RESURRECTING “THE FAMILY INSTITUTE”—PART ONE
A few years back during my broadcast reporting days, I covered a fire involving a local church. The church had been in this one particular neighborhood for years. It was sad to not only witness the church being burned to the ground but having to inform the public of such a tragedy.
Of course, there were a wide variety of people ‘at the scene’ of the fire. Among them were members of that church. The firefighters did what they could, but an hour or so later, the faithful church was a burned-out shell of its former self. Yes, the members present shed some tears over the event as I interviewed them for my story. However, one woman—through her tears—was confident that the congregation would be able to worship together again the following Sunday.
“The church is not the building,” the woman said through her tears, “the church IS the PEOPLE.”
Sure enough, as I did the required following-up on the fire; (the causes, damage estimates and clearing of the rubble, etc.) true to their word the congregation got together the following Sunday and they worshipped their God and their blessings that no lives were lost in the recent fire. Another church—not of their denomination—opened their doors and took in their displaced fellow Christians. Not only did this prove the ‘staying power’ of the church, it also provided another unexpected teaching from the fire: The flexibility of the church to adapt to changing events. Two powerful lessons that will get believers through many a stormy time.
I must confess that I was not a Christian when I covered this story. But these two lessons have made even more of an impression on me since I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior a few years after the fire. Please remember them as we unpack our time together.
WHAT THE PANDEMIC TAUGHT THE HOME:
Little by little, over the past several decades, the family in general has been called ‘down for the count’ by the “wizards of smart”. Social engineers, the feminists, politicians, the mainstream mess (MSM), Hollyweird, the schools and a host of other ‘fruit loopies’ have spent their time telling society how ‘out of touch’ God’s design for the family had become.
Unfortunately, behind their comments, what they have failed to state (with equal vim and vigor) is how many of THEIR kids have wound up in juvenile hall, drug rehab, psychotherapy, counseling, and the ‘booby hatch’ because they have disregarded what they have ‘mocked’ and found that their schemes to destroy YOUR family boomeranged and took out THEIR families.
Ain’t God GOOD!
Here’s another boomerang that the “wizards of smart” did not duck. The Wuhan virus pandemic tore the cover off a LOT of sin, and it was broadcast from the rooftops via social media. Teachers Unions pressured school officials, demanding that neighborhood public school be closed, halting the education of your children (for teacher safety reasons). These same officials and union reps were sending THEIR kids to either private or religious schools (on YOUR dime, of course) to continue with THEIR educations.
In fact, just to add insult to injury, it was reported that some groups of teachers got together, rented trailers, and held classes for THEIR children, but did little to get the schools open for YOUR children. Think about this the NEXT time a bond levy or call for more education funds appears on your local ballot. But I digress.
Happily, this (and other) edu-stunts backfired on them. With the kids trapped at home with thousands of off-work parents, Father and Mother—for the first time in a long time—got a GOOD look at what the schools had been teaching their children on their dime.
A lot of school boards and school districts found out quickly that parents were not the ‘silent suckers’ any longer regarding the local school curriculum. When Father and Mother found out that many of their local schools were not educating—but transforming—children into ‘cannon fodder’ for the social justice warrior brigades, they got upset and got active. Parents didn’t like what they saw and spoke out on it. Father and Mother awakened out of a several decades-long sleep and awoke with a terrible realization: THEY oversaw their child’s education, and THEY had the right to get involved with turning the education ship BACK to a proper course.
That being ‘education’ not ‘indoctrination’.
MEANWHILE—OVER AT THE CHURCH HOUSE:
Fathers and mothers across the country got BACK involved in the education process. They arrived at the local school board meetings and reminded school board members who was in charge—and it was NOT the school board. Parents overcame the ‘edupropaganda’ about ‘helicopter parents’ and started checking not only the quality of the ‘zoomwork’ being assigned to their children, but the character of the teachers involved in the process. Thus far—across the country—we have seen teachers fired, principals re-assigned, school board members beaten at the ballot box, and pro-education, pro-parent politicians being swept into office.
However, as ‘great’ as all this is, over at the church house, the spiritual condition of parents and children who do ‘manage’ to get to zoom church services continues to nosedive. The proof of this rests in what many of us have been witnessing in our streets. Thus, the outcry of parents over the ‘public’ education of their children has remained surprisingly muted when it comes to the ‘spiritual’ education of these same children IN THE HOME.
Parents SHOULD WANT to get more involved with the spiritual training of their children. It’s NOT the sole responsibility of the local church to provide all the spiritual training for the home. The head of the home—Fathers—and the heart of the home—Mothers—have this responsibility as laid out in the KJV Scriptures.
Yes, I understand that what I’m going to lay out in this short series of columns is going to anger some of my brother Ministers and many churches. The pandemic shook ALL institutions to their core, allowing the decades of accumulated neglect, abdication, rot and decay to fall away and reveal their foundations—what these institutions USED to be capable of doing—and doing very well, until corrupted by money, power, pride, politics and old-fashioned evil. Funny what can happen to a world where everything has been shut down over the past two years and is slowly starting to get back upon its feet.
IN THE BEGINNING--GOD:
In the Book of Genesis, we can clearly see in the first few chapters that—before the tabernacle; before the church—the first institution God created was marriage; husband as the head of the home as protector, provider, and priest—wife, his helpmeet, and the heart of the home. The second institution created by God was the family; the home. Children being birthed into the wedlock of one man and one woman for life. The family unit was born!
God said it, and THAT settles it!
We all know the story of how sin entered paradise, placing a scar upon marriage and the home (I tend to use ‘home’ and ‘family’ interchangeably). You will always have the devil and his minions trying to permanently cripple what God has created. However, over the years, God revealed in His Word that He left it to Fathers to be responsible for the spiritual education of the family—his wife and children, this under the Old Covenant, and carried forward to the New Covenant with the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ—the head of the Church.
While Jesus IS the head of the church, the ORIGINAL plan of Fathers and Mothers being responsible for the spiritual education of their children HAS NOT CHANGED. The proper function of the local church is to provide the parents and children under its care with the proper tools to ‘use’ at HOME to raise up their family in the fear and obedience to the teachings of the KJV Bible. The church is to SUPPLIMENT the home; never to REPLACE the home. The HOPE is that other parents will be able to observe the happenings in a Christian home—and want to take it into their home, thus creating MORE Christian homes—not less.
RISE OF THE SUNDAY SCHOOL FORMAT:
Please allow me to put in capsule form the historical rise of one segment of the local church—that being the ‘Church School’ or ‘Sunday School’.
Back in the 1800s, urban churches in England noticed that poor families—especially poor children—were being left out of the church in droves. Because of the bad economic times (and with no social reforms undertaken), children were oftentimes brought into the workforce, engaging in sometimes dangerous work for meager pay.
Stay with me as I am heading around the mountain along the scenic route.
Some concerned churches—led by their Pastors--came up with programs to bring these children into the church through both regular and spiritual education, along with providing—in some cases—food, clothing, and a safe place to gather. Of course, the creation of these programs did help the family by helping the children. Pretty soon, churches on THIS side of the Atlantic did the same thing with the urban poor in various parts of America.
These programs were a hit and kept on growing in aim and scope. Eventually, workplace reforms were instituted, spearheaded by the church and other Christian organizations. Children were no longer placed in hazardous jobs. Workers pay, working conditions, and the family unit improved thanks to the involvement of the local church, Christians, Pastors, and Sunday School teachers. In the Black community, with many schools NOT hiring qualified Blacks in the classroom due to Jim Crow and discrimination, Black teachers often doubled as Sunday School teachers. This standard went on for many years.
However, a funny thing happened on the way to success. Instead of churches providing the tools to help their families grow in Christ, Sunday School departments slowly took over the education of the children without the inclusion of the parents. Parents were only too happy to abdicate their role, ‘trusting’ the church to ‘get the spiritual needs’ of their children ‘right’. Thus, on many a Sunday morning, you had parents ‘drive by’ the church house to drop off the kids, without bothering to darken the doors of the church to find out what was going on in the spiritual education process. In by ten…out by one.
With the arrival of the pandemic, public education was not the only institution that was ‘exposed’ for its weaknesses; Christian education also faced the same harsh ‘spotlight’—and came up woefully short in MORE areas than one might think. More to come.
Mike Ramey is a Retired Minister, KJV Bible Teacher, syndicated columnist and Bible Prophecy Specialist who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. “The Ramey Commentaries” is one of a variety of his columns appearing and abounding in print and cyberspace, written from a biblical, business, and common-sense perspective since 1996. To drop him a line—or a whine—the address is still the same: email@example.com. ©2022 Barnstorm Communications International.