"It is better to grow a child than to repair a man."

Earl & Diane Rodd
February 20, 1988 93 Great Ryrie St.
Heathmont, Victoria 3135
Phone (03) 879-4082

The next FHC meeting will be the first Sunday of March, that is March 6 , 1987. The meeting will begin at 1 pm at: YWAM 1 Kent Road Surrey Hills, Vic

For those who have not come before, our format is (1) Bring a simple picnic lunch along (sandwiches, fruit etc.) and avoid the rush of eating at home and getting to the meeting. (2) Spend our lunch time sharing with each other.

The February meeting was attended by 9 families with 30 children!

Biblical Discipleship - Part II

Luke 6 :40 says,

A pupil is not above his teacher, but everyone after has has been fully trained will be like his teacher.

In the previous newsletter, we examined the Old Testament references that contain the word "disciple", and we applied those Biblical principles to the attitude and curriculum of the Lord's disciples who are being hometrained.

When the Bible is the basic foundation curriculum, the attitudes and behavior of a child assume one convergent whole rather than a divergent set of rules and regulations that have no common purpose or goal. The specific rules to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. The divergent and conflicting rules of man also conformity to the world. Paul warned us in Colossians 2 :8,

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.

Thus we shall see that the behavior of the Lord's disciples will separate us from the behavior of the world. As we examine the scriptures, we must remember it is this behavior we wish ourselves and our children to emulate. Humanity was made in the image of God. Thus Paul could say,

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. But do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

Most of the curriculum that we find in kindergarten or on the TV doesn't fit this Biblical standard. Sesame Street and similar curriculum designed to appeal to a child's natural man do not teach a child to give thanks as the Bible demands. Silly talk, ridicule, coarse jesting, etc. are the confusing elements mixed into a supposedly simple way to learn to read and to count. The behavior that results from a true fear of the Lord cannot be taught by cute worldly animal characters. A dracula (part of Satan's kingdom) will not teach a child to count adequately or concisely. The child may be entertained and stimulated and may enjoy the program immensely, but the cultivation of a thankful heart will never come from such an educational diet. Moses prayed,

Who understands the power of Thine anger, and Thy fury, according to the fear that is due Thee? So teach us to number our days, that we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90 :11,12

This must be our goal too.

We now live in a generation where the occult and sexual deviant behavior has brought a plague of disease upon mankind that few other generations have experienced. Sodom and Gomorrah is the Old Testament example of the desperate time we find ourselves in the the AIDS epidemic. The New Testament shows us the root problem that leads to such extreme disobedience. Romans 1 :21 tells us exactly what occurs.

For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

These people once knew God, but they refused to acknowledge God as creator, refused to honor Him by giving thanks and the light of God's truth that He placed within them became darkness rather than light. (Romans 1 :18-21) Many contradictory voices drown out the voice of The Lord.

Hometraining parents must be very careful of such a deception and be confident that the written word of God will adequately prepare their children for all that will challenge them as adults. II Timothy 3 :16,17 says,

All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

We must be sure that we don't expose our children to voices and ideas (literature, music, videos, movies, TV programs, etc.) that will deafen their ears to the voice of the Lord. If we believe these scriptures to be true, our behavior (practice) will prove to others what we really believe.

We must be willing to choose the Bible as the perfect curriculum in opposition to choosing that which maybe good or may be the best. The Bible is better than the best. It is perfect. The Bible is better than any work of man, whether it be literature, drama, etc.

Man's creativity can not compare with the subject matter God has placed within the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation the foundational truth of humanity is told in a literary form that has no equal.

Good adventure stories may be found in libraries and in book stores, but the perfect or complete adventure stories are found in the Bible. David running from King Saul or Paul's encounters with religious hypocrites are just two of numerous adventure stories contained in the Bible. These stories are perfect because God has recorded them, and He is able to teach us His truth through them. They do not appeal to the carnal fleshly nature of a child, but the perfection of God's truth will feed a child's spirit and strengthen his inner man. Courage and perseverance will be learned in the perfect context: seeking the Kingdom of God.

Good love stories may be found in the film libraries of Hollywood, but the perfect or complete love stories can be discovered only in the Bible. The stories of Boaz and Ruth, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Rachel are three perfect examples of God's truth. Within God's Word the truth of the love between a man and a woman can be taught and learned correctly. Christians don't have to watch TV soap operas or series to learn the negative effects of wrong sexual choices. God's Word perfectly covers the stories of David and Bathsheba, Tamar, Jezebel, Herodias etc. to clearly teach His standard to His people.

The best war stories may be aired on TV or on videos, but the perfect war stories are contained within the Bible. God has perfectly portrayed battles with divine intervention through angels or specific plans that puts Star Wars to shame. The defeat of the Egyptian nation and the battles of Joshua, Gideon, Jehoshhaphat, etc. are just afew of the perfect battle plans that God wants to share. The defeats are there too, but the defeats always clearly show that disobedience to God's will and purposes will never bring victory. The stories won't appeal to the baser elements of natural man - blood, death and human violence are not stressed. However, the inner man of a child will learn the lessons the Lord wishes to present at ever deepening levels as he grows and feeds upon the war stories that God has provided in His word.

The suspense that accompanies the supernatural found in the Bible exposes E.T. for the fake that he is. Angelic visitations, resurrection of the dead, an axe that floats, etc. are all contained within the safety and security of God's supervision and selection. His tree of life produces safe, abundant fruit. Whereas the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil always brings death.

Christians have been deceived long enough by the worthless useless and futile attempts of man's creativity. There is nothing the world has to offer that is better than the Bible. Good literature and the best movies may be found outside the Bible, but the perfect literature that can fully train a child can only be found within the pages of a Bible.

Hometraining parents must be on the offensive concerning their choice of the Bible as the perfect curriculum for their children's foundational education. We have no reason to be insecure, defensive, unsure, guilty or condemned. When we provide the Bible and its contents to our children from the womb to age 7, we have given them the perfect foundation as the standard by which all other ideas, concepts, theories, philosophies, literature, etc. can then be judged. Psalm 19 :7-11 says,

The Law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether. They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them Thy servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

Do we hometraining parents believe this scripture enough to base our children's education and their future upon it?

David said,

I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not fasten its grip on me. A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will know no evil. Psalm 101 :3,4

Solomon said,

But beyond this, my son, be warned; the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body. fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. Because God will bring every act to judgment, every things which is hidden, whether it is good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12 :11-14

Paul said,

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. II Timothy 3 :16,17

And God told Joshua

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Joshua 1 :8

Hometraining parents must make a strong decision to believe the Word of God and search for curriculum that adheres wholly to the principles and truth contained within the word of God.

Parents can be very strict concerning the food intake of their children. Candy, biscuits, and after dinner sweets are good and they taste nice, but they are not essential for a child's body to grow and mature properly. Most mothers are very conscientious about limiting such items in the family diet. It is no different in the spiritual realm.

The literature, (books) drama and plays (TV shows and movies) of the world may be interesting and entertaining but they aren't essential for the edification of a child's spirit and may even prove to be detrimental and harmful. The best literary diet for a child is exposure to the Word of God. From the womb to age 7 a child's ears should be finely tuned and trained to hear, understand and obey the Word of God.

The prodigal son (Luke 15 :11-32) had been exposed to the perfection of his father's home. He had tasted the perfect, he knew the perfect and he knew where to go to find the perfect. Thus despite his foolish decision to forsake the perfect, he had a sure foundation or standard by which he could judge everything he experienced away from his father's home. He came to his senses and came back to the perfect.

What happens if a child has never been exposed to the perfect? What occurs if the child has had the perfect combined with the good or the best in such proportion that he rejects the perfect in preference to the best? One look at modern society and the compromised state of most local churches will give us the answer. Confusion and the blind leading the blind are summed up in one Biblical statement,

In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. Judges 21 :25

Jesus Christ has won the right to be King in the homes of parents who wish to train their children at home. May hometraining parents be very careful to train their children according to the King's standards and His methods.

Hebrews 11 :3 gives us further insight into the usage of the Greek word katartizo which means "to complete, prepare." It says,

By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

If our great creator God created the whole universe by His spoken word, why is it so hard to believe and accept His written word is the perfect and adequate foundational training for our children? Hometraining parents are continually pressured to accept the humanistic idea that the written word of God is not sufficient or adequate. When we are pressured to add other subject matter to a young child's learning experience, the Word of God takes a minor place in the activities of the day. A devotional reading tacked on the end of the day will not satisfy the scriptural command found in Deuteronomy 6 :4-9 which says,

Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your sons 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 up. And you shall bind them as a sing on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

The Bible must be first and foremost because God's word brought our natural world into being. His Word also has the same power to bring our spiritual man into strength and power if we will dedicate the time and effort that is necessary to allow the written word of God to do its work in our lives.

Copyright by Earl & Diane Rodd