Home   e-Library   Order      中文 
e-Library Home |  Browse By Category |  Study the Bible |  Read the Bible    
 (Manna 23: The Household of God)
Religious Education
TOC | Previous | Next

Religious Education is the training and instruction which leads people to know God (the Creator), and enables them to understand the teachings of God (the Bible), to keep His commandments, to live a life of godliness, of holiness and of love so that they are able to enter the Kingdom of God in the future (ref Col 1:28-29).

HISTORY

In ancient times, God the Creator commanded His people to place emphasis on Religious Education.

• God wanted Abraham - the first generation of the chosen people - to direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what was right and just, so that the Lord would fulfill the promise He had given to Abraham (Gen 18:19).

• God instructed the people of Israel through Moses saying, "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children..." (Deut 6:4-9).

• The chosen people in the Old Testament continued in "telling the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power, and the wonders He had done" (Ps 78:1-7).

• When Jesus was on earth, He taught His disciples; "See that you do not look down on one of these little ones" (Mt 18:10). He told them to pay attention to the little children and take care of them.

• Paul said, "The elder must manage his own family and see that his children obey him with proper respect" (1 Tim 3:4).

OBJECTIVES

The objectives of Religious Education are three:

• To impart spiritual knowledge and establish pure faith in the believers (2 Tim 3:15; Col 3:16).

• To inculcate good behaviour in the believers and help them cultivate a Christian way of life (Prov 22:6; Mt 5:14-16).

• To train the believers to pray for the power of the Holy Spirit and serve in the Kingdom of Christ (Gal 5:22-23; Acts 1:8).

Cultivating the correct faith, inculcating good virtues and developing the spirit of faithful service to the Lord in the believers are the aims of Religious Education. In the church, by the guidance of God, many youths have been trained to become leaders, church board members and ministers through Religious Education.

ORGANIZATION

To effectively carry out the program to provide Religious Education, the General Assembly of the True Jesus Church in many countries employs the services of full-time personnel. Religious Education Departments are established in the churches to handle matters pertaining to Religious Education. Religious Education for children is provided at three levels: Kindergarten, Elementary I and Elementary II; and for youths at Junior I, Junior II and Senior levels. There are textbooks for all classes and lessons are tailored to the respective levels. Classrooms are equipped to meet the needs of every class. In addition, there are adult classes which are also divided into three levels: Working Youth , Middle-Aged and Senior Members.

I.       TEACHER

Although there may be complete sets of textbooks and ideal classrooms, the key to successful Religious Education lies with the teacher. Therefore, the basic training of a teacher should be strict; at the same time, the teacher should also update his or her skills every year. In order to achieve teaching goals, a teacher should have the following three prerequisites:

A.     Faith

Believe that Jesus is the only Saviour

Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, conceived of the Holy Spirit. For our sins, He suffered and died on the cross. He was raised on the third day and ascended to Heaven after forty days. He will come again on the last day for the judgment of all humankind (Mt 1:18-23; 1 Cor 15:1-5; 1 Pet 3:22; Mt 25:31-46).

Believe Jesus and the Father are one. He is the True God and the only Saviour (Jn 10:30; Is 9:6; Acts 4:12).

• Believe that the True Church was established by the Lord

We should believe in Jesus as well as the T rue Church which was established by the Holy Spirit. The True Church is His body and the place He grants His salvation (Eph 1:23; Acts 9:4-5; Mt 18:17-18).

The True Church must have the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:9; 1 Cor 12:13; Rev 22:1). The Gospel preached must be in accordance with the Bible (Gal 1:6-9; 2 Cor 11:2-4; Eph 2:19-20). It must be accompanied with miracles and wonders (Mk 16:17-20; Heb 2:3-4).

• Believe the Bible is the book of God

Believe that all Scripture is inspired by God and is the book of God given to humankind (2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:20-21).

Believe that the Bible is the only guideline for our faith and the basis for Christian living (2 Tim 3:15-16; Gal 1:6-9; Is 8:20; Ps 119:105; Prov 30:5-6).

B.     Virtues

• Honesty

Honesty is the basis of all morality. Worship God with a sincere heart (Jn 4:24; Heb 12:28). Be pure and truthful in our speech (Eph 4:15; 5:4; Mt5:37). Be honest in everything we do, try to please God. Only an honest person can be a loyal and good servant of God (1 Cor 4:1-2; Gal 1:10; Ex 33:11).

• Holiness

A holy man would be used by God (2 Tim 2:21; 2 Kgs 4:9).Be holy towards the opposite sex (Mt 5:27-28; Gen 39:7-18; 1Tim 5:2-3). Be holy in matters of money (Acts 20:33-35; 1 Sam 12:1-5; 2 Kgs 5:15-16). Be holy in speech, hearing and thoughts. Youths should refrain from sex outside marriage (Eph 4:29; Job 31:1; Is 33:15; Prov 4:23; Lev 20:10-13).

• Humility

Imitate the Lord Jesus for He is gentle and humble (Mt 11:29). Being humble means never demanding respect from others, but considering others better than ourselves. Respect the elderly. Do not be arrogant, but be willing to serve others and accept their admonition (Jn 8:50; Lev 19:32; Phil 2:1-3; Mt 20:28; Prov 15:10, 12). Being gentle means not being easily angered, but being good-natured. Do not quarrel with others. Endure injustice and work without complaint despite hardships and criticisms. Youths should especially avoid being arrogant (Prov 14:29-30; Col 4:6; 1 Pet 2:19-23; 2 Tim 2:24-26 ; Is 50:6; 1 Tim 3:6).

• Love

Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up (1 Cor 8:1). All things become vanity without love. Therefore, we should teach our students with love—love for their souls and concern for their livelihood. We should use our wealth and strength willingly for their salvation. Persevere and endure in all things. Neither boast nor envy. Do nothing out of self-interest. Be willing to forgive.

Paul was successful in his work not because of his eloquence and ability, but rather because he treated the believers with the love of a parent. It is easy to be a teacher, but it is difficult to be a teacher with the heart of a parent. We should ask the Lord to help us in this aspect (ref 1 Cor 1:3-13; 4:14- 16; 1 Thess 2:6-9).

C.     Rendering of Service

Having the correct faith and perfect deeds are not sufficient for a Christian. The Lord entrusted two commissions to His disciples before His ascension. First of all, they were to go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Secondly, they were to feed His sheep (Mk16:15; Jn 21:15).Therefore, every one of us should be responsible for the great mission the Lord has entrusted to us. Live for the Lord with thanksgiving for His salvation (2 Cor 5:14-15; Rom 14:7-8; 12:1).

We need to consider our gifts when we serve the Lord. We can either serve God full-time or part-time. If we are not able to dedicate ourselves as a preacher, we should do our best in offering our wealth for the holy work and our time for doing various kinds of church work. If we have a chance to be a Religious Education teacher, we should grasp the opportunity and work with all our heart and all our might. Strive to improve our teaching abilities and enhance our spirituality.

Keep in touch with our students, teach them and help them in every way. Be a good teacher as well as a good friend to our students. Pray for them everyday. "Even if you are a teacher for one day, you will be respected by your students as a father throughout their lives." (Chinese proverb). We should always remember those student s we have taught and act as parents - i.e. be concerned for their spirituality, pray to God that they will become useful vessels of God (ref Rom 12:1-8 ; Jn 21:15-17; 2 Tim 2:15; 1 Thess 2:11-13).

The foundation of Religious Education is established at home. Children are a heritage from God (Ps 127:3). Parents should take care of their children more than their other possessions. Train them in the way they should go while they are young. If there is a godly child at home, there will be a good student in church. Teachers need to encourage and help parents to teach their children, an extension of Religious Education in church.

Whether or not the Church has a prosperous future depends on the success or failure of Religious Education. This depends on the quality of the teacher. May God bless every teacher and help him or her become a "good shepherd," one who loves God and His sheep and sets a good example in everything. Amen (ref Prov 22:6; Num 26:59; 2 Tim 1:5; Jn 21:15-17; Lk 14:26; Jn 10:11; 13:34-35).

PDF Download
Print
Email
Feedback