Friday, August 31, 2007

An Essential Component of Manhood...

For those of you discipling boys to be solid, Christian's a post on my other blog that will help you in that endeavor! Enjoy...and practice it yourself at church this weekend!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Family Driven Faith YouTube Videos

A few weeks ago, I posted on the release of Dr. Voddie Baucham's new book, Family Driven Faith. Thanks to Tony at For His Glory, I found a new section of YouTube entitled "Broadcast Yourself." It allows a person to put many of his own videos in one place. In this case, Dr. Baucham has placed fourteen videos as of the date of this posting...all are short, usually less than two minutes. They are simply videos of him discussing different aspects of the issues raised in his book. The video below is a sample...Dr. Baucham describing what it means to be a disciple...quite apropos for this particular blog...and a straight up call for parents (Dads in particular) to be the discipler of his children. You can find the rest of the videos sure to watch the one entitled, "Put the Baby in the Beemer"...for it is a short poem that is a devastating critique of United States cultural norms today.

May they be a challenge and an encouragement to you as you strive to raise your family in the Lord.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It's That Time of Year....

Late August/Early's that time of year again. You know it from all the sales going on at the stores. In fact, I heard (no hard evidence) that the sales of back-to-school supplies and dorm furnishing supplies are second only to Christmas! Yes, it's the time of year that most of America kiss their young ones goodbye, pack them onto the yellow bus, and then head off to do whatever it is these adults do when their children are not with them.... These moms (and dads) are assuming they are doing the best by their children and that if the little ones will just apply themselves, they will be "successful" in life. The officially godless, multicultural, diversity-embracing, tolerance-teaching government school will see to it for them....

I just finished John MacArthur's new book, The Truth War (available with just a click on the left of my blog). In it he battles the mindset of what is known as the Emergent Church, a mindset that affects virtually all in the Western world today, regardless of church affiliation. That mindset is post-modernism...and that is the worldview that will be both officially and unofficially inculcated into your children in the government school.

So what sort of ideas characterize post-modernism?

MacArthur writes, "Objectivity is an illusion. Nothing is certain, and the thoughtful person will never speak with too much conviction about anything. Strong convictions about any point of truth are judged supremely arrogant and hopelessly naive. Everyone is entitled to his own truth." And later, "In the postmodern perspective, certainty is regarded as inherently arrogant, elitist, intolerant, oppressive and therefore always wrong (emphasis added)."

Your children will be taught over and over again that there is no such thing as absolute truth (except of course, the absolute truth that there is no absolute truth!). And they will be taught that anyone with a truth claim and its accompanying certainty is arrogant, intolerant, and ultimately always wrong.

What is scary is this viewpoint has crept into the church unnoticed and affects even some of the most mature believers. I have been on the receiving end of it. By proclaiming with certainty what I believe to be true about subjects ranging from Reformed Theology to childrearing to education, I have been pronounced "arrogant" by those bearing opposite opinions. Rather than deal with the issues at hand and attempt to debate them with God's Word as the referee, the attack has always been a personal one led by the charge of arrogance and thus a minimizing of my point of view. I have been told that I am not "humble," and that if I were only "humble," my viewpoints would be heard.

MacArthur writes again, "one of the highest values (if not the supreme virtue by which all others are measured) is a particular notion of 'humility'--namely, the standard postmodern species of humility, which starts with the assumption that certainty, assurance, and bold conviction are arrogant and therefore wrong." Therefore to be "humble" in the eyes of most of the church today, one cannot express anything with certainty, assurance, or bold conviction. Your viewpoint might be heard, but you must present it with the mindset that you have no conviction about it, that it couldn't actually be true for everyone! MacArthur points out that the humility being called for here "is actually a form of unbelief, rooted in an impudent refusal to acknowledge that God has been sufficiently clear in His self-revelation to His creatures." (Doctrine of perspicuity anyone? Oops...that would be an absolute truth!)

This leads to nothing more than everyone doing what is right in their own eyes...and all the attendant societal maladies that accompany such folly.

Church! Wake up! If you are calling someone arrogant for expressing conviction, then you are exposing your post-modern worldview. You do not have a Biblical worldview in play.

So back to the school issue.... By entrusting your children to the schools eight hours a day, you are virtually guaranteeing they will internalize the post-modern mindset of "broad-mindedness", "diversity", and "tolerance." There will be indoctrination going on. Would you like to see some of it at its worst? Click here and watch the two videos. They are from a film created over a decade ago and still distributed today to activist teachers. Watch the young, impressionable minds being twisted by the propaganda being spewed by authority figures they trust. Your gut will churn in revulsion at the raping of these precious children's souls. And worse...this was a decade ago. Do you really think it's gotten better? No matter how "good" you think your particular school is, you do your children a huge disservice if you don't monitor every single thing they are taught, to include every single book they read, so that you might counter (in the 20-30 minutes of free time a day you have with them) the anti-Biblical bias that pervades all subjects and virtually all peer conversations.

But better yet... why send them off in the first place? So you can have time with other moms? So you can clean your house better? So you can indulge yourself a bit? Really, none of those desires are bad in small doses. But the desire to rid yourself of your children eight hours a day is fraught with poor priorities. There are moms in our neighborhood that take bottles of champagne to the bus stop on the first day of school so they can celebrate their freedom from little Jenny and little Johnny as soon as they are on the bus! Just how sad is that?!

Consider why you do what you do. Ostensibly you are sending them off so they will one day be a "success," and "education" is the ultimate means to that success. Unfortunately you are again showing your post-modern mindset. I believe it was A.W. Tozer (I've been reading a lot of books lately and lost track of where this came from) who points out that "education" to the post-modern mind is seen as salvation. Every problem in life can be solved by more education. That viewpoint is the unspoken basis of why you do what you do with your children. Education=success=salvation.

Instead, what about consulting the particular Deuteronomy 6, Ephesians 6, Psalm 1, and the entire book of Proverbs? Note God's overarching themes and desires: Among other things, note that the father is charged to raise up a child who is wise (as opposed to "smart"), who fears the Lord, who handles the Word of God well, who loves God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength and his neighbor as himself (actual practical outworking of faith), who takes on mature adult responsibilities. In short, what God desires is summed up in the concept of discipleship. Note well that none of this will happen in any group classroom, but particularly not in a government school classroom. For example, when was the last time a child developed "wisdom" from his peers, all of whom have foolishness bound up in their hearts? All that the world says is important in education is absent from God's priorities. Calculus, foreign language, grammar, history, lab science (everything we tend to focus upon and brag about to our neighbors)...none of them are first in line. Are they important? In a sense, potentially...but the bottom line is they are all secondary! A solidly saved child who grows into adulthood as a young person of wisdom and Biblical accuracy will affect his world, will strengthen and expand the Kingdom, will spread the Gospel of our Lord, and will be pleasing in the sight of God, regardless of how the secondary subjects are mastered. But a child who masters the secondary subjects at the expense of salvation, Biblical wisdom, Biblical maturity, and Biblical love brings nothing of value to his world; but rather he brings the worldly materialism that so engulfs most in the United States and ultimately, his efforts will be nothing but a stench in God's nostrils. (Oops...there I go being "arrogant" again!)

A.W. Tozer in "Rut, Rot, or Revival" states, "'Society,' said Emerson, 'is in conspiracy to make every man like every other man.' But what he did not say was that society is in a conspiracy to make every man ungodly in his thinking (emphasis added)." That about sums it up. As you are making your educational choices, you must take your head out of the sand and understand that society at large, and thus the government schools (and most "Christian schools" as well) are in a conspiracy to make your children just like everyone else. And "everyone else" will be ungodly and postmodern in their thinking, to include "wrong ambition, love of money, overappreciation of earthly things, jealousy and envy,..." "broad-minded," "tolerant," and "diversity-loving."

As I have written before...exactly what kind of young adult do you want at the end of your parenting years? What characteristics do you want to see? What is your Biblically-based definition of "success?" Your answers to these and similar questions will drive the decisions and priorities you make today...which will dramatically impact who your children become as adults. Do you really want them to be like "everyone else"????

Paul Washer's Youth Evangelism Sermon (Condensed Version)

Back in February I provided a post that included a YouTube video of a full hour-long sermon by Paul Washer, a sermon given to a Southern Baptist Youth Evangelism group. That sermon was my introduction to Pastor Washer's extremely powerful preaching. Since then I have listened to hours upon hours of his sermons, each one strongly containing the power of the Gospel. For those who haven't had the encouragement to listen to the full-length sermon, someone has put together the highlights of the sermon mentioned above and created a video of it. (Disclaimer: The creator of the video took some creative license and used the History Channel logo as if the video were from that station. Obviously, it's not....)

May you be blessed by what you hear...and even better, may you and your children find your salvation through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ alone, and not from a "decision."

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Unexamined Life

A.W. Tozer in Rut, Rot or Revival: The Condition of the Church is quoted as saying, "The philosopher Socrates said, 'An unexamined life is not worth living.' If a common philosopher could think that, how much more we Christians ought to listen to the Holy Spirit when He says, 'Examine yourself.' An unexamined Christian lies like an unattended garden. Let your garden go unattended for a few months, and you will not have roses and tomatoes but weeds. An unexamined Christian life is like an unkempt house. Lock your house up as tight as you will and leave it long enough, and when you come back you will not believe the dirt that got in from somewhere. An unexamined Christian is like an untaught child. A child that is not taught will be a little savage. It takes examination, teaching, instruction, discipline, caring, tending, weeding, and cultivating to keep the life right."

Lest we blindly go through life erroneously believing we are saved, we need to examine ourselves as commanded by God. As parents, we need to examine our children as best we can, and then as they mature, teach them to examine themselves. All this reminds me once more of a fantastic sermon by Paul Washer that should be part of any serious Christian's collection. It can be found here, either to listen online or to download. I personally place them all on my ipod in a "Washer" playlist and listen whenever I'm in the car...sure beats the rot on the radio!