About Baptist Christian Education

(Colossians 2:8) “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”

When one army defeats another army, the victors claim the possessions and valuables of the defeated – these are the spoils of war.  Paul warns us to beware “lest any man spoil you.”  He warns specifically against three things:

  1. Philosophy and vain deceit
  2. After the tradition of men
  3. After the rudiments of the world

Let’s examine them in reverse order: “After the rudiments of the world” is obviously telling us not to pattern ourselves after the things in the world.  Most Baptists do not have a problem in this area.

“After the tradition of men” refers to following the traditions that have been passed down to us.  Not all traditions are bad, as long as we know why we do it and can prove it with Scripture (notice that I did not say to twist Scripture to prove our point).  Baptists have the stigma of resisting change and sticking to traditions (i.e. “that’s what we’ve always done”).  We must be careful about traditions.

“Philosophy and vain deceit” are used by those that try to use (false) logic to prove their philosophy or worldview, even if they have to use deceit.  The mainstream Christian educational resources and curricula is saturated with Protestant/Reformed theology stemming back to the Reformation, especially John Calvin.  Reformed theology is basically a resurrection of the teachings of Augustine.

Reformed theology has been an undercurrent for centuries, but it especially became prominent in the educational materials in the sixties and seventies, which was the time of the early stages of the Christian school movement.  This movement started as a primarily Baptist movement, but several prominent Reformed theologians and educators took part during it’s formation.

The problem we now face today is two-fold: the “philosophy and vain deceit” had crept in years ago, and many Baptists today are stuck in the traditions that have been passed down from it.

This now brings us to the valley of decision.  Do we continue in the traditions  brought on through deceit, or do we get back to the Bible and see what it really says?  The later decision is the truly Baptist decision, and the decision that this author has chosen.  I have turned from a position of supporting Christian education to promoting Baptist Christian education.  This decision had led, thus far, to the writing of a book (soon to be published) and this blog.

It is time that we, as Baptists, stop following the Protestant/Reformed philosophies.  We must establish principles and goals that are truly Biblical (Baptist).

“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” (Romans 13:11)

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2 Responses

  1. I to believe that many Baptists continue to hold tightly to traditions. We as God’s people need to be willing to pray for guidance and if need be CHANGE! I am a teacher at a Christian school and have seen children come in that have been learning the TRADITIONAL way for so long that change is hard for them. But in a short while they embrace the changes and begin to quickly advance. Proof that when God is in it you cannot fail.

  2. Amy, you are exactly right. “Change” is something that most Baptists fear, unless it refers to the dimes and quarters in the offering plate! We’re too afraid of changing doctrine (which we should not change if it lines up with Scripture) that we don’t change anything! My prayer is that Baptists around the country will start to wake up and realize the damage that is being done, and that they will have the courage to stand against the false teachers.

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