Why My Way is the Only Godly Way

Jenefer Igarashi, Senior Editor, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

If
I could have only 30 minutes of your time, I could show you scripture
and biblical principles that would convince you that the only godly way
to plan your family dinners, is to go strictly vegetarian.

Then
we should talk about modesty. I know everything there is to know about
modesty on account of a book that I read at last year's Ladies Church
Retreat. We should talk about it, because if you haven't read this
book, then you have no idea how ungodly you probably are.

Then
I need to stress the importance of family planning. I can show you (in
a matter of three verses from the Old Testament) that if you are not
trying to have as many children as humanly possible, then you are not
trusting God, and therefore could not be near as godly as someone who
requires two, full-sized school buses to get their family to church.

And
did you know…Courtship is far better than betrothal? Er….I mean,
no, it's the other way….Betrothal is the way to go or your children
will certainly end up divorced. Did you know that? You probably need
the tape series on it. — It's eluded to in Scripture someplace.

But
before that, I should definitely talk to you about that show you
watched on National Geographic last week. That is sick. We were not
designed to watch safari wildlife do that kind of thing in unbridled
openness. I can show you later in God's word — because if I can show
you, I can convince you. And, if by some chance you don't agree with
me, then I will tell you: "That's OK, Hun, I was there too, once. I
guess you'll just have to wait until God grows you in that area."

When
you leave, I will call my "like-minded" friends and ask them their
advice for you, and we shall pray that your poor household will not
suffer the strife and pain you are surely bringing upon it. And I did
try to warn you. You say you are a Christian, so how is it possible
that you are unable to see these things that are just so obvious?! It
seems to me anyway, that a true Christian who is sensitive to the Lord,
and someone who claims to know God's word, would submit to these godly
ways.

OK…enough! If you are unable to continue this article
because you have torn it to shreds in sheer disgust, Amen! The trend of
devouring one another if they do not submit to our "standards" and
personal convictions is not a new phenomenon, yet I cannot help but
wonder if it is growing faster and more intense by the
year/month/week/day! I see it so often. It must be Satan's best trick;
really, because he uses it constantly, and we dumb sheep fall for it so
predictably.

At every turn, it seems like a new "philosophy"
is adopted into the church, and we all quickly grab a piece of it and
then start stabbing each other to death. If you personally don't "take
on" these new traditions or convictions, you are coined "worldly" or
"immature" or "weak brother" or even "foolish" or "unsaved."

1
Thessalonians 4:11, KJV: vs. 11 – and that ye study to be quiet, and to
do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded
you;

1 Timothy 5:13, KJV (talking about young women becoming idle after being made widows): vs.
13 – And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to
house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking
things which they ought not.

Stick with me; I am going somewhere with this…

I
Corinthians 3:3, talking about divisions in the church, says, For ye
are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and
divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

Scripture
is so clear on the matter of "gray areas," where no explicit sin is
named, that we are to mind our own business, keep the matter to
ourselves, and certainly not sit in self-righteous judgment over
others.

Homeschooling has been a precious gift to me.
I have been so blessed by it, as have others. Yet, I have seen
families, and even more than one church being wrought with division
over it. I implore you (and myself!) to guard ourselves, and to guard
our families, and for goodness sake, guard our mouths! There are so
many different methods of educating our children. And all of these
different positions have points that can be argued for or against.

As
individual families we have the responsibility of making decisions for
our own children. We are not responsible for Jane Smith's family down
the street! We are responsible for seeking God and being fully
convinced that what we have chosen is right. We are not on a mission to
seek out other families, convincing them that their way is wrong.
Public school, charter school, private Christian school, independent
homeschool, classical, principle, unit study, unschool, afterschool,
beforeschool, year-round school, slow paced learning, high standard
academics, accelerated learning….Whatever.

If the
method or the approach becomes more important than loving your brother,
and begins to cause division or exclusionary treatment, there is a big
problem. If you believe that you are godlier, or that you love your
children more than the mom who has her child in public school, then you
may have become a Pharisee, and guilty of loving the Law, rather than
the One who nailed that Law to the cross.

As Christians,
we are strangers in this world, only passing through. It is so easy to
get caught up into useless debates that do nothing to encourage loving
God or loving others. And I stress "useless debates" in these "gray
area" issues where a genuine sin cannot be named. I speak this to
myself, as I just as easily fall into talk which only edifies and
glorifies myself and the "right" philosophies I hold dear, and shake my
head at others who "just don't get it." How ugly! How divisive! How
displeasing to my God, who consequently is their God as well. Will He
not defend His child that I am judging so harshly?!

God
help me! We are in this together. I pray we would build each other up,
and that the world would see that we are Christians by our great love
for one another. Do we discuss different issues? By all means! Do we
give our opinions? Absolutely! Do we divide, or set ourselves apart, or
become exclusionary? If we claim Christ, we cannot. We are teachers;
our children are very quick to pick up (and emulate) the way we deal
with one another. God bless you as you seek Him for the decisions you
make for you and your dear family.

******************************

Jenefer
Igarashi is TOS Magazine's senior editor, and resides in Pilot Hill,
California with her husband, Geoff, and their five homeschooled
children, ages 13-2. Jenefer can be reached for comments at
jenig@TOSMag.com

Copyright 2003. Used with permission by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. http://www.TheHomeschoolMagazine.com