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Families Honoring Christ


"It is better to grow a child than to repair a man."
emrodd@rodds.net
05/20/99

Dear Friends,

INVITATION at CHEO

If you are attending the CHEO convention in Columbus on June 24-26, Earl & Diane invite you to stop by our booth (203-205) to visit, rest , or take part in a Book Booth Chat.

A Book Booth Chat is a quick shot of light to scatter the darkness.

(CHATS = Christian Hearts Acknowledging the Teacher and Savior).

Due to the limited space and large crowds for workshops at CHEO, we will be setting aside blocks of time at our book table so that anyone who wants more information on a particular topic has access to us. Our book booth can only accommodate 5-10 people so we will have a sign up sheet on a first come, first serve basis. Subjects have been determined by past popularity and demand and need. Visit our booth (203-205) to see the exact schedule.

Correction

In our last FHC letter, we published a review of the book, Secular Work is Full-Time Service , by Larry Peabody. We neglected to note that the review was provided by Linda Murphy.

No Compromise

Christian home educating parents, like all Christians, face many temptations to compromise their faith. In particular, there are many temptations to compromise in our educational and child training methods. God desires us to press on towards the mark. Whenever parents feel the pressure to compromise, the little voice which says, "You are ruining your children by being so Christian", or the lure of "modern" secular methods, we encourage the study of the Joshua chapter 23, verses 12-13. The Israelites were encouraged to totally rid themselves of the corrupting influences of pagan peoples and religions. As New Covenant people, we are not commanded to murder those outside the church, but we can draw on the example of Joshua's words applied to our spiritual enemies. Jos 23 :12-13

Joshua 23:12
13. "For if you ever go back and cling to the rest of these nations, these which remain among you, and intermarry with them, so that you associate with them and they with you,
14. know with certainty that the Lord your God will not continue to drive these nations out from before you; but they will be a snare and a trap to you, and a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good land which the Lord your God has given you.

The Wheat or the Tares?

Jesus told us that the wheat and the tares would grow up together until the end of the age,

Matthew 13:30
31. 'Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, "First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn."'"

He also told us who the wheat and the tares represent,

Matthew 13:37
38. And He said, "The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man,
39. and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one;

When we teach history, do we put more emphasis on the wheat or the tares? Consider two Biblical examples of emphasis in Bible history:

1. John the Baptist

Luke 3:1
2. Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene,
3. in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness.

Notice how all of the "rulers" of the world receive only a brief mention, but nearly an entire chapter is devoted to details of John the Baptist. Why does John receive so much attention? Look to the phrase, "The Word of God came to John...".

2. Elijah and Elisha

While some of the wicked kings of Judah and Israel receive only brief mentions in the books of I and II Kings, many chapters are devoted to the prophets Elijah and Elisha. Again, in the history of the kings, we see very little history of the "lifestyles of the rich and famous" or of the details of the sinful personal lives. :note. Biblical descriptions of Solomon's kingdom do focus on the amazing wealth of Solomon and the splendor of the temple. However, this is in the context of (a) a specific blessing from God and (b) and example of what happens to a king and the kingdom when they rebel against God's commands and a relationship with Him.

Guaranteed Results

Proverbs 1:5
6. A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,

Given the promise that a wise man will hear and increase in learning, we want to consider what God says about a wise man! We turned to Matthew 7 for a clear New Testament statement about being a wise man.

Matthew 7:24
25. "Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.
26. "And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.
27. "Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.
28. "The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell and great was its fall."

Furthermore, in education, we often seek to find ways to impart knowledge and we know that the Bible says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Pro. 1 :7). But what kind of knowledge is this? In Proverbs, we find one verse which describes the kind of knowledge referenced,

Proverbs 9:10
11. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

VACATION IDEA

We strongly commend to readers a vacation for Labor Day weekend this year. It is costly, but less than Disney World. It is educational and perhaps an opportunity to impact the nation. That opportunity is the 1999 National Convention of the US Taxpayer's Party Sept. 1-7, 1999 in St. Louis. You can email or write or call us for a brochure. Or write the US Taxpayer's Party at 450 Maple Ave. E, Vienna, VA 22180, or check the website at www.ustaxpayers.org

In Ohio, contact us about the opportunity to go as a voting delegate and a participant in the platform hearings (in a party where the platform is a real platform, is written by the people at the meeting, and is core of the party's actual beliefs).

The convention will (the Lord willing), nominate the party's 2000 Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates. Other convention functions will include:

The following is a list of confirmed speakers for the convention. George Grant, Flip Benham, John Beal, Larry Pratt, Steve Wilkins, Bob Wells, Paul Jehle, Ellen Craswell, Tom Clark, Cathie Adams, Tom Droleskey, Ralph Ovadal, Julie Makimaa, Franklin Sanders, Otto Scott, R. C. Sproul, Jr., and Joseph Sobran. Several more are still in the works.

Our family attended the 1996 convention in San Diego and found it a delightful family time. Our children were able to meet outstanding people and see close up how the political process can work.

Recommended Study

We recommend a study of the life and presidency of Calvin Coolidge. While Calvin Coolidge is generally given only brief mention in traditional history books and receives little acclaim, he was man of integrity and character. He is perhaps the last president of the United States who believed in the fundamental principle of a government limited by the constitution. An autobiography of Calvin Coolidge is available from the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation, Plymouth, Vermont, 05056.

In Plymouth, Vermont is a museum/library in honor of Calvin Coolidge. Unlike the libraries of modern presidents, and consistent with the beliefs of Mr. Coolidge, the library was built with private funds and continues to operate without government support.

The Classics in Perspective

We were given a tape of a man reading a speech by 19th century French Economist, Frederick Bastiat, entitled "The Law". The entire speech is well worth hearing (if you would like a transcript which we obtained from the Internet, e-mail us and we can email the text). One item especially caught our attention concerning education.

To set the context, readers should know that Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850) was a French economist, statesman, and author. He did most of his writing during the years just before - and immediately following -- the Revolution of February 1848. This was the period when France was rapidly turning to complete socialism. As a Deputy to the Legislative Assembly, Mr. Bastiat was studying and explaining each socialist fallacy as it appeared. And he explained how socialism must inevitably degenerate into communism. But most of his countrymen chose to ignore his logic.

Many in contemporary Christian education are seeking to return to a "classical education." We believe that such education, founded in the pagan intellectualism of ancient Greece and Rome, does not produce good fruit in God's sight. In June, 1850, Mr. Bastiat wrote:

It is no wonder that the writers of the nineteenth century look upon society as an artificial creation of the legislator's genius. This idea -- the fruit of classical education -- has taken possession of all the intellectuals and famous writers of our country. To these intellectuals and writers, the relationship between persons and the legislator appears to be the same as the relationship between the clay and the potter.

Moreover, even where they have consented to recognize a principle of action in the heart of man -- and a principle of discernment in man's intellect -- they have considered these gifts from God to be fatal gifts. They have thought that persons, under the impulse of these two gifts, would fatally tend to ruin themselves. They assume that if the legislators left persons free to follow their own inclinations, they would arrive at atheism instead of religion, ignorance instead of knowledge, poverty instead of production and exchange.

According to these writers, it is indeed fortunate that Heaven has bestowed upon certain men -- governors and legislators -- the exact opposite inclinations, not only for their own sake but also for the sake of the rest of the world! While mankind tends toward evil, the legislators yearn for good; while mankind advances toward darkness, the legislators aspire for enlightenment; while mankind is drawn toward vice, the legislators are attracted toward virtue. Since they have decided that this is the true state of affairs, they then demand the use of force in order to substitute their own inclinations for those of the human race.

Open at random any book on philosophy, politics, or history, and you will probably see how deeply rooted in our country is this idea -- the child of classical studies , the mother of socialism. In all of them, you will probably find this idea that mankind is merely inert matter, receiving life, organization, morality, and prosperity from the power of the state. And even worse, it will be stated that mankind tends toward degeneration, and is stopped from this downward course only by the mysterious hand of the legislator. Conventional classical thought everywhere says that behind passive society there is a concealed power called law or legislator (or called by some other terminology that designates some unnamed person or persons of undisputed influence and authority) which moves, controls, benefits, and improves mankind.

Mr. Bastiat on

"School to Work"

We provide one further passage from Mr. Bastiat. We ask readers to read this passage (which immediately follows the previous one in his pamphlet) and think of the modern push for "School to Work." We include this section because we believe that it illustrates an important anti-Christ humanism is not new to the 20th century. This means that we must be cautious in selecting educational material and methods from prior centuries lest we find ourselves training our children in such a way as to re-plant the seeds whose full blown weeds are ugly today.

Quoting Mr. Bastiat's pamphlet:

Let us first consider a quotation from Bossuet [tutor to the Dauphin in the Court of Louis XIV]:

"One of the things most strongly impressed (by whom?) upon the minds of the Egyptians was patriotism.... No one was permitted to be useless to the state. The law assigned to each one his work , which was handed down from father to son. No one was permitted to have two professions. Nor could a person change from one job to another.... But there was one task to which all were the study of the laws and of wisdom. Ignorance of religion and of the political regulations of the country was not excused under any circumstances. Moreover, each occupation was assigned (by whom?) to a certain district.... Among the good laws, one of the best was that everyone was trained (by whom?) to obey them. As a result of this, Egypt was filled with wonderful inventions, and nothing was neglected that could make life easy and quiet"

Thus, according to Bossuet, persons derive nothing from themselves. Patriotism, prosperity, inventions, husbandry, science -- all of these are given to the people by the operation of the laws, the rulers. All that the people have to do is to bow to leadership.

Some phrases from this passage could be taken out of context and used as good examples. Mr. Bastiat poses the crucial question several times, "by whom?" When the Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge and instruction, and the "law" being taught is God's law, and the teacher is the Holy Spirit writing the laws on our hearts, then indeed being instructed in the law is good.

Democracy versus

Holy Spirit Fire

Consider the following quotation from firebrand American patriot, Samuel Adams:

It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen to set brush fires in people's minds.

An "American" Education

Often Christian home educators look to the American founders for wisdom in educational methods and curriculum. We believe that the education of the various founders had both strengths (e.g. Biblical content, disciplined learning) and weaknesses (focus on pagan Greek and Roman writers). We discovered a description of the education of Abraham Lincoln in a February 12, 1866 Memorial Speech by George Bancroft to a joint session of Congress. In this speech, we see a description of a thoroughly "American" education contrasted to a classical education. Lincoln, like others, was a man with strengths and weaknesses. We encourage readers to consider his strengths and weaknesses in light of this description as you seek the Lord for the best way to educate your children:

"When he (Lincoln) was eight years old he floated down the Ohio with his father on a raft, which bore the family and all their possessions to the shore of Indiana; and, child as he was, he gave help as they toiled through dense forests to the interior of Spencer County. There, in the land of free labor, he grew up in a log cabin, with the solemn solitude for his teacher in his meditative hours. Of Asiatic literature he knew only the Bible; of Greek, Latin, and medieval, no more than the translation of Aesop's Fables; of English, John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress.The traditions of George Fox and William Penn passed to him dimly along the lines of two centuries through his ancestors, who were Quakers.

Otherwise his education was altogether American. The Declaration of Independence was his compendium of political wisdom, the Life of Washington his constant study, and something of Jefferson and Madison reached him through Henry Clay, whom he honored from boyhood. For the rest, from day to day, he lived the life of the American people, walked in its light, reasoned with its reason, thought with its power of thought, felt the beatings of its mighty heart, and so was in every way a child of nature, a child of the West, a child of America.

Anti-Child Mentality

Many churches and para-church organizations have openly challenged the spirit of death operating or manifesting itself across the world today in the form of abortion. In doing so, Pharaoh's attack on Jewish babies just after Moses' birth and Herod's similar attack after Jesus' birth have been cited as examples of Satan's scheme to stop God's plan for His people in those generations. However, in our generation, Satan's schemes to prevent God's people from worshiping and serving Him occurs in another subtle way.

The peer pressure to force mothers out of the home is another example of Satan's tactics to undermine God's place of worship in the human heart and to stop service to Him. This may not be as final as abortion, but children raised by strangers suffer rejection, loneliness, anger, fear, etc. If these are allowed to remain with a child, they become satanic strongholds and that child is not free to worship God as God would so desire. Those of us who educate our children at home feel this is the Lord's solution to this problem.

In the 20th century we have seen the Lord restore many truths to the church. Tremendous moves of the Holy Spirit have given us missionary organizations, gifts of the Holy Spirit, healing and miracles, spiritual warfare and deliverance from the evil one, prophets, apostles, etc. However, restoration that must be accomplished before Jesus returns centers on family relationships.

If John the Baptist came in the Spirit of Elijah, what did he do that eventually caused his death? Like Elijah before him, he came against a satanic stronghold symbolized by a wrong relationship in marriage. Mark gives us the best description of Herodias,

Mark 6:17
18. For Herod himself had sent and had John arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, because he had married her.
19. For John had been saying to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife."
20. And Herodias had a grudge against him and wanted to put him to death and could not {do so;}
21. for Herod was afraid of John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and kept him safe. And when he heard him, he was very perplexed; but he used to enjoy listening to him.
22. And a strategic day came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his lords and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee;
23. and when the daughter of Herodias herself came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests; and the king said to the girl, "Ask me for whatever you want and I will give it to you."
24. And he swore to her, "Whatever you ask of me, I will give it to you; up to half of my kingdom."
25. And she went out and said to her mother, "What shall I ask for?" And she said, "The head of John the Baptist."
26. And immediately she came in haste before the king and asked, saying, "I want you to give me right away the head of John the Baptist on a platter."
27. And although the king was very sorry, {yet} because of his oaths and because of his dinner guests, he was unwilling to refuse her.
28. And immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded {him} to bring {back} his head. And he went and had him beheaded in the prison,
29. and brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother.

Like Jezebel before her, Herodias' understanding of the marriage covenant was not one of loyalty and holiness. Marriage for these two women was a way to gain prestige, power and prosperity.

Elijah fled to a cave after his encounter with the spirit behind Jezebel. John was eventually martyred after his confrontation with the same principality. In our generation this principality has done an excellent job of distorting God's institution of marriage with little opposition. Whether in the homes of unbelievers or believers, conflict, turmoil, alienation, separation and divorce are the "normal" experiences of hundreds of thousands of couples. The enemy's he doesn't want God to be worshiped and obeyed. Ephesians reveals God's view of marriage in Ephesians 5 :15-6 :4. The entire passage is a single unit and should be read together as a unit.

Satan's attack against marriages is to prevent couples from understanding the mystery of Jesus and His church. We don't learn God's pattern for the church through seminars, Bible studies, sermons or Sunday School. WE ARE THE CHURCH when marriage relationships function and operate as God intends. Husbands and wives must find time to be in God's presence together.

Hebrews 13 :4 provides the first principle for husbands and wives.

Hebrews 13:4
5. {Let} marriage {be held} in honor among all, and let the {marriage} bed {be} undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

I Peter 3 :1-12 is another critical passage on marriage which should be read carefully in its entirety.

The world and some Christians psychologists tell the church that married couples need to date, go to movies, have weekends without the children, etc. This is not what Paul prescribes. There is a time for married couples to be alone but that separation is even from each other. Read I Corinthians 7 :1-6 for a description of a Biblical time of separation.

In these passages from Ephesians, I Peter and I Corinthians, prayer and worship is the main concern. God's plan for furthering His kingdom on earth began with a marriage (Adam and Eve) and ends with a marriage (Jesus and His Bride). His pattern is very simple, but traditions of men have caused much confusion because the enemy knows what Jesus said is true.

The church has somehow missed the simplicity of this scripture. We have focused so much on larger gatherings that we have lost sight of the little flock, the family.

Matthew 18:19
20. "Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.
21. "For where two or three have gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst."

Jesus said if two agree on earth, the Father will do it for them. It seems so apparent that the husband and wife are the first two people who should be agreeing in prayer. Unity between husband and wife for the purpose of effectual prayer (like Elijah's - James 5 :17) must to be the first priority in families who educate their children at home. We must not fight against each other; we wrestle against a principality in our day that wants to kill, rob and destroy. It is the same principality that Elijah and John the Baptist encountered. Husbands and wives must deny themselves, submit to God and to each other and then the devil will flee. Any family or church that is divided will not stand.

In Matthew 18 :19 Jesus says, "two" then in verse 20 He adds "three". Who is the third? The first child which God adds to the marriage is the "three." The more numbers the harder it is to maintain unity, but the third addition to the little flock brings the presence of Jesus in a new dimension. The addition of children to the marriage is not just to add second class citizens to a nation. Just as the devil has twisted the godly position of women down through time, so that today we have a cry for "women's rights", so Satan has also twisted God's desire for children and the world cries for "children's rights." Every woman who has truly been set free has done so through Christ, not through the efforts of political reform. The political reform (law) is necessary when the church hasn't set the right example for the world. As the church refused to follow Christ's teaching on women, the law eventually has to be imposed and man's law is always a tyrant when compared to God's Holy Spirit.

Sadly today the government is instituting tyrannical laws to "protect" children, and the root problem again points to the church.

Christ-Centered

A quick glance in a concordance will show that Jesus spent more time talking about children and the way they were to be treated than with marriage! In a few scriptures He gave equal time to marriage and divorce. The NT scriptures reveal Jesus' attitude toward children as His attitude towards women was not in the custom or culture of the Roman world or the custom or culture of the rabbis, but it was in the spirit of the Kingdom of His Father.

Malachi 4:4
5. "Remember the law of Moses My servant, {even the} statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel.
6. "Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord.
7. "And he will restore the hearts of the fathers to {their} children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse."

Jesus is our perfect example of one who comes in the spirit of Elijah. He shows men how women and children are to be treated. He reveals the Father's heart to all mankind by stopping the curse of poor family relationships. He does so by laying His life down, His honor, His reputation and allowing a child to be the center of His attention.

When we study God's Word to Moses and to us in the OT or Jesus' words to us in the NT, we find no contradiction. Children are always included not excluded. Children are always with their parents when "spiritual" things are happening.

Psalms 127:3
4. Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; The fruit of the womb is a reward.

Children are created in God's image and thus they belong to God, not to man, and as such must be treated with respect and dignity and honor. Children are to obey their parents, but their parents are to be Christ-like examples! Children are to be obedient in gatherings, but gatherings must be Christ-like!

Even though family means "children" and church is the "family" of God, very few families and very few church gatherings resemble the OT or NT example or pattern. Just as mothers have fled the home and abandoned their children for the sake of false peace, false power, false prestige and false prosperity so the church has helped parents abandon their children in church gatherings.

For the sake of false peace (better "not seen" and definitely "not heard") children are excluded from "adult" teachings of the Word. For the sake of false power (no questions please) children are hushed when they desire to understand. For the sake of false prestige (children's ministry) children are separated from parents and taught by strangers. For false prosperity teenagers are encouraged in "Christian" methods of entertainment and lifestyles that are worldly and very ungodly.

The church organization alienates and separates families in the deception that the family is being strengthened, encouraged and edified. However, as the following scriptures reveal, the Biblical Method of Education for adults and children is shared spiritual experiences. Some of these scriptural passages reveal joyous spiritual experiences (healings, deliverance, teaching etc.); some reveal frightening spiritual experiences describing God's wrath and judgment (death); some reveal martyrdom. However, all have one common feature - the whole family shared the experience (good or bad) together. There are only a few passages where the children aren't mentioned.

Genesis 33 :14 - Jacob's pace of arriving back in his home territory was determined by the ability of the children.

Genesis 46 :12 - Joseph distributed food to the families of his brothers according to the little ones.

Exodus 12 :26 - Children are expected to ask questions when certain "church" thing happen

Numbers 16 :25-33 - Korah's rebellion brought destruction to his whole family and all of Israel saw the earth open up and swallow them.

Deuteronomy 4 :19 - Children learn the fear of the Lord from parents who teach it to them.

Deuteronomy 31 :10-13 The fear of the Lord is taught by hearing the law read every seven years. The whole town or city is expected to hear this reading! Children are the only group who are mentioned twice.

Joshua 4 :4-7 (Jordan); 4:19-24 ( Gigal) - Joshua understood the Biblical Method of Education which answers a child's questions.

Joshua 5 :2-8 - Circumcision of the children caused the whole journey to stop until the children were healed.

I Samuel 22 :19 - King Saul had Doeg kill Ahimelech, and all the other priests and their families for helping David.

I Kings 14 :17-18 - Child died and is buried according to the word of Ahijah. All Israel participated in his funeral.

I Kings 17 :21-24 - Elijah raised a child to life.

II Kings 4 :1-8 - Elisha kept a family intact from financial poverty. II Kings 4 :18-37 - Elisha raised a child to life.

II Chronicles 20 :1-30 - All Judah was standing before the Lord with their infants, wives, and their children when the prophetic word comes through Jahaziel concerning the Ammonite army that wished to destroy them.

II Chronicles 31 :18 - Whole families consecrated themselves faithfully in holiness during King Hezekiah's reformation.

Ezra 8 :21-23 - Ezra proclaims a fast to protect families - little ones are specifically mentioned.

Ezra 10 :1-15 - Children were part of the assembly gathered with Ezra to weep before the Lord concerning their disobedience and apostasy. Whole families who were aliens to Israel's God had to be separated.

Nehemiah 4 :12-14 - Whole families protected and built the walls of Jerusalem.

Nehemiah 5 :1-13 - Nehemiah keeps whole families intact whose children were in slavery because of usury.

Nehemiah 12 :40-43 - Children were part of the celebration of the dedication of the rebuilt walls of Jerusalem.

Esther - Protected whole families from Haman's evil plot to kill all the Jews.

Matthew 7 :11/Luke 11 :13 - Give good gifts to children.

Matthew 15 :78 - Feeding the multitudes with children.

Matthew 19 :13-14/Mark 10 :13-14/Luke 18 :16 - Bring the children to Jesus.

Acts 21 :5 - The disciples with their children escort Paul.

May we all by God's grace see families, marriages, and children the way God sees them!

Copyright by Earl & Diane Rodd