The goal of true education is a revival of primitive godliness.
by Norbert Restrepo
Our greatest need as a church today is for genuine revival and reformation. This is the message of the true witness. “God calls for a spiritual revival and a spiritual reformation. Unless this takes place, those who are lukewarm will continue to grow more abhorrent to the Lord, until He will refuse to acknowledge them as His children.”1
One of the most effective and proven ways to promote sustained revival and reformation is through the influence of sanctified servant leaders. To this end the schools of the prophets were established in Israel. “By Samuel the schools of the prophets were established to serve as a barrier against the widespread corruption… and to promote the moral and spiritual welfare of the people. These schools proved to be a great blessing to Israel, promoting righteousness which exalteth a nation, and furnishing it with men qualified to act, in the fear of God, as leaders and counselors.”2
The early reformers also realized that they could not hope to succeed without a biblically based educational system. “Luther stated, ‘The Bible must be studied; teachers must be provided; schools must be established. ’ He felt that to strengthen the reformation it was requisite to work on the young, to improve schools, and to propagate through Christendom the knowledge necessary for a profound study of the Holy Scriptures. This was one of the objects of his life.”3
E. A. Sutherland, founding president of Madison School, elaborated further on Luther’s stance. He wrote, “The early reformers found it necessary to have their own courses of study, textbooks, teachers, methods, principles, etc. They separated themselves completely from the popular schools of the day. It required courage and faith in those days to take such a stand, and it will require even more courage and faith for those who are preparing for translation to take the stand which the Testimonies are pleading for them to take.”4
Today as we seek a revival of primitive godliness in our midst, it is our responsibility to educate our youth to become partakers of the grace of Christ and to make it their lifework to reveal to others the gospel of their salvation!
1 White, Ellen G., Review and Herald, February 25, 1902.
2 White, Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 96.
3 Sutherland, E.A., “A Brief History of Christian Schools,” included in Special Testimonies on Church Schools by Ellen G. White.