Episode #5 – Child Rearing and The Family Structure
Rev. Jeremy Walker, Rev. Aaron Slack, & Pastor Ellsworth McIntyre
Join us this month as we discuss the importance of a Biblical understanding of child rearing, the importance of who parents give their children to, and the importance of Christians to model the family structure to their communities and to care for widows and orphans.
R.J. Rushdoony – 5th Commandment Lecture:
Education and the Family
Listen to Episode:
Here is the 5th commandment lecture referenced
in this episode of the Easy Chair in Practice.
Transcript of Episode:
Radio Announcer: The Reconstructionist Radio Podcast Network presents the Easy Chain in Practice. Join us as we revisit sermons, lectures and discussions by R.J. Rushdoony and give examples of how the doctrine and teachings of Rushdoony are to be put into practice and how Christian reconstruction is to be implemented today and in the future.
Jeremy Walker: The Easy Chair in Practice Podcast is brought to you by the GCS Apprenticeship Program. For more information, visit gcsapprenticeship.com.
Welcome back to another episode of The Easy Chair in Practice. I am your host, Reverend Jeremy Walker and I am here also with Dr. Ellsworth McIntyre and with Reverend Aaron Slack. Today, on this episode, we’re going to be discussing something that R.J. Rushdoony constantly discussed in many of his talks. One of the, two concepts, one of them was education and one of them was the family. Both of course, which are very integral to Christianity and are the basis for the Christian faith itself.
We’re going to go ahead and kind of discuss these two subjects. The title of this week’s episode or this month’s episode is child-rearing and the family structure. We’re going to go ahead and begin as we go here, discussing what I like to call child-rearing, which also R.J. Rushdoony mentions as education. The two terms are pretty much intertwined. I like the term child-rearing, which we’ll kind of discuss a little bit as we’ll go forward. We’re going to go ahead and get into this discussion about child-rearing and the family structure according to, as God has set it up. Let’s go ahead and discuss this subject. I think we can delve into it, starting with the first subject we’re going to discuss, which is child-rearing itself, what it looks like, what it should be, why it’s important. We’re just going to go ahead and defer here to Pastor McIntyre. We’ll go ahead and start discussing child-rearing and as we go, we’ll get into the family structure as God has made it and the importance that we teach it. If you can go ahead and start us off, Pastor McIntyre, discussing the concept of child-rearing.
Pastor McIntyre: Thank you Reverend Walker. Grace Community Schools currently has 1500 to 2000 preschoolers in our nine different schools, and I emphasize preschoolers because this I have determined from my experience is the most important opportunity that exists for the Christian missionary and all of our people are Christian missionaries in every sense of the word, to teach how to rear a child and how to educate the child so that when he’s old he will not depart from it, as the scriptures say.
The illustration I would make of that was one time I was brought before a deputation committee by attorneys who were attempting to sue Grace Community Schools and the attorney antagonistically asked me this question, “Do you believe the child is basically evil?” He brought with him a camera crew and two other attorneys with him. The purpose of the question of course is that anyone who would believe that the child was basically evil is not designed and cannot possibly design a school which is going to bring up a child in the correct way.
My answer to him was, “Sir, there is no such thing as a natural born commandment teaching child.” As parents, and I have 58 grandchildren, and eight children of my own, I never had to teach any of my children to lie. That came to them quite naturally. What was necessary was to teach them to tell the truth, and the basis of training up a child in a way he should go is to teach the truth versus what the child does naturally.
As a consequence, I noticed the attorneys and the camera crew winced noticeably because this is not the answer that they anticipated. The answer they anticipated was I would say, “Yes the child is basically evil,” and that would go before a potential jury, which they were all aiming toward. Here in Florida, any child abuse charge is what six housewives will say it is. Of course any six housewives gathered together from any state in the union would agree that the child is basically good. The child is basically not evil, and the child doesn’t have to be taught God’s law thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor, thou shalt not steal. But sir, I think you will agree that it is necessary to teach the child to tell the truth, and if you don’t teach him to tell the truth, he’ll do what comes naturally and that is lie.
As a consequence, the child-rearing begins with the ten commandments. Unfortunately, the ten commandments is not taught in most churches today. It’s considered too harsh because it’s become nearly universally believed by sentimental housewives that their child was born good and made bad by his environment. The bible certainly doesn’t teach this. The bible teaches that we must make the child learn God’s law so that he can learn to tell the truth, so that he can have a successful Christian life. That was the beginning of every responsible parent. He has to teach his child to tell the truth.
His next question to me was, “I noticed that you call your teachers missionaries. How can you call your teachers missionaries?” I said to him, “Sir, a missionary is one that goes out from the church to teach the unchurched and to bring them in, but I would suggest to you that we have pagans arriving at Naples, Florida every year and we call these pagans babies, babies that do not know how to tell the truth. They must be taught to tell the truth, and those that are going to teach them are missionaries or parents in every sense of the word.”
That was the beginning of a very successful lawsuit from my standpoint, because the approach of that, they never decided to bring it to trial because the housewives would have agreed with me and not with them, and so they passed it off.
Aaron Slack: Child-rearing and education is what we do here at Grace Community School. It’s long been established in the field of education that when parents are not present, the educators, the teachers, the care-givers are the parents … What’s the phrase? Parentis …
Jeremy Walker: Parentis Locus.
Pastor McIntyre: Parentis [inaudible 00:07:59]
Aaron Slack: Yes.
Pastor McIntyre: Of location.
Aaron Slack: Exactly. While parents have entrusted their children to us here at Grace Community School, for us to take care of them and educate them, we are in effect in a very real sense their parents, with the same responsibilities, as given by God, that all parents have to keep their children safe and above all to teach them about God and about the commandments, to model godly living before them, not just in what we say, in what we tell them but also in what we do as well.
A lot of the education that we do here at Grace Community school isn’t just in the lessons and the formal teaching that we do to the children. It’s them seeing us interacting with each other, with the other adults and caregivers at our Grace Community School locations and with the children. In particular, since Grace Community School, we have a model where a husband and a wife jointly run almost all of our locations, a lot of their education comes from seeing interactions between this married man and woman who are operating the school.
In my case, it’s with my wife Amy who is there with me every day, operating our Grace Community School here in Ft. Myers. The kids seeing us interacting and how I interact with them and with my own children, is a very much a large part of their education, above and beyond just the regular curriculum and formal teaching that we do.
Pastor McIntyre: It’s a very good point, Reverend Slack, a very good point. For example when I established Grace Community Schools back in 1986, I set down that the schools would be run by married Christian couples. For example, you and Amy and Reverend Walker and Abigail are running the school and inevitably the children in the school look to you and to Reverend Walker as parents. They learn how Christian parents interact with one another according to God’s law, according to the commandments because the children observe more by what they see and hear and the reactions to one another than they do to the abstract commandments.
What they’re doing is they’re seeing the commandments applied. Then whenever they go home to their homes, which in many cases do not have a happily married man and a woman. Many of them are single parents. Many of the children are essentially orphans and they do not have a Christian environment to observe and learn about the interactions between father and mother, and so as a consequence, what we have established is a Christian home that will have the children in the home, many times 11, 12 hours a day, five days a week.
The time spent observing the parents at Grace Community School, the Christian parents is greater than what they would spend in the non-Christian environment that most of them come from. It’s very, very important not only to teach the ten commandments but to teach the ten commandments exhibited and applied daily, line upon line, precept upon precept, going out and coming in, to quote from the bible. It’s very, very important indeed that that interaction is taught and must be taught in order to have the proper child-rearing or education that we’re talking about. Wouldn’t you agree Reverend Walker?
Jeremy Walker: Most certainly would. This, the podcast that we’re doing here, this episode goes from Rushdoony’s tape he did on the fifth commandment, kind of a lecture that he did, teaching on the commandments. Part of that, I think it was episode number five, he called it “Education in the Family” and we’re going to put a link to that to this episode, so people, if they’re interested can go back and listen to what Rushdoony had to say about that. I definitely would suggest you do that.
He had started out teaching off of Deuteronomy 4:5-10, discussing the role that the family plays in education. I would also say that when we’re talking about child-rearing, which is why I said I like the word child-rearing versus education, people get the idea that education has to do with academics. Reading, writing, arithmetic, they think that when they send their children to a school, that’s what they’re getting. They’re getting an academic education.
You’ll find many people, professing Christians, who will send their children to schools that do not align themselves with what the family’s faith is, or the religion of the family. They think that for some reason this is okay because it’s only about education after all. In other words, anybody can teach math, anybody can teach reading, anybody can teach writing. It doesn’t have to be a Christian that does it. Well that’s the problem. The problem is that they don’t view it as child-rearing. What Reverend Aaron Slack just mentioned and what Dr. McIntyre has just been mentioning as well, is it goes beyond just academic training. It’s about modeling. It’s about kind of the idea is what do I want my child to become?
Every parent has an idea of what their children, what they want their children to become in the future and as Dr. McIntyre was saying, all parents understand the concept that they’re going to be teaching their children not to steal. They’re going to be teaching their children not to lie because they know that they need to be taught these things. Therefore, from their religious background, their religious convictions that they say they have, this is the type of child that they want to produce.
The problem with that is whenever you hand your children over to an educator, a teacher or a school or a facility, or say like the government schools, you are giving them, the school, the teacher, this institution, is in the parent, their place. Whenever we have in Deuteronomy 6, the concept we’re discussing already as well, that the parent’s job, at least the Christian parent’s job, is to constantly teach their children about God, constantly reinforce God’s commandments and that blessings come from the keeping the commandments and of course curses or negative things happen to people who break them.
Now if that is your standard, and thus the type of child that you want to produce, then the problem is, when you hand your child over to someone else who’s teaching against your faith, against your religious beliefs, against your morals, then you’re purposefully going against what it is you’re hoping to produce in your child. Now there’s lots of people that will defend their choices in education and otherwise, but I don’t think they’ve really thought it through, the concept of being child-rearing.
The people you give your children to are the ones who are going to assist you to mold your child. A lot of times actually, schools will even discuss the subject, that they’re molding the child, and they’ll kind of use it on an intellectual level but it’s more on a moral level. Especially, I don’t have to go into great detail here, but you can just look at the modern educational system, most people call it the government school system, and they have an idea of the type of product they want to produce, the type of child they want to produce.
It’s very clear that the majority of the educational fields out there today are against God, are against the bible, are against the commandments and are also against the family. People really need to stop and think that it’s not about reading, writing, arithmetic. Those things do take place, albeit fairly poorly in most schools. But it’s really about child-rearing. If you are really trying to rear a child who believes in God, who believes that the bible is the inspired word of God and that the truths therein like the ten commandments and the word of God are what they should live by, then they’re working at cross purposes from what they’re doing.
At our schools, as we’ve been talking, Grace Community Schools, we do have a type of child we’re trying to mold. We want to instill into children the knowledge that they are created. They’re not accidents. We want to instill into children that God has given us his words, so we can understand what God wants us to do, and we also have a system of morality, or the ten commandments, God’s commandments which we are to live by. If we do that, we can be blessed, but I think that people miss this idea, just thinking it’s reading, writing, arithmetic and they really need to take a couple steps back and look at what they’re doing because you can’t say on one hand that I want my children to be raised a Christian, go to church on Sunday morning, Sunday night. Maybe they join the Awanas clubs, but then throughout the week, they give their children to other people who are purposefully and openly teaching against everything they stand for.
What’s going to happen is this other, these other people, these teachers, these institutions, they’re molding the child all right, but they’re not molding their children in order to become Christians. The product they’re trying to produce is not a Christian child who believes in God and the bible or God’s law, morality that’s set forth.
I think that people need to step back and pay attention to these concepts if they’re actually serious. If they actually have real Christian faith, then they’re really going to have to pay attention to the concept that you’re giving your children to somebody who are working at cross purposes to yourself. I’ve seen a lot of people who don’t seem to get that, but at our schools, at Grace Community Schools, we not only teach it but we also model it, and that’s kind of what we’re discussing here.
I think it’s a good place for us to roll into also when we’re talking about the family structure. As Dr. McIntyre and Reverend Aaron Slack had just mentioned a minute ago about how we model the family, how God set up the family. Now I ran across an article which was discussing … It was actually from a woman who was a single woman, didn’t have a husband and even she was not claiming to be a Christian, was discussing in an article the importance of having a man in the life of her young son.
We would also say this is important too so I think we can kind of continue our discussion on child-rearing because it goes into this idea of teaching the family structure. Let’s go ahead and continue to move forward on this idea of the importance of teaching the family structure itself.
Pastor McIntyre: Yes. I might also add that the public school teacher frequently has no knowledge of Christianity, about the difference between what she is teaching and others is teaching. If you interviewed one of them, they would say, “Well we’re teaching them to love one another,” but the bible defines love as the keeping of the commandments toward one another. As the bible says, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments and his commandments are not grievous.” This was written by the Apostle John, the apostle which is frequently called the apostle of love.
The keeping of the commandments is love. Love by itself is just an emotion that’s not defined and most public school teachers and I’m afraid many who call themselves Christian school teachers do not know the definition, biblically, of love. It is the keeping of God’s law and finding that the keeping of God’s law is not grievous. It’s a great blessing. Good things happen whenever you keep the commandments. Bad things happen whenever you do not. That concept comes not across I’m afraid, even on Sunday morning in most churches that call themselves bible believing churches.
As a consequence, the child is at sea and the only thing that he see, hear, touch, scientifically watching his parents or if he’s from a one parent home, is not the keeping of the commandments but frequently the opposite of such. As a consequence, the child can go through Christian school and never have an idea of what Christian love in action is. That’s the reason, as I mentioned before, that we have Christian parents in each Christian school who live before the child, one before the other, keeping the commandments toward one another, and this very often contrasts with their home in which their parents do not show love towards one another, do not keep the commandments.
As a consequence, it’s a powerful teaching tool that they see in Christian schools like ours, with good Christian parents in charge, something different than they think at the home. This came home to me, I remember in the first Christian school that I opened in 1986. I was sitting in the back of the school working up my sermon for Sunday morning and suddenly the door burst open. In came a mother with a little child that was a member of our school. She put her hands on her hips and then said loudly, “I told you there’s no school on Saturday. Don’t you see there’s nobody here.”
The child was busy looking around, and then she noticed me sitting in the back of the classroom, and she says, “He wants to come to school here all the time. He wants to come here and be with his friends. He wants to come here more than he wants to be at home. What do you think about that?” I smiled and said to her, “Well, he finds his home, at this home in different to one another. He feels very secure here. He likes his friends here. He likes what’s going on.” I said, “As a matter of fact, it’s very common for these children to call this place not Grace Community Schools, but the McIntyre house.”
In other words, the child was looking upon us as a different family from the family he’s with. He looks upon it as a place in which he’s learning something different than he’s learning at home. She looked at me very, very puzzled, then went off. I’m not sure she understood me, but I want the listeners to understand me. That the child, by going to a preschool like ours, is being introduced to a family, a Christian family in which people keep the commandments toward on another and this is love. Reverend Slack, i think that’s a point that you were trying to make.
Aaron Slack: Yes. In fact, it’s been said to me many times by kids over the year. I had one boy, he wasn’t a young child either. I think he was about nine years old, in our after school program this past week. He was just making conversation. He said, “Reverend Aaron, you live here, right?” I just laughed and said, “No, not all the time,” because my wife and I, we’re at our school from 6:30 in the morning til 6:00 at night. He’s never seen me, our location when I’m not there.
Yeah, they do view it definitely as a second home. They take it for granted that this is our home as well. We touched on it, I think before in this podcast, about the family structure of most of our students. Most of our students come from broken homes, or at best, single parent homes or are ones that are very rapidly on the way to becoming single parent homes. Seeing the managers, husband and wife interacting and working together, having their children here at the locations, is a very, very different experience from what they’re used to at their homes. You can tell it’s also, they understand that this is a very positive thing. They understand that this is a good thing, that it should be like this.
Jeremy Walker: We see it a lot. The funny thing was you mentioned children thinking you’re living at the school. We had one where my wife and I and all the kids were at the store. We walked in the store, we saw one of the children who went to our school, our location, but they saw us in a supermarket of sorts. We were shopping. They ran up to us and they had this very weird look of concern on their face and they said, “Where’s the school?”
It was quite entertaining, quite funny because they associated us completely with the school. The idea is that most people, most families are not what people would call nuclear families, husband and wife and children, and when they go home, these children, they don’t know half the time, who’s going to be there. In some situations, mom may not be there or she may not be there consistently. Sometimes dad’s not there or he’s not there consistently at all, and the children have no semblance of stability in their lives and they have no idea what’s going to happen next.
This idea of teaching the family structure is very important because at home they don’t get to see the family structure. They don’t see it modeled in front of them, at their homes. As Christians, as missionaries, it is our job to not just, to teach what the family structure looks like, but also to model it in front of them, because they don’t see a consistent father there. They don’t see a consistent mother there. They don’t see the parents doing their duties and responsibilities towards each other.
If anything, the parents are always fighting. If anything, they don’t know if tomorrow dad might get upset and not come back, or mom might not come back or both of them might leave. They might be stuck with their grandparents, which we see quite often actually at our schools. In our schools, we teach what is important. We teach the family structure as God set it up, especially in our modern times.
We talked about other school settings. People have attacked the family on purpose. They’ve attacked God’s structure on purpose. They try to show other family structures as being equally acceptable to what God’s structure is. It’s just not. Now the article we mentioned a minute ago, about the woman who was not professing to be a Christian but understood the importance of having a man in her child’s life. She had a young son, and she understood that to, for her son to grow, for her son to learn what it means to be a man, he needed to have a male influence.
Sadly some people think that it’s not important necessarily to have a man, or it’s not necessarily important to have a woman. God’s structure, set up on purpose because this is what the family looks like. This is where the husband does his duties. The wife does her duties and the children do theirs. The whole family structure works together and there’s stability there. Sadly we get to see a majority of children who don’t come from those stable families or those stable lives and don’t know what it looks like.
It’s very important for the Christian to purposefully teach what the family looks like, kind of like … I was talking to somebody before. When you’re talking to children, if I was to describe an animal to them and I started describing an animal, it’s a large animal. It had fur. The fur was orange. It had black stripes. It had large teeth and a tale. What I was talking about was clearly a tiger, because this is what the description of a tiger was.
As we were discussing the subject, I asked what the family looked like. Of course the family looks like, husband, wife and then children, should they have any. That’s what the family structure looks like. It’s important that Christian teach the family structure and then like we said, to model it as well. Christians have the responsibility to do this because the family is the bedrock of a society. Without the family, everything falls apart. If a husband doesn’t do his duties, then who’s going to take care of the wife? Typically in our society, the state. They take care of the wife through various other state type entities.
If the father and mother both don’t take care of the children, who are going to take care of the children? Well, most likely the state’s going to have to step in. They’re going to have to be the ones to share the burden to take care of the children. Someone has to do it. Then of course, if the children don’t do their responsibilities, which is to take care of their parents in their old age, then who’s going to take care of the parents? Well once again, the state’s going to have to step in. They’re going to have to be the ones to take care of the parents because there’s nobody there to do it.
I think it’s very important for us, as Christians to understand that we have to teach what the family structure looks like, and not just that it’s husband and wife and children, but what all those functions are. If we don’t teach that then I think we’ve neglected our duties as Christians to be successful missionaries, to actually teach the gospel because the family structure is created by God and it has to be taught as the created order, which God has made it.
The man, he’s going to find his ultimate happiness in performing his duties. The woman, she’s going to find her happiness in performing her duties, and the children will find their happiness in performing their duties as well. In other words, happiness can’t be found outside the family structure. Happiness for the man is not finding woman after woman after woman. The happiness for the woman is not to go from one man to the next to the next. Happiness for the children is not to disobey their parents and to be shuffled off to some state organization where there is no family structure, in a foster system or otherwise.
I think it’s very important for us to teach these concepts and to not only just do that, but to model them. I think that’s probably the part where I think the church falls flattest, where Christians fall the flattest, is the concept of modeling this concept, because they won’t produce schools. People I talk to that think about the idea of working in the school system, they still want the idea of maybe the husband runs off and he has his career, and maybe the wife, maybe she’s the teacher or maybe she runs the school, but not with her husband.
Now, once again as our structure is at our schools, that’s not what we model. We have husband and wife and children, all working together and as has already been testified here, a couple times, the children feel safe when they come to our schools, to Grace Community Schools. That’s the way it should be for people, whenever they encounter God’s structure. It should be, there should be safety there. I think we can continue discussing this concept a little bit, of the stability that comes to children and to women and to men as they bring themselves back into conformity to God’s standards, wouldn’t you agree?
Pastor McIntyre: Yes I would, Reverend Walker. The source of wealth is the covenant, as written in Deuteronomy. The source of wealth is not the government. The source of wealth should not be taught to the child the government is the source of wealth, but the keeping of the God’s law, the keeping of the covenant is the source of all wealth. That has to be taught to the child emphatically.
The security is in God, in the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, the triune trinity. The source of stability and so forth is not found in government, but if you send your children to a government school, this is what’s going to be taught to them. The government replaces God because the government is the god most likely of the teacher who’s teaching that classroom.
In Grace Community Schools however, we’re teaching them God’s law. God’s law is the source of their stability, the source of their hope for the future, the only real hope they have. For example, the word of God emphatically teaches good things happen when you obey, bad things happen when you disobey. It puts simplistic terms, this is the covenant of God, but if the child is nowhere introduced to that in a public school system, and in, I’m afraid to say, in most churches either, the source of stability. The source of hope is God’s law and the keeping of it in Christ Jesus.
The child has to be taught this again and again and again and it’s an abstract notion. The most difficult thing about educating children is that it’s almost all abstract. Language, abstract through hearing. Language written in symbols so that they learn to read it and the concept that the Lord is in control of all things and nothing happens by accident. Everything is under his control and that you must obey him or there is no prosperity. If you disobey him, nothing but bad things will happen.
That has to be taught and it has to be taught emphatically over and over and over again because the time is coming very quickly, if they leave the Christian preschool and go off to the public schools, they’re going to be taught something entirely different by people who believe that the source of wealth is science or the source of wealth is government, the Democratic Party, socialism, communism, whatever is set forth as a substitute for the care and keeping of God.
For example, we give our children a yearbook, every year. We make one up and we give one to every child. We don’t sell it to them. We give it to every child, their own yearbook with pictures of their children in it, pictures of their friends in it, pictures of them playing, pictures of them learning and so forth. The parents come back to us and say, you know what my child did with that yearbook? He put it under his pillow and he sleeps with it every night. He gets something out of that yearbook. What the parent is telling me in wonderment is that they have learned that the school and God and the commandments is the source of their security and that’s most important to teach because when they’re old, they will not depart from it, if you teach them this emphatically.
If they learn to trust God as a source of security, to trust God as a source of good things that come about, you have done a wonderful job as a substitute parent for the physical parents that they have at home, which frequently do not know this and I’m afraid the church on Sunday, which does not know it either. Wouldn’t you agree Reverend Slack?
Aaron Slack: Absolutely. One of the sayings or slogans that we use, which we developed here at Grace Community School because we realize the importance of this aspect of our ministry, is we say that we’re more than a school. We’re family. This has become very true, as Dr. McIntyre in our anecdotes here are testifying. I think Reverend Jeremy can back this up.
How many people who are interested in our apprenticeship program, often married couples, they seem very surprised by the fact that we’re interested in people who would work together, husband and wife together in this ministry and not separately. A lot of people, this is apparently a very foreign idea to them.
Jeremy Walker: It’s a very foreign idea to most people and we do talk to a lot of people. I’ve talked to quite a few couples and I mentioned earlier that some people get the idea that maybe it’s, maybe working with children is women’s work, that kind of an idea. But like the non-Christian woman that wrote the article we’re discussing, about the importance of men in the life of her child. It’s not just her child that she was really talking about, but she was giving advice to other people on the importance of men in the lives of these children.
I hear people talking a lot, especially in the Christian community and their solution to … They disagree with government education for one reason or another. It’s usually varied in a lot of ways, but their solution seems to be homeschool. Homeschool. Well, once again homeschooling is an absolutely fantastic alternative to government schooling. In fact, I would definitely say it is the alternative. The only problem with the concept of homeschool is, is that definitely it will take care of your children. That’s fantastic. Parent’s responsibility is to their children primarily.
As Christians, we have a larger duty and responsibility, and that’s not just to our own children primarily but also to the community as well, to the world. We’re supposed to be teaching them as well. The concept of homeschooling works for those people who might have the husband and wife team where they can have maybe one person stay at home, work off of one job and one person might stay at home with their kids, and that works for a large number of people, but what about the people like the woman in the article we were discussing?
She doesn’t have a husband. She can’t afford to stay home. She has to go to work. She’s going to have to have somebody care for her children. I talk to a lot of people about our apprenticeship program that we have where we’re teaching people to become teachers or running a Christian school, and they don’t seem to understand that people have to go to work, especially because in our society, because of the breakdown of the family, because the family is not seen as important anymore, the state has stepped in in a large degree. Therefore where are these people sending their children?
This is the question that never is even pondered by people, especially Christians. Where are they sending them? The answer is, 90%, if not more are sending their children to humanistic type schools, preschools and otherwise. What are they going to receive except more humanism. In other words, going to perpetuate the concept that the family’s not important. They’re not going to get the family structure. They’re not going to get the importance of understanding that God has created them, that there’s responsibilities and that there’s ten commandments that they’re supposed to live by. They’re not going to get that.
That’s where the Christian preschool like we’re talking about steps in. It steps in and it presents, as this woman said, a modeled family, a Christian family, where a husband and wife show and model to these children what the family structure looks like, what it means, because as Dr. McIntyre has mentioned before, earlier, already, is that the majority of these people are not going to have a family structure at all, if any, ever. The children won’t ever know what it looks like. They’ll never dawn steps of a door, and even if they do go to a church, they’re not going to even be taught the things we’re talking about here.
They might hear the word God but they’ll never hear the term of commandments and they certainly won’t hear the importance of the family structure in general. What we do and what we encourage other people to do are to start schools, to minister to people, to model what it means to be a Christian family, what it means to be a family based on God’s ordinance of what the family’s supposed to look like.
If Christians fail in this duty, if they fail to step outside their comfort zones, they fail to get out there and help their community and to teach other people, then they’re just going to abandon all the rest of the community. They’re going to take care of their children, which is their primary duty, but they’re going to abandon their responsibilities also to help those in the community, to teach all things, which Christ has taught us. What we would say, promoting Christian schools, specifically Christian preschools, starting when children are very young, this is where they’re the most pliable, where they’re going to be learning what it means to be a young man, what it means to be a young woman, what it means to be a family.
Christians are going to have to step up to the plate. They’re going to have to understand the importance of what their responsibilities are and what their duties are because we can’t just say, “Well let’s just homeschool and let’s not worry about anybody else.” What about the woman who for one reason or another … It doesn’t mean she’s single because she’s done something wrong. Maybe her husband has died. Maybe her family has abandoned her. There’s lots of different reasons why a person might be single, but who’s going to help this person? Churches are not doing it. They’re not opening up schools. Churches aren’t helping in any way to help these single people, like what we’re talking about here.
What we’re discussing here is opening up schools to help and facilitate people to give these children a Christian education. I think that is something that we desperately need more people to do. I think that, sadly, all too many people have no interest in doing whatsoever. Kind of the idea is, if I just take care of my family, nothing else is my responsibility, and I think they’ve missed the boat where Christianity is concerned.
Pastor McIntyre: Yes I agree Reverend Walker. I also might point out that the psalm 23 says a full cup running over. The Lord in the New Testament says, “My yoke is easy, my burden light. I come to give you life and life more abundantly.” The following of the Lord’s covenant is not the road to poverty. The Lord has promised prosperity to those who keep God’s law.
I might point out that the nine Christian schools we have, the teachers are paid much more than they would make in an ordinary Christian school, and the managers, much more still. This is not a sacrifice but a full cup running over as possible through a Christian preschool.
I titled my book, “How to become a Millionaire in Christian Education.” As you might expect, I got a lot of negative feedback from that because the idea is somehow or other that following after Christian is a road to poverty. The Lord never, ever, ever promised poverty. He promised the opposite, a full cup running over, an abundant life, and he’s not just a bare approach towards salvation. The important thing is the bible teaches us salvation, a complete, a complete life, a prosperous life, not a life of poverty as such.
The ordinary course of a Christian life, if he indeed is obedient, is not to be crucified. The Lord did that as our vicarious sacrifice. The following after the Lord Jesus Christ is a prosperous life, a life that is abundant above all that we could think or wish. The example of course is the United States of America. We were founded by the Puritans who were driven out of England. They came here and founded a nation which makes England this day look poverty stricken.
I recently made a trip to Europe, and I can still remember speaking with an Englishman, and he said, “If I could find a way to get to America I would,” and I asked him what he did. He said he sells fertilizer and seed and so forth to various people. I mentioned to him that I have a brother-in-law who does the same thing, and I mentioned to him how much my brother-in-law made and he about fell off the bar stool. He couldn’t hardly believe what he was hearing.
The Christian life in America is completely more wealthy, more prosperous than any other nation on earth. We were founded by people who followed the covenant. Spain, for example, drove out the Christians. France drove out the Christians, the Huguenots, and these nations have never, ever come up to our … Well they’re just not as prosperous as we are. The whole world is in relative poverty compared to what the United States of America is, and that is because this country was founded by covenant keepers, covenant keepers that had been driven out by those people who do not keep the covenant, substitute government for the covenant or substitute their apostate churches for the covenant.
The way is to become a millionaire in Christian education. That is not a boast. That is just a statement of what the scripture clearly teaches. Poverty does not equal holiness, quite the opposite. Holiness equals great wealth.
Jeremy Walker: I remember, I was talking to somebody one time about this concept, and of course threw out there real quick that it’s prosperity doctrine type ideas, and things like that. I remember asking the person, I said, “Well let’s ask you a simple question, and you can come to conclusions of what you’re talking about here.” Which person, as we’re teaching children, we’re talking child-rearing. Which person is going to prosper? The thief or the one who is diligent?
The person said, “Well clearly the one who is diligent.” I said, “Which one is going to prosper, the one who tell the truth or the one who who lies?” They said, “Well clearly the one who tells the truth.” We went down the line. It was very obvious that the person was agreeing with me that the covenant brings wealth. It’s very simple to understand this. The entire book of Proverbs is talking about this. The entire book of Psalms is talking about this.
In fact it’s Psalms, I believe it’s Psalms 1, “The man who keeps the law of God is going to be prospered in all that he does.” It’s about the concept that good things happen to those who keep the commandments and bad things happen to those who don’t. It’s a very simple concept. Even children can understand it. These women, like the one who wrote the article that we’re discussing, talking about, and we see them everyday. It’s not just some woman who wrote an article, but we see parents from broken families or otherwise on a daily basis.
The number one thing that I’ve seen and I’m sure Reverend Slack and Dr. McIntyre with their experiences can attest to this, is that they want something better for their children than what they have. In other words, even though this person has made a shipwreck of their life for one reason or another, for whatever might have happened, they want their children so escape those problems.
Whenever they come into our schools and they know we’re a Christian school, I’ve had them say more than one time, “Thank you for teaching this to my children.” They know instinctively that keeping the commandments will prosper their children and they want their children to be prospered. They don’t want their children to suffer the things that they’ve suffered for whatever reason they may have suffered it. They want their children to have a blessed and prosperous life.
When I’m teaching the commandments to those kids, at the school on a daily basis, and I’m teaching them the keeping of those commandments is what’s going to prosper them, I’ve seen parents come in and after I was done, they may have sat there and listened to me. They will thank me for what I’ve done. They’ll thank me for teaching their children because they know instinctively that keeping God’s commandments is the way to prosper and the breaking of those commandments is the way to punishment and to cursings, because their own lives are shipwrecked for a reason and even though they may or may not stop doing what they’re doing themselves, they do want their children to have a better life than they do.
Aaron Slack: It’s not prosperity gospel. It’s just basic Christianity.
Pastor McIntyre: Amen.
Jeremy Walker: I would definitely agree that it is just absolutely basic Christianity. It’s 101 basic Christianity. The sad part is that people just won’t teach it like that. It sounds so people, but whenever you teach your children at home, if you’re a parent, and what are you going to tell your child? How are they going to be blessed? Well, work hard. Do your job. Listen to authority. These are how you’re going to be blessed. It’s really basic, like you said, simple, basic 101 Christianity. I can’t think of any other way to put it. It’s so simple as that.
Pastor McIntyre: Yes, it’s interesting. Honor thy father and thy mother that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. I have a lot of my friends who take a lot of vitamins, take a lot of exercise, do all kind of things to extend their life, but a regard for the Lord and regard for his law does more to extend a life than anything else. Therefore, we should honor the Lord Jesus Christ, honor father and mother, honor authority and the ultimate authority of course is a triune God who gave us the covenant. The obedience to it is what will give us more than mere salvation. It will give us an abundant life that will last forever, beginning now and on into eternity.
I can remember my Presbyterian minister of my youth used to talk about lay up treasure in heaven, but his idea of laying up treasure in heaven was giving more money to the church, which I found rather amusing. The idea of giving more obedience to the commandments is laying up treasure in heaven. For example, if you take care of your family well, you provide for things well, you pay your tithe, you are laying up treasure in heaven. After all, this life is very short. There’s an eternity waiting. We send on wealth on ahead of ourselves, if indeed we learn to love God. The love of God, I repeat, is the keeping of his commandments and finding those commandments are not grievous, not a burden. They’re a joy. They’re more valuable than anything else we could do. Wouldn’t you agree Reverend Walker?
Jeremy Walker: I most certainly do agree with that. As for closing up here, and we’re talking about child-rearing and the structure of the family, and the importance of teaching it, I definitely think it’s important that people, especially if you’re listener here and either yourself or someone that you know, they really contemplate what they’re doing, how they’re rearing their family. Are you doing what God wants you to do for your family. Are you rearing your child to believe that there is a God? Are you rearing your child to believe that the bible is the inspired word of God? Are you teaching them that the law of God is the way to prosperity?
Then the second thing is, are you allowing someone else to teach them against that? Are you allowing someone to teach them against the God that you claim to believe in? Are you allowing someone to teach your children that the breaking of the commandments will not make then suffer loss, but there’s actually prosperity to be found, enjoyment and happiness to be found in the breaking of the commandments? That you don’t have to actually keep those commandments in order to be blessed, is that what you’re allowing someone else to teach your children?
We were having a discussion recently about this concept of education and where people place their children and who they allow to teach their children. I said to somebody, I said, “There’s only really two questions that I have to ask somebody. It’s not for argument’s sake because I don’t think there’s any merit in argumentation because each person, their decisions, you reap what you sow.” What is it that you’re sowing into your child, is in your child-rearing? How are you raising your children? What are you teaching them or allowing someone else to teach them?
Because whatever you sow is the same thing that you’re going to reap. I only have two questions for people. Number one, what is it that you think you should be teaching your children in order to produce the product that you’re trying to achieve with your children as they grow into young adults? Then number two, what is it that you would not allow someone to teach your child? Those two questions, I think, are very imperative here, because for me I think the answer if very simple. Is that I want my children to know that they are created by God. I want them to know that the bible is the source of truth. If they have a question, that’s where they need to go.
Number three, the keeping of the commandments is the way to prosper. That’s how they’re going to prosper. What is it that I would not allow somebody to teach my children? I would not allow anyone to teach against those three things and everything I think is encompassed in those three concepts right there. I think it’s important for the listener, as we’re closing up here, to ask yourself those question.
Are you doing your job as the parent, with rearing your child to the glory of God, and number two, are you also doing what the Christians are supposed to be doing in order to help other people as well? As our ministry, I remember having a conversation with somebody one time about our ministry we have here at Grace Community School in Southwest Florida, and they asked me to sum up, what is it we do here? It kind of surprised me because I never said it before, but I said, “Our ministry primarily is to widows and orphans. The widows, for one reason or another, meaning that they don’t have the support of a godly family and orphans, because the children don’t have the support or the education of a godly family either.”
I think if you’re a Christian and you know your bible at all, that God has a distinct blessing for those people that minister to widows and orphans, and he also has a distinct curse for those who fail to help widows and to help orphans in need. I would encourage anyone, if you’re someone who has the desire to be blessed, to think on your own family, and also to think on what you’re doing for your community as well. I think that we can close up here with any final thoughts.
Pastor McIntyre: Yes. Reverend Walker for example, who just finished speaking, has 11 children. Most likely will have 12 children shortly. In other words, he believes firmly in lie. R.J. Rushdoony’s favorite scripture was, “All they that hate me love death.” Reverend Slack, who just talked to you, is it six children?
Aaron Slack: Six.
Pastor McIntyre: Six children and his family is still growing. In other words, these men are life-givers, in their personal family, and those children are with them in their schools, and so these children come to our school from families that are not life-giving families by far, and they see before them an example of a husband and a wife who are giving life to many children, and teaching many children good things about God, teaching good children about the covenant. It’s necessary to model, to example before the children what a Christian family looks like, and their Christian family is certainly worth emulating. I think that’s necessary to point out because they set the example for what they teach.
Aaron Slack: As parents, we have a huge responsibility from God. There are many tasks that we have as parents that you can delegate to other people, but you can never get rid of that responsibility. Education and child-rearing would be that number one responsibility, so make sure, if you’re delegating education of your child in any aspect, that you’re delegating it to people who have your child’s best interest at heart and are teaching them as the bible would have us teach our children.
Jeremy Walker: Amen. I think I would like to close up with a passage here, which kind of sums up what we’re talking about here. It’s in James 1:27. It says, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this. To visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” In other words, if you want to have pure religion, if you want to be real Christian, then your job, primarily, is to know the law and to teach the law to yourself and to your family.
This would mean also making sure you’re rearing your children according to God’s commandments, as we were talking about in Deuteronomy 6. If you’re unfamiliar, look it up. The second thing is to visit those widows and those orphans in their affliction. Their affliction is, once again, just like the woman who wrote the article, for one reason or another, she’s a single mother who is in need of help. It’s the Christian’s duty and responsibility to help them as they’re able to do so.
These children of course, are the fatherless ones as well. They don’t have, as the woman in the article said, a man in their life to teach them what they should do or how they should act or what they’re supposed to be in the future. Christians, the best duty you can have is to help those people who are in most need. This, I think, is exactly what Grace Community School does. This is also why we have an apprenticeship program, why we attempt to, as much as we can, to incite those people and find those people and have a desire to actually do this, to help those people in the most need.
Because of this, not only is it pure religion. God also has a very distinct blessing for it. I think we’ll close up there with that. We’ll post some links as well to Rushdoony’s talk on education and the family, but I hope we’ve given you guys something to think about, our listeners, especially with what it means to be a godly parent, being a person who’s going to raise and rear their children to the glory of God and to help those in most need, the fatherless and the widows. Thank you for being with us, and we’ll hope to talk to you soon again.
Pastor McIntyre: God bless you.
Radio Announcer: The Reconstructionist Radio Podcast Network brings to you a complete lineup of podcasts, where you will hear practical and tactical theology. Our desire is not simply that you consume our shows, but that you also live out your faith in every area of life. We can talk all day long about these things, but if we fail to put them into practice, then we fail as ambassadors of Jesus Christ our King.
Subscribe now to your favorite Reconstructionist Radio Podcast Network shows, or you can subscribe to the Reconstructionist Radio master feed, where all of the content we produce, including the audio books and audio articles will pop up as soon as they are available. Don’t forget to visit reconstructionistradio.com to volunteer as a narrator, or to partner with this ministry financially. May the Holy Spirit stir you into action, for Christ and his kingdom.