The Men’s League Annual membership meeting was held Tuesday, April 15, in the Fuller Ave. Prot. Ref. Church parlors.
The Board had planned an up to date program, which was well received by old and young; although the attendance was rather small, which was not to our credit, to be sure.
The topic of the program was: Should we have our own System of Christian Instruction?
The Revs. P. Boer, C. Hanko, R. Veldman and J. De Jong were asked to speak on this worthy subject, and they were each allowed 15 minutes time.
The first speaker spoke on: the present condition of instruction in existing educational institutions. The speaker pointed out that it is a sad situation that about 25 percent of our own Prot. Ref. parents send their children to the public schools. Can you conceive of it? so he asked, parents who are supposed to be one with us, and they must and do know that our children are the Lord’s; for they have promised to bring them up in the fear of the Lord.
These parents usually claim that the public school is neutral. This, however, is a lie. You have modernism in that school; and modernism is antichristian. It is the destruction of everything that is dear to the people of God.
Our Christian schools of today differ radically from the public school, although we can not be satisfied with the institution of the Christian schools of today, for they are colored by the teaching of the Christian Reformed common grace doctrine. This means that there is much good in this old world of ours. Plato and Socrates, so they say, were brave men, but they must not be the examples of our covenant children.
Sometimes the children sing songs like this: “Jesus loves all the little children.” If you tell them not to sing these songs, you get the answer: “teacher said we may.” They are also under the influence of the movies. It is educational: so they are taught, but to be sure, it leads them in the wrong direction.
The second speaker was the Rev. C. Hanko. He chose for his subject: The necessity of our own schools, and a necessity it is indeed. Our doctrine, so the speaker said, differs from the doctrine of the Christian Reformed Churches, and there are also practical dangers. We are positive in our doctrine. It is not the development of a truth, but it is the truth as it is taught us in Scripture.
As parents we have obligated ourselves to educate our children in the Prot. Ref. truth. We cannot afford to send our children to the Chr. Ref. schools, for then we must compromise; ‘and this we may not!’
If it is true, and it is true, that the children are the future of the churches, then it is most necessary that we withhold our children from a doctrine which is wrong and not our own.
The Rev. R. Veldman spoke on the possibility to maintain our own schools. The reverend came to the conclusion that it is possible indeed. It is possible also from a financial point of view, if we as Prot. Ref. parents have a heart for this worthy cause. If we only feel the need, and our responsibility, and have not fallen away too far.
The Rev. J. De Jong asked himself the question: On what level should we start? It was his opinion: that we must not start with a school for higher instruction, for in the past it had become evident that our people do not want this, and therefore let us start with a grammar school. We must start from the bottom.
In this connection I can inform the S. B. readers that in this very same week we came together and have organized a society for Christian education.
What shall we say now about this movement? It is noble, to be sure. But are we strong enough, also in number, and do we have enough of that true faith that removes mountains? We only need a little, but it must be genuine.
Our meetings of this kind, you always meet the few. Oh I know it: Our covenant God is not dependent upon us. With a Gideon’s band He can do wonders also today.
As I see it: it would be a real blessing for us if we were thrown out once more; and now I refer to the schools in the which our youth are educated. However, our duty as Prot. Ref. parents is to step out and build schools of our own; and I assure you the Chr. Ref. people will give us credit this time.
You may ask: but are there only a few in our midst which are in favor of having our own school? I am convinced there are many.
Some parents, however, do not see the danger of sending their children to a school other than our own. There are also some in our midst who say: this present school is good enough. Others say it costs too much. Others make the statement, a school is not a church and vice versa. Still others do not think through. They are for Christian education and therefore they send their children to the Christian schools; but for a school of our own they have not much feeling.
There are also who reason that the burden is too heavy. Sometimes I am inclined to think that we are too far from ‘24. In those days there was much zeal and enthusiasm.
Let us put on the full armor of God and never grow weary. And let us never forget, “united we stand, divided we fall.”