Empowering young Australians to be a clear Christian voice
On the last sitting day of Queensland Parliament before the state election, Member for Cairns Desley Boyle – who is not standing again at the election – spoke of her mother’s favourite saying “education will set you free“.
I agree, but there is a proviso: it depends on the type and content of the education we receive, and what we do with it! Education can provide a basis for skills that develop our abilities. It can also help us understand life better. But in both cases they can be used in unwise ways. One can become adept at fraud through a heightened knowledge of computers and the internet, like the Department of Health’s Tahitian prince! Another can use a thorough knowledge of the arts to live a debauched lifestyle. (I mean, isn’t that what an Arts degree is for?)
The aims and content of education really matter! The Apostle Paul wrote that knowledge puffs up, but love builds up (1 Corinthians 8:1). In other words, education can bring us into bondage to self-absorption, whereas loving others makes people better – and freer in their capacity to handle life. Indeed, the knowledge of our Creator’s nature, will, and purposes leads to an understanding of the true values of life. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and all those who practice it have a good understanding (Psalm 111:10).
The content of a true education should be the knowledge of God’s Son, Jesus Christ – as it was for Paul (Philippians 3:10) – for in Jesus “are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3).
We hope Desley will discover that “if the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36)!
Guest post by Geoffrey Bullock, Queensland state officer
Update: Dr Arnold Jago from Victoria wrote in to us…
An expert panel wants Australian governments to spend an extra $5 billion a year on schools.Three-quarters will go to government schools. The important issue, the panel says, “is not who provides the resources for schooling, but that they are actually provided”.
What resources? A computer on every desk? Is that what we mean by resourcing education? At least as important, perhaps, might be having teachers whose good lives inspire children to be disciplined and God-fearing.
If children’s greatest needs are spiritual, the most important educational changes needed are ones costing ZERO dollars, but which cost much self-sacrifice by teachers, parents — and by students themselves.
Church schools should be unique examples of getting these priorities right. But are they?