The World’s Second Oldest Religion (V)

The education of children for God is the most important business done on earth. It is the one business for which the earth exists. To it all politics, all war, all literature, all money-making, ought to be subordinated; and every parent especially ought to feel every hour of the day, that, next to making his own calling and election sure, this is the end for which he is kept alive by God-this is his task on earth.[1]

The discipleship which Jesus Christ spoke of in the Great Commission (Mat.28:18-20), is not an isolated statement in scripture. It is predicated on lots of Old Testament teaching, beginning perhaps in Genesis 18:19, which is God’s description of 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.”

There is a lot more about the parental responsibility for education, in Deuteronomy, chapters 6 and 11, and the Book of Proverbs. This shows us that discipleship is firstly a family responsibility. I cannot claim to be faithful to God in playing my part in discipling the nations, unless I have begun with my children. It’s a case of pure negligence for a Christian father to say concerning the education of his children, “Well, that’s not my problem. I’ll leave this to the Sunday School teachers, or the pastor.” The pastor and the Sunday School teacher won’t be there on the day of accountability.

This leads me to the next point. Many Christian parents whose children are attending a State school are awkward about identifying the humanist religion in public education. Why? It’s embarrassing for them. If they identify it, they know that they’ll need to do something about it, and they don’t want to. So, they fall for the old lie that says, “if I ignore this problem, it’ll go away.” It won’t.

I have an acquaintance who serves as a Chaplain in State Schools. He knows they’re not good places to be, but he sends his 13 year old daughter to one every day. Why? He’s been bluffed out by the system, and doesn’t have the intestinal fortitude to take her out and home-school her.

All of this points to one thing: God will keep roughing up His people, if they fail to get the message. He warned Israel about this:

If you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it will come about that those whom you let remain of them will become as pricks in your eyes and as thorns in your sides, and they will trouble you in the land in which you live. And as I plan to do to them, so I will do to you (Nu.33:55-56).

Jesus spoke about accountability in His parable about the talents (Mat.25:14-30). The servant who refused to trade with what his master had entrusted him, Jesus described as a “wicked, lazy slave” (v.26). The master in Jesus’ parable commanded his servants to “throw out the worthless slave into outer darkness (v.30).

Is this merely an economic parable, dealing with money? No, for Jesus is warning us about ALL the things that He entrusts to us, and that includes our children.

Now, no doubt some could say to this, “Andrew, you won’t win many friends talking like that.” Well, I’m not interested in winning friends, as much as I am in warning Christians to obey the Lord. In fact, speaking of friends, Jesus told his disciples that “You are My friends, if you do what I command you” (Jn.15:14). He reduced the billions of people in the world whom He could classify as His friends, to one group of individuals characterised by one thing: obedience.

Now, here’s the test for you and me. According to our demonstrated obedience in relation to the discipleship and education of our children in the Christian faith, preventing them from being indoctrinated in the world’s second oldest religion (humanism), are we going to pass the grade?



[1] Robert Dabney, (circa 1890), quoted in B. Shortt, “The Harsh Truth about Government Schools,” 2004, p.356.

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