Our Generation 6 Education
The Scriptures repeatedly speak of the disobedience of specific generations, as well as those like sons of Issachar who “had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do” (1Chr. 12:32). We must see our place in history and discern how we are being conformed to the world in our generation. Then, by grace, live faithfully and with transformed minds. The first failure of our generation we will consider is our failure in worship. We must know the awe of coming to true Zion to renew our covenantal bond with God and be satisfied with God's magnificent glories, rather than in any other fading pleasures (Psalm 27:4). We must see how lovely is the place of His glory (Psalm 26:8). People drive across America to see the Grand Canyon; The Grand Church Triumphant joints the Church Militant in worship each Lord’s Day and the parade is stretched from here back and forwards through eternity (Hebrews 12:22).
In this message we turn to consider the failings of our generation in terms of the family. Godly families are the primary organization in the plan of God. The Word gives us hope for blessing, prosperity and a great heritage through fearing the Lord in the context of God’s blessing from Zion, the peace of His people, and the stability throughout all generations. A major sin of our generation is to have blessing and prosperity individualistically and in isolation from Zion. Further, we want blessing without thinking in a long-term way. This is settling for cottoncandy rather than a banquet. The critical need in our day is to see our families as a garden. Godly wives are fruitful vines and children as olive plants. Each of these require long-term cultivation. Moreover, the blessings cannot be individualistically realized. This happens in the community of God’s people. The second portion of the Psalm connects the individual blessings of a godfearing family with the corporate community of believers, prosperity is from Zion and peace is upon Israel. This leads us to see two major problems in our context: 1) We want blessing, happiness, all to be well, without the context of God’s people. 2) We want do not think of blessing extending to multiple generations.
CRISIS IN EDUCATION
1983 “A NATION AT RISK” - FAILURE OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS
SINCE THEN IT HAS BEEN REPORTED-
* American 12th graders rank 19th out of 21 industrialized countries in mathematics achievement and 16th out of 21 nations in science.
* In fourth grade, 77% of children in urban high-poverty schools are reading "below basic" levels on the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests.
* Since 1983, over 10 million public school students have reached the 12th grade level without learning to read at the basic level.
* Since 1983, more than 20 million students have reached the 12th grade unable to do basic math.
* Since 1983, more than 25 million students have reached the 12th grade not knowing the essentials of U.S. history.
NATION AT RISK CONCLUSIONS:If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.
Yet even if our Government system of education was perfect, I believe the Scriptures find fault. Because education is made in the Word an extension of commitment to the Lord, not the civil sphere.
Our educational system has been like what CS Lewis called - “Experiment House.”
4 " Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!
5 "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
6 " And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.
7 "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.
8 "You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
9 "You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
10 " So it shall be, when the LORD your God brings you into the land of which He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give you large and beautiful cities which you did not build,
11 "houses full of all good things, which you did not fill, hewn-out wells which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant -- when you have eaten and are full --
12 "then beware, lest you forget the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
EDUCATING OUR CHILDREN IN FAITH IS A
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more