Both air and water pollution today are matters of great concern.
Not only is our water being polluted by poisons and filth which are being poured into them at a steady rate, our air also is becoming less and less fit for breathing and more and more dangerous for our very life.
It is a matter of life and breath. But it is also and for that very reason a matter of life and death. Lung diseases, including the fatal lung cancer, are on the increase, and not always because of smoking, but surely because of smoke and fumes that are released into the air which we breathe. The delicate tissue of the lungs cannot remain healthy and strong with all these foreign elements taken into the lungs along with the very life sustaining oxygen which we must have.
A strange people we are—yea a foolish people, fallen into sin and self-destruction—that spends billions of dollars and erects laboratories and clinics to seek in every way by medicine and surgical procedures to lengthen life; and then turns right around and shortens life by destroying the value of the water and air that we require so desperately. We act as though we want to live longer; and yet we go on a course which says that we will instead enjoy the moment regardless of the consequences for the future.
All this is due to our self-centered, atheistic ambitions. We use neither water nor air to serve God but to serve our flesh. We ask not, “Lord what wilt Thou have me to do with Thy creation?” Instead we say, “This is my world. How can I serve the lust of my flesh, the lust of my eyes and the pride of my life with these?” What Adam would have done with all the minerals and resources of this earth had he not turned from God is problematic; Whether he would in time have sought to set foot on the moon as part of his calling to “subdue the earth” remains a question no man is in a position to answer. But as God’s royal priesthood he certainly would not have defiled, corrupted and polluted God’s beautiful creation the way we have done and continue to do. He would, before every deed and new venture, have asked whether this or that was to the glory of God; and he would have acted in a way that would render to God the greatest glory. He would not have asked whether this would give himself momentary pleasure of the flesh at the expense of service to God and the shining forth of His wisdom and power. He would not in process of time have sent forth into the air tremendous columns of smoke from altars with sacrificial lambs. That all comes after he has sinned. Adam would have presented his body, and with it the whole earthly creation, as a living, and thus smokeless, sacrifice to God. We may certainly believe that a God-centered man in paradise would do only that which would preserve God’s beauty in the creation which displayed so richly His glory, and that he would not bring destruction willfully to God’s living creatures for the satisfaction of his own flesh.
But we are not writing about that kind of air pollution. We speak of a more serious pollution, that of the polluting of the minds and of corrupting the walk of our heirs, the covenant children which God has given us. For not only are these our heirs, but they with us aye heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, as Paul declares in his epistle to the Romans. We are not writing about our children simply as our earthly heirs, and as those that shall inherit the mess which we have created. We write concerning them as children of God’s covenant and as heirs of everlasting life.
Their minds: we so easily and quickly pollute, and their ways we corrupt, directly and indirectly. O, indeed, they come into this world with minds that are darkened and are under the power of sin. Of all without any exception must it be said that they were shapen in iniquity, and that in sin did their mothers conceive them. Of them all it must be said that they were from birth dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1), and born with a mind that was enmity against God, was not subject to His law, nor indeed could be (Romans 8:7). But because we view them as covenant children whom God is pleased to give a rebirth, and who have then received the truth by a true and living faith, we also can speak of polluting their minds and of corrupting their walk. You cannot pollute the decaying garbage. But you can pollute that which is fresh and clean and good. You cannot pollute the carnal mind of the unbelieving children of the world, for the simple reason that there is nothing pure and clean in that mind. But the children of the covenant, who have received a new life, as God is pleased to establish and realize His covenant in our children after us, can become polluted heirs. They cannot fall away from grace, for He Who hath begun a good work in them will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ, Philippians 1:6. But they can backslide and in generations be in the covenant line no more. What is more, they can lose the joy of their salvation and fail in their reasonable service before God in the measure that their minds are polluted. Wholly polluted they can never become. But polluted they surely can be.
As believing covenant parents we will never do that deliberately, to be sure. That does not mean however, that we do not do so in many ways and do it very surely. Children watch their parents, and at an early age like to imitate them. The words which we speak may well be those that strive to keep their minds pure and to prevent them from the doctrines of unbelievers and polluted thoughts of the ungodly. And yet by our actions we can pollute their minds with that which we do not want others to teach them.
We do that by not showing the interest we ought in the covenant promises. So easily and quickly we teach them to seek the things here below by making this our own personal goal. These heirs soon begin to form the opinion that the earthly is to be their goal. And our spasmodic and anemic seeking of the things above, sets a pattern for them which they gladly follow. We may speak of the glories of heaven and of the wonder of that better land. But our own vigorous striving for the earth and its goods, and our tenacious hanging on to every earthly possession tells our children a different story. And it is a story that they like to hear and for which they are waiting. Our own lawless deeds corrupt their way of life and encourage them in disobedience and illegal procedures. As the expression has it, “The apple does not fall far from the tree.” And therefore it is also true that beholding the fallen apple, we need not look far for the tree, and see the tree when we see the apple. What is more, the heirs become bold in their evil because they see similar evils at home. They need not, as the lost son in Jesus’ parable, go to a far country to spend their lives in riotous living. They can do so at home with the assurance that all that they will receive is a frown and a few words, which they can then hurl back at their parents for the example that had been set for them.
Then there is also the pollution of the minds and corruption of the ways of their heirs of salvation by allowing others to corrupt them by their teachings and practices. There is that dangerous and wholly unscriptural position that our children ought to be taught the evils of the day so that they can be trained to reject them. It is often a practice then to invite those who hold to philosophies of men that deny the truth of God’s Word to “speak their piece” before our children so that they may see how evil the heretic and unbeliever actually is. And it is maintained that one must taste the evil of the world in order intelligently and antithetically with meaning to reject them.
Now that our children should be warned against evils that are current is one thing. Scripture urges us to do that and gives direct command to us to do so. God Himself in the seven letters to the seven churches in Asia points out the evils which are to be exterminated from the church. And the plain implication is that the children must be taught to recognize these as evils. We certainly must point out with clear language the evils that confront our children and explain to them why they are evils. But to, invite the false prophet to come and speak his piece before our children so that they may get his view firsthand is quite another thing. We do not need to murder in order to understand, how evil murder is. We do not need to practice any sin in order to learn to know what sin is. That is the old lie of the devil. He deceived man into thinking that by sinning he would know what is good and what is evil. And where did it get us? Exactly in the mess in which, we find ourselves today with minds that are darkened by sin and cannot see sin when we are in the very heart and center of it.
God’s psychology is higher than the psychology of the unbeliever, as all His works are because they are wise and perfect, and the sinner’s are folly. God told the Israelites to break down the idols, and altars of the idols, in the land of Canaan lest the heirs of salvation see them and adopt them for their gods. He did not tell the Israelites to invite the Baal prophets over for a lecture on Baal worship. He did not command His people to take their children to a sacrifice to Baal to show them what a corruption it really is. And if one really loves the truth and delights in a walk of righteousness and faith, he will so abhor these heresies and sinful practices that he will do all in his power to keep these from the heirs of the promise.
We have that One Whose love is perfect and Who walked among us as our worthy example. Once again in these seven letters to the seven churches in Asia He condemns this nonsense in the covenant sphere. In His letter to the church in Thyatira He says, “But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not known this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.” Here in this church it was maintained that one had to know the depths of Satan in order to enjoy the heights of Christ. Unless we taste the depths of sin, so the argument went, we could not appreciate the blessedness of the forgiveness of sin. It was the old story of continuing in sin that grace might the more abound. But Jesus condemns it and calls those who have done so to repent. Let these then today who would deliberately expose the heirs of the promise to the heretic, and let him “put out all his steps” to seek to get his view across, take warning AND REPENT OF THIS EVIL!
And let the parents get as concerned, yea get more concerned, about this heir pollution which has such serious and everlasting consequences.
It is with fear and trembling that we send our children to colleges that are advertised as Christian colleges, but practice this great evil of giving the anti-Christian forces their day under the auspices of these “Christian” colleges, to say what they have to say to our covenant youth. And we had better be sure that all down the line from kindergarten upward we bring our heirs where the air is not polluted with the philosophies of men. If Christian instruction, truly Christian instruction, was ever necessary, the time is now! How amazing even are the ways of God, Whose heirs our children are, when these children detect the unchristian instruction given them and clamor for that which glorifies God, and abhor the philosophies of men. Let parents then rejoice, but also be concerned and wage a vigorous program to keep their heirs from the pollutions of Satan. Let parents give their children the best and cleanest religious air to breathe that the heirs of the promise be kept unspotted from the world.