Believing that all educational experience is religious in nature simply because that experience must deal with the ultimate values and beliefs the culture in which it exists and the controlling body under which it operates, the following values and beliefs are set forth as the basis for building the educational programs of Grace Christian School.
THE PERSON OF GOD
God is the only sovereign Creator of all things and all things have been created for His pleasure (Revelation 4:11 Thus, He is the great Designer. He is presented in the Bible as Master and Sovereign God (Philippians 2:10-11 Because He is the only Sovereign God, the highest purpose of humankind is to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever. Though He permits Satan to control the kingdoms of this world in the present age, He will ultimately restore absolute control over the earth with Jesus, His Son, reigning. Those who receive the Lord Jesus Christ will reign with Him. God ultimately owns everything, including all children (Romans 14:7-8; Ezekiel 18:4,20 Since God owns all children, He has first claim on each life. That claim of God upon children should be reflected in the nature of the education program provided. This means that God's prescription for education, as given in His Word, should prevail as educational programs are shaped and formed. This makes paramount the issues of authority and discipline as children are moved toward adulthood. God is also holy (Leviticus 11:44 He desires that those created ones should also be holy. To enable that to occur, He has provided an eternal sacrifice by the giving of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, in death. That death, when received by the unsaved, enables the removal of sin. The resurrection of Jesus Christ out of that state of death enables the believer to live a "holy" life even in this present world. Holiness should be a goal for al believers and it should be a goal for Christian education programs. This sovereign and holy God has primarily given the task of educating children to the parent (Psalm 127 However, the task may be delegated to others, though the responsibility for that task may not be delegated. Christian schools should operate in this way: working with and through parents to carry out the task of education for which the parent is held responsible. A teaching function has also been given to the local church which may assist in education as parents desire and accept that assistance. God has not given the task of educating children to human government. Children belong to God and not to parents or the state. Neither do children own themselves (Ezekiel 18:4, 20; Romans 14:7-8
THE PRIORITY OF GOD'S WORD
The Bible, being the Word of God, is the final authority in all matters of life and living. Psalm 19:7 says. "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.' The psalmist is saying that the "law" of God, His revealed Word, is a condition for life, as desired by God, to exist. Thus, the Word of God is a condition of life and must become a critical aspect of education for children. Christian Education must have at its very heart the edification of children of God. The primary purpose is not evangelism, though evangelism may occur, particularly on a one-to-one basis between teachers and students, or between one student and another student. Because of the primacy of the Bible, instruction in the Bible must be the key to a Christian school. Biblical truth must be interwoven into all phases of the curriculum, even the purely academic subjects. For example, history must be viewed as a sovereign God working in the lives of men as opposed to social studies, the emphasis of which has traditionally been on a study of man's own accomplishments. God, as Creator, must be the foundational truth for all science. Language must be viewed as a tool for knowing God first of all. All curriculum materials, including textbooks, must then be selected with this priority of God's Word in the forefront.
THE PROPERTIES OF THE CHILD
The Word of God teaches that humankind has been created spirit (small "s"), soul, and body (I Thessalonians 5:23 Any set of goals for Christian education must take into account these truths: spirit (small "s') is a sense of God consciousness; soul is a sense of consciousness of the world around us: body is that sense of self-awareness. Spirit (small "s") is quickened at the time a new birth occurs when the Holy Spirit comes to abide within the believer; soul is impacted greatly by the gospel but must be acted upon in an educational process; body should be properly developed and sustained within the prescription as given in the Bible. Leading a child to salvation is a function shared by parents, the church, and to some extent, those involved in Christian education Converting or restoring the soul (mind, will, emotion) is primarily an educational task that is first the responsibility of parents and the church, but may delegatedto a Christian school staff. The task of Christian education is one of building a mind, breaking a will to accept authority, and balancing one's emotions. Spiritual, academic, physical, and social goals are all appropriate since they deal with the restoring of the soul. Restoring the soul is a vital task in Christian education. Thus, much of Christian education must be directed toward the soul of each child: mind, will, and emotion. Commitment to quality, both to God inheaven and to those without the body of Christ, must characterize the Christian school instructional and curricular systems since they become the vehicle for transforming or restoring the soul of the child. The natural bent of the will of the child is in a direction away from God, away from any authority or responsibility. Shaping or breaking that natural bent is essentially an educational task and must be accepted by the Christian school. Discipline is critical to mature living for the Lord Jesus Christ (I Timothy 1:7 Therefore, children must be expected to accept and conform to the authority of God, the authority of the church, the authority of the home, the authority of the school, and the authority of human government.