Francis Bacon once quipped that “Religion brought forth riches, and the daughter devoured the mother.” Cotton Mather said something similar: “Religion brought forth Prosperity, and the daughter destroyed the mother.”
Long before these men articulated the notion, it was pictured in antiquity. Among countless examples, God delivered the Hebrews from slavery, and soon they were grumbling at not having enough meat to accompany their freedom.
To be sure, it’s as old as humanity, and there are plenty of humans at ECS exemplifying the notion.
Do we have to choose between…
- a robust culture and rigorous academics?
- academic rigor and joy?
- accessibility to the right families and economic solvency?
- safety and comfort?
- law and gospel?
It sure feels like it. It’s not easy to have an offering that features both ends of these spectrums. Yet that’s what we must do if we would advance our mission.
Giving students the right worldview but no tools to advance it is akin to quitting at the marathon’s thirteenth mile marker.
Asking our teachers to subsidize the education of their students (in the form of lower wages) and expecting them to remain with us is at best a gamble.
Aiming chiefly for students’ comfort will thwart their growth.
Giving students as much grace as God gives us guarantees they’ll abuse it just like we do.
Having eyes in our heads and having those heads out of the sand means we’re likely to see things we wish were not there. But it also enables us to see geysers of blessings bursting all around.
God is blessing ECS in all sorts of intangible, supernatural, and otherwise-inexplicable ways. I don’t have space here to enumerate them all, but the list is long. It’s disturbing in only good ways. And yet, we still have a ton of work to do!
- Our culture needs godly, wise, principled citizens, and since we cannot depend on our expensive and monolithic educational machine to produce them, we’re trying to do it here.
- Our students need rough handling from the hands of those who love them so they will be able to withstand the treatment of their enemies. So we explore the pitfalls of wicked ideologies versus the life-giving gospel.
- If our aim is generational, we must take measures now to ensure we’ll actually be around in five years (let alone a generation from now), so we make hard economic choices and invite the scrutiny of a team of other school administrators in the context of accreditation.
- If we want our students to be lifelong learners, we work on cultivating the right loves, which is far easier said than done.
We are not satisfied with how well we are doing in any of these areas, so we ask God for wisdom and act in faith.
As ECS works to identify the chinks in our armor and sharpen our various cultural weapons, we thank God for your part, thank you for your patience, and request that you pray for us.
Risus est bellum!