Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Christians and "public" education ...


"Hear, O Israel:  The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be frontlets between your eyes.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. ... You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the people around you - for the LORD your God in your midst is a jealous God - lest the anger of the LORD your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth" (Deuteronomy 6:4-9,14-15).

There is currently a debate in our community about whether a class on sexuality should include "gender fluidity" and training the children to be sensitive and kind to those who have "gender dysphoria" (confusion), or who identify as LGBTQ.  What seems to be missed by nearly all those discussing what should be included in such a class is the fact that for Christians there is only one source for sexual education of any kind and that is God's Word, the Bible.

The verses above are quoted from the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy, written by Moses as God spoke to him, but the principle revealed is true for all generations until Jesus comes:  Those who know the one true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Deuteronomy 6:10-12) are responsible to teach their children the law of God as it is applied to the New Testament people of God, the Church.  While we cannot hold those outside the people of God accountable to God (God will ultimately do that Himself), WE are responsible for the spiritual instruction of our children.

In Ephesians 6:4, fathers are instructed to "bring them (our children) up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."  Because public education is funded through tax dollars, the children of Christians are continually being confronted with teaching that is contrary to God's Word, from evolution to sexuality, from civic responsibility (or irresponsibility) to stewardship of the planet, etc.  People are being treated as equal to, or in some cases less than, animals.  Government is being portrayed as society's "savior," rather than Jesus Christ, and "religion" IS being taught ... the religion where man is "god."  The public schools of 2018 are not the public schools of 1958 or 1968 ... or even of 1998!!

I applaud Christians who are trying to "take a stand" against the onslaught of public opinion and government interference in the lives of families and communities, but the laws of our nation stand opposed to the teaching called for in God's Word.  People don't need to be taught simply to "Be Nice!"  People need to repent, confess their sins and believe in Jesus Christ, and that is the task not of the schools but of the true Church!  And teaching our children is the responsibility of Christian parents and the community of Christian parents, the Church.

Truly "Christian" education can only truly be done by parents and the community of believers, and it should not be so expensive that many who may want such an education for their children cannot afford it.  This is the conversation Christians should be having.  We are the only ones who can have it, for we are the only ones who acknowledge the authority of God's Word and the truth it proclaims.  It is one thing to be "conservatives," but it is another to be unashamed to take the name, "Christian," and to teach our children what it means to be the light and salt of the earth as disciples of Jesus Christ.

And by the way, the "real world" is NOT what you see around you!  The REAL world is God's world, where Jesus Christ reigns and love for God, our Creator, the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, guides our words and our actions.  It is a world unknown by most, where love means speaking truth that sets people free from the sinful nature that holds them in bondage to SELF.  This is the world our children need to learn about and experience as they grow up, not the artificial world portrayed in commercials and movies and textbooks written by those who do not know God.

"Rise up, O men of God!  Have done with lesser things; Give heart and soul and mind and strength to serve the King of kings!  Rise up, O men of God!  The Church for you doth wait; her strength unequal to her task, rise up and make her great!  Lift high the cross of Christ!  Tread where His feet have trod; As brothers of the Son of Man, rise up, O men of God!"

Men and women of God, rise up and answer God's call!  May it not be said in the church, "In those days there was no king in Israel (in the Church). Everyone did what was right in his own eyes" (Judges 21:25).  We have work to do under the banner of Christ.  Nothing less will do.

"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever.  Amen!"  (Ephesians 3:20-21).

To anyone who may want to enter into further conversation concerning the education of your children and how we move forward toward a greater degree of faithfulness and obedience to God in this all important area, you may email me at pastorsteve@lighthouse-ministries.org and I will be happy to include you in any further discussion.  May God grant wisdom and courage to His people in these days!!


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

"Stand firm!"


"Therefore, my beloved brothers (and sisters), be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain!"  - I Corinthians 15:58

I have been thinking for a while that I need to revive my blogposts as we continue to see the world around us spiraling out-of-control ... out of OUR control ... and as people move farther and farther away from the truth of God's Word and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Today is the day!!

The verse above speaks a word of encouragement to those who are being faced with the daily struggles of life and especially to those who are engaged in the spiritual battle for truth, for hope, for peace, for joy, for LIFE!!  This is not a game we are playing or something you and I can do "part-time."  As soldiers in Christ's army we wage war every day against the spiritual forces of darkness in the heavenly realms and we must put on all the armor God puts at our disposal (Ephesians 6:10-18).

Discouragement is a temptation that must be met with faith based upon the truth.  Yesterday morning I sent the verse above to my two grandsons who are serving at camp this week.  I encouraged them to memorize it.  By the end of the day I needed to read and trust these words for myself.  Receiving some news that disturbed my soul, my spirit was down and I thought of how so many people say they are "depressed."  But while I let myself go there for a moment, I realized that what I am really feeling is more anger ... an anger that arises out of a deep sadness when relationships are severed that I was counting on being solid and steadfast.

Then I remembered these words, spoken to those who are "beloved" by God Himself.  Paul had just finished speaking about the resurrection of the body and our victory over the grave.  He says in verse 57:  "But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!"  I have that victory, and if you have put your faith in Jesus Christ you have that victory!  Nothing can take that away.

It is in that context that Paul writes, "Therefore, my beloved brothers (and sisters ... in Christ), be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain."

Why does he say that?  Because sometimes it is going to FEEL like it is in vain, and during those moments, those periods of time, you and I who know the KING who is seated at the Father's right hand must remember that He is at work in us and through us for His glory.  It is the LORD whom we serve!

There is a hymn that asks, "Who is on the Lord's side?"  So long as God gives me breath I will say, "I am!!"  I pray that you will join me!!