Tag Archives: Education
By William Andrew Dillard
DISCIPLESHIP: DUMBING DOWN OR WISING UP
A common castigation of educational processes in public schools is that of “Dumbing down,” the students when the challenges of modern times obviously call for wising up. By some accounts, the castigation appears to be true. One illustration of this is widespread inability to function in a real world. For instance, I am a tall individual who is often asked, “How tall are you?’ My reply is “I am three foot, forty.” Almost all of the time I follow up (of necessity); “I am four-foot twenty-eight.” Still getting a blank look, I offer, “Actually, I am five-foot, sixteen.” Youngsters for the most part simply do not get it, and I have had business people to say, “Please stop it. I cannot do the math.” What???? My family is a family of teachers. At least one of them was forthrightly told by her principal, “You will not teach algorithms in this school. Please stop teaching the times-table.” What???? A youngster’s report of a measurement to me was “23 inches and five marks.” What??? Fractions, their names and meaning are unknown!” What??? On and on it goes, ad nauseam.
Obviously, modern days do not the millennium make, but technology has produced fantastic opportunities for Christian Education and sharing. Study and research has never been easier or more accessible, but the benefit of those things remain a reality only for those who are spiritually prepared to appreciate them and to use them. In recent years, because of the abundance of materials available, this writer gave away most of his library, keeping only those rare and treasured works that are mostly irreplaceable. At the same time he expanded his research capability and accessibility many times over online. One would think that all those who take the name of the Lord in any degree of reverence would quickly excel in spiritual knowledge and ability. But such thinking would be wrong. Technology is wonderful, but it is no substitute for a personal relationship, and fellowship, with God.
Most within the umbrella name of Christianity are not wising up. They are dumbing down! Their excitement is in material things that fulfill their social desires, and in the acumen of leaders who frame their homilies psychologically to scratch itching ears. Spiritual blessings are equated to the number of people socially attracted, size of property, and /or financial flow; criteria that would elevate most non-Christian sects to the highest of “spiritual blessings.” “Who caused the walls of Jericho to fall down flat?” asked a Sunday school teacher only to recoil in horror that several in her class disavowed anything to do with it; some offering alibis.
The time remaining until all will meet our maker; every tongue confessing and every knee bowing is extremely short. It is not a time to dumb down, but a time to wise up!
(CNSNews.com) – Education expert WilliamJeynes said on Wednesday that there is a correlation between the decline of U.S. public schools and the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1962 and 1963 decision that school-sponsored Bible reading was unconstitutional.“One can argue, and some have, that the decision by the Supreme Court – in a series of three decisions back in 1962 and 1963 – to remove Bible and prayer from our public schools, may be the most spiritually significant event in our nation’s history over the course of the last 55 years,” Jeynes said.
On June 25, 1962, the United States Supreme Court decided in Engel v. Vitale that a prayer approved by the New York Board of Regents for use in schools violated the First Amendment because it represented establishment of religion. In 1963, in Abington School District v. Schempp, the court decided against Bible readings in public schools along the same lines.
Since 1963, Jeynes said there have been five negative developments in the nation’s public schools:
• Academic achievement has plummeted, including SAT scores.
• Increased rate of out-of-wedlock births
• Increase in illegal drug use
• Increase in juvenile crime
• Deterioration of school behavior
“So we need to realize that these actions do have consequences,” said Jeynes, professor at California State College in Long Beach and senior fellow at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, N.J., “When we remove that moral fiber — that moral emphasis – this is what can result.”
Other facts included a comparison between the top five complaints of teachers from 1940-1962 — talking, chewing gum, making noise, running in the halls and getting out of turn in line – to rape, robbery, assault, burglary and arson from 1963 to present.
“Now the question is, given that there is a movement to put the Bible as literature back in the public schools and a moment of silence and so forth, can we recapture the moral fiber – the foundation that used to exist among many of our youth?” Jeynes asked rhetorically.
To that end, Jeynes said, there is a movement across the country to reinstate the Bible as literature in the public schools, with 440 school districts in 43 states currently teaching this type of course.
Ten states have passed a law or resolution to bring the Bible as literature in the public schools statewide.
The movement, however, is secular in nature, with the Bible being taught as literature rather than the word of God. And rather than prayer, a “moment of silence” is established that “can be used as the students choose,” Jeynes said.
When CNSNews.com asked about the secular nature of this approach, Jeynes said data from nationwide surveys show that both students of faith and those with no faith both respond positively to the Bible as literature curriculum – the former said they learned more about the Bible in class than in church and the latter said they have an increased interest in the Christian religions.
“The effects are very, very positive,” Jeynes said.
Jeynes said the data he used in his presentation comes from the federal government (Departments of Education, Justice, Health and Human Services and the U.S. Census Bureau), and research by the advocacy groups Bibleasliterature.org, the Bible Literacy Project, the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools, and California educator and researcher Nader Twal.
“The Apostle of Education”
Richard Furman began to preach at the age of 16 and became popularly known as the “boy-evangelist.” Reese and Evan Pugh ordained him two years later, on May 10, 1774, as pastor of High Hills. After a fruitful ministry there of 13 years, he became pastor of the Charleston Baptist Church, which he served for the rest of his life. “In the community no minister ever enjoyed so large a share of general confidence and reverence.” For 38 years he made “annual excursions” into various parts of the state, preaching the gospel and promoting the interests of the denomination. This itinerant ministry resulted in numerous revivals and the formation of many churches. His eloquence and fame as a preacher once opened for him an opportunity to preach in the United States Congressional Hall.
During the time that education was suspect for ministers in the South, particularly among the Separate Baptists who feared that schools would dilute Baptist spirituality, divert mission money, and lead to a hireling ministry, Richard Furman become known as the “Apostle of Education.” He led the association to form a General Committee in 1790 to administer educational funds. This committee provided funds for scholarships to attend the Baptist College in Providence, Rhode Island, and for young men to study under pastors who would also lead them in the reading of theology.
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, pp. 191 -192
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He opposed all infidelity
1836 – Dr. A. J. Gordon, named for Adoniram Judson,was born in New Hampshire on this day in 1836 to godly parents. At the age of 15 he came to a vital knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Upon completing his education including his theological training, he was ordained and became the pastor at Jamaica Plain, MA. From 1867 until 1869, he was sought as the pastor of the Clarendon Street Baptist Church of Boston, but did not accept it until they agreed to eliminate the paid choir and replace it with congregational singing. He was a composer of hymns and hymn tunes himself. His most influential work was related to world evangelism and missions in which he served for over twenty years as a member of the board, or as executive chairman of the American Baptist Missionary Union. He strongly emphasized the faith element in missions. He believed that the new birth by the Holy Spirit was essential for the believer. He participated in Dwight L. Moody’s evangelistic meetings and was a consistent soul winner and evangelistic preacher himself. He knew that all preaching and ministering of the Word was futile apart from the power of the Holy Spirit. He was an apologist for biblical Christianity against Darwinism, agnosticism, Unitarianism, transcendentalism, Christian Science, baptismal regeneration, and the influence of materialism in the evangelical churches of his day. Dr. Gordon was a fundamentalist before fundamentalism. He held that the Bible was inerrant and infallible. He died in 1895 and on his gravestone reflects that Blessed Hope – Pastor A.J. Gordon “Until He Come.”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, p. 159.
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Christ the True Refuge
1847 – Rev. and Mrs. I.J. Stoddard, appointed by the American Baptist Missionary Union, sailed from Boston on the Cato to serve the Lord in Assam. Rev. Stoddard’s expertise was in the field of education, however, he preached extensively, until nine years later when ill health forced them back to the states in 1856. After returning to America, their hearts were so burdened for Assam, that they returned to that heathen darkness in 1866. The sacrifice that they made was nearly unbearable, as they made arrangements for their children to be left in the states. After arriving in Assam they were assigned to Gauhati, and then removed to Goalpara where they reaped a great harvest of souls. It is reported that no work excelled his, up to that time, on any mission field of the ABFMU. Then another great sacrifice was made as the Stoddards had to separate, that they might serve in two different areas. In 1871 when her health failed again, his wife had to sail alone for America, leaving I.J. to continue without her. Following is one of the examples of “So Great a Salvation.” An English evangelist had gone to a bazaar and gave a tract True Refuge to an old man who had been a village bard. He learned the tract by memory, and he and his wife traveled many miles, often through waste deep water and mud to Gauhati to find the teacher. All the way he would cry out, “Life, life, eternal life! Who will tell us about it? People would laugh and mock. At Gauhati he found the missionaries and they told him about Jesus, the Way of Life. He was discipled and baptized. From then on he would go throughout the land singing the praises of God. [Helen Barrett Montgomery, Following the Sunrise Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1881), 2:1112. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 600-02.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
Through him we have the First Amendment
1776 – Elder John Leland married Miss Sallie Devine, and God blessed them with eight children. As the Apostles, along with Patrick Henry, Carrington, and Washington, he would have been considered an “unlearned and ignorant” man, in that he had received no formal education. But his proficiency in the gospel, law and politics was as profound as any of his contemporaries. Born in Grafton, Mass. on May 14, 1754, he was saved after a lengthy period of conviction over his sins. In June of 1774 he moved to Virginia, was ordained, and assumed the pastorate of the Mount Poney Baptist Church in Culpepper County. For the next fifteen years he served in a very successful evangelistic ministry that covered 75,000 miles, and the preaching of over 3,000 sermons. Altogether he baptized 1,352 converts. One woman’s husband came to shoot him but he got her under while the members detained him. His shrewd and witty mind aided him in championing soul liberty and religious freedom. It was primarily through his able leadership that we have the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He also opposed slavery when it was unpopular to do so, and was successful in disenfranchising the Protestant Episcopal Church which was supported by taxation in Virginia. He ended his life still preaching the gospel in his native Massachusetts, and died at age 67 on Jan. 14, 1841. [Robert Boyle C. Howell, The Early Baptists of Virginia (Philadelphia: Bible and Publication Society. 1857), p. 242 This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 535-36] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
A Citadel of Christianity
1807 – Elder Ashbel Hosmer led the Baptists around the Hamilton, N.Y area to form the Hamilton Missionary Society. This was prior to the Congregationalists sending the Judson’s and Luther Rice to Burma. Elder Hosmer was pastor of the Baptist church in Hamilton and was succeeded by Rev. Daniel Hascall who, as a ministry of the church, founded the Hamilton Literary and Theological Institution. From this effort 1200 ministers of the Gospel went out across America and in heathen lands. It became known as the “West Point” of Christian service. 19 years after its founding, a few non-ministerial students were allowed entrance and the Institution began to change and in 1846 its name changed and was charted as Hamilton University. However, to shield the Theological Department from the state, they kept it as a separate corporation. Finally the 2nd law of thermodynamics took over and secularization in the end carried the day and what began as a great Citadel of the Christian faith is now simply Colgate University, a monument to infidelity. [J.N.M. The Missionary Jubilee (New York: Sheldon and Company, 1871), p. 338. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 468-470.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
Milo P. Jewett
The Pastor Who Couldn’t Ignore Immersion
Milo P. Jewett was born in Johnsbury, Vermont, on April 27, 1808, into the family of Dr. and Mrs. Calvin Jewett. Being the son of a medical doctor, young Jewett was offered the opportunity of a fine education and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1828. Looking forward to a career in the legal profession, Jewett spent a year in a law office in New Hampshire, but in 1830 he abandoned law and entered Andover Seminary. His brilliant mind fully equipped him for the field of education, and “he decided that teaching and not preaching was the work for which God had fitted him…In 1834 (he) accepted a professorship in Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio.”
Professor Jewett was persuaded to accept the pastorate of a Presbyterian church along with his educational duties, and for two years he served as pastor-professor. A disturbing situation developed which changed Jewett’s life, and that we might hear it in his own words, we quote from a letter he wrote from Marietta College, dated June 28, 1838:
Perhaps you know I have preached for about two years past to a Presbyterian church in the country. Some eighteen months ago, an elder of that church became a Baptist. On the occasion of his baptism, a sermon was preached by Rev. Hiram Gear, the Baptist minister in Marietta. This sermon disturbed several members of my church, and the session requested me to preach on baptism. . . . .
Afterwards I took up infant baptism; and here I found myself in clouds and darkness…I would lay down the subject for weeks, then resume it, till, some three or four months ago, I was obliged, in the fear of God, to conclude that none but believers in Jesus have a right to the ordinance of Jesus.
In January 1839 Jewett was baptized and united with the Baptist church in Marietta.
In 1840 he authored Jewett on Baptism, and the volume was blessed by the Lord in helping many to see the spiritual truth of the ordinance. Jewett passed into the Lord’s presence in 1882 after a full life of spiritual obedience and service.
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 261 – 262.