Several years ago, Iain Provan, an Australian academic theologian spoke at Regent College in Vancouver, B.C.:
Be dangerous to those who worship money and material possessions – the idols of mammon. Lay bare the utopianism at the heart of modern economic ideology. Deride the universal expectation of more. Unmask the false gods; and proclaim that Jesus is Lord.
In the front rows, the graduating class sat enthralled. At the back, other students shifted excitedly in their seats, some whispering agreement as Provan’s language soared.
I charge you, most seriously . . . [to] be dangerous to all who, in the pursuit of [false] gods, damage other people, and damage God’s good creation. Be dangerous to the powerful who want to use and oppress the weak, and to the rich who want to use and oppress the poor. (Confront) those who diminish the importance of the individual person, in the womb or in the twilight years, or in between – to those who trample the individual soul, out of deference to the convenience of other family members, the health of the economy, the good of the state, or the well-being of the planet. Don’t be safe… and certainly don’t (just) be nice. Be good. Be Godly.’
Sometimes we play down the significance of the reality of the Christian faith and its impact while we “do life”. We are afraid of making people feel uncomfortable, afraid that our relationship with them might take a turn for the worse. However, if we genuinely believe our own rhetoric, then we have no choice but to consider Provan’s exhortation. A Christian school, while being a place that nurtures children and cares for them deeply is a place that challenges students to be good, godly, and yes, willing and strong enough to confront the idolatry of the day that declares that the good life is defined by wealth and consumption.
I am glad that Kuyper Christian School is one that is seeking to produce students who will be wise enough to affirm what is good in the world, and willing to confront those things that promote injustice and are devoid of mercy. This is a long term endeavour that requires diligence and wisdom by those who have been given the task of teaching; mums and dads, teachers, trusted adults. That is why partnership is so important; that our children do not get too many conflicting voices pulling against each other. They are in a world that is confusing enough. If nothing else, I hope that they understand the power and extraordinary implications of the phrase “Jesus is Lord”.
I have appreciated the opportunity to work at Kuyper in 2020 in my 32nd year of working in Christian schools. Thank you for trusting me to help shape your children’s hearts and minds. It is weighty work that we are engaged in. May God strengthen and enable us to continue to seek to do His work in this most vital sphere of life.