AN EDUCATIONAL COMMENTARY ON THE BIBLE

By Rodney N. Kirby

“And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him…And the rib, which: the LORD God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man…Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2:18-24)

In this [20th] century, under the influence of John Dewey, a primary function of the school has been seen to be “socialization.” The children must learn to become “socialized,” to “get along with others,” to function properly in a “democratic” society.

Early childhood education (kindergarten and nursery school) has thus become all-important. Children must learn how to play together, how to share, and how to co-operate. It is thought that if children are not sent to school at the earliest conceivable age, they, will grow up to be social outcasts.

The same reasoning applies to teaching older children at home, rather than sending them to an ungodly school. These children are seen as somehow being “deprived”—deprived of the chance to interact with their peers. To many Christian parents, this concern is so strong that they succumb and send their children to schools they know to be anti-Christian, simply for the “socialization”. (All these children are “deprived” of is being taught in the ways of Hell.)

Our passage for this lesson shows us something different. God saw that it was not good for Adam to be alone (vs. 18), just like people today say it is not good for children to be alone. But notice that God did not give Adam a “peer group” with which he was to “socialize.” (Neither did God make “Adam and Steve,” gay lib notwithstanding.) To solve Adam’s problem of aloneness, God made a wife—Eve. Thus began the first human institution—the family.

Broadly speaking, this shows the centrality of the family in society. God did not make for Adam a church, complete with elders, deacons, committees, and choirs (the “War Department”). Neither did God make a civil government, including legislators, judges, and bureaucrats (certainly FDA would have required a label, “Caution: Eating this fruit may be hazardous to your health!”). God instituted the family first of all. The family is central to man in carrying out the cultural mandate—note the context (vs. 15). Before Adam could effectively subdue the earth, he needed a helper suited for him. God gave him a wife to assist him in exercising dominion.

This centrality of the family has definite implications for our schools. In Social Studies (or History), we must not neglect the family. As we study a given society, we must study the family structure which dominates that society. Does the father take the lead? Is the family governed by the mother? Does the family unit frequently include grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. (cf. Gen. 2:24)? Are two homosexuals considered a “family”? Is the family weakened through the use of ungodly laws (e.g., inheritance taxes)?

We must examine such questions as these, and note their implications in the rest of society. For example, the imposition of inheritance taxes results in the loss of the family farm, and the increase in corporately-owned farms; a disregard for the importance of the family has definite economic implications. Taking a covenantal view of history, we examine societies in the light of God’s commands, and one of these commands is the cultural mandate. Since the family is central to this task, we would be missing the point entirely in our study of history if we neglect the family.

Getting back to the original topic (the “socialization” of the child), we may take a fresh look at the problem. Concern for such “socialization” has only arisen in recent years. Twenty, thirty, or forty years ago, no such concern was prevalent. Was it because people then were somehow less enlightened concerning the social needs of the children?

No, the problem is that these same years have witnessed a breakdown in the Biblical concept of the family. Divorces are more frequent; government economic policies of monetary inflation force many mothers out of the home to find a job; gay rights, kiddie lib, and extramarital sex have all sprung up. The family is disintegrating.

God’s solution for Adam’s “aloneness” was to provide for him a family. This is the same solution we must give for the social development of the children. In the family, children learn how to get along with other people—how to converse, how to show loving concern, how to cooperate, and how to settle disagreements. The family is the main instrument for the “socialization” of the child. (Granted, it was easier in the days when a family consisted of eight or ten children—a family was practically a community in itself!)

The godly family teaches the child how to do these things in a Biblical way. The corrupt family of the present day also teaches the child how to behave—it teaches him to run away from problems (divorce), to seek for instant self-gratification (extra-marital sex), and to assert his own “rights” without regard to anyone else (woman’s, children’s, gay lib).

Parents have told me, when I told them I had a problem with their child fighting, “He picks that up from all the kids at his church; they are always picking on him.” However, I have noted that these family members are constantly fighting among themselves—husband and wife, brother and sister, parents and children. The problem is at home, not at church. Fighting families produce fighting children.

Hand in hand with the centrality of the family in “socialization” goes the family’s role in discipline. Discipline in the school is only effective if it is reinforced at home. The old rule of, “If you get a whooping at school, you’ll get another one when you get home” is valid. If the parents are lax regarding discipline, then no amount of strict discipline at school will (humanly speaking) really change the child’s life.

The importance of the family in fulfilling the cultural mandate must be emphasized in high school, as students consider their life’s calling. In “career counseling,” the student must be made to see that establishing a godly family is the most important thing he must do to prepare for work. Men must see that, except in rare cases (cf. Matt. 29:10-12), they are to marry, and that a wife will be a vital asset in the exercise of their calling. Likewise, women must understand that their calling is generally to marry and be supportive of their husband in his work. This would all necessitate teaching the biblical view of the family to high school students in some formal way—perhaps in an ethics class.

God has created the family and given it a key role in His world. This must be carried out in our schools, in order that the children might effectively carry out the dominion mandate. Let the world have “liberated” women and children—they will only lose dominion, and we Christians can take over that much quicker!

Delta Variant + CRT =Exodus

By Gary North (www.garynorth.com), 30/8/2021

Here is a heart-warming report.

Despite their efforts, [Colorado’s Adams District 14] started school with 5% fewer students, adding to a decline made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.

At Dallas Independent School District in Texas, about 12,000 students failed to show up for the first day of school. Administrators there, like in Colorado, have been working overtime to track them down.

H.I. Holland Elementary Principal Shanieka Christmas-McDonald said educators were calling families to say, “Hey, where’s my baby?”

“We’re really connecting with them in our conversations, letting them know we miss the student, we want to see them here and that we’re going to take care of them as much as we can,” she told the Dallas Morning News.

But working against them were three sloppy back-to-school rollouts and families who feared sending their children to school amid a surge of COVID-19 cases driven by the fast-moving delta variant.

This year, district officials project they’ll have about 146,000 students, down from previous years.

On Aug. 2, only 270 children showed up at Holland Elementary. About 360 were expected.

In the weeks since, the school has slowly been able to build its attendance and said an official enrollment count was still weeks away.

Even with a billion-dollar federal government lifeline, public schools across the country are headed toward a financial cliff.

This is good news for liberty.

School officials have said that federal COVID-19-relief funds aren’t enough to make up for the blows to state and local budgets, or the cost of remote learning, as well as the attempts to get children back into classrooms. State and local funding make up about 90% of school district revenue. In many states, local funding contributions flow through the state treasury before making their way to school districts. States use enrollment numbers to calculate money on a per-student basis. If a student leaves a school district, the money goes with them.

Preliminary enrollment numbers for Oregon’s largest school district show a 3.1% decline. The numbers follow a 2020-21 school year enrollment drop, not only in Portland but the state as a whole.

In North Carolina, enrollment dropped 5% last year. For kindergarteners, the decrease was 15%.

Lindsay Wagner of the state public school forum said there was some concern that students may not come back following the COVID-19 crisis.

“A lot of districts, especially rural ones, don’t have the local funding to absorb [the] losses,” she said. “They really rely on state funding to fund their school budgets.”

In Buncombe County, every student that leaves takes $4,592.46 with them.

The lockdowns have backfired against what is operationally the only established church in America. The public school systems around the country are experiencing net losses on a scale not seen before. This is historically unprecedented.

AND THE WINNER IS. . . .

The big winner is home schooling.

Cutting into enrollment is the rise of home-schooling.

Home-schooling has shown its staying power after starting as a temporary approach to education during the lockdown.

Typically, a little more than 3% of the nation’s school-age children are home-schooled in a given year, according to federal data. However, a significant surge has been confirmed by the U.S. Census Bureau, which reported that in March, the rate of home-schooling rose to 11% by September 2020.

In Wisconsin, public schools saw their largest single-year decrease in enrollment last fall. Private school enrollment also dropped 1.5%, about half as much as public schools, according to a Wisconsin Policy Forum report released in August. The decrease brought private school enrollment down to 118,862 — its lowest point in at least a decade. Home-schooling, on the other hand, shot up by 47% over the preceding year, its largest increase since 1984.

In Texas, the number of parents choosing to home-school nearly tripled, going from 4.5% in 2019 to 12.3% in 2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

In New Mexico, 6.4% of households chose to home-school at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year. That number jumped to 14.3% by the middle of the fall semester.

The percentage of families that homeschool their children will not go back to what it was in February 2020. Those days are gone. A majority of the parents who have shifted to homeschooling have seen see that their children perform better in a homeschool environment than they do in a public school classroom environment. They could see this in the virtual education experiment.

So far this month, which is when new enrollments begin, the Ron Paul Curriculum has experienced a decline of about 2% from the peak a month ago. Yet it experienced an increase of over 75% in 2020/21 as a result of the lockdowns. So, while there have been some families that are sending their children back into the public schools, most of them are being replaced by new families that are pulling their children out of the public schools. With the Delta variant spreading, I do not expect most of the parents who signed up since March 2020 to abandon the RPC program.

Meanwhile, establishment pressure in the public schools to adopt critical race theory will continue. The promoters of CRT are dedicated. The pressure will be relentless. No matter how much parents protest, they really have no say in this matter. They can take it or leave it. I predict that a relatively small minority of parents will leave it. I do not expect that there will be a mass exodus from the public schools based on CRT. Most parents are submissive. They grin and bear it.

Public education really is the only agreed-upon religion in America. The public schools are seen as agencies of social salvation. But, at the margin, the defections have begun. There really has been an exodus from the public schools. It is not a mass exodus, but it is an exodus.

At some point, public schools will reach critical mass. The system will implode. Middle-class parents who want their children to go to college will view local public schools as inner-city schools: holding tanks for lower-class students who will not graduate from high school. White parents want white privilege. Black parents want black privilege. Hispanic parents want Hispanic privilege. But privilege is only going to be available in a handful of tax-funded charter schools, magnet schools, and lily-white school districts. Everybody else will have to find a scholastic port in the storm. The only affordable port in the storm will be homeschooling. “Y’all come!”

Dennis Prager’s Secret to Counter the Left

By Kevin Swanson, 5th August, 2021

Conservative radio host Dennis Prager nails it. He says, “The single best thing Americans can do to counter the left-wing attack on America is to take their children out of America’s schools.”

Dennis Prager, conservative talk show host,
urged parents to take their kids out of America’s schools.

Wow!

Not voting for the most conservative presidential candidate. Not Christians running for elective office. While those are both great goals and would demonstrably benefit America, Prager insists that the single best thing Americans can do is to pull their children out of America’s schools.

Prager writes that government schools “prematurely sexualize them, thereby robbing them of their innocence; and harm them intellectually and morally.”

That’s why I dedicated my June 14th Generations program to his insightful commentary.

Public school’s Russian Roulette:
Drag Queens & Anti-American propaganda

To fully communicate the odds that your child will be harmed in the typical public school, he offers a disturbing word picture. He writes, “Sending your child(ren) to most American schools is playing Russian roulette with their values—but unlike the gun in Russian roulette, which has a bullet in only one of its six chambers, the schools’ guns hold four or five bullets.” That’s a scary statement!

Why are the public schools so dangerous? The talk show host says, “In many elementary schools, your child is taught that gender is chosen and that there is no difference between boys and girls; … and many children from first grade on attend “Drag Queen Story Hour,” wherein an obvious man — wearing women’s clothing, garish makeup, and a wig — entertains them.”

And it’s not just a rejection of God’s design for sexuality and marriage. Today’s American schools indoctrinate the children with many ideals contrary to the Christian foundations upon which America was built.

The denial of public school parents

Prager doesn’t pull any punches, noting that, sadly, most parents are in downright denial. Their delusion manifests itself in two ways:

  1. “Many parents do not want to know what their children are being taught and the consequent damage done to them.”
  2. “They don’t really believe school will ruin their child, let alone their child’s relationship with them.”

Perhaps parents are in denial because they incorrectly conclude that today’s public school curriculum is no different than when they attended a generation ago. Nothing could be further from the truth. Tragically, it’s downright hostile to a biblical worldview in every way.

Indeed, Prager writes, “You are fooling yourself if you think the odds are that after attending American schools from kindergarten through college, your child will turn out well-educated, intellectually alive, rational, kind, happy, well-adjusted, grateful to be American, and respectful of you and your values.”

That’s quite an indictment. To his credit, Prager acknowledges that most private schools are equally guilty before God of pushing a hostile worldview. And, for that matter, he writes, that parents “cannot necessarily even rely on Christian or Jewish schools. Most of them are as ‘woke’ as most secular schools. And if they do find a school that teaches, rather than poisons, they may not be able to afford the tuition.”

Enter home education.

Prager: A modern-day Gamaliel

In my June 14th Generations program, I called Dennis Prager, an orthodox Jew, a modern-day Gamaliel, like the one found in Acts 5:24, who took a stand for the Christians of his day. To be frank, it’s wonderfully encouraging to see someone with his stature and platform unapologetically articulate what I’ve been saying in homeschool conferences since 1986. As a homeschool graduate myself, and as the father of five homeschool graduates, I’ve traveled to 48 states and 16 countries passionately advocating for home education.

Dennis Prager and A.A. Hodge share concern
about nihilistic destruction of America
By way of back story, Prager says the question that he most often gets which led to his column was this: “What can we do to fight back against the nihilistic anti-American destruction of virtually all the country’s major institutions?”

Frankly, the question and the talk show host’s answer echo the thoughts of A.A. Hodge (1823-1886), the God-honoring Presbyterian leader, and former Princeton Seminary president.

A.A. Hodge, former Princeton Seminary president,
warned against a centralized education system
which would propagate anti-Christian and atheistic unbelief.

He wrote, “I am as sure as I am of Christ’s reign that a comprehensive and centralized system of national education, separated from religion, as is now commonly proposed, will prove the most appalling enginery for the propagation of anti-Christian and atheistic unbelief, and of anti-social nihilistic ethics, individual, social and political, which this sin-rent world has never seen.” (I cited that powerful quote in my new book Epoch: The Rise and Fall of the West.)

To put a fine point on it, nihilism is the outright rejection of all religious and moral principles in the belief that life is meaningless. Prager and Hodge both insist that this nihilistic worldview in America’s centralized education system is not just a bad ideology; it’s destructive! It’s a hand grenade. It’s dynamite under the foundations of the American family, of the American culture, of the American political system, and of the American nation. Indeed, this is destroying our very civilization.

Adam McManus, my co-host on that June 14th Generations program, quoted directly from the American Humanist Association. Make no mistake. The humanists want to capture our children. Listen to this. “In order to capture this nation, one has to totally remove moral and spiritual values and absolutes from the thinking of the child. The child has to think that there is no standard of right and wrong, that truth is relative, and that diversity is the only absolute to be gained.”

Public schoolers were 2.5 times more likely
to be destroyed spiritually vs. homeschoolers

In our 2015 Gen2 Survey, we surveyed 10,000 Christian kids raised in Christian homes including those who were public schooled, private schooled and home schooled. Guess what? If a child was public schooled, they were 2.5-3 times more likely to be destroyed spiritually. No wonder 88% of Christian high school graduates walk away from their faith!

Prager assumes that some parents hesitate to homeschool because they feel ill-equipped. Frankly, in my view, even the most “incompetent” parent will accidentally do dramatically better than the public schools.

After forty-plus years of experience in the homeschooling arena, I can confidently say that a parent dedicating just an hour a day of one-on-one time with a child is extraordinarily efficient, influential, and helpful in a child’s life. In fact, the average home schooler scores at the 84th percentile compared to the 50 percentile-mark for the average public schooler.

But, to be honest, it’s less about whether the child is learning academically, as important as that it. The primary concern is this: What values are your children being taught and how is it going to shape the rest of their lives and our culture overall?

My two primary concerns
even if you homeschool your kids

One final thought.

Even if you make the commendable decision to homeschool your children, I have two primary concerns. 1. We need to prepare our children to face opposition to their faith. Bible-based Christian worldview curriculum is a vital tool to equip your students with the knowledge and convictions needed to stand for the truth. That’s why we have invested over fifteen years in writing our Generations Curriculum – now available this year for all 12 grades. Not only will your children be adequately prepared for the attacks at college, but in their lives ahead in the “real world.”

2. We need to be pro-active in limiting the exposure of our children to the toxic pop culture.

  • Primarily, I would strongly advise against putting a smartphone in your junior high or high school student’s hands. Between the likely exposure to pornography and the insidious content on social media websites, it’s absolutely poisonous. (If you want your high schooler to have a phone for emergency purposes, I recommend you consider an alternative option like Gabb wireless which doesn’t have the Internet, social media, or games.)
  • If you have a television in your home, don’t make the mistake of putting it in your child’s room.
  • Make sure that you install the best internet filter on all of your computers/iPads. Without it, the precious innocence of your child can be lost with the click of the mouse, even while doing a legitimate search online for a paper.
  • Read my book The Tattooed Jesus: What Would the Real Jesus do with Pop Culture?

love how Dennis Prager concluded his column last month.

He said, “The single best thing Americans can do to fight the left-wing destruction of the country is to withdraw from the ‘educational’ system that is actively, deliberately miseducating them by the tens of millions. If millions of American parents did so, the country would turn around as fast as you could say ‘teachers unions.’ If they don’t, their children will continue being used as guinea pigs in the Left’s sick and dystopian experiment.”

How are you discipling your kids before they move out?

Besides, God says the primary obligation to educate and disciple your children is not with the state. It lays at the feet of the parents.

Deuteronomy 6:5-7 is as true today as the moment Moses wrote it by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. From the day of your child’s birth, the sands have been flowing quickly through the hourglass of time. God has given you a limited window during which you have been tasked to pass the baton of faith to the next generation. Don’t let it pass you by! It will be your greatest regret if you do.

Subscribe to the Generations Podcast

Every weekday, I address the stories of the day on Generations from an unapologetically Biblical perspective. Catch the show each day bydownloading the Generations app or by subscribing to the iTunes podcast. Or you can get the daily program delivered right to your inbox by subscribing to the Generations Radio email feed. For Christ and His kingdom!

Kevin Swanson
Director
Generations
mail@generations.org
www.generations.org

Homeschooling Is Surging, and Especially in Homes the Left May Find Troubling

By Brandon Morse (www.lewrockwell.com), July 28, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic brought with it a myriad of consequences to our society, but not every effect was negative. One such result was a dramatic increase in homeschooling, and especially in households that the left may not like.

According to the Associated Press, parents took their children’s education into their own hands and found that their children seemed to be performing much better under their own tutelage than under the public school system’s. The surge itself was confirmed by the U.S. Census Bureau that reported homeschooling more than doubled between March and September of 2020, going from 5.4 percent to 11 percent.

The biggest jump of all? The AP reported that black households skyrocketed from the single digits to the double. What’s more, some are motivated by religious reasoning:

Black households saw the largest jump; their homeschooling rate rose from 3.3% in the spring of 2020 to 16.1% in the fall.

The parents in one of those households, Arlena and Robert Brown of Austin, Texas, had three children in elementary school when the pandemic took hold. After experimenting with virtual learning, the couple opted to try homeschooling with a Catholic-oriented curriculum provided by Seton Home Study School, which serves about 16,000 students nationwide.

The Browns plan to continue homeschooling for the coming year, grateful that they can tailor the curriculum to fit their children’s distinctive needs. Jacoby, 11, has been diagnosed with narcolepsy and sometimes needs naps during the day; Riley, 10, has tested as academically gifted; Felicity, 9, has a learning disability.

“I didn’t want my kids to become a statistic and not meet their full potential,” said Robert Brown, a former teacher who now does consulting. “And we wanted them to have very solid understanding of their faith.”

Another parent in a black household, Angela Valentine, felt the need to keep homeschooling her child due to her son, Dorian, being the only black child at a school. The isolation he was experiencing was getting to him and so she now teaches him about black history and culture while homeschooling.

“I felt the burden of making the shift, making sure we’re making the right choices,” Valentine said. “But until we’re really comfortable with his learning environment, we’ll stay on this homeschool journey.”

Homeschooling also allows parents to conform the learning to their children’s needs instead of the children having to conform to the one-size-fits-all style of learning public schooling forces on children. AP reports one parent has a child with Down syndrome and noticed that her progress at home was better than her progress in virtual learning. They ended up doing the same for her son Noah, and the classes went so well that they decided to continue for the next few years.

“He told me he was learning so much more at home than he ever did in school,” Osgood told the AP. “He said, ‘School is just so chaotic — we don’t get very much done in any particular class. Here, I sit down, you tell me what to do, and minutes later I’m done.’”

Other families have weighed in, noting that their children excelled better at home, and learned far more than they did at public school.

While this is all well and good, parents should likely not get comfortable. Many are just getting into the homeschooling life but they should be aware that there is a war on homeschooling going on. Many on the left would rather see homeschooling made illegal, and Harvard professors are already making the case for this as mainstream media sources applaud and echo them.

(READ: Homeschooling Is One of the Left’s Worst Nightmares So Expect a Long Fight)

These professors are concerned that parents will make teaching children what the left wants them to learn impossible, and Elizabeth Bartholet, a Harvard Law School professor and director of its Child Advocacy Program, warned that kids are in danger of teaching their children “conservative Christian beliefs” specifically.

Right now, American parents are at war with many educational bureaucracies attempting to push left-leaning ideological extremism on their children through Critical Race Theory. As RedState has previously covered, the people leading the CRT charge have direct connections to top members of the Department of Education, and the movement is on to create radical leftist ideologues out of your children.

They can’t do that if they’re safe at home with you. Don’t expect them to take this laying down. They want your children and they will cook up reasons and attempt to craft laws in order to take their education out of your hands and into theirs.

7 Habits of Highly Frugal People

(Great for Teenagers)

Gary North – July 15, 2021

Habit One: Be Proactive

The first habit of highly effective people is to take responsibility for their own lives; if they fail, they have no one to blame but themselves. Regardless of how you were raised or how you were treated at school you are able to choose your behavior now. Being proactive means understanding that you are in control of the direction your life takes and in control of your day to day interactions. Whereas a reactive person is often affected by their environment and will find external sources to blame for their behavior, for example if the weather is good they are in a good mood but if the weather is bad it affects their attitude and so the weather is to blame for their bad mood.

Here are 6 Action Steps to Take When You Feel Financially Vulnerable

However what most people forget is that between the stimulus and your response is your freedom to choose your response, and one of the most important things you choose are your words. The language you use is an effective indication of how you see yourself and if you use proactive language such as ‘I can’ or ‘I will’ you are starting with a more positive attitude than a reactive person who uses language like ‘I can’t’ or ‘I have to’ or ‘if only…’

Habit Two: Begin with the End in Mind

Those who are effective in achieving their goals are able to envisage their end result despite the obstacles. Highly effective people adhere to this habit based on the principle that all things are created twice, there is the first mental creation and then the second physical creation, and the physical creation follows the mental creation in the same way as the building follows its blueprints.

Habit Three: Put First Things First

Knowing why you are doing something is an effective motivator in helping you take the mental creation and transform that into an actual physical creation of your goal. Therefore ask yourself which are the things you find most valuable and worthy to you. When you put these things first you will be organizing and managing your time around your personal priorities to make them a reality.

Habit Four: Think Win-Win

Growing up most of us are taught to base our self-worth on comparisons to others and competition against our peers. We think we can only succeed if someone else has failed and if you win then that must mean I lose, and that there is only so much pie to go around and if you get a big piece then I’m going to be missing out. When you think like this you are always going to feel like you’re missing out on something and that’s not fair is it? As a result many of us retaliate and take the pie before someone else can take it from us.

Habit Five: Communication

Communication is often the desire to be heard and understood and most people will listen with the intention to reply to what you’re saying rather than to understand what you have said. However to effectively communicate you need to first understand and then be understood because if you communicate with the sole intention of being understood you can find that you ignore what others are saying and miss their meaning entirely.

Habit Six: Teamwork

Interactions and teamwork are some of the most important ways you can learn new skills and more effective behaviors. To synergize is the habit of creative cooperation where you work as a team to find new solutions to existing problems. Synergy is not something which just happens but is a process where you need to bring all of your personal experiences and expertise to the table to enable more effective results than you would have been able to achieve individually – the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Habit Seven: Sharpen the Saw

You are the greatest asset you have on your journey to achieving the lifestyle you want and so you need to look after yourself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. When you take time to renew yourself in all four areas of your life you are creating growth and change which allow you to continue with the previous six habits you have mastered, which still need to be maintained to achieve success.

Rebuilding the Godly Foundations (5)

Therefore thus says the Lord God, “Behold I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed” (Isa.28:16).

There has always been a close correlation between the beliefs of a society and those of its political leaders. Political leaders are always listening for community attitudes, to ensure they are staying connected. That way they can make bold statements, confident they’ll have community support.

If the community is indifferent about a matter, you can bet that political leaders will be too. It takes a statesman to think differently, and they have been in short supply lately, around the world.

Statesmen are good, but there is something far better: a godly community. Unfortunately, because the Christian community has been seriously compromised now for generations, it has lost the ability to significantly influence the community. The notions of being salt and light in the community have been lost, and what Jesus clearly warned us about, has now come about:

You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men (Mat.5:13).

Christians must work hard in future to regain authority in the community, and there are no short-cuts to this. It begins with the law of God, along with Biblical responsibility and integrity in the individual, the family and the church.

None of this happens overnight. It requires individual, family and church change over generations, perhaps 50-100 years, and that’s what we have to be considering and working towards.

As long as the governments can kick the can, they will do so. As long as the voters accept the fact that the government is not dealing with the problems, but simply kicking the can, there’s no reason for the elected representatives to change their ways. The public accepts this; the elected politicians do it. It is the simpler way out in the short run. All that matters politically is the short run. The long run will take place on somebody else’s watch. Some other politician will have to deal with the problem. This is the thinking of incumbent politicians. They get re-elected on the basis of this worldview.[1]

The most foolish think we can do is think like incumbent politicians. We are the ones who must begin to think about the long-term future, planning and acting accordingly. If we don’t, our enemies will. They have been thinking and planning, while we have been negligent and asleep. Our negligence and sloth is now, returning on our heads. It has been now, for generations.

The people of God are supposed to have the answers, for the law of the Lord is supposed to come out of Zion (Isa.2:1-4). It cannot come from any other place, because every other place despises it.

I don’t expect the current lot of Christian leaders to have any part in this. They have been a part of the problem. They won’t be a part of the solution. Most probably, they will oppose every step towards Christian reconstruction and reform. The people who led us into trouble, will have no role in getting us out of it.

The Reformers, 400-500 years ago, had no help from the religious status quo. The status quo fiercely resisted them. Why would it be any different today? Thus the reforming leaders of the future will have to be prepared to be pioneers, apparently going against the tide.

This will require a lot of foundation building, much of which will be without much obvious support or encouragement. But this is the thing: it will have to be done by someone.

Is that what you want to be part of?

 

 

[1] Gary North (www.garynorth.com), “European Investors Ignore the IMF,” 17/7/2015.

Rebuilding the Godly Foundations (4)

The Lord also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble; and those who know Your name will put their trust in You, for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You (Ps.9:9-10)

I had coffee recently with a Christian man whose life experience in recent years remarkably paralleled mine. Married and homeschooling with 3 children, he and his family had been attending what he thought was a conservative Baptist church in northern Brisbane, which took the step of nominating a woman for the position of elder, who was soon ordained. This is despite the fact that the notion of women holding positions of leadership or authority in the church is expressly prohibited by Paul (see I Tim.2:11-15).

When my friend challenged their pastor about what was happening, his response was significant. He said that Paul’s apostolic comments have to be considered from the perspective of Jesus. Jesus (he said), liberated women, so now there was equality of the sexes. Women elders? No problem.
A couple of weeks earlier, we’d been briefly attending another Baptist Church in Eatons Hill, where we live. At a Saturday Working Bee, I asked one of the pastors if the church had elders. Yes, it did, he said, and he rattled off the names of the 7 elders. Three of those names were females. Oh well. That was the end of that.

We’d seen something similar happen in 2013, in another big, supposedly conservative church in northern Brisbane. The Senior Pastor indicated from the pulpit that the church wanted to nominate some new elders for the congregation to consider, but that we wouldn’t be reading the relevant Biblical text this morning.

That was interesting. The relevant text (I Tim.3:1-7) indicates that overseers (or elders) are to be the “…husband of one wife…” (v.2). Then, we found that one of the people nominated for the position of elder, was a woman.

There were other issues. I’d had a major disagreement with the earlier Senior Pastor, back in 2002. He’d been repeatedly making reference that year, to the notion of God’s “unconditional love.” He made this statement to a congregation of 1,000: “God loves you-unconditionally.”
That triggered a yellow flag in my mind, so I went searching and reading: probably 50 hours. I concluded that the idea of God’s “unconditional love” is nonsense. If He loves all people unconditionally, how did He “hate Esau?” (Mal.1:3), or repeatedly harden Pharoah’s heart, before drowning him in the Red Sea?

More accurately, His love is an aspect of His covenant relationship with His own people, not all people. Even then, don’t go counting your chickens. The Bible says that

Saul died for his trespass which he committed against the Lord… and did not enquire of the Lord. Therefore He killed him and turned the kingdom to David the son of Jesse (I Chron.10:13-14).

Two relevant theological statements are:
1. Election is with a view to function.
2. Disobedience leads to dispossession.

I’ve concluded one thing. The leadership of the modern church is walking away from the Bible, in droves. The authority of scripture is not merely being questioned; it’s been discarded, years ago. Naturally this is disappointing, but after so many years of observing it now, I’ve stopped being upset about what is now, a fact of life.
An American wrote this recently:

I went with a friend recently to her local Episcopal Church. I could not recognize it (from when we were kids). Her church is led almost exclusively by women. The rector, bishop, almost every post, is filled with a woman. No worries there, but still very different from when we went to our childhood church long ago. The current rector, the past rector, the future rector, all are women…

Women seem to fill almost every leadership role…The emphasis in my friend’s California Episcopal church is focussed on gay rights. During the two services I went to, there were prayers of joy about the Supreme Court decision… I guess I expected to see “some” women, but not close to 100% women in all leadership roles.

When the leaders of the flock of God are wolves in sheep’s clothing, the flock of God has to either choose new leaders, or get out. There is no other legitimate option.
Now, the church is being severely challenged by the issue of homosexuality. And those church leaders that have already caved in on other fundamental issues relating to the authority of scripture will probably do the same on this one. Why wouldn’t they? People are generally consistent. If they fled the field of battle on one basic issue, they’ll do it again on the next one.
When King Saul proved to be a disaster, God didn’t wait long. He said to His prophet Samuel,

How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have selected a king for Myself among his sons (I Sam.16:1).

Conclusion: I’m not interested in trying to prop up corrupt, dying institutions. It proves to be an utter waste of time. Jesus said, “Let the dead bury the dead.” I’d much rather go looking for where the faithful saints are. I know they’ll probably be in some ignored, out of the way place, looking after sheep like David was, or in the cave of Adullam with a motley crew (I Sam.22:1-2), but that’s OK. That’s pretty normal. That’s where reformation generally starts.
What about you?

It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly then to divide the spoil with the proud (Prov.16:19).

Rebuilding the Godly Foundations (I)

If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Ps.13:7)

It’s deeply upsetting when the good things in a community or nation are being progressively destroyed.  The good and godly institutions of the West like marriage, continue to be under pressure.

We know this is not right. But lamenting is insufficient for the Christian, or it should be. Why?

The Christian believes in certain things. He believes in a sovereign God Who made the world in 6 days, Who rules all the affairs of men. His ethics are found in scripture, and He’ll hold us all to account concerning them.

We have to do a lot more than shake our fists at the humanist’s parade. They may be parading, but we must be working at articulating and building a God honouring, viable alternative. And that cannot happen overnight.

Nehemiah heard of the state of Jerusalem when he was in Susa. He was told that

The remnant there in the province who survived the captivity are in great distress and reproach, and the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates are burnt with fire (Neh.1:3).

Nehemiah was deeply upset about this. The Bible says that he

sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven (v.4).

The scripture then records the seven verses of Nehemiah’s prayer. He’d been greatly upset, so he prayed and fasted.

Is that where he stopped? No. Now, he acted in faith, which godly people must always do. He had a plan, that he put before his master the king. He said

    …send me to Judah, to the city of my father’s tombs, that I may rebuild it (Neh.2:5).

Lamenting just won’t ever be enough for the believer, because if we stop at that, we’ve never gone far enough. Yes, lament if you wish, but ensure that it leads to the thing God always wants it to lead to: prayer and action.

About the time I was married in 1979, I heard this simple saying:

            Men of action, have satisfaction.

Nehemiah moved from hearing, to lamenting, to praying (with fasting), to acting, and we must do this too.

How do we do it? Well, the Bible tells us. It says that

Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; you will raise up the age-old foundations; and you will be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of the streets in which to dwell (Isa.58:12).

The godly man has to begin with his family; their education and discipleship. He has to begin at the beginning with what God has given him, and this will require his dedication, his time, and some of his money.

Thankfully, the cost of a godly education in terms of dollars continues to decline in relative terms. The internet is going to keep driving this cost down. Economics tells us that as the price of something is reduced, more is demanded.

That means that there is and will be a growing market for home education. That means that over the next few decades, the ranks of homeschoolers are likely to broaden, while public education has already peaked: it’s struggling.

The Bible speaks of the consequences of this man’s activities:

Praise the Lord! How blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on earth; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever (Ps.112:1-3).

But the godly couple knows there is more than just their family that needs to be rebuilt. They have to consider the church, too. Like the family, it’s of vital importance for the future. Paul declared that                                                                                                                                                                                                              

 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ (I Cor.3:10, 11).

So, the godly couple are investing in their church: their tithe, their faithfulness and their time. The church is all about God and His people. They know it’s a God ordained, essential social institution of the future, which has received magnificent promises from God:

You who remind the Lord, take no rest for yourselves; and give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isa.62:6, 7).

Conclusion:                                                                                                                                                                               

There are many things wrong with our society, and it doesn’t require a rocket-science degree to understand it. But what are we to do? We have to go back and begin at the beginning.

And where is that? With God and His Word; with the family and the church.

Events do take place that are disappointing and disheartening, but we have to look beyond these, and accept the encouragement that Nehemiah received from his fellow-workers, hundreds of years before Christ:

              …Let us arise and build (Neh.2:18).

What Does it Mean, to ‘Train up a Child?’(8)

Taken from, “The Significance of the Godly Family,” 2009.

By Andrew McColl, 4th May, 2021

The Bible specifically commands that God’s people are not to make covenants with ungodly people. Why? Because God’s people are bound in covenant to God, through Jesus Christ, and He is a jealous God. He is jealous for the love, affections and the obedience of His people; He wants their hearts. There are many texts dealing with this, such as Ex.34:10-16, Deut.7:1-6; 12:1-4; 20:16-18, Num.33:50-56; Judges 2:1-4; II Cor.6:14-18.

Every time God’s people disobeyed him in this context in the Bible, God said the results would be disastrous. (Joshua 23:11-13 is a good example.)

The Biblical position with regard to alliances is that alliances are religious acts…a common cause and a common faith motivates the allies.[1]

The most obvious application for this, is in relationship to whom we marry, but it applies to all areas of our life.

The Christian parent needs to consistently apply their faith to education, as an important aspect of life. This is a non-negotiable issue. What does it mean to be faithful to God, in the raising of children? Do I really believe I can expose my children to the influence of evildoers for twelve years, and then give a good account to God for how they have been raised? This was Lot’s delusion. Is enrolment in a godless educational institution, consistent with the scriptures’ command, to “train up a child in the way they should go?” (Prov.22:6)

Children are a God-given inheritance for our conquest of the world for Christ. They are a means of subduing the earth and exercising dominion under the Lord. If we give our children to state or private schools which are not systematically Christian in their curriculum, we are then giving the future to God’s enemies, and He will hold us accountable for laying waste our heritage. [2]

In about 2002, while I was working for Australian Christian Academy in Brisbane, Australia, a church-attending woman came into our office to enquire about homeschooling. During our conversation, she admitted that she was troubled by a comment that her seven year old son in a state school, had made to her:                   

Mummy, why did you put me in a school that doesn’t believe in God?

The issue of educational accreditation is a significant religious issue for Christian parents. It may be one of the most significant tests of their faith in life. It is really a case of, “Who is Lord of my family?” It is a test of our faithfulness. Because much of the modern church is syncretistic, many can find a good excuse.

Syncretistic?

It’s an attempt to combine two religions, and it very commonly has an ulterior political motivation. Syncretism was Israel’s problem, from the time they came out of Egypt. Aaron tried to maintain the façade of faithfulness to the Lord, when he produced the golden calf (Ex.32:1-8).

Ahab may have wanted to maintain the facade of the worship of the Lord, but he also wanted to maintain his grasp on political power; so he didn’t want to offend others (including Jezebel), who were Baal worshippers. He tried to maintain an impossible religious compromise, with a political motivation. That was Ahab’s way: compromise, rather than initiate conflict. But, as someone has said,

The path of least resistance makes men and rivers crooked.

Ahab’s syncretism only brought God’s curse on his family (I Kings 21:25-29).

Conflict for the Christian is necessary, and an aspect of our faith. The early church had lots of it, and it frequently led to the persecution and martyrdom of individuals. No one that I know likes conflict, but bearing in mind that we will all give an account to God at a later date, we must ensure we make wise choices. “If we please God, who does it matter whom we displease?”

Conclusion:

Elijah said to the people in his day,

“How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people did not answer him a word (I Kings 18:21).

In relation to our childrens’ education, we must make choices which:

a) Are pleasing to God.

b) Will lead to their long-term benefit, assisting their education/discipleship.

c) Are decisions which they will see as being consistent with our Christian faith, which they can draw an example from, over time.

                                                                                                                                               

Is that what you’re doing?


[1] Rousas Rushdoony, “Salvation and Godly Rule,” 1983, p.89.

[2] Rousas Rushdoony, “In His Service,” 2009, p.20.

What Does it Mean, to ‘Train up a Child?’(7)

Taken from, “The Significance of the Godly Family,” 2009.

By Andrew McColl, 27th April, 2021

       1.Educational Accreditation:                                                                                                                             

         There was conflict between Rome and the early church. Rome’s policy toward all religions was that no religion had a right to exist unless it was a licit religion, duly licensed by the Empire, and possessing a certificate which that religion or cult was supposed to hang on the wall of its meeting place. A part of the procedure whereby licit status was secured, was to appear before a Roman imperial centre, and there to put a little incense on a brazier before an image of the emperor or a battle insignia, and then to declare briefly ‘Caesar is Lord!’ That was all. It was an acknowledgement of the sovereignty of Caesar over every area of life and thought.[1]

When we say that we believe in God and in Christ, we are saying that we are putting our faith in a higher Being. When a school is accredited, the school is putting its faith in a higher institution, which grants the school legitimacy. When a school is accredited by the state, the school is putting its faith in the state and being accepted by the state. Thus, accreditation is a religious act. This explains why accreditation is one of the means used by humanistic governments to control Christian schools.[2]

State control of education has always been a key component of humanist and socialist ideology; an article of their faith promoted since Aristotle, and espoused by Marx and Hitler. Engels, (Marx’s co-writer and supporter) claimed that,

with the transfer of the means of production into common ownership, [communism] the single family ceases to be the economic unit of society…The care and education of the children becomes a public affair; society looks after all children alike, whether they are legitimate or not. [3]   

State education has always been hostile to Christianity, and the family. As early as 1864, John Swett, the Superintendent of California state schools, claimed that

the child should be taught to consider his instructor…superior to the parent in point of authority… the vulgar impression that parents have a legal right to dictate to teachers is entirely erroneous…parents have no remedy as against the teacher.[4]

As early as 1930, humanists realised that education and in particular public education, would be a means of alienating students from Christianity. In that year, Charles F. Potter, a signatory of the first Humanist Manifesto,indicated that

education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism, and every public school is a school of humanism. What can the theistic Sunday School, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teachings?[5]

Rushdoony highlighted the religious claim of public education:

Since a sovereign must have absolute power, the state, where it claims sovereignty, whether a democracy or anything else, moves towards totalitarian powers. Sovereignty with such powers becomes the saving power, and the state becomes man’s god and saviour. It then governs and controls man’s total life.[6]

Christian parents must understand that Departments of Education have a deeply religious reason to maintain an educational monopoly. If departmental individuals are not believers in Jesus Christ, they will be hostile to the faith, for Jesus said that “he who is not with me is against me” (Mat.12:30).They know that Christian faith is communicated primarily within the family. The department may give lip-service to the notion of family influence within the curriculum or a school, but that is all. That is merely the maintenance of a good façade. What counts to them, is the maintenance of departmental power.

Strong family structures are a threat to the humanistic state, as they represent an independent power base, and are difficult to control. This is one reason why socialists have always hated the family. The Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, when she was the Federal Minister for Education, indicated in Parliament (25/8/2008) that “parents of school-aged children are obligated to send them to school.” She was utterly indifferent to the wishes of the parents. This reflects a consistent socialist view.

If the child is in a government registered school (be it a state school, private, or “Christian”), the child will spend a large portion of their time away from their parents and family, being progressively instructed in material which has departmental approval, in an age-segregated classroom. Over twelve years, that computes to some 14,400 hours, of departmentally approved, worldview indoctrination.                

There is a second reason why education departments are keen to maintain control. Like the silversmiths of Acts 19:23-27, they want to protect their business monopoly, and their future. If a large proportion of the community was able to successfully educate their children, without any reference at all to an educational bureaucracy, that bureaucracy would clearly be irrelevant. That could mean the loss of hundreds, and ultimately many thousands of tax-payer funded jobs, the total collapse and elimination of seven state or federal departments in Australia, and a massive saving to the taxpayer. I believe that would be a good thing, and a logical outcome of Jesus’ promise, that “every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted”(Mat.15:13).

They cannot afford to let this happen, so they will fight tooth and nail, and coerce families by various means of intimidation (including the threat of prosecution), to try and ensure children are enrolled in a departmentally registered institution. Any other scenario would be absolutely anaethema-unthinkable for them.

Nowhere in the Bible does God delegate the education of children to the state or to the disciples of other religions.[7]  


[1] Rousas Rushdoony, “The ‘Atheism’ of the Early Church,” 1983, p.15-16.

[2] Robert Thoburn, “The Children Trap,”1986, p.96-7.

[3] Marx and Engels, Selected Works, 1976.

[4] Rousas Rushdoony, “The Messianic Character of American Education,” 1995, p.80-81.

[5] Bruce Shortt, “The Harsh Truth about Government Schools,” 2004, p.54.

[6] Rousas Rushdoony, “Sovereignty,” 2007, p.471.

[7] Shortt, ibid., p.55.