A Departmental Secretary's Duty

As a home missionary secretary, I view with grave misgivings the alarming in­difference toward Christian education which is manifested by many parents.

By R. G. STRICKLAND Home Missionary Secretary, Atlantic Union

As a home missionary secretary, I view with grave misgivings the alarming in­difference toward Christian education which is manifested by many parents. These same parents have severed certain ties which bound them to the world, but see no need to sunder the strong cords that the enemy of souls, through education in the public schools, uses in weaning our youth away from their faith.

Day school occupies a far greater place of importance in young life than many Adventist parents and church officers realize. It not only molds and stimulates the tender mind, but to a large degree it fashions character. In the school, spiritual decisions are often made which determine the child's future for eternity. So far as my own children are concerned, I dare not falter here. They are worth every sacrifice to place them in a Christian school.

From the standpoint of departmental duty, how can a departmental secretary truly enlist young men or young women in self-sacrificing Christian service, whose constant training five days in the week leads them to believe that self-advancement is the highest and greatest achievement in life? By what means can the gospel worker train those youth whose day-by-day contacts lead them to drink of the fountain of learning from which flows forth the wine of skepticism, unbelief, and disobedience? In the worldly school, youth learn to respect and admire teachers who lightly esteem God's word and His holy precepts. For a while this admiration is overbalanced by loyalty to home ties, but, alas, a sad day comes when public-school influences invade the sanc­tuary of the home. Johnny and Mary seem to lose interest in spiritual things.

Those of us who are commissioned to enlist and train the entire church in evangelizing service do well to guard jealously the most available and plastic of materials—"the lambs of the flock." We will exercise ourselves in every place to help Seventh-day Adventist parents and church officers to become keenly conscious of their solemn obligation to enroll all the children in our own schools.

Schools arouse ambitions and turn minds into channels of thought. Worldly schools arouse worldly ambitions and thoughts. Chris­tian schools arouse Christian ambitions and thoughts. Schools furnish friendships and ideals that linger long. Not infrequently life companions are found there—companions in Christian fellowship, or companions that lead away from God. Schools are habit-forming places where are forged chains which shackle youth in slavery for life, or where are woven those golden cords which bind young people in loving devotion to the tender Christ.

 

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By R. G. STRICKLAND Home Missionary Secretary, Atlantic Union

November 1939

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