THE DEEP NEED FOR BIBLICAL TRAINING
Written by Mark Redka
If you need to know about kindergarten, just ask me, I attended three of them. No, I didn’t spend 3 years in kindergarten, our family just moved a lot that year. My first kindergarten was my favorite. My mom would pick up the kids down the street and drive us to some house in the west end of town where we spent our day, coloring and playing until nap time. When that was over, this old couple (they were probably in their 50’s, but when you’re 5, that’s ancient) brought us cookies and the best chocolate milk that ever graced the planet.
I don’t remember much about my second kindergarten except that my sister and I would trudge down the hill, through deep snow to this big, gray stone building. My third experience was vastly different. It was Clayton Ave. Elementary school in Vestal, NY. My “classroom” was really big with a play kitchen for the girls plus a jungle gym. The school had a trampoline, a real cafeteria and an auditorium where we watched movies on rainy days. It was during that time that President Kennedy was shot. I watched his funeral on a little black and white TV set in my uncle’s living room.
That was a big event, but something even more disturbing was happening and I didn’t know it. Someone got expelled from my school. An Atheist, Madeline Murray O’Hare, filed a lawsuit which went all the way to the Supreme Court. When it was all over, God and the Bible were kicked out of our educational system, the one I had just enrolled in. I have no memory of a teacher or principal reading or referencing the Bible. We had a moment of silence right after the pledge of Allegiance, but no reason for it.
So, my generation, and all of those since, countless millions of people spent 6 or 7 hours of our day in a spiritually sterile environment where vigorous effort was made to keep God out of it. This vacuum was replaced with secular humanism, a religion that glorifies man rather than God. Looking back now, with more knowledge and experience, I can readily see how I and my fellow students were being indoctrinated into a new way of thinking. These new godless ideas (which have actually been around since the beginning of time) didn’t stick to me because the center of my world was my family, which attended a wonderful, Bible believing, Bible teaching church. I remember those fun, exciting Sunday School classes and the loving teachers I was blessed with. Pastor Bob’s sermons captured my heart even at an early age.
Guess what, most of those public school lessons did stick to my peers. They were like seeds being planted into open, innocent minds which germinated and grew. Today’s society is reaping the harvest. Have you ever asked yourself how things got to be so bad? It’s not complicated. You reap what you sow. (Galatians 6:7)
Several years ago I saw a book which graphed out that harvest and it showed just how dramatic things changed right after that decision was handed down. Suicides, murders, thefts, school violence, sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancies rose in number, while SAT test scores and graduation rates plummeted. The moral decline continues half a century later and it all started when I was in kindergarten.
Is there any hope that we can “fix” these problems? Attacking those issues will not succeed. What we have to do is address the HEART of the problem. The roots of sin have grown deep in our society, and only by the power of God and His Word will they be removed. It seems impossible, but with God all things are possible. It must start with us. Removing God’s Word started the problem, restoring the truths of the Bible is the only way to remedy it. Here’s a reminder of the greatness of God’s Word.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. -Hebrews 4:12
The Bible is POWERFUL. It changes lives. I’ve read stories about missionaries introducing the Scriptures to savages and a whole tribe is transformed. I’ve heard countless testimonies from people whose lives have gone from sin and turmoil, to godliness and peace. It changed me.
The Bible is PIERCING. It can cut out all of those weeds and reveal truth to a seeking mind. It sheds light on the sin in our lives and makes us aware of its consequences.
Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. -Psalm 119:9
The Bible is PURIFYING. It takes that revelation even farther and helps us to get our hearts and relationship with God right again. How delightful it is to be clean before Him.
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. -John 15:5
The Bible is PRODUCTIVE. While on His way to the Garden before He was crucified, He taught His disciples about bearing good fruit, much fruit. He wants us to do the same.
Galatians 5 tells us that the world produces the following fruit:
Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, revellings.
It also tells us what the Bible, through the Holy Spirit, produces in us. Here’s that list. Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.
Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee. -Psalm 119:11
The Bible is PROTECTIVE. Ephesians 6 calls the Bible, the “Sword of the Spirit”. It is our weapon to fight against the attacks of the world and of Satan. God brings to remembrance Bible verses we have memorized just at the time we are being tempted to sin.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. -Psalm 119:105
The Bible is PURPOSEFUL. The Bible lights our path in life so that we avoid pitfalls and obstacles that would trip us up. When you read the Bible, you get to know God and what His will is. It helps you to make the right life choices. God wants you to have a life of purpose. He made you for a reason. The Bible will help you discover and fulfill that.
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. -Matthew 24:35
Lastly, The Bible is PERMANENT. Rulers and tyrants have tried to destroy the Bible. Governments have banned it. Yet it remains. They haven’t. God promises that His Word will endure forever and He has the power to keep His promises.
The biggest chapter in the biggest book of the Bible is Psalm 119. The whole chapter, all 176 verses, is dedicated to the value of God’s Word. That would be a good starting point in refreshing your love for The Bible. Will you allow His Word to change you? It’s a first step towards changing our world. Will you boldly say, “Here I am, Lord. Change me,” and then commit to faithfully seeking His Word?
Mark Redka serves at Camp Red Arrow in northern Virginia. To learn more about the ministry of CBM of VA and Camp Red arrow visit their website https://www.cbmofvirginia.org