Monthly Archives: October 2017

Ignoring Romans 12:2 How Government Schools And Urban Living Have Led To Mind Control In The 21st Century (Segment D)

10

 

The Entertainment Factor

 

Those of us in agriculture like to say that our advances in our professions freed up time for men to take other jobs. It is a “which came first the chicken or the egg” situation. Industrial/technological inventions helped farmers produce more efficiently, and the farmers’ efficiency helped free up labor for other occupations.

For centuries man’s day was likely filled with similar activity, working, eating, walking, and sleeping with little time for daily entertainment. That did not change much until large numbers of people moved into the cities. I hasten to point out that the city environment had some similar affects on both adults and youth. The available time for entertainment from Moses until the end of the 19th Century changed very little. When the city population went from 10 percent up to 80 percent, extra time for entertainment evolved. Much of the entertainment had to be created in order to give people something to do. Or, more accurately, enterprising people saw a market for entertainment because many people were available as potential customers. Created entertainment more nearly describes the activities for school age people.

Can we used for home use milk daily

Entertainment for Farm Families – Most of the increase in farm production has occurred during my lifetime. Farmers went from producing food for about 20 people to a level of producing enough for more than 150 people. I know something about how farm people spend their time.  I was a farm boy, a Dairy Science major in college, a county agent, a PhD in animal science, a college professor in animal science, and for the last 30 years, a farmer. I know what I did with my time in the 1940s as a small child. I know what I did with my time in the 1950s as a teenager; I know what it is like as an adult living in cities (20 years) and how I spent my time. I know what a farmer in this day does with his time. I know what it is like to live on a farm as a 71-year old, as I continue to farm. I know what to do with any spare time I have. Practically all my life I have been associated with agriculture. For most of that period I have also been involved either directly or indirectly with education of young people.

Entertainment in the rural environment was easy for this farm boy. I’ll give some examples of my time growing up on a dairy farm. My dad went to bed about 8:30 p.m. because he arose early to milk the cows. While I didn’t help milk in the mornings, I did do some chores in the morning and finished those in time for breakfast at 7:00 a.m. when the entire family sat down together. After breakfast I did a few more chores before going to school. After school I had more chores and helped milk the 30 cows. Like clockwork, Dad and I entered the house carrying a gallon of milk in a metal can for home use at 6:00 p.m. The entire family sat down at 6:00 for the evening meal.  After supper Dad might work in the garden while it was cool, and perhaps I would go hunting groundhogs.

During a three or four week period in September and October before the hunting season opened, I would go to the woods after school each day to sit and watch squirrels.

Woods near dairy, a nice place to visit in the fall

Because I had work to do on the dairy farm my time in the woods was limited each day, but I really looked forward to that pre-hunting season activity. While I didn’t actually spend a lot of time hunting, the time in the woods when temperatures were nice and the tree foliage was changing provided some genuine joy.

Sports in our public school were a part of our lives. I participated in baseball and basketball, but these activities did not dominate the lives of families involved. All practice for these sports took place in the last hour of the school day, and there were no other practice sessions. Baseball games were held during the afternoon on school days, and basketball games were at night during school days. The activity was enjoyable, but as I analyze it now, there seemed to be more balance with regard to sports time versus family time than some of the sports programs today, even those in rural areas.

Summer brought on projects for me and my cousins like building dams across the creek to make a swimming hole, building tree houses, making carts from junk machinery parts. Then there were 4-H projects, fitting and showing livestock for fairs, the pony rides, more hunting, exploring the five caves within walking distance of home, etc. Creativity was a major part of

DR and Champion Market Lamb, WV State Fair, 1956

summer entertainment as we built things, trained animals, and worked to attain some goal. I remember digging a groundhog out of his borrow, and then placed him in a rabbit cage I had. Of course I didn’t foresee the fact that our farm dog would tear the cage apart the first night and kill the groundhog. I also remember the entertainment some of us got catching bullfrogs by hand at nighttime. It took a flashlight, a stealth technique and a quick hand. My main point is that we did not have to look for things to do on the farm. Lets face it, city folk have never had it so good.

We never had summer baseball practice, because we didn’t have Little League Baseball. The nearest swimming pool was 12 miles away, and it was cold spring water. We really didn’t have time to fret over our lack of a swimming pool. The same can be said about movies; we rarely saw one, but didn’t miss them either. Television viewing was self-limiting in a way because we did not get a TV set until I was about 10-12 years old and there was little programming of interest to me, and besides, my schedule was full anyway. In those days I never heard of a small child watching Saturday morning cartoons. Honestly, I don’t even know if cartoons were on TV then. As I look back and recall our farm life and compare that to the cities full of thousands of children living in an environment where creative, productive work and play opportunities seem to be almost completely lacking among young people, I view their situation as sad. It is as if some unseen master is manipulating their lives in order that these children may become addicted entertainment slaves in a make-believe world. In a like manner, adults have so few options for their leisure time.

To summarize my experience as a farm boy in the 1940s and 50s, work was a way of life for the entire family. We were not overworked. Sure there were some jobs that were not particularly enjoyable, but tell me there is anything wrong with that? Is life not just like that, we at times have work to do that is necessary, but not particularly enjoyable? Entertainment was also a part of life, but it did not consist of a large block of time, plus it was woven in with the other activities in an almost seamless manner, like the trips to the woods to watch squirrels for a half-hour before completing farm chores. We didn’t have to take a trip in an automobile to some place for that bit of entertainment.

Entertainment for Urban Families – While I spent about 20 years of my adult life in small towns and cities, it has been more than 30 years since I lived in that type environment. I do have opportunity to visit urban areas at times. Most of my focus here has been on entertainment for young people, although some of the same challenges for youth also apply to adults, mainly what do people do with their free time.

For farm people, the term “free time” is almost laughable. Many urban dwellers would not understand, since they have little or no concept of farm life. For example, as I write this, we are in the long days of summer. I go out on the farm twice after the evening meal, once to tend to some minor chores and put the sheep into a smaller field to protect them from coyotes (guard dogs help). The second time is near dark and that trip is to shut the doors to two chicken coops so they will be protected from predators. Free time in excess is typical and basically a very serious problem in urban areas. For the discussion to follow, I will separate urban youth into two broad categories again.

Entertainment for Poor Inner City Youth. At the risk of stereotyping, the following are characteristic of many in this environment: poor, small living space, unwed mothers, renters. The neighborhood has a lot of children with basically no work to do, and all their play must be made up. The play is not a natural part of the environment as it can be with farm-reared children. Many are what I call half-orphans, meaning they have one parent missing from the home, usually the father, and some likely do not even know who their father is. So here is the setup outlining just a few possibilities:

  • Products of public schools
  • Half-orphans in many cases
  • No work to do
  • Much idle time
  • Likely entertained by various types of media

What do we expect with this type mix? No more questions.

Entertainment for Affluent Urban Youth. These young people live in a more spacious home and neighborhood, some in very upscale places. However, they have several similarities when compared to the inner city youth. Perhaps they listen to similar music, use mobile phones for much of their entertainment, and likely view some of the same unwholesome TV programming. They are more likely to travel by automobile to arrive at their place of after-school activity.

  • Products of public schools
  • Some half-orphans
  • No work to do
  • Some idle time
  • Likely entertained by various types of media
  • Enrolled in multiple activities (sports, arts) to entertain/keep busy

There are two primary points to make here. First: the inner city group is likely to get in trouble quicker than the affluent group. I’ll just leave it at that. Secondly: both groups have time from end of the school day, perhaps 3:30 p.m. until some unknown bedtime, where there is little natural flow of work, family time, and entertainment. Unlike the farm boy who may do chores before the seven o’clock breakfast, the city dwellers often stay up late at night and sleep as late as possible the next morning. The boy who lives and works on the farm has early bedtime as a matter fact of his lifestyle.

It is safe to say that practically all media entertainment aimed at youth is unwholesome. While the affluent families are more likely to have a father in the home, there is little likelihood that the fathers and sons spend a lot of time together as they “walk by the way. In fact,  some suburban fathers have long drives and get home late from work.

The final, and yet very important thing to emphasize is that work is absent from the lives of practically all urban youth. The idea that young people 12 – 18 years of age do not need to work is foolish at the very least. It is almost beside the point that we say, “But, they don’t have opportunity to work.” True, they don’t for the most part, but perhaps the Body of Christ needs to do some work here.

Perhaps Christians should sit down and make a long list of all the advantages of urban living and make a list of all the disadvantages. One of the more ominous facts about all who live in urban areas is that adults and youth alike have become addicted to entertainment. As a consequence they have a problem looking at life through any other set of glasses. My own experience plus that of others my age, who have lived in both cities and rural areas, gives us some unique perspectives. This is particularly true since we also had close ties to days dating back to the Great Depression era. Our parents lived in those days, and we learned some valuable principles concerning work ethic, perseverance, conservation, frugality, family enterprise, and challenged living that was born out of their experience. Furthermore, my generation knew a time when mobile phones, computers, television and cultural debauchery on a mass scale did not exist. We know there can be a better cultural environment than that we see now. We saw a change in the culture that went from “Father Knows Best” to “Dad is a Dummy.” God knew what He was talking about with his commands that instructed men to see that both sons and grandsons were taught properly.  When I look back on the post WWII days of growing up in a rural farm area, I do see one disadvantage we experienced. Since we were surrounded by adults at home, school, church and community who had lived through the challenges of the Great Depression days, there was a constant drumbeat from adults that we needed to get all the education we could get and then move to more urban areas in order to find work. In other words, we were not encouraged to stay in the rural area and work. Many of us left the area, while many of the back-to-earth, hippy generation moved to rural areas like my home area about 10-15 years after I graduated from high school. The “earthals,” as some call them, saw the advantage of living in rural areas, became productive citizens, and many demonstrated excellent entrepreneurial skills. Then of course, many people like myself moved back after working in the cities for a while.


NOTES:

This chapter, “The Entertainment Factor,” is perhaps the most important chapter in this book that explains how we have ignored Romans 12:2. Christians who believe the way to change our culture to a to a more positive one is through changing our government school system, are just plain foolish, in my opinion. I firmly believe we now have a culture that has overdosed on entertainment, BIG TIME. …DR, 10/12/17

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Ignoring Romans 12:2 How Government Schools And Urban Living Have Led To Mind Control In The 21st Century (Segment C)

6

 

The Urban Living Factor

 

Farm versus city living changed very little from the time Moses to the time of Abraham Lincoln. Throughout the entire 19th Century 80% to 90% of the people lived on farms. The variation in estimates may be accounted for because many men would have had a vocation such as blacksmith, plus that of a farmer.   Farmer/inventors have always been common. In fact, I have used a hay carrier attached to a tractor for rolling hay out for sheep each winter every year for the past 30 years, and it was invented by two young farmer/brothers in Missouri. Anyway, it should be obvious that there was little change during roughly 3000 years. Let’s look at a portion of Deuteronomy 6:7,

 You shall teach them diligently to your sons 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 up.

With 80 – 90% of families on the farm in the 19th Century, it is reasonable to think the Bible’s instruction via Moses and Deuteronomy, would not be difficult to comprehend. In both people groups it would have been normal for children to be near their father while they “walked by the way” for example. In the early part of the 19th Century when most Americans lived on farms, they worked with limited hand tools to grow food for their families. It also meant that family labor was an integral part of the daily activities.

7

 

The Government School Factor

 

Formal schooling in America was very limited until the last half of the 19th Century, and the few schools available were usually church sponsored. In the 1840s some Unitarians who were unhappy with the Christian schools, undermined those schools by gaining support to have government-funded schools in Massachusetts. A few wealthy men gave financial seed money to start the first schools. The whole idea was to undermine Christianity and replace it with socialism in government schools. Once public taxpayer funded free (?) education caught on, then the church schools had a difficult time surviving financially. This was a watershed moment that ultimately led to separation of children from their parents during the school year and the school day. Once fully entrenched, the father could not be effective at teaching his sons while he “walked by the way.”

Father/Son Time – Lets say a eight-hour block of time, the time in school, plus the travel time, was taken out of the father/son relationship once government schools became well established. While the farm life remained relatively unchanged for many centuries, the establishment of government schools and the subsequent separation of children from their parents was a major factor in separating children from biblical principles. When the government schools first began, it obviously did not have an immediate impact on the parent’s Christian convictions. The same could be said of many teachers since Christianity was so prevalent, at least as we compare it to government school teachers in the 21st Century. This change did allow the seeds of secularism to grow over a period of more than 100 years. As secularism, and other worldviews crept into public education, God and His Book were crowded out.

We can assume that in the 19th Century that the home influence was relatively unchanged because farming was the predominant occupation. In fact schools were set up to allow for the children to be home during the busy growing season. To this day the nine-month school year is simply a policy holdover from the early years when most people were farmers.

8

 

The Industrial Revolution Factor

 

Harvesting wheat in 1890s

Horse drawn machinery invented during the latter half of the 19th Century (Second Industrial Revolution, or Technological Revolution) did much to reduce manual labor on family farms. For example Cyrus McCormick, at 22 years of age, in 1831 invented a horse drawn wheat harvester that tied bundles with twine. That piece of machinery worked so well that its design and function changed very little in the next 125 years following its invention. In fact, I rode such a binder, pulled by a tractor,  in the 1950s as a teen working in the wheat fields. As technology advanced, fewer people were needed to raise the food necessary for the nation.

Wheat binder use in the 1950s

By 1920 the percentage of people farming was 30 percent compared to the 80-90 percent in Lincoln’s day. In the 50-year period from 1870 to 1920 there was a five-fold increase in people living in cities, from 10 million to more than 50 million. Whereas about 66 percent of people lived in non-metropolitan areas in 1920, that number was only 20 percent by the year 2000. Or the reverse of that would be 34% of America’s population was in cities in 1920 and that increased to 80 percent by the year 2000.

In 1960, my first year in college with a major in agriculture, each American farmer produced enough food for about 25 people, and that increased to more than 155 people 50 years later. I have followed this trend closely since I have spent all of my adult life working in some phase of agriculture.

9

 

The Training to Work Factor

 

So what’s the point of all this information about population on farms and in the cities have to do with a war with the information age. It has to do with a key four-letter word: T-I-M-E. What do people do with their time? When technology advances and people gain more free time, what do they do with it? When people migrate from rural farming environments into cities what do people, especially those of school age do with their time? I am going to lump city folk into two broad categories. One type is the inner city group who live in small houses and apartment dwellings. The second type is the group that lives in nicer houses, perhaps on an acreage away from the inner city. Question: can a teenage boy in either group after leaving school each day walk somewhere to work? Can he walk from school to work and then walk home? Can he leave school to walk home, then to work and back home?

Pick a school child in the city of any age, in any housing group, and tell me; what are his options during the summer when he is not in school? Can he walk to work? If he had transportation, could he even find a job? Even if the reader never lived on a farm, or had contact with farm life, I have some questions for you. Do you think a farmer could find some work in the family garden for a 10-year old boy, like maybe pulling the weeks out of the potato patch? Do you think a 14-year old boy would be given something to do by his farmer father? Do you think a farm boy of any age would be smart to tell either of his parents that he is bored, and wants to know what he can do? Here is my guess concerning all the questions I asked; you answered all questions correctly. The teen boy in the city can’t walk from school to a job. Neither can he walk to a job in the summer. He would not likely find a job even if he had transportation. The farmer can find several jobs for the 10-year old, in addition to the weed pulling. And, how smart is it for a farm boy to say he is bored? He would certainly be dumb to ask that a second time.

The reader likely noticed that my questions centered on the theme of “walking to work.” I understand that it is not politically correct because it sounds like some type of child abuse to have them work. Not so, suitable work will not harm a child. My first paid job was at five years of age. I was paid a nickel for drying dishes after supper that my 11-year old sister had washed. I don’t recall if it was a nickel each day or a nickel for washing all week. Anyway, I used the term “work” for the simple reason that part of training up a child should include training to work. Unfortunately, our present system puts children in school at five or earlier (pre-school programs) and many students graduate from college before work becomes a reality. Interesting too, employers are not too enthused about hiring an inexperienced person.

The reality is this: most children in a non-farm environment spend most of their waking hours exposed to the Information Of This Age, (IOTA.) They spend several hours in school. I won’t cover that topic here other than to say the guardians, except for homeschooled children, for several hours a day are NOT THE PARENTS. We must never forget that teachers today are largely products of the IOTA as well. I will not detail here what exact information students are exposed to from the time school is out until they go to bed, but it is probably safe to say they are during most of that time being exposed to IOTA, via radio, TV, Internet, and phones.

Lets back track a bit. As production of farms became more efficient, more people moved off the farm to take jobs in cities. Jobs were the chief magnet that drew people to that environment; it still is. While men obtained better paying jobs, and the increased pay usually enabled the family to acquire a better standard of living (?), a serious unintended consequence resulted. The trade off, a bad one I might add, was that children grew up in the city without gaining work experience. The problem was exacerbated once the women’s liberation movement arrived because often the mom/housewife also became a wage earner. Therefore, at the end of the school day, and throughout the entire summer, little Johnny and sister Susie needed “something to do” with their time. In a 2009 report, people over 15 years of age averaged 58 percent of their leisure time watching TV, using the Internet and playing video games. This represented an increase of 16 percent since 2003. Another report said that teens spend 53 hours each week with this type media. That totals more than 7.5 hours per day. With no work, no parents to mentor them, and few options to chose from, children in cities have basically overdosed big time on entertainment. For me this is one of the most haunting horror stories of the 20th Century. Is it any wonder that most children have become “conformed to this age,” the very thing the Bible instructed us not to do?

Development of the government school systems ran parallel to the movement of people from farm to city. It took more than 100 years before the public school secular training gained a stronghold. The IOTA has developed rapidly especially during the last four decades of the 20th Century in both the public schools and the culture in general through movies, TV, music, etc. It is accurate to say that this is the era whereby the whole enchilada was put in front of us. In other words the fruit of the IOTA became fully ripe by the turn of the 21st Century.

Therefore, American fathers have failed to teach their sons and grandsons because of loss of time in two broad areas. Public schools have taken one block of time and entertainment has taken another.

Father/Son Time – Public school including bus time takes about an eight-hour block of time, and entertainment as discussed above takes another 7.5-hour block. Therefore, children today are missing more than 15 hours each day whereby they cannot interact face to face with their parents when we compare this day with a time about 150 years ago. So, what we have here is a true war with Christians on one side against IOTA on the other. Knowing how we got here will hopefully help us as we attempt to obey the command, “Do not be conformed to this age.”

In the name of progress, man moved from the farm to the city to work to increase his standard of living. Meanwhile he has become more separated from his sons and grandsons making it extremely difficult to fulfill God’s instruction … You shall teach them diligently to your sons 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 up. (Deuteronomy 6:7)

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? ……………………………(Matt 16:26)


Notes:

Is it public schools or government schools?  These two are used interchangeably in this book, but government schools is more accurate.  First consider the word “govern.”  I used to tell my students, If you don’t govern your actions, someone else will.”  A much better quote is the one by William Penn, in 1668,  Men must be governed by God or they will be ruled by tyrants.  Here is an important question, “If children are separated from parents 15 hours each day, is it likely they will be governed by God, or…???

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Ignoring Romans 12:2 How Government Schools And Urban Living Have Led To Mind Control In The 21st Century (Segment B)

2

The Messages in This Book

 

The foundation for the messages in this book comes from Romans 12:2 whereby the Bible tells us:  Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. This, of course, suggests that in order to have discernment as to God’s will, you must first have your mind renewed, and thus this should help you avoid conforming to this age.

From that foundational message in Romans 12:2, we learn what God’s Word, the Bible, has to say about how fathers should, at all times, be teaching their children. Scripture in Deuteronomy shows us those instructions.

It’s interesting how we see history through the time period in which we live, and tend to pay little attention to what came before. We sometimes fail to understand the precursors to the changes we personally witnessed. The purpose here is to give a brief overview, and perhaps add one or two elements you hadn’t thought about previously.

Many people would agree that the breakdown of the family has been a major contributing factor to the current problems in society. While that is true, we must ask the question, “What caused the breakdown of the family?”

Many cite taking prayer and the Ten Commandments out of the public schools as a beginning to the breakdown of the family. Some say it was the governmental subsidies to unwed mothers. Some say the women’s liberation movement. Some say sexual perversion in general. Some say it was when the wife/mother left home to take a job..

Eleven whole chapters in this book outline the adverse factors that have affected father/son relationships. I use the father/son designation rather than parent/child simply because the Bible does so in the Scriptures found in Deuteronomy. When we study the lifestyles of people since the time of Moses, we find that some key factors changed very little for a period of nearly 3000 years. In my opinion, there have been two primary changes during the past 150 years that have contributed most to our dilemma, conforming to this age. Both of these changes are precursors to destroying father/son relationships.   Or perhaps I should say, the separation of fathers and sons ultimately led the mind control of generations to follow. The shift from farm to urban living is one precursor. The second major factor has been the separation of children from parents by the public school system. While this book outlines 11 factors, most of the last nine are the result of the first two, (1) the move from farm to city, and. (2) the training in public schools.

Acquiring knowledge about those changes should help us discern what is good, pleasing and perfect in God’s will for our lives, and give us some direction as to how we can make some necessary adjustments as believers in the Word of God.

3

God’s Instruction In The Old Testament

 

Hear, O Israel! The Lord is 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. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons 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 up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as [b]frontals [c]on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deut. 6: 4- 9, NASB)

The Bible verse above is very familiar to many, especially those who have a firm belief that homeschooling and/or Christian schools are the only appropriate methods for training our children. Now lets take a look at the Scripture that immediately preceded, the first three versus of Deuteronomy 6.

Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the Lord your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. O Israel, you should listen and [a]be careful to do it, that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly, just as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.

Now notice particularly the second verse where it says so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the Lord your God, … What we have here is an emphasis on three generations; instructions to the fathers was that they, their children and their grandchildren, all three generations need to learn God’s teaching. It seems man must first learn God’s statutes and judgments, and then make sure that information was carried down for the next two generations. In other words, it is not good enough for man to learn the Scriptures, he must teach his son as shown in verse seven, but the father also has responsibility to his grandsons as well.

Playing the Devil’s advocate, I ask, how does this square up with church gatherings where the children are separated from the parents and put in the “children’s church,” or the teens separated from the parents and taught something “relevant” to teens, or have teaching about things high schoolers are interested in hearing. Can we say “itching ears?” Perhaps we should focus on what God says is relevant?

I think most people who read these first few verses in Deuteronomy likely agree with the premise that man should be teaching his children at all times. Problem is; do they do it? Is it even physically possible? How many hours a day do a father and son spend time together? The Bible says to teach while you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you get up. Let’s be real, most men are out of the house early in the morning to go to work. At the end of the school day children may be off to practice some activity like ballet or some ball game. There are likely very few families who sit down and eat the evening meal together. I feel certain the percent of families where the entire family sits down for breakfast TOGETHER would likely be less that three percent, ten percent maximum. Let’s just say ten percent of families eat breakfast together. Is there a lot of teaching of the father to the son during this time to make up for the other 90 percent? The reader and I both know that practically no teaching of biblical principles takes place each morning before father goes to work.

Why does the father even GO to work? Can he not work in his home? Yes, father working in the home is a bygone day. So is Deuteronomy only good for the ancient days when men were at home grubbing out a living by herding animals or gathering food in the fields? Do we just automatically assume that this is outdated because most of us don’t herd goats and sheep anymore?

Okay, okay, let’s just say I am not likely to get very far with this type discussion even if I am one of those individuals who does herd sheep. Lets say that it is near impossible because of work schedules of parents and schooling of children to have the father walk with his son during the day.

Do we have other wiggle room for trying to adhere to Deuteronomy 6?   If children are in private or government schools, then there is an eight-hour block of time away from home. What about dinner, or supper, as we say on the farm? Does the entire family eat together? Could this substitute for some of the teaching as the father and child “walk by the way?” Do the father and child have two to three hours before bedtime where they can discuss God’s commands?   For now I will leave those for discussion later.

4

God’s Instruction In The New Testament

 

Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)

In Romans 12:2, some translations say, “Do not be conformed to this age.” The ASV says, “And be not fashioned according to this world,” the GNV says, “And fashion not yourselves like unto this world,” and the NIV says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world…” So in the versions shown here we are instructed; Do not be conformed, fashioned, or influenced by the pattern of this world. If we ask what “this age” means some might say that means the age in which Romans was written, or perhaps just the circumstances at the time for those who lived in Rome. For most of us we would likely agree that regardless of the age, we are not to conform to the pattern of the rest of the world.

What is meant by “Do not be conformed to this age?” One way to conform is by physical force. Should you be placed in a locked cell, as in prison, physically you would be conformed. Or, you could have a heavy steel ball attached to a chain on one end and to your leg on the other; you would be conformed by force. Tyrants use force to make people conform. Islam teaches dominance in their religion. Infidels (any who are not Muslim) who are captured are forced to convert to Islam or suffer the consequences of being a lower class, abused class of people, or be killed. People who are forced into slave labor are conformed by force.

Our instruction from the Bible is referring to our voluntary decisions to “conform to this age.” This can become tricky since tyrants are likely always looking for new ways to cause people to be conformed to the desire of the tyrant. For example, much of the civil rights legislation in America was portrayed as a form of freedom, while in fact, over a period of three or four decades many were being manipulated or conformed into a type of slavery. The best example is the fact that when our federal government began heavily subsidizing unwed mothers while neglecting to hold fathers of the illegitimate babies accountable. The result was that a large percentage of unwed mothers became slaves of the government over a period of about four decades. How so? They are supported by taxpayer funds, and this has essentially made them slaves to the government system. The family was destroyed in the process.

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Why The Information Age May Be The Most Critical Age In History

 

Throughout history there have been various ages defined by certain significant activity and/or products of those particular times. For example, the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the Industrial Age were forerunners to the Information Age. In the earlier ages, man used his hands to work with those materials like bronze and iron to make tools, for example. He would then use these tools to make other things. In each age, man was using physical materials and using his physical body, his hands, to construct and shape products. In contrast, the Information Age is the first time in history whereby products that influence the MIND have been developed. That is VERY different. All the information systems we have now with computers, phones, Internet, etc. can be used to influence the mind. So for the first time since the Bible was written, we have a serious threat of mind control either by accident at the least, or at worst, on purpose by would-be-tyrants. In fact, I don’t think it is too much of a stretch to say that Romans 12:2 is more relevant now than anytime since it was first penned. Think about it; some falsehood can be written down and within a few minutes time it can be read at the far corners of the earth via television, phone, or the Internet. We often hear that something has gone viral, usually a short video.   Masses of people can be deceived quickly to follow false leaders of some country, false teachers of some ideology, or even the false doctrine formulated by someone posing as a Christian.

The Information Age has allowed both the good and the bad information to travel at lightning speed. The Bible tells us “Do not be conformed to this age,” and we are in the Information Age, the one age where the mind can easily be adversely affected or controlled. Christians are is essence at war with all those avenues of mind control that have been developed in a matter of a few years. It has happened so quickly that in many ways we have been caught off guard. We have been so fascinated with the use of advanced technology, that we tend to overlook the harmful effects, which are now becoming more evident as each day passes.

The advancing technology of the Information Age is just one aspect of how we are at risk of being conformed to this age. Major changes in rural versus city places of residency, major changes in education, and family lifestyles during the past 200 years are all factors that deserve our close attention lest we continue to become more conformed to this age.


NOTES:

Never in modern times have we seen the turmoil such as we have now. Currently, one of the hot button issues has been the players in the National Football League who have been disrespecting the American flag by their behavior while the Star Spangled Banner is being played prior to the game.  They fail to stand, and thus they insult large segments of their fan base, and likely most of us who are not fans of any NFL team.   Some are predicting the end of the NFL, and if it does crash, I say, “Good riddance!”   In more than one of the chapters to follow, I point out that we are obsessed with entertainment, and this contributes to our “conforming to this age.”  DR, October 2017


Related: Book, Segment A

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