Why Christian Education?
Northumberland Christian School was founded in 1972
because of a conviction that a Christian education is an important part
of the training of children. Many beliefs undergird this conviction,
but five principles are central to the educational philosophy of our school.
1. God's revelation is foundational for every area of life.
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of
the Holy One is understanding." (Prov. 9:10) God commands His people
to raise their children in a context where love for God and communication
about God are pervasive. (Deut. 6:4-8) God has revealed Himself to man,
and His revelation is central to all of life.
God has SPOKEN! Education is not man trying to figure out life - it is
the creature sitting at the feet of its Creator. Romans 11:36 - From Him
and through Him and to Him are all things! To Him be the glory forever.
Amen. Christian education seeks to give God His proper place at the
center of all things. To teach science with no view to the Creator, is
to miss the main point of science - creation is to bring our hearts to
rejoice in the glory of God.
In Romans 1:18ff, Paul says that creation reveals the power and glory of
God to all men, and to reject that revelation, to refuse to give Him glory
and thanks is a great offense to God. Paul says that ignoring God is a
great sin, and godlessness leads to wickedness. The culture around us
demonstrates this truth - as God has been ignored, wickedness has abounded.
Education which omits God and His revelation or treats His revelation as
optional and insignificant at best, lays the foundation for increasing
wickedness, because there is no fear of God before their eyes. (Rom. 3:18)
The real world is spiritual as well as material, and to ignore the
centrality of God in education is to "shelter children from the real world."
Living in the "real world" also means our students must be taught what the
world around them is thinking. They need to be taught about evolution and
post-modern ideas. Unlike public schools which more and more are locked
into teaching politically correct ideas and are afraid to suggest any
alternative understanding, we want our children to understand the
alternatives to a Christian world-view. They will stand strong for Christ
not by ignoring the thinking of the world but by being able to analyze it
clearly in the light of Biblical principles.
God's revelation is not only foundational for understanding science but
history as well. Jesus Christ towers at the center of history (as
reflected by our calendars!), and any approach to history which does not
ask what Jesus Christ reveals to us about God and truth and life will miss
the main point of history. True education must continually show Christ to
be central to everything. He is THE way, THE truth, and THE life. No one
comes to the Father except through Him.
Because God has spoken, there IS absolute truth. There is right and wrong.
It is God who defines what love is, and it is only God's revelation that
will help us understand people who are made in the image of God and for
His glory. A God-centered education is important if our children are
going to have a God-centered view of life.
2. Discipleship is an essential part of the Christian life.
Jesus' final words in the gospel of Matthew (28:18-20) are "All authority
in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make
disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of
the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I
have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of
Our goal in teaching our children (and in all our relationships) is to
bring them to become disciples of Jesus Christ and to grow as disciples
of Christ. We teach this by our words and by our example. Indeed, Jesus
says in Luke 6:40 that "everyone who is fully trained will be like his
teacher." Christian education is important because we want the teachers
of our children to be disciples of Jesus Christ, whose influence in the
lives of our children will be focused on making them disciples of Jesus
Christ as well.
Our children need to know Jesus as their Prophet, Priest, and King.
They must recognize their need for Jesus to teach them the truth in
every area of life. They must also recognize their need of Jesus as
their Savior day by day. They fall far short of God's law; they do
not love God with all their heart and soul and mind and strength, and
they do not love their neighbor as themselves. Their only hope is a
Savior who lived the righteous life they fail to live and then died on
Calvary's cross to pay the penalty for sins. They must also recognize
that Jesus is Lord. No one can have Jesus as their Savior if they do
not also bow to Him as the Lord of their life.
Children need to be surrounded by these realities every day. Their
sin needs to be addressed as sin, and they must be pointed continually
to their need for Jesus day by day - their need for Jesus to teach them,
to cleanse them and pray for them, and to rule over them and defend them.
Our goal is to bring our students to a living relationship with Jesus
Christ that impacts every area of their lives every day. In light of
this goal, we must immerse our children in the scriptures by daily
teaching and memorization that will help them understand and apply
God's Word and lay it up in their hearts.
Much of evangelicalism today promotes a very shallow and erroneous
view of Christianity that focuses on getting our children "saved" by
something they do, and once they have Jesus as their "personal Savior",
the other areas of their lives are of secondary importance. It is easy
to see why this viewpoint would place little value on Christian
education. On the other hand, because we believe that God commands us
to make disciples of our children and to bring them up in the training
and instruction of the Lord, we value the hours they spend in school as
precious time to shape their thinking and wills and hearts to a God-centered
view of every area of life. Children have much to learn to give them a
solid foundation for life, and elementary school, junior high school, and
senior high school are all important times of learning in the lives of
our young people. They need a pervasive influence of godly teachers and
instruction, not just a few references to spiritual things during the
limited time after school and on weekends. All these years are formative
years for our children, and as parents we want to do all we can to mold
them into passionate servants of God who will make an impact in the world
3. Worship is central to all of life.
Crucial to having the word of Christ dwell in us richly is not only that
we teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, but that we sing psalms,
hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in our hearts to God. (Col. 3:16)
Worship is important because God commands it, emphasizes it, deserves it,
prescribes it, seeks it, blesses it, and perpetuates it. An education which
ignores worship will undermine the student's view of the worth and glory
Worship is neither optional nor peripheral. The first four of the Ten
Commandments deal with worship, because WE WERE MADE TO WORSHIP GOD.
Worship is central to who we are. Our relationships with others are
intended to flow from our relationship with God. We were made in His image,
and His Son came to redeem us in order to bring us back to God. The goal
of life is to join in the fellowship of love and joy in the Trinity.
(John 17) Worship is looking outside of ourselves to the One who alone is
Worthy. We were made not only to glorify God but to enjoy Him forever.
Students must see worship as central and should be surrounded by staff
members who model a genuine joy and delight in God.
4. God made us to be people who think deeply and broadly about life.
God is a God who communicates with WORDS and IDEAS, with POETRY, with
SYMBOLS - a revelation that requires us to THINK and FEEL. Students must
be challenged to think deeply about the things they read and learn. They
must learn to ask questions about root causes and ideas and ultimate
consequences. They must also be challenged to articulate feelings as well
as thoughts. God reveals His glory by beauty, not just function. He
calls us to respond with all our being, not just our minds.
Students must learn to appreciate the abilities and wisdom God has given to
many who are not Christians, and yet they must be able to recognize how
they fall short of the glory of God. They must also learn to see how God's
Word applies to every area of life and thought.
5. Whole-hearted service to God should motivate excellence in the pursuit of developing our skills and abilities.
Students must learn the importance of pursuing excellence, because they
are called to live for God. They are called to be like God in the way
they work - concerned with precision and efficiency and beauty. They must
also imitate God by working in a way that will benefit others, giving of
themselves for the good of others. They need to be challenged to look
beyond the pragmatism and materialism of the world around them and to
aspire to something more than making money so they can have the things they
want. They must be encouraged to actively develop their God-given abilities
with a view to how they can best serve Him and bring Him glory in the world
He has made.
Christian education is exciting! God has called us to seek to pass on to the
next generation the things which God has taught us about Himself and His deeds.
That's what N.C.S. is all about. We serve a great God, and we want to help
young people learn to see all of life from His perspective. We long for them
not only to learn but also to delight in who God is and in all the wonders He
has done and continues to do. We believe that this delight in learning about
God and His world is central to equipping them to be passionate disciples of
Jesus Christ who seek to serve Him in every area of life.