Forum Summary: Skilled People Have Choices

Author: Juliette McNair | Student, Living Education Charlotte 2021


Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 42 seconds.

Mr. Rick Stafford is the Regional Director of the Caribbean and Area Pastor of South Texas. After studying geology for two years at the University of Oregon, in 1965, Mr. Stafford enrolled at Ambassador College. At Ambassador, Mr. Armstrong encouraged the students to not only prove God’s existence and His Way of life but also to learn skills. Mr. Stafford discussed the importance of skills in the Living Ed Forum.

“God created us to work.”

God commanded man to work from Creation (Genesis 2:16-17). Parents ought to instill the value of work into their children at a young age. Mr. Stafford quoted an old Jewish proverb, “He who does not teach his son a trade teaches him to steal.” Traditionally, Jewish boys were taught some skill very early in their lives—often by the age of twelve. When pogroms and social persecution uprooted and relocated them, “they could take their skills with them.”  This is especially important if you are Sabbath keeper.

Don’t be a square peg in a round hole.

When he attended Ambassador, Mr. Stafford had no idea what career he wanted. Yet, he explained this is normal. As young people mature, they discover their abilities and begin to harness them in their lives. “Find out what that ability is and get your interests behind it.” Align your interests and abilities, for “much of your happiness in life will depend on whether you’re a square peg in a round hole.”

“Whatever you’re doing, if you have a mindset that your work is a paid education, you will become skilled.”

Mr. Stafford advised the students to wholeheartedly catch their organization’s vision. Work must be one’s study and passion. “People are not just overnight successes. They’ve probably worked on that one thing for years.”  Galatians 6:7 says, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”Treat work like your ongoing education.

Career or job?

Mr. Stafford defined a career as “a pursuit of a lifelong ambition.” On the other hand, “a job is an activity in which an individual can earn money.” While a job is short-term and competitive and doesn’t require one to grow and adapt their skills, a career is long-term, secure, and requires one to hone their skills and talents and be flexible. A young person needs to build skills that apply to their life-long aims and not just earn money. “I’ve seen this too many times—young people who have wasted their youth. It is a time when you need to build your foundation.” Mr. Stafford said, “You’ll find your education wasn’t lost time.”

“You’ll never get to perfection,” Mr. Stafford wrapped up, “you’ll always be improving—so do it with all of your might. You are working for God using the talents He has given you to serve.  Getting skilled and being diligent leads to a blessed, full and abundant life.”

Over the years, Mr. Stafford worked over thirty different jobs—from career counselor, sales engineer, and carpenter to cowboy in Colorado, roping, branding, and herding livestock. Yet, he said, he’s already submitted his request to God for his future work in the Kingdom. He said, “I want to be a tour guide, taking people to where no man has been and colonizing the universe!”


This post is part of our new series of student-written content for LivingEd-Charlotte. These summaries cover topics originally presented by our faculty and guest speakers in our weekly Forum and Assembly. For more Assembly-related content check out our Second Thoughts posts.

Assembly Summary: Having the Heart of a Teacher

Author: Juliette McNair | Student, Living Education Charlotte 2021


Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 51 seconds. 

Mr. Gene Hilgenberg, the area pastor for Southwest Missouri, Southeast Kansas, Western Arkansas, and Oklahoma, spoke via WebEx for the Living Education students on Thursday, January 7, 2021. Mr. Hilgenberg reminded the students in his assembly that they are preparing to be teachers. “That is our role in the Kingdom, if not now—to help others.” Yet teaching is more than just instruction. Mr. Hilgenberg said, “Our attitude is very important to God. How we think, what motivates and drives us comes from the heart.” God wants His servants to have a heart for teaching.

Great teachers love what they teach and who they teach.

Love what you’re teaching. Developing a deep, loving reverence for God’s way of life is essential to being a great teacher. To develop that love, Mr. Hilgenberg advised the students to study, pray, and devote themselves to learning God’s laws. “You cannot teach what you don’t know” was a lesson he learned after years of teaching at Crowder College as an Agriculture instructor. Also, a good example is powerful evidence that a teacher truly loves what they’re teaching—not to mention a compelling tool for teaching.

Great teachers control their hearts.

Love who you’re teaching. While great teachers should love their students, Mr. Hilgenberg said teachers should control their hearts. A teacher of God’s way cannot let their passions and feelings have free reign but are to refine their hearts to “love the sinner and not the sin,” as the proverbial saying goes. Mr. Hilgenberg explained, “Christ treats us like lambs. He cares for us, and He loves us.” Just as Christ treats His servants like a shepherd tending his lambs, great teachers show compassion and caring to their students.

Prepare Your Heart.

Mr. Hilgenberg encouraged the students to take advantage of Living Ed to prepare to teach in their families, communities, and church areas. “You’re able to develop those leadership traits to go back and serve in your local congregations.” Yet, God’s servant’s future teaching role is that of a teacher’s in the Kingdom of God. Just as Ezra “prepared his heart to seek the Law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach,” (Ezra 7:10) Mr. Hilgenberg encouraged the students to develop the heart of a teacher.


This post is part of our new series of student-written content for LivingEd-Charlotte. These summaries cover topics originally presented by our faculty and guest speakers in our weekly Forum and Assembly. For more Assembly-related content check out our Second Thoughts posts.

Forum Summary: Biblical Scientific Proofs that Prove God Inspired the Bible

Author: Juliette McNair | Student, Living Education Charlotte 2021


Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 14 seconds.

“It doesn’t do you a whole lot of good if you’ve proved the reality of God but not the authorship of the Bible.”

Dr. Jeffrey Fall, the regional director of the U.S. Western Region, gave the first Living Ed forum of 2021 on WebEx. For a young person establishing their faith, proving God exists is only step one—step two is proving that God is the author of the Bible. Dr. Fall shared several scientific proofs in the Bible that predate their more recent acceptance as scientific truth.

First, “The earth free-floats in space without observable means of support.”

Job 26:7 states that God “hangs the earth on nothing.” While this is physically provable in modern times, it defied common sense anciently. In ancient Norse religion, they believed dwarves sustained the earth by holding up its four corners. The Mayans believed their gods held the earth like a burden between them. Thousands of years in advance of modern science, God revealed the earth’s nature.

A second Biblical proof is that God created an expanding universe.

For millennia, people believed the dimensions of the universe were in a steady state—yet Isaiah 40:22 reads “[God] stretches out the heavens like a curtain.” The word “stretches” is a present-progressive verb denoting an ongoing process. Yet this fact was denied by many prestigious scientists, including Albert Einstein, until Edwin Hubble proved it beyond doubt in 1929.

A third point was, “The earth has more than enough water to cover the planet in a worldwide flood.”

Many scoffed at the possibility of a worldwide flood as recorded in Genesis. But in the last few years, scientists discovered huge reservoirs of pressurized water 250-400 miles underneath the earth’s surface. There are ocean springs that continually vent hot water. It is believed that there is more water under the earth’s crust than all the water held on the earth’s surface. Yet, God revealed “the springs of the sea” (Job 38:16) and the “fountains of the deep” (Genesis 7:11) millennia before man discovered them.

A fourth point was, “The Bible revealed ocean currents long before mankind discovered them.

Matthew Maury (1806-1873) noticed the scripture of Psalm 8:8 where “paths of the seas” are mentioned. Maury spent the rest of his life looking for and categorizing previously unknown ocean currents. He became the “father of oceanography” and proved the Bible scientifically accurate.

A fifth point was, The Bible reveals that the sun travels through space.”

Psalm 19:6 states: “(The sun’s) rising is from one end of heaven, and its circuit to the other end….” Scientists ridiculed this verse for many years, because everyone assumed the sun was stationary and did not move. In recent years, astronomers discovered that the sun moves through space at the blistering speed of 600,000 miles per hour. It does indeed travel through our galaxy on a circuit, taking some 200 million years to make one complete circuit.

The Bible also reveals the fate of the universe. Dr. Fall summarized the second law of thermodynamics, “Organized energy always disperses in time… Mountains erode, stars burn out, and people die.” Paul hints at this in Romans 8:21 “… the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption [decay] into the glorious liberty of the children of God.”

“The Bible reveals that the universe won’t disperse into cold, lifeless, empty space. God will use us to liberate the universe from its state of decay and finish the Creation—however He has in mind!”

Proving the reality of God is only the first step in solidifying your faith. Dr. Fall emphasized the next vital step—proving the Bible’s divine authorship. The scientific truths recorded in the Bible millennia before man discovered their existence prove that God inspired this book and compel readers to live their lives by its truths.


This post is part of our new series of student-written content for LivingEd-Charlotte. These summaries cover topics originally presented by our faculty and guest speakers in our weekly Forum and Assembly. For more Assembly-related content check out our Second Thoughts posts.

Second Thoughts: Longer Than You Thought

Author: Juliette McNair | Student, Living Education Charlotte 2020


Estimated reading time: 4 minutes, 15 seconds

“Don’t make rash life decisions” was one of Mr. Rand Millich’s points in his forum on December 15.

He said, “In ‘63, the prevailing thought in the Church was that Jesus Christ was going to return in 1975. I would have been 29 years old.” Because of that thinking, some people made hasty decisions. Some discontinued their life insurance, started using their pension funds, or chose not to further their education. There were even those who married hastily, afraid they would run out of time and never have the chance. “So,” he said, “when 1975 came and went, there were actually some relationships that ended in divorce.” And some became bitter.  Decisions reach far into our futures—whether they’re rash or wise. “That decision might be with you longer than you thought.”

What Would I Do?

Mr. Millich, the regional director of the U.S. Midwest, cautioned young people to be deliberate as they consider baptism. When Dr. Meredith was counseling him for baptism, he was asked what he would do if a group of soldiers came to his house one day and told him, “Give up the Sabbath or we’re going to kill you and your family!” “What would you do?”Mr. Millich replied that he solidly believed in dying for the Sabbath and the truth, but “God would have to give me the faith and strength to do it.”  After 1975 passed and Christ did not return, Mr. Millich said some people resented their decision to get baptized. They thought, “I could have experienced more of the pleasures of the world!”

The Ultimate Decision

Baptism was a defining moment in my life. It was a turning point I realized would impact me and others long into the future. And it only took a single moment to cement that choice to commit to God—one second my hair was dry, and a few seconds later, I was standing, hair dripping, getting hugged by my spiritual family. In a single moment, you can choose to do something that will bring huge rewards—or consequences. In fact, the time it takes to cement that decision is disproportionate to the consequences or rewards that will occur.

The Problem

Here’s the problem—there are really very few choices we make that don’t affect our lives—if we take into account how tiny decisions lead to small habits that shape our days, our weeks, and eventually become the long-term behaviors that make up years of our lives. But aren’t there certain choices that are so insignificant that they don’t impact our futures at all? Sure, but maybe we just choose not to control these small behaviors because we don’t see them as important. Do we truly understand the importance of our small, daily choices?

Don’t Make Rash Daily Decisions

Baptism is the ultimate of important choices. And education, marriage, and family follow behind it. But what about my daily choices—the things I eat or the music I listen to? What about the jokes I chose to laugh at when I’m with my friends who are not in the Church—or even in the Church? These little decisions slip by, and I find myself thinking that whether I laugh at a story or joke or not doesn’t really matter much either way. And music—it’s just music, so what’s the big deal, anyway?

I also make rash decisions by omission. For example, that seemingly insignificant daily chore of making my bed or not. Who’s going to see it anyway? What about neglecting to check my progress on my monthly or yearly goals? It would take only a little time and effort to sit down, take out my list of personal spiritual goals, and examine myself—but I’d really rather do something else. Daily choices can be just as rash as those large, defining-moment decisions in life. Whether by omission or negligence, these tiny, hasty decisions can become a part of our character—or lack thereof. Maybe our defining moments in life are sometimes the little ones. And maybe, if I am faithful in these little decisions, one day, I will be ready to show my faith in the big, dramatic moments.

Longer Than You Thought

Whether we grasp it or not, there comes a time when we need to take action on the small choices and the large. But it’s not all negative—these moments should excite us because they give us an opportunity to exercise faith. We see this when Joshua demanded that Israel “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve….” And, in a life-defining moment, Joshua stood and spoke some of the most inspiring lines in the Bible. “But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15).

There are defining moments in our lives that shift the course of our futures for the good or the bad. But maybe we have more opportunities for those defining-moments than we think—maybe, we can take today and begin making choices that change our lives, one tiny choice at a time. But that can only occur if I follow Mr. Millich’s advice and choose deliberately, not rashly.

Either way, that decision will be with me longer than I think.


Juliette McNair is a student at Living Education Charlotte. She works in the Editorial Department transcribing sermons and proofreading transcripts. She also assists Living Education by writing Second Thoughts essays and Forum/Assembly Summaries for the website. Juliette recently graduated from SUNY Cobleskill in Upstate New York with an A.A.S in Horticulture, a B.T in Plant Science, and a minor in English with a writing focus. She loves playing soccer on the beach, getting up early to watch the sunrise, and playing piano with the lights out.

Forum Summary: Only You Can Buy It

Author: Juliette McNair | Student, Living Education Charlotte 2020


Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 5 seconds.

“If you haven’t noticed already, we’re here to sell you something.”

Mr. Gerald Weston gave the last Living Education forum for the semester. He began by saying Living Education is trying to “sell” a better way of life. This is also the purpose for the Living Youth Programs. Society sells young people all kinds of lifestyles—all, supposedly, equally virtuous. “But,” Mr. Weston said, “God does something that the world doesn’t do. He says, ‘Look, there is a better way—choose that one.’”

“We have traditions here at Living Ed that try to teach a better way of life.”

The decisions students make at Living Ed have a profound effect on the following groups. Mr. Weston explained that through the examples of today, a pattern is set for the students of following years. Likewise, at summer camp, a camper’s children could be attending as campers themselves only 15 years later. Mr. Weston said, “We are looking for young people who understand and internalize our values.” There are certain qualifications needed above and beyond physical skills.

Character Qualifications

Mr. Weston listed several of those qualifications: Young people who set a good example by their language, social media use, financial responsibilities, and standards of male-female interactions. Mr. Weston explained that the programs discourage young people from pairing off and engaging in intimate physical contact. “We’re not against love,” he said. But there is an appropriate time to be exclusive—there is “a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing… a time to love” (Ecclesiastes 3:5-8). A young person’s example of handling male-female interactions determines their usefulness and trustworthiness in these programs.

“Trust is absolutely essential here at Living Ed and in the Living Youth Programs.”

Trustworthiness is at the core of these qualifications. Mr. Weston said, “If we cannot trust an individual, then we have no basis to work with that individual.” Yet, mistakes are expected. Mr. Weston said, “Mistakes will be made. And that’s okay.” But there’s a difference between honest mistakes and rule violations. He said, “Violations of rules bring loss of trust.”

“When you think about it, what is God looking for in you in this life? It’s trust.” Young people who can be trusted to uphold the traditions and values of the programs of the Living Church of God can be trusted to be good examples for younger teens in their formative years. Then, they become a part of selling the right way of life.

Mr. Weston concluded, “We can sell God’s way of life, but only you can buy it.”


This post is part of our new series of student-written content for LivingEd-Charlotte. These summaries cover topics originally presented by our faculty and guest speakers in our weekly Forum and Assembly. For more Assembly-related content check out our Second Thoughts posts.

Assembly Summary: The Benefits of Marriage

Author: Juliette McNair | Student, Living Education Charlotte 2020


Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 15 seconds.

Mr. Wallace Smith, the Church’s executive editor, gave the Living Education assembly this week. Mr. Smith spoke about the benefits of marriage and encouraged the students to seek a godly, fulfilling marriage for their futures.

Sex is a blessing in marriage.

One obvious benefit is sex. One deception promoted by society is that two people must discover if they’re “sexually compatible” before they marry. Mr. Smith responded to this lie: “Only over time do you become compatible.” He recommended that young people prepare for marriage by “wiping clean from your mind any ideas about sex you’ve seen on a screen or anywhere else.” Only in marriage is “the stage set for sex to be the blessing it’s meant to be.”

In marriage, you are all in.

Another is commitment. Mr. Smith explained that our world has normalized a lack of commitment before and even during a marriage. But to God, it is a big deal. “The fact is that whatever is not according to God’s design is not normal.” A spouse should be someone who is all in and devoted to you for the long run, and there is a deep peace of mind that comes from knowing someone is that committed to you.

Marriage builds companionship.

Companionship is a third benefit. Contrary to popular belief, true companionship is built through journeying through life together—it doesn’t instantly occur with one perfect “soul-mate.” And after it is built, it will be utterly unique from all your other relationships. That uniqueness explains why it is so painful for someone to lose their spouse: “They’ve lost something irreplaceable. You can’t just replace a journey of 50 years.”

A godly marriage allows you to be vulnerable.

With companionship and commitment, marriage creates a safe place for vulnerability that one does not experience in other relationships. Marriage becomes a place where you are free to let down your guard, compared to how you might feel around others.

Other benefits of marriage Mr. Smith addressed included the blessing of children, for whom marriage is the God-designed environment, and design fulfillment—the satisfaction that comes from completing the picture God designed with man and woman at creation.

Ultimate Fulfillment

Yet, those who are not married can still achieve fulfillment through their relationship with God. In fact, Mr. Smith emphasized that even married individuals are ultimately only fulfilled by God and that expecting your husband or wife to fulfill you in a way only God can is a crushing burden not to be placed upon your spouse. But marriage is something young people should want in their future and be willing to pursue and prepare for. It is a source of many benefits and God uses it as a mechanism to reward His servants and to teach us about Himself.


This post is part of our new series of student-written content for LivingEd-Charlotte. These summaries cover topics originally presented by our faculty and guest speakers in our weekly Forum and Assembly. For more Assembly-related content check out our Second Thoughts posts.

Student Life: A Need for Speed

Author: Juliette McNair | Student, Living Education Charlotte 2020


Do you have a need for speed? If you do, you may wish you would have tagged along with the Living Ed students this past Sunday. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is located in downtown Charlotte. Thankfully, it is only twenty minutes from the student’s residence—so they didn’t have to race to get there by 10:00 a.m. Mr. Jonathan McNair and several Living Ed teachers and their wives accompanied the students, providing some stiff competition for the races later in the day.

After the students registered for their I.D. cards, they made their way through the levels of the exhibits. They walked the ‘Glory Road’ exhibit and examined 18 cars from the 1920’s up to the 1990’s, handpicked by Dale Earnhardt Jr. These iconic stock cars were parked on a display track with banking gradually increasing to 33 degrees. Speedways use steep banking to apply centripetal force to the cars—this prevents them from being flung off the tracks due to lack of friction between the tires and the road.

At the Pit Crew Challenge, students and teachers teamed up and competed against each other to get their car jacked-up, gassed-up, and tires changed. Mr. Ryan Dawson, who teaches a class called “Living the Fruits of the Spirit,” joined the students with his wife and baby daughter. Mr. Dawson and his pit crew took first place on the leaderboard, finishing under nine seconds.

Finally, Mr. McNair led the group to the Racing Simulators. The students and teachers jumped into the driver’s seats of stock cars lined up underneath a huge video screen that projected the virtual race. The virtual track for the day was the oval Daytona International Speedway. The fastest lap-times and speeds were projected onto the leaderboard. DaQuan Rucker snared first place, at 193.790 mph, edging past German Roldan’s previous record at 192.642. Mr. Jerry Ruddlesden and Mr. McNair followed close behind.

As the group climbed into the vans and drove at normal speed back to the dorms, they geared up for the final push of the semester. Finals are looming and term projects are due soon. Deadlines are approaching and soon, unless the students shift into high gear, they will find themselves with a need for speed.


Juliette McNair is a student at Living Education Charlotte. She works in the Editorial Department transcribing sermons and proofreading transcripts. She also assists Living Education by writing Second Thoughts essays and Forum/Assembly Summaries for the website. Juliette recently graduated from SUNY Cobleskill in Upstate New York with an A.A.S in Horticulture, a B.T in Plant Science, and a minor in English with a writing focus. She loves playing soccer on the beach, getting up early to watch the sunrise, and playing piano with the lights out.

Forum Summary: Principles and Lessons to Prepare for a Future in God’s Work

Author: Juliette McNair | Student, Living Education Charlotte 2020


Estimated reading time: 2 minutes.

Mr. Rand Millich has been a minister in God’s Church for over fifty years. He presently serves as the regional director of the U.S. Midwest. From 1963 to 1967, Mr. Millich attended Ambassador College. He noted, “I remember we had forums and assemblies presented at Ambassador College to broaden our education and horizons and prepare us for the future.”

Mr. Millich began by saying the Philadelphian Era was founded on three main pillars: Faithfulness to the Word of God, preaching the Gospel to the world, and a true understanding of God’s government (Revelation 3:7-8). These principles don’t just apply to one single era. He said, “These will be continuing defining aspects of God’s Work.” Mr. Millich gave us three lessons to apply in our lives.

First: “Base your life on the provable, unchangeable Word of God.” Mr. Millich quoted an Ambassador College motto that was stamped on the classroom center, “The Word of God is the foundation of knowledge.” Yet, as the Worldwide Church went off track, he said “Men of good stature —effective, powerful evangelists, got stuck on different issues.” They left the foundation of God’s Word.

The second lesson is “Don’t make rash life decisions.” Mr. Millich explained that many believed Jesus Christ was going to return in 1975. Some dipped into pension funds and others chose not to educate themselves. “There were some who married hastily, thinking that if Christ returned in ’75, they wouldn’t be married.” Unfortunately, some of these relationships ended in divorce. Mr. Millich encouraged the students to think carefully about their decisions. He said, “That decision might be with you longer than you thought.”

Third: “Count your opportunity at Living Education as special.” Not only do students have the opportunity to support God’s Work in various work studies, they can also learn from the examples around them at Headquarters. Mr. Millich recalled Mr. Armstrong’s example when he was in his class at Ambassador College. He said there was a telephone in the classroom so Mr. Armstrong could be reached in emergencies. It rang one day, and the students were silent as Mr. Armstrong received the news of President Kennedy’s assassination. After he hung up, he led the class in prayer.

Mr. Millich concluded, “I go back to the past for this reason: You have a similar opportunity today—these are the ‘good old days’ for you in your time. And they will prepare you for the opportunities God has for you in the future.”


This post is part of our new series of student-written content for LivingEd-Charlotte. These summaries cover topics originally presented by our faculty and guest speakers in our weekly Forum and Assembly. For more Assembly-related content check out our Second Thoughts posts.

Forum Summary: Solidify Yourself When You’re Strong

Author: Juliette McNair | Student, Living Education Charlotte 2020


Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 51 seconds.

Mr. Michael Heykoop is the Media Director at the Canadian Living Church of God office. He is also the assistant pastor to seven congregations in Ontario. In the forum on December 8, 2020, Mr. Heykoop streamed, via WebEx, into the Living Ed classroom. He spoke about the Work out of Canada and the lessons he has learned from being part of it.

Unique Challenges

Mr. Heykoop began by explaining that, while Canada is often viewed as the “kid-brother” of the United States, it is a very different nation. He described it as somewhat “halfway between the Americans and the British.” It is more secular than America, requiring a different approach to broaching religious topics. For example, the Tomorrow’s World Viewpoint series addresses “issues in today’s society with Biblical concepts.” The Tomorrow’s World Answers series provides direct answers to often misunderstood concepts. “Our goal is to get enough of these so that when someone asks a question [in the comments] on YouTube, we can send them an Answers video answering that question.”

Growth

Most Canadian TV stations are required to have 35% of their content produced within the country. Mr. Stuart Wachowicz and Mr. Heykoop record these telecasts at the Church’s Canadian studio. The effectiveness of the Canadian program is apparent. Mr. Heykoop mentioned, “In the time that we’ve been on television, we’ve tripled the Le Monde de Demain subscription list.”

The Church is also growing in Canada. From 2000 to 2020, membership increased from 300 people to 874. Mr. Heykoop stressed, “The statement, ‘The Church isn’t growing’ is really a naïve statement to make. It doesn’t take into account the facts.” 60% of baptized members in Canada were baptized into LCG.

“God uses those who put everything into it.”

Mr. Heykoop shared several lessons he learned through being a part of the Work. One was: “God uses those who put everything into it… You know it is your job to give everything you have, but it’s entirely up to God whether it succeeds.”

Another lesson is to take advantage of the opportunities we have now to solidify the things we may know only in theory. He encouraged the students, “Solidify yourself when you’re strong, and when you’re at your weakest points, you can draw on that strength.”


This post is part of our new series of student-written content for LivingEd-Charlotte. These summaries cover topics originally presented by our faculty and guest speakers in our weekly Forum and Assembly. For more Assembly-related content check out our Second Thoughts posts.

Forum Summary: So Little for the Mind

Author: Juliette McNair | Student, Living Education Charlotte 2020


Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 15 seconds. 

The Attack on Modern Education and the Implications for the Living Church of God

Mr. Stuart Wachowicz, evangelist and regional director of the Canadian office, spoke about the degenerating educational system of the Western world. For 200 years, the Anglo-Saxon countries led the world in education. Now, Israelitish nations exhibit increasing illiteracy, poor grasp of geography, math, and other basic subjects, and are trailing behind China and India. Also, more police are being stationed in schools, mental health workers are required, and there is an increase in drug-related disabilities.

Mr. Wachowicz described the origin of our educational philosophy and why it’s a problem for our country and a concern for the Church.

In her book, So Little for the Mind, Dr. Hilda Neatby explained that a man named John Dewey introduced progressivism into the educational system in the early 20th century. Dewey taught against direct teacher instruction and held that students should not have to be subjected to testing. He deeply resented God and religion in the classroom and believed that permanent truths should not be taught. According to Dewey, Mr. Wachowicz explained, “society is always changing, and morals must change with it.” This ungodly philosophy has since been adopted by schools across America and Canada.

“Whenever you run into an idea that seems to defy common sense or logic and yet is growing, I would suggest it is a spiritual issue.”

Today, in Canadian schools’ curriculum, there are only 20% of the knowledge objectives of 1970. Standardized assessment is reduced or non-existent, and “discovery learning,” where children construct their own learning, rules the schools.

Why is this important?

In the 17th century, the King James Bible was translated and made available to the English people. Mr. Wachowicz said, “England became the only place on earth that had a Bible in almost every home.” This brought literacy and a “huge, cultural advantage in education.” Then, the principles of the Bible were present in every home. “Israel has squandered the blessing—exactly what Esau did when he sold his birthright for a bowl of soup,” Mr. Wachowicz said.

The first implication for the Church is that our declining educational system is evidence of a curse.

“When you turn away from God and reject truth, one of the first casualties is wisdom.”

Second, we need to understand that we are preaching to a Biblically-illiterate population. “Fifty percent of youth in Canada may not have seen a Bible.”

Mr. Wachowicz expressed his belief that Israel is “past the tipping point.” He concluded in Ezekiel 2:3-6, “…whether they hear or whether they refuse—for they are a rebellious house—yet they will know that a prophet has been among them.” Yet our speaker encouraged us, “We need to do our part in helping them understand right and wrong.”


This post is part of our new series of student-written content for LivingEd-Charlotte. These summaries cover topics originally presented by our faculty and guest speakers in our weekly Forum and Assembly. For more Assembly-related content check out our Second Thoughts posts.