The Importance of Discipling Your Children
In my recent review of Voddie Baucham’s Family Driven Faith, I mentioned that Family Driven Faith is “a clarion call for men to be men by discipling their families.” I present to you now Exhibit A for why parents should disciple their children (which argument I laid out in my related post in the Great Commission Living series): college professors now openly admit that their “agenda is nothing less than to separate students from their Christian beliefs and their intellectual and moral commitments,” as Dr. Mohler writes in a recent blog post. That’s right, parents (and teens); college professors now admit what many Christians have known for decades: college campuses are not mere war zones but are Satan’s breeding grounds for future enemies of the faith.
Dr. Mohler helpfully writes:
Even as most professors see themselves as stewards of the teaching profession and fellow learners with their students, others see their role in very different terms — as agents of ideological indoctrination. All teaching involves ideology and intellectual commitments. There is no position of authentic objectivity. Every teacher, as well as every student, comes into the classroom with certain intellectual commitments. Some professors set as their aim the indoctrination of students into their own worldview, and many of these worldviews are both noxious and deeply troubling. A professor who acts as such an agent of indoctrination abuses the stewardship of teaching and the professorial calling, but this abuse is more widespread and dangerous than many students and their parents understand.
Dr. Mohler extensively quotes Professor Bill Savage of Northwestern University in Illinois as a prime example of “representatives of what has been called the ‘adversary culture.’” Bill Savage openly admits that he is a political liberal and “acknowledges that he and his fellow liberals have a lower fertility rate than conservatives. Nevertheless, he insists that educated urban liberals need not despair.”
Dr. Mohler quotes Professor Savage as writing in a Seattle newspaper:
The children of red [conservative] states will seek a higher education and that education will very often happen in blue states or blue islands in red states. For the foreseeable future, loyal dittoheads will continue to drop off their children at the dorms. After a teary-eyed hug, Mom and Dad will drive their SUV off toward the nearest gas station, leaving their beloved progeny behind. And then they are all mine.
Dr. Mohler is justified to latch onto that last sentence: they are all mine. I don’t know what mental image you get in your head when you read that sentence, but I see in my mind’s eye a ravenous wolf leering at a pasture of unattended lambs from beyond the tree line, a cannibal eagerly hungrily rubbing his hands together as he anticipates tying his hostages to a stake suspended over an open flame. This is what self-professing Christian teens are being sent to! And by the end of just ONE year in such a college, between 70 and 88 percent of them have left the church. (Even after you factor in those who will later return, a full 3 to 5 out of ten permanently apostasize, thus proving that they were never really saved, 1 John 2:18.)
This, my fellow Christians, is outrageous! We have suspected for years that universities were unsafe, we possess years of statistical proof, and finally we have the confession of just one liberal professor among many who subjects his students to a liberal ideology that attempts to sever them from their professed faith. Ultimately, we know that the Lord preserves those who are His (John 10:25-30, et al), but the fact that so many do apostatize forever should be cause of concern. Yes, tares will always be among the wheat, but there should not be anywhere between 3 and 5 wolves in sheep’s clothing prowling among the sheep within the fold of the church! Consider what Dr. Mohler goes on to write in response to Professor Savage’s statement, “they are all mine”:
That’s right, a significant number of professors are happy to have parents spend 18 years raising children, only to drop them off on the campus and head back home. These professors are confident that the four or so years of the college experience will be ample time to separate students from the beliefs, convictions, moral commitments, and faith of their parents.
Even after expressing these truly breathtaking agendas, these professors go on to claim that they do not seek to indoctrinate their students into their own beliefs and worldviews, but no one can believe them now.
I would hope that no Christian believes that teens can be left at public universities unequipped for the daily battles they will face! Please note here that I am not advocating an abandonment of public universities (I myself intend to attend one before seminary), but I do advocate a sober acknowledgement of the fact that public universities are not safe places for Christian teens. They are war zones and enemy breeding grounds, and we must admit this. The sooner we do, the better, for the sooner we admit that Satan, “the god of this age,” holds sway over most if not all public universities (and some private ones), the sooner we can begin equipping current Christian teens to stand firm amid such a great onslaught of truly demonic power. Dr. Mohler concludes:
The college experience is, of necessity, a time for the development of critical thinking. It is a season of tremendous intellectual formation that produces lasting effects. Students should learn the disciplines of critical thinking and analysis, and in this transitional period of life, they will determine whether they will hold to the beliefs and commitments of their parents.
God is meticulously sovereign, but He uses means to accomplish his purposes. God equips His people with the armor of God (Ephesians 6), and part of that armor for the Christian teen and college student is, implicitly, “critical thinking and analysis.” Public education often does not provide such skills to high school students, and we should not expect it to provide those skills. God intends those skills to be taught to children throughout their formative years (read: throughout their lives), and for these skills to be taught to children by their parents with the help of their local congregation. Consider God’s words in Deuteronomy 6:5-7 and Hebrews 10:24-25,
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 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.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Parents: disciple your children. Claim the promise of Proverbs 22:6—“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” This is a promise of God: claim it. Because if you don’t, the warning of Hosea 4:6 rings true: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I have rejected you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.” Do not forget God’s law by disobeying: parents, train your children in the way they should go. Make sure at whatever the cost that they are hearing the gospel daily. If they claim to be Christian, make sure they are praying and reading their Bibles regularly. Disciple them to cultivate an active, daily, moment-by-moment faith. To apply these Scriptures: “Train up your child” and “when he is in college he will not depart from it permanently,” for if you reject this teaching (=“knowledge”) and forget God’s law, God will “forget” your children, which you will realize by their permanent apostasy.
Love your children enough to turn off the TV. Love your children enough to read the Bible to them, especially if they do not read it for themselves. Love your children enough not just to model prayer for them but also to lovingly(!) command prayer from them. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Give your children a biblical worldview BEFORE they go to college … or you very well may soon find out that their worldview is worldly and is on a wide path straight to hell but for the intervening grace of God to shine on their hearts and to save them from their sins—and their professors.
Bill Savage says: “And then they are mine.”
“It is hard to imagine words more alarming than those,” Dr. Mohler replies.
I add: “Hear the alarm and act on it now before it is too late. Train up your children, disciple them, not just for their sakes’ but for Christ’s: it is his command to you as parents.”
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
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