BY JONATHAN REYES:
Why Christian Education? That is a good question, and if I can admit, I will be biased because I am a product of Christian Education. I must admit that on the surface Christian Education sounds like Bible study, but I can attest that Christian education is simply education that stems from a Christian worldview. Before I discuss my reasoning on why Christian Education is important, I would like for you to understand my background. Growing up I never really took school seriously, I spent about 5 summers in school because I failed to meet the requirements to advance to the next grade. It wasn’t till the Lord saved me that I began to take education seriously. My Christian background also may be different from some because my roots come from a charismatic/Pentecostal background and my family is split over the topic of Christian Education. I have some older family members who believe that Christian Education is pointless because we have the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is our teacher and guide (John 16). I have others who are in favor of Christian Education because they understand that the Lord established teachers to build up saints for the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:11-13).
With that being said, one of the reasons that I am an advocate for Christian Education is because I am a firm believer that this is an instrument that the Lord is using to equip young men and women to make an impact for His Kingdom. The Lord’s command to make disciples is a command to teach those who come to faith in Christ about everything we have learned from and about Him. Yes, the immediate context is about personal discipleship, but the principle of teaching applies. One of the ways we grow in our spiritual maturity is by increasing in our knowledge of God. Paul exhorted the early believers in Colossae and in Ephesus to grow in the knowledge of God (Ephesians 1:17-18; Colossians 1:8-9). Christian education provides the proper platform to learn from different perspectives within Christianity. It creates an understanding across denominations that although we may have a different perspective, we are still on the same team. It doesn’t matter if you’re Pentecostal or Presbyterian; we are still Christians because it is our faith in Christ alone that unites us on this mission.
In the increasingly postmodern society that we live in, it is extremely important that Christians are armed and equipped with the truth of God’s Word to combat the false ideologies that are running rampant in our culture. We need Christians who are armed and equipped with the Word of God to go into different fields or vocations to be able to shine the light of Christ. We need more Christians not just in ministry but also in business, politics, film, philosophy, education, science, and medicine. Sadly, in our culture, the world views Christians as an uneducated group of people who operate on blind faith. One of the ways to combat this is by going into the world and going into these different spheres of influence and showing them that Christians are not uneducated, but rather, we simply view the world from a Christ-centered perspective.
I can honestly say that my life has benefited from the Christian education that I have received from Trinity College of Florida. I have not only increased in my knowledge of God and the Bible, I have also been challenged by the different business and leadership classes that speak about ethics in our world today. The education that I have received has allowed me to view the world from a Biblical worldview. Because of this, I am able to dialogue with people of different faith backgrounds and worldviews and carefully articulate why I believe as I do and respond to them in love.
Jonathan Reyes is a Christian ministry major in the QUEST program at Trinity College of Florida. He will graduate in the spring of 2017. Jonathan is the District Youth Director of the Southeast Hispanic Region of the Church of God.