#68 The Command of God to Instruct Children

The third consideration is by far the most important of all, namely, the command of God, who through Moses urges and enjoins parents so often to instruct their children that Psalm 78 says: How earnestly he commanded our fathers to teach their children and to instruct their children’s children [Ps. 78:5–6]. This is also evident in God’s fourth commandment, in which the injunction that children shall obey their parents is so stem that he would even have rebellious children sentenced to death [Deut. 21:18–21]. Indeed, for what purpose do we older folks exist, other than to care for, instruct, and bring up the young? It is utterly impossible for these foolish young people to instruct and protect themselves. This is why God has entrusted them to us who are older and know from experience what is best for them. And God will hold us strictly accountable for them. This is also why Moses commands in Deuteronomy 32[:7], “Ask your father and he will tell you; your elders, and they will show you.”

It is a sin and a shame that matters have come to such a pass that we have to urge and be urged to educate our children and young people and to seek their best interests, when nature itself should drive us to do this and even the heathen afford us abundant examples of it. There is not a dumb animal which fails to care for its young and teach them what they need to know; the only exception is the ostrich, of which God says in Job 31 [39:16, 14] that she deals cruelly with her young as if they were not hers, and leaves her eggs upon the ground. What would it profit us to possess and perform everything else and be like pure saints, if we meanwhile neglected our chief purpose in life, namely, the care of the young? I also think that in the sight of God none among the outward sins so heavily burdens the world and merits such severe punishment as this very sin which we commit against the children by not educating them (Luther’s Works, v. 45 p. 353).

#67 The Pre-Reformation State of the Universities Was UnChristian

It is perfectly true that if universities and monasteries were to continue as they have been in the past, and there were no other place available where youth could study and live, then I could wish that no boy would ever study at all, but just remain dumb. For it is my earnest purpose, prayer, and desire that these asses’ stalls and devil’s training centers should either sink into the abyss or be converted into Christian schools. Now that God has so richly blessed us, however, and provided us with so many men able to instruct and train our youth aright, it is surely imperative that we not throw his blessing to the winds and let him knock in vain. He is standing at the door;11 happy are we who open to him! He is calling us; blessed is he who answers him! If we turn a deaf ear and he should pass us by, who will bring him back again?

Let us remember our former misery, and the darkness in which we dwelt. Germany, I am sure, has never before heard so much of God’s word as it is hearing today; certainly we read nothing of it in history. If we let it just slip by without thanks and honor, I fear we shall suffer a still more dreadful darkness and plague. O my beloved Germans, buy while the market is at your door; gather in the harvest while there is sunshine and fair weather; make use of God’s grace and word while it is there! For you should know that God’s word and grace is like a passing shower of rain which does not return where it has once been. It has been with the Jews, but when it’s gone it’s gone, and now they have nothing. Paul brought it to the Greeks; but again when it’s gone it’s gone, and now they have the Turk.12 Rome and the Latins also had it; but when it’s gone it’s gone, and now they have the pope. And you Germans need not think that you will have it forever, for ingratitude and contempt will not make it stay. Therefore, seize it and hold it fast, whoever can; for lazy hands are bound to have a lean year (Luther’s Works, v. 45 p. 352-353).

47A Creation: Inoculated against the Bible

“We are not in an age where generations have been heavily inoculated against the Bible….  But because of compromise and lack of teaching of apologetics, much of the Church has allowed the once Acts 2 (plowed) ground to become Acts 17 ground that is covered in rocks, trees, and weeds (representing evolution, millions of years, etc.).  Some refer to this as a ‘post-Christian culture.’  And in some ways, we are becoming even ‘pre-Christian.’ Before the seed can be planted, we need to clear the ground and plow it, so the seed (the gospel) can take root to enable a harvest (of souls)” (Gospel Reset by Ken Ham, p.108).

Book of Concord Bible Class #7: Augsburg Confession-Art. 6 -17

This Bible study is an overview of Augburg Confession, articles six through seventeen.

Quiz #7 (blue sheet): Quiz-7-for-Oct-27-Augsburg-Confession.pdf
Handout 1 (from October 13): Handout-Articles-of-the-Augsburg-Confession-Overview.pdf

#62- God’s Word Exposed the formerly UnChristian Monastic Schools

First of all, we are today experiencing in all the German lands how schools are everywhere being left to go to wrack and ruin. The universities are growing weak, and monasteries are declining. The grass withers and the flower fades, as Isaiah [40:7–8] says, because the breath of the Lord blows upon it through his word and shines upon it so hot through the gospel. For now it is becoming known through God’s word how un-Christian these institutions are, and how they are devoted only to men’s bellies. The carnal-minded masses are beginning to realize that they no longer have either the obligation or the opportunity to thrust their sons, daughters, and relatives into cloisters and foundations, and to turn them out of their own homes and property and establish them in others’ property. For this reason no one is any longer willing to have his children get an education. “Why,” they say, “should we bother to have them go to school if they are not to become priests, monks, or nuns? ‘Twere better they should learn a livelihood to earn.”

The thoughts and purposes of such people are plainly evident from this confession of theirs. If in the cloisters and foundations, or the spiritual estate, they had been seeking not only the belly and the temporal welfare of their children but were earnestly concerned for their children’s salvation and eternal bliss, they would not thus fold their hands and relapse into indifference, saying, “If the spiritual estate is no longer to be of any account, we can just as well let education go and not bother our heads about it.” Instead, they would say, “If it be true, as the gospel teaches, that this {monastic} estate is a perilous one for our children, then, dear sirs, show us some other way which will be pleasing to God and of benefit to them. For we certainly want to provide not only for our children’s bellies, but for their souls as well.” At least that is what truly Christian parents would say about it (Luther’s Works, v. 45 p. 348-349).

Book of Concord Bible Class #6: Starting the Augsburg Confession

The Augsburg Confession is divided into “Articles of Faith and Doctrine” and “Articles Concerning Dissension, and Corrected Abuses.”  In order to better understand the two-fold structure of the Augsburg Confession, this study began with a quick review of the historical events from 1517 to 1530 (page 3 of last week’s handout).  Due to the conciliatory and gentle demeanor of Emperor Charles’ invitation to the Diet of Augsburg, the Lutherans were expecting quite a different kind of meeting than what transpired.  We saw from the preface to the Augsburg Confession that the Lutherans were still desiring a “general, free, and Christian council” in 1530.  Following the diet of Augsburg, that expectation quickly faded away.

When the “Evangelicals”(what the Lutherans were called) arrived in Augsburg, they discovered that the pamphlet, “The Four Hundred Four Articles of John Eck,” had been circulated, in which they were accused of practically every heresy that had ever been condemned by the church.  Therefore, the first 21 articles were added to the Augsburg Confession after they arrived, in order to reprove Eck’s slanderous document and show the orthodoxy of Lutheran doctrine.

This study worked its way through an overview of the first five articles of The Augsburg Confession.  Having arrived at the fifth article , we made the observation that Tappert’s translation included an erroneous and misleading footnote(#4 on page 31), which claimed “that the Reformers thought of ‘the office of the ministry’ in other than clerical terms.”

Quiz #6 (green sheet):  Quiz-6-for-Oct-20-Book-of-Concord-Subscription.pdf
Handout 1 (from October 6): Subscription-What-Kind.pdf
Handout 2:  Handout-Articles-of-the-Augsburg-Confession-Overview.pdf

46A Creation: It’s as if the devil has said,

“You Christians can go on teaching kids about the miracles Jesus did in the New Testament.  You can teach them about the babe in a manger, and the Resurrection.  You can teach them about Jesus healing blind people and raising dead.  Teach them about the feeding of the 5,000, about the Israelites crossing the Red Sea, about Jonah being in the great fish for three days.  Go ahead. Teach them these stories.  And while you are doing that, I’m going to be indoctrinating those same kids not to believe the Book.  I’m going to use the fake news of evolution and millions of years to brainwash them into believing science has effectively disproved the Bible, making it nothing more than an outdate obsolete book of ‘stories.’  And sine you won’t be teaching apologetics, I will teach my own apologetics through the education systems, media and the Internet to make sure they doubt God’s Word.  The more this happens, most won’t even listen to your message of the Gospel” (Gospel Reset by Ken Ham, p.107).

#61- Children Know Why Parents Discipline: Love

This is the measure and goal of all punishments and vexations, just as parents chastise their children in order that they may be corrected and return to the way, not because parents plan to destroy or disinherit them; for this would be alien to the love put into their hearts by God. And in Eph. 6:4 and Col. 3:21 Paul is careful to warn them not to provoke their children to wrath, lest they become discouraged. The chastisement should be of such a kind that love and filial confidence toward parents and teachers remain and that children understand that they are not suffering correction for their destruction, but rather that they may continue to do their duty and show their father no cause to disinherit them because of their wickedness. It is usual for this to happen to those who cannot be corrected by words or blows and later incur punishment at the hands of a judge or executioner because of thefts, robberies, or other outrages after they have thrown off paternal authority. (Luther’s Works, v. 7 p.254).

45A Creation: False Information

“Not only do we need to start our message at the beginning in Genesis, but we need to deal with the false information that generations have been taught that makes so many doubt and disbelieve the Bible.  We have to be equipped with answers and be ready to give a defense of the faith against the onslaught of evolutionary teaching that has permeated people’s thinking around the world” (Gospel Reset by Ken Ham, p.106-107).