The Vision of the Godly Father

The roots of every cultural crisis rest in personal crises. The failure of a culture is the failure of the men in it. A society cannot be vital and possessed of an on-going vigour if the men therein are marked by a loss of faith, a retreat from responsibility, and an unwillingness to cope with personal problems. A culture loses its will to live and to conquer if its members manifest a spirit of retreat and surrender… Not surprisingly, our world-wide cultural crisis is rooted in the failure of men.[1]

The Bible warns us that “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law” (Prov.29:18). What is God’s vision for us? In order to understand this, we have to go back to His original plan for man, in the beginning.

Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves over the earth” (Gen.1:26-28).

We all know that the fall of man, and man’s resultant sinful nature significantly clouded his ability to “rule and have dominion.” Nevertheless, God said of Abraham that “I have chosen him, so that he may command his children after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him” (Gen.18:19). This implies godly authority and leadership.

In I Timothy 3:4-5 Paul discusses the qualifications for a man who wants to be a leader in the church. The most important area, writes Paul, is the condition of the man’s home. He must be one who “manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity.” He is expected to exercise authority and to have his children respectful, obedient and under his control.

The Greek word translated ‘manage’ means literally “to stand in front of.” It contains various related ideas, including “to rule,” “to protect” and “to control.” Essentially the word means that the father stands at the head of his home. He puts himself between his family and all the pressures and dangers of life. He also goes in front of them and sets an example of godly living. [2]

After the failure of the generation that left Egypt, God commanded Joshua to “give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them” (Josh.1:6). Even in the presence of sin, He expected His people to have a measure of godliness and responsibility, and that they should be the dominant people of the earth.

Now that Jesus has come as the “last Adam” (I Cor.15:45), and the “second man” (I Cor. 15:47), His death and resurrection have re-established believers on the surest possible foundation. The Christian person is one who has been “born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (I Pet.1:3), and the promise of scripture is that “sin shall not be master over you” (Ro.6:14). His Great Commission sends us into all the world to “make disciples of all the nations” (Mat.28:19).

The redeemed person therefore, should never be a wanderer without purpose. He may have a great number of uncertainties about tomorrow, even where he will lay his head. But,

 even as Adam was called to exercise dominion and subdue the earth (Gen.1:26-28), redeemed man is sent into all the world with the same commission under Jesus Christ (Mat.28:18-20). This requires Christian man to acquire eminence and dominion in every realm and to be an imperialist in Christ.[3]

What has happened to the Church today, that the original Biblical vision of the believer’s role has been so totally discarded? The Church for about 300 years has been influenced by what’s been called Pietism. Pietism, in the words of Francis Schaeffer,

made a sharp division between the ‘spiritual’ and the ‘material’ world-giving little, or no, importance to the ‘material’ world. The totality of human existence was not afforded a proper place. In particular it neglected the intellectual dimension of Christianity.[4]

This meant that from this time onward (around 1700) Christians began to steadily withdraw from thinking and applying themselves to the affairs of the world, believing somehow that non-involvement would somehow be more pleasing to God.

But this was the very opposite to what God had intended for us. He wants us involved in the world. That is the very idea of us being “salt” and “light” in our respective communities. We are the ones who are to be making a difference, so “that the world may believe” (Jn.17:21).

Now, it is true that the Bible instructs us, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (I Jn.2:15). But this does not mean that we should not be interested and concerned about what is happening in our society; after all, this is where we live. Why shouldn’t we want it to be better?

The acceptance of Pietism was one of the most irresponsible things the Church could have done, because we have a clear interest for our sake, for our family’s sake, and for the sake of the gospel, in what happens in our community. Our job is to make it a whole lot better. That’s what Jesus came for.

The Bible says, “The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil” (I Jn.3:8), and we have been instructed to utilise our talents productively and profitably (Luke 19:11-27) until our Master returns. We will give an account to Him.

God created us and commanded us to care for His creation and rule over it, and that requires that we use all of our faculties (including our intellectual ones), to accomplish that goal. Furthermore, every intellectual issue of our day is addressed in the Bible.

So what should be the vision of the godly father?

a) He has to be preparing his children for a life of service to God: a life of godly dominion, responsibility and power under Jesus Christ.

b) He has to be preparing his children for the future: work, marriage and family.

c) He has to be preparing his children to be able to deal ably and confidently with the issues of the day, including education, economics, politics, and many, many other issues under heaven.

Activating a Vision Requires Leadership: Nature abhors a vacuum:

Unbelievers have had their way in most countries in the world now for generations, partially because Christians have not been willing or confident to stand up for scriptural beliefs. The twentieth century was the most brutal in human history, and this was a prime example of what happens when Christians step back from providing Biblical influence in their world.

This must change, and the sooner the better, if the world we have around us is to be saved and reclaimed. The world needs godly leadership! You are important!

Leadership by example is God’s way. When Paul explained to Timothy the requirements of an overseer (see I Tim.3:1-7), implicit in his description is that the overseer is to be an example to those he leads, and Peter explicitly says that the elders are to be “examples to the flock” (I Pet.5:3).  Paul said, “the things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you” (Phil.4:6). He also said, “be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ” (I Cor.11:1).

Gideon was similar. He said to his three hundred men, “Look at me and do likewise. And behold, when I come to the outskirts of the camp, do as I do” (Judges 7:17).

Because the modern world (and often the Church) has emphasised academic or intellectual qualifications of leadership, or it’s supposed “charisma,” and neglected the primary Biblical obligation of leaders to be people of character and integrity (see Ex.18:21-23), this has led to all manner of distortions and abuse. It was Spurgeon who wrote that

 I have long, long ago given up estimating character by the amount of intelligence, for I sometimes find that the most intelligent are the best able to deceive me. How often in daily life we find that the most knowing are the most cunning, and the greatest scholars are the biggest rogues.

So, the important question is not whether we are leading or not. It is whether our leadership is reflective of Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God. How can we be confident about this?

Firstly, start with the really simple things. Paul talks about these in Phil.2:3-5:

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus…

You see, depth of leadership is essentially one of attitude; our attitude towards God, and then towards others. Is my attitude concerning God, one of obedience and complete dependence, or do I sometimes think that I can make it on my own?

In relation to others, do I see them as people to consistently show love, care and service towards (see I Cor.13), or am I intent like Diotrephes (see III Jn.9) on showing everyone that I am the most pre-eminent person around? The reason Paul could confidently commend Timothy to the Philippians, was because he saw him as one “who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare” (Phil.2:20).

This is why it is always important to be developing in ourselves and those we are responsible for, a willing and joyful attitude in serving others. One preacher I heard thirty five years ago, used to say to budding leaders that “all authority is given to serve.” Based on the life of Jesus Himself, I consider that to be a most accurate and profound comment, for He said “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep” (Jn.10:11).

The greatest leader of men, was also the greatest Servant. The Last Supper certainly showed that. So leadership is important, and it’s actually dependent more than anything, on our attitude.

Conclusion:                                                                                                                     

Christian fathers need a Biblical vision for themselves, their families, their churches and their nation. Christian fathers must have confidence that this world can be a better place because of the influence of the Gospel, of Christian families and the Church. This vision will impact all that we do.

Is your vision for your children one of unbelief and fear, like the generation that came out of Egypt? Or is it one of confidence in God, and in His good plans for you and your family?

Are you willing to gain a Biblical vision for your family, that will bring confidence, hope and faith in God? Now is the time to gain that Biblical vision, and apply it for yourself, your family and your church. It’s within your reach, and is an essential part of “ruling and having dominion” in the service of Jesus Christ our King.

 

 

[1] Rousas Rushdoony, “Roots of Reconstruction,” 1991, p.168-9.

[2] Derek Prince, “Husbands & Fathers,” 2000, p.86

[3] Rushdoony, ibid, p.86.

[4] Francis Schaeffer, “A Christian Manifesto,” 1981, p.19.

 

The Father in His House

I will sing of lovingkindness and justice, to You O Lord, I will sing praises. I will give heed to the blameless way. When will you come to me? I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart. I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not fasten its grip on me (Ps.101:1-3).

Every Christian father really does have an exciting task before God. The Bible says that “a father tells his sons about Your faithfulness” (Isa.38:19). With his wife, the godly father has the challenge of raising his children “…in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph.6:4).

Every responsibility a Christian has requires the grace of God to do it, and being a godly father is no different. We can identify something of the father’s responsibility, when God spoke concerning Abraham:

For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him (Gen.18:19).

Neither of these passages stress academic prowess. But all of them illustrate the importance God places on His people being faithful in ethical matters, as seen in scripture. Thus a father’s first task before God is teaching his children “the way of the Lord.”

Education and discipleship, according to the Bible, are really one and the same thing. In fact, it was Noah Webster about 200 years ago, who commented that “education without the Bible is useless.”

An understanding of Biblical law, along with explaining and expounding how his children are to be faithful to those laws, are to be among the first things a godly father is to be teaching his children. In Malachi’s era, God commended the Levitical priesthood this way:

True instruction was in his mouth and unrighteousness was not found in his lips; he walked with Me in peace and righteousness, and he turned many back from iniquity. For the lips of a priest should preserve knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts (Mal.2:6, 7).

The exposition of scripture is one of the first tasks of the godly father. He not only knows his Bible, he’s to be consistently expounding it with his wife and children, so that they become people of the Book, too. The Bible makes promises about this:

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).

This father will be familiar with the great themes of the Bible: creation, salvation, redemption, justification and sanctification. And he’ll be able to diligently explain them to his family, so that they too become people of the Lord.

I have a university education, and it’s perfectly legitimate for a Christian with the academic ability, to go on to higher education. But if the young person has never been taught by their parents the absolute necessity of loving, serving and obeying Jesus Christ, according to the scriptures, higher education can become a liability. He will not have a theological framework to understand and judge the knowledge coming to him, and this can be overwhelming.

What’s to be the father’s attitude? Jesus explained what this should be:

You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many (Mat.20:25-28).

A father with a servant attitude should be authoritative, but never authoritarian. No one has more authority when they raise their voice; all they are doing is using intimidation. Any father who ever entertains the idea that he can lord it over his family had better change his attitude, if he really wants to serve God in his family. If Jesus described Himself as being “…gentle and humble in heart…” (Mat.11:29), shouldn’t every father want to be like that?

That means that any father should always be willing to help his wife with domestic tasks. Floors need mopping, dishes need to be done, washing needs to go on the line, meals need to be prepared and windows need cleaning. Serving our wife often means helping with these tasks, which with her other responsibilities, can become overwhelming for her.

This is a theme that Biblical writers repeatedly return to. Paul, in encouraging the Philippians, emphasised how important it was to,

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves, which was also in Christ Jesus… (Phil.2:3-5).

He also encouraged the Galatians, not to

 turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another (Gal.5:13).

Conclusion:                                                                                                                                               The time for short-cuts is over. Short cuts have gotten us where we are today in the church: in a hole, and the state of the world today reflects this. Christian fathers must begin to take their responsibilities seriously. This will mean applying ourselves to the Word and law of God, and teaching and explaining this to our families.

It will mean living lives of faithfulness to God, and adopting the servant attitude towards our families that Jesus had to His disciples, and which He commended. And it will mean obedience to God’s law, for that was where He promised there’d be blessing for us.

Is that what you’re ready for?

 O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day (Ps.119:97).

 

Come Out of Her, My People (3)

The intensely powerful religious force of humanism, with all its hatred of God and God’s world of law and order, can never be defeated by people whose ground of operation is vaguely Christian and largely humanistic… Christians are too often trying to defend their realm on humanistic grounds, with Saul’s armour, and as a result, they are steadily in retreat. Often, they are actually fighting for the enemy without knowing it.1

By 1880, Archbishop Vaughn saw exactly what was happening in Australia. He predicted that government education would be

“lawless education” and “plots of immorality, infidelity and lawlessness, being calculated to debase the standard of human excellence, and to corrupt the political, social and individual life of future citizens.”2

He was right. Parental wishes and standards today are more or less pushed aside, and the State-employed teacher becomes the paramount authority in the life of the child. It means that Darwinistic evolution is taught as fact (“forget that stupid Creation fairy-story,”) there is to be no discrimination in “sexual preferences,” and there is drug abuse, bullying and a thousand other perversions, in the name of “a good education.”

And then a well-meaning chaplain is supposed to come along at taxpayer’s expense to that State school to try and help. Where does he start, and what does he do? He tries to put lip-stick on a grubby, muddy pig, that’s just itching to go back to its grubby, muddy mud-bath.

The Bible commands us to “not be bound together with unbelievers…” (II Cor.6:14). Whenever we believers try to work alongside unbelievers, they quickly recognise our religious differences, and they want to call the shots. That was what Lot found in Sodom. The Sodomites said of him, “This one came in as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge…” (Gen.19:9). The sooner he departed, the better.

It’s one thing to befriend an individual. It’s another to be implicitly committed to a demonically empowered, pagan institution that is committed to eradicating the knowledge of God. The Bible says, “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself to be an enemy of God” (James 4:4).

Public education is itself an implicit violation of at least the first four Commandments. Why? Because it implicitly and practically eliminates God from the child’s curriculum, substituting something else. Isn’t that a recipe for idolatry for that child? Nature abhors a vacuum.

Why would Christian parents put their children in a State school? Because they are ignorant, blind or misguided. Or worse: they don’t really care about their children’s education, and they grasp at public education because it’s “free.” But the Bible tells us that “children are a gift of the Lord…” (Ps.127:3a). God will require accountability for those He has given to us. Can we afford to give them anything but our best?

The Bible says “How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing and fools hate knowledge? Turn to my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit on you, I will make my words known to you” (Prov.1:22-23).

I suppose all of these dear people pressing for a continuation of Commonwealth funding for chaplains would want to disown me, and call me extreme; a radical, with views “not in the main stream.” Well, they are right. I’m certainly not in the main stream. But then, Jesus did say, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it” (Mat.7:13).

The people who spent a lot of money fighting to ensure their chaplains could continue to be employed at taxpayers’ expense, have been poorly taught in church for over one hundred years since the Church progressively gave in, rolled over and accepted State control of education in Australia around 1850. To some degree, you can’t blame them.
But all they are doing is perpetuating the same old evil system, trying to throw a thimble-full of Christianity into the back of the humanist’s semi-trailer. That semi-trailer just goes trundling on its evil way, regardless of them. They would do well to listen to another radical, John the Baptist, who said “The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear fruit is cut down and throne into the fire” (Mat.3:10).
Now the parents who desperately want the chaplains to be able to continue may be saying in protest, “But Andrew, we can’t take our kids out of the system, because it needs them there to evangelise. It would collapse without them.” They should bear in mind this fact:

It is of critical importance that we equip our children to be Christian before we demand of them that they change the world. It is a violation of both Deuteronomy 6:1-6 and Ephesians 6:4 to commit children to an ungodly structure. 3

Getting the children out would be the best thing. Like Lot getting out of Sodom with his family, Christians would be finally waking up to themselves and ending their evil compromise with public schooling, those synagogues of Satan which Christians in their ignorance and naivete have foolishly supported in this country for six generations. It’s time to stop.

Mark Twain was correct when he said, “Don’t let schooling get in the way of a good education.”

Conclusion:

Any Christian parent serious about obeying God’s commandments, and ensuring that their child receives a godly education should consider the State school in this light:

Will twelve years of humanistic indoctrination in this deliberately godless institution which denies the commands of God and the knowledge of Jesus Christ, in the company of an evil peer-group that is hostile to God, really prepare my child for a life of godly service and dominion in the Name of Jesus Christ?

You don’t need a university degree to answer that.

 

 

 

1 Rousas Rushdoony, “Roots of Reconstruction,” 1991, p.596.

2 Quoted in Alan Roberts, “Australia’s First Hundred Years: the Era of Christian Schools,” 1984, p.16.

3 L. Oswalt, in “The Theory of Resistance,” Gary North, (Ed), 1983, p.339.

Come Out of Her, My People (Part 2)

…Do not learn the ways of the nations… (Jer.10:2).

A truly Christian education must include an understanding of what Jesus identified as the “great and foremost commandment:” “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Mat.22:38).

The very notion of holiness means separation. We are not only to be holy, but to be wholly separated to the Lord. Why?

Covenant always requires separation from others. With my wife, it’s me and her, not me, her and some other person. The ways of the nations may be fine for the nations, but God’s people are to be set apart for Him. A bride’s white dress is not merely symbolic; it speaks of her moral purity and faithfulness.

This becomes clear when we examine God’s plan for the conquest of Canaan. In relation to the inhabitants, God told His people

you shall make no covenant with them and show no favour to them. Furthermore, you shall not intermarry with them… but thus you shall do to them: you shall tear down their altars, and smash their sacred pillars, and hew down their Asherim, and burn their graven images with fire. For you are a holy people to the Lord your God… (Deut.7:2-3, 6).

Why would separation be important? Because without it, God’s people have always been quickly corrupted. God said that without separation to the Lord, the Canaanites would “turn your sons away from Me to serve other gods” (Deut.7:4).

This was the recurring pattern of the Book of Judges:

a) Israel forsook the Lord and fell into idolatry.
b) God’s anger burned against His people.
c) He sent judgment in the form of plunderers against Israel.
d) The people were distressed and returned to the Lord (generally under the leadership of a God-ordained judge).
e) They fell into idolatry again, and the cycle continued.

Speaking of the children of Israel, the Bible tells us that “these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (I Cor.10:11). My question is, what have we learned from the book of Judges?

No man wants a wife who sleeps around. Neither does God. Paul explained that “…I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin” (II Cor.11:2). Thus a truly Christian education requires the separation of God’s people unto the Lord.

God separated His people from the surrounding cultures in the Old Testament era. He separated Noah from the pre-flood world. He separated Abram from both Ur of the Chaldees and Haran. He separated Israel from Canaan during Israel’s sojourn in Egypt. He separated Israel from Egypt’s masses by putting them in Goshen. He separated Israel from Egypt completely at the time of the Exodus. But separations from do not imply retreat and impotence…To fulfil the terms of the dominion covenant, God’s redeemed people must separate themselves ethically from Satan’s unredeemed people…Covenantal separation therefore implies covenantal dominion…God’s separation[s]…all required action by His covenanted people, in time and on earth…Men’s separation from Satan and his works is to bring them dominion over Satan and his works: in politics, economics, military affairs, art, medicine, science, and every other area of human action. 1

When the State assumes the responsibility to educate, it has to do a number of things. Because people are generally consistent, humanistic educators apply their humanistic, anti-God worldview to the process. It is what they have always done. It’s the Satanic form of holiness.

That means almost the total elimination from education of the notion of God, the Bible, Jesus Christ, and anything else that might remotely suggest that there is a higher authority beyond man.

You like me, probably received a public education. Can you remember anything concerning God or Jesus Christ in the curriculum? If the answer is “No,” it was not an accident. The ultimate point of reference for humanistic man is man himself, and the thought of an absolute God laying down things as definitive as the Ten Commandments, and sending His Son to be the Saviour of the world, is abhorrent to him. Thus humanistic man makes every possible attempt to eliminate every thought of God from a curriculum, for man in his eyes, must be “the sum of all things.”

Like all people, socialists are deeply religious people, but since Plato in Greece (around 375 B.C.), socialism has always been about the expansion of government power at the expense of the individual, the family and (since Christ) the Church. All of the totalitarian governments (think of Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and Mao) have gladly employed socialist education as a means of furthering their evil agendas; it suited them perfectly, and we know what they managed to perpetuate.

Public education is a socialist and a Marxist concept, and there is nothing remotely Biblical about socialism. The humanists love it, because it gives them the power to politically indoctrinate children. The Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, when she had been 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.

Conclusion:
Christian parents must recognise this fact: godless people have an agenda for their children, and it isn’t godly. Whatever you choose for your children’s education, make sure it never interferes with them learning to fear, hope and trust in the Lord, all of their days. God will honour your obedience to Him

 

 

1. Gary North, “Moses and Pharoah,” 1986, p.135-136.

Come out of Her, My People (Part I)

I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues” (Rev.18:4).

It is always a challenge for any individual, to hold to a set of beliefs that are completely contrary to the views of the majority of the community. When over 90% of the community does not wish to identify with Jesus Christ in anything other than a sentimental way, to publicly express a bold Christian position takes a good level of confidence.

But there is something more challenging. To identify oneself as a Christian, and find that over 90% of those who do so, are indoctrinated with a washed out, anaemic, compromised and emasculated interpretation of how Christianity should impact the world. This is where we are today, and our situation won’t go away quickly.

Why has this happened?

Christians have ignored the Dominion Mandate, God’s original commands to Adam and Eve: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen.1:28).

A proper understanding of the Dominion Mandate is critical for Christians. It tells us what we are here for, and gives our lives meaning, purpose and definition. North has written that

Covenant theology is inescapably dominion theology. God has placed on His people the moral requirement of transforming the world through the preaching of the gospel. He has also given mankind the tools of dominion, His laws.[1]

We have ignored the fact that this was God’s plan for Israel, too. He said through Moses, that “if you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth” (Deut.28:1).

The modern church has said, “No, that’s all Old Testament. It doesn’t apply today.” But when you  ignore the first part of the instruction manual, how will you make sense of the rest of it? And so we behave as inferior underlings who ignore God’s commands concerning ruling and reigning in the Name of the One Who has “all authority.”

What’s an example of this?

Some years ago, a group of Christians in Australia fought a High Court challenge to maintain the right of public school chaplains to be paid by the Commonwealth. Their attitude was,

There is a lot wrong with the public system. We want our children to get religious instruction or encouragement from a chaplain when they need it, at a public school. After all, the chaplains are doing so much good.

Why would I be opposed to chaplains in public schools receiving tax-payers’ funding? It all comes back to applying the scriptures to government and to education.

Samuel made it clear that when governments take 10% or more in taxation, they are taking a tithe; they are making themselves out to be greater than God. God makes it clear (see I Sam.8) that when governments do this, they become an instrument of His judgment on a nation that has rejected Him. So in an era of government expansion, Christians should always be seeking reductions in the size of government.

Most movements seek to get government subsidies. The subsidies take the form of direct funding, or subsidies may come in the form of protection against new competitors. But, however subsidies come, they initially strengthen the hand of the recipients, and then weaken it. The recipients become dependent upon the subsidies, and if the subsidies end, the recipients find themselves unable to compete in a highly competitive world.[2]

This was the U.S. story in the nineteenth century:

Massachusetts was the last state to abandon tax support of churches. That was in 1832. Within five years, it had begun state funding of education. A new established church replaced the old one. This established church spread in popularity.[3]

In what way is it obedient to God, to send children to an educational institution that has a curriculum hostile to God, teachers that are indifferent or hostile to God, and a peer-group that is also indifferent or hostile to God?  It is not much of an exaggeration to say that we may as well stand on the side on a highway and when a bus comes past, ask our children to jump in front of it.

In order for there to be “free public education” (itself a contradiction), there must be tax confiscation on a massive, unbiblical scale to feed the monstrosity. For socialists, nothing ever comes cheap. You’ve got to have property, buildings (used for about eight hours a day, and closed at night, on weekends and for ten weeks a year), teachers (absent for those ten weeks), along with an army of bureaucrats to run everything.

Inefficient?  Economic madness is more appropriate. It costs around $15,000 per child, to educate children in the State system in Australia. There’s nothing remotely Christian about it.

According to the Bible, education is a parental responsibility (see Deut. 6; Prov.22:6; Eph.6:4). Education is at root a religious issue, because education is fundamentally about values. The question is, “Whose values-God’s or man’s?”

Parents are responsible to prepare their children for lives of service and dominion in the Name of Jesus Christ, because God’s original mandate to Adam and Eve was that they should “rule and have dominion” (Gen.1:26-28).

But State schools are not the place to educate Christian children. Why?

To place children under the consistent influence of godless people is a violation of God’s commands, because “bad company corrupts good morals” (I Cor.15:33). The Bible (which we Christians believe is the Word of God) NEVER gives the State any responsibility to educate children, for where responsibility rests, authority lies.

In general terms, the State is responsible Biblically for the maintenance of law and order. Everything else is an individual, a family or a church responsibility. By authorising their children to be subjected for thirty hours a week, forty weeks a year, for twelve years (that’s a total of fourteen thousand hours) to an education which is implicitly atheistic, Christians are really teaching their children that a Christian worldview is irrelevant. This is because “atheism is not merely an intellectual position relegated to one discipline of study; it is a worldview.”[4]

Conclusion:

It’s time for God’s people to make some God-honouring decisions concerning their children’s education. These undoubtedly will be challenging, requiring significant changes to each family, along with significant inconvenience. But if the fear of God is in our hearts, what options do we have?

And if we please God, who does it matter whom we displease?

 

 

[1]Gary North, “The Dominion Covenant,” 1987, p.xiii.

[2] Gary North, “Reasons for Optimism,” 30/4/2011.

[3] Gary North, “College: Why it is Not a Bubble,” 29/4/2011.

[4] Joel McDurmon, “Manifested in the Flesh,” 2007, p.xv.

 

 

Reflections of a Home-Schooler

By Tim Daniels

Hi! My name is Tim, and I graduated from school at home. I used the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) curriculum from start to finish from grade 1 to grade 12. To all of you who are currently doing this too, keep up the good work! I was so blessed to receive the education that my parents chose for me. I heartily encourage you to continue working hard and studying with the best of your ability! There are so many opportunities ahead of you. The schooling you are receiving at home can prepare you very well for the rest of your life.

To parents who are choosing for your children what my parents chose for me, I want to encourage you. You are making an excellent choice for your children. As a graduate, I look back and am so thankful for the education I received. I regard my school training to be among the best in the world. I can say with certainty that I was prepared very well for university and my future career as an engineer. Even more importantly, I am grateful for the solid Biblical foundation I received throughout my 12 years of school.

I am now 29 years old. I have worked as a professional mechanical engineer for eight years. I graduated from my Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) at the University of Southern Queensland in 2007. I was privileged to study my university degree also by Distance Education, while living at home on the beautiful Sunshine Coast with my parents, sisters and brothers.
Since then, I spent several years living in Sydney working as a consulting engineer. My job gave me extraordinary experience with amazing opportunities to learn and develop my God-given skills and passions. I have worked on projects for numerous large companies across Australia and even overseas. I have had the chance to travel and work in some really cool places including hydro-electric pumping stations, military ships, hospitals, skyscrapers, manufacturing plants, an astronomical observatory, environmental test facilities and even power stations. I have been involved in design work for the world’s largest drillship, a jet fighter, road ambulances and also a dam wall, to name a few of the more interesting ones. I have also been very active in my local community, taking a lead role in running engineering education and networking activities across Sydney.
I now work in the construction industry in central Queensland. I am currently stationed in a remote campsite as a project engineer, building a gas-fired power station for Origin Energy. Previously this year I was part of another successful project with Leighton Contractors helping to build two reverse osmosis water treatment facilities near Miles and Yuleba. My job is amazing! God has blessed me so much as I seek to please Him in all that I do, wherever He leads me in whatever role He gives me.
I look back on my school years at home, and I am truly grateful. My parents made the right choice. I look forward one day to giving my own children (God-willing) the same education with ACE that I received at home.

Academically, my school years were excellent preparation for my future work. I personally believe I received much better training (for university and my career) than most other Australians. I was taught to set my own goals, study ALL my books until I understood them, enjoy every subject, focus well, work hard and train my memory. These skills I learned in school have stuck with me, enabling me to top my class in university and lead a rewarding professional career.

However, academic study is of secondary importance. My purpose in life is to serve my Creator. I cannot speak more highly of the Biblical education I received in the safety and care of my parents. While knowledge itself is no guarantee of character, I am so grateful for the Biblical knowledge I was taught through my school years. Through my time in school, university and full-time work as an engineer, I had the opportunity to serve in my local church wherever I have lived. Some of the most fulfilling times of my life have been spent teaching others – children, teenagers and adults – the good news of the Gospel.
God has given me a strong passion for His Word, and I never want to miss an opportunity to share with others the knowledge He has given me in the Bible. Although my understanding of God and His Word is still growing, I am so honoured to share what I do understand and help others grow to a deeper knowledge of Him. I have been blessed with various roles as Sunday-school teacher, Sunday youth Bible-study leader, young adult cell-group leader and also now a Bible-study organiser where I work in the remote Australian outback.

I believe parents have the God-given responsibility for the education of their children. While different parents have differing skills and strengths, all parents have the same calling from God to raise their children to know Him.

The family is the number one building block of any society. The family is the first and most important institution ordained by God. By God’s grace, you know you believe what is right. You then teach your children what you know to be right. Under the supervision and care of my parents, I learned principles from God’s Word that were taught in all subjects. At home, a true worldview can be presented from an unashamedly Biblical perspective without conflict that is present in state-run or large private schools. My family home, church and schooling together have formed a consistent, solid, Christian education for me that will stay with me throughout my entire life.

I don’t know what the future holds, but I am surrendered to go wherever God leads me. Over the years since graduation I have continued to serve as a volunteer helper with ACE student conventions in Australia and Indonesia. I have had the enormous privilege to visit many schools across Indonesia and encourage them also in the work of Christian education. Even in the workforce, I have had so many opportunities to share my faith in Jesus with other professionals I meet. Telling others about Jesus is the most important work I have ever done.

I am so grateful that I was raised to know Him myself from a young age, with a school education consistent with the Bible. I pray that many families – like you – will faithfully continue to raise up generations of godly young people through Christ-centred education.

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.

How Salman Khan Has Smashed 3,000 Years of Classroom Education Mythology

Gary North – September 30, 2015

Ever since the days of ancient Egypt, priesthoods of various denominations have had an alliance with the state. They trained the next generation of literate bureaucrats.

The state wanted literate bureaucrats. The priesthood wanted state support. It was a convenient alliance. It still is. In our day, the priests are priests because they are certified by the state to do the training. This is called academic accreditation. The priests are agents of the state.

All of this has rested on a myth: the myth of classroom education. In less than 10 years, the Khan Academy has undermined this myth beyond repair.

According to its website, the Khan Academy now has 26 million registered students. Registered. Not just dropping in to see videos, but actually registering.

The Khan Academy went online in 2006. This means that, in just nine years, it has grown to the largest educational institution in the history of mankind. This growth is accelerating.

One man, with no formal training as a teacher, single-handedly has taken over the education of at least 26 million students.

Think about what this means for the educational establishment. They have claimed for over a century that a teacher must have specialized training in order to become an effective teacher. He must spend years in specialized classes in state-accredited universities in order to be sufficiently competent to teach a roomful of 30 students at a time. But Khan is teaching 26 million students at a time.

It is now too late to stop him. There have been too many people who have come on board to praise the operation. There have been no major critics who have gained an audience. Nobody inside the educational establishment has been able to stop this avalanche which is rolling down the side of tenure mountain.

The videos are now being used in public schools. He is going to be training a generation of high school science students. He will add other courses soon enough.

He has proven that by paying somebody nothing, that person can become the primary teacher in 100 classrooms, 10,000 classrooms, or 100,000 classrooms. If the students can speak English, he becomes the primary teacher. He has turned the entire teaching establishment into the equivalent of teachers’ aides.

What does this do to the myth of the certified teacher? What does this do to over a century of progressive education?

CLASSROOM EDUCATION AS REDEMPTIVE

My father-in-law R. J. Rushdoony wrote a classic book, The Messianic Character of American Education (1963). It is a history of two dozen of the major figures in the coming of tax-funded education. He went back to the primary sources, as nobody else ever had, to show exactly how the founders of progressive education believed that the public schools would serve as an alternative to the Christian church. They saw it as redemptive institution.

Now, one man, with no financial backing initially, has undermined the entire theology of progressive education.

He is not dumbing down the material. Anybody can get online and master the material. You can watch a video 10 times. The educational establishment has nothing to do with the project, other than employing specialists in testing. There is no ideology to this program. There is no theology of redemptive state funding. The state had nothing to do with this program. It is a one-man show.

Basically, in less than one decade, one man undermined the entire theology of the progressive education movement. Critics of progressive education have come and gone, and they have had zero effect in rolling back the system. Now one man has obliterated the entire theology.

His videos have infiltrated the public schools of America. Every time a student watches one of his videos, another pillar of progressive education is knocked down. That student is being taught by someone who never went through this screening process of state licensure and certification.

In the next recession, when public school budgets come under fire again, what are the tenured bureaucrats going to say when the local school board calls for a doubling of the size of the high school classrooms, with one teacher and one low-paid teacher’s assistant doing little more than taking roll? The teachers have already abdicated. What will all the graduates of the teacher institutions do then? If they teach kindergarten through fifth grade, they may have jobs, but high school teachers can forget about careers.

The myth of the tenured teacher goes back to ancient Egypt. The priests controlled the supply of literate people. This is a major source of control by priesthoods, which were always in alliance with the state. Now there is no way to control the flow of information into the households of the masses.

PASSING THE EXAM

I have been contacted by a graduate of medical school about the possibility of creating a one-year course in the Ron Paul Curriculum on the basics of medicine. In other words, it would be an introductory course that we might call a pre-pre-med course. He is willing to do it for free, but of course we will pay him if he produces the course, and if students want to take the course. He is dedicated. He wants to get the message out. He could do it himself online if he really wanted to.

There are going to be innovators in every field who do this. The secrecy associated with ancient guilds is going to be broken.

At some point, some law school graduate who got all A’s and who passed the state bar exam is going to start putting on free courses for the general public on the intricacies of the legal system. Others will imitate him. Students are going to be able to get an education that is better than most state law schools. They will be able to pass the bar. On what basis can they be stopped? Why is it necessary to go through the classroom training, if the online training is just as good, and the students can pass the bar? How will the tenured bureaucrats secure their position under these conditions?

Then it goes to medicine. Then it goes to architecture. It goes to every field.

If a student can come out of a free online curriculum on YouTube, and he can pass whatever entry exam is required, what becomes of the justification for the modern university system, which absorbs half a trillion dollars of mostly public money every year?

The myth of classroom education is dying. Classroom teachers have always insisted that you cannot learn in the context of distance learning. There has never been any statistical evidence to show this. But the tenured bureaucrats want to spread the gospel of the necessity of classroom performance. Salman Khan has single-handedly destroyed that mythology. It’s basically gone. This has never happened in human history. In less than one decade, he destroyed the foundations of this myth.

This is going to undermine the state. This is going to undermine the whole state certification system. As long as free online videos train a person to pass a competitive exam, there is no justification for the public support of the infrastructure that enables people to pass the exam.

It will become clear soon enough that the whole policy of screening by means of a costly classroom is no longer valid from an educational standpoint. The classroom screeners are going to have to find another line of work. As long as any profession screens in terms of a final entrance exam, it will not matter how the person who passes the exam got the training to pass the exam. If the exam is valid as a screening device, then the entire classroom empire is an exercise in the reduction of supply of qualified candidates to pass the exam.

Anyone whose income is dependent upon the screening device of a graduate school program to reduce the supply of future competitors had better wake up and smell the coffee.

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 (II)

Your Name, O Lord, is everlasting, Your remembrance, O Lord, throughout all generations (Ps. 135:13).

We make a big mistake as believers, if we centre the purpose of God in our lifetime. Our lifetime is certainly important to us, but God has a far greater time-frame in mind than the few years on the planet that we’ll have.

This means that we have to think about those years when we certainly won’t be here. We won’t be around, but our children and our grandchildren will. We can’t live their lives for them, nor should we try. But what we can do is help prepare the next generations of God’s people for faithful service of Him.

For this, homeschooling presents us with a great opportunity, and more. We can fulfil our obligation to the Lord to use our time productively, with the next generations in mind.

I turned 60 this year. It’s one thing to have a birthday. But when the first digit on your age changes as many times as mine has, you realise that statistically, there can’t be a lot more of these. We simply run out of time, run out of life.

In my office on the wall, I have a photo taken of the property where I grew up, near Cowra in the central west of NSW. In the foreground is a mob of sheep, and five hundred metres back is my home till I was 18. Another five hundred metres back, is the home my grandfather built around 1910, where my father (born in 1918) and his siblings grew up. The last of my father’s generation died in 2000. Now, the property is farmed by my cousins and their sons. Life moves on, to the next generations.

Abraham was the first of his family to be called of God. He sojourned in the promised land, knowing that God had promised it to him, but not just yet. For God said,

I will give it to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojourning, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God (Gen.17:8).

Abraham and Isaac both lived in tents, dug wells, and built altars to the Lord. Some family traditions are a waste of time, but not these ones. When you have lots of livestock (Gen.13:2) and dependent families (and Abraham must have had over 1,000 people-see Gen.14:14), a good supply of water is critical. But Isaac’s well-digging was fiercely contested by the Philistines (see Gen.26:12-25), because they were envious of him.

Moses was called by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, but it was Joshua who led them into the land. And what was the centrepiece of God’s encouragement to Joshua? Faithfulness to the law of God.

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success (Joshua 1:8).

David had it in his heart to build a temple for God, and that was good. But it wasn’t his task- it was Solomon’s. All David was supposed to do was prepare for it, by assembling the raw materials for its building.

David was a great man, but Solomon, who seemed initially to show great promise, ended up in compromise and idolatry (I Kings 11:1-13). Though God had appeared to him twice, he frittered away his great inheritance, influenced by hundreds of foreign, pagan wives: “…the foreign women caused even him to sin” (Neh.13:26). In this, he did what his father had actually initiated: he married lots of wives; something God’s law (Deut.17:14-17) specifically forbade Israel’s kings to do.

This much is clear: the next generation of God’s people either builds on the past successes, or abandons them.

Everyone has to pass the baton, sometime. But what we must do as well as we can, is make those preparations for others who come after us, even while they are children.

This requires some things. It requires that we have faith in God, that He will lead and keep our successors just as faithfully as He has led and kept us. If we leave something of worth behind, they will have something to build on.

The first thing to leave for our children is a godly example. This aspect of leadership is a prominent theme in scripture.

It is a show of false modesty for a parent to say, “Well, my role is not a very important.” You are important, because you will spend a significant portion of your adult years modelling a lifestyle to your children, and then perhaps your grandchildren. Saying, “I don’t model anything,” is not facing the facts; you may not deliberately do so, but it will just happen in the day to day affairs of home and family, as others observe your speech, attitudes, behaviour and decisions.

Godly Gideon said to his three hundred men, “Look at me and do likewise. And behold, when I come to the outskirts of the camp, do as I do” (Judges 7:17).

Even evil leaders understand the importance of leadership. Abimelech said to his followers, “What you have seen me do, hurry and do likewise. All the people also cut down each one his branch and followed Abimelech … (Judges 9:48-49).

Leadership by example is God’s way. The Bible says that “…God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Ro.5:8). Jesus commanded us to “take My yoke upon you and learn from Me…” (Mat.11:29), and He also said that “when he [the good shepherd] puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice” (Jn.10:4).

When Paul explained to Timothy the requirements of an overseer (see I Tim.3:1-7), implicit in his description is that the overseer is to be an example to those he leads, while Peter plainly says that the elders are to be “examples to the flock” (I Pet.5:3).  Paul said, “the things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you” (Phil.4:6). He also said, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ” (I Cor.11:1).

Conclusion:                                                                                                                            

Everyone godly person leads with the hope and prayer that those who come after them will follow the Lord, and build on the useful foundations laid before them. For God wants to lead successive generations.

…Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he crouched down on the earth and put his face between his knees. He said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” So he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.” And he said, “Go back,” seven times. It came about at the seventh time, that he said, “Behold, a cloud as small as a man’s hand is coming up from the sea” (I Kings 18:42-44).