Editorial Keynotes

Loyalty—The Blue Ridge Convention Keynote

L.E.F. is editor of the Ministry.

No finer, more loyal, self-sacrificing, or important body of workers exists in our ranks today than our educator group. And it is generally recognized that to no small degree our denominational destiny lies in their hands. Their problems, their character, and their vision are therefore of vital concern to us all. They are the teachers of our children and youth, our most priceless heritage,—the train­ers of our oncoming preachers, the undeniable molders of our movement,—for the ideals, con­cepts, and objectives implanted in the classroom largely determine the afterlife of its product.

And now their long-awaited convention at Blue Ridge—the first of its kind since 1923—is history. The future will better reveal its full and abiding achievements. It is our conviction, however, that the greatest and most significant results will spring not from its formal resolu­tions, recommendations, or other legislative acts, but from the reenunciation and reaffirma­tion of that indefinable something that, for want of a better name, may be called the spirit of the advent movement in the field of our educational endeavor.

The objective group study, by the convention, of our entire educational policy and direction, detached from the close-up of one's own circum­scribed, individual task; the respectful consideration of the counsels of our appointed de­nominational leaders; the definite emphasis given by the Department of Education secre­taries; the candid exchange of viewpoint on vital matters; the communion of spirit with spirit; the intensification of conviction and loyalty; the modification or strengthening of personal views, as the case might be, in the light of the preponderating conviction of the full group; the building up of a definite mass morale or attitude against the encroachments of individual digressors that will put the inno­vator in clashing contrast, and thus under re­straint; the truing-up of the individual and the group course under searching examination of our divinely given educational chart,—these are some of the greatest and most abiding re­sults of this gathering. These factors are very real. They more than justified the investment of time and means expended for the convention.

The convention was of exceptional impor­tance because during the fourteen years since the last similar gathering, momentous changes had taken place both in the surrounding circumstances and in the general structure of our educational work, created by the accrediting program and its attendant involvements, as­pects of which have caused much concern to all. The opportunity, therefore, for more than four hundred of our educators and other lead­ers to meet, to survey and study past, present, and future plans and prospects, and set their course anew by the stars of revealed heavenly principle, has a value beyond computation at this time.

Most heartening of all was the candid recog­nition of peril by the educators themselves, their frank expressions of concern lest the dis­astrous principles that have confused and wrecked other religious educational groups and endeavors should obtain a foothold in our own ranks, and their solemn determination that the teaching personnel of our institutions of learning shall take the lead in guarding against any similar catastrophe in our own movement. Against all such encroachments we should stand, denominationally, as adamant.

The World's Circumscribed Wisdom

An editorial observation, in passing, quite apart from the council discussions, concerning the problems and perils involved in our contacts with, and relationships to, the educational world about us, may here be in place. Aside from the question of outside influence upon the content of our college and academy cur­ricula, because of premedical and teacher-training requirements of worldly accrediting bodies, the most serious and general peril is the subjection of our college instructors and even our academy teachers, in their advanced train­ing, to the subtle influences of modern godless education in the great universities of the land. There they are under the influence of teachers whose undisguised pagan positions and atti­tudes are notoriously alien to the basic Chris­tian verities and to our distinctive principles of education.

One of the gravest dangers that menaces graduate study in the universities of the world, particularly in the favorite fields of psychology, education, and history, is the danger of uncon­sciously absorbing ideas and conclusions con­sistent with the world's wisdom and viewpoints, but in deadly conflict with the inspired educational blueprint given this people. The peril usually increases in proportion to the student's youthfulness, his general lack of experience, and his Christian inexperience.

And the most serious part of it all, especially in the field of psychology, is that those so in­fluenced are often unaware of their shift of view, and sincerely believe their brethren blind who cannot follow their definite divergencies. But to deal with the human mind from the purely secular, psychological approaches, is to minimize or to exclude the supernatural opera­tion of the Holy Spirit upon mankind. This is fatal to fundamental Christian precept and practice in this advent movement with its re­vealed objectives.

Similarly, in the field of history, the world's canons of historical evaluation have this foun­dational limitation: They know not, nor do they concede, the divine philosophy of history. They admit no inspired prophetic outline in the af­fairs of nations and of men. They do not see the outworking of God's program of the ages, and recognize no inspired guidance to history's interpretation, such as has been vouchsafed to this people through the Spirit of prophecy. This is a fatal defect. It is thus that their influence has in instances led unfortified men out of the simplicities and certainties of this message.

Those who build upon such false premises have no inspired aid in difficult problems, but trust solely to human judgment with its finite limitations. They have no trustworthy arbiter in moot question, where authorities differ and recognized sources clash. Hence they hold all such matters in abeyance as indeterminate. But such a concept, and such a detached, wholly secular procedure, is alien to the genius and the objectives of this movement. To ape the world's attitude, and thus the world's wisdom, in these matters, is definitely to turn from heaven's program and provision for the rem­nant church. So much, in a word, for the world's program of higher education, and its perils for us. We must guard our educational work and ideals as the apple of our eye. And to this solemn objective our loyal body of educa­tors is committed. It is refreshing to see how solidly our educators in council stood against infiltration of these alien principles.

While several of the leading general con­vention addresses are released to our full membership through the Review and Herald, other noteworthy contributions are allocated to the Ministry; for example, the important ad­dreSs of President M. L. Andreasen, of Union College, on "Spiritual Leadership Within the Schools," given before the full assembly. Likewise the addresses of Elder E. D. Dick and Elder L. H. Christian, on foreign mission­aries and their preparation; and the paper of Dr. L. H. Wood, of the Theological Seminary, on "Archeology's Contribution to Faith," pre­sented before a joint meeting of the Bible and history teacher sections; the discussion of the construction of a complete, integrated theo­logical course, as submitted to the Bible-teacher section by Dr. F. A. Schilling, dean of the School of Theology, Walla Walla College; and other presentations from various sections, of interest and concern to all.

In this issue, we are happy to place before our full ministerial body an excellent survey and report of the Blue Ridge Educational Con­vention, one specific presentation, and an ap­praisal in verse. The others will follow in later numbers.

The official report of the Educational Conven­tion, with the leading papers, discussions, and ensuing actions, will appear in a four-hundred­page book to be published by the General Con­ference Department of Education, available sometime in November. This will be of ma­terial value not only to all educators and educa­tional institution board members, but to our ministry at large. We all need to be informed upon such vital matters as were presented and to have a clear grasp of the principals involved in our unique educational program. We have also an inescapable responsibility toward main­taining those principles inviolate.


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L.E.F. is editor of the Ministry.

November 1937

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