Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Machen on Family Education

Doug Philips has on his blog a piece titled Machen's Wisdom on Family Education written by John Gresham Machen on Family education from Machen’s book What is Faith?. What is interesting is that this was written in 1965 and I am sure based on what I have observed that things are no better and actually would seem far worse today 41+ years later.

Machen in speaking on the ignorance of the church and the lack of education in the home on spiritual matters says:

“The depreciation of the intellect, with the exaltation in the place of it of the feelings or of the will, is, we think, a basic fact in modern life, which is rapidly leading to a condition in which men neither know anything nor care anything about the doctrinal content of the Christian religion and in which there is in general a lamentable intellectual decline.”

-John Gresham Machen, What is Faith?, pp. 21-23, Eerdmans Publishing, 1965-

I would agree that it is the lack of concern for right doctrine and beliefs that is filtering down to the family. The Puritans were instant on family devotions and training because they saw the word of God as supremely important. Today we seem to find everything but God’s word as important. I realize most people will not say this but our actions, mine included, often portray something much different from what we proclaim.

I would encourage you to read this piece as it will either convict you to act differently or will encourage you to stay the course, I am not sure there is a middle ground. If we are not training our children adequately we need to do so. This is not simply by sending them to Sunday school to have someone else do the training once a week but we are to train them as we are commanded to do in Deuteronomy 6:4-9 , diligently at every opportunity, and encouraged to do in Proverbs 22:6, as it has effect on their future. So let us not neglect those closest to us no matter the reason but turn back to our families as God desires us to. Culture is not to dictate to us what a family is and does but God is to do so therefore let us rely on the sufficiency of His word in this matter.

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