"O Be Careful Little Eyes What You See" is the first line from a
Children's Sunday School song. The song warns children to be
careful of what they see, hear, say, and do, and well sums up the
content of this essay. It is a recognition of the Biblical
principle to use our discernment, to cleave onto that which is
good, and to avoid evil.
We are affected by all that is around us. The foods we eat and drink, the chemicals we use daily, the medicines we take, the books and newspapers we read, the television we watch, the work we do, and the people we associate with. Some of these affect our bodies, but all in some way affect our souls. This essay concentrates on the eyes and ears, what we allow into our lives through the things we see and the things we choose to listen to, and how this affects our inner being. It points out Biblical instruction that can guide us on selecting the best. There is also a major focus on the education of our children, and how these same principles apply also to ourselves.
The First Commandment
In Mark 12, Jesus tells us what the greatest commandment is:
Mark 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the
commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and
with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy
strength: this is the first commandment.
Those hearing this which were well versed in the scriptures would
have realized this was a quote from Deuteronomy chapter 6:
Deut 6:4: Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: 5 And
thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with
all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6 And these words, which I
command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt
teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them
when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the
way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8 And
thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall
be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9 And thou shalt write them
upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
Deuteronomy not only tells us the greatest commandment, it
provides us some direction on how to accomplish it. The Hebrews
took this command so seriously; they would write it on a parchment
and wear it on their foreheads or attach it to their arms, so that
it would be bound "for a sign upon thine hand" or as "frontlets
between thine eyes". According to Easton's dictionary, the four
Scripture texts they used were Ex 13:1-10, Ex 13:11-16, De 6:4-9,
and De 11:18-21. (As a sad side note, Matthew 23:5 shows how this
practice was used by some to "show off" their commitment rather
than simply "walking the walk", an attitude we must all be careful
not to duplicate. )
This first and greatest commandment states that we must acknowlege only one God, and that we must love the Lord with our whole being (heart, soul, mind, and strength). But what does it mean to do this? The rest of Deuteronomy 6 gives us additional information on how to love the Lord.
We must keep the Lord's commandments in our hearts. We must teach them diligently to our children, which implies we must be well versed in them ourselves. God's Word shall be upon our lips from the rising in the morning, when we are at home, as we walk through the day, and as we lie down at night. They should be such a part of our lives that we have His Word always on our minds, and our homes should be filled with His instruction.
Are We in Danger of Legalism?
As soon as we make a statement such as "we must keep the Lord's commandments", especially when we reference the Old Testament, there is the danger of becoming legalistic. Legalism occurs when God's law becomes a means unto itself, rather than obedience out of a love for Christ. Following God's commands does not always lead to legalism.
Some will argue that we now have liberty in Jesus Christ, and are
no longer bound to the law. Since this subject can consume entire
books (and has), I will present only a brief counter-argument.
Galations 5:1 tells us that we are no longer under bondage: "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."
Yet, Jesus tells us in Matt 11:28-30: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Galations tells us not to be yoked, Matthew tells us to take on the yoke. The point is that we are all servants, but we will be servants either to sin or to God. Romans 6:16 states, "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness."
The Law did not and could not free us from sin, rather, as Romans 3:20 tells us, "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." The law gave us knowledge of sin, it revealed to us what sin is, and has convicted us all of sin as we are all guilty. Romans 3:23 states, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."
However, through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, our sins were forgiven for those who believe in Him. "Christ hath made us free." Not only are we "made free from sin", we are also instructed to sin no more: John 8:11b "And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more."
Thus, we find that the moral law of the God reveals to us what sin is. By knowing the law, we can avoid sin through the power of the living Spirit that indwells those who believe in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 6:20 "For ye are bought with a price: therefore
glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
We have been purchased, we are not our own, but God's.
Paul referred to his imprisonment not as being a prisoner of man,
but of God. For example, Philemon 1:1 reads, "Paul, a prisoner of
Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly
beloved, and fellowlabourer…". Paul's "freedom" brought him
imprisonment, as he was a servant of the Lord. In 2 Timothy, Paul
exhorts us to to walk a similar path, "1:8 Be not thou therefore
ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but
be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the
power of God."
Our liberty in Christ is not unto something as much as it is away from something. We are now free from the bondage of sin as revealed to us under the law. We are now given the leading of the Holy Spirit; and are commanded to avoid sin. Romans 6:11 "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace."
When we were under the law, sin had dominion. Now that we are under grace, Jesus Christ is to have dominion. In order to "let not sin reign in your mortal body", though, you need to obey God's commands that define what is sin. As eternal servants of the Lord, we are not free to do as we please, but rather to please the Master Lord Jesus.
2 John 1:6 "And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it."
John 14:15 states, "If you love me, keep my commandments." As in
the above verse, these commandments include the moral laws that
"ye have heard from the beginning".
Easton's dictionary entry for Law states,
The Ceremonial Law prescribes under the Old Testament the rites and ceremonies of worship. This law was obligatory only till Christ, of whom these rites were typical, had finished his work #Heb 7:9,11 10:1 Eph 2:16 It was fulfilled rather than abrogated by the gospel.
The Judicial Law, the law which directed the civil policy of
the Hebrew nation.
The Moral Law is the revealed will of God as to human conduct, binding on all men to the end of time."
Easton includes a note under the Moral Law stating, "Although
binding on all, we are not under it as a covenant of works (#Ga
3:17)". Again, we must not follow the law as a legalistic formula
for salvation, but as those who are already saved. In fact, the
whole point of the first commandment is NOT to follow a long list
of archaic commands. Rather, it is to live for Christ. Love your
neighbor, avoid the appearance of evil, seek that which is good.
Walk the Pilgrim Path, the narrow way.
It is easy:
His yoke is easy
It is God's way
The Holy Spirit will strengthen you
It is service to the King
It is difficult:
You will suffer tribulation
It may divide families
The World will hate you
The World will tempt you
Taking the First Commandment Into the World
We must present the Gospel to the World that hates us, without
falling into their temptations. We cannot hide or seclude
ourselves, but we must also remain separate.
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies
of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy,
acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be
not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the
renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and
acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
2 Cor 6:4 "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."
A summary of Part I includes the following Scriptural
a. Love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, and
Thinking Like a Christian
Our lives are impacted every day by all that comes into our minds. The books we read, the radio programs we hear, the television we watch, and the people that we talk to are just a few examples. In order to be obedient to Romans 12:1-2 (see above), we must be sure to filter all things through a Biblical Worldview.
A Biblical Worldview is that process of "bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ". It is looking at the world through the eyes of Scripture, rather than our own darkened vision. As we have grown up, we have all been "educated" by many influences, many of them molding our minds to thoughts and principles that are not in line with God's Holy Word.
The first step in developing a Biblical Worldview was our transformation into the body of Christ.
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye
transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what
is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Ephesians 4:23-24 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
The second step is to deeply study the Word of God, with a mind
to receive instruction in righteousness. In the book, "Teaching
the Trivium", Harvey Bluedorn states, "God's Word gives us the
correct way to view the world, and directs us how to live in the
real world. It tells us the proper order of things, defines the
role relationships, gives us the true presuppositions to establish
our knowledge, imparts the holy values to guide our understanding,
and establishes the righteous goals to guide us in a walk of
There are many excellent resources available on developing a Biblical Worldview (see resources at the end of this essay). The primary tool, of course, is the reading and understanding of the Scriptures. However, these other books, tapes and videos can help us to see how to apply Biblical principles in evaluating the World around us, and to develop the worldview filters that will help us see the world and its products through the eyes of God rather than through man's corrupted vision.
We want to pass everything the world has to offer through these Biblical glasses and interpret it in light of Scripture. The right of a woman to choose (abortion), becomes murder when passed through the filter. Greed viewed by the world is simply the result of the survival of the fittest, but becomes man's fallen nature when viewed through Biblical glasses. The similarity of the design of the animals means they all evolved from the same single cell in the eyes of the world. In the eyes of Scripture, we see they all had the same Creator who brought order to the world.
When we start thinking like a Christian, we find that it is not only "religious" items that need to be interpreted in light of Scripture, but everything needs to be interpreted this way!
Corinthians 6:12 "All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any."
We need to determine those things that are expedient. Harvey
Bluedorn states, "Whatever passes through that filter gets a new
meaning within the Biblical worldview. We want to sort through the
rubble of humanistic thought and save only what can be brought
into conformity to the obedience of Christ and therefore be made
useful for His Kingdom."
There is no neutrality:
We sometimes have this idea that, while there is a place for spiritual things, that there are many things that can be neutral. On the surface this may appear to be the case, but upon deeper examination, it will be found not to be so.
Jesus in Matthew 12 states, "30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad." Throughout Scripture, God makes it clear that there are two ways: His way and the wrong way.
1 John 4:2 "Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that
confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3
And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come
in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of
antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even
now already is it in the world."
Taking a look at some of the subject areas a student will
typically study may make this clear.
In the subject of Social Studies, students will learn about many issues, including many that touch on moral issues such as abortion, homosexuality, euthanasia, medicine and health care, and cloning, for example. When God is taken out of these discussions, there is little to base a position on. For example, "Is homosexuality a sin, or simply an alternative lifestyle?" Without God in our education process, it is like the time of Judges, 17:6 "In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes."
In History, we find that religion played a major role, especially in the founding of the United States. Why did the Pilgrims come to this country? Why did the American Revolution succeed while the French Revolution failed? What drove the men and women in the founding of our country to fight against the British? From a Christian worldview, we see that history really is His Story. The role of God in our history classes is not touched on, or is presented in a negative light, and history all becomes merely a struggle of man vs. man.
In the study of Literature, students will need to choose from a variety of novels and poetry. Which authors will be chosen? If God is taken out of the picture, minds will be filled with the thoughts of fools. Psalms 14:1 "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good."
The study of our origins in the area of science has been hotly debated in recent times. Should students learn evolution or Creation? The teaching of evolution is so ingrained in our culture that you find it almost every place you look, even beyond the science classroom. Our view of God's place in science will impact every area, including geology, astronomy, biology, etc.
Your worldview even has an impact on Mathematics. The scientist Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) stated, "The Chief aim of all investigations of the external world should be to discover the rational order and harmony which has been imposed on it by God and which He revealed to us in the language of mathematics." Noted physical chemist Gilbert N. Lewis said in "Geometries," "We cannot avoid the thought that having embarked upon a certain line of mathematical inquiry, while we appear to have preserved the utmost of personal freedom, we seem bound to follow certain paths and make and remake certain discoveries." We find that mathematics is really the study of the incredible order that God designed in the world.
These are just a few examples. When you really look into the matter, you will see that every subject must be viewed with Biblical glasses. Ultimately, this is because learning more than just how, it always also involves why. When you learn Auto Body, the best teaching will not only include reparing dents and dings, but will also emphasize doing the best job. If you are just out to make a buck, you'll learn the cheapest methods that will get by; if you are out to serve others, you will learn how to apply good methods at the best economy. All studies become more complete and correct when viewed from the Biblical perspective.
We must remember that God is not at all in the mind of the non-Christian. Psalms 10:4 "The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts." So, even though we may find some use in what the non-Christian has written, it must all be filtered to determine that which is redeemable for God.
Chapter 8 of Harvey Bluedorn's "Teaching the Trivium" has an
excellent treatment of how to choose what we should allow into our
lives. I summarize some of the points here:
1. Walk worthy of the Lord
Col 1:10 "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all
pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in
the knowledge of God."
The Puritan Thomas Watson wrote in Man's Chief End is to Glorify God:
"What is the chief end of man?
The glorifying of God, 1 Pet. 4:11 'That God in all things may
be glorified.' The glory of God is a silver thread which must
run through all our actions. l Cor. 10:31. 'Whether therefore ye
eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.'
Everything works to some end in things natural and artificial;
now, man being a rational creature, must propose some end to
himself, and that should be, that he may lift up God in the
world. He had better lose his life than the end of his living.
The great truth asserted is that the end of every man's living
should be to glorify God. Glorifying God has respect to all the
persons in the Trinity; it respects God the Father who gave us
life; God the Son, who lost his life for us; and God the Holy
Ghost, who produces a new life in us; we must bring glory to the
2. Do not be conformed to the world
Rom 12:2 "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye
transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what
is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
James 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
3. Do Not Allow the World to "Court" You
James 1:27 "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the
Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their
affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."
Rev. Warren Sprouse at the 2001 Educational Network of Christian
Homeschoolers (ENOCH) 11th Annual Conventaion made the point that
when you place a a healthy child in the same bed with a sick
child, the sick child does not get healthy from the well child,
but rather the healthy child will most likely be infected by the
sick. We can become easily spotted by the world and should not be
like Lot who vexed his soul from day to day with the wickedness of
Sodom (2 Peter 2:8).
4. Redeem the time
Col 4:5 "Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming
There is only so much time in the day, and in the long run our
lives are relatively short. Are we prioritizing our time in the
best way we can?
5. Is it profitable and does it promote good habits?
1 Cor 10:23 "All things are lawful for me, but all things are
not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things
All things are lawful for us as Christians - but only so long as
we use them lawfully.
Bluedorn states "Edify means to build up, to promote proper growth…Some things promote perverted growth. It may serve some edifying purposes to be aware, at a mature age, that some perversions exist, but it is never edifying to dwell upon and explore the depths of depravity."
Also, "If you go places you ought not to go, and see things you ought not see, and hear things you ought not hear, you'll end up doing things you ought not do…"
Education is more than just knowledge:
While the central theme of education is "knowledge", we must also realize that knowledge by itself is not what we want. Knowledge by itself "puffs up":
1 Cor 8:1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know
that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity
edifieth. 2 And if any man think that he knoweth anything, he
knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.
Rather, knowledge must be a part of the larger picture:
2 Peter 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your
faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge
temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience
godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to
brotherly kindness charity.
We begin our knowledge with God:
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of
knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
The learning of knowledge must be closely tied with the teaching
of morals. Diligence, virtue, temperance, patience, godliness,
kindness, and charity are essential components of our education.
Zach Montgomery, U.S. Assistant Attorney General, wrote in 1886:
It is maintained by multitudes of parents and many clergymen,
while admitting that it is necessary that the consciences of
children should be educated, that this education ought to be
confined to the home circle and the church, and that the daily
school should be exclusively reserved for the education of the
mind and the body. But have we not seen that the conscience must
be the governor and supreme ruler of the entire man; that the
conscience must be taught the habit of governing, and that both
the mind and the body must be taught habits of prompt and
willing obedience? But if, throughout the livelong day, the
conscience is to remain practically dormant, while the mind and
body are both in the process of active development, what will be
the result? (note)
We cannot separate our moral education from our collection of
A Summary of Part II provides the following points:
i. We must look at the world through Spiritual glasses
The Salt and the Light
Christians are to be a light in this darkened world. We are to be
the salt of the earth. However, we aren't born filled with salt.
To be a savouring salt, we must be transformed and we must be
trained; our salt shakers must be filled, which takes years of
maturity. Salt without savour is useless:
Matt 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have
lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth
good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under
foot of men.
Salt can be easily contaminated by other minerals (influences of the world), and when this happens it loses its savour. We must all continually de-contaminate our salt shakers by being filled with the Word. Children have a dual difficulty. Not only are their salt shakers only partially filled and thus more easily contaminated, but these shakers are also "leaky", losing salt until that leak is patched by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.
If we place an immature child in the influence of a Godless culture, it is not likely that their shakers will be filled at a rate quicker than the world can contaminate them.
"I understood as a child"
The scriptures clearly instruct us to latch onto those things
that are good:
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true,
whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just,
whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue,
and if there be any praise, think on these things.
To abstain from evil:
1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
And to bring every thought captive:
2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high
thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and
bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of
This is difficult enough for us to do, and is part of our
sanctification in Christ. Our children cannot do this on their
own. There are two main reasons for this. First, even though the
Bible indicates that children of a Believing parent are "clean" or
"holy" (1 Cor 7:14), we usually do not know at a young age whether
or not they are believers in Christ. Thus, they are often not yet
transformed and are unable to look at the world with a Biblical
Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my
mother conceive me.
Secondly, children are bound in foolishness, and need training.
Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child;
but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
When we are young, we cannot understand things fully:
1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I
understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a
man, I put away childish things.
When we begin learning, we must start with milk, not meat:
1 Corinthians 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat:
for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye
Heb 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. [emphasis added]
The training of our children must first of all be Christian, as
their morals need to be trained along with their knowledge, as we
have already seen.
"The Fool Hath Said..."
The Scriptures tell us that non-Christians are fools:
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things
of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither
can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1 Corinthians 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
Psalms 53:1a The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.
Proverbs 28:26 He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.
The non-Christian cannot teach proper morals, because "neither
can he know them". He has no Biblical foundation, nor a Spirit to
convince him. Rather, the non-Christian mocks the ways of God:
Proverbs 14:9 Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous
there is favour.
How can we put our children under the authority of fools, when our children have no capability to discern good from evil?
Train Up a Child:
The Scriptures do not tell us exclusively who should train our
children, but there are many guidelines provided.
Deuteronomy 11 speaks about training in the household, which strongly implies the parents training their children:
Deuteronomy 11:18 Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in
your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your
hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. 19 And ye
shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou
sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when
thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 20 And thou shalt
write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy
Proverbs also indicates the instruction of the parents:
Proverbs 1:8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and
forsake not the law of thy mother:
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Fathers are to play a primary role in instruction. First, they
are the head:
1 Corinthians 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of
every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and
the head of Christ is God.
Throughout the Old Testament the picture of sons following after
their fathers is provided. For example, several verses speak about
the iniquity of the fathers being passed to the children (e.g.
Exodus 20:5, Numbers 14:18). As another example, in 1 Kings, we
have the negative example of a man who followed after his father,
but in doing evil:
1 Kings 15:25 And Nadab the son of Jeroboam began to reign over
Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned over
Israel two years. 26 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD,
and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin wherewith he
made Israel to sin.
Clearly, God holds fathers responsible for his children. The
Bible also provides several direct verses about fathers
instructing their children:
Proverbs 4:1 Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father,
and attend to know understanding.
Proverbs 13:1 A wise son heareth his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.
Proverbs 15:5 A fool despiseth his father's instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.
Eph 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
1 Thes 2:11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,
Even grandparents can play a role:
Psalms 71:17 O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and
hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works. 18 Now also when I
am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have
shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every
one that is to come.
2 Timothy 1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
Again, nowhere does the Bible say to send our children into the
hands of the Babylonians for their education. Why? Because they
are against God, and will try to turn the hearts of our children
against Him as well. The Israelites time after time ignored God's
warnings to pass down God's commands to their children and to
follow His ways. As a result, again and again they took up the
gods of world and had to be chastised into repentance.
Sin By Any Other Name...
God makes it clear that we cannot rely on the wisdom of this
1 Cor 1:19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the
wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the
prudent. 20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the
disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of
We must not be partakers in the world's ways, but rather we must
expose sin for what it is - SIN. If we are awash in the muck, we
will get used to the muck.
Eph 5:11-12 "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works
of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12 For it is a shame even
to speak of those things which are done of them in secret."
Prov 4:14 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. 15 Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.
Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2 Cor 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
If we neglect to properly train our children, our children will
suffer the consequences of our sin toward God, such as the example
of Nadab given in 1 Kings 15, above. Not only will our children
suffer, but we will as well:
Proverbs 15:20 A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish
man despiseth his mother.
Proverbs 17:25 A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him.
Proverbs 17:21 He that begetteth a fool doeth it to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy.
a. Love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, and
i. We must look at the world through Spiritual glasses
l. Cling to that which is good, Abstain from evil, take
every thought captive
Based on the principles above, we find that we must view the
whole world with a Biblical Worldview and keep ourselves a
separate people. We also find that our children, who do not have
this capacity yet, must not be subjected to the foolish
instruction of the world, but rather must be bathed in the Truth
of God's Word and the world as reflected through it. It is the
primary responsibility of the parents, with the father as the
head, to instruct the children.
It is not the reading of many books
which is necessary to make one wise,
but the well-reading of a few,
could they be sure to have the best.
— Richard Baxter
Appendix 1: References and good
Our family's dive into homeschooling has uncovered for our family a wealth of books, videos, and audio that we never knew existed. As we considered the Scriptures as outlined in this study, we have tried hard to weed out the garbage and keep only that which edifies.
Some references used for this paper include:
Bluedorn, Harvey & Karen: Teaching the Trivium
Dabney, Robert Lewis, Secularized Education. Although not used in this paper, this article from the 1800's makes a useful read:
Gilmore, Jeffrey R.P. The Trinity as a Foundation for
Mathematics. Quote of Johannes Kepler from Nancy R. Pearcey
and Charles B. Thaxton, The Soul of Science. Wheaton: Crossway
Books, 1994, p. 126.
Ham, Ken: Raising Godly Children In an Ungodly World. Video from Answers In Genesis, http://www.answersingenesis.org
Montgomery, Zach: The School Question: From a Parental and Non-Sectarian Viewpoint, 1886. As quoted in Safely Home, by Tom Eldredge
Watson, Thomas: Man's Chief End is to Glorify God. Available at: http://www.puritansermons.com/watson/watson5.htm
Zimmerman, Larry L, Mathematics: Is God Silent?; The
Biblical Educator, Jan 1980
Places to get Good Books:
As with any such list, this is a mere sampling. There are many,
many more homeschooling and Christian companies that provide
selections of books worth reading. I have done business with
almost all of the companies in this section, and can recommend
Answers In Genesis
Comments: Focuses on the importance of a literal Genesis, and the destructiveness of the teachings of evolution on the Christian Worldview. Offers audio, video, and book resources for children to adults, including curriculum.
Comment: Provides products by Reb Bradley and Richard & Virginia Fulgate. Rob's Biblical Insights into Child Training is an excellent
Grace & Truth Books
Comment: Focus on character buiding paperback reprints of 1800's Godly books, including books formally published under the Triangle Press title.
Keepers of the Faith
Comment: Focus on character training books and materials. Republishes many old books that promote the Godly walk. Also offers a "Contenders for the Faith" program that is similar to the Boy Scout handbook but with a restored focus on Godlinesss.
Lamplighter Publishing, a Division of Cornerstone Family Ministries
Comments: Reprints many 1800's Christ edifying books in quality hardbound editions. Some titles include, "The Hedge of Thorns", "Christie's Old Organ", "Basket of Flowers", and more. Prices average around $11 - $16 each and special set prices are available.
Reformation Heritage Books
Comment: founded for the dissmination of sound Christian literature. Producs include an extensive catalog of resources including many books by the Purtians and also features discount prices.
Sovereign Grace Publishers, Inc.
Comment: Publishes Jay P. Green's Interlinear Bibles and Modern & Literal versions of Bible translations, as well as many Puritan and other Classic works by authors such as Thomas Boston, Richard Baxter, John Calvin, and so forth.
Still Waters Revival Books (SWRB, Reb Barrow)
Comment: Many Puritan and other classics reprinted that are not available elsewhere. Also, many free resources available. The site is a little intimidating to traverse, with lots of Bold and varying text sizes, but the material is worth the search.
Comment: Focus on classical education from a Biblical perspective. Provides materials on Latin, Greek, Logic, and more.
Webpages: The following sites are a few that offer articles, newsletters, and bookstores specializing in the development or promotion of a Biblical World View.
Comment: American Vision is a Christian educational organization dedicated to the restoration of America's biblical foundations. Articles, newsletter, store, and more
Comment: Provides links to many Christian Worldview sites
http://www.chalcedon.edu/ Faith for All Of Life
Comment: Chalcedon labors to articulate in the clearest possible terms a distinctly Christian and explicitly Biblical solution to the prevalent evils of the modern world. Features newsletter, magazine, store, audio sermons
Comment: Building your family upon the Biblical World View. Provides several World View curriculum courses
http://www.probe.com Probe Ministries
Comment: Lots of articles and resources.
http://www.summit.org/ Summit Ministries
Comment: Conferences, curriculum, leadership seminars, Journal, newsletter and other resources
Comment: dedicated to the restoration of the moral and religious foundation on which America was built. Articles, store
Comment: Sponsors Worldview Weekend Conferences featuring speakers such as David Limbaugh, Ken Ham, Norm Geisler, Woodrow Kroll, Michael Farris, and many others. Website feature articles, Brannon's "America's Schools Held Hostage" book online, online audio, bookstore with conference CDs, and more.
Worldview Books: The following are a few of the books available that concentrate on explaining the Biblical Worldview and its impact.
The Deadliest Monster
by Jeff Baldwin
Comment: Easily readable Christian introduction to worldviews contrasting Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde with the Monster of Frankenstein.
How Now Shall We Live:
by Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey.
Comment: Demonstrates how our presuppostions play out in real life
Thinking Straight in a Crooked World
By Gary DeMar
Comment: Idendtifies the "crooked nature" of man and ways to reparit them with the Biblcial Worldview
The Opening of the Christian Mind: Taking Every Thought Captive to Christ
by David W. Gill
No Retreats, No Reserves, No Regrets
by Brannon Howse, David Barton, Ken Ham, David Noebel, Marshall Foster, Don Wildmon, Rob Lindsted, Bill Jack, and Michael Chapman.
Comment: Why Christians Should Never Give Up, Never Hold Back, And Never Be Sorry When Proclaiming Their Faith. A collection of introductory-level essays.
How to Be Your Own Selfish Pig
by Susan S. Macaulay, Publisher: Chariot Family Pub; (July 1982)
Comment: Jeff Baldwin states this book "holds the distinction for the best title", and is recommended as a great introductory text to worldviews. Available through Summit Ministry.
by Dr. David Noebel and Dr. Tim LaHaye
Comment: Examines and explains Secular Humanism
The Battle For Truth
By Dr. David Noebel
Comment: Summary of worldview that challenge traditional Christian values, as well as the resources that you need to develop a better understanding of the biblical perspective on such subjects as economics, ethics, sociology, and psychology.
Thinking Like a Christian
by David Noebel and Chuck Edwards
Comment: Home study course in Biblical Worldview thinking
Understanding The Times
By Dr. David Noebel
Comment: 900 page methodical textbook, also available in abridged form (about 1/2 the length)
It All Begins With Genesis
By Sheila Richardson
Comment: Curriculum for a Biblical Worldview based on the book of Genesis. Available through Answers In Genesis (see web links)
Triumphs of the Imagination: Literature in Christian Perspective.
Ryken, Leland; InterVarsity, 1979.
How Should We Then Live?: The Rise and Decline of Western
Thought and Culture
by Francis A. Schaeffer; Fleming H. Revell, 1976
Comment: Summary of Christianity and description of the rise and decline of Western thought and culture. Note: contains artwork some may find offensive.
How to Read Slowly: A Christian Guide To Reading with the Mind.
By James W. Sire, InterVarsity, 1978.
The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog
by James W. Sire Publisher: Intervarsity Press; 3rd edition (August 1997)
Comment: catalogs the foundational assumptions of various worldviews
Literature Under the Microscope: A Christian Case for Reading.
Whitworth, Louis D. ; Probe Ministries, 1984.
This paper is not intended to provide an exposé on the problems with the Government School System, although these problems do abound. However, Bluedorn's "Teaching the Trivium" does provide a list of some problems that are inherent in any classroom-type school setting that I found worthwhile to paraphrase here:
1. Classroom schools create a student to teacher bond that weakens the family bond. Students learn to trust the teacher as authoritative and the parent as unwise.
2. Classroom schools create a cross-cultural exchange outside of the parents' control, establishing values which may conflict with those of the parents. Children do not have the maturity to properly respond to these situations.
3. Classroom schools create a student to student bond that weakens the family bond. Much of this occurs "between classes" in peer groups that are beyond even the school's control. Students begin to trust peers over their own family and to prefer the company of their friends over that of their family.
4. Age segregation in classrooms promotes limited socialization and peer bonding that undermines family bonding. For example, 2nd graders learn to associate only with other 2nd graders and may even no longer want to play with siblings of a different age.
5. Classroom schools and extra-curricular activities draw order and commitment to the school and away from the family. The school becomes the center of life, replacing the home.
6. A teacher with a class of multiple students is not able to provide the individual attention that is available in the homeschool.
7. A teacher with a class of students with multiple different learning levels must find a compromise level at which to teach. Advanced students become bored, slower students become frustrated.
8. Classroom schools provide learning in an artificial environment, rather than in a "live" setting. Learning is best when integrated with real-life.
9. Classroom schools are expensive