Fortifying the Faith of Our Children

by Wayne Jackson

Why
do our children succumb to apostasy when they reach maturity? What can
we do about it? Wayne Jackson explores these questions.

“My son
was raised in the church. We taught him the Bible. As a youngster he
sometimes helped to serve the Lord’s supper. He even gave talks
occasionally. After he was in college a while, something changed. He
began to question the teaching of the Scriptures. Now, he professes no
faith at all. What happened?”

This is a story that I have heard
over and over again across the years, Many of our youngsters are losing
their faith? Why is this? Perhaps there is no simple, single reason;
however, it may be sufficient to observe that one of the causes of this
growing defection among our young adults is the fact that for years
they were operating on a borrowed faith. In too many instances they had
superficial instruction from mediocre teachers in their church Bible
classes. Added to this is the fact that they were given no substantial
intellectual training at home. Accordingly, when they encountered the
crass, humanistic environment of the university atmosphere, they were
unable to survive.

It is time that we awaken to the reality that
if we wish to preserve our children we must take more seriously our
responsibility to educate them in the most important issues of
life—that of the existence of our Creator and His inspired Word to
humanity. Our work is cut out for us. Here is what we must do if we
really care for our offspring—and the youth of the church in general.

Teach Them to Reason

First,
we must teach our children how to logically reason. This will serve
them all of their lives. For example, when they are asked as to why
they believe in the existence of God, our youngsters should be able to
call attention to the law of cause and effect. Wherever there is an
effect (e.g., the Universe) there must be an adequate cause. Matter is
not sufficient to explain itself. There is no known process by which
matter can create itself. Thus, one must look for a non-material origin
of the Universe.

Children can be taught early, and drilled with
information, concerning the fact that where there is design, there must
be a designer. If the universe bears the marks of design—and it surely
does—then it must have had a designer. The entire realm of nature is a
classroom for the teaching of these principles.

Teach Them Their Origin

Second,
we must educate our youth in the factual matter of human origin. From
the time they are able to sit up and watch television, they are
brainwashed with the ideas of evolution. They are taught evolution from
their earliest days in school. They are indoctrinated with evolution
through their toys, tee-shirts, etc. (witness the dinosaur mania and
the common propaganda line that the dinosaurs lived millions of years
before man arrived on earth).

It is not enough to simply say,
“evolution is wrong.” We must give them solid, factual data that expose
the fallacy of evolutionary arguments (for example the false reasoning
that simply because the human hand resembles the hand of a chimpanzee,
this must indicate that we are related to the chimp! Similarities can
as easily indicate a common designer, namely God.)

Teach Them to Revere the Bible

Third,
it is imperative that our children be given mountains of evidence
demonstrating that the Bible is a revelation from God. Its holy books
were written by people whom Jehovah directed to reveal His message. The
Bible’s instruction must be diligently sought and its authority
respected. We must introduce to their thinking arguments like the
phenomenal unity that is characteristic of the biblical documents. This
argument will not carry much weight, however, unless they know the
basic message of each of the sixty-six books of the sacred volume.

We
must show that predictive prophecy (history revealed in advance) is
testimony to the divine origin of the Bible. Since only God knows the
future, if the Bible gives evidence that its writers spoke of future
events, which they could not possibly have known by natural insight,
that will constitute support for its heavenly origin. We must expose
our children to the exciting discoveries in the field of archaeology
which strengthen our faith in the reliability of the Holy Scriptures.

Practical Suggestions

With
the items suggested above as representative of the type of instruction
that is so necessary, we would make the following practical suggestions
as well.

1. We must take these truths, and others like them
(e.g., the history concerning Christ, the rules of morality, etc.) and
teach them emphatically and repeatedly to our children. We must be
factual and firm. We must stop capitulating to false science and take a
confident, dogmatic stand for biblical truth.

2. We must make
our Bible school departments stronger. Elders must insist that the
classes have a strong apologetic emphasis. Preachers must stress from
the pulpit the urgency of these matters and bring thrilling lessons
supporting these fundamental truths. Local churches should be
encouraged to bring in guest speakers who are specialists in these
areas. Their messages will ignite a flame of interest that could sweep
through the church.

3. Parents must talk of these issues
constantly with their children—when they bring school assignments home,
while watching TV, when traveling on vacation, etc. We must return to
the concept set forth in Deuteronomy 6:7. Someone is teaching your
children; if not you, then who?

4. We must build reliable
libraries for our children. Buy them good, professionally-done books on
creation, Bible inspiration, etc., from a strong, conservative
vantagepoint. Stay away from compromising materials which attempt to
harmonize the Bible with evolutionary premises, e.g., the notion that
the “days” of the creation week in Genesis might represent millions of
years.

I can guarantee you this. If we do not do a better job of
fortifying the faith of our children, we will lose them by the
thousands.

Finally, and regrettably, I cannot avoid adding this
notation. It once was the case that parents needed only to guard their
youth's education in secular environments. That is no longer the case.
Some schools that promote themselves as "Christian" institutions are as
bad (or worse) than secular universities. They are perhaps even more
dangerous because they operate under the guise of being "Christian" in
character. Youngsters, therefore, are disarmed in advance. Some of
these so-called centers of "Christian" education are hot-beds of the
rankest form of anti-biblical ideology. It is later than we think. Be
careful where you send your children for their education.