Monday, August 3, 2009

If Everybody Homeschooled...

Imagine in the not-too-distant future that almost every Christian family homeschooled.
That every church jettisoned its Sunday schools and youth groups.
That every family practiced discipleship and the fear of God.
That every father nurtured his children with daily prayer and Bible reading.
That every child said 'yes sir' and 'thank you.'

That drunkenness would be gone. And pornography outlawed. And abortion eliminated.
That the churches would be full every Sunday.

Full of dead man's bones.

You see, dear reader, having homeschooling (or whatever-schooling) and discipleship and nurture and upstanding citizens and white picket fences are about as useful as building a perfect outhouse but not cleaning up the inside. Why? Because preaching methods without the Message can lead to hypocrisy.

The Pharisees were masters at preaching method (obedience to the Law). And they railed against external wickedness while leaving the internal heart untouched. They had all Law and no Gospel.

Heretics--those denying the fundamentals of the Protestant Reformation--can homeschool, disciple and nurture their children--even better than orthodox Protestants. So, is the sufficient difference between godliness and ungodliness activity, obedience and doing?

No.

Although obedience is important and required, it is meaningless if the obedience is toward a god of one's own making. If all the self-professing Christians in America disciple, correct, love and perpetually nurture their children for the name-it-and-claim-it 'god' what has been accomplished??

Many self-identified Christians--even in homeschooling circles--believe they are saved by works (just go to the Barna group statistics). Many others believe that Jesus sinned or that God changes His mind. Others believe that baptism saves. Or deny original sin. Still others believe that God is impotent to save. Or that faith plus works justifies.

The list goes on.

Imagine if everyone homeschooled but worshiped the wrong god. Then what? The educational goal would be gained but the soul lost.

3 comments:

James Mill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James Mill said...

Brother, you have a important point here but I would like to take issue with the way you have stated it. To truly: "practice discipleship", "practice the fear of God", "nuture children with daily prayer and Bible reading"; presumes that these are done in true righteousness, which would of necessity include a right view of Law and Gospel. And, when folks teach the need of such things this interpretation ought to be assumed out of charity.
I would also like to take issue with your comment that the Pharisees taught "obedience to the Law". They taught no such thing. (Ro 10:3, Mark 7:9) They taught a pretense of obedience to the Law but did not in fact teach obedience to the Law at all.

polymathis said...

Greetings,

I am glad you agree with the point. It is unfortunate that the way I stated it is not to your liking. As it is, it seems that my point was still missed.

The fact the one can describe a family as practicing "discipleship" and the "fear of God" and yet that family be lost is the point of this posting.

Part of the problem is definition: many confused Evangelicals would classify themselves as following God when in fact many have re-defined God's Law & Gospel to one degree or another--a very dangerous thing. And again the point of the posting.

For instance, the "fear of God" can be used of believers and unbelievers: Paul described his non-believing Jewish audience thusly (Acts 13:16). The opening descriptive of this posting could equally apply to Roman Catholics! It is only when closely examined can we determine how much truth a family has.

The difference between what Pharisees taught and did is the point of their own name: hypocrites. Mark 7:9 brings out the latter; my post the former. Paul points out their teaching (not their hypocrisy per se) as well (as Rom. 10:3 does as well): at root they taught a works-righteousness; that their own effort at obeying God's Law would save them.

Phil. 3:5,6 explains the Paul was a Pharisee seeking blamelessness under the Law. And more accurately, I stated that they taught the Law even as "they railed against external wickedness while leaving the internal heart untouched." In that sense, they did not teach full obedience. But does that mean we can be saved by full obedience (outward and inward)--God forbid. That's why Paul uses them as punching bags.

Hope that's clear, take care,