The Biblical Mandate for Christian Education Part 1
by Fred Di Lella

I am 100% committed to Christian education:

Many children who profess to be converted at an early age show no evidence of knowing Christ later.  How do we handle children when they come to us for counsel concerning conversion?

Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.  …Proverbs 20:11

As in all counseling I also go through the Gospel with children.  I also discuss the duties of a Christian (e.g., Deuteronomy 6:4, 5; Ecclesiastes 12:13; Proverbs 3:5-7; Matthew 22:37f.; 1John 5:1-4).  I discuss the evidences of a true Christian faith and ask if these Biblical vital signs are manifest in their lives (e.g., John 14:15-24; Galatians 5:22, 23; 1John 2:3; 3:6f).  I teach them regarding the following issues and then ask them where they stand: I ask them if they honor their father and mother.  I ask them if they are seeking God in His Word daily.  I ask them what things they do like to read and watch.  I ask them if they are praying at least once per day.   I ask them if they hunger and thirst for righteousness.  I ask them if they long to be a holy people.  I ask them if they desire to see others become Christians.  I asked what types of friends they have.  Are their friends Christians?  What do they do with their friends?  I encourage and exhort them to read God’s Word daily, to pray, and also to study and memorize catechism questions.  I also teach them to read, memorize, and meditate on God’s Word daily.  I give assignments and see how the individual has progressed during the next counseling session.  I instruct children through passages such as: Deuteronomy 6; Psalms 1; 19; and 119; Ecclesiastes 12; Proverbs 4; and Psalm 32:5, 9. I discuss my experiences working in a jail with rebellious, defiant men, women, and children in jails and prisons.

Every time I see prisoners in their uniforms, being led out or into their cages, walking single file, not being allowed to talk to (or touch) each other, and also wearing leg irons, chains, and handcuffs; Psalm 32:8, 9 immediately comes to mind.  God commands us to listen to His perfect Word.  He warns those that do not believe and obey His Word with severe consequences.  Watching rebellious men, who are made in the image of God, being led about like the horse and the mule that have no understanding is a very sobering sight.  God says that many sorrows shall be to the wicked.  Prisons are places that are full of sadness, anger, and desperation.  One moment in Hell, however, would make prison seem like a vacation.  I alert children (and adults) that God instructs and teaches us in the way which we must walk (live, think, say, and do).  Take heed!

Psalm 32:8-10 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee. Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.

Seeing these men bound and caged like animals is always a very grave and sobering thought.  Going into a jail with the cells, padded cells, bars, guards, razor and barbed wire, towers with armed guards vigilantly guarding them definitely shows us the depth of man’s defiant, rebellion against God.  It also gives us a small glimpse of the terrifying consequences of a sinful life.  I also relate counseling visits to an insane asylum and mental wards in a prison. The wages of sin are dreadful.

There is no peace for the wicked.  …Isaiah 57:20.

Advice to parents

The Lord declares that a major reason for marriage is to raise up a godly seed (e.g., Malachi 2:15).  I teach parents through Deuteronomy 6, demonstrating that parents must themselves be committed to the Lord.  Parents must be a godly example to their children by showing forth their won commitment to the Lord. As Deuteronomy 6 also teaches, parents must constantly commit their faith unto their children.  Parents must take every opportunity to teach their children about the Lord.  Parent must also command their children to obey the Lord, chasten them when they are rebellious.  Parents must make sure that their children keep the Christian Sabbath Day holy, that they are attentive and respectful at worship, that they honor their father and mother, and that they know and keep the other Commandments of God.  Parents must raise their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.  A major element in raising children is to have a godly, Biblical marriage.  Showing forth a godly marriage to your children is a critical foundation for raising a godly seed.   The husband must love his wife, and be the breadwinner. The wife must be submissive to her husband in all things. Parents must also guard what their children hear and see.  Radio, movies, and television can be very bad fountains of sinful pollution. Parents must also make sure that they provide a Biblical education for their children.

I have often asked parents if they would ever send their children for 1 hour per week to a Jehovah’s Witnesses’ “bible” class or a Mormon meeting or a Papist mass.  Every Christian parent would respond in horror at placing their children under the hearing of such false teachers for even 1 hour per week.  Yet, many professing Christians send their children to the public schools, where secular humanist instructors teach them, for 35+ hours per week.

As the writings of Dewey and other major “educators” make abundantly clear: the major purpose for the formation of public schools was to get rid of Calvinism in America.  The public schools most definitely do not provide a Biblical education to children.  On the contrary the public schools provide a godless education.  We must guard our children from listening to perverse, godless teaching.  What is 1 hour per week of Jehovah’s Witness training in comparison to more than 35 hours per week of public school indoctrination?  Both the Jehovah’s Witness and public school teachings are totally unacceptable.

Proverbs 12:26 The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them. Fear and admonition of Lord.

Proverbs 19:27 Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.

I would also instruct the parents of the Lord’s command for the wife/mother to be a keeper-at-home.  When both parents are working, they are not raising their children.  Often parents are letting complete strangers raise their children.  Years ago I was standing by the bulletin board in a supermarket, holding one child in my right arm and another child by my left hand.  As I looked at the ads, I saw several requesting child care.  I held the children God had entrusted to my care and shuddered inside at the grievous and horrible thought of sending my beloved children to someone, who answers my ad from a grocery store bulletin board.  Sending a child for 10 to 12 hours per day to someone else for rearing is real child neglect.  Sending a child for 10 to 12 hours per day to someone else for rearing is also a way of allowing your child to be indoctrinated with an unbiblical view of life from your poor example of parenting, and also from the indoctrination the child will receive from the sitter, who is raising him. It is critical that a mother be a keeper-at-home, as God commands.  If a woman has a career outside the home, she is not raising her children. Sending a child for 10 to 12 hours per day to someone else for rearing is a bad testimony to the world, providing an occasion for reproach and blaspheming to those on the outside. As I have stated elsewhere, we have raised our daughters to be keepers-at-home.

1Timothy 5:14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

Titus 2:4,5  That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. The Lord sets forth blessings for faithful parents:

All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.  Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.   …Psalms 25:10; 103:17, 18; Proverbs 22:6

Proverbs 13:2 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Proverbs 19:18 and Proverbs 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Proverbs 23:13-15 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell. Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

Proverbs 29:15, 17 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.

Hebrews 12:7-10 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

Proverbs 3:12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

Proverbs 8:36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.

Deuteronomy 8:5 Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee.

Genesis 18:19  For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.

Rev. Fred Di Lella is pastor of Covenanted Reformation Church in TX which is part of The Biblical Reformed Synod of Christ the King.

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