The goal of Christian education is to prepare each student to glorify God, to enjoy Him, and to serve Him in a chosen calling. For this reason, true Christian education must be God-centered. Our talents, our opportunities, and the many blessings received in life, are gifts from the One who made us. We, by ourselves, originate nothing. We only use those things that were given to us by God. Therefore, as Christians who have been bought with a price by the precious blood of Christ, our primary motive in life should be: “Whether then you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (I Cor. 10:31).
God is a giver and gives generously. When He created man, He made him for the joy of communion with Himself. Therefore, man’s true joy and contentment in life are not to be found in himself or the world in which he lives, but in loving communion with his Creator. There is no greater gift God can give than Himself. Using the Bible as our guide, all the wonders of the universe reveal to us the wisdom and power of the Creator. As we grow in our knowledge and appreciation of each new discovery, we learn even more about the One who made it. Each new discovery draws us ever closer to the God and Father who made us.
The educational program of Whitefield College helps provide students with skills and knowledge by which they can serve God effectively. As the student better understands God’s Word and how to apply it to God’s world, he will be equipped to take dominion. This will happen as he develops an increasing dedication to Jesus Christ, with humility and faith, in accordance with a biblical standard of ethics.
Whitefield College believes that knowledge for the sake of knowledge leads to intellectual pride and has no eternal significance. True knowledge is gained from the Scriptures as they reveal God and His will for man, and such precious knowledge must be used to advance the Kingdom of God in this world. The goal of Christian education, therefore, is not knowledge in and for itself, but knowledge that is used to glorify God and minister to others. We desire that our students seek this knowledge, learning to obey God more fully, more effectively, and more efficiently, so that, as they take their place in society, God’s Kingdom will be built in every home, church, township, and city throughout the earth.
The Antithesis Between Christian and Non-Christian Thought
In accepting the Bible as the basis for Christian education, we are led to many inescapable conclusions. Among them is the recognition that the Christian life is a life of warfare (Eph. 6). We are commanded to earnestly contend for the faith (Jude 3), with those who deny the Christian worldview (Prov. 28:4). A well prepared Christian soldier will go forth into battle with an aggressive, yet humble spirit. Whitefield College is interested in training Christian warriors–leaders who may go forth in the power of the Holy Spirit to win decisive victories for the honor and glory of King Jesus.
This spiritual warfare includes intellectual warfare. The fact of regeneration creates a distinction between two types of people: Christian and non-Christian. Christians hold to the Word of God as the only standard, while non-Christians look to man as the determiner of all things. This is the religion that is called “humanism”. The Bible calls us to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, yet because the mind is corrupted by sin, it needs to be renewed by the Word of God. Given that the non-Christian thinks according to his sinful and fallen mind, he calls such thinking “enlightenment”. The Christian finds himself at odds with all areas of pagan thought. What the non-Christian calls “enlightened” the Bible calls “darkness,” thus, the battle lines are drawn.
One implication of this is the impossibility of neutrality in education and scholarship. All education is inescapably religious. It is impossible to learn in an ideological vacuum, i.e., one that is morally, ethically, or religiously neutral. To attempt to do so is to make the student a practical, if not a professing, atheist. To claim genuine neutrality is to suppose that education has no philosophical base, and thus no inescapable and religious presuppositions. Neutrality is impossible because it requires that we deny the supremacy of God in every area of life; therefore the necessary framework of education, indeed, of every aspect of life, must either be Christian, or it will be non-Christian. It will either tend to produce Christians, or it will produce the opposite. As Christ clearly taught, “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” (Matt. 12:30).
Man, since the fall into sin, is by nature inclined to all evil. Thus, education does not start in a neutral, moral vacuum, working on a blank slate as presupposed by all humanistic theories of education. Rather, education must be positive in its presentation of divine truth, remedial, corrective, and disciplinary in its work on fallen human nature. Although it cannot bear any fruit in unregenerate human nature apart from the grace of God, this is to be its uncompromising character.
There is unity to all forms of non-Christian thought. The Scriptures hold no valid distinction in principle between agnosticism, atheism, naturalism, humanism, and overt anti-Christianity. All such thought forms, whether professedly neutral or openly hostile, are considered anti-Christian by virtue of the fact that they deny the existence and moral government of God and the claims of Jesus Christ. This requires a militant engagement in intellectual and spiritual warfare.