DEBATE—Negative Rebuttal

There are of course a good many things in the article of my opponent with which I can heartily agree. A number of things are simply not debatable among us. We knew this before the debate ever started. After all both the affirmative and the negative claim to love the Protestant Reformed truth and the cause of our churches. Besides in our debate we must and do assume that all of us have the true interest of the cause and the spiritual welfare of our people at heart. But even though the foregoing is true, that does not mean at all that both parties would come to the same conclusion.

The concluding sentence of my opponent’s article was: “Wherefore, if we love our Protestant Reformed truth and church, if we are duly concerned about the spiritual welfare of our children, there can only be one answer to the question we are discussing: the answer the affirmative was privileged to defend.”—Naturally the negative side does not at all agree with this closing statement. Neither would we subscribe to the inference which may be drawn from the sentence we quoted that those who do not subscribe to the affirmative have no love for the Protestant Reformed truth and are not duly concerned about the spiritual welfare of our children. I know that there are some people who take that stand and who have no scruples in making remarks to this effect. Which, by the way, is a very poor method of trying to win people over for the affirmative side.

Let us now proceed to examine some of the arguments which my opponent has set forth to defend his proposition. His first affirmation deals with the doctrinal difference between us and the Christian Reformed brethren. Of course there can be no argument about it that there is a marked difference between us and the Christian Reformed brethren on a number of doctrinal points which are indeed fundamental. And as doctrine is basic to all instruction it stands to reason that also these doctrines in question, as enumerated by my opponent, certainly cannot be divorced from He instruction our children receive in the Christian schools. However, a fatal weakness in my opponent’s argumentation is that he drags the “Three Points” into the discussion, as if the Christian schools had officially adopted these Three Points. Fact is, the common grace issue has as yet never been an issue in the Christian schools. Perhaps this is partly due to the fact that we Protestant Reformed people have not been as consistent as we should be. Rut the same can be said about the Christian Reformed people. Fact is, the Christian Reformed school people have never officially adopted the Three Points, neither have they tried to force them down our throat, nor have they ever told us that if we did not agree with them we would be cast out of the schools. Hence, let us not run ahead of history. Ry simply stating that the church controversy is also the school controversy we make broad statements that cannot be proven and that contradict the actual existing realities. And in as far as the actual influence of the Three Point doctrine is concerned I like to state the following: (1) In many cases that is over-emphasized; (2) In some cases there is, cause for alarm; (3) My opponent knows very well indeed that a number of Christian Reformed teachers do not draw the conclusions which follow from the doctrine of the Three Points. They do not drive this doctrine at all; (4) Where there is cause for complaint, what have we done about remedying the situation? We cannot just run away, can we? (5) It is the conviction of the negative that by and large those Christian Reformed people who are Christian school minded are the, better, soundest Reformed element in the Christian Reformed Church. Seeing that there are about fifty percent Christian Reformed people who send their children to the Christian School, we can freely conclude that the Christian Reformed School people are indeed less Three Point minded than the Christian Reformed Church is officially. And the rule is also that these Christian School people are the most promising prospects to win over for our cause and our churches. (6) In view of the fact that we still have many things in common, having also the same background, in vie w of the serious times in which we live, including the uncertain future, in view of the fact that it is sinful to unnecessarily break ties that bind together, we must be very careful and take no unwarranted steps. Why deliberately seek a split in the ranks of a movement that needs all possible support if it is to exist, if it is to flourish?

Of course we agree with our opponent when he states that the School is of paramount importance as an agency for the instruction of our covenant seed. Rut if by means of some statistical figures he tries to frighten us, he certainly overemphasizes the point in question. If it were actually so frightening we might well shudder to ever send our children to the present Christian school. Fact is, however, that we always recommend the Christian school to our people, we tell them that it is wrong to send the children to the public school. But now we find out that when it really comes to the point the thing is so frightful ?—Of course there is an element of truth in the contention of my opponent as he describes this particular point in his article, but he certainly overemphasizes the point which of necessity weakens his argument. If it were actually as bad as my opponent claims that it is, how then did our people ever become Protestant Reformed? How then does he explain that there are still such a goodly number of young people that are so thoroughly Protestant Reformed in spite of the fact that they attended the Christian school? I firmly believe that if they had attended the public school they would not stand where they stand today. Not as though the Christian School made them Protestant Reformed, but the School was indirectly a contributing factor.—What then is so frightening about the Christian school? I am glad we still have them. I wish they were much better. I think we could do a good deal more for them.

Again we agree with our opponent that the instruction our children receive must be based upon our Protestant Reformed truth; that is ideal. And Church and Home must exert their influence on the spiritual character of the School. And the latter should willingly cooperate with the former. However, idealistic as this may be, fact is, that we do not have such schools at present. It would be folly to deny the facts in the case. But now we must approach the matter of the school issue realistically. I have more to say about this in the sequence of this article.

My opponent claims: “Our present schools cannot and do not meet the educational needs for our children and our obligations as covenant parents.” He further states: “They cannot, and my opponent will never be able to prove the contrary. The present Christian Schools are Christian Reformed schools. Don’t deny this by saying that our schools are not church schools, etc.—Again, of course, there is much in these statements of my opponents with which I agree. However, as I stated already in a different connection, I do deny that the present Christian School is Christian Reformed. (Understanding by Christian Reformed the official doctrine of those churches, as it was adopted in 1924). As we said before, the schools never adopted these points and told us to get out if we could not subscribe to them. In the second place my opponent knows very well that there are a number of teachers who do not even know what the Three Points imply. Of course this is, not to their credit, it’s rather weakness than strength. Nevertheless they do not deliberately teach the Three Points as would be the case were my opponent correct in his contention. They are more ‘generally’ Christian (we have them in our churches too). Naturally that cannot satisfy us, but neither is this a matter wherewith Christian Reformed school people can be satisfied. Yes, I do believe that a number of our Christian school teachers are not distinct enough in their teaching, not Reformed enough, but neither do they make the pupils swallow the doctrine of common grace.—On the other hand my opponent also knows very well that there are also a number of teachers, both from our churches and outside of our circles, who do understand the implications of the Three Points but who certainly do not agree with this general and common grace doctrine. In stating our case we must also do justice to our present teachers.—My opponent further states: “a. The Christian Reformed doctrine is the basis of all the instruction, b. Our principles are not taught, but rejected and ridiculed.” I would emphatically deny both assertions. Of course here again is an element of truth, but my worthy opponent is certainly overstating the matter. I have here in front of me six type-written sheets with the main heading: “PRINCIPLES OF PRACTICAL CHRISTIAN INSTRUCTION.” There ‘principles’ were composed by Protestant Reformed men in conjunction and cooperation with Christian Reformed brethren. I assure my opponent that they are quite soundly Reformed. These ‘principles’ have been adopted by one of the Christian schools and it is according to these principles that the teachers have to instruct the pupils. Would Rev. R. Veldman or any of those who so strongly advocate ‘A School of our own’ have any objection to such a matter of procedure if it could be brought into practice more generally, particularly in areas where we have children attending the present Christian schools? Did the affirmative side ever try anything like this?

Of course at times confusion is created in the minds of our children due to the fact that there is conflict between the teaching of home and church on the one hand and the school on the other hand. However, this is not the rule but the exceptional case. And some of these things might be easily remedied too if we manifested a little more concerted action. (I am sorry that I lack the space to broaden out on this point.)

My opponent is not enthusiastic about the schools as they are today. I can understand that, and I can even subscribe to it. But again that is not saying everything. I am sure that if we worked a little harder for the present Christian Schools, showed a more active interest in them, and sought more their real welfare we would become more enthusiastic. You cannot be enthusiastic about a thing, if you do not work hard for it.

Ideally, yes, the Protestant Reformed home and the Protestant Reformed Church call for a Protestant Reformed School. Once again I will quote the concluding sentence of my opponent’s article: ‘Wherefore, if we love our Protestant Reformed truth and church, if we are duly concerned about the spiritual welfare of our children, there can be only one answer to the question we are discussing: the answer the affirmative was privileged to defend.” As I stated before, with this conclusion we of the negative cannot agree. It is the conclusion which is based upon the idealistic. It denies any moral responsibility with respect to the existing Christian Schools. It is a virtual denial that we have any rights in the present Christian Schools. It advocates the ‘wegloopende protestanten’ policy in the sphere of the schools. It does not reckon with ‘het historisch gewordene’. And neither does it reckon with practical reality.

Let me finish this rebuttal by making a few observations and conclusions.

The question of school training is a matter of the parents and not of the church. Hence, we should cooperate with the existing Christian schools as long as possible. And where the necessity does not exist we should not build schools, of our own. Why deliberately go in the direction of ‘verbrokkeling van krachten?’

We of the negative fear that the narrower interest in a Protestant Reformed school will result in a disinterest in the broader cause of Christian instruction. I am informed that we have a genuine example of this in our own good city of Grand Rapids. Here we have a separate Christian School. But what is it and what fruits does it bear? Among the evil fruits are those, I am told, that practically none of the children attending this grammar school finish their studies at a Christian High School. There is a distrust, perhaps we might call it a despising of the larger Christian School movement. And the result is that practically all the children receive their high school training, which is compulsory in Grand Rapids, in the public schools.—Is that what we want? I should say not. But is there not a real danger that we steer in this very direction if without provocation we insist in building our own schools because they are ‘ideal?’ Indeed that danger exists.

If the matter of a school of our own is so all important, then we have several questions, the answer to which must be supplied by the affirmative. For example: If it is so all important, why was this matter not taken care of the moment our churches came into existence? And how is it possible that our churches ever did come into existence? And how is it possible that we ever could organize new churches, these people all having been reared in communities where there was no Protestant Reformed School? And what muss we tell our smaller congregations which can never hope to establish a school of their own? Must we on the one hand with all our might denounce the present Christian school, and on the other hand must we tell our smaller congregations: “You better cooperate with the existing Christian schools and by all means send your children there?”—If our own schools are so vital and if our churches are lost without them, why then establish or even attempt to establish any churches in communities where we can see with our eyes shut that they cannot have a school of their own? Wouldn’t such churches be doomed from the start?

If the affirmative side is so positive of its case how then can it be explained that by far the majority of our people are either against it or lukewarm toward it? How do you explain it, that most of what I would call ‘our Christian school men’ are opposing the idea? And a goodly number of these men certainly can talk from experience for they have worked for the existing Christian schools. They, if anyone, should see the need of schools of our own.

Why despise and agitate that which we so long have defended as Protestant Reformed people? What brings this sudden change about? Of course the Christian schools are not what they should be, but we certainly can thank the schools for many things which our children learned there. We are indebted to the present schools. To mention one thing: I am positive that my child will appreciate it all his days that ho went to a Christian school where he was taught Biblical History. And I challenge any Protestant Reformed school to teach my children more thoroughly the Biblical history than my oldest child has learned it in the present Christian school. Even my opponent knows very well that as a rule you can pick out the children in the catechism class that have had Christian school training. They are far head of those that were deprived of this. That is the rule. Should we not appreciate these things?

My opponent is positive that we have the teachers. However, he did not prove his point. Personally I have every reason to doubt this. Not as though we do not have teachers who are members of our churches. But how many have evidenced a genuine interest in a school of our own and how many are enthusiastically supporting this cause? After all we would want teachers that are capable and teachers that are heart and soul favoring the cause. Do we have enough of them? It has not been proven.

I have no room to say much against the contention that it is the fault of our present Christian schools that our children become Arminianists and worldly minded (My opponent did not make this statement, but I have heard it more than once from the affirmative side, hence the point I like to make) . Our schools are far from perfect, but such sweeping statements put it on too thick. I would say this: “If our youth is not indoctrinated in the Protestant Reformed truth and becomes Arminian and worldly, minded let us not blame the Christian schools first of all, but let us place the blame squarely where it belongs, namely, in the home. And next in line would be the church. Let us never make the Christian school the goat of our failure to instruct our children in the Protestant Reformed truth. Besides, schools of our own would not remedy this. For if the home is gone and if the church should be come delinquent, the school, which is not even directly supposed to teach doctrine, cannot remedy the situation.

But there is still another matter closely related in the foregoing. I am indeed afraid that some people think too highly of a Protestant Reformed school as if such a school would be the cure-all and solve all our educational problems. Even such schools of our own would be very imperfect. Such schools would be no more perfect than the aggregate spiritual condition of our homes and churches. Water does not rise higher than its source. I believe we do better to first consolidate our homes and obtain more ideal conditions in our churches instead of trying to force the issue of a school of our own. The time is definitely not ripe now because our people are not ripe for it. They still must be educated with a view to, and won for, the ideal of the affirmative. It is indeed a question how much better our own school would be compared with what we have at present, some symptoms, are not too reassuring in this respect. And the question may well be raised if the actual betterment would warrant all the expense, all the trouble and friction it would cause, the damage it would do to the school movement in general, and the internal troubles it would cause among brethren that belong to the same household of faith.

Lest we be accused that we are merely negative, let me propose the following suggestions:

  1. Wherever this is possible let us organize societies for Christian instruction based upon Reformed principles.
  2. Let us as Protestant Reformed people compose a work-programma of “Principles of practical Christian instruction,” covering all the branches of study in our Christian schools.
  3. Then let us propagate these principles in the Christian school circles, and let us do that in the spirit of love.—If we succeed, even partly, we have gained much, we become a vital part in the Christian school movement and we have done it a great favor.

In the above mentioned method of approach we are positive and not negative, we build instead of destroy: we start where we should start, namely, at the right end and not at the wrong end. And if these principles should be wholly rejected so that the situation becomes practically unbearable, then we can talk about a school of our own. But in the meantime we have witnessed, maintained and saved our principles, we have lost nothing, and in the end we can count on the wholehearted support of practically all our people, whatever course may be necessary.—I hope that the brethren of the affirmative may seriously consider these suggestions. They still can change their present plans and methods, of approach.

Should we establish our own schools wherever possible? By no means, but let us with the maintaining of our principles approach this whole matter realistically and not idealistically or fanatically. And let us build schools of our own whenever it is necessary. And it is only necessary if there is no other Christian school or if there is no longer a place for us in the present Christian schools.

DEBATE—Affirmative Rebuttal

Often, in worldly contests, the remark is made: and now, may the best man, or the best team, win. In this discussion I care nothing about that. My sole desire is that the truth may win out in the minds and hearts of our Protestant Reformed fathers and mothers, and that this debate may serve as a means to bring us to a clearer understanding of our covenant calling with respect to our children. With that only in view let us read carefully all that has been written thus far on this subject. Nothing else matters.

The negative side states, “The point at stake (in this debate) is not at all whether an instruction based throughout upon Protestant Reformed principles is not ideal for our children. There can be no difference of opinion among us on this particular point.” I knew we agreed on this. Nevertheless, my opponent is not correct in writing, that this is “not at all the point at stake.” Notice, that he himself agrees, not that Protestant Reformed instruction would be better, but it is the ideal. The moment you speak of the ideal with respect to anything fundamental you have yourself stated your calling. We must strive for the ideal; nothing less will suffice. That means, that we must strive for schools of our own, unless: 1) There are other things, other ideals, greater in importance than that of Protestant Reformed instruction for our children, and to which the latter must be subservient, or: 2) It is possible to realize this ideal in the present schools. If this latter were possible the need of a school of our own would be eliminated, of course. As to the first of these alternatives, I feel safe in assuming that no Protestant Reformed man or woman would want to maintain, that in the sphere of education there can be a higher ideal for us, than that all the instruction our children receive should be permeated with our Protestant Reformed truth. And the second alternative is a definite impossibility. If should be clear to us all, that we can never hope to approximate our ideals in our present schools. The latter are too thoroughly Christian Reformed. I hope for the truth’s sake, for principle’s sake, that the negative will not becloud the issue by denying this. Nothing can be gained by denying facts. I know very well that they are not church schools. But is a church all that can be Christian Reformed? Societies, boards, teachers, instruction, too, can be Christian Reformed. Thus schools can be and are Christian Reformed if they are controlled by men and women from the Christian Reformed church, who sincerely believe that our covenant children should be instructed on the basis of the truth as they confess it. And in such schools we cannot hope to approximate our ideals of education. That leaves us only one course: schools of our own.

In the main the Rev. De Jong presents three reasons why we should not establish schools of our own. How valid are they?

I—We have a calling and moral responsibility with respect to our present Christian Schools. Many people seem to stumble over this obstacle. Still, how valid is this objection?

Let us briefly consider some of the statements made by the negative in this connection. “We are members, of the societies, we send our children to these schools.” Yes, we do, and as long as this is the case we should cooperate as much as possible. However, this will no longer be said of us if we have schools of our own. Neither does membership in a certain society obligate one to continue such membership forever. From a society we can withdraw at any time, the more so if that society has forsaken the principles of the Word of God. “We helped to erect and maintain these schools.” That is an argument based on pure sentiment, and therefore no argument at all. We may not permit such considerations to determine our course of action. Certainly, we helped erect them long, long before our Christian Reformed brethren departed from the truth and the lie of common grace swept the Christian Reformed world like a prairie fire. And after they departed from the Reformed truth we continued to support them,—for twenty long years. For two decades more we permitted the Christian Reformed brethren to educate our children! Isn’t it time, then, that we dismiss this sentiment from our minds as a reason for not establishing our own schools? Permitting mere sentiment to determine our policy in matters of principle is a dangerous practice. If that which we helped erect becomes corrupt, as is always the case with the manifestation of God’s covenant in the world, we must have the courage and the strength to leave such an institution for the truth’s sake. No school or institution can be as important to us as the principles’ for which “they were erected in the “first place. Continues the negative, “The Christian schools are no church schools, they may not teach doctrine, much less the common grace theory.” Even the negative cannot believe this. That question of “church schools” we may now dismiss from consideration. On this point we agree, I think. The affirmative does not claim that our present schools are church schools, and the negative will not gainsay the intimate relation between church and school. But, since when do our Christian school constitutions say that they may not teach doctrine? High schools have courses in Reformed doctrine, taught by ministers of the gospel, and Bible instruction is given in the grade schools. Moreover, is Christian instruction ever possible without doctrine? Remember what my opponent once wrote in the Standard Bearer, “After all doctrine, false or true, determines the religious character of all the instruction, life and discipline of the school.”

The negative continues, “If this is done (that is, if doctrine, particularly “common grace” is taught) we can appeal to the constitution, bring in our protests and complaints, and attempt to make the boards and teachers see the error of their way.” The constitution, I’m positive, will be of no help here. And as to bringing protests! We might conceivably protest against some outstanding error in doctrine or practice. However, how many of these things come to our attention? After all, the children themselves must report them. And again I ask: how can we protest against what is not taught? That is our main concern. Our principles are not inculcated, that is certain. Nor can we expect Christian Reformed teachers to consider this their calling. How can we protest against this? And we must make the boards and the teachers see the error of their way? The error of common grace? After all these years? That means that the Christian Reformed brethren must instruct our children to the end of time. Every so often new board members are elected and new teachers are hired to teach in our schools. Where is the end of this responsibility and how can we ever hope to succeed? And then my opponent writes, “Leave these schools where we were educated ourselves, which we maintained in the past, which are founded upon the truth of God’s Word?” Of course we shall if it is for the sake of the truth, of God’s church, and of the spiritual welfare of our children. And as to being founded upon the truth of God’s Word! From the Protestant Reformed point of view, is that true? “Leave these schools,” writes he, “because they are minus the Protestant Reformed label?” For the sake of the principle involved I’m happy my opponent made this statement. That is precisely the point, the admission that should settle the matter for everyone. They are minus the Protestant Reformed label. The boards, the societies, the teachers, the instruction, the hymns, prayers, programs,—generally speaking everything in our present schools is minus the Protestant Reformed label. That does not mean, of course, that they bear no label at all. They do. The Christian Reformed label. Shall we leave, asks the negative, for no more reason than that; for such a relatively unimportant thing as that? Anything I might try to say in answer to this question can only weaken the argument the negative here adduces in support of the affirmative.

To my mind the Rev. De Jong makes one serious error. Apparently he puts the institution of the school on a par with the institution of the church, that is, as far as our obligations toward both are concerned. However, a school is the property of a mere society and does not bind like a church. At any time it pleases, a group of people may form a separate society and start a school of its own. That need not even be for principle’s sake. How were many of our present schools, started? People simply moved away from the schools their children attended to a neighborhood where there was no school. As soon as there were a sufficient number of such families a new society was organized and a new school erected. If new schools may be erected for no greater reason than that; shall we be denied the right to establish a society and school of our own for the sake of the truth? Think this over soberly and carefully and let us ask ourselves in all sincerity whether this entire moral argument is not an excuse rather than a sound objection. That even the leaders of the Christian Reformed Churches do not at all agree with my opponent on this point seems to be indicated by what the Rev. J. J. Hiemenga wrote in the Banner of March 3 under the caution “A Calvinistic University.” Wrote he, “We all know that any one, or any group, has the right to establish an educational institution. Of course, there is no question about that.”

It is in this connection that the negative speaks of “wegloopende Protestanten.” It is evident, however, that this was written in haste and must not be taken too seriously. On second thought my opponent will see that this comparison does not apply here at all. Who are “wegloopende Protestanten”? Are they people who leave our churches for the sake of conscience and truth, because they earnestly believe the pure doctrine is taught elsewhere? Of course not! They are people who leave the church for ah kinds of trivial reasons, while they confess that we have the truth. Were we to leave the school for such insignificant reasons the comparison would hold. But surely, brother, you would not apply the term to those who leave the present schools for the truth’s sake.

II—The present Christian Schools do not cast us out.

Also this seems to present an obstacle to some people, although I cannot see in all good conscience why we mu id wad until we’re set out before we begin to instruct our children as we should. Of course they have not cast us out, partly because we do not oppose them as we should, and partly because the schools are their own. “They seek our help and cooperation”, says the negative, “They desire to cooperate with us for principle’s sake.” For whose principle’s sake, ours or theirs? We all know the answer. They seek our cooperation, but for their school, that their teachers (a few exceptions notwithstanding) may apply and maintain their doctrine. They are satisfied that we be yoked together, but under their yoke. Mind you, this, too, is written without bitterness; we can expect nothing else. “Many Christian school people are sincerely interested in us and our children,” writes my opponent. I believe that, but they are interested in instructing our children in the truth as they see it. Can we be content with such interest? We, too, are interested in their children, and if ever we should see our ideal realized we should be happy to receive them into our schools. Our Christian Reformed brethren who read this must not be offended. You must be able to see our viewpoint. You realize very well, that from the Protestant Reformed point of view the stand of the affirmative is the only consistent one. Surely you don’t believe that we are bound to stay where we are.

III—We have no moral right to leave the school unless we first bring our grievances to the proper authorities and attempt to improve the Christian character of the instruction. A brief reply should suffice here, essentially this is the same objection as the first.

Notice how weakly my opponent expresses himself here. We must “attempt to improve the Christian character of the instruction.” Does my opponent mean by this that we must strive to make that instruction Protestant Reformed? If so, he should have stated it. If not, I cannot agree with him at all. I make bold to say, that my opponent chose these words, deliberately for he himself must realize the utter impossibility of working for Protestant Reformed instruction in our present schools. What do our children really need: “Christian character” or “Protestant Reformed instruction”? To me only the latter is Christian, for what is not Protestant Reformed is not Reformed, and what is not Reformed is not Christian. But certainly, it cannot be our calling to stay where we are until we make these schools Protestant Reformed.

This also points to one reason at least why our people do not bring more grievances to those in charge of the present schools. What grievances can we bring? We could, perhaps, protest against a few isolated statements and practices, at most. But that would hardly scratch the surface; would not bring us closer to our ideal; would in no way satisfy our needs. First, how many, of the things to which we object come to our attention? Very few. We cannot protest against things we do not know. Yet, we do know, that our children are in the hands of Christian Reformed men and women. Secondly, so much in our schools is colorless, so much like public instruction. How shall we remedy that? One cannot be at every board meeting. Thirdly, how shall we lodge grievances against what is not taught, and what we cannot reasonably expect to have taught? From the viewpoint of our ideal it is hopeless to protest. To approximate our ideal we should have to make the teachers Protestant Reformed. My opponent once wrote, “The spiritual quality of your teaching depends on the doctrinal conceptions of the teacher.” How must we go about this? Where is the end? In a large school there are many teachers, and every few years the personnel changes. Besides, to reach our ideal the boards and societies must be made to see our point of view. We should have to catechize them, and this, I’m sure, they’d graciously refuse. In fact, to reach our ideal the whole Christian Reformed Church would have to be made to confess her errors. Where’s the end? And while all this goes on we must let them instruct generation after generation of our children?

Even so, have we not done much to fulfil this calling? 1924 is already 20 years ago. Since that time we raised our voices against the errors of our Christian Reformed brethren, also those in control of our schools. Also here you cannot separate church and school. The same brethren and sisters are members of both. For 20 long years our Standard Bearer explained our position. For 20 long years our churches in many localities stood as a witness for the truth. For 20 long years our ministers spoke whenever the opportunity presented itself, and I know that they did not hide the truth. And the Christian Reformed brethren know exactly where we stand. These are the facts.

A few remarks in closing my side of the debate. First, let us not forget, that if we leave all we helped erect and maintain behind. All we do is start anew and take our children out of the present schools. Isn’t that fair enough? Secondly, my opponent made some statements that should not have been made, and that could easily “leave scars.” That is easily done in a debate. Let us weigh our words, whether we favor a school of our own or not. This applies also to those who side with the affirmative in this debate. Let us never think that offensive, derogatory remarks will further this cause. On the road to Kalamazoo there’s a sign that reads: “Use soft words and hard arguments.” Enough said. Finally, may this debate by the grace of God bear its good fruits. Let us study this vital issue in faith, without prejudice, free from carnal and selfish motives, only asking: Lord, what wilt thou have us do? Seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, the way, I’m confident, will become plain.