Then the Lord said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh, and tell him, Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me. Exodus 9:1
Children Reject Gospel
There is ample evidence that a very large percentage of children raised in homes of professing Christians, are rejecting Christianity soon after leaving home. Research completed by the Barna Group indicates that many children, in fact, reject the Christian faith before they even enter high school. “Doing Church,” as the trendy people say these days, is producing poor results. Since a majority of children are rejecting the Christian faith, I am directing this writing toward what must be the majority of pastors, leaders of those organizations that are failing to produce good fruit.
Part of the idea for this writing indirectly came from Exodus Mandate. This is a statement on their website: Exodus Mandate Project is a Christian ministry to encourage and assist Christian families to leave government schools for the Promised Land of Christian schools or home schooling. It is our hope that this fresh obedience in educating our children according to Biblical mandates will prove to be the key for revival in our families, churches and nation.
I agree with the ideas that Christian families should be encouraged and assisted to leave government schools, and then train their children at home or have them attend a Christian school. While the government schools, in general, are a complete mess in America at this point in history, the government(s) is not preventing an exodus from the schools. Our children are being propagandized in those schools but they remain in that environment because of bondage to a religions system.
Christians in Bondage
After many years of study of public and Christian education, plus my observation of Christians, the congregations to which they show allegiance, and the pastors who fill the pulpits of those organizations, I personally am inclined to believe the Let-My-People-Go (from bondage) command could easily apply to many of the pastors in America. In a like manner it can apply to parents in the pews. Read Jeremiah 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof? (KJV)
Here’s the HCSB version. The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own authority. My people love it like this. But what will you do at the end of it?
I have never met a sincere Christian who didn’t want to please God. Often we assume that we please God by our performance. It can take on many forms, from how often we attend Christian meetings and events, how often we give money, how much money we give, and any of the other unwritten (in the Bible) Christian “duties” that are often found in most congregations. Many sincere Christians believe that the pastor is God’s appointed representative, or spokesman (perhaps a New Covenant Moses) for the entire congregation. (Where did that come from?) They are in essence held in bondage to traditions of men that have evolved over decades, even centuries.
The reason I have placed more emphasis in this writing toward pastors is because of the fact that most believers who sit in the pews, seem to have put a lot of trust in their pastor, and therefore they are willing to follow his lead regarding the Christian life, including the training of children in that congregation. If, for example, the pastor sends his own children to public schools, this is nothing short of endorsing the training children receive in that environment. If he sends his own children to a Christian school, but does nothing to promote such schooling for others, then his silence in front of his congregation speaks volumes about his true objectives in his so-called “ministry.” In my opinion, the fact that most pastors do not take the lead in proper Christian schooling, places a very heavy load of responsibility/accountability on such leaders.
I take a slight diversion here, but there is a valid point to be made. Read what Herrick Kimball says about agrarianism.
As a Christian, I see industrialism as a worldly, Babylonian-like system that is continually centralizing and organizing for ever-greater efficiency, control, profit and power. I see industrialism as the destroyer of close-knit, interdependent families and family economies, as well as small, interdependent communities. I see agrarianism as a type of cultural repentance (turning away), and I believe that agrarianism meshes perfectly with my biblical worldview. – Herrick Kimball
I included that quote because Kimball’s definition of “industrialism” fits very well as a definition of top-down organization of churches as we know them in America today.
The fact that most pastors obtain their financial income from a group of people who are firmly committed to the congregational group and even more so to the pastor, explains why it is imperative that a pastor acquire and maintain a congregation large enough to provide the income level he desires. I have no intention here to answer every rebuttal to my claims; it is a massive subject with a lot of variables. I repeat; I have studied this for many years, even decades.
For those who think my charges are unjust, I urge you to do a thorough study of the following:
- Do a thorough study of the history of the Church from its inception.
- Study what the Bible says about brothers meeting. (1 Corinthians 14:26 )
- Study the era of Constantine, Emperor of Rome from 306 to 337 A.D.
- Study the history of the Roman Catholic Church and the Reformation,
- Study the preachers in America in the 19th Century who gained prominence via their great speaking skills.
- Learn what most mega-church pastors have in common. Are these people more Godly than average Christians? Are they better CEOs? Are they more charismatic, dynamic speakers?
- Search and learn what geopolitical regions in the world have the most rapid rate of church growth, and the characteristics of these congregations.
As is often said about puzzling matters that beg for an answer; just follow the money! Here are some key questions regarding money in church congregations. Do churches ever hand out to all who enter the building a financial statement showing the following,
- the pastor’s salary?
- the entire amount of money paid to all staff?
- the amount of money spent for the pastor to attend special conferences?
- the amount of money spent on building construction and maintenance?
- the amount of money spent on utilities for all church property?
- the amount of money spent on mission projects?
- the amount of money given to support widows and orphans,? and lastly
- the amount of money that is spent to help families school their children via homeschooling and/or to send them to private Christian schools?
Here is my guess. The percentage of time this happens is less than five, likely way less.
Here is my conclusion. Much like authoritarians in businesses and governments, where secrecy and deception are necessary for control of the masses, an authoritarian pastor won’t want you to know the details as to how your gifts are spent. Someone in church leadership may even tell you (tactfully, of course) that it is none of your business because God has given church leaders that responsibility, and it is not for all to know; just support the pastor and his vision, a vision he says came from God. I have often wondered; do these self-designated elite clergy think the rest of us are not capable of studying the Bible, understanding God’s Word, and then striving to be obedient to Him?
Playpens to Pulpits – Pastors are also in Bondage
In defense of pastors all over America who are a part of this authoritarian system that flows down from the denomination headquarters, to the seminaries, and then to management of the local congregation, with the pastor as head of that local body, these local pastors are products of a system than has been in place long before they were even born. If informed Christians were to make a honest evaluation of the structure and practices in protestant denominations, they would have to agree that most of the activity is linked to traditions set by men, and not traditions set forth in God’s Word. Typically pastors were raised by Christian parents and were regular churchgoers. They attended college and then seminary before becoming a pastor. Other men, who had established the church traditions as we see them today, guided practically all of these “church” experiences from playpen to pulpit. Stay with me; remember, our interest here is the training of our children.
Seminaries don’t emphasize schooling children for five or six days a week; at best, they emphasize teaching them three or four hours a week inside the four walls of a building they call “church.” Yes, pastors, just like those sitting in the pews, are in bondage too. They are in bondage to traditions of men. They are in bondage to a paycheck and to a religious system that places an emphasis on building individual “ministries (?) at the expense of letting/approving (and ignoring the consequences) our children be trained in public schools. Remember, young people are the most innocent and vulnerable sheep in the flock.
The idea that it is okay to throw children to the wolves in government schools as long as the adult sheep (the ones who carry a wallet, credit card, or checkbook) can be kept content inside the church walls is not a likely conscience thought held by pastors (certainly not in those terms), but unfortunately, statistics reveal this to be the end result for most children (thrown to the wolves). Most parents are likely never encouraged by their pastor to home school or send their children to a Christian school. Personally, after thousands of hours sitting in church pews, I have never heard a pastor encourage parents to home school their children, or to send them to a Christian school. Yes, some who read this will wonder, “Why did you stay in such congregations?” Answer: I was in bondage to traditions established by men.
Now let’s revisit a statement by the ministry, Exodus Mandate. It is our hope that this fresh obedience in educating our children according to Biblical mandates will prove to be the key for revival in our families, churches and nation. Excellent statement!
Think about that statement., “obedience in educating our children according to Biblical mandates.” Now look at the word “fresh” as in “fresh obedience.” I like the tactful way Exodus Mandate reminds us that we should have been obedient all along, but since we were not, let’s start anew on the correct path.
Can someone put forth a cogent argument, void of flamed emotion, as to why Christians, especially pastors, would think it is acceptable for children from Christian parents to be sent to a Godless institution five days a week to be kept there about 6-8 hours each day, including travel time, to be trained? I say, no one can make such a claim that will withstand the test of objectivity, understanding, and Godly wisdom! Some people claim Christian children are needed in public schools to be “salt and light.” Those who take that position are much like the people who, in the face of overwhelming facts to the contrary, believe our planet is threatened by global warming.
Therefore Go Make Disciples of All Nations
Is holding church on Sunday morning, perhaps Sunday evening and Wednesday evening, while children spend five days a week in public school what qualifies as discipleship? Yes, as a matter of fact, it does pass such a test. Whether we admit it or not, those children in public schools are in a discipleship program for 30-40 hours each week, but this discipleship training is NOT for our children to become disciples of Jesus Christ! They are being trained to become conformed to the pattern of this world, the very thing the Bible tells us NOT to do in Romans 12:2.
The last part of Exodus 9:1 says, Let my people go, that they may serve me. The people of Israel could not serve God because they were in bondage to Pharaoh. If we apply that to our condition in America today, I will say that, until we get a clear picture of the why and who of bondage, and then take appropriate steps to be free of that bondage, then it will be difficult for our children to serve God. In the final analysis, all who are in bondage, parents, pastors, and others who like to be under authoritarian rule will need to be released from bondage in order to serve God. Just so we don’t loose focus on reality, if the Church in America can’t evangelize and disciple those children inside the walls of the meetinghouse, how do we expect to make disciples of all nations?
I say it is time for pastors to let go; let go of a religious system that turns a blind eye to the need for families to get their children out of public schools. And for those in the pews; are we adults not mature enough to pick up a Bible and study to show ourselves approved unto God, like Paul told Timothy (2 Tim, 2:15)? Or, do we need to hire some man to stand before us once, twice, or perhaps three times a week to tell us what our itching ears want to hear? Can we not focus the major portion of our energy and resources on the training of our children, or do we consider our (we adults) own desires, comfort and pleasure as the most important aspect of our Christian life?
As long as pastors will remain in bondage to the present religious system, then most people sitting in the pews will likewise remain in bondage to the same system, because pastors lead, and the congregation follows. It is just as Jeremiah said, and I paraphrase Jer. 5:31; pastors rule over other people, by their own authority (not God’s), and the people (in the pews) love it that way.
While I don’t anticipate that pastors will change on a large-scale basis, I am optimistic about changes in families in the future. In fact, the change has already begun; it’s the home school movement, which is growing rapidly. I say, home school families are being obedient to the Biblical mandate, not because of encouragement from pastors and the religious system that is now in place, but families home school, in spite of the lack of support, from church leadership. I stress that my evaluation is based upon statistics showing so many children in “churched” families who fail to be discipled, and the vast majority of those children attend public schools. Naturally, we can cite exceptions. The most obvious example is the fact that so many Christian schools were started because some pastor saw the need, and then led his congregation to establish such a school. I know of an unusual case where a man who is pastor of a church, also teaches at a Christian school, which is sponsored by a different church, and he and his wife (mostly her) home school their own children.
Parents need to make a choice to either follow Jesus Christ, and lead their children, or choose to follow their pastor, and let the public school system lead their children. Children are gifts from God, a reward from Him (Ps 127:3). We should treat such gifts from God Almighty like none other. Just do it for Jesus!
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Matt 25:40)