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Ultimate Restoration

previously published in March 2006

Growing up, I’ve never attended an Adventist school.  In fact, for many years, I didn’t even know that Adventist schools existed.  But, I’ve always considered myself a Seventh-day Adventist Christian with my religious tie being a twice a week trip to the Detroit Korean Seventh-day Adventist Church for Friday night vespers and church service.  In my mind, school and church were two completely separate entities.  In school, the goal was to be the top of my class and to learn study skills that would help me get into a good college.  Church was for spiritual fellowship, a time for rest, and a time to be holy. 

I recall that at a very young age, it always puzzled me when I would hear pastors say that we need to dedicate our entire lives for God or that we should glorify God in everything that we do.  I didn’t understand what that meant.  My perception of true Christianity was often skewed by the distinct separation between my academic endeavors, my spiritual obligations, and with a little exercise and veggie meat on the side.  It wasn’t until I experienced conversion while attending the University of Michigan that I began to understand what it meant to be a Christian, and how education was and always has been God’s primary means for redemption.  Adventist education plays a critical role in preparing a people for Christ’s return.  It was then that I decided to become a teacher.

In order to understand what God’s purpose of education is, there are two key components that we must understand.  The first is the way God originally designed us and the second is the purpose for why God created us.  God created us in His likeness and it was His intention that the longer we lived, the more we would become like Him.  We weren’t created to remain stagnant.  Rather, God designed us with the ability to indefinitely learn, grow, and mature.  With each new day, God intended that man would continue to develop physically, mentally, and spiritually.  In so doing, we would live out our purpose of reflecting the glory of God to the universe.  However, after sin, our God-likeness was destroyed.  In every area of our life- physically, mentally, and spiritually- sin began its work of deterioration.  We were to be a doomed race, were it not for God’s infinite love and sacrifice for us.  The process of education is where the story of redemption begins.     

The purpose of education is to bring about the restoration of how God originally designed us to be.  This process is most effective, but not limited to, when we are children.  The parents are the first teachers and it is their job to educate their children for the Christian life.  The purpose of Adventist education is to continue this process of developing the congruous development of the physical, mental and spiritual life- an education that undoubtedly leads to redemption.   

What does it mean to be an Adventist educator?  It is a job that requires me to see each student as a child of God, capable of indefinite development in every area of life.  It is a calling to be co-workers with Christ in redeeming His people.  It is a work that begins here on earth and continues for an eternity in Heaven.  There are no graduates in the school of Christ.  As we understand the times in which we are living in, there is a work to be done.  As Ellen White puts it, “There is a heaven to win, and a hell to shun.”  We have no time to waste!  I believe it is time for us to prepare ourselves for eternity.  The best way to do this is for each of us to enroll ourselves in this true education.         

“True education means more than a pursual of a certain course of study.  It means more than a preparation for the life that now is.  It has to do with the whole being, and with the whole period of existence possible to man.  It is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers.  It prepares the student for the joy of service in this world and for the higher joy of wider service in the world to come.” 
Ellen White, Education, 13

Judy, along with her husband and their three boys, live and minister in DeWitt, MI.

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