The Need for Protestant Reformed High Schools

Dear Mr. Editor:
The month was February and ordinarily would have boded snow, ice and coldness. But this day verged on the balmy; a chilly wind whistled, yet aloft in its arms it presaged spring.

As I gazed entranced out the kitchen window, I could see the knoll rising bare and bleak on the fringe of our sandy property. Only wispy weeds and frayed milkpods swayed lonesomely in the gusts. And on the west edge of this site of land stretched a row of mongrel trees standing naked and desolate in the intruding sun, wrapping its stripped arms ‘round itself to hide its shamefulness. Yet from this bleak expanse would blossom buildings and activity. For this site of land had been purchased to accommodate our own future high school. A twinge of hope glanced through me as I mused on the benefits that would be accrued to my children attending our own high school.

The mailman’s powder blue Rambler mutilated my muse and as I turned from the window to fetch the morning tidings, a gaunt black crow flapped forlornly ‘cross the shadowed sky.

I returned to the house with the Beacon Lights and looking past the grimy dishes so ironically stacked neatly, I decided to read the Beacon Lights. Noble? Perhaps. More likely though—lazy.

I turned to the editorial, and a wave of bewilderment swept over me. No, it couldn’t be! Yes, it is! An article on “The Need for Protestant Reformed High Schools”.

Eagerly I began reading, content to continue my rambling thoughts of the morning. But how quickly my eagerness turned to irateness. And by the time I had completed my perusal of the article, I was compelled to write.

I refer to the editorial by Mr. Kuiper in the February issue of Beacon Lights. Perhaps I should first give Mr. Kuiper the benefit of all my doubts and say that maybe Mr. Kuiper overstated himself; perhaps even a capital letter was negligently omitted. But if not, then I take particular objection to the following:

1. Mr. Kuiper states, “…parents in the Grand Rapids area have dared to express this [a Protestant Reformed high school] as their desire of soul…” Is Mr. Kuiper attempting to say that there are people in churches outside the Grand Rapids area who do not dare to express this desire? I merely inform Mr. Kuiper that the two schools in the Grand Rapids area are each over ten years old and have their grade systems fairly well established. I’m sure that six or seven years ago such an introduced venture would have been thought to be very presumptuous.

2. Mr. Kuiper states, “…thus god, but not GOD.” Let me note here that I was under the impression that god, meant idol; therefore, no God. Either God is God (with a capital G) or He is not God. Mr. Kuiper actually says then that the people who believe that God gives grace to all do not really believe in God at all. I refuse to stand behind such bold affirmations.

3. Mr. Kuiper states “…confessionally they deny Him…how can they know Him?” The ambiguity of this statement is misleading in the context in which it is used. Does Mr. Kuiper mean that confessionally they dilute the truth by inserting something which man must do and which Scripture repeatedly teaches he cannot do? But Mr. Kuiper does not write that. He says that confessionally they deny Him! Carrying out Mr. Kuiper’s logic, anyone who denies Christ is not one of His. Therefore, people who voluntarily place themselves under this confession are by that token not known of Him. By this statement then, Mr. Kuiper implies (even though he says he is not speaking head for head) that the Christian Reformed Church as an institute is the false church. This, neither, can I endorse.

4. Then Mr. Kuiper speaks of the giving of our young people to the “enemy” and strengthening them in the “cause of that enemy”. Is Mr. Kuiper still haranguing about the Christian Reformed Church? I assume so. Therefore, I only note that I consider the enemy to be those that hate Jesus Christ. And I would not be so bold as to tag that meaning on this denomination.

5. Mr. Kuiper concludes that the “reigning” of a “king and queen” in a high school is comparable to idolatry and blasphemy. Tut, tut, undoubtedly it’s not academic. Assuredly, it’s silly. But, blasphemy?

The only parallel in church history with which I can compare Mr. Kuiper’s editorial is the case of the Marcourt placards written in 1534 by Antoine Marcourt. These placards outlined by this strong proponent of Calvin and his cause, were aimed at the abuses of the papal mass. However, their style was so abusive and their attack so biting, that Calvin himself was later to write: “On the occasion of the placards, fury flared up so greatly against the faithful that our cause was made odious.1

Mary Beth Lubbers
1 Cadier, Jean, The Man God Mastered, pg. 60.