Know Your Bible

VOL. 15                                                                                               August 6, 2017                                                                                                              NO. 21



Listening to the various television and radio news and talk shows, it doesn't take long to realize the only "sin" today's society recognizes is intolerance. To speak against homosexuals is to be intolerant. Nearly all "Christian" religions are branded as intolerant. Even in the religious arena, to speak and insist only for what the Bible teaches is to labeled as intolerant to other beliefs and practices. Intolerance is quickly equated with hate and bigotry. So, no one wants to be even remotely speaking in such a way as to be considered intolerant.

Was God intolerant when He commanded Israel: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." (Exodus 20:3)? Today, our "multi-cultural society" would have us to accept all religions whether they worship God or not. We must not attempt to teach a Buddha or some other idol worshiper like Paul did in Acts 17:16-33. This would show our intolerance of their beliefs. When verse 16 says, "Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.", there would be those who would accuse Paul of hate and bigotry. The solution for today is simply set aside our belief in the One True God and accept a plurality of gods.

Was Jesus intolerant when He said: "...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."(John 14:6)? There are those who would never be guilty of intolerance and are ever on guard to quickly chastise others who are. They would insist that we dare not teach the Jew or the Islam that Christ is the Son of God because we will be committing the sin of intolerance! The solution is for us to lay aside our belief in "one mediator" (1 Timothy 2:5) and accept others. Even among the "religious" there are those who would have us to accept the virgin Mary, the Pope, or a priest as an intermediary between us and the Father. To speak or teach against any of these will cause others to accuse us of intolerance.

Are the Scriptures intolerant when it teaches that those who commit "...adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like:...shall not inherit the kingdom of God." (Galatians 5:19-21)? We must sit by and let the fornicator, drunkard, and the person who practices witchcraft do all they can to influence others to their lifestyles but we must not say one thing against it. If we do, we've committed that unpardonable sin of intolerance. We are branded as being full of hate and bigotry. If standing for what the Bible says makes me intolerant and a bigot, so be it. I'll take my chances on the Judgement day.

—E.R. Hall, Jr.

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Journalist Betsy Flagler writes the syndicated "Parent to Parent" column that asks readers to write in with parenting problems and then tries to get expert help to those troubles. A mother in California recently wrote in that her first-grader has been pushing and hitting, been kicked out of the library, and all attempts to take away privileges and toys to discipline him have failed. "His problem seems to be a lack of self-control" she writes. Flagler's response well illustrates the destructive psychology of today that destroys children rather than helping them. 

She notes that "instead of thinking you must control your child's behavior, help your child learn to control himself. Set limits, give reminders, be his advocate." Okay, that all sounds great. What happens, however, when little Johnny breaks the limits and won't listen to reminders? Some might think that would be the time to discipline Johnnny. Oh, no! We must not do that! "External controls such as taking a bike away do not teach self-control" says child expert Jane Nelson (who of course has written a book on child rearing). Ms. Nelson goes on to analyze why the child pushes and hits others and notes that discipline is not the answer: "It's a crazy idea that to help children do better, first we have to make them feel worse...A misbehaving child is a discouraged child. Punishment doesn't help him feel he belongs." A Dallas school teacher, June Humphreys, says misbehavior comes because kids can't communicate their feelings, and punishment just stifles that all the more. "Instead, these children need to be taught vocabulary to use to express feelings at the first sign of discomfort." 

Amazing stuff, isn't it? One hundred years ago parents knew how to handle children who hit and kicked others. Now, in our sophisticated age, we "know better" than to discipline like grandma and grandpa did but kids are more unruly than ever! All these experts write book after book on child rearing but everyone seems to have forgotten The Expert's book on child rearing, the Bible. The Bible notes that these parents who are so worried Johnny will feel "left out" or "that he doesn't belong" actually hate their child: "He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly" (Prov. 13:24). A parent who is more concerned with the child's immediate feelings than long-range character growth is a parent who is failing the child! Further, the experts can say all they want about punishment not being helpful but God says "Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him" (Prov. 22:15).

Talking and learning communication skills aren't the issue: selfishness is. Johnny doesn't have a communication problem -- he is very good at letting everyone know that he wants his way now. Instead of being paralyzed with a fear that for even a moment Johnny might not feel great about himself Johnny must learn that if he acts badly he will feel badly! "For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted" (2 Cor. 7:10). Today we have far too much analysis of why children misbehave and not nearly enough decisive action to stop it. There is too much concern about Johnny's self-esteem and not nearly enough interest in his actions and making wrong behavior extremely unpleasant and undesirable. May God bless every parent to seek His wisdom and not the foolishness expressed in columns like "Parent to Parent!"

—Mark Roberts

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The necessity for specific prohibitions relative to dancing has always seemed out of place — especially when applied to supposed Christians.

If a man is taught to love his brother, must we have specific lessons insisting that he refrain from sticking a knife in his brother's back?

Then how can one who is properly taught the meaning of modesty, chastity, and pureness of heart be so needful of proof that the modern dance is wrong? 

—Robert Turner

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Know Your Bible" is e-mailed weekly by the church of Christ which meets at 112 Roberts Avenue in Wise, Virginia. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in next week's mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and we will remove your address promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page and further instructions will be given as to how you may contact us.

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