WHAT DOES it mean to be educated and successful in today's world? Do you consider yourself educated? Are you on the way to success? The fact that you read this far shows that you are part of a select group with potential for real success. Perhaps you did not know that nearly one billion human beings today cannot read or comprehend this or any other written sentence. And many more have barely mastered the basic skills of reading and writing. They are lacking real potential for success in this present life. Does this mean that these people are inferior by nature? Absolutely not! What it does mean is that people who cannot, or have trouble, reading and writing, are at a distinct disadvantage. The ability to communicate in written form is an essential key to success and to true education. The fact that so many are unable to read points up a major flaw in this world's educational systems. But it's only one symptom of a major crisis — a crisis largely ignored worldwide — in modern education.
The 20th century has experienced a virtual knowledge explosion. Within the span of a single human generation, men and women have gone from horse and buggy transportation to interplanetary exploration. Communication cables line the ocean floor; microchips put vast computer technology at the fingertips of the common man; and complex probes from both the U.S. and the Soviet Union plunge deep into the solar system. But, at the same time, starvation and squalor grip vast areas of the earth. Through sophisticated television networks, people in the developed countries can watch contemporary continuing arises in Southeast Asia, Latin America, the Persian Gulf and many other areas. But why this contrast between man's scientific achievements and his moral and social failures? There must be a cause for every effect. And the cause is wrong, misguided education! When is education, education? And when is education faulty and erroneous indoctrination? Unfortunately, the word education has lost its meaning in today's world. You hear of "receiving an education," or the place where one "gets" an education. Neither definition is true. Richard Franko Goldman, in an address at the Peabody Institute in
Read widely with understanding; don't limit yourself to one field.
Baltimore, Md., said: "It is certainly not possible to mass-produce educated men and women. They have to produce themselves, and this is a concept highly unpopular in our times. Education is not something
Develop your communication skills so that your education will be of benefit to others.
that one receives. One has to desire it, and to work for it" (emphasis his). Today's higher so-called education resembles a mass-production factory. It has been reduced in most instances to mere certification. One enters an institution certified to disseminate knowledge by members of that and other institutions, and proceeds to qualify for a certificate that signifies that the individual has completed certain classes arranged to expose him or her to selected fields. It's a simplified process, and one basically recognized throughout the world. The conferring of a higher degree has become tantamount to official certification by society that one is an expert. Dr. Goldman comments: "This is of course an aspect of another superstition: that expertise is guaranteed by the possession of a degree, or that such officially sanctioned expertise can function in place of intelligence." John R. Silber, president of Boston University, regrettably adds, "The quality of education that graduates get today is substantially inferior to that of students 50 or even 20 years ago."
The Nature of Education
The tragic consequence is that society measures its depth of education by the number of capital letters one can add to the end of his (or her) name, or titles (as in Europe). A false sense of security in an institutionalized educational system develops. The tragedy is compounded further by the fact that much of institutional education is falsely based! Higher education cannot answer the questions of why man is here and what is his purpose. Knowledge learned at the vast majority of institutions is totally materialistic. Young people generally learn how to make a living, but by no means do all even learn this, and most certainly they don't learn how to live! As values shift in society, the popular degrees sought shift also. This mirrors a society groping for answers to seemingly unanswerable questions. In the late sixties, psychology, sociology and political science were popular degrees. In the seventies many shifted to law. Now the master's degree in business administration (MBA) is popular. As one official characterized it, the shift worldwide is once again toward materialism. People want to make as much money as possible and get as much as they feel they deserve. All the while, feelings of emptiness accompany the average person pursuing education. Many institutional participants (also known as students) experience deep loneliness, depression, anxiety. To help spot problem students, college applications often ask whether the student has mental and/or emotional problems. Counseling centers dot campuses in an effort to help students "cope" with the pressures of academic life. "What is the hope of the future?" is the often expressed question.
Finding True Answers
Education, therefore, is the process by which men and women are taught to interpret and understand their environment and background. Through the five senses, people drink in knowledge of their physical surroundings and past history. But often, many are caught up in the mere acquisition of this limited knowledge. The more they know, the better off and
Don't become institutionalized; keep studies in perspective.
more secure they think they feel. Philosopher Henry James noted in 1900 that "nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts." Editor-in-Chief Herbert W. Armstrong has often remarked that "knowledge is of no value unless it can be used." In addition, false knowledge compounds the problem. A little over a century ago, for example, it was widely believed in medical circles that by lacerating an artery and allowing certain amounts of blood to escape, a person could recover from many diseases. Often, this blood-letting so weakened the
Balance academics with cultural activities; learn to appreciate the best the arts have to offer.
person that he (or she) died all the faster. Today's educational system suffers similarly because it is not based on an understanding of the purpose of human life. Many educators regard the purpose of human life as mere survival. Yet it is FAR more than survival. Avoiding nuclear obliteration is the awesome problem facing man today, but man's purpose for being here is far more profound. The answer to this profound problem is spiritual in nature — yet most have no understanding that even the social and moral problems besetting the world today are also spiritual in origin. Man, through his five senses, can only
Focus on learning how to live, as well as how to make a living.
comprehend the physical and materialistic! He (and we mean the traditional pronoun to include the female gender) cannot discover, of and by himself, things spiritual. Therefore, man is unable to solve his deeper problems — he is cut off from true spiritual knowledge — the sorely neglected basis of education that would lead to real success! Now — grasp this — there is only one divine source of spiritual knowledge. It is knowledge that has been revealed. This source is none other than the Holy Bible!
Cause of Unhappiness, Turmoil
The tragic basic premise that locks men and women
Stay with the basics; keep your educational "feet" firmly planted.
in the way of despair, of suffering and war is the presupposition that the Bible is not truly rational — that it is not to be thoroughly understood. No supposition could be more false! In intellectual vanity, educated men and women generally reject both God and his revelation to man of essential knowledge one could not otherwise find out. Most reject the authority of God's government over their personal lives and instead substitute a false dogma called evolution. Evolution — an explanation of a creation without a Creator — permeates all of man's acquired knowledge. It taints his speculations on the origin of the universe, his educational philosophies, concepts of law — and much more! By rejecting the source of revealed knowledge, the Holy Bible, man guarantees tragedy, despair, unhappiness. By basing his educational system on a false premise, he automatically flaws the entire system. Top to bottom! Can man know that God exists? "... what may be known about God is plain.... For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made [that is, the intricate laws governing the universe], so men are without excuse" (Rom. 1:19-20, New International Version). Yes, to deny God's existence with prejudice — without seriously investigating the possibility — is intellectual vanity. Note here also, that God will not reveal himself
Understand the basis and background of what you learn; don't blindly accept unsubstantiated "knowledge."
on just any terms. Men falsely assume that God is some sort of genie that must hearken to their every beck and call. If God doesn't comply with their queries, men reject him in their vanity of mind. The consequences emanating from this attitude, which permeates education, are authoritatively explained in our free booklet Never Before Understood — Why Humanity Cannot Solve Its Evils. If you're not afraid of truth, write for your free copy today. (See inside cover for addresses)
Reconciling God and Science
Some critics assert that they cannot accept God because religion suppresses scientific activity. Is scientific activity altogether contrary to God's revealed religion? "Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding" (Proverbs 4:7, NIV). That's what your Bible says. Granted, much of this world's religion is tradition and superstition, and historically has suppressed scientific activity. But God never established these man-made religious superstitions. God expects man to develop himself, to learn about his world and surroundings. "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter" (Prov. 25:2). But God qualifies the kind and basis of real knowledge: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ" (Col. 2:8, NIV). The Bible discloses important knowledge about prehistory that is vital, that science knows nothing of. This important information is also available to you, free, in the full-length book, The Incredible Human Potential. Request your copy today.
Foundation of Education
At Ambassador College, an institution affiliated with The Plain Truth, the Bible is the foundational textbook. Inscribed prominently on one of the main buildings on the Pasadena, California campus is the statement, "The Word of God is the foundation of knowledge." Basing its educational process on the revealed purpose of man, Ambassador Students learn how to live as well as acquiring marketable skills. At Ambassador, values that generate happiness, prosperity and peace of mind are incorporated in the academic process. Students are exposed to the basic questions of human existence — and find the answers. Of course, not everyone wants a college degree. And contrary to public opinion, a college degree is not necessary to enjoy a fulfilling, interesting life. However, the basic principles revealed in the Bible are necessary for happiness. If you'd like to begin to establish the foundation for real education, we have a free correspondence course from Ambassador College. By enrolling in the course, you will receive free monthly lessons about prophetic world events and spiritual knowledge missing in education today. Each lesson utilizes the Bible as the textbook. Of course, there is never any obligation or follow-up. These fascinating and gripping lessons are offered free in the public interest. In them you will learn, from the pages of your Bible, the purpose of man and what God has in store. We invite you to enroll in the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course and begin your real education today!