Yesterday I mentioned J. G. Machen’s 1933 address to the Educational Convention of the National Union of Christian Schools. Near the end of his address, he had some encouraging words for Christian school teachers (and I echo them):
“I cannot bring this little address to a close without trying to pay some sort of tribute to you have so wonderfully maintained the Christian schools. Some of you, no doubt, are serving as teachers on salaries necessarily small. What words can I find to celebrate the heroism and unselfishness of such service? Others of you are maintaining the schools by your gifts, in the midst of many burdens and despite the present poverty and distress. When I think of such true Christian heroism as yours, I count everything that I ever tried to do in my life to be pitifully unworthy. I can only say that I stand reverently in your presence as in the presence of brethren to whom God has given richly of his grace (emphasis mine – spl).
“You deserve the gratitude of your country. In a time of spiritual and intellectual and political decadence, you have given us in America something that is truly healthy; you are to our country something like precious salt that may check the ravages of decay. May that salt never lose its savor! May the distinctiveness of your Christian schools never be lost; may it never give place, by a false ‘Americanization,’ to a drab uniformity which is the most un-American thing that could possibly be conceived!”
“But if you deserve the gratitude of every American patriot, how much more do you deserve the gratitude of Christian men and women! You have set an example for the whole Christian world; you have done a thing which has elsewhere been neglected, and the neglect of which is everywhere bringing disaster. You are like a city set on a hill, and may that city never be hid! May the example of your Christian schools be heeded everywhere in the church! Above all, may our God richly bless you, and of his grace give you a reward with which all the rewards of earth are not for one moment worthy to be compared!”
In other words, Christian teachers at solid Christian schools are good for the country and a great blessing to Christ’s church. Dear Christian school teacher: thank you for what you do – we need you and appreciate your service!
The above quotes by Machen are found in chapter 14 of his Shorter Writings.