This year marks multiple anniversaries of major life events in five year increments. Today marks twenty five years since I graduated from high school. I was in the top three of my graduating class, which sounds impressive… but there were only three of us in the class of 1992 at Grace Baptist Academy in Angola, Indiana. It’s amazing looking back that my high school graduation was a full quarter century ago.
I am very thankful for the opportunity to attend school at GBA. Looking back, I think it would have been easy for me to get lost and fall through the cracks in a much larger school. But individual attention and higher standards of behavior helped me, and served to ground me during my college years when I fell away from the faith and stopped attending church. I still have friends today from high school, having connected to a number of classmates via social media.
There is a particular temptation that comes with Christian schools that I am compelled to address. I would caution both parents and students that a Christian school us no substitute for attending church. Parachurch organizations (including Christian schools) are not the church and do not hold the same Biblical authority as the church does. Yes, I was in Bible class and chapel services five days a week, so I was getting significantly more Christian doctrine than I would have if I only attended church, but I still should have been in church. That is where we are to worship God and we should not neglect that.
I am also as firm in my opposition to vouchers for private schools as I have ever been, and that is because of my experience with Grace Baptist Academy. With government money always comes government strings and it will be a tragedy when (not if, when) government decides to use voucher funding to blackmail Christian schools into compromising their principles. I would hate to see teens attending Christian schools today be deprived of the opportunities and instruction I had due to government meddling.
Obviously, no school is perfect, and there were problems here and there. (As the years and decades have passed, I have been able to look back and see how many of those problems were the result of my own sin.) Overall, though, I was very blessed to be able to go to school where I did from fifth grade onward.