existent substance, whose origin man cannot explain; many things exist through man, and all things are and must be unto man. This difference is expressed also in the title above, “My Father’s World,” as contrasted with the current geography book that has for its title, “Man’s Great Adventure.” And there are many similar geography books with similar titles that are wholly atheistic. And, if you please, the difference is not simply that the one teaches that all things ought to be unto Cod and the other they ought to be unto man. Nay, Paul says that all things eye unto Him. Even the evil and corruption of man, even the devil in all his deviltry is to the glory of God, though he has no intention of glorifying God in any of his works. For the instruction in the Christian school is based upon the Word of God. And Scripture declares in Psalm 76:10, “Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.” It is not plain that there will then be no wrath that does not praise God? All thing ARE unto Him, for they all serve His sovereign and eternal counsel.
We expressed this difference between the schools of the world and the schools whose instruction is based upon the Word of God last time when we pointed out that in the geography class the child is repeatedly confronted with God in His sovereignty. We simply cannot get away from that fact. Man as he is by nature wants nothing better than to avoid and get from underneath that sovereignty of God, but he never shall, for God remains God, no matter what we try to do. O, even apart from the Supreme Court decision that no prayers are to be uttered, the child in the Public School System, is of necessity instructed in such a way that God’s sovereignty is either openly denied or ignored. We say, of necessity, because one who does not believe in that sovereignty of God and/or hates it cannot be expected to teach it to your child.
Usually—and in textbooks well nigh always—no mention is made of God at all in the sense of being God. There is an occasional reference to Providence, Fate, Nature and the like, but Jehovah the God of the Scriptures is ruled out of His own creation by the unbeliever. But there is no vacuum; and man tries to maintain no vacuum. Oh, no! that place where God IS but which is denied Him by the unbeliever is filled with man! Man becomes the highest being in all this wide creation. Although the unbeliever cannot say that all things are of man, and although he likes the very thought that all things are through man, he talks boldly of all things being for man. He claims to be the master of his fate and the captain of his soul. This is bold speech. It is wicked philosophy; but it does not prolong his life. The God of whom all things are and through whom all things are, this unbeliever does not escape. But in his foolish pride he lives for a while as though the earth and the fullness thereof, the world and that which it contains are man’s And when God crosses his path with sickness, pestilence, famine, war and death, he dares to deny that God the right! Man’s good is the highest goal there is on earth, according to his evil conception. Even God, if there is a Cod, he declares, must be there for man’s good and not man for God’s glory. And a God whose will must be done, who must be acknowledged as having the right to have His kingdom come, and whose name MUST be hallowed, no matter what the cost may be to man’s name, is considered to be a cruel despot. O that men would return to the fear of the Lord, instead of this bold, wicked pride! O that men would prostrate themselves in the dust before this great and glorious sovereign God and pray, REALLY pray that Lord’s prayer in its first three petitions without any reservations!
In paradise we had a mighty and glorious God and a humble little man, who bowed before this, glorious God, saw this God in all His creation and was therefore quite qualified to give the proper names to all His creatures. He was God’s friend-servant and happy to be such. He served without a zephyr of discontent and dissatisfaction moving across the harp strings of his soul. He was willing to have this mighty God be God alone and God in all that which the word implies. But Satan came and said, “Why should there be a God who is everything and a man who is nothing? Why should there be a God of whom all things are, through whom all things are and unto whom all things WILL be? And so he whispered the he: “Eat of the forbidden fruit, and change this whole matter! It’s in your power. God knows that you will be like Him. Why settle for anything less? Why be servant, when you can be lord? Why listen to Him and let Him tell you what is good and evil, when you can attain to the position where you can decide for yourself what is good and evil?” And man fell for that lie!
Now all men are born with that lie in their hearts. Under its power they are born. In its foolishness they live (2) (Actually this life is now a continual death). Now it is a mighty man and a little god. And then even this god exists for the good of man and not man for his good. That is no God, of course! The lie and the fall of man have not changed this mighty God. It has not made Him shrink from His lofty position. He is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow.” He has not been altered. How laughable! Puny little man, who depends upon this mighty God for every breath of His life, has HE changed the God upon whom he depends for every breath of his life? Can the clay change the potter? Can frail little man with his fist stop the onrushing freight train that is thundering down the track? Much less shall the man of dust change the infinite and unchangeable sovereign God! Who stands before His tornado? Who remains steady when He shakes His earth? Who puts out his hand and thwarts His lightning flash? Who? And who is so foolish as to teach his children or have them taught, as though that mighty God did not exist, and as though He is not sovereign? Let little man be careful how he replies against that God. But let him also be careful what he teaches his children about that God. Yea, let him beware lest his children be instructed in such a way that this God is denied in the very creation which He has made and by the man who was made in His image!
The only result of education that rules God out of His own world is that man’s calling in that world is also denied. Instead of man’s stewardship over God’s creatures and creation you have man’s lordship over what is not his. The geography class is a wonderful place to teach this stewardship, when you see this sovereign God in His creation. If we see that all things are of Him and through Him, we will also see that all things are unto Him and that it is our calling to use them all consciously and willingly unto His glory.
The principle of stewardship is in part expressed by Paul in I Corinthians 3:21-23, “Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present or things to come; all are yours; And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s” All things are ours. To be a steward there must be objects that are given unto us to use. The things of Father’s world must be entrusted to our care. And the whole creation is ours for Christ’s sake. Notice that in the text Christ is mentioned between us and God. All things are ours only because we are Christ’s; and through Him, because He is God’s, all these things become ours.
We may notice those concentric circles. In the very heart of the matter is this sovereign God, of whom and though whom and unto whom are all things. Next in a circle surrounding and serving that God is Christ. In a wider circle that touches Christ, and in Him revolves also around this great God, is His Church. And out on the periphery as the widest circle is the world and the creatures it contains as distinct from this Church. All things are ours because we belong to Christ; and the whole universe is His. We speak of Christ in His human nature. Of course all is His in His divine. But no, all power, all authority in heaven and in earth was given Him at His resurrection and through His coronation at God’s right hand. Or as we read inRevelation 11:15, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our God and of His Christ.” Again in I Corinthians 15:27, “For He hath put all things under His feet. But when He saith all things are put under Him, it is manifest that He is excepted, which did put all things under Him.”
And not only that we refer here to His human nature, but also as evidence of the fact that all things are His, we can also refer to Colossians 1:15 where we come across the amazing statement. “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.” Note that He is the image; and that can be said only of His human nature. In the divine He is not the image but God Himself. Note also that He is called the firstborn of every creature and so is designated as a creature. His human nature is a creature even today in the glory of heaven. It is the most glorious of all creatures, but He is in that human nature a creature.
And that He is the firstborn of every creature needs some explaining, no doubt, chronologically this is not true. Cain is the firstborn of men. Thousands of animals were born even before Cain. It takes nine month for a child to develop from conception; but many of the animals have their young in far less time than man. So that even though it cannot be said chronologically that He is the firstborn of men, surely it is stranger still to say that He is the firstborn of every creature.
We will have more to say of that next time, D.V., but the point we want to make at the moment is that which we suggested before: Christian instruction does not ignore Christ. He must be seen in that instruction and have His rightful place. It is not sufficient simply to speak now and then about God. You could send your children then to a Jewish school which does instruct with reference to Jehovah. But when the Jew speaks of My Father’s World, he means it in quite a different way than Scripture speaks of it. And Christian stewardship will have to reckon with Christ and confess Him. If He is left out, the instruction is not in His fear.