How Do We Know Which Story is True?
The Christian Reformed Church Order Article 63 b reads: “Each Church shall instruct the youth in the Scriptures and in the creeds and the confessions of the church, especially the Heidelberg Catechism. This instruction shall be supervised by the consistory.” How well are we following this article of the Church Order? Having been out of full time ministry in a church for some years, I confess I am not certain how well it is being done.
My concern is based on a conversation I had with a Christian School Administrator. The conversation occurred a few years ago and it made a lasting impression on me. He detailed for me that students learn differently than when “we” went to school. He said, “When we went to school we learned “abstract concepts”. He told me that today when students learn through story telling and they affirm its validity by stating, “It is such a beautiful story, it must be true.” My response was, “How do they tell the difference between a fairy tale and a historical event?” I never received a direct response to the question. I have a sister who has taught English for many years in Christian School and when she was proofreading a book I wrote shortly after the conversation, she questioned me concerning that conversation and told me she had never heard that explanation of how things are taught today compared to the past.
But that made me think about the educational process within our churches. As a child, I had to memorize many Bible passages as well as Heidelberg Catechism questions and answers. I am not advocating that the method of teaching our doctrines should be the same, but I do wonder how well we are teaching the confessions to our membership in general and specifically to our youth.
How well do the elders monitor the materials and the teaching methods in our churches? My concern is if this school administrator would be a member of one of our churches we would assume that he could teach our educational classes.
I admit that I have not always monitored the educational programs in the churches I served as I perhaps should have, so I am wondering how well we are implementing Article 63 b of the church order?