I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. (John 10: 11-12) Continue reading
Category Archives: Church Tracks
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 12:2, HCSB)
Just as I have learned that a large percentage of my time as a sheepherder, is spent watching and looking for sheep that have gone astray, I suggest to the reader that most of American’s present problems revolve around the lies we have believed, the entertainment we have embraced, and the time and place where we spent gaining our formal schooling. Furthermore, all of these harmful things have been LEARNED. I’ll also insert this observation, prosperity is usually a poor teacher. (prosperity – remember what I said in Part 1 about sheep with a full belly? – they don’t listen to my voice) A good example today is the seemingly large number of college students who are often referred to as “snowflakes.” These people have never attended the college of hard knocks. This can explain why they are so easily “triggered” by events or comments by another person that makes them look for a “safe place,” a place where they cannot be frightened by their own shadow, and where they can weep and recover from their tormented position. College education today is very expensive, and for many who attend, it is little more than training to extend adolescence! About 50 years ago Americans bought the lie that “everyone needs to get a college education.” Then educators dumbed down standards, and together with politicians went to work establishing scholarship funds that would raise college teacher salaries, gain votes for the politicians, and pile up more debt for Mr. and Mrs Taxpayer.
Sowing and Reaping
Let me paint a word picture. You have a garden where vegetables are growing. Metaphorically, the growing vegetables represent the young people in your family. One of the frustrations I have is hearing prominent Christians get all fired up with rhetoric every time Christians are insulted by the actions of some secular person or group has made decisions to, for example, remove references to Christmas, or open the same restrooms to males, females, or transgenders. They complain that school officials, mayors, governors and others make wrong decisions, but these same Christian complainers seldom do anything to promote Christian schooling, the only way to provide an extensive biblical-based education. They want to treat the symptoms rather than take measures to prevent the disease. The Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-9) can help us understand the importance of having the correct standards that we and our family follow. When you complain to the school board, write a letter to a someone in the U.S. Congress, or gather somewhere to protest, these type actions would be like the gardener who steps on a weed while tending his garden. Gardeners know that stepping on a weed will hardly slow its growth, much less kill it, and registering a complaint to officials will likely produce similar results. Here is a novel idea; go protest to local pastors telling them you want a Christian school in your community. Frankly, complaining about public schools, is not an answer; not even a first step. Send your children to a Christian school, or better yet, begin teaching your children at home. If your children are grown, then do what you can to encourage young families to provide Christian schooling.
America’s Heart Problem
Here is another word picture. A professional athlete suddenly dies due to a heart condition that had gone undetected. This strong man played sports in high school and college before becoming a paid professional. Then one day he collapsed and died. This could very well describe America; she looks strong, but has a heart problem.
America has gone through some turbulent situations in recent times. She appears to be strong in many ways, but one single measure should give us pause. The U.S. Federal debt has nearly doubled since Obama began occupying the White House, and is projected to reach 20 trillion dollars by February 2017. As someone has said, “Anything that can’t go on for ever, won’t.” A single statistic like this does not tell the whole story in regard to our problems, but it is an important bellwether type factor. For example, our prosperity is inflated, and our prosperity would vanish if we had to pay that all debt at once. In fact, it can’t be done.
Since Donald Trump won the presidential election November 8, 2016, several indicators have suggested our country is turning a corner on the many disasters that have piled upon on us during the past four to six decades. I am optimistic that Trump can turn the corner, just as Obama turned the corner eight years ago, but he went in the WRONG DIRECTION. I truly believe God has given us a reprieve, but the work of Christians is now enormous.
How is the work of Christians enormous? We have more than 300 million people in America, and the majority, most likely, need attention to their spiritual condition. Much of our learned attitudes come from actions that began more than 150 years ago. I am specifically thinking about our public schools, more than any other group. I will say, our church congregations chould also use an overhaul. Man is a creature of habit, and migrates toward those things that make him comfortable. It took about 150 years for the humanists to worm their way into our culture and nudge Christians to the side. In retrospect, I grew up in the 1940s and 1950s when the culture was Christian, but I saw few hard core, Bible-believing Christians. The radicals of the 1960s made a hard push to rid the culture of all things Christian… we’ve lost our footing, what was left of it. The main point is that we took more than 150 years to get here, so we cannot gain what we lost in one generation. We need to wake up and realize we have been following the wrong crowd for way too long. One to three trips a week to participate in a church congregational meeting WILL NOT TURN THIS COUNTRY AROUND. If you want your children to truly follow Jesus, then, at the very least, as a first step, remove them from the clutches of government schools.
Seriously, whether you have school children or not, talk to local pastors about helping young families with finances to school their children in a way that will honor God. If you are told, “No,” then I ask you, “What will you do next?” Will you and the pastors just return to the old habits, and places of comfort?
“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)
Simply put, the common method of training children in government-run schools has become a DISASTER. If the reader is not aware of the academic, moral. and spiritual bankruptcy in public schools, then perhaps you should either do some serious study, or go read something that is not so heavy. It is easy for an old codger (old codger – used affectionately to refer to an eccentric but amusing old man) like me to tell you what it was like in the “good ole days,” but it’s true. At least compared to now, it was much better. I went to a public school, (same building, all 12 grades) before the door was closed on God. In fact, among the teachers I had, three were Sunday school teachers, and two were preachers. One of these taught a Bible class to ninth graders. The school also dedicated one week each year for a week long Bible school.
An Even Greater Disaster
When man makes laws that are in direct conflict with God’s LAW, then man will, at some point, reap what he sows, and the crop will not be good. For example, man has made laws saying parents must send their children to school, and that same government, with taxpayer dollars, provides such a school. Now, tell me, what can be more ridiculous than sending a young boy to a government school where he learns he can become a girl if he so chooses? The really sad part about this situation is that Christian leaders are supposed to be purveyors of biblical truth, if anyone is, yet in the face of reality, they abandon truth and accept the lie that government run schools are acceptable places for our children to receive discipleship training for about 30 hours each week.
Failure to Make Long-range Plans
During my intermittent study of the history of American culture, I have become intrigued, and yet greatly disappointed in the way we Christians have failed at making long-range plans, especially when we compare our plans to those guided by the Enemy. I am, specifically, thinking of the major players who initiated, supported, and developed the government-run public schools in the mid-19th Century, and continued for the next 150 years.
I challenge the reader to study any congregation of Christians and find one that is making plans that aim for at least three generations that are to follow. I have heard and read that non-believers who wish to change our nation from its Christian heritage into something else, are satisfied when they make incremental gains, while keeping their focus on the end game of destroying all things Christian.
Long range plans for most pastors and their congregations seem to focus on raising funds for the comfort of the present generation of adult pew sitters, the same people who pay the bills in that congregation, with very little emphasis on providing discipleship training for the second and third generations to follow. The primary goals often focus on the next building construction program, or raising money to pay off the debt incurred during the last building program. And BTW, seldom does it seem to be for building something to train children five days a week to replace the ungodly public school system. If it did, then I would say that qualifies as a long-range plan to disciple children. Homeschooling would be better, but a school operated by a church congregation is a step in the right direction.
The Christian Establishment is the Problem
Kevin R. Novak wrote a very interesting book on this subject titled, Abolition – Overcoming the Christian Establishment on Education. His focus is on abolishing the public schools, because they are not only violate the U.S. Constitution, but for Christians, using public schools for training our children, it violates God’s Law. While many people will likely respond by saying it will be impossible to abolish government schools, Novak makes the point that we should make steps in that direction. I, personally, am fascinated more by the sub title, “Overcoming the Christian Establishment on Education.” Notice he did not say political establishment, Democrat establishment, or Republican establishment. In other words, in my opinion, we need to recognize that our discipleship disaster lies at the feet of those we consider a part of the Christian Establishment (pastors, seminary leaders, and other high profile Christians considered to be leaders.)
One might ask, “What is meant by “Overcoming the Christian Establishment?” Simple, the Christian Establishment is the No. 1 obstacle to properly educating our youth, and therefore, making them disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. I have believed this for several years prior to reading Novak’s book a few weeks ago. What is worse, is the reason why the Christian Establishment (CE) is such an obstacle… my answer, not Novak’s… MONEY. Trust me, the CE will not admit this because they know what the Bible says about the “love of money.” (1 Timothy 6:10)
Novak makes the point that property owners are taxed (not constitutional) to pay for public schools, and then the people are forced (not constitutional) to send their children to be trained in such a place. Think about that for a moment; is that not what most tyrants usually do? Check this quote by Adolph Hitler:
“When an opponent declares, ‘I will not come over to your side,’ I calmly say, ‘Your child belongs to us already… What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.'”
Novak is a trained lawyer, and focuses on the illegal aspects of forcing people to pay taxes to fund schools, and then forces children of these same people to attend these schools. I agree with what Novak says about the legal aspects, but had not thought about it in that manner before reading his book. Having said that, the real burr under my saddle is, the cavalier manner in which the CE so easily dismisses the idea that children should be trained by Christians. The mindset goes something like this, “Private Christian schooling is a fine alternative to public school as long as the parents of the child pay for it.” And the pastor says, “We will now take an offering so you can give to God” (“Now, that you have been obedient by giving your money to me and my ministry, go ahead and give your children to Caesar.”)
I respond to the last sentences of the last paragraph in words like our five-year old granddaughter used when she opened a birthday gift and learned it contained panties. She said, “That’s disgusting!”