Church of God, New World Ministries

Education Without God

Modern education is failing to train young people adequately. The primary reason for this failure is that educators overwhelmingly have rejected God. They have failed to teach the purpose of life, that man is to learn to become like God.

It is time we understand the facts behind the present educational system that grips the world. This world is sick! It is suffering from poison that is paralyzing the whole of society. This poison attacks the minds of our children. The poison is wrong education!

Proper education may be defined as the art of successful living. By this definition very few are really becoming educated. Too few young people are being taught how to live. Education is not merely gained in classrooms from books. Genuine education includes much more – a lifetime of acquiring knowledge, of practical experience, of travel, of contact with God.

The source of education is God! But God is not accepted in the schools. Educators have forgotten that “The Eternal gives wisdom: out of His mouth comes knowledge and understanding” (Prov. 2:6).

Every human being, as long as he is cut off from God, can never become fully educated, no matter how great his material knowledge may be. Complete education involves spiritual values. The truly educated person becomes physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually matured. Since the natural mind, cut off from God, cannot discern spiritual values, only those whose lives God is molding and using, can become fully educated. This process is called conversion.

Conversion means a change of mind, a change of behavior. It is not accomplished in a minute; it is a lifetime of study and work. It is an educational process of growing to complete maturity. It means becoming converted from man into God.

To convert anything means to change it. We are to become converted into God! How many educators know that?

Man’s destiny is to be born into the God family. That means we are to begin to think, act, and behave like God. We learn how God thinks and acts from the Bible. The Bible reveals the character of God. The Bible therefore is life’s basic textbook.

But God wants us to add to our fund of knowledge whatever man can correctly discover for himself. That is the real purpose of schools and colleges. But how many institutions are based on those principles?

Today’s colleges and universities are sick. Teachers have forgotten, or probably never knew, the real purpose of life. Agnosticism permeates their ranks. Hostility toward Divine Authority fills the classroom. Students absorb this spirit of hostility and rebel against almost any authority. Then teachers wonder why?

The present educational system is based upon a mixture of truth and error, mostly error! We are living in the climactic age when six thousand years of wrong kind of education is finally bearing its fruit. The present educational system is a counterfeit scheme of God’s plan of conversion. It all began, if you have ears to hear and are willing to believe what the Bible says, with events in the Garden of Eden.

God instructed Adam in right knowledge. God, then, was a teacher, the Supreme Teacher. He imparted to the man knowledge of the purpose of life. He revealed the principles that would lead to a happy life. And HE commanded man to obey that way for his own good.

Now notice how Satan – the architect of today’s education system – commenced his scheme. See, with your own eyes, the similarity between it and the techniques used by all too many educators today.

 Did he commence by rejecting the previous instructions of God? No! He first planted doubt in the mind of the woman. Then he perverted what God said. He appealed to greed and vanity. He implied that God wanted man chained to ignorance. Isn’t that what most educators are saying today?

Here are Satan’s own words: “God doth know” – but He hasn’t told you – He has concealed it from you – “that in the day ye eat thereof, (take of the fruit of the tree that God had expressly forbidden) your eyes shall be opened (to understanding), and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:5).

Observe that Satan promised man knowledge. God had given man the way to knowledge, but the adversary offered another way to acquire it, through experimentation, through disobedience to the express commands of God the great Teacher. All men needed to do was to throw off the authority of God’s instructions. Man could solve all his problems apart from the Creator, said the devil. His students parrot the same argument today! Do we not put our faith in science and the medical profession to save us today?

This is the origin of today’s educational system! It began by questioning God’s function and prerogatives. It began by launching man on the road of human search for understanding, without God – the way that seems right to man, but which will end in destruction (Prov. 16:25).

True education – conversion-- involves the process of unlearning as well as of learning. Of checking into the ideas which we have taken for granted. Let’s take note of the classic example of Moses.

Moses was trained in Egyptian education for 40 years. Stephen said of him: “Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in word and in deeds” (Acts 7:21). Egypt possessed the wisdom of that world. So thorough had been his training that Moses had to undergo another 40 years unlearning the errors which he acquired in Egypt. It was only when he had unlearned those errors that God used him. Moses didn’t let down in his studies, he made use of his previous training in Pharaoh’s court schools, but now directed his life into the right channels.

Through Moses God communicated His plan of education which the world rejected at the beginning. God revealed to Moses and to Israel His laws that are the way to peace of mind, happiness, abundant prosperity. He also revealed an additional fund of knowledge embodying the history of man from Creation. “To preserve this priceless heritage, God gave them three great principles of education.

First: parents are to train and instruct their children. The neglect of this obligation by parents and their failure to teach this duty of parenthood to the succeeding generation is the primary cause of all world ills. To insure education in the home God instituted marriage and made it unbreakable except by death. Notice the Bible exposition of this principle:”Ye shall teach your children, speaking of (God’s instruction) when thou sittest down, and when thou risest up” (Deut. 11:19). This same command is repeated by Paul in Ephesians 6:4.

Second: The educators are to be God’s ministers and teachers. They do not choose this profession on their own. God calls them to instruct the parents and children in the ways and the laws of God. How many are doing that today?

The Ten Commandments are “exceedingly broad” said David (Ps. 119:96).They constitute the broad foundation of all knowledge which God’s ministers and teachers are commanded to communicate to the people. God’s commandments are the foundation of a true liberal arts education. They reveal how to live, how to be happy, how to enjoy peace of mind.

In Lev. 10:11 God’s educators and ministers are commanded to “teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.” And again in Malachi 2:7, we read: “For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of Hosts.”

The New Testament church is built on the apostles and prophets. Today’s professing Christianity has rejected both and has substituted instead the pagan philosophers as the foundation of knowledge.

Christians are to do the work of Abraham, who was both parent and prophet. Of him we read: “He will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Eternal to do justice and judgment” (Gen. 18:19).

Third: Special skills are to be taught by those trained in each particular field of occupation. We read in Exodus 35:34-35 about technical training: “He (God) has also given him Oholiab the son of Ahisamak, belonging to the clan of Dan, ability to train others endowing them with skill in every skillful craft in engraving, in decorating, in handling violet, purples, and scarlet yarn, in working with fine linen, in weaving, and in all sorts of trades and arts.”

Notice that God did not require the Levites (His ministers under the Old Covenant) or the parents to train their children in technical fields in every case, which was often reserved for specialists.

This is God’s plan for education. It is a perfect balance between the home, the church and the schools. Nations do not follow this procedure today.

Babylon means confusion. Our educational system is a confusion of truth and error. It is the outgrowth of what commenced at Babel. It spread to all nations and has been transmitted through all generations.

It did not take the ancient Egyptians long to corrupt the three basic principles of education. At the dawn of its history, Egypt had the professional teacher – priests who believed in the ideas of making priests the only possessor of knowledge and in keeping the masses in general ignorance.  Only the nobles were instructed so that the few cold rule the many through ignorance and poverty. No wonder Egypt has become the basest of nations (Ez. 29:15-16).

In ancient Greece, leading educators tried to have family life and family ties totally abolished. Aristotle, the great philosopher, allowed the family unit to remain but he regarded it more likely to affect children more for evil than for good. Apparently in his day parents were not properly training their children. In place of the parents, the State took over responsibility for educating children. Do you see any similarities in our system today?

In Athens, a city-state of ancient Greece, education emphasized the intellect. Here developed rhetoric, training in the skills of clever public speaking. Look at the character of that kind of education.

“For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing” (Acts 17:21). Today Greek philosophy has filled most of our institutions of higher learning.

Roman education was originally practical, civic and moral. Youths were taught Roman law, not God’s law by hearing their fathers decide cases of clients in the halls. This was gradually supplanted by the Greek system. Into this world of pagan education came Christianity. The children of early Christians attended the pagan Roman schools because they had none of their own. They used the pagan textbooks. The inevitable happened! After the fall of the Roman Empire, the pagan teachers and doctrines of ancient Rome were engrafted onto Christianity. Pagan influence dominated education and the people remained in superstitious ignorance for a thousand years!

In the Middle Ages state universities were founded, under the control of the church. Later grammar schools were founded in connection with cathedrals, and trade schools in connection with medieval guilds. Materialism was slowly emerging. Little schooling occurred until after the unstable 18th century. The popular idea in that century of the “natural rights” of man led to the belief that boys should be trained to meet the world. And thus was born the modern educational system.

Educators did not look to God’s revelation for instruction on founding an educational system. They used their human reason and adopted national systems of public education. Because they saw through the superstitions of the Middle Ages, modern educators rejected religion in general and the Bible in particular. They assumed that the pagan practices foisted upon the world during the preceding centuries came from the Bible! This demonstrates how little they studied to prove what they believed.

  The situation is no better today. Instructors are too often slaves to their textbooks, slaves to “authorities” who, cut off from God, disagree among themselves. People today are not fully aware of the trend in modern education, a trend into materialism and specialization without training the character and mind of man to control and utilize his discoveries.

Young people are not being trained that spiritual and technical knowledge goes hand in hand. The rules of right living are not understood because the entire society has departed from God’s ways. While humanity has experienced great achievements, we are at the same time traveling down the highway of greed and vanity. Instruction in self-control and character development is almost entirely lacking in the home, the schools and the church.

Education in the world today is basically atheistic. It refuses to admit God into its academic studies. It limits itself to mere material knowledge of science. It judges everything by faulty human reason.

Suppose you were a geology student at one of the leading universities in America or Great Britain. What would you be taught? Why, the theory of evolution, of course! Every textbook in use would take it for granted. And what if you should ask, “Where does God fit into all this?”

You would probably be laughed out of class. The lecturer would most likely suggest that this is a class of geology, not theology!

Scientists today would have you believe that the theory of evolution is modern. Darwin is given much of the credit for it. What students are often not aware of is that the theory of evolution – and it is still a theory – was originally put forth over 2,000 years ago by ignorant pagans in the dim reaches of antiquity. Its real history has been carefully guarded and concealed. Yet, strangely enough, it has been preserved in classical literature for us today. Our students read it every year.

Imagine, if you can, a class of students studying geology or any of the sciences in the average high school or college of today. Now place them in a science class two thousand years ago in the Roman World.  You would probably imagine that the typical student in the Roman World would be shocked and surprised at the “new knowledge” of the 21st century science student. But such is not the case at all!

The student of two thousand years ago would disinterestedly exclaim, upon hearing the “modern” theory of evolution – “Why, that is what we’re taught in our schools.” These Roman students would have been exposed to and taught fundamentally these same evolutionary ideas as are promulgated today!

Impossible, you say? Unbelievable? Yes, but absolutely true! The theory of evolution, as taught in the pagan Roman schools, is preserved by the famous Greek writer, Diodorus of Sicily. He wrote around 50 B.C., over two thousand years ago.

This is what Diodorus wrote” “When in the beginning the universe was being formed,” he doesn’t tell us how – “then, when their bodies separated from one another the air set up a continual motion, and the fiery element in it gathered into the highest regions” (Diodorus Siculus, vol. 1, bk. 1, chap. 7, part 1-4).

This is little different from what is taught today in evolutionary scientific circles. The ideas are now dressed up in scientific terminology of course. What Diodorus recorded is today called the “big bang theory.”

“Now as regards the first origin of mankind” said Diodorus, “two opinions have arisen among the best authorities both on nature and on history” (vol. 1 bk. 1, chap.71). Even in the days of Diodorus – “opinions” were put forth by the “best authorities.” And they still remain opinions to this day!

To continue the ancient pagan theory of evolution: “When in the beginning, as their account runs,” that is as taught in Roman schools, “the universe took on in all its parts the ordered form in which it is now seen. Since its surface was in a ferment because of the warmth, portions of the wet swelled up in masses in many places, and in these (masses) pustules covered with delicate membranes made their appearance and while the wet (swampy region) was being impregnated with life, by reason of the warmth, the living things forthwith received their nourishment from the mist that fell from the enveloping air.”

“And since the earth was finally no longer able to generate any of the larger animals each kind of living creature was now begotten by breeding with one another” – by the process of gradual evolution. (bk. 1, chap. 7:1-7).  How strikingly similar to what is taught in the average science classrooms today.

In reading Diodorus’ account of how the ancient viewed the origin and condition of early man, one would think he was reading from a modern textbook on anthropology, paleontology or geology.

Diodorus continues: “But the first man to be born, they say, led an undisciplined and bestial life, setting out one by one to secure their sustenance and taking for their food both the tenderest herbs and the fruits of wild trees.

“Since they were attacked by the wild beasts, they came to each other’s aid: “Though the sounds which they made were at first unintelligible and indistinct, yet gradually they came to give articulation to their speech. Now the first man led a wretched existence, having no clothing to cover them, knowing not the use of dwelling and fire little by little, however, experience taught them both to take to caves in winter and to store up such fruits as could be preserved. And when they had become acquainted with fire and other useful things, the arts also and whatever else is capable of furthering man’s social life were gradually discovered” (vol. 1, bk. 1. Chap. 8. 1-6).

Here is the pagan Roman attempt to explain how the universe and life came to be without a Creator. Educators today have adopted the same ignorant pagan idea.

What does God say of these pagan philosophers and “thinkers,” these “best authorities”?

“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:  Because that, when they knew God, the glorified him not as God neither were thankful; but became vain in their imagination (reasonings), and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they become fools. Who changed the truth of God into a lie” (Rom. 1:20-25).

God brands the pagan philosophers. He also brands modern-day “science” and “education” for what it is.

Why have most leaders in education refused to see the facts? “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, but became vain in their reasonings. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Rom. 1:21-22).

God is soon going to reveal Himself to a deceived, godless, miseducated world. He is going to come in power and might to shake educators to their senses.

 
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