Thirty years in the making, a new educational model will be launched in September, 2018. Built upon time-tested philosophies, this new educational platform will prepare students morally, educationally, philosophically, and theologically.
The Lamplighter Academy of Arts, Business, and Biblical Theology will implement a cutting-edge approach to education that will prepare students to be productive, creative, and entrepreneurial.
Based on the theological underpinnings of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, with specific guidance from the Pentateuch, Ecclesiastes, Proverbs 1-9, Proverbs 22:29, Romans 4-5, Hebrews 5:13-14, and 2 Peter 1, the Lamplighter Academy will function as an educational, entrepreneurial, theological, and moral compass for students of all ages who are seeking a college level educational experience.
Philosophical and Ethical Model
This philosophical model for education is based on the 15t h century principle of “agon” (Latin word agon – agony or an agonizing relentless pursuit of excellence). The model of mentoring will be taken from the five books of Wisdom literature. Students will be instructed within a collaborative community of rigorous business and creative arts endeavors, all tied to a moral, ethical, and theological framework. Proverbs 1:7, 1:23, 2:10, and 9:10 will serve as the starting point as students learn that the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, which leads to a life of wisdom.
The emphasis of the curriculum will demonstrate how life lived under the influence of an eternal perspective, “under heaven,” leads to joy, productivity, excellence, and fulfillment. Adversely, a life lived with a temporal perspective and influence, “under the sun,” leads to a joyless, unfulfilled life, always wanting more and never truly satisfied.
General Maximus Decimus Meridius wrote, “What we do in life echoes in eternity.” From this eternal perspective of education, students will see how adherence to the Word of God is at the core of discoveries, inventions, and prosperous times, which is one of the distinguishable features that sets this educational approach apart from others.
The pedagogical philosophy that will be a guiding influence at the Lamplighter Academy is the belief that creative thinking is cultivated as one grows in an intimate knowledge of God. The more one knows the mind and ways of his Creator, the more he can imitate his thoughts and ways. Knowledge without faith, however, is purely a dream without a destiny. Ludwig van Beethoven wrote, “Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men into the divine.” It is essential for students to practice and develop their faith, for without faith it is impossible to please God, but with faith, all things are possible (Mark 9:23).
Within this pedagogical philosophy, people, places, and events from throughout history will provide examples of how adherence to God’s truths brings prosperity, and rejection brings eventual decline. As philosophy extends into application, students will be given opportunities to apply their faith, knowledge, and wisdom in pursuit of innovative alternatives, cures, discoveries, inventions, products, and services that reflect the creative character of God. G.K. Chesterton wrote, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting, it has been found difficult and left untried.” John Fornof articulated this sentiment well when he said, “There are dreamers who never do; that’s delusion. There are doers who never dream; that’s drudgery. But the one who dreams and does, touches the divine.” At the Lamplighter Academy, students will advance their skills through a relentless pursuit of excellence, combining knowledge, skill, and practice within the existing arts and business platforms at Lamplighter Ministries.
Excellence and productivity without humility leads to pride, boastfulness, and arrogance. Augustine wrote, “Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance.” The prophet Jeremiah advances this thought with the following insight: “Thus says the LORD: Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD. Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will punish all those who are circumcised merely in the flesh” (Jeremiah 9:23-25).
One of the greatest needs in Christian education is a circumcision of the heart, which is required for genuine salvation and relationship with the God of the universe. Paul stated it succinctly when he said, “The kingdom of God is not in talk but in power.” In 2 Corinthians 13:5 he writes, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” There couldn’t be a more timely challenge for Christian education.
If Christ be in us, who can be against us? If Christ be in us, all things are possible to them who believe. If we be in the faith, we have access to the divine power that has given us everything we need for life and godliness, according to a full intimate knowledge of Him who has called us to glory and excellence; by which He has also granted us great and magnificent promises, that through these, we might become partners in His divine nature, enabling us to escape the lustful corrupting influences of this world (2 Peter 1:3,4). Grappling with the reality of one’s personal salvation is of primary concern at the Lamplighter Academy. Many of the great men of God, including Luther and Wesley, whom the church regards as heroes of the faith, wrestled with the same and even found that though they were heralds of the Word of truth, they did not possess the truth until they came face-to-face with their absence of faith.
Moving past self-evaluation and into the world of theology, philosophy, science, politics,
medicine, agriculture, architecture, art, and technology, all education must all be under the domain of Christ. His available divine power and creative influence must be unleashed through His people. We are to “bring into captivity every thought unto the obedience of Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:5). Who are the Darwins, and Londons, and Rothkos of this world compared to those who possess the mind of Christ? The world made them giants while God’s people sat on the sidelines of mediocrity in the pursuit of pleasure. Darwin proposed a life without divine purpose or design. Jesus rebuked this decline of godly influence when he said, “The children of this generation are wiser than the children of light.” This must stop. It is time for God’s people to stand in the gap and show the world the creative genius of God’s children as they intimately align with His purposes for redeeming the world to Christ the Savior.
Samuel Adams wrote, “While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued: but once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader…if virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security.” Webster also wrote, “If truth be not diffused, then error will be.” It is the Lamplighter mission to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. Presently, God’s people are unprepared as we repeat history in the midst of an economical, moral, and educational decline. It is our quest to move students from a state of pre-contemplation to contemplation, which would then lead to inspiration, motivation, action, and finally alignment with God’s thoughts and ways (Isaiah 55).
Summary and Closing Remarks
The wisest of all mankind, King Solomon wrote that God’s Words of wisdom are to be the guiding and goading influence in our lives (Ecclesiastes 12:9-14). His challenge also comes with a warning that anything beyond the words of wisdom will be wearisome. Considering that God made this world and has left us with His words of guidance and wisdom for all areas of life, it makes perfect sense that the understanding of His words need to be the primary and essential focus for education.
The centrality of Christ, the sovereignty of God, and the yielded submission of mankind will be foundational to all academic pursuits. God must have the last word in all areas of our lives (He will have the last word regardless). Every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
In Deuteronomy 30:19-20 Moses writes: “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live: That you may love the LORD your God, and that you may obey his voice, and that you may cleave unto him: for he is your life, and the length of your days.” Life is filled with choices, and slowly without notice there is an accumulated influence upon our lives by the choices we make. Within this educational model, students and teachers alike will be reminded of this great text—“for he is your life…therefore, choose life.”
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