Jesus warned believers to watch out for false prophets who come like sheep in wolves’ clothing. Paul commended the Bereans in Acts 17:11 for having “more noble character” because they examined his teachings against the Scriptures. Though it’s viewed as judgmental today to question anyone’s Christianity, it’s foolish to accept everything we hear without being sure it squares with the Bible.
When one of our daughters was a freshman in college, her writing professor prohibited the class from submitting papers on the topic of abortion, even stating that she was “tired of reading papers about dead babies”. (Imagine a professor prohibiting papers on the Jewish Holocaust and stating that she was tired of hearing about “dead Jews”.) Another daughter attending a different university had a professor who launched into a discussion on legalizing homosexual unions. By the end of the class, the majority of students supported her position. Earlier this year, yet another daughter attended a chapel service where a well-known sitcom personality was invited to speak. When asked who had a great influence in his life, he responded, “Lady Gaga.” While these accounts are troubling, the thing that is most disturbing is that each of these events happened at well-respected conservative Christian colleges!
My husband and I had our eyes opened to this when our children were very young through an experience we had with a prominent, evangelical Christian college that was promoting and defending homosexuality and abortion. This experience helped us to become more intentional in training our children that not everything bearing the “Christian” label is truly Christian.
Please don’t misunderstand; I’m not writing to lambast Christian colleges, but rather to warn you that false teaching abounds today just as it did in the early church. Now more than ever, the Gospel is being perverted in places where you least expect it. But if your children know the Word and understand the times in which they live, they won’t be easily seduced by false teaching. It is crucial to train them to know the Word and to be able to test what they hear from youth leaders, camp counselors, speakers, college professors (Christian or secular), musicians, etc. against the truths of the Scriptures.
You may be thinking, “How can I possibly give them what they need?”
It is never too early to begin teaching truth. You can help your children by asking God to help you be discerning so you in turn can help them become students of the Word. It’s not enough for your children to know what they believe; they must know why they believe it. A great book to help you and your children become confident about your Christian worldview is the classic work, Know What You Believe, by Paul E Little. Another great resource is Stand to Reason (www.str.org), founded by Greg Koukl.
It shouldn’t surprise us (or panic us) that evil is now being called good and good, evil. Isaiah warned it would be this way (Isaiah 5:20). However, we do our children a great service when we help them understand that critical thinking actually affirms their love for Christ and His Word. We must also show them how to confront unbiblical teaching in an uncompromising, but humble manner.
When we’ve done our job we don’t have to be afraid to send our children into a world to do theirs.
“Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing and perfect will of God.” ~Romans 12:2 (Holman Christian Study Bible)