by Betty Jackson
There was a discussion between a teacher and a father (also a teacher) concerning homeschooling in which the teacher insisted that our children ought to attend public school to be missionaries, rather than being schooled at home. The young father replied, “My children are not ready to be missionaries.”
This article is not to defend homeschooling per se, nor to agree with the public school teacher. What it is about is whether young children can be held accountable as missionaries in their circle of associations. It would be better to realize that every Christian is a missionary, with the Great Commission having been given by our Lord and Commander-In-Chief, Jesus Christ.
However, it may be overwhelming to young children to place them in the role of missionary. While we need to consider them as “missionaries in training,” requiring certain behaviors, we do need to realize, because of their tender ages, we must be careful. The development of all that it takes to be a faithful Christian, including teaching others in our communities or abroad, is a process. The focus needs to be upon building the faith of children, leading them to responsible Christian adulthood. “How can that be done?” one may ask.
Parental tasks of making a living, keeping the health department away from a cluttered house, and running here and there with so many extra curricular activities often leave fathers and mothers exhausted. Yet, the command to “train children the way they should go” is always hovering over minds as weary bodies fall into bed at the end of full days. In weariness, some may even wonder “Does anyone want my job!”
There are so many every day distractions that hinder good training of our children. It is comforting to know that the instructions of Deuteronomy 6:7-9 involve daily life. While a formal devotional during the week is a good thing, little will be accomplished by that if all the rest of life revolves around the temporal. Our lives ought to be saturated with a wholehearted love for our Heavenly Father, humble gratefulness for Jesus’ sacrifice, and appreciation for the Holy Spirit’s provision of the Holy Scriptures. We must rise up, walk in the way, and lay down with conversation revolving around our own mission of serving God. Everything we do ought to be done in the name of the Lord (Colossians 3:17). As Alfred Edersheim worded it, “...to the spiritual nothing is secular.” Solomon stated that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 1:7). Our light must shine all the time! (Matthew 5:16.) If we compartmentalize our lives, we may risk becoming only Sunday Christians.
Specific challenges must be faced head on in our modern media-driven world. Nearly every nature program will propagandize the theory of evolution. Visit the Grand Canyon and you are bound to hear about the evolutionary ideas behind the explanation for the Canyon. Most science curricula are filled with it as well.
The National Science Teachers Association makes no apology for contradicting a biblical view of the origin of the universe and human beings. They claim there is no scientific evidence for Special Creation. Yet they say, there is evidence for evolution, and “...evolution is a unifying concept for science.” Further they affirm that, “Scientific disciplines with a historical component, such as astronomy, geology, biology, and anthropology, cannot be taught with integrity if evolution is not emphasized.”
Humanist John Dunphy arrogantly wrote, "I am convinced that the battle for humankind's future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers that correctly perceive their role as proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being...The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and new -- the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism, resplendent with the promise of a world in which the never-realized Christian ideal of 'love thy neighbor' will finally be achieved."
In his book Already Gone, Ken Ham statistically showed that faith in the integrity of the Bible of young people has been compromised or destroyed because of their inability to harmonize the Bible with so-called science. Compatibility between the biblical account of a young earth and that of pseudo-science concerning the age of the earth doesn’t exist. Being taught that science proves that the earth is billions of years old in contrast to the history recorded in the Bible is devastating. Without the armor to deflect these false ideas, both parents and children are affected.
Over fifteen years ago, there was a young boy in my Bible class who believed the earth was billions of years old, in spite of my best efforts to show him the evidence otherwise. My lessons titled Reasoning to Believe, showed the weaknesses in the dating methods, and other proofs that our earth cannot be as old as is claimed by the atheistic community.
Atheism is a militant effort to dismiss God through hocus-pocus dating methods to find billions of years. Theistic evolution is likewise a malignant scheme to destroy confidence in the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures. We cannot slumber. We need the whole armor of God with the sword of the Spirit, the word of God, truth, and righteousness, to take the offensive, contending for the faith of our children.
What can busy parents do? First, realize that the most important missionary work that you have to do is training your children and protecting their budding faith. Second, you need the weapons to learn how to combat the errors to which they are exposed. One such tool is Truth Be Told available from Apologetics Press. Some homeschools have used this book as a part of their school curriculum. I urge you to purchase a copy. It handles some of the common claims by atheists on a level youngsters can understand.
You may be thinking that I was disingenuous by stating this was not a defense of homeschooling. While I am pro-homeschooling in most situations, my real point is this: It is dangerous out there! We must protect our children by training them, and strengthening them to meet the battles for faith they will face, regardless of where they are educated.
No, children are not ready to be missionaries. They can be good examples, inviting their friends to Bible class and worship. They may even be able to discuss some biblical themes with them. But they are not ready to strike out on their own into the wilderness of the ferocious atheistic, humanist beast. They need training to learn how to reason and identify error with the intelligence the God of heaven has given them. They must receive the education of sound teaching to learn how to do that.
Resources and Recommended Reading
Dunphy, John. 2009. The Book That Started It All. https://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php/articles/3452
Edersheim Alfred. 1947. The Life and Times of Jesus, the Messiah. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmeans Publishing Company. Vol. II, p. 247.
Jackson, Jason. Evaluating Evolution in Plain English. https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1228-evaluating-evolution-in-plain-english
Jackson, Wayne. The Age of The Earth. https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/7-age-of-the-earth-the
NSTA Position Statement. The Teaching of Evolution.
See Apologetics Press for the book Truth Be Told, and for a number of other materials that are useful to parents for teaching their children: https://www.apologeticspress.org/store/Category.aspx?cid=16
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