This past summer about eighty people, mainly teachers and board members of our schools, attended and participated in a seminar entitled “The Kingdom of God and the Protestant Reformed Christian School.” The seminar was held June 21-22 at Faith PRC in Hudsonville, Michigan. Each day began with a lengthy lecture by Professor Engelsma and the lectures were followed up with time for questions and answers, and then moderated discussion groups. We were impressed, once again, with the preciousness of the heritage that God has entrusted to us. We were motivated to get into the classrooms again and take up the calling to train up the children to be citizens of a kingdom that is very strange to the world, but glorious in the heart of God’s children.
It is not my goal in this editorial to summarize everything that we learned at the seminar. You can be sure to read more of it in the publication of our school federation, Perspectives in Covenant Education. I would like to encourage you to obtain recordings of the seminar, get a subscription to Perspectives (Protestant Reformed Teachers’ Institute, 1401 Ferndale Avenue, SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49534 or email the editorial office at firstname.lastname@example.org), read the pamphlets and books that were used in the seminar, and do all you can to get a clear biblical understanding of the kingdom of God.
There are many different ideas about the kingdom of God, and each view has a powerful influence on the training of children in the school; and the training of children in the schools is the most powerful way to prepare citizens for the kingdom. The public schools prepare children to serve the life and glory of man, which is the kingdom of Satan. If God is establishing a kingdom within the world, then the children will be trained much like those in the public school but with the goal to transform this world into a Christian kingdom.
Do you have a clear understanding of the kingdom of God and how it relates to life in this world? Many of the teachers in our schools have been taken to God’s word to see there what the kingdom of God is and what is required of teachers. But the teachers cannot stand alone. They need a school board that stands with them with the same understanding of the grand kingdom in which we serve as friend servants of God. They need parents who stand with them. Nothing bogs down board meetings, education meetings, and parent–teacher conferences with clouds of anger and fighting more than the presence of different views of the kingdom of God.
Your understanding of, love for, and dedication to the kingdom of God will dictate your whole world-and-life view. I suppose it is possible to have a proper head knowledge of the kingdom of God, but what is in your heart, your “world-and-life view,” will be exposed when you are faced with some of the questions of life and need to grapple with reasons for your decisions. When we are united with a clear understanding of the kingdom of God, when we share a common “world-and-life view,” then we are able to work through the difficult questions relating to our schools, our work, our home life, our church life, etc.
I am very thankful for the opportunity that many who are involved in the rearing of our children were able to partake of at the seminar. I am confident that every effort will be made to make recordings and literature available to everyone. I want to encourage the young people to study the topic of the kingdom of God and search the Scriptures so that you will be ready to work with the covenant heritage of our children and serve God in His kingdom.