Last year, in the first few months of (near) daily posting at the Fire Breathing Christian blog, I wrote several articles on the subject of children’s education. Three of those posts were constructed around notes I’d made for a sermon that I’ve since been blessed to share with many Brothers and Sisters who are struggling mightily by the grace of God against the fundamentally satanic worldview that has come to dominate and define not only the secular culture, but the vast majority of professing Christian subcultures in America and the West. To my happy surprise, these posts became three of the most popular at Fire Breathing Christian in 2014, with the second installment – The Satanic approach to children’s education…as embraced by most professing Christians in America. – going on to become far and away the most viewed FBC post of the year.
Since those three articles were crafted to share three parts of a single sermon, I thought it might be helpful to bring them all together coherent, uninterrupted presentation. The originals are still in their places (with links to part 1 here, part 2 here, and part 3 here), along with some added material that will not be included here.
Each of the three posts began with rhetorical questions. The first of them, Why do most professing Christians dismiss God’s Word on children’s education? kicked off with:
What if God was not only real, but had lovingly provided us with the information and understanding by which we might tackle every important subject and challenge that could come our way?
What if He, in His infinite wisdom and matchless grace, had given us such detail as to the nature of every realm of human experience, culture, and civilization that we were equipped not only to survive those challenges, but conquer them and thrive?
Wouldn’t that be amazing?!
The second installment, The Satanic approach to children’s education…as embraced by most professing Christians in America, lead with a focus on another significant player in the war for our children’s hearts, minds, and souls:
What if Satan was not only real, but had a particular perspective on the pursuit of knowledge (aka “education”)?
What if his approach to education – particularly children’s education – after purposefully slithering its way into the Christian sub-culture, was able to grow and grow in influence to the point that, many generations after its initial infection, it actually became the assumed, comfortable, and even cherished norm in the vast majority of professing Christian families and churches?
What if, along the way, (and after having been programmed by this satanic system themselves) most pastors were compromised to the point that they not only tolerated and enabled the satanic approach to this subject, but actively defended it? What if they actually became far more inclined to dismiss or openly oppose the biblical perspective on children’s education in defense of the satanic alternative?
What would this mean for the children under the care of these families and these pastors?
The final chapter, The Consequences of Feeding Our Children to the Beast, aimed to provoke, encourage, equip, and inspire Christians to cherish, pursue, and defend true education as it has been so lovingly presented to us in the perfect Word of God:
What if Scripture – what we call “the Bible” – was infinitely more than anything else ever written or read, because it was an actual and accurate revelation of God’s very nature? Of who He is?
What if this literary revelation had been lovingly provided by God to His people for the sake of ensuring that they enjoy the greatest aspects of His nature as revealed in His creation? What if the restrictions He placed upon His people’s activities in His creation were there to protect them from the inevitable pain, darkness, and death that must follow from acting in a manner contrary to His nature while living in His creation?
What if truth, love, justice, law, and the pursuit of knowledge itself, when addressed in Scripture, were actually presentations of God’s very nature as expressed in those things?
The (very!) good news is that all of these things are true of God and Scripture.
These intros, as taken from each of the original posts, will not be included in the below compilation of the uninterrupted sermon, but they are included, along with additional related thoughts, in the three original posts linked above.
The hope and goal of the full presentation is to engage these important questions in a manner that is biblically informative and inspiring. I pray that this uninterrupted version of the three parts posted earlier will be used by the grace of God to inspire and move His people to further adoration and obedience in this critical area of life at this critical hour in history. I will add some links to corresponding works along with some closing thoughts at the end of the presentation.
One final pre-game thought: Thank you!
Thank you to those who have been such an encouragement to me as I’ve tackled this subject in this manner at Fire Breathing Christian.
Thank you for caring about children.
Thank you for caring about the minds and souls of children.
Thank you for caring about the future of our culture and civilization as it is molded through the worldviews instilled in the minds and souls of children.
Above all, thanks be to God for moving through His people in this vital area at this critical time!
With that said, on we go to the full sermon – The Beginning of Learning: Christ as the Essential Core of Children’s 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.” ~ Deuteronomy 6:4-6
While many modern American evangelicals operating mostly in auto-pilot mode would heartily nod and “amen!” in response to the general concepts and principles conveyed in verses four and five of the sixth chapter of Deuteronomy, the specificity and precision of the verses immediately following are frequently deflected, dismissed, or ignored entirely for a variety of “reasons”, often conveyed in the form of protests like:
- “But that’s the Old Testament.”
- “But that was written to Israel.”
- “But that’s not relevant to us today (and therefore to me specifically).”
These common displays of Deuteronomy Aversion Syndrome are but three examples of countless variations on the “but the details don’t apply to me” theme that permeates fallen man’s rebellious reaction to the clear pronouncements of God. When it comes to the subject of children’s education in particular, the detail presented in Deuteronomy 6:7 and onward triggers just that sort of reaction from most professing American evangelicals today. Verse seven itself seems to warrant special treatment, and as such serves as a “trigger verse” for open displays of Deuteronomy Aversion Syndrome. Everything up until verse seven has little trouble inspiring nods of affirmation and hearty hallelujahs, but at verse seven, the specificity of God’s command to His people flips a switch that tends to inspire an “evade at any cost” approach from there on out.
This sort of response from many should be anything but surprising if we keep in mind the nature of fallen men as described in Scripture. Here are a handful of helpful reminders as to the nature of man apart from saving grace of God according to His Word:
- They are “slaves to sin” (Romans 6:17)
- They are “haters of God” (Romans 1:30)
- They are “haters of Christ” (John 15:18-20)
- They are “haters of Christians” (Matthew 10:22)
- They are “children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3)
- They are “children of the devil” (1 John 3:10)
Additionally, – and this one is very important for us to remember – we must always keep in mind that those of us who have been supernaturally saved by the grace of God are also prone to forget, prone to wander, and prone to struggle as we are perfectly brought along the path of sanctification that has been specifically charted for each of us individually by our loving Lord and Savior. Everything that we have been given – including any clarity on the subject of children’s education that we might have – is a gift given us by the grace of God (1 Corinthians 4:7). Since we are likely (meaning: virtually assured) to encounter true Brothers and Sisters in Christ who are struggling against that which has been made plain in Deuteronomy 6, we must hold these truths close lest we become prideful, arrogant, and boastful in our flesh. With that understood, let’s have a look at the DAS-triggering verse in question:
“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 6:7
The text itself contains a significant imposition on the self-serving desires of men, that being the specific requirement to personally strive to see to it that one’s children are being trained in an explicitly God-centered manner throughout each and every hour of each and every day. The comprehensive, all encompassing nature of this command, specifically where the amount of time covered is concerned (as in: all of it), could not be more plain – or more offensive to the selfish sensibilities of men and women who are either:
- Unconverted slaves to sin and selfishness, or
- Supernaturally saved saints who are, at this point in time, struggling by God’s grace through the process of sanctification where the specific points and challenges of this portion of His Word are concerned.
The comprehensive, all-day/everyday encompassing nature of the given command could not be more plain: We are to diligently see to it that the “love of the LORD our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our might” is the centerpiece concept and motivation for each and every pursuit undertaken throughout each and every moment of each and every day. We are told by God that we shall see to it that this is done:
- “when you sit in your house” (When we are in our homes.)
- “when you walk by the way” (When we are outside of our homes.)
- “when you lie down” (When we bring our day to a close; our desire to love the Lord should define our thoughts even as we drift off to sleep.)
- “when you rise” (When we begin the day; we should strive to see to it that the first thoughts that we have are inspired by a desire to love the Lord.)
From the beginning of the day to the end of the day, wherever our children may be, we shall strive to see to it that all of their intellectual pursuits – including both the planned and the unintended, the “at home” and the “away from home” – are purposefully built upon the explicit, open embrace of the loving command to “love of the LORD our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our might”.
One great motivation for dismissal, aversion, and denial where this passage is concerned is the desire to avoid labeling cherished contemporary approaches to education as what this passage reveals them to be: Sin.
With sin rightly understood as “failing to do what God has commanded, or doing what God has forbidden”, and God has clearly commanded a certain, particular, and well defined approach to the instruction of the children of His obedient people, then not only could openly rejecting this command be characterized as sin, but it must be characterized as such. These realities – the proper definition of sin and the clear teaching of Deuteronomy 6 – combine in the minds of men to commonly inspire several discomforting thoughts, including:
- Recognition of the inherent and extreme personal unpopularity that comes with identifying cherished contemporary approaches to children’s education as sin.
- Recognition of the inherent and extreme personal discomfort that comes with even considering whether or not one’s own past or present approaches to their own children’s education has been or is, in practice, sinful.
- Recognition that the mere presence of anyone actually striving to obediently apply the clear proclamations of this passage where the education of their children is concerned presents a clear and present danger to the credibility of anyone aiming to dismiss or avoid the legitimacy or viability of such pursuits.
Unless the Lord graces one with repentance and a quick dose of personal reformation when these ideas begin to take root, the discomforting thoughts listed above tend to go on to inspire a series of defensive, destructive actions, including:
- The out-of-hand dismissal of whole swaths of Scripture. This is often done by way of ridiculously vague, watery, and weak “justifications”, the likes of which naturally sound much more pagan than Christian. (Think of the “But that’s in the Old Testament” and “But that was written for Israel” examples cited earlier.)
- The active suppression of group or congregational Bible study on the subject. Scripture study aimed at addressing the specific issue of children’s education is something that must be suppressed in order to avoid even the possibility of exposing certain cherished beliefs and approaches as sinful. With that rational in place, avoidance of serious corporate study of the subject in light of the Word is suppressed and avoided at all costs…often, ironically, in the name of “Christian unity” and ” Christian peace”.
- The persecution of obedient believers. Since their mere presence is convicting and their active pursuit of obedience in the realm of children’s education exposes all variants of the “it just can’t be done” line to be nothing better than lame excuses and lies, then these obedient believers must, at the very least, be silenced (suppressed to the point that their views on sin and obedience in this area are not aired openly). If they cannot be pressured into silence, then they must be more openly persecuted until they are driven out of the local body…often, both ironically and disturbingly, in the name of “preserving Christian unity”.Believers who strive for obedience to the Word in this area will also, and as a part of the rationalization of their persecution, be painted as “unloving” when they dare to openly apply their views, because the open, public display or presentation of their obedience is inherently convicting and, as such, cannot be tolerated. So it is that, in response to the convicting clarity of Deuteronomy 6 on the subject of Children’s education, and the convicting witness of obedient Christians who, by the grace of God, seek to actively apply the truth of that passage in their families’ lives, many professing Christians and churches will openly:
- Suppress corporate study of the Word on the subject in the name of peace.
- Persecute obedient believers in the name of love.
- Drive out obedient believers in the name of unity.
This “turning on its head” of peace, love, and unity is just the sort of thing that we need to brace and prepare for as we strive to deal truthfully and graciously with hostile forces from within the church – some of whom are true Brothers and Sisters in Christ. The idol of State-controlled children’s is deeply entrenched and adored in many of even the most self-described “conservative” and “Bible believing” churches, and they will defend their idol accordingly…until and unless the Lord opens their eyes, inspires repentance, and sets them free.
In response to the dismissal and distortion of the beautiful truths of Deuteronomy 6 on the subject of children’s education, we, and all others with whom we interact, are well served to imitate our Lord in the following ways:
- We must respond with grace. The more solidly we grasp the truth that everything that we know or think that is true and good is itself a gift given to us by the grace of God, the more will stand firmly on the truth and beauty of His nature as revealed in His Word, and the less we will act based upon motives formed by pride, ego, and a warped sense of self-righteousness.
- We must respond with gentleness and patience. There but by the grace of God go we…really!
- We must respond with clarity. We must call sin “sin” as our Lord did time and again, so that our call to repentance and constant personal reformation might be clear and coherent.
- We must acknowledge, proclaim and apply Jesus’ numerous vivid citations of the details contained in Deuteronomy 6…
The Scribe’s Question to Jesus
And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’” ~ Mark 12:28-30
Here we see Jesus respond to what one might rightly describe as a very big question. One of the biggest of Big Questions, really: Which commandment is the most important of all?Jesus’ answer was to go directly to the words found in Deuteronomy 6:4.
The Devil’s Propositions to Jesus
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”
Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him. ~ Matthew 4:1-11
The Devil’s First Proposition:
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”
Jesus’ response: But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Here we see that the Lord responds to the distortions of the enemy by making direct, corrective use of Deuteronomy 8:3, which reads:
And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. ~ Deuteronomy 8:3
The Devil’s Second Proposition:
Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus’ response: Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
Here we see that the Lord responds to the temptation of the enemy by making a corrective appeal to Deuteronomy 6:16, which reads: You shall not put the LORD your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah. ~ Deuteronomy 6:16
The Devil’s Third Proposition:
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”
Jesus’ response: Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”
Here we see that the Lord responds to the final attempt at temptation by the enemy with an authoritative, conversation-ending exaltation of Deuteronomy 6:13, which reads: It is the LORD your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. ~ Deuteronomy 6:13
The “Fear of the LORD” as proclaimed in Deuteronomy 6:13 is one of the most pervasive themes of Scripture. The notion of a good and proper “fear of the LORD“ is proclaimed again and again, with each proclamation couched in clarifying context as to what such “fear” means and inspires. (At this point we will quickly touch on 20 examples from Scripture, including: Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 9:10; Psalm 111:10; Psalm 19:9; Psalm 34:9; Psalm 34:11; Psalm 86:11; Psalm 103:11; Psalm 128:1; Exodus 20:20; Leviticus 19:14; Leviticus 19:32; Leviticus 25:17; Leviticus 25:39, 43; Joshua 4:23-24; Joshua 24:14; 1 Samuel 12:14; Job 28:28; Luke 1:50; and Luke 12:4-5. We will spend more time on this subject, schedule permitting, in Romans 3:9-23.)The Christian worldview is, has always been, and will forever be centered in loving application of “the fear of the Lord” in every realm of creation.
The Satanic Alternative to the Christ-Centered Pursuit of Knowledge
In response to this all-encompassing “Fear of the Lord”-defined Christian worldview, the enemy has offered an alternative…
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made.
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. ~ Genesis 3:1-7
In the history-shaping, humanity-transforming events chronicled in this passage, the serpent introduces a completely new worldview to Adam and Eve. His every approach and angle is aimed at displacing the centrality and authority of God as the source of truth, life, and the pursuit of knowledge. He makes his pitch for this “shiny, new”, man-centered (and therefore man-pleasing) worldview in the following ways:
- He begins his presentation of the satanic worldview by questioning the clarity of God’s Word. (“Did God actually say…?”)
- Then, where the clarity of God’s Word is acknowledged, that clear Word is rejected. (But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die”.)
- Finally, after questioning the clarity of some of God’s Word and rejecting the rest, the serpent introduces an entirely new approach to the pursuit of knowledge. (“For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”)
- In response, Eve “saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened. . .”The tree that God had forbidden “was desired to make one wise”. The “wisdom” offered by the serpent centered on treating the Word of God in practice as unclear, unreliable, and therefore anything but authoritative. In agreeing with the serpent’s sentiments and embracing his approach to life, Adam and Eve inaugurated humanity’s rebellion against God – a rebellion centered on the serpent’s “shiny, new” and attractive approach to the pursuit of knowledge…also known as…education.
So it is that we see with some clarity that one of the foundational lies sold by the serpent to Adam and Eve in Eden was the notion that the pursuit of knowledge (education) could be rightly and profitably pursued apart from focus on and submission to the Word and nature of God.
The Scripture’s presentation of Christ as the center of all true understanding pertaining to anything anywhere at any time in His creation is anything but vague. The biblical presentation of this essential core truth is incontrovertibly clear….which is why the serpent desires to enslave humanity under the weight of a “new approach” to the pursuit of knowledge – an approach that dismisses the necessity and authority of God’s nature and Word.
He was “a liar from the beginning” (John 8:44), and this great lie as to how one’s life, dreams, interests, and passions are to be pursued is the cornerstone of the satanic worldview under which all of unrepentant humanity is presently enslaved.
This satanic worldview is built upon the notion that man can, should, and even must pursue knowledge apart from God.
This is what the enemy would have us “educated” to believe…and many evangelicals would now agree…
Consequences of a Satanic Worldview
While we’re on the subjects of Satan and worldview, we would be well served to take a moment to note yet another Deuteronomy 6 point of intersection with New Testament Scripture.
Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark… ~ Revelation 13:11-17
While the point here is not to dive into a deep discussion as to what exactly the “mark of the beast” described in Revelation 13 is or is not, this text does contain a couple of interesting components that may help to shed more light on the significance of Deuteronomy 6 and the consequences of embracing the satanic worldview as introduced in Genesis 3.
- First, we ought to note the Revelation 13 reference to “being marked on the right hand or the forehead”. Yet again, it would appear that the enemies of Christ cannot help but remain true to their counterfeiting approach to things since this passage presents a perversion of the commands delivered in…you guessed it: Deuteronomy 6.
- Second, since the truth of God described in Deuteronomy 6 is to be bound “as a sign on your hand” and “between your eyes”, so it is that the satanic counterfeit involve perversions of the same concept to for the purpose of enslaving adherents to the satanic (Genesis 3) worldview and persecuting those who conform to a biblical worldview (Deuteronomy 6).
This notion is perhaps better understood when we consider (whatever other implications or intent may exist with regard to the specifics of “the mark of the beast” in Revelation 13) that the “mark” on one’s head can be rightly understood, at least in many contexts, as one’s worldview – what they actually think and actually believe (not necessarily to me confused with what one says that they believe). The “mark” on one’s hand, then, is an expression of their worldview in action. It’s what they do. It’s how they apply their worldview in deed.
Deuteronomy 6 clearly presents us with the God-glorifying, Christ-centered approach to the pursuit of knowledge. Genesis 3 presents us with a picture of the satanic perversion of the same, and Revelation 13 displays one of the consequences of its application (the persecution of obedient believers).
Just how relevant is the seventh verse of Deuteronomy 6, then?
Let’s recap en route to revisiting some of those earlier cited “reasons” so often given for deflecting, dismissing, or ignoring the Word of God on children’s education as presented in Deuteronomy 6:7:
- When Jesus addresses the question, “What is the most important commandment?”, He responds by using the words found in Deuteronomy 6:4 and Deuteronomy 6:5.
- When Jesus refutes the devil’s three perversions of Scripture, He responds each time with words found in Deuteronomy, and two out of the three times appeals to truth recorded in Deuteronomy 6:16 and Deuteronomy 6:13.
- In Revelation 13 we see a reference and contrast made between the mark of the enemies of God and the mark of His obedient people…as described in Deuteronomy 6:8.
In the context of considering the contemporary viability, relevance, and authority of Deuteronomy 6:7, the previous points come together to form what is known in deep theological terms as an “are you kidding?” moment.
If Jesus quotes the 4th and 5th verses of Deuteronomy 6 in response to the scribe, the 13th and 16th verses in response to the devil, and gives us in Revelation a clear reference point to the 8th verse of the same chapter, what might that tell us about the seventh verse in that chapter? Any guesses?
Can the 4th, 5th, 8th, 13th, and 16th verses of Deuteronomy 6 be explicitly cited by our Lord in the New Testament and (thus redundantly) confirmed as authoritative, yet the seventh verse just be assumed to be something less? Is that approach coherent? Is it God-honoring? Is it rational?
Were the 4th, 5th, 8th, 13th, and 16th verses of Deuteronomy 6 not “written to Israel”? Are they not “in the Old Testament”?
They were and they are…so what does that tell us about the “they’re written to Israel” and “that’s in the Old Testament” brand of excuses used today to selectively deflect, dismiss, and deny the Word of God when it comes to the seventh verse of Deuteronomy 6?
Christ as the Essential Core of Children’s Education
As Scripture makes plain, the name and nature of Christ defines everything that is in His creation:
- In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. (John 1:1-3)
- He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:15-17)
- …Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:2-3)
- …yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. ( 1 Corinthians 8:6)
- For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:36)
- Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
With these proclamations embraced as actual, genuine truth, any path to a right understanding of anything in all of creation must be understood to, of necessity, center explicitly on the personal nature of the Creator as revealed in His perfect Word.
To pursue true knowledge of anything in creation while denying these truths is pure folly. (Hence the scores of references to unrepentant unbelievers as “fools”.)
Put another way, how rational or reasonable would it be to study…
- A magnificent work of literature that significantly impacted culture…while avoiding any acknowledgement of the identity of the author and disallowing any contemplation of what their purpose might have been for writing it?
- A great technological invention that radically advanced civilization…while refusing to even identify the inventor by name and disallowing investigation as to why or how they worked to craft the invention in question?
- A matchlessly beautiful work of art that positively influenced all subsequent generations of artists and art lovers…while preventing any acknowledgment of the artist by name or any consideration of the goals and purpose of the artist for creating the work of art in the first place?
In a word, such “educational” pursuits as these would be ridiculous.
And they are ridiculous.
To pretend to seriously pursue a right understanding of a thing – anything – while simultaneously refusing to acknowledge, much less seriously consider, the identity, nature, motive, and purpose of its creator or author, is inherently foolish, in the most extreme sense of the term.
This reality helps us to better understand why it is that Scripture so pervasively describes unrepentant sinners and their pursuits as “fools” and “foolishness” (Psalm 14:1; Psalm 53:1).
The debased mind described in Romans 1:28 is debased because it is not centered on the nature of God as revealed in His perfect, authoritative Word. It is enslaved to the sinful worldview of self-centeredness introduced in Genesis 3 (John 8:34) and dominated by the emotion-fueled dictates of its deceitful heart (Jeremiah 17:9). It is easily taken captive by the philosophies and traditions of the world (Colossians 2:8). As such, it refuses to build on the Rock of Christ, and builds instead on the shifting sands of worldliness (Matthew 7:24-27).
To claim a desire for the serious study of art, mathematics, geography, astronomy, biology, or anything else in creation while dismissing the nature of their Creator as critical to a right understanding of any of these created things is preposterous.
Yet by God’s grace, He allows men such ridiculous, preposterous pursuits for a time. But His grace in that regard should not be used to deflect from the reality that such Christ-mocking intellectual pursuits – such God-dismissing approaches to “education” – are, in fact, ridiculous and preposterous.
They are absurd. They are sinful.
They are also incredibly dangerous, which is why our loving Lord has given us the beautiful, life- and knowledge-preserving commands contained in Deuteronomy 6.
Has God Spoken?
With the authority and the sufficiency of Scripture understood, the first question that any Christian should ask when considering any subject of consequence is: Has God spoken with clarity on this?
That is always where we should begin as believers.
When we ask the question, “Has God spoken to His people with clarity where the subject of children’s education is concerned?”, we have an answer. A clear, vivid, detailed answer. (Praise God!)
It is on display throughout Scripture, and one of its most detailed and essential points is lovingly on presented in the seventh verse of the sixth chapter of Deuteronomy:
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 6:7
This concludes the sermon, The Beginning of Learning: Christ as the Essential Core of Children’s Education.
I hope that it has been God glorifying and helpful.
There are a few related FBC posts that you might find useful in either clarifying or complimenting the perspective I’ve tried to articulate here:
I want to thank you again for taking the time to read through this and especially for your interest in the subject of children’s education.
I also want to thank those who’ve taken the time to pray for and support Fire Breathing Christian. Your encouragement and kindness is more appreciated than you will know on this side of eternity.
Soli Deo Gloria!
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© 2015 Scott Alan Buss – All Rights Reserved.
Soli Deo Gloria!