This is a dream which is actually taking shape and becoming a very controversial subject. The question is are we ready for our own high school? This dream is to educate our children until they reach the college level with our own doctrine forming the background for this instruction. What an ideal situation this would be. As a child reaches his teenage years he is faced with many decisions which he must make. He is to choose a career and adjust his education to prepare for his chosen career. In his spiritual life the teenager is faced with many questions concerning his faith. As he approaches maturity he determines whether he is to make confession of faith and become a confessing member of the church. All these decisions must be made by one as he is a believing child of God brought up and instructed to the best of the parents’ ability, in the pure doctrine of our churches.
But from a practical viewpoint we must determine whether we are ready for our own high school. Economically, can our pocketbooks stand the strain of our own high school plus the maintenance of our grade schools? Do we have an ample teaching staff of able teachers? Will our subject matter be sufficient to meet college standards? This is vitally important. Our standard must be equal with the other high schools in the local area. Will our school provide enough extra curricular activities to properly balance out the life of the student? These are a few of the questions that confront us and will have to be answered by you, the readers.
Instead of answering your question I would like to ask a few myself. Are the present existing high schools, Christian or otherwise, adequate? Do they educate the student in the basis of a pure and true interpretation of Scripture? Or maybe they don’t even try to educate in the light of Scripture. Are the associates that one obtains in these schools, teachers and otherwise, of the right character to mold the character and personality of your youth.
Are your people unable to bear the burden of building and maintaining a school financially? Or maybe it wouldn’t be a financial burden at all. Is it possible to get proper teachers for your own school?
Last but not least. Do you believe it unimportant that your children be instructed and brought up in the doctrine of our church, or help or cause them to be instructed therein, to the utmost of your power? Remember, you promised this in the baptism of your children.
If your answers to most of my questions are no, then my answer is yes, by all means have a Protestant Reformed High School and educate your children properly and as God commands.
“Do you promise . . . to instruct these children . . in the aforesaid doctrine . . to the utmost of your power?” By answering this question in the affirmative, our parents have shown their desire to give us a Protestant Reformed Education. This desire has been partially fulfilled in our elementary schools, and now we, with our parents, are faced with the question of our own high school. Many of our parents think we are ready now, others are hesitant. With the latter I must stand. Offered in our high school must be such subjects as Bible, History, Physics, Chemistry, two or three foreign languages, an adequate Physical Education program, plus all the other courses offered by the average high school of today. Although subjects such as Shop and Home Economics may come later, I do not think we are prepared now to offer an adequate high school curriculum to the student. Perhaps this will be possible in four or five years, but now, primarily due to our lack of qualified teachers, I cannot see the possibility.
As children of God, we should always turn to His Word for answers to our questions.
Psalm 32:8 – I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of God is the beginning of knowledge: but the fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 16:22 – Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly.
II Timothy 3: 16, 17 – All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
In Scripture the term “fool” is applied to the unbeliever. When we are sent to a public high school, we are sent to the institution of fools, whose instruction, according to the Holy Scriptures, is folly. These institutions despise true wisdom. And yet, we try to obtain wisdom through these schools.
These texts and others serve as a basis for the third part of the exhortation to the parents in our baptism form:
“Whether you promise and intend to see these children, when come to the years of discretion, instruction and brought up in the aforesaid doctrine, or help or cause them to be instructed therein, to the utmost of your power?”
This question does not say “in the best available school” but rather, “to the best of your ability.” This does not suggest our own grade school and complacency with just a Christian high school, but rather a striving for a high school of our own.