The Blue Ridge Educational Convention

The Blue Ridge resolution.

A Report by M. L. Andreasen, President, Union College

Whereas, It is altogether right and fitting that we assure our leaders and people generally of our un­shaken faith in the third angel's message and in the Spirit of prophecy, and our determination to keep the schools under our supervision free from destruc­tive influences, to the end that they may be havens of refuge to our young people, where they may, under the instruction of godly men and women, become rooted and grounded in the truth, zealous for God and true to the church,

Be it resolved, That we hereby pledge our unfailing loyalty to the body of truths which have made Sev­enth-day Adventists a distinct and separate people ; to the principles of true Christian education, as re­vealed in the Word and in the counsels given to the church ; and above all, to Him who is our guide and teacher and whose soon coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, we, with all the saints of God, confidently await.

It is not our intention to give a detailed re­port of all the good papers presented and the messages given. It would be hard to pick out the best, for every one who spoke made a definite contribution and did more than "occupy the time." Among the leaders of the denomina­tion present who spoke were Elders McElhany, Campbell, Nelson, Dick, Christian, Montgomery, Froom, Kern, and Conard.

Prof. H. A. Morrison, head of our Educa­tional Department, gave the opening keynote address. It was more than a recital of past accomplishments; it laid down definite prin­ciples which should and must guide us all in the work entrusted to our hands. Carried out, these principles will work for success, and the People of God will become leaders in education, even as God intended. This ought to be.

Our General Conference president, Elder J. L. McElhany, gave the forenoon address on the first Sabbath of the convention. His heart was burdened as he thought of the great responsibilities resting upon the educational men and the leaders of the denomination. He won­dered if they realized to the full the confidence placed in them, entrusted as they are with the molding of young lives, and if they fully appre­ciate the necessity of being true to the work committed to them. It was a solemn moment when all arose to renew their consecration to God and dedicate their lives to the cause of Christian education.

Elder M. N. Campbell, vice-president for North America, spoke the first Friday evening, emphasizing the need of integration, making the study of the Bible fundamental in all sub­jects. Study of the Bible is as the scarlet "thread found in all rope used by the British navy. This bright-colored emblem indicates that the rope is the property of Great Britain and is to be used only in her service. Just so, the scarlet thread of religion, the Bible, should be found in all our work, whether we teach literature, mathematics, science, or any other branch. It is the integrating principle which will tie all our work together and make it a unified whole.

As treasurer of the General Conference, Elder W. E. Nelson would naturally speak of financial matters. It is impossible to divorce the spirit­ual and the financial phases of life, he said. Often the one has its roots in the other. Honesty is a fundamental Christian virtue, and he who fails to pay his bills or make proper pro­vision for them, neglects a vital part of religion.

The work of the teacher is second in impor­tance to no other work, and the future of the denomination lies in the hands of the teachers. This was emphasized by several speakers. There is hope for the denomination as long as its teachers are zealous for the faith and faith­ful in their work. They are the ones to teach the future ministry. If they do faithful work, our young ministers will be imbued with a spirit of service. If they are true to funda­mentals, they will become the conservators of our truth. On the other hand, if the youth are not rooted and grounded in the truth, our schools will send men out to the field who are weak in fundamentals, men who are not will­ing to sacrifice. Thus the ministry will be weakened, and there will be danger that the denomination will go the way of nearly all denominations, casting its lot with Modernism. Wherever this happens, it can generally be traced to the influence of teachers who have imbued young men with the destructive tenets of criticism. When the schools begin to falter. the ministry is in danger. How careful, there­fore, we should be that our schools are what they ought to be!

Such considerations led to study as to what might be done to encourage and help our teach­ers. It was felt that our teachers should in all respects be placed on an equality with the gospel ministry in wage scale, privileges, and op­portunity for counsel. It was also felt that if they are to imbue their students with a love for the work here and abroad, and foster a strong missionary spirit in our schools, some of the teachers should have opportunity to ac­quire firsthand information about the mission fields of the world. Suggestions were also made concerning the desirability of arranging for ex­change of teachers between schools.

If we were to mention one more important and pleasing feature of the convention, it would be the manifestation of an evident desire by all to take advantage of every proved method for the betterment of their work. No one has a monopoly on good ideas. As one after another read papers dealing with success or failure in attempting certain desirable objectives, there was not only an academic interest taken in the subject, but there was a most lively discus­sion as to how this or that school under its peculiar circumstances could adapt what had been learned to its needs and conditions. Ap­proved methods, proved methods, forward-looking methods, but above all methods that could stand the test of denominational objec­tives, were in demand. It was a joy to note the avidity with which all listened and took part, and it bodes good for our educational work to know that our teachers are willing to give themselves to the work, and anxious to improve and to follow the "blueprint."

The whole convention left an impression of confidence. With teachers such as those as­sembled at Blue Ridge, the denomination need not fear. They are a loyal, consecrated, effi­cient body of workers, and our educational leaders are men of integrity, foresight, and conservative progressiveness who. will not go off on tangents, but steer a true course. They are not standpatters or reactionaries, but have the confidence of our leaders, the field, and educationists everywhere. We look for­ward hopefully to greater progress and accom­plishments in the future.

Our teachers and our leaders all understand better what is required of them now than they did before this convention. It has accomplished a definite work, and it is now for us to dedicate ourselves to the unfinished task, and to unite in a supreme effort to proclaim the message to the farthest corners of the earth.

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A Report by M. L. Andreasen, President, Union College

November 1937

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