.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}


And He Himself gave some to be....evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ...
- Ephesians 4:11-12

THIS BLOG HAS MOVED TO www.timeintheword.org

My Photo
Location: The Hill Country of Texas

Pastor - Providence Reformed Baptist Church
Director - TIME in the Word Ministries

Saturday, November 05, 2005

The Assault on the Family

Parents, I hope that you pray for your children. I hope that you understand the role God has designed for you in teaching, protecting, and guiding your children. You need to know what the Bible says about the role of parents in the life of their children. You need to know because the world, the devil, and even our very own flesh is at war with the family. Satan has sought from the very start of the world to divide and conquer the family unit. He started in the garden when he tempted Eve. He tempted the woman first and struck immediately at the very core of God's design for the family. Instead of Adam protecting Eve, we find her vulnerable to this temptation into which she fell, taking her husband with her! The resulting fall has cast us all into total depravity from conception.

In this war for the family we have a proposed constitutional amendment here in the State of Texas that defines marriage and rejects the idea that a homosexual relationship is a marriage by any stretch of the imagination. Ballot Proposition 2 for the November 8 election reads:

The constitutional amendment providing that marriage in this state consists only of the union of one man and one woman and prohibiting this state or a political subdivision of this state from creating or recognizing any legal status identical or similar to marriage.

Not only is it important for those who are registered to vote to let their voices be heard on this amendment, but it is important for all Christians to understand just how far this battle for the family is being taken.

This week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that parents do not have the right to determine what their children are taught about sex while they are in a public school! The ruling, in effect, removes parental rights to the point that once your children walk through the school door they can be taught anything the school or state feels is appropriate. If it sounds bad, trust me, it is WORSE than we could imagine.

I want to alert you to a few articles on the internet that deal with this ruling, and I want to point you to a few sermons recently uploaded to Sermon Audio that deal with issues surrounding God's Design for the Family. Several of those messages preached in our church deal with the specifics of God's definition of the family and parents roles and the attacks against the family that we must defend ourselves against.

First, here is an article by my good friend and fellow pastor Derick Dickens that reveals a little background and the ruling itself from the Court.

You have no rights with your Children, 9th Circuit Rules
by Pastor Derick Dickens

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently released an opinion that may severely hinder parent’s rights in their district and potentially across the United States of America. In a 23 page opinion released yesterday, they, according to family advocate groups, call the decision, “extremely disturbing,” saying, “the court has held that once parents send their children to public schools the children are essentially guinea pigs that the school may do with as they please.”

According the decision released by the Ninth Circuit Court, 1st, 3rd, and 5th graders were given a survey. In the survey they were asked many questions as related below. Now, when reading, imagine your 1st, 3rd, and 5th graders being asked some of the questions below. The Ninth Circuit stated, and I quote:

When parents of schoolchildren in Palmdale, California learned from their sons and daughters that they had been questioned in their public elementary school about sexual topics such as the frequency of “thinking about having sex” and “thinking about touching other peoples’ private parts,” some of them exercised their constitutional right to take their grievance to the courts. The questioning was part of a survey the Palmdale School District was conducting regarding psychological barriers to learning. The parents brought an action in district court against the School District and two of its officials for violating their right to privacy and their right “to control the upbringing of their children by introducing them to matters of and relating to sex.”

While the school board did request permission from the parents to survey the kids, the permission slip stated they were studying “trauma” but said nothing about sexual explicit questions. The issue is more than sex education; the decision goes further by stating:

”We agree, and hold that there is no fundamental right of parents to be the exclusive provider of information regarding sexual matters to their children, either independent of their right to direct the upbringing and education of their children or encompassed by it. We also hold that parents have no due process or privacy right to override the determinations of public schools as to the information to which their children will be exposed while enrolled as students. Finally, we hold that the defendants’ actions were rationally related to a legitimate state purpose.”(Emphasis Mine)

In essence, the decision states that parents have not privacy rights or rights to raise their children in a manner they think acceptable when such rights violate the states “legitimate” purposes. In other words, the state takes precedence over the individual in raising children. Parents are no longer exclusive providers of their home nor do they have authority over the child when it conflicts with the school board’s wishes. As well, this is in stark contrast to the Biblical understanding of family.

Liberalism, in the mainstream, believes the highest authority and allegiance should be the state. Like communism, they see nothing higher nor deserving any higher allegiance. Thus, liberty is a right given by the state not from God. The state begins to define “rights”, “liberty” and “freedom”. The entire purpose of the people is to the state not to God, the Bible, or any other standard. Anything that contradicts the advancement of the state’s goals is considered immoral.

This is very similar to the German approach to Homeschooling that has seen Homeschool families arrested and their kids forcefully removed from homes and placed in foster care because the parents will not give allegiance to the state education system.

Yet, the issue is, “Who does our children belong to?” Are parents subservient to the state in matters of rearing their kids? Does the state have ultimate say in how a child is educated and at what age they learn about sex? These are questions that I have sought to answer before and have done so in public venues, but today in light of the decision of November 2, 2005, I am going to address this once more.

1. Children are a blessing of God given to parents. From the beginning in Genesis, God brings a husband and wife together to bring forth a Godly offspring (Malachi 2:15). The entire purpose of marriage is not to have children, but having children is very important. Many times, more than we can count, does the Bible refer to “your children” or “my children”, the use of the possession is very telling to whom the children belong. These children are a blessing from the Lord to the parents (Psalms 127:5). These precious bundles of joy were given by God to the parents. They are not for use as pawns in the state’s mandates, but are given so to bring glory to God. The ultimate decision in raising the children belongs to the parents.

2. The education of Children is the sole responsibility of parents, not the state. The book of Proverbs was written by a father to his sons for the purpose of education. Deuteronomy 6:6-7, we are commanded to be the primary religious and secular teachers. The responsibility of teaching is laid squarely on the parents. We are commanded to “train up a child in the way He should go” (Proverbs 22:6), which is a command to the parents not the government. No where in the Bible is the state seen as responsible for the education of the child, but over and over are the parents shown as the primary educators of the children. Parents are seen to be guardians of them and commanded to provide and protect

3. Children are to place special honor to the parents that the state should not hold. The Bible commands children in the 5th Commandment to “honor your father and mother”. In Ephesians 6:1-2, we see that children are to obey their parents in the Lord. There is a special relationship between the parents and the children and a loyalty in the familial relationship that is absent to any other entity. God has given the children to the parents for one clear reason, to raise them up to be Godly for the Glory of God.

4. A heritage of children is glorious to the parents. In the Old Testament, we often see that the way god blessed people were through children and land. To Abraham, God promised both land and abundance of children. To Jacob, God promises his people would occupy the land and they would be a great “nation” of people. To the slaves in Egypt, the promise to bring them out detailed both the land promise of Abraham and the growth of the people. Perhaps, one of the greatest curses would be to take control of children from that of parents. In some regard, this must happen in tyrannical situations. Otherwise, the parents should have freedom based upon the Bible to raise their children.

Thus, to the Christian, this decision as written is a violation of our religious freedom and our beliefs. When a culture begins to redefine family, the importance of family will deteriorate to the point of destruction. As a result, the common bonds we see in the Bible and assumed everyone took for granted will soon be questioned. Kids will no longer belong to parents but the state for the purpose of the state.

The obvious rebuttal from liberals is that there is no Constitutional right to parent listed in the Constitution. I might remind the government and liberals that there is not Constitutional right of government to usurp a parents rights or the religion of parents in California.

Other Comments and Commentators

Here are a few other perspectives on just what has happened through this ruling:

Dr. Albert Mohler Comments - America’s Parents Served Notice.

Pastor Tim Bayly (a new addition to my recommended blog roll introduced to me by Pastor Fred Greco) reports here - Court Subverts Parental Authority.

Dr. James White's Blog - When Unrighteous Judges Rule the Land.

And here is ther ruling from the Court itself - Opinion by Judge Reinhardt, November 2, 2005.

Here are just a few quotations from the ruling itself:

...there is no fundamental right of parents to be the exclusive provider of information regarding sexual matters to their children, either independent of their right to direct the upbringing and education of their children or encompassed by it. We also hold that parents have no due process or privacy right to override the determinations of public schools as to the information to which their children will be exposed while enrolled as students.

...there is no deeply rooted and fundamental right of parents “to control the upbringing of their children by introducing them to matters of and relating to sex in accordance with their personal and religious values and beliefs. In fact, no such specific right can be found in the deep roots of the nation’s history and tradition or implied in the concept of ordered liberty.

As with all constitutional rights, the right of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children is not without limitations.

Parents have a right to inform their children when and as they wish on the subject of sex; they have no constitutional right, however, to prevent a public school from providing its students with whatever information it wishes to provide, sexual or otherwise, when and as the school determines that it is appropriate to do so.

...once parents make the choice as to which school their children will attend, their fundamental right to control the education of their children is, at the least, substantially diminished.

...the right of the parents “to control the upbringing of their children by introducing them to matters of and relating to sex in accordance with their personal and religious values and beliefs” is not protected by the constitutional right to privacy...

In summary, we hold that there is no free-standing fundamental right of parents “to control the upbringing of their children by introducing them to matters of and relating to sex in accordance with their personal and religious values and beliefs” and that the asserted right is not encompassed by any other fundamental right. In doing so, we do not quarrel with the parents’ right to inform and advise their children about the subject of sex as they see fit. We conclude only that the parents are possessed of no constitutional right to prevent the public schools from providing information on that subject to their students in any forum or manner they select.

A Biblical Response

So what are we to do about this? First PRAY. Then educate yourself, both about what the Bible has to say about parental responsibility and authority, and about what the world system in which we live is doing to undermine what the Bible teaches. What does God require of parents in bringing their children up in the nuture and admonition of the Lord?

TRAIN Up A Child

The Bible is clear. Proverbs 22:6 tells us, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." What does this verse tell us about God's expectations for parents and parenting?

First let us ask this question - why does a child need to be trained? You can find the answers in the following verses: Proverbs 22:15; Proverbs 29:15; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Romans 8:7-8; Romans 3:10-18, 23.

Secondly we need to know how to train our children in the way they should go? This phrase "the way he should go" refers to the way our children are "bent". In other words, we must train them being sensitive and discerning and recognizing God's call, gifts, and talents in the life of our children. This does not refer to their nature, but to their potential, especially as we see what God is doing in the life of our children.

So how do we train them? There are five things that parents should do in order to TRAIN their children. They are:

1) Teach.
Parents must teach, or disciple their children. A disciple is a "learner, student, or apprentice." And we will train our children to be like us (as they are natural imitators) whether we are trying to or not! We need to teach our children to be like us, and like Christ (Luke 6:40). Jesus (Matthew 4:19; Luke 9:23) and Paul (Phil 3:17; 1 Thess 1:6; 2 Tim 3:10) spoke of themseves as examples to be followed. But we also have to be careful - for there are plenty of BAD examples out there trying to influence our children and our families (2 Peter 2:14; Prov 17:25; Prov 19:13).

2) Restrain from Evil.
This refers to discipline. From the same root word as disciple, it means to be training or teaching. Discipline is teaching and correcting when there is error in our beliefs or behavior. It is not punitive, but used for instruction to correct a wrong idea or behavior and thus influence the way we live for righteousness. See these verses for more detail about restraining our children from evil: Prov 13:24; 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14; 29:15, 17.

3) Admonish in the Lord.
This is from the word noutheteo which means to warn, instruct, or counsel. To admonish our children in the Lord is to warn them of the dangers of sin, instruct them in the ways of obedience, and counsel them in the paths of life!! It is the duty of parents to encourage their children in spiritual pursuits and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. Read these verses for more specifics: Eph 6:4; Prov 3:11-26; 4:10-27; 5:1-2.

4) Instruct in Righteousness.
Next, in order to TRAIN our children we must instruct them in living that is right. The word righteousness refers to being in a right standing with God. Of course this is only possible as the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us by grace through faith when we are justified before God. So we must teach our children how to be right with God! See 2 Tim 3:16-17; Prov 4:1-9; 8:32-36; Deut 6:1-8; Deut 4:9-10; 11:18-21.

5) Nuture.
Lastly, to do what God expects and commands of us in regard to our children we must nuture them. This refers to tender care and guardianship. We are stewards - God has given us our children not as a private possession, but so that we can be stewards of what belongs to Him. Faithful stewards will nuture and tenderly care for and protect that which is entrusted to them! Read these verses for more insight: Titus 2:1-8; 1 Tim 3:4, 12.

So to properly obey the Scripture, as parents we are to TRAIN up our children - to Teach, Restrain from Evil, Admonish in the Lord, Instruct in Righteousness, and Nuture them as long as they are in our care. It sounds simple, but it is a lifelong task, a hard task indeed, but one that God will give us the grace to fulfill when we do things His way, by the Book! (Note: the sermon listed below, titled "God's Plan for Parenting" is preached from this outline and will give specific detail and application for the parent in each point of training their children.)

As a follow up to this post, here are a few sermons taken from my series in 2003-2004 on God's Design for the Family that address some of these specific issues and provide Biblical insight and direction for what God desires and expects from us as citizens of His Kingdom and Pilgrims in this fallen world:

The Assault on Marriage - James 4:1-6
God's Purpose for Children - Psalm 127
God's Plan for Parenting - Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:4
Jesus Defines and Defends Marriage - Matthew 19:3-8

And here are links for an important sermon in 2 parts that deals with the absolute command by God for His people to be worshipping Him daily as a family unit! God commands Family Worship. Family Worship - Part 1 and Part 2.

We cannot be too cautious, nor can we be over-prepared. The people of God have been at war to defend the family since the temptation in the garden. Stand your ground! Arm yourselves with truth! And always be ready to stand with the Apostles, determined to obey God rather than men!!



Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home