Thursday, April 1, 2010

Train Up A Child ...

Proverbs 22:2-6 The rich and poor have this in common: the LORD is the maker of them all.
A prudent man sees evil, and hides himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.
By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honor, and life.
Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; he who guards his soul will be far from them.
Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old he will not depart from it.

The Proverbs are so rich in God’s truth, but they are more often than not … not meant to be taken as absolutes, but rather as wise insights that will lead us in the ways of God, towards righteousness, peace, prosperity and Godly living. This post is a bit of a diversion but living our life often has ways of leading us in other directions. This past week it was brought home to me that as wise as Proverbs 22:6 is; (train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old he will not depart from it) it is not an absolute but rather: wise instruction for parents.

I have posted the preceding Proverbs so that the wisdom is apparent in context.
As you can clearly see, all five verses quoted above are words of wisdom, but only the first four verses are absolutely true. This is why we must meditate on the word, so that we do not confuse wise counsel with absolute truths. Isn’t it interesting that we have all memorized Pro 22:6 and heard it quoted a hundred times, but most of us have never deeply considered the absolute truths that come in the four Proverbs before it? We will look at those next time.

This past week I had a lengthy discussion online with a relative who identifies himself as a homosexual Christian. Since this discussion was online and available to the public, I feel free to refer to it here but I must be clear that it is not my intent to speak ill, gossip, or cause controversy among family or friends. But obviously, family and friends be careful what you say to me … it may likely end up in a post. This is a blog that speaks to the issue of “What is truth?” from God’s perspective. My personal opinions or anyone else’s for that matter have no relevance regarding the truth, whatsoever. We can know truth and we can observe truth but we cannot change it … our feelings desire or opinions or the laws of our nation for that matter are irrelevant when compared to the never changing truth of God. Conversation with my friend led me to look into the bible on several key issues.

First, there is the question of a person being a Christian homosexual living in that lifestyle. How are we as Christians to respond to this contradiction? Well my friend has chosen to disregard scripture that speak to the issue and pretend the Bible has been corrupted through the years. This is much different that someone who says "I know what I am doing is wrong, but I will do it anyway." He has convinced himself God approves of his lifestyle. He chooses to focus on the love of Christ and how Christ never spoke to the issue. He is a very loving person from a human perspective. On this I only need to say that Jesus and all of the teachings of the Bible are one and the same; “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God” … “and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” John1:1-18. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 2 Timothy 3:16 and "For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error." Romans 1:26-27. I know that this is not popular but the scripture is clear. The world says we are to be tolerant of this lifestyle. The Bible on the other hand teaches that we are to love the person but to call sin … sin. This applies to adultery, lying, stealing, gossip, slander, fornication, homosexuality and all other forms of sin, as clearly identified. There is no discrimination here. God's word is clear! For Christians to disregard sin … is sin, as well! Unfortunately, our public school system would like to teach our children the opposite of the truth on this and many other issues. In fact, that is now the law in California and elsewhere. I am convinced that this forced indoctrination by our state schools is a form of brainwashing. The result of this practice is a generation of young adults with a belief system contrary to God's truth. They are teaching their athiestic religious beliefs to our children under disguise of tolerance.

Paul clearly teaches how we are to respond to a Christian who chooses to disregard God’s truth; “But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?

Is it possible for a homosexual to be a Christian, be saved, and spend eternity in Heaven?
Many of my friends would say ... "no way". But the word says; For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Only God decides regarding the eternal salvation any of us. But regardless, with defiant sin, there will be serious consequences. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17. Also Read: Luke 15: 11-32 and John 8:3-11. and finally, one for you: 2 Corinthians 5: 14-16. If you would like for me to address these issues in more depth, you need to comment with your requests. I do not want to spend too much time here.

Finally, my friend stated that his parents had brainwashed him with false Bible teachings during his childhood. (Obviously, those scriptures he doesn't agree with) His parents were conservative Christian missionaries and his mother discipled me, as a new Christian. He then went on to say he thought that I had been brainwashed as a child also. So the question: “Are we to train up our children in God’s word? Or should we, as my friend suggests; not limit them, let them make their own decisions in life, finding their own truth without parental guidance or interference? This thinking is at the heart of what is wrong with America. My reply to him was: “You are confused on truth. God gave us the truth as a guide to follow. He did not give us a brain to create our own truth to fit our personal desires as you have suggested.” As I've stated before, biological age does not define spiritual maturity. It is easy for a person to be forty years old and still be a hopelessly lost child."

The day after this conversation, I spent the weekend with my daughter and son in law and I was blessed as I watched two parents training up their children in the Lord. I watching with encouragement as my beautiful grand-children’s minds were being taught God's truth and carefully guarded against false teachings of the world. It was a blessing to watch the working out of God’s plan for parents and their children, in action ... learning and living God's Word. Brainwashing? God calls it: "renewing the mind and transforming the mind"

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

God Bless You My Friends, Bob


  1. Hi Bob,

    What you have written is excellent. We hate the sin but love the sinner, just as God does. All sin is forgiven but not there are consequences. When we sin we miss out so much in this life and in the one to come which is rewards for godly living.

    Al Eaton

  2. Thanks for the encouragment, Dad. That meant a lot to me to read that. I love you!