The Bible is full of allusions to the Christian life as warfare. Hopefully, we are fully aware that Satan bombards our thinking with temptations and lies to pull us off the track of living holy lives, fully dedicated to Jesus. However, there is another urgent aspect of warfare living for which we need to be training our children.
In our recent teacher in-service training, we asked, “What makes a Classical Education dangerous?” We discussed numerous aspects of this question, including the fact that our students get exposed to the thinking of the world. We realized that this was a good thing in that they are exposed to this faulty thinking while within the laboratory of ideas centered on the Scripture. An example is the current discussion of twentieth century philosophies that resulted in millions of deaths.
But one thought stood out in our discussion: Are we training our students for the persecution that will come with standing for and articulating truth? Apart from revival, our culture is on a collision path of values. As we hold to Biblical morality and realities, we are in danger of being labeled criminals. Our actions to insist on educating our children (and our students if they choose the same for their kids) according to our own values and the truth inherent in the scripture will probably lead us to be branded as criminals.
Many of us are fully aware and have accepted this risk. We see this as part and parcel to courageously living out our faith. Some of us might think, “This will never happen here in America with all of our constitutional freedoms.” Think again.
I’m a child of the Sixties and Seventies. Back then people said, “Divorce would never become popular and common.” “STDs are rare and easily treated with penicillin.” “Nobody would want to kill their own baby.” and the list goes on. In the late Eighties and the Nineties — “We’ll never have same sex marriage.” “Cross dressing will never be normalized.” Now professors are fired if they use the wrong pronoun rather than the pronoun of a student’s current choosing.
Cutting My Teeth on Tortured for Christ and God’s Smuggler and Foxe’s Book of Martyrs: When I was a babe in Christ, I was spoon fed different books that galvanized my faith. The books mentioned above created a sense of what the Bible tells us, Christians can expect persecution if they are faithful to God. Jesus said, “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.
Our students are learning that many things that the world holds dear are empty and, even worse, deadly. They are developing the heart to stand for Jesus and the tools to articulate their faith and learning the truths that can set the culture back on the right track. Are they also being prepared to know that the Bible verses they memorize are not just nice recitations. Bible memory will be a life saver when they face persecution and perhaps imprisonment.
I’m sorry to be a Debby Downer today. But we need to pray; in fact I am praying; for God to strengthen our children and grandchildren. I know that He will be with them if they have to stand alone. We have ample evidence of that — not just in the Bible but in books like Jesus Freaks that looks at modern persecution. May God give them the faith to stand alone.