“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15

“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” 2 Timothy 2:15

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” James 4:4

Satan is called the prince of this world, “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” (John 12:31) When Satan offered Jesus this world, he did so upon exchange for His worship. “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” (Matthew 4:8-10) Today, he makes the same offer to everyone. He understands that gaining the things of this world is intimately connected to worship of his satanic majesty. Therefore, to serve Christ means to store up your treasure where neither moth nor rust can corrupt, letting go of the things of this world, being obedient to his educational blueprint; for “wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:” (Ephesians 2:2) It is a simple fact that, “All society is ranging into two great classes, the obedient and the disobedient. Among which class shall we be found? Those who keep God’s commandments, those who live not by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, compose the church of the living God. Those who choose to follow Antichrist are subjects of the great apostate. Ranged under the banner of Satan, they break God’s law, and lead others to break it.” (1MR 296.3) God’s kingdom is opposite to Satan’s kingdom. Therefore, no worldly system can equip anyone to function in the kingdom of God.

The contrast between the two preparation schools is clearly stated by Ellen G. White. “There is an education that is essentially worldly. Its aim is success in the world, the gratification of selfish ambition. To secure this education many students spend time and money in crowding their minds with unnecessary knowledge. The world accounts them learned; but God is not in their thoughts. They eat of the tree of worldly knowledge, which nourishes and strengthens pride. In their hearts they become disobedient and estranged from God; and their intrusted gifts are placed on the enemy’s side. Much of the education at the present time is of this character. The world may regard it as highly desirable; but it increases the peril of the student. There is another kind of education that is very different. Its fundamental principle, as stated by the greatest Teacher the world has ever known, is, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” Its aim is not selfish; it is to honor God, and to serve Him in the world. The studies pursued and the industrial training followed should have this object in view. The Word of God is studied; a vital connection with God is maintained, and the better feelings and traits of character are brought into exercise. For “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” and better than all other knowledge is an understanding of His Word.” (ST, March 14, 1900)

In describing the worldly system, E. A. Sutherland says in his book “Studies in Christian Education”, “Worldly education compels students, regardless of their needs or future work, to follow a prescribed course of instruction. It deals with students en masse. Christian education recognizes individual needs, and works to perfect individual character. It permits students, in counsel with teachers, to select subjects according to their future needs. The Papacy cannot thrive unless it puts students through a prescribed course, “the grind,” to destroy independence and individuality. Protestantism is the reverse. This long drawn out process, adding and adding more time, more branches, is one of Satan’s snares to keep laborers back… If we had a thousand years before us, such a depth of knowledge would be uncalled for, although it might be much more appropriate; but now our time is limited.” (T. E., p. 106)… Students in a worldly system of education are inspired by ideas from the heathen classics and other worldly authors, even as students of Christian education are inspired by the Bible. The classics, or humanities, may not always appear by name in the curriculum of some so- called Christian schools, yet, if the system is not animated by the spirit of the Bible, the result of the education will be seen in worldly characters.”

The renowned Martin Luther at the time of the Reformation said, “I fear much that the universities will be found to be great gates leading down to hell, unless they take diligent care to explain the Holy Scriptures, and to engrave them in the hearts of our youth. I would not advise any one to place his child where the Holy Scriptures are not regarded as the rule of life. Every institution where the word of God is not diligently studied, must become corrupt.” (ST, July 26, 1883 par. 3)

The decline of Protestantism is very closely linked with the increase in the secular methods of investigation and the worldly infiltration into the Christian schools. This trend of secularization was clearly denounced by the Spirit of Prophecy, which says, “The light has been given me that tremendous pressures will be brought upon every Seventh- day Adventist with whom the world can get into close connection. Those who seek the education that the world esteems so highly, are gradually led further and further from the principles of truth until they become educated worldlings. At what a price have they gained their education! They have parted with the Holy Spirit of God. They have chosen to accept what the world calls knowledge in the place of the truths which God has committed to men through His ministers and prophets and apostles. And there are some who, having secured this worldly education, think that they can introduce it into our schools. But let me tell you that you must not take what the world calls the higher education and bring it into our schools and sanitariums and churches. We need to understand these things. I speak to you definitely. This must not be done.” (FE 535.3) Yet, sadly, it has been done. Seventh-day Adventist curriculums are rarely found. Schools have adapted fully the curriculum of the world. Even the Sabbath School lessons have been formatted to suit worldly methodology. Secularly trained teachers can easily follow the familiar format. Some are truly ignorant of this fact and thus vigorously defend and implement the formats handed down to them.

Numerous appeals to avoid the worldly influence were made by Christ through the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy, for we are cautioned that, “We are not to elevate our standard just a little above the world’s standard; but we are to make the line of demarcation decidedly apparent.” (FE 288.2) A note of warning was sounded, “God has revealed to me that we are in positive danger of bringing into our educational work the customs and fashions that prevail in the schools of the world. If the teachers are not guarded in their work, they will place on the necks of their students worldly yokes instead of the yoke of Christ. The plan of the schools we shall establish in these closing days of the work is to be of an entirely different order from those we have instituted in the past. (RH, February 6, 1908 par. 5)

Joe Crews, in his book “Reaping the Whirlwind”, made a solemn point as he clearly stated the ultimate danger in worldly conformity. He said, “Inspiration has told us that worldly conformity will bring a corresponding inability to recognize truth. This opens the door to doctrinal doubt and uncertainty of faith.” Truth is not recognized and therefore impossible to be passed on by teachers at an institution of learning. Many are not able to fully appreciate this fact as they follow the rituals assigned by the schools and churches diligently, yet spend little time in private communion with the Maker. They receive a worldly polish, but fail to reflect the Sun of Righteousness. They become people who are, “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:7)

Crews continues, “The end of time demands servants of the Most High God who would not be ashamed to give the plain truth. It seems that the more worldly educated, cultured and polished one gets, the more careful one gets in speech and decisions, least a define stance is taken and another is offended or hurt. Plain truth is glossed over and loses its mission.” He also stated that, “I am concerned and troubled over the growing tendency to water down the truth. Some Adventist evangelists no longer preach on the mark of the beast for fear of upsetting their listeners. The ecumenical attitude against rocking the boat has extended its subtle influence over many who should know better. We have no right to keep silent on the great issues of the final conflict. Love and tact is needed, but the message must be given. Millions must be undeceived by hearing the truth proclaimed in language that cannot be misconstrued. Sometimes it seems that the more educated we get, the more fearful we become to take stands for the right. Is it possible to get too much polish and become too cultured in our attitude? I believe God has given us the answer to this question.” He goes on to give the answer in the following two quotes from the Spirit of Prophecy. Then he says, “Is there a danger that we might become so institutionalized that public relations will be more important to us than getting the truth to the public?”

In the book Evangelism it states, “Satan has devised a state of things whereby the proclamation of the third angel’s message shall be bound about. We must beware of his plans and methods. There must be no toning down of the truth, no muffling of the message for this time. The third angel’s message must be strengthened and confirmed. The eighteenth chapter of Revelation reveals the importance of presenting the truth in no measured terms, but with boldness and power… There has been too much bearing about the bush in the proclamation of the third angel’s message. The message has not been given as clearly and distinctly as it should have been.” (Ev 230)

Also, a warning, as “Men will employ every means to make less prominent the difference between Seventh-day Adventists and observers of the first day of the week. A company was presented before me under the name of Seventh-day Adventists, who were advising that the banner, or sign, which makes us a distinct people should not be held out so strikingly; for they claimed that this was not the best policy in order to secure success to our institutions.” (6T 144)

A large number of statements from the Spirit of Prophecy make it emphatically clear that conformity to the world in any form is unacceptable. “Many think that worldly appearance is necessary in our work, in order that the right impression may be made. But this is an error. Appearance has something, yes, much, to do with the impression made upon minds, but the appearance must be after a godly sort. Let it be seen that the workers are bound up with God and heaven. There should be no striving for recognition from the world in order to gain character and influence for the truth.” (RH, July 23, 1901 par. 7)

“Why are we so slow to give up our interest in the things of this world and take Christ for our only portion? Why should we wish to keep the friendship of our Lord’s enemies, and follow their customs, and be led by their opinions? There must be an entire, unreserved surrender to God, a forsaking and turning away from the love of the world and earthly things, or we cannot be Christ’s disciples. (1T 408.1)

This is especially urgent today, for, “Our people are now being tested as to whether they will obtain their wisdom from the greatest Teacher the world ever knew, or seek to the god of Ekron. Let us determine that we will not be tied by so much as a thread to the educational policies of those who do not discern the voice of God and who will not hearken to His commandments.” (CT 255.4)

The effect of the worldly education is immediately felt in the church, for, “The Lord has bestowed great blessings upon His church. Justice demands that she return these talents with usury. As the treasures of truth committed to her keeping have increased, her obligations have increased. But instead of improving upon these gifts and going forward unto perfection, she has fallen away from that which she had attained in her earlier experience. The change in her spiritual state has come gradually and almost imperceptibly. As she began to seek the praise and friendship of the world, her faith diminished, her zeal grew languid, her fervent devotion gave place to dead formality. Every advance step toward the world was a step away from God. As pride and worldly ambition have been cherished, the spirit of Christ has departed, and emulation, dissension, and strife have come in to distract and weaken the church. (5T 240.3)

Note that the change is gradual and almost imperceptible, in response to the church reaching out to the world. As the generations pass on it becomes increasingly difficult to find a pure Christian education as the church and its institutions become corrupted by worldliness. Truth is lost on the road to worldly conformity.

Some have even presumed to suggest that it is possible to institute the Christian education in a secular school, but in their effort they produce a form of godliness and deny the power. And the Bible tells us that we should turn away from such. “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (2 Timothy 3:5) For many of the curricula, especially in the humanities and business, contain ‘unchristlike’ principles, which, when passed on, can only corrupt a child of God. Even an area like Science has been tampered with by evolutionists and has developed into what Inspiration calls, ‘science falsely so-called’. The practical areas like home economics and wood shop if a school still offers them seem to have escaped, but even here great caution must be exercised, for the process may appear the same but the motivating drive may be different. This point is best illustrated by an example. In “Living Fountains or Broken Cisterns”, E. A. Sutherland says, “Manual training is becoming popular in many of our city schools, but the work offered in a Christian school will differ from that of the worldly school in this, ‒ the latter is training the hand or the eye only, the former is building character by giving a trade that enables the student to be self-supporting and independent. In that the aims are different, the methods must differ, although the matter taught may in many cases be identical. Healthful living is receiving attention in many schools. The Christian school, while teaching the same subject, will have as its object a preparation for eternal life. The subject, taught without faith, will bring only increased physical and mental activity. The spiritual nature can be reached alone by that education which is based on faith.”

Hebrews 4:2 says, “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” Thus, in producing a child fit for the kingdom of Heaven, one must seek to have the curriculum, teaching methods, textbooks, teachers and school environment reflecting the same aim.

The purpose for establishing our schools was clearly given. For, “In our institutions of learning there was to be exerted an influence that would counteract the influence of the world, and give no encouragement to indulgence in appetite, in selfish gratification of the senses, in pride, ambition, love of dress and display, love of praise and flattery, and strife for high rewards and honors as a recompense for good scholarship. All this was to be discouraged in our schools. It would be impossible to avoid these things, and yet send them to the public schools, where they would daily be brought in contact with that which would contaminate their morals. All through the world there was so great a neglect of proper home training that the children found at the public schools, for the most part, were profligate, and steeped in vice.” (FE 286.1) This is a serious mandate, for during the visitation of the angel of death in Egypt, inspiration says, “Any one of the children of the Hebrews who was found in an Egyptian habitation was destroyed.” (6T 194.2)

Least we take lightly such an act, the Spirit of Prophecy goes on to say that this experience is important even for us today. “This experience of the Israelites was written for the instruction of those who should live in the last days. Before the overflowing scourge shall come upon the dwellers of the earth, the Lord calls upon all who are Israelites indeed to prepare for that event. To parents He sends the warning cry: Gather your children into your own houses; gather them away from those who are disregarding the commandments of God, who are teaching and practicing evil. Get out of the large cities as fast as possible. Establish church schools. Give your children the word of God as the foundation of all their education. This is full of beautiful lessons, and if pupils make it their study in the primary grade below, they will be prepared for the higher grade above. The word of God comes to us at this time: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. Where are your children? Are you educating them to discern and to escape the corruptions that are in the world through lust? Are you seeking to save their souls, or are you by your neglect aiding in their destruction?” (6T 194-195)

The adoption of the worldly system by the so-called Christian schools leads to a dilemma in the minds of many. However, this is not a new scenario, for even in Christ’s day there was need to address this compromise. It is said of John, the forerunner of Jesus, “In the natural order of things, the son of Zacharias would have been educated for the priesthood. But the training of the rabbinical schools would have unfitted him for his work. God did not send him to the teachers of theology to learn how to interpret the Scriptures. He called him to the desert, that he might learn of nature and nature’s God.” (DA 101.3) John would have been “unfitted”, rendered unsuitable, disqualified for God’s service. This was the pronouncement made on the best of the rabbinical systems in the days of Jesus. Could this pronouncement be made of some of our church schools today?

Even Christ himself did not attend the “church school” of his day, because we are told that, “In the days of Christ the town or city that did not provide for the religious instruction of the young was regarded as under the curse of God. Yet the teaching had become formal. Tradition had in a great degree supplanted the Scriptures. True education would lead the youth to “seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him.” Acts 17:27. But the Jewish teachers gave their attention to matters of ceremony. The mind was crowded with material that was worthless to the learner, and that would not be recognized in the higher school of the courts above. The experience which is obtained through a personal acceptance of God’s word had no place in the educational system. Absorbed in the round of externals, the students found no quiet hours to spend with God. They did not hear His voice speaking to the heart. In their search after knowledge, they turned away from the Source of wisdom. The great essentials of the service of God were neglected. The principles of the law were obscured. That which was regarded as superior education was the greatest hindrance to real development. Under the training of the rabbis the powers of the youth were repressed. Their minds became cramped and narrow. The child Jesus did not receive instruction in the synagogue schools. His mother was His first human teacher. From her lips and from the scrolls of the prophets, He learned of heavenly things. The very words which He Himself had spoken to Moses for Israel He was now taught at His mother’s knee. As He advanced from childhood to youth, He did not seek the schools of the rabbis. He needed not the education to be obtained from such sources; for God was His instructor. The question asked during the Saviour’s ministry, “How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?” does not indicate that Jesus was unable to read, but merely that He had not received a rabbinical education. John 7:15.” (DA 69-70)

When the religious education system has taken on the cloak of worldliness, then it is no longer a school fit for God’s children. Sitting at the feet of a Christian parent, however humble, is preferred. Home schooling takes on a salvational role. Among the children of Israel, this principle was established, “The Lord himself directed the education of Israel. His care was not restricted to their religious interests; whatever affected their mental or physical well-being was also the subject of divine providence, and came within the sphere of divine law. God had commanded the Hebrews to teach their children his requirements, and to make them acquainted with all his dealings with their fathers. This was one of the special duties of every parent, one that was not to be delegated to another. In the place of stranger lips, the loving hearts of the father and mother were to give instruction to their children. Thoughts of God were to be associated with all the events of daily life. The mighty works of God in the deliverance of his people, and the promises of the Redeemer to come, were to be often recounted in the homes of Israel; and the use of figures and symbols caused the lessons given to be more firmly fixed in the memory. The great truths of God’s providence and of the future life were impressed on the young mind. It was trained to see God alike in the scenes of nature and the words of revelation. The stars of heaven, the trees and flowers of the field, the lofty mountains, the rippling brooks, all spoke of the Creator. The solemn service of sacrifice and worship at the sanctuary, and the utterances of the prophets, were a revelation of God. Such was the training of Moses in the lowly cabin home in Goshen; of Samuel by the faithful Hannah; of David, in the hill dwelling at Bethlehem; of Daniel before the scenes of the captivity separated him from the home of his father. Such, too, was the early life of Christ at Nazareth; such the training by which the child Timothy learned from the lips of his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice, the truths of Holy Writ.” (CE 60)

Especially today, this principle holds sway, for time is short and many church schools no longer hold the pure principles of the Divine. Thus, the appeal is repeated, “There is earnest work to be done for the children before the overflowing scourge shall come upon all the dwellers upon the earth. The Lord calls upon all who are Israelites indeed, to serve him. Gather your children into your own houses. Gather them in from the crowd who are voicing the words of Satan, who are disobeying the commandments of God. . . . Gather in your children, and give them the Word of God as the foundation of all their education. Had the churches in different localities sought counsel of God, they would not need to be thus addressed on this point.” (Advocate, July 1, 1900 par. 3)

Where it is possible however, Christians schools, established on divine principles, should be erected. The schools of the prophets were examples of such. For, “A great work must be done all through the world, and let no one conclude that because the end is near there is no need of special effort to build up the various institutions as the cause shall demand. . . . When the Lord shall bid us make no further effort to build meetinghouses and establish schools, sanitariums, and publishing institutions, it will be time for us to fold our hands and let the Lord close up the work, but now is our opportunity to show our zeal for God and our love for humanity.–6T 440 (1900).” (LDE 80.1)

For those who have discovered God’s plan after the onslaught of worldly education has already had sway in one’s life, the example of Moses is relevant. For, “God transferred Moses from the courts of luxury, where his every wish was gratified, to a more private school. Here the Lord could commune with Moses and so educate him that he would obtain a knowledge of the hardships, trials, and perils of the wilderness.” (1BC 1099.4) His life was such a powerful example that we are told, “Let this lesson be carefully studied. Before God could talk with Moses, he educated him in the mountains, among the sheepfolds. Exiled from the courts of Egypt and from the temptations of city life, Moses held communion with God. For forty years God tested and disciplined him, preparing him for his important work. For forty years Moses dwelt in the wilderness, receiving from God an education that made him a wise, tender, humble man. When this time was ended, his self-confidence was gone; he was meek and lowly, so divested of self that God could communicate to him his will in regard to the people he had chosen, and whom he designed to educate and discipline in their wilderness life, while he was preparing for them a home in the land of Canaan.” (YI, December 13, 1900 par. 7).

A retraining is necessary and possible when the Spirit of Truth becomes the educator. Detach all that feeds the senses from the world and feast on God’s Word and commune with him daily, then all the scales of worldly education will begin to fall off as Christ becomes enthroned in the heart. It’s a choice of Education.

The question is asked to every soul, “What are you doing, brethren, in the great work of preparation? Those who are uniting with the world are receiving the worldly mold and preparing for the mark of the beast. Those who are distrustful of self, who are humbling themselves before God and purifying their souls by obeying the truth these are receiving the heavenly mold and preparing for the seal of God in their foreheads. When the decree goes forth and the stamp is impressed, their character will remain pure and spotless for eternity. Now is the time to prepare. The seal of God will never be placed upon the forehead of an impure man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of the ambitious, world-loving man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of men or women of false tongues or deceitful hearts. All who receive the seal must be without spot before God candidates for heaven. Go forward, my brethren and sisters. I can only write briefly upon these points at this time, merely calling your attention to the necessity of preparation. Search the Scriptures for yourselves, that you may understand the fearful solemnity of the present hour.” (5T 216)

This diligent searching is urgent today, for, “The time is not far distant when the test will come to every soul. The observance of the false sabbath will be urged upon us. The contest will be between the commandments of God and the commandments of men. Those who have yielded step by step to worldly demands and conformed to worldly customs will then yield to the powers that be, rather than subject themselves to derision, insult, threatened imprisonment, and death. At that time the gold will be separated from the dross. True godliness will be clearly distinguished from the appearance and tinsel of it. Many a star that we have admired for its brilliance will then go out in darkness. Those who have assumed the ornaments of the sanctuary, but are not clothed with Christ’s righteousness, will thens appear in the shame of their own nakedness.” (PK 188.1)

In closing, remember the words of Christ, “Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt! Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion. For his princes were at Zoan, and his ambassadors came to Hanes. They were all ashamed of a people that could not profit them, nor be a help nor profit, but a shame, and also a reproach. The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that shall not profit them. For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I cried concerning this, Their strength is to sit still. (Isa. 30:1-7)

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15

“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” 2 Timothy 2:15

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” James 4:4

 

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