Christianity and Culture (9)

 

It is the family unit which is central for the construction, or reconstruction, of culture…The day-to-day instruction in righteousness which all child-rearing involves is the very heart of a civilization. It is the law-order imparted by parents to children which will determine the success or failure of a society.

If the gospel is going to be triumphant in a society, His people will need to work long and hard at establishing that gospel, in the family. This involves parents really taking charge of the teaching of their children, grounding them in the scriptures.

What does this really mean?

If we really believe the Bible is true, we have to accept its facts, and its plain implications for today as well. Yes, God did create the world in 6 days, Samson really did kill a lion, and Jonah really was swallowed by a whale and was vomited up on a beach, and Jesus really did walk on water.

But is that all? Is there more than this? And if there is a lot more, what are we supposed to do about it, beginning in the church and family?

On this point, the church has been very confused. Generally speaking, it hasn’t had the confidence to go any further. And if the teachers of the church have been confused for centuries, what are the pew-sitters to do? So, we’ve had mist in the pulpit, fog in the pew.

But this is what we have to understand:

The prophets of the Old Testament believed that there is a fixed relationship between the moral character of a nation and the external blessings or cursings visited by God on that nation. They believed in the reliability of biblical law. They knew that if people continue to cheat their neighbors, commit adultery, break up the family, and defy all lawfully constituted authorities, the land will be brought under judgment. They had no doubts in this regard. They recapitulated the teachings of Deuteronomy 28, warning their listeners that God’s laws cannot be violated with impunity forever.

But this idea of a direct cause and effect has been set aside by over 95% of the church. It’s been set aside because Biblical law has been set aside by the so-called “experts,” in favour of natural law. But natural law has no fixed limits, and can mean anything to anybody. Furthermore, it is of Greek and pagan origin, which is essentially why the today’s pagans love it.

Biblical law is not politically acceptable within the church, because the church has been deeply contaminated by the follies of humanistic thought. Ask you fellow believer (male or female) these two questions:

1.Should we utilise capital punishment for murder?

2.When we do, will you be willing to serve on the firing squad, carrying out the law?

You probably won’t see them for the dust. That kind of accountability is way too much for the modern church-member, when it is the community (according to Biblical law), who is responsible to carry out executions:

If, however, a man acts presumptuously toward his neighbour, so as to kill him craftily, you are to take him even from My altar, that he may die (Ex.21:14).

The church will have to be convinced that this is right, and begin to teach it. Parents will need to teach it to their children, which is just what we were supposed to do, from the beginning:

These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach tem diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up (Deut.6:6-7).

Conclusion:

There will need to be an ideological revolution within Christian families, and the church. The Christian family will need to take on the Christian education of their children, with an ambitious plan of discipleship. This is radical but Biblical, and it certainly is counter-cultural: counter to fallen, Western culture, which for hundreds of years now, has been mostly hostile to the Bible and everything Christian.

But what are we to do? Throw up our hands and complain about the state of the world?

No. We do something about the state of the world, beginning in the Christian home, then the church, then the community.
The walls of Jerusalem need rebuilding. It will require a Christian culture to do it.