So, the complicated and fast intersections of life have plenty of under age travelers too. They are the youth and children who will need to navigate the times. And, while their interests rank high on our priority scales, there’s always the danger that blazing speed and complex engineering will inhibit our teaching them faithfully, To know the impact of these intersections on contemporary life is one thing. To imagine them on future generations is quite another.
Several foundational thoughts connect our times to the future. Consider them with me—
- Parents, for the most part, have relegated education to the state.
Few of us will deny parental responsibility for educating and preparing the children in our house. But, for many reasons, most of them convenient more than significant, this task has been given over to the state.
- Truth is relative in the current cultural milieu.
Educational standards have been seconded to a progressive and liberal worldview where truth is totally relative. Therefore, the educational system is based on questionable values and standards. If future generations are to be taught, this entire system will need to be reversed.
- Speed tends to distort truth and accuracy. Technology has altered the delivery systems and accuracy of what is communicated to every generation but especially to our younger people. There is no filter today, so social media and the information super-highway transmit data that is often erroneous and usually slanted in ways destructive to traditional family and moral values.
- Separation of church and state has created an educational chasm.
Government systems and regulatory agencies have almost factored faith-based education out of the process nation-wide. Home schooling continues to be on the rise. But, parochial schools are experiencing more and more regulation that prohibits them from operating.
- Many contemporary churches have eliminated structured, age-graded educational processes.
As a result, moral education and Bible teaching is declining in many church settings.
Therefore, many of our younger citizens have only the state-approved line, that is, a secular worldview approach. to the more difficult intersections of life and mission. Many people can’t recite biblical background about marriage, the sanctity of life, the collision of world-views, the rule of law in culture, the foundations of the United States of America, the real purpose of separation of church and state, or even factual information about the Declaration of Independence, The Bill of Rights, or the United States Constitution.
There is an interesting biblical parallel in the epoch of Israel. Judges 2 records what happened when Israel entered the land of promise.
And the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work the Lord had done for Israel.
Judges 2:7, ESV
Joshua, the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of 110 years…And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers.
Judges 2: 8,10, ESV
And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel.
Judges 2:10, ESV
In the crush of the times, the people who had witnessed God’s miraculous hand over the nation during their forty years in the wilderness forgot to teach their children. As a result, a generation moved into the intersections of life without the Godly perspective.
Two things must happen to prevent a repeat of that horrible scenario:
- The church must become intentional about disciple making.
In the process, church people must agree that making disciples involves teaching people how to intersect culture with biblical faith. God’s people must be prepared to enter these very difficult intersections with strong biblical convictions.
- God’s people must teach and prepare their children.
This responsibility cannot rest with the state. Somehow we’ve been convinced that we must protect our children from the dangers so evident in the intersections of life and faith. We must prepare them for these eventualities and train them to be confident victors in them.
Last year the nation was shocked by the unthinkable. Planned Parenthood, the champions of choice and the enemies of life, have been selling human organs and parts harvested while killing the unborn. A parent today his teen didn’t understand all the fuss, explaining, “It’s just a fetus.” God have mercy on us!
So, while we’re trying to negotiate the hard intersections of this life, we must remember the next generation and all of the children who must navigate those same roads themselves. And, we must prepare them.
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.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7, ESV
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:6, ESV
We can’t hand it off to anyone else.