Our church fathers wisely understood that the church had an important role to play in the education our children receive. Article 21 of the Church Order of Dordrecht, binding upon CERC as our own Church Order, reads,
“The consistories shall see to it that there are good Christian schools in which the parents have their children instructed according to the demands of the covenant.”
In Article 41 of the same Church Order, the president of the classis is mandated to ask the delegates from each church whether “the poor and the Christian schools are cared for”.
Explaining the fourth commandment to keep the Lord’s Day holy, the writers of the Heidelberg Catechism instructed that the “schools be maintained” (LD 38, Q&A103).
Although CERC does not have a Christian school presently, there is much that the church can do. Office- bearers, to whom Christ entrusted the welfare of His flock, can and must point out the evils of public education to Covenant parents. They must demonstrate precisely from Scripture the sinful and spiritually devastating consequences public education has for Covenant seed, especially if parents are not careful. Scripture is not silent about the subject. Because they are His children, God has much to speak about the rearing of Covenant seed in His Word.
When the church establishes a clear and distinctive spiritual vision for Covenant education, God’s people will not perish. Covenant parents will be convicted of their high calling to rear Covenant seed. They will see the need for a solid Covenant education that has God’s Word as its central focus. Any knowledge gained apart from Scripture is meaningless. They will understand that Covenant children must be raised Covenantally.
While the establishment of a Reformed school may only be a long-term goal for now, the office-bearers can give much needed support to the parents for this cause. There must be support both for parents who home-school their children and for those who have children in public schools. The church can give much needed support, direction and instruction to them so that every family may pull together in the same direction of establishing a Christian school one day. The church is our spiritual mother that showers us with loving instruction and care. The church that truly loves the Reformed faith will do all in her power to give her children a Covenant education.
Written by: Aaron Lim | Issue 37