YES WE CAN! SAVE OUR CHILDREN
BY ROGER GROHMAN
Recently while doing some research for a special project I was working on, I came across an interesting portion of information on the education process used by the Hebrews to instill principles of character into the mindset of their children.
According to the Code of the Jewish Law, the training of children was of utmost importance to the Jewish family. Of course, the father was given the responsibility for training his children in the practice of all the precepts, whether biblical or rabbinical. Each child was to be trained in accordance with his or her intelligence. It was also incumbent upon the father to guard his children against any forbidden act; as the Scriptures say, “Train up a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6). The father was expected to take special care to train his children not to tell lies, to speak the truth at all times, and to shun swearing. The above things were obligatory upon the father as well as upon the teachers.
It appeared very clearly to me the importance of fathers and teachers in the process of educating the children properly. I am also aware of the absence of the father in many homes of our society today, and because of this lack of family leadership, our society daily reaps the harvest of children who wander aimlessly, looking for direction in their lives, both spiritually and physically. As Christian educators, we must realize that the tremendous task of saving our children is more than a fund-raising program. In fact, Save Our Children is a combination of programs that the Sunday School Division of the United Pentecostal Church International is implementing to target the needs of this hour concerning training our children. It is becoming even more obvious that Sunday school teachers, pastors, bus ministry workers, and others are many times filling the void that absentee fathers leave in the home. They are trying to do this in the short time allotted in one hour each Sunday morning. That is an awesome responsibility if you stop to ponder the thought for a moment or two.
I thought it unique as I read further in the Code of Jewish Law of the parallels between the Jewish program of training children and the Sunday school programs provided by Save Our Children. There are several and I will list them briefly:
1. Every father is bound to teach the law to his son, for it is written, “And ye shall teach them to your children to speak of them” (Deuteronomy 11:19). And just as the father was obligated to teach his children, he is obliged to teach his grandchildren: “And thou shalt make them known to thy children, and to thy children’s children” (Deuteronomy 4:9).
The Junior Bible Quizzing program sponsored by the Sunday School Division makes it possible for children to hide the Word of God in their spirit at an early age so that later on they will know the way to go and be able to follow therein. There is an ever-growing excitement about the Junior Bible Quizzing program, because it makes it possible to help us save our children by helping them hide the Word of God in their hearts.
2. As soon as the child was able to talk, the father was commanded to teach the child Deuteronomy 33:4 and Deuteronomy 6:4, and to continue to teach the child little by little until he was fit to attend school. The reasoning behind that commandment was that the child would be trained to be God fearing from his youth. It was the responsibility of the teacher to provide the necessary tools for the proper training of the child. Through Save Our
Children we can help provide the necessary tools to train children in the way they should go.
Many hours of preparation and hard work are put into the production of Sunday school curriculum and other tools that are necessary to help us save our children. The Junior B.R.E A.D. program is a viable tool that is used daily to hide the Word of God in the hearts of children nationwide. We can save our children.
3. A teacher who left the children to themselves and went out to do some other work or who taught carelessly, was included in the curse of Jeremiah 48:10. Below is a quote from the actual law of the Jews: “Cursed be he who doeth the work of the Lord with a slack hand….” Therefore the teacher appointed should be a God-fearing individual who can read fluently and grammatically. A teacher should not stay awake at night to a late hour, in order that he may not be languid in his teaching. Nor should he eat or drink to excess, for all these things render him unfit to teach sufficiently. A teacher who deviates from these rules, forfeits his rights and should be dismissed. ”
It is interesting to note that in the Code of Jewish Law are some profound principles that are often ignored in our Christian education process today. We are all aware of the shortcomings of our society toward our children: the breakdown of the family unit, the increased amount of latchkey kids, and the increasingly large number of child criminals whose crimes are becoming more public knowledge. If there ever has been a time when we should put our all into the effort to Save Our Children, it should be now.
In a recent survey, I interviewed several pastors and Christian educators concerning what they thought were the most important programs they had ever implemented in their church. I noticed that every church that had a growing, progressive Sunday school program was experiencing revival. One individual stirred my spirit toward prayer and an awakened concern when he said, “I am thinking of shutting down our Sunday school program. I think Sunday school is antiquated, and besides, when I consider the cost of all the literature, the bus ministry, and all other expenses, I realize that we are losing ground in the area of fiscal reasoning, and we lose more than we gain financially. We seem to be attracting an element of snotty nosed, ragged, dirty kids who are constantly running in the halls and causing a lot of disturbance. Our people who drive the buses must get up early, and in the cold weather especially, it is really a lot of hard, cold work to keep the buses maintained. The cost of literature is escalating, and I find it more and more difficult to find people who are willing to teach, since it takes so much time to get ready for a Sunday school class.”
My reply to that kind of thinking? A prayer: “Oh God, something needs to happen to us!” Personally I find that revival comes to most of our churches most of the time when we are having revival among our Sunday school children. What a golden opportunity we have to save our children on Sunday mornings! I cannot relate to the reasons for not having a Sunday school and note that churches who do not will find their attendance dropping and stagnating. I trust that the curse of Jeremiah 48:10 will never come upon us-for we dare not do the work of God’s kingdom with a slack hands. The Sunday School Division offers training sessions and Sunday school workers training seminars annually to better equip the teacher and Sunday school worker to train our children in the world and will of God and point them in the way they should live.
WE CAN! SAVE OUR CHILDREN
Our world is swiftly approaching a new millennium. There is much talk of the soon coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Now is our time to save our children. The Lord Jesus has put a great responsibility in our hands. As spiritual fathers and teachers we must grasp this great opportunity and not let it slip by us. One of the saddest proclamations Israel ever heard concerning her history was, “There arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.” (Judges 2:10). “But every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6).
I trust you will be stirred by the staggering challenge placed before us this year. We are racing the Rapture in our quest to save our children. The Save Our Children program is more than a fund-raising drive. It is not all about money; the sum total of the success of the Save Our Children program is about souls. It is about the eternal destiny of one of the most precious commodities we possess.
We Can Save Our Children.
Roger Grohman is the pastor of Apostolic Holiness Church in Hannibal, Missouri and serves as the Sunday school director of the Missouri District.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY THE PENTECOSTAL HERALD, FEBRUARY, 1999, PAGES 6, 7. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.