Training in the Physiology Class.
In the last issue we made a few remarks in regard to the necessity of emphasizing to our children in the physiology class that our bodies are the workmanship of our all-wise and Almighty God. There are three other matters that ought to be brought to the attention of the covenant child at this time. The three points for consideration are, (1) the child must be taught to care for and to treat his body as the temple of the Holy Spirit, (2) he ought to be taught to consider all disorders, ailments of the body and even death as the wages of sin and (3) he ought to be assured and to be taught that we may and must expect new bodies, perfect and glorified so that we may serve God fully in the new creation.
First of all then we have the fact that the child must be taught that his body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. That is plainly taught in Scripture. We need not go into all the dogmatic implications of this truth either here or in the physiology class, but one thing can be stated here and in the class-room and receive much emphasis, and that is that our bodies by the power of God’s Spirit are instruments wherewith we are to serve God. The temple in Jerusalem was a building wholly dedicated to the service of God. So much was it such a building that on two occasions Christ saw fit to cleanse it of all else. Our bodies are likewise instruments to be dedicated wholly to the service of God. In it no evil, no devil, no sin may dwell. No single member nor any combination of members may ever be used for any purpose but the glory of God. We may not live to eat, nor may we burn up our digestive tract with the acid and poison of strong drinks. Even the matter of getting enough sleep should not be overlooked. We are too soon of the opinion that our bodies are our own and that we live only for ourselves, and that we can abuse our bodies in order to get a few more moments of satisfaction for the flesh. That is the folly of the natural man! He abuses his flesh in order to satisfy or seek to satisfy his flesh. His tools, his machinery, his automobile he will oil and polish and wax and clean and warn all users thereof not to abuse, but his body he abuses left and right. And failing to give it sufficient rest is only one of the many ways in which he abuses it. And early in life the covenant child should be taught that he must keep his body strong and clean, not for the utilitarian reason that otherwise he might get sick and suffer pain and discomfort to say nothing of death, but because it is the temple of the Holy Spirit which must be used in the service of God and because it is the most precious possession God has given him over which to exercise his stewardship.
And in this connection let it also be remarked that of course the Christian school teacher sets an example herself. She realizes that she is teaching covenant children and not offspring of immoral Hollywood and Paris. She realizes that there are parents and pastors who do not want their children to be conformed to this world. There are still parents and pastors, elders and deacons who dare to be so different from the world that they do not want to see God’s children walk about painted like Jezebel, Aholah, Aholibah and the harlot of. And when parents strive to keep their children from this widespread craving and striving to be just exactly like the world so as not be thought narrow-minded and old fashioned, no Christian school teacher has the right to teach their children to go ahead with this world conformity. For a teacher has a tremendous influence over the child especially in the things the parents forbid and the child desires to perform. And while we are on the subject, pardon the digression a moment, what assurance have we as young women that we will refuse the mark of the beast if we do not DARE to refuse the mark of Hollywood? (Notice that the harlot, colored in red and purple, in Revelation 17, rides on the beast who is the Antichrist, they go and belong together). And what assurance have we as men that we will not take the antichrist’s sign on our right hand or forehead if we do not DARE or CARE to separate from worldly organization tor our work and daily bread. If we need to do that today for bread, we will need to do much more in the days of the antichrist. If we have no courage and faith while we still have freedom of religion and speech, what courage can we expect to have when every possible liberty is taken from us?
Not, of course, to return to our line of thought, that we are against our young women, and older women also for that matter, making themselves attractive and being neat and clean. But your beauty should not be that of Hollywood which is and only can be in the service of SIN. By all means, Scripture speaks of the bride being adorned for her husband. And God, who is a God of beauty and order made man a beautiful creature and does not approve of slovenliness. Did He not give to Job daughters which were fairer than all others living at that time? But we must never forget that all our homeliness and unattractiveness as well as blemishes and imperfections are due to sin. And not Hollywood but the cross of Christ is the only way out of our ugliness! And cleanliness and beautification are quite different from wearing the sign of the harlot. And ifdoes not refer to this misuse of our bodies and does not condemn it, what does the text refer to then? If this is not world conformity with the body, what is? The church never began this practice and surely never practices it in order so to present its bodies a living sacrifice to God! Who will deny that our modern lipstick, which is not at all natural—as according to Revelation 17 the colors do run all the way from scarlet to purple— originated among the harlots? It surely did not originate in the Church, the Bride of Christ! It originated with those who dissipated their lives and lost their color from their lips and cheeks in the way of sin. And shall our children! and our young women wear then the sign of adultery and of harlotry? It is the duty not only of parent and pastor but also of the Christian school teacher in the physiology class to root out this scourge. Our bodies are temples of the HOLY SPIRIT! And yet when we see our own young women with their blood-red lips, fingernails and even toenails we shudder and ask ourselves whether the Spirit does dwell behind such a shell which loudly cries to Babylon, Athens, Paris and Hollywood! I wonder what Jesus would have done if He had found the temple in Jerusalem filled with “red lights” on a night when He was in Jerusalem! And our young women who do not mean these things by the sign which they wear of the scarlet sisterhood surely should not want to sail under that color and under that flag. But enough of this now.
The second thing to be brought to the child’s attention in his physiology class is that the countless number of disorders and diseases to which the body is subject are here because of sin. We so easily talk of germs and cancer, of heart attacks and strokes and do so atheistically. We do this in that we fail to speak of them or even to consider them as God’s servants both to punish mankind for his sin and to prepare and bring His elect child into His house of many mansions. Of course we cannot and should not here either go into a dogmatic exposition of sin and God’s just judgment in punishing it. But we surely can and ought repeatedly, whenever the opportunity is there, to remind our children that God is visiting man for his rebellion and departure from the living God.
There are certain childhood pains and afflictions which can so be applied to make this very real to the covenant child’s mind. He is often afflicted with toothache and he feels in his body very keenly that his body is subject to decay and corruption. And so we have an approach to teaching him that the whole body wears out and decays and returns to the dust because man did eat of the forbidden fruit and became subject to death even as God declared in Paradise that he would. And he can also be taught and shown how that even above and beyond these ailments which come over all men because of the sin of our parents, we also have many afflictions and ailments which are peculiar to us because we have not taken good care of our bodies and have lived with these bodies to the deceptive lusts of the flesh rather than to use them to the glory of their Sovereign Creator. The Christian school teacher who does not reckon with God and sin and the curse in teaching physiology is missing her calling to train God’s covenant youth for their life’s calling.
Nor may we stop there. The child should be taught that there is the promise of God that we shall one day be out of this vale of tears and out from under the dominion of corruption. A description of the new heavenly bodies need not be given to our children in their schoolroom. That may be left for them when they are so taught in the catechism class. But the fact that we shall receive new bodies which shall be beyond the power of death and corruption should be taught them.
After all they are Christians who have that promise of God that He will raise them also from the dead. If we only call their attention to the misery, disorders of the body and of its death and do no more, we surely leave them with the wrong impression. These things do not live so very really or deeply in a child. But as he grows up he does begin to think more and more of these things, and as he becomes more and more conscious of the reality and awfulness of death, he ought also to be pointed to the promises of God in regard to these bodies in which death reigns. The teacher will have to use her own discretion as to when she will introduce remarks in regard to this wonderful truth, but she surely must make mention of it and do so in a way that leaves with the children the impression that it means everything to her.