By Jeff Keaton – Renewanation Founder & CEO
“Are Christian kids in non-Christian environments evangelizing the lost or are the lost evangelizing our kids?”
As Renewanation takes the message of Christian worldview education to our nation and the world, one of our primary goals is to help parents understand the power and importance of giving a child a Christian worldview education.
Many parents naively believe that somehow what their kids are taught five days a week at school does not have a great influence on what they believe and who they become. Many parents also believe that their children are developing a Christian worldview just by being around the church and Christians. Research is telling us that this is not the case.
I have often had parents tell me as a pastor that their kids “know the truth” but right now they’re living otherwise. I am fully aware that kids who “know the truth” can always choose to reject it but far too often the reason a child has gone astray is because they don’t really “know the truth.” Many times they have been influenced to believe that living outside of God’s plan is normal and okay.
Most parents do not take the time and/or do not have the training to instill a thoroughly biblical worldview in the hearts and minds of their children. This is not how it should be but it is the case in many instances. As we travel the country speaking and writing, we are reminding parents that it is their God-given responsibility to guarantee that their children are taught God’s truth. We can’t just hope this happens. We must do everything in our power to make it happen!
If our kids are going to know the truth about God and His world then we must:
Aggressively and intentionally teach them God’s truth every single day.
“Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9 NKJV
According to this passage of Scripture and the whole of Scripture God wants us to instruct our children in His ways all day everyday. How many parents take this command seriously?
The second thing we must do in order to insure that our children know and follow the God of heaven is:
Prevent them, when and where we can, from taking in the lies of Satan that dominate the thinking of this world.
God has always been concerned about the infiltration of false teaching. As the Israelites were moving toward the promised land He instructed them not to intermarry with those who did not know and follow Him.
“And when the Lord your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them. Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son. For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of the Lord will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly.” Deuteronomy 7:2-4 NKJV
I am fully aware that we cannot shelter our kids from every negative influence in this world, and I believe if we train them well they will be able to stand against evil when they have no other choice but to be around it. However, to make the argument that we ought to purposely allow their young and moldable minds to be saturated with Satan’s lies is pure foolishness. I have friends who were exposed to pornography as children and they struggle with this unique temptation to this day. The young heart and mind is not mature enough to fend off the lies of our culture. These lies are glamorous and seductive.
One young pastor made the case to me that he thought all Christian kids should be in non-Christian schools in order to be salt and light and to evangelize the lost. He told me that he had made it through successfully and in some ways he had. As we talked, I asked him how many students were in his non-Christian high school. He said there were about 1,500. I asked him how many devout Christians there were among the 1,500. He guessed about 15. This high school was obviously a rural high school and it was located in the Bible belt. From this young man’s best guess only 1% of the students in this high school were public, vocal Christians. I have no doubt that a fairly large percentage of these students came from Christian homes. The question is: “Are Christian kids in non-Christian environments evangelizing the lost or are the lost evangelizing our kids?”
Parents must get serious about what their kids are learning.
We believe that the best way to secure a Christian worldview for children is to teach them from a Christian perspective at home, church and school.
For those of you who know that God has called you to place your children in non-Christian schools, you must go over the top to offset the secular view they are receiving at school. Just telling them, “that’s what we believe,” isn’t good enough. You must be living and teaching Jesus and His Word at home. You must involve your children in a healthy church where there are serious Christian young people and you must make sure they are being taught, at a deep level, why Christianity is a reasonable and truthful set of beliefs. In reality, all parents, regardless of where your children attend school, should be doing this.
I have met many parents who tell me they just cannot afford to provide their children a Christian education. I always tell them they simply can’t afford not to. I know many Christian parents whose children no longer believe the Bible and the core teachings of Christianity. Their education destroyed their faith in Christian belief. These parents would literally cash in their entire retirement if it would bring their child’s mind back to belief in Christianity. They would pay any price to see their child knowing and serving Jesus but for many it is a dream that likely they will never realize.
From the first time I held my daughters at birth, until this very day, I’ve had this overwhelming sense that we brought these never-dying souls into existence. Our girls will be alive somewhere forever. I am totally committed to making sure they live forever in Heaven. I have also known that I am just their manager. These girls belong to God Almighty and I will someday give an account to Him for how I managed their lives. He will want to know if I trained them to know, love, and serve Him. He will want to know if they fulfilled His purpose for their lives. He will want to know if I did everything in my power to raise them to bring honor and glory to His name on earth. I’ve told them from their earliest days that my ultimate goal is for them to serve Christ with all their hearts. I’ve told them over and over again. “I don’t care what career you choose or where you live or anything else as long as you love and serve Jesus supremely.”
Parents, wake up! We only have a few short years to influence our children. Let’s do everything in our power to make sure we get the job done well.