Unless we are mistaken in our interpretation of the signs of the times, the twentieth century, upon which we have just entered, is to witness a gigantic conflict of spirits. Faith and unbelief, says Göethe, is the deepest theme of the history of the world. This it has been in the centuries that lie behind us. This it was in that one which we have just closed and abandoned to the past. And this it will be above all things else and in an entirely special sense in the twentieth century, which has just disclosed itself to us. For the conflict of convictions and intentions has spread itself across an ever-widening domain, and has assumed an even more radical character. It is well known that at present this conflict is no longer confined to one or another article of our Christian confession, to the authority of Scripture or tradition, to justification or election; and not even any longer to the Deity of Christ or the personality of the Holy Spirit. But in the spiritual conflict which is now waging in every part of the civilized world, the points at issue more and more are the principles of Christianity itself, and the very fundamentals of all religion and of all morality. This conflict extends the whole length of the line. More serious and fiercer than ever before the conflict is between the old and the new world-view. For man has undertaken the gigantic effort of interpreting the whole world, and all things that are therein, in their origin, essence, and end, what is called purely and strictly scientifically, that is, without God, without any visible, supernatural, spiritual element, and simply and alone from the pure data of matter and force.
Ever since our first mother, Eve, facilely discovered multiple reasons to do what God had expressly commanded her through Adam not to do, we’ve proven to be, in our fallen estate, a darkness-loving lot that excels in creatively justifying any sin-embracing choice we desire to make. This ability wreaks havoc in ethics. No sooner do we learn the right thing than we begin paralogizing in the pursuit of what we think of as freedom.
Messiah's Congregation confesses, along with all the true churches of Christ throughout the ages, that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the alone perfect source by which we may know what man is to believe concerning God and what duty God requires of man.
The point is that the church itself in the New Testament was more a school than a temple. -Chalcedon Position Paper #1
The training of...mature men is the function of the church. The purpose of the church should not be to bring men into subjection to the church, but rather to train them into a royal priesthood capable of bringing the world into subjection to Christ the King. -The Institutes of Biblical Law (Volume 1), p.764
It is not to be wondered at that many today are discussing and implementing alternative methods of preparing young men for ministry (often with the local church, rather than an off-site seminary, assuming the responsibility.) We hear many complaints about the generally sad product being turned out by seminaries (even Reformed ones) today. I have my own share of stories I could tell. A few years ago, for example, I was at the examination of a ministerial candidate, a graduate of Westminster Seminary of Philadelphia. The young man was fresh and eager, but no fit candidate for ministry in a Reformed church. He was completely unable to articulate anything about the apologetic of Cornelius Van Til. When asked about the Antithesis, he answered, “I’ve heard of it, but I don’t know what it is.” Various other responses indicated an abysmal lack of Reformed knowledge. He had graduated with a better than “B” average.
As a confession of our faith, testimony to the world, and instruction to all true believers, the elders of this church have determined to record here our heartfelt and Biblically based conviction that the Lord has appointed to parents the responsibility and final authority to secure, guide and control the education of their children, that they might be trained regarding this world and in all areas of life to think God's thoughts after Him and walk in all His ways.
Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher. Luke 6:39-40
The mother was amazed and horrified. She and her husband and children had just moved to a new area. When the children started going to their new school, they were troubled to find out that some Christian activities were openly occurring in that public school district. Each day students recited prayers over the public address system. Bible classes were taught by instructors who were paid by local churches. There were classroom prayers before lunch. What a shock! Didn't the people in the school district know that God doesn't belong in public schools?