Resolution #1: Our Covenant God gives the responsibility for the education of our covenant children to their parents. Although the tasks related to education may be delegated, parents may not abdicate their responsibility by delegating it to either the state, the church, or to any private educational institution.
Deuteronomy 6:6–9 – 6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Psalm 78:5–8 – 5 For He established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children; 6 That the generation to come might know them, The children who would be born, That they may arise and declare them to their children, 7 That they may set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments; 8 And may not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not set its heart aright, And whose spirit was not faithful to God.
Ephesians 6:4 – And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
Resolution #2: The education that our covenant children receive ought to have as its purpose their being equipped to fulfill the cultural mandate in the church militant; i.e. personal fellowship and communion with God, evangelistic and apologetic endeavors, and being salt and light in the world. In order to achieve these and other purposes to the glory of God, the knowledge to be gained must be in the context of God as the Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer and Judge, through Jesus Christ the Mediator, and the advancement of His Kingdom until the church is triumphant.
Psalm 111:10 – The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.
Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 15:33 – The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom, And before honor is humility.
John 17:1–3 – 1 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, 2 as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
2 Peter 1:3–11 – 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 3:14–19 – 14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
1 John 1:1–5 – 1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— 2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. 5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
Romans 11:36 – For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.
Resolution #3: Pastors, elders, and deacons are called to assist parents in the carrying out of their educational responsibilities by encouraging and supporting educational endeavors that are grounded upon the philosophy, teaching, and presuppositions of the Reformed faith as expressed by the Reformed Confessions. As much as is feasible given the available means, including assistance from the church, covenant parents ought to seek to provide some form of such covenantal education.
1 Timothy 3:15 – but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
Proverbs 1:20–33 – 20 Wisdom calls aloud outside; She raises her voice in the open squares. 21 She cries out in the chief concourses, At the openings of the gates in the city She speaks her words: 22 “How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, And fools hate knowledge. 23 Turn at my rebuke; Surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. 24 Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, 25 Because you disdained all my counsel, And would have none of my rebuke, 26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, 27 When your terror comes like a storm, And your destruction comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. 28 “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. 29 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD, 30 They would have none of my counsel And despised my every rebuke. 31 Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, And be filled to the full with their own fancies. 32 For the turning away of the simple will slay them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them; 33 But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, And will be secure, without fear of evil.”
Proverbs 2:1–9 – 1 My son, if you receive my words, And treasure my commands within you, 2 So that you incline your ear to wisdom, And apply your heart to understanding; 3 Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding, 4 If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; 5 Then you will understand the fear of the LORD, And find the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding; 7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; 8 He guards the paths of justice, And preserves the way of His saints. 9 Then you will understand righteousness and justice, Equity and every good path.
Ephesians 4:11–14 – 11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
Heidelberg Catechism #103 – “What does God require in the fourth commandment? In the first place, God wills that the ministry of the Gospel and schools be maintained, and that I, especially on the day of rest, diligently attend church to learn the Word of God, to use the holy sacraments, to call publicly upon the Lord, and to give Christian alms. In the second place, that all the days of my life I rest from my evil works, allow the Lord to work in me by His Spirit, and thus begin in this life the everlasting Sabbath.
Resolution #4: That this report, along with the supplementary material, be made available to the churches of the RCUS. [Editor’s note: if your local pastor does not have this report, please contact me for an electronic copy]
(2003 Abstract of the Minutes of Synod, 65-66. The wording above was approved by the entire Synod. The full and detailed report which led to these resolutions, along with the draft version of these resolutions, was prepared over several years by a special committee comprised of Rev. C. W. Powell, chairman, and Rev. George Horner, Rev. Harvey Opp, Elder D. Kauk)