“If we don’t speak the truth, how can it be imparted successfully?” – Stephen Dement, Founder of The Brook Hill School
Last year, on August 14th, 2013, our founder, Stephen Dement, addressed the Brook Hill faculty and charged them with a difficult but inspiring task. If you want to know what Brook Hill is all about, then let these words from Stephen sink into your heart:
If I were to tell you this morning that I can give you an indisputable prescription for joy, would you be interested? I know I am. All we have to do is look to 3 John 1:4 for the answer. Here it is: “I have no greater joy (nothing better … this is it!) I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
This year, if we can say that about the young people who are placed under our charge, we can be assured of having “no greater joy.”
I want to take a moment and discuss what an incredible opportunity we have this year, and it’s only available to a very small percentage of educators. You are one of them.
Listen to this quote: “I am as sure as I am of Christ’s reign that a comprehensive and centralized system of national education, separated from religion, as is now commonly proposed, will prove the most appalling enginery for the propagation of anti-Christian and atheistic unbelief, and of anti-social nihilistic ethics, individual, social and political, which this sin-rent world has ever seen.”
This chilling statement was made by, A. A. Hodge, a Presbyterian leader and principal of Princeton Seminary … in 1887.
Unfortunately, time has proven him correct. And it is heart-breaking. Wally Dawkins was sharing with me just this week that when he was coaching at Whitehouse, he was called in one day and told to cease praying with his players in the locker room or be fired. If you know Wally, that threat didn’t stop him, … and he wasn’t fired. But, he was one of the lucky ones. Had he stayed in government education and continued this practice, he most probably would have been terminated.
Christianity is out, and atheism and humanism and relativism are in. Man, or the state, determines what truth is.
I think you would agree that all reality exists so that God’s name will be known. Here, at Brook Hill, you are not forbidden, by law, from naming his name, you can proclaim Jesus Christ is Lord. You are celebrated for doing so. You can pray when and where you want. You can teach ideas and lifestyles that align with Scripture. You can teach that, yes, there are absolutes. You can teach math and science and English and fine arts and history and athletics as they relate to God’s kingdom. After all, all truth is God’s truth. You are among that very small number of educators in America that can do these things.
Matthew 5:13 says: “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”
We are to be the salt and light of the world … the salt and light in our students’ world. We don’t simply “demonstrate our faith” or “set a good example,” as our Christian brothers and sisters in government education are limited in doing, although that is important. We have the privilege to and we must speak the truth. Children don’t become a Christian or grow in their faith by osmosis.
Children have to be taught. If we don’t speak the truth, how can it be imparted successfully? Well, it can’t. It is up to parents. It is up to us. It is up to you.
On behalf of your Board of Trustees, I want to encourage you as we begin this new year and face the responsibility that lies before us.
Romans 1:16 says “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.” Our children are with us for a very short time. They are the only treasures we should hope to take to heaven with us. We must never lose sight of that. Everything else is secondary.