Raising Children for the King Part 4
I’d like to share, with anyone who has ears to hear, these areas that I consider paramount to raising warriors for Jesus Christ, rather than just good little citizens and “survivors” in a fallen, decaying world system.
First, we must courageously break the curse of the standardized, franchised, dewey-decimalized society besieging us in the 20th century as we train our children in “the nurture and admonition (and ammunition—2 Cor.10:4-5) of the Lord”.
Second, let’s catch the vision that our primary responsibility is not to make them behave and keep them out of trouble until they’re old enough to make their own decisions. Our primary responsibility is to teach them the immutability of the “Law of Sowing and Reaping”.
Third, the culmination of all of the aforementioned is to actively, clearly and gloriously point them through the discipline of the “Law and the Prophets” to Messiah, and the gift of His Mighty Holy Spirit!
Who Defines What Is Acceptable?
Someone, somewhere, decided that whatever the most people do, is the standard by which everything else is judged.
Very seldom are the issues of life truly weighed in the balances of the Word of God. You see it in what is “acceptable” for clothing, haircuts, speech patterns, what “church” is, how we should raise our children, and a thousand other topics. Instead of making our decisons based on the Word of God, we are often hypnotized into conformity by fear of men or laziness. We simply parrot the world’s ways and heap some scripture on top of men’s wisdom and traditions in order to sanctify them.
There’s a myth that none dare touch, that has dominated the culture of the “western” world for over 150 years. Yet, it is “eastern” and even carnally universal in that it was the thrust of the motivation for the building of the “Tower of Babel” thousands of years ago (Gen. 11—to not be scattered, to be “one”, to have uniformity of language, culture, and the like)
That myth, fatal to true spiritual growth into fruitfulness and maturity, is that of the necessity of standardization, systematics, conformity to the norm, methodical, clinical, “scientific method”, test tube, franchised, dewey-decimalized life. Every factory, every shopping mall, every hotel, every grocery store, every educational institution and virtually every “church” (religious institution) in the nation bears testimony to the 20th century ultimatum of “if you are different than what we say is ‘norm-al,’ you are weird, rebellious, unprofessional, a cult, and/or something worse.”
Henry Ford with his assembly line, Dewey with his “scientific method,” and other men, somehow managed to categorize and pigeonhole just about everything. They want to be able to put you into a pigeonhole because if they can classify you, then they can somehow excuse themselves from listening to anything else you may have to say.
People want to all look alike, think alike, and be alike. We have this mindset that wants everything to be uniform. Man wants to make bricks—nice, square bricks that all fit together. Uniformity is what people like, but God’s way is to build with STONES!
It scares people to risk, going out on a limb and venturing to trust God and be obedient. People want to stay packed together, clone one another, talk like everyone else talks, and think like everyone thinks—because it’s “safe.” It is not American to think anymore. It’s not 20th century to have a mind and contemplate and meditate and reach a conclusion based on a whole array of information. We must risk rather than just making our decisions based on what everybody else before us, our forefathers, concluded. We have lost our heritage of being in the image and likeness of God—of being creative. We have lost having the kind of understanding and wisdom that doesn’t rely on externals, but relies on the mind of Christ! We have lost that, but that is part of the restoration, the renewing of our minds so that we will know the good, perfect and pleasing will of God. That’s part of the restoration of our heritage, of our inheritance. (Galatians 4)
The only “Standard” that has any meaning in the final analysis is the Word of God—what God considers “acceptable,” not men. Atrocities have been committed and perpetrated for centuries by men who were certain that, “Whatever the most people say is surely right.” “Who do you think you are to question?” There were men who were executed for daring to propose that the earth might not be flat or might not be at the center of the solar system. Men (and even God’s Son Himself) have been cruelly murdered by “religious leaders” who were protecting their “system” and “orthodoxy” that they were absolutely sure was “biblical”. As our brother, the apostle Paul said, “It is the same now.” Men’s hearts have not changed, and men who dare to challenge the norms of society will be murdered.
A mindset that we must valiantly foster, is a freshness to the Word of God, and a willingness to reject the “empty traditions handed down by our forefathers” (regardless of the consequences at the hands of our “forefathers”). We must start over again with an unwavering obedience to God in every area of life. “Gird up the loins of your mind, and be ready for action.”
The word picture that Peter used was “Get your cloak and your gown tucked up under your belt so that you can RUN!” Be willing and ready to MOVE and ACT. You must not just believe certain things and sit around fostering certain opinions about things, but instead you must be ready to DO something.
Just by way of some “food for thought,” with specific application for raising our children...
Must Our Children “Go To College”?
Why? Certainly, it’s possible to “go to college” and be in God’s Will, but what are the priorities that would send them there in light of “Seek first the Kingdom, and His Righteousness—and all these things (that the pagans run after) will be added unto you”? Do we send them to college because that is what people expect us to do? Is it because we don’t know what else to do? Because we don’t want them to be “blue collar”? Are we sending them to college because it is God’s will specifically, or are we doing it because the normal society pushes us that direction? We have to stop and challenge things like that, or we are going to get sucked right up into the world system with their priorities. A tree bears fruit after its own kind. If we are birthed out of the womb of the world’s system, we are not going to bear fruit for God’s Glory. If we yield to the world’s system, we are always going to be hindered. It is better not to birth Ishmael than to always pay the consequences of doing things in the ordinary way, as Paul said in Galatians 4.
Educational Factories And Big Yellow Buses?
Must our children be subjected by the state, even to elementary education? Must they be taken away in big yellow buses to be force-fed the prevailing philosophies of men?
They will be placed in the pressure-cooker of “testing” and “examinations,” and it won’t be to see if they can absorb and reason, but to see if they can properly regurgitate what has been dictated to them. If you think about it, that is exactly what happens in the school systems. You are graded not on your creative abilities or on your skills of reason. You are graded on whether you can mime, mimic, and regurgitate exactly what was told word for word in the right order and the right way. If you are not willing to regurgitate it exactly the way they tell you, you will flunk. I know it’s true in seminary and it’s true in college. If you don’t regurgitate it exactly the way they tell you, you will fail because they are not trying to teach you to think for yourself. They are trying to teach you to think like they think, which isn’t thinking at all. It is conforming to the patterns of the world. Children are not being challenged to absorb, to reason, to formulate conclusions, and to act. They are taught to mimic what everyone else is doing and copy the empty traditions handed down by our forefathers.
Young, moldable, pliable children in those big, yellow buses are being shipped off en masse to the four corners of the city to be packed full of the prevailing philosophies of men! They are given no ability to reason on their own, and no freedom to think on their own. They are only taught to mime and mimic whatever they are told. Even if they were told they could choose on their own, the end result is that they are too young to do that when the tests all point toward one thing—regurgitation.
Is this really the right way or the only way? Do we have the freedom to think and to reason and to decide if in fact there is another way open to us? Is there another way available?
Schools Are Servants, Not Masters
I want you to think of the school systems, of jobs, and of all these other things, not as things that dictate to us the nature of our lives, but as tools to be utilized as we perceive the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. The school systems can be used by us—we pay taxes—we own them. They don’t own us. That’s the nature of the United States of America—it’s by the people…for the people. The U.S. Constitution is written in such a way that they are our servants, not our masters. We need to be able to utilize those tools without being mastered by them. That’s the mindset you have to have because it will master you if you allow it.
Your job will master you. It will tell you where you have to go and what you have to do. “You have to be transferred. After all, you have to make a living.” “You have to take this promotion. You have to work these extra hours.” “I have to provide for my family or I am worse than an infidel.” Then you end up using “scriptural” reasons to be a slave to the world system and to do what they tell you to do. “This is just what is ‘expected’ of me.” The IRS, the government, the medical field, and the educational system, were never meant by God to be our masters.
According to Romans 13, they were meant to be tools by God to bring justice to those that would rather live in anarchy. Jesus faced a king who said, “I have the authority to let you go or to murder you, crucify you.” And Jesus said, “The only authority you have is what my Father gave you.” The authority comes from God and is to be utilized as a tool by God to bring peace and order to a world that would tend towards chaos and anarchy. We don’t have to be slaves to it when it contradicts the ultimate authority, which is God Himself. As Peter and John said, Judge for yourself whether it is better to obey God or mere men who have violated God’s order. Keep all that in your awareness. Are those little yellow buses and the like really the right way or the only way?
Why Do We Do It?
What is the real reason we would send our children to children of the devil? That’s what the apostle John called them—“children of the devil,” but most people wouldn’t buy that. Most people you ask in the world today would say “I’m not a Christian, but I am sure not a child of the devil.” If God tells the truth and if the scriptures are the Word of God, then God said a person who is not a child of God is by default, automatically, a child of the devil. The prince of this world is at work in all who are disobedient and all who have not been translated from the power of darkness to the Kingdom of the beloved Son. That is a scriptural fact; it’s undeniable and not up for debate. If you are not born again in the Kingdom of God of water and the Spirit, translated from one kingdom to the other, then you are a child of the devil. That being the case, if we send our children to unregenerate men and women to be trained to be their disciples, we are sending them to children of the devil to be discipled. There is just no way around that. The Israelites wouldn’t have sent their children to the Philistines to be educated. It would have been an atrocity. It would have been unthinkable and very ignorant to ship all their children off in little yellow buses to be educated by the Philistines! We need to contemplate what we are doing. There may be a time and a place to utilize those tools, but you may not be mastered by them.
So, what are some of the real reasons for sending our children to the children of the devil to be discipled for six or eight hours a day? What would be our reason for doing that? Is it because of laziness? “Well, I need my free time.” Is it because of fear? Is it because of inadequacies? “Well I don’t think I can raise my children as well as the school system can. I don’t think I can teach them as well as the school system can.” There are certain fears and inadequacies that we carry around with us that really aren’t necessary. For 1800 years, the school system as we know it didn’t exist and people did fine. In fact, I challenge you to find me the Edisons and the Abraham Lincolns of today. You just won’t find many men of that caliber today. Those men, for the most part, were not products of a system. In fact, men like Einstein were kicked out of the system! They were called insane and addled because they didn’t think like everyone else thought. And they flunked. Einstein flunked math, and he invented most of what we call math and utilize today. I want you to be aware of the fact that our inadequacies and our fears have been programmed into us—they are not natural. They are not even necessary. We don’t need to feel so inadequate or be so afraid.
Laziness is a whole different matter. “I need my free time”—selfishness! “I want to have my free time, my leisure time. I don’t want to have to be responsible all the time for this trust that God has given me.” That’s carnality in our own hearts that we are going to have to come to grips with. Laziness and fear and inadequacies can be crucified. You just have to realize they are not necessary.
Another reason people send their children off to the world is mindlessness. We just drift through life mesmerized by the things around us—everybody else is doing it so, of course, it is the right thing. That is the curse that I am trying to break right now. I’m not trying to tell you what to do or how to do it, but I am trying to break the curse of this glossy-eyed life that just accepts everything right at face value because someone else said so. You can’t do that if you are a DISCIPLE of JESUS.
Are you really sure that sending them off to school is a Kingdom decision made intentionally for the Glory of God? You need to be sure.
Is “dating”, as modern society has defined it, really an idea that is acceptable to a Holy God? What are the alternatives? Certainly it isn’t automatically wrong for two young people to be together, yet what is driving the encounter? Must we bend our knee to every whim of a decadent society? Do we need to be on the defensive to “explain our aberrant behavior”? It is clear that even the majority of the religious world has accepted much conformity to the “patterns of this world” with a glossy-eyed lethargy (See James 4:4; Rom.12:1-2). James tells us that if we are friends with the world then we are ENEMIES of God. In Romans it tells us that we can not know God’s good, perfect, and pleasing will if we are conforming to the patterns of this world. Are you content to take everything at “face value” that the world is pushing? I trust not.
God’s Highest Way—LIFE!
Let me suggest to you that our Father’s highest way to bring others (our children, or anyone else) into the “full measure of the stature of Jesus Christ” and the triumphant completion of the mission from God for which they were born...is not departmentalized, digitized (1011011), right/wrong, good/evil, fact, statistic, memorized knowledge, database “life”! God, when He came in the flesh in Jesus, did not operate that way—and surely God would know the highest way! Never did Jesus say, “OK, boys. Today we’re going to ‘study’ the book of Isaiah. Now in the original Hebrew, verse 5 reads.…” No Hebrew word studies. Not even any “Bible studies” as we have defined and practiced them. No chalkboards. No examination. No cap and gown graduation or diploma. No “Wednesday Night Prayer Meetings”. No Worship or Education “Committee.” INCREDIBLE! After Jesus, in flesh and bones, had finished with them, it was still easy to observe that they were no scholars:
(Acts 4:13) “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.”
(Deuteronomy 6:6-9) “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart; you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
(Mark 3:14) “Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach”
(Luke 22:27) “For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.”
God’s highest way is without category and “departmentalization.” It’s LIFE. Not “worship services” from 9AM to 11AM on a “christian sabbath” day (check it out—it’s not in the Bible). Nor is “education” to be fractured into “departments” and classifications, with weekends or summers “off” from purposeful learning. That course will result in a fragmented ability to retain, and event-oriented learning motivation (exam cramming, not true learning). And, worst of all, “religion” will automatically (without extreme measures to thwart the momentum) become a “subject” alongside the others.
In God’s economy, life is meant to be “in Him we live and move and have our being,” and “whatever you do, whether food or drink—do all to the Glory of God.” “Math” is learned as a testimony of God’s Glory. “Physics” is taught to expand our hearts to praise Him. “Language” is to communicate the “splendor of Holiness” to our brothers and sisters. All things are “to the Praise of His Glory,” and to “the edification of the Body of Christ.” Never are they to be an end in themselves, or God’s jealousy is rightfully aroused.
(Rom. 1:20-25) “Since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made so that men are without excuse. For though they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore, God gave them over to the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator, who is forever praised. Amen.”
These men thought they were wise and learned. Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned, and revealed them to little children, to babes.” In this case, because men thought they were wise, they became darkened and their thinking was futile. They thought they were intellects and scholars. It wasn’t that their IQ’s were low. It was that they misjudged what was important. Any time you misjudge what is important, you are a fool, no matter how much you “have between your ears.” If your priorities become degraded and you begin to value a gift from God as a god in itself, then you are a fool. God will give you over to your foolish, futile thinking and allow you to have an ever-increasing insanity. He is jealous for His glory. He will not allow you to focus on created things rather than the Creator. That’s just the nature of God. He is jealous for His own glory, and when you glorify things in themselves rather than glorifying the Creator of those things, you are making those things to be god.
Time, space, matter—all of them point toward infinity, not towards themselves. They point towards something way beyond matter and space and time. There has to be an explanation beyond matter, space, and time as you begin to understand matter, space, and time. Point being that God testified of Himself as it says in Rom. 1, and all men are without excuse. Don’t ever forget that. Every single man on the face of this earth is without excuse because God Himself testified to Himself through all of His creation. The rocks and physics… the trees and relativity… the bubbling brook and mathematics… everything testifies: infinity! It cries out, “Infinity!” Jesus said, “If my people won’t praise me, the rocks along the road will burst into praise.” Everything cries out to the glory of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ His only Son. All men are without excuse. And we become foolish and darkened in our understanding and futile in our thinking by turning to created things and worshipping them as an end in themselves.
God’s jealousy is rightfully aroused when anything else becomes an end in itself. When we teach math, geography, or anything, we have to testify to Jesus Christ, through whom all things were created by and for and in whom all things consist. If everything doesn’t point to Jesus Christ as the representation, the image of the invisible God, the exact representation of His Glory… if everything does not cry out to the life of Jesus Christ before there was time and for all infinity—then it is a false god. We cannot call true education secular without defying God. God is jealous for His glory.
Though events will occur, true “education” is driven by “as we rise up, as we sit down, as we walk along the way”, or God will simply be “another subject to be studied.” It will be something to help us go to heaven when we die and are finished advancing ourselves here. Jesus did it “among us” and “with us”...never “to us”. I hope that can at least start the questioning process. At least think about it OK?