by Robert J. Young
Many high school graduates do not have the basic skills required to get along in today's world. One survey showed 41% of 17-year-olds tested could not use the index on the front pages of a newspaper. Other tests showed high school graduates having trouble applying for a driver's license, balancing a checkbook, or reading labels on medicine bottles. Educationally, we need to get "back to basics."
The church also needs to get back to fundamentals. We have pushed a lot of young people through our Bible school, yet many come out knowing very little about the Bible. Few know how to get along with God and their neighbors. One survey among us showed that many high school students cannot tell what one must do to be saved even though they themselves have been baptized. This is not to say a diligent effort has not been made. We have drilled our children in what a Christian looks like, talks like, and acts like. We have huge investments in buildings and classrooms, audiovisuals, computers, Powerpoint, and challenging curricula. Nonetheless, something is wrong. Many never put into practice in their lives even the most elementary principles.
We must provide training that results in the ability to use the information learned. To please God, we need to know how to apply faith to today's problems. We need a living hope that gives incentive to obey God regardless of the circumstances or outcome. We need to demonstrate our loving by helping others who are in need. Christian education is a process by which we learn to reason, to exercise our senses to discern good and evil, and to act accordingly.
What should we do? We must recognize that the task belongs to all of us. All of us have a stake in the future of the Kingdom on earth. Bible school teachers, elders, preachers, and parents must work together to ensure success. God still intends basic spiritual training for children in the home. Parents can do more to correct the situation--both in our public schools and in our Bible schools--than any other persons. When children are trained at home, brought to Bible classes faithfully, and given an example in Christian living and worship, amazing results will follow. Let parents pray with and study the Bible with their children. Let families worship God together publicly and privately. Let us exalt the family altar. Let us educate the hearts of our young people to love and praise God.
© ©, 2001, Robert J. Young
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