Meet together v. Divide into age groups

Picture a big family get-together where everyone is happy to encourage others. This is what church is supposed to be like and Scripture teaches us how. The church we’re talking about is not organized religion. That’s a formal ceremony rather than a joyful family gathering. Formal ceremonies and children don’t go well together.

This is part of a discussion about the contrast between organized religion and the highly relational home churches described in the New Testament.

In our next discussion, we’ll be talking about the differences between meeting in homes and meeting in buildings; totally different atmospheres. Here we’re talking about meeting together v. dividing into age groups. Our last discussion was about parents teaching children v. anyone but parents teaching children. These topics are all closely related.

The Bible says the church is a family that is to be devoted to loving one another just as Jesus does. In a highly relational home church, all age groups learn how to respectfully interact with and relate to all age groups.

Related Scriptures

Deuteronomy 31:12 says that men, women, and children were to assemble to hear the word of the Lord. Most children understand a lot more than many people give them credit for.

According to Psalm 127:3, “Children are a gift of the Lord. The fruit of the womb is a reward.” This idea has been aggressively attacked. It is common for people to sacrifice their children for reasons ranging from convenience to careers. Add some disastrous parenting philosophies and you have a recipe for children being regarded as nothing but a nuisance.

Luke 18:15-16 tells how the apostles rebuked parents who were bringing their babies to Jesus. The apostles were accustomed to organized religion. But Jesus rebuked them, saying, “Permit the children to come… for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and a house divided against itself falls. (Luke 11:17)

Dividing Into Age Groups

The child evangelism Sunday school movement is only a couple hundred years old. A natural extension of organized religion, it has evolved into youth groups, camps, children’s church, vacation Bible school, etc.; and is commonly used as a marketing ploy.

Youth programs are often entertainment driven. God says that bribes corrupt the heart (See Ecc 7:7), and yet bribing has commonly been used to increase attendance, compliance, and participation in class activities.

Competing in today’s religious climate is a tough business. Maintaining manmade traditions has often taken highest precedence. Desperate to find victims willing to teach a group of today’s untrained children, guilt has been used and immature and otherwise undesirable teachers have been used. Those who’ve had their arm twisted to get them to take their turn don’t make very desirable teachers, and neither do child predators who can easily fill the void left by parents.

Recipe For Disaster

Organized religion has invented a new entry level position that’s often called youth minister. Youth ministers are typically young and responsible for entertaining hormone-raging teenagers. Has your town, like so many others, been touched by one of the almost inevitable scandals?

After considering just these few points, it’s not surprising that so many children raised in organized religion reject it when they become adults. They’re Biblically illiterate. They haven’t learned to interact well with other age groups. They’ve been entertained all their life, and entertainment is what they continue to pursue.

What’s More Biblical?

Let me remind you of the reality that everyone’s eternity is at stake. Christians are supposed to teach the whole message of this life; everything pertaining to life and godliness. Parents have been entrusted with a stewardship for which they will be judged. Children grow up and make decisions based largely on their upbringing.

Why don’t we do what God says and teach parents to raise their children in the instruction and discipline of the Lord? Offering all of these unscriptural youth programs enables parents to think that someone else is doing their job so they can continue to neglect their parental responsibilities.

All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. I have just scratched the surface of this issue. What else should be considered?


Next up: Meet in homes v. Maintain a building >>>


Parents teach children v. Anyone but parents teach children

There are myriads of theories about education. How are parents to sort through the options and make the best decision for each of their children? I felt a little overwhelmed when approaching this subject with my wife.

We did a lot of consultation and investigation, and asked God for lots of wisdom. We found that the best way to cut through the confusion was to start with a foundation based on the word of God. We believe that the One Who made us knows best.

So what does God’s word say about education? Proverbs has a lot to say about it, but the following two passages, one out of the Old Testament and one out of the New Testament, really summarize the Bible’s teaching on education. As you read them, ask the ‘who, what, when, where, why, and how’ questions:

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. (Deut 6:4-7)

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Eph 6:4)

Education is a private enterprise. Fathers will answer to God for the stewardship they have been given.

Let’s Come At This from a Different Angle

You may recognize this line, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” (The Declaration of Independence)

Did these guys know what they were talking about? Does God endow all men with certain unalienable rights? Show me the B.C.V. (book, chapter, and verse) for human rights.

The commandment, “Don’t murder,” means that your neighbor is not supposed to murder you. It grants you the right to life. The commandment, “Don’t steal,” means that your neighbor is not supposed to steal from you. It grants you the right to enjoy the fruit of your labor, which is the difference between a slave and a free man.

Any man or group of men who violate your rights will answer to God. On earth, civil government is supposed to protect your rights, not assist those who would violate them. Is there a difference between someone who steals the fruit of your labor and someone who’s elected to steal the fruit of your labor? In other words, if criminals gang up on you, does that make it right? What if they say it’s for the children?

Someone once said that democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for lunch. Democracy is rule by majority. It is a temporary form of government, lasting only until theft by vote leaves nothing else to take.

The Founding Fathers of the U.S.A. understood that rights come from God and cannot be legitimately taken away by the majority. So they founded a republic, which is rule by law (has nothing to do with political parties).

There is no area of life that is exempt from the authority of the word of God!

No man has the right to steal from you to feed or educate his family. He has a responsibility to work and provide. There is no such thing as a free lunch. If a man won’t work, neither let him eat. (2 Thess 3:10) If anyone doesn’t provide for his own family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Tim 5:8) This is a salvation issue.

Those who profess to be Christians should teach the whole counsel of God; everything pertaining to life and godliness. How can we be silent about an area as important as the education of children? Unfortunately, this has been the case.

As a result, our society has become saturated with deceptive philosophies. Parents have been convinced to surrender responsibility for their children’s education. Now, anyone but parents teach children! Many anti-Christian ideas are taught, and it’s often paid for by stealing the fruits of our labor!

I pay for the home education of my children and I pay for the education of my neighbors children (public education costs ten times as much per child). At the same time, I am happy to volunteer to help my neighbors home educate their children.

“Restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.” (Malachi 4:6)


Next up: Meet together v. Divide into age groups >>>