The children are back in school again.
At least for most of the children it is a case of beingback in school. In some instances it will be a going to school for the first time. And what an ordeal that is for both mother and child! The mother, if it is her first or last child to enter school, will find herself in her thoughts going to school where the child is in first grade or kindergarten. The child in school finds himself going home in his thoughts to mother. And it takes a while before both are adjusted to this new experience. For these, who are just beginning their formal education in school, there is stretched out a long road of eight, twelve, sixteen or more school-term miles.
For many children it is a return to school. Yea, for most of those in school it is a going back to that long road after getting off a few months for the summer vacation rest alongside the road.
Many children there are who, in order to continue their schooling, have departed from home to be in a distant city, state or even country for specialized training, or for instruction in an institution that will teach them according to the doctrines of their churches.
That these children are in school in our land is most likely due, to the fact that the State requires it up to a certain age. It is not because Scripture demands it. Nowhere does Scripture tell the parent that he must send his child to an institution that will give him the formal education in the things of his natural life which the State requires. Sending our children to a school is being obedient to the Word of God only in the sense that this Word demands of us that we be obedient to the laws of the State.
However, Scripture is clear and emphatic about the demand that the child be trained and brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord. God’s Word clearly and emphatically insists that spiritual training and instruction in spiritual matters be given to the child.Deuteronomy 6:6, 7 declare, “And these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Psalm 48:11-14 tells us to walk about Zion to see her strength and beauty that we may tell it to the generations following. Many other passages there also are which demand such instruction. And believing parents, heeding this command of the State, establish and maintain Christian schools and hire believing teachers so that their children may have that kind of instruction while they are taught the things of their natural life, and may have the things of their natural life taught in the light of these spiritual truths. It is also for this reason that the church arranges for the instruction of the child in the knowledge of Scripture and in the doctrines of the church.
Your children, therefore, are in a Christian school or college, are they not? And you send them, do you not, to their classes which the church provides for them, whether now you call it catechism or Bible class or the like. That is where they belong. To that they have a right; and it is a privilege that is theirs as children of the covenant. If you do not send them to a Christian school, and it is possible for you to send them, because there is such a school in the area, do not ask the question, after they leave the faith and turn their backs upon the church and the truth, “Where did we fail them?”
But the observation which we wish to make at this time is that it is not enough simply to enroll your children in such a school and to send them to the classes provided by the church. This is necessary. Parents who do so are to be commended for their action and interest in God’s covenant. But havinghired, we must not now assume the position of beingretired. The parent who cannot send his child to a Christian school knows that he cannot retire when he has no believing teacher he can hire for his children. He has a full-time job. He has no help and instead must constantly be fighting the forces of darkness. The State demands such a schooling. That parent finds the lie being taught as well as the philosophies of men that ridicule the truth. The child is between two forces. This is no time to retire from the important work of teaching according to the truth of God’s Word. But the parent who does send his child to a Christian school, and to those classes provided by the church for spiritual instruction, must not think that he can retire and leave it all to those Christian school teachers. God’s command comes to the parents and not to the teachers. These are the children of those parents, and nothing in the world can ever change that and transfer the responsibility from the parent’s shoulder to those of the teacher. Indeed, that teacher will have to answer before God for what he has taught. But that parent will have to give answer for what he allowed others to teach his child. The large sum of money spent as tuition does not buy the parent freedom from his responsibility for the training of his child.
That parent brought forth this child, and it is his child as long as he and that child lives. That parent better be sure that he knows what is being taught his child. It is not enough simply to know that his child is being taught. We like to get our money’s worth, and therefore we want to be sure that the teachers whom we hire are doing their work. We do not wish to spend hundreds of dollars only to find at the end of the year that our children learned little or nothing because the teachers resorted to many of their own pet projects and neglected the basic elements of “reading, writing and ‘rithmetic.” More important is it to be sure that our children are being taught the truth and all things in the light of that truth.
This is so necessary today because the Christian schools are often so similar to the schools of the world. There was a time when evolution was taught in the schools of the world and denied and condemned in the Christian School. Now it is taught in the schools of the unbelievers as a theory of man, and in the Christian (?) schools as the testimony of God in His Word!!! The teacher in the schools of the unbelievers digs into the earth for support of this theory of men. Teachers in Christian (?) schools dig into the Word of God to help the unbelievers, who have not this Word, make a good case for their atheistic ideas. In former years the Christian schools were erected and maintained because believing parents were convinced that there was night and day difference between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light and that God’s people indeed were a peculiar people. And the teachers in the school of the world shook their heads at this “narrow-minded, silly” people! But now some Christian (?) schools go out of their way to show how much they are like the schools of the world, how much good there is in the world, and how much of it we ought to seek. There was a time when Christian schools had a world and life view that pointed in the direction of Christ and His kingdom. That is why they were called Christian schools, is it not? But today many teach a worldly life view that directs the child towards the kingdom of the Antichrist. In days gone by the Christian schools taught the pupils to put on the whole armor of God in recognition of the fact that there is a powerful spiritual enemy that would like to destroy us. In many Christian (?) schools today the pupils are taught to seek the friendship of that enemy, who is presented not as an enemy but an inherently good man who can be won by kindness and needs not regeneration and the Spirit of Christ. The cross in many Christian (?) schools has been replaced with money, the Spirit with the scientist’s laboratory. And the children are taught to go out with these and make this a better world in which to live. The cross and the Spirit have failed. Money and science must be worshipped and religiously be sought as the solution to man’s problems. Sin is only a mistake and due to ignorance. Love is thinking of man and forgetting God and His Christ. Loving man is looking out for his material good and not being so “cruel” as to tell him that he is a sinner and needs that cross and that Spirit. Tell him that God loves him no matter how vile and evil he may be, but be not so void of love that you tell Him, “The foolish shall not stand in Thy sight: Thou hatest all workers of iniquity,” Psalm 5:5; “God judgeth the righteous and God is angry with the wicked every day,” Psalm 7:11; “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things (filthiness, fornication, covetousness, idolatry etc.) cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience,”Ephesians 5:6. It would be cruel and a lack of love to say such harsh things to him.
You had better, therefore, be sure that you knowwhat is being taught to your child. You had better find out how strongly it is advocated that Jerusalem and Athens, the Church and the World, should get married and live a peaceful life, the life of the world! Jesus said that He did not come to bring peace but a sword. Where is this enmity of Genesis 3:15 between seed and seed to be seen in our Christian school system today? O, indeed you can see a fight on the basketball court, on the baseball diamond and football field. Then you can hear the cry from the school of the world: Beat Christian! And from the side of the Christian school comes the militant cry: “Fight! Fight! Fight!” But where do you see anything like a battle of faith? Where do you see any need for a Christian School? You will read in the papers: “Christian Beats Catholic,” “State and Christian Meet Friday in Crucial Battle.” Indeed, they meet on Friday, and for a couple of hours on Friday and only about worldly, material, carnal matters, that they may fight about them. Where is the unceasing battle of faith? Where is the distinctiveness? Where is the antithesis?
Well, where is the distinctiveness in the home? Hire and then retire is the slogan so often. Hire a teacher. Wash our hands of the whole business of training our children; and then retire for the enjoyment of the flesh. But this is dangerous regardless of what Christian school it is to which you send your children, and regardless of what minister it is to whom you send them for instruction in the doctrines of the church. You parents are responsible for what he teaches them, for what you allow him to teach them. And these have their flesh as well as you do. Be sure your children are taught the truth and nothing but the truth.
Your diligence in this will reveal how serious you are about doctrinal differences and purity; how sharp an antithesis you see between the church and the world, between the truth and the lie; how spiritually sensitive you are; how much value you attach to the things spiritual; how eager you are to see your children serve God rather than serve mammon; yea, how much you love God.
If you love God, your love for your children will be a true love that declares that you want your children to live in His fear.