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Christian School Program (M.Ed.) - Foundations

& Working Principles

 

Biblical Foundation


The philosophy contained herein is resident in the following introductory quote from the "Spirit Filled Life Bible" about the Book of Ephesians.


"Ephesians discloses awesome blessings of grace ('accepted in the Beloved' 1:6) and awesome dimensions of spiritual authority over evil ('according to the power that works in us' 3:20). But this waits the believer's first accepting the disciplines of unity (4:1-16), purity (4:17-31), forgiveness (4:32), and walking in the fullness of the Holy Spirit (5:1-21). With this, relationships at every point must be in order (5:22-6:9), the idea being firmly established that true spiritual power flows from true obedience to the divine order in relationships and personal conduct" (emphasis added).


Accordingly, the philosophy that undergirds the Christian School Program is that God intends all believers to exercise authority as He directs but that the empowerment of this authority comes primarily from an obedient >relationship with Him. Ultimately, the entirety of the matter is an issue of character. Christian character formation for the purpose, first, of godly obedience, and second, for exercising divine authority is then the preeminent goal and raison d'etre for the Christian School program.


A critical backdrop understanding is the fact, that by the grace of Jesus Christ, all believers are part of God's royal family (1 Pet. 2:9). While a universal mystery up until the revelation of the New Testament (Eph. 3:3-6), the joining of believing Jews and Gentiles alike as one entity, in fact, as the literal Body of Christ, has significant implications for the Christian School program.
The mystery now revealed is that all followers of Christ together make up the holy nation (1 Pet 2:9) or commonwealth of God (Eph. 2:12). No longer are God's chosen people defined by ethnic, geographic, or political qualities. No country or geopolitical unit can thereafter claim to be God's exclusive and/or chosen heritage. Instead, all believers worldwide are citizens in a spiritual nation whose allegiance thereunto supersedes that of any temporal nation no matter how blessed it is of God.

The mystery revealed about all believers constituting the Body of Christ is not so much a totally new concept but instead a progressive revelation of what God started at the beginning with Adam and Eve. With their disobedience God reaffirmed His desire in Exodus 19:6 to the Jewish people that He wanted a holy nation. Even before that however, Abraham was designated by God as the forbearer of this great nation. God honored Abraham, as the father of the faith, by promising to make him a great nation and through him to bless all other nations (Gen. 12:2-3). Believers are now, as part of Abraham's lineage, to be instruments of generational blessing carrying God's promise forward to all nations (cf. Matthew 28:18-20) showing forth His nature in the process. Sadly, the people of God in both Old and New Testament eras have not always been successful in this regard. For instance, leading individuals (e.g. King Saul) and the Jewish nation overall often demonstrated a sporadic obedience to God's call to holiness. As a result, the failure of kings and the entire Jewish nation resulted in them becoming slaves and minions to those they were either to totally dominate or redeem.


In contemporary times, the Christians in the United States, as a whole, are demonstrably indistinguishable from the general population on measures of morality and are typically perceived as themselves disbelieving what they supposedly profess (Barna, 1998). All the while, spiritual warfare continues to take its toll on believers, nonbelievers, adults, children and pre-born alike. This is indeed a sad commentary on the church, the Body of Jesus Christ, His holy nation, and surely a cause of grief for God. We pray that the Christian School program will restore a high level of obedience and consequentially authority to God's holy nation.

Foundational Scriptures


"But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are a kingdom of priests, God's holy nation, his very own possession. This is so you can show others the goodness of Go, for he has called you out of the darkness into his marvelous light." (1 Peter 2:9, NLT)


"His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 3:10, NIV).


"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God -- this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:1-2, NIV)

Foundational Concepts

  1. The 5-fold ministry is to equip the Body.
  2. Parents are to equip their children.
  3. Teachers are to aid in the equipping process.
  4. Discipline develops self-control over fleshly sinful tendencies.
  5. Love promotes development and maturing of imago Dei qualities.
  6. Love takes away reasons by which sin reigns.
  7. God is sovereign, and He loves His children unconditionally and eternally.

Working Principles

  1. The Context of all of life is the Cosmic Battle Between God and Satan with Mankind as the battleground.
  2. The battle is in both the natural and the spiritual realm.
  3. The Body of Christ is empowered to continue what Jesus started: a) resist the evil one, b) bring others into the kingdom, and c) disciple others and self.
  4. Defeat of the works of the evil one occurs primarily by: a) living the Christian life via Holy Spirit empowerment and b) engaging in direct spiritual warfare via prayer, fasting, binding, etc.
  5. Bringing others out of Satan's kingdom and into God's kingdom occurs primarily through: a) our loving and serving relationship with them, b) apologetic messages, and c) breaking strongholds.
  6. Disciplining others and self to be obedient to God and to give the enemy no stronghold involves primarily: a) renewing the mind, b) submitting the will, c) controlling the body/flesh, and d) turning the heart to please God.

Principles that govern the Warfare

  1. Divine cause and effect.
  2. Character is the key to power.
  3. Godly character is a function of loving God, fearing God, and loving neighbor as self.
  4. Love is the most potent force in the universe.

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