From the Fire-Breathing Christian:
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?!
Well, I have some good news and some bad news…
First, the good: God has done just that very thing for His people. He has revealed His nature in His Word in such a manner that we actually, really, and truly have access to everything that we need to thrive in every realm of creation – politics, economics, art, education, and everything else – all in accordance with the Gospel-fueled Great Commission that he has given us (see: Matthew 28).
Now, the bad news: Most professing Christians in America will have none of it.
They will not submit to the loving, life-gloving, and civilization-building commands of Christ the King. They will not have Him to rule over them in practice.
And that’s the point: “We will not have this King over us” in the real world.
But Christ insists on ruling over us in the real world, with the alternative being punishment, pain, death, and hell/the lake of fire.
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.
Such rebellion brings down the wrath of God: but the hearts of many are hardened enough that even increasingly painful, even humiliating, punishment does not bring repentance.
But I am writing to those who want to live, to repent from their ways of damnation and death, and who will kneel to Christ the King for salvation.
To kneel… and to obey.