Mr. Huisken is a member of the Protestant Reformed Church of Edgerton, Minnesota.
Instructing God’s covenant seed as God has commanded us, and fulfilling our promise to do so when we baptized our children is a question many of our parents will be facing this summer. Graduation time is here and many of our children will be graduating from the 8th or 9th grade. Where will they go to high school? Not all of our children have the privilege of attending Covenant Christian High School in Grand Rapids.
I have heard many discussions and debates on this subject, and I am sorry to say the main issue is not mentioned. Most of the discussion is around what subjects are offered at the various schools available, whether public, church affiliated (parochial), or private. Other things discussed are how nice some of these schools are, and how friendly, and how they hug each other and tell each other how nice they are. Besides all this, some of these schools cost much less. Also in the discussion are all the bad things that go on in some of these schools, especially those schools which are maintained by Christian Reformed parents. The bad things may be true. These considerations should and must not be the determining factors as to where our children attend school. They are but mere excuses for not doing our duty and obligation and fulfilling our promise we made at the baptism of our children. The promise is to instruct our children in the doctrine of this Christian church to the utmost of our power.
When it is not possible to do this in our own schools, we must look for a school that comes as close as possible to what we believe. Sometimes that takes us to schools that are maintained by other Reformed people in spite of the bad things that may go on there. This gives us an opportunity to witness against the bad and for the good. God says in His Word, “Ye are my witnesses.” We are reminded in Old Testament history of God’s covenant with His people when the prophet Elijah took twelve stones, one for each tribe, to build an altar upon the mountain top after it had not rained for three and a half years, and Ring Ahab had led the ten tribes into the worship of Baal. God continued to send His prophets to the ten tribes even as they drifted farther and farther away from the truth. The history of the ten tribes bears this out.
We must teach our children to witness. They must know what we believe and why. We must teach them in our homes, in our church, in our schools. The older must teach the younger by word and example. They must teach the younger to be watchers on the walls of Zion. They must teach the younger to identify the enemy. They must teach by example by being active in the study of the Word of God and being current on the issues of the day.
In the book, Perspectives of the Christian Reformed Church, I found five different views of God’s covenant. We, the Protestant Reformed Churches, have but one view of the covenant: the covenant of friendship of God and His people.
This is the issue, covenant people.
God does not give us a choice, but a command – a command to instruct our children to the best of our ability. And we promised to do this at the baptism of our children. We and the congregation promise this at every baptism. No one else bears this duty and obligation, only covenantal people of God.
Let everyone have this goal in this life as we read inHebrews 11: “And all these died having the assurance that they pleased God.” If we have this, we have everything: peace, joy, contentment, and happiness. We will have comfort on our sick or death bed. Let us all look forward to that great day when all the saints will be gathered together to celebrate the victory of the Lamb, who has gained for us the victory over sin and death, the devil, and all the workers of iniquity.