Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

We Need to Inoculate Our Children

Inoculate – 1. to inject a serum, vaccine, etc. into, especially in order to prevent, cure, or experiment with disease, usually so as to make immune. 4. to introduce ideas, etc. into the mind of; imbue; infect.

Imbue – 3. to fill (the mind, etc.); permeate; pervade; inspire (with principles, feelings, emotions, etc.).

“We need to inoculate our children.” You hear this statement often, primarily in the context of protection from physical disease. At this time of the year it is common to get flu shots to protect against the onset of the flu viruses that are common in winter. The interesting thing about flu shots is that they introduce the virus in a controlled fashion to help build up the immune system. In so doing, when the real bug hits, the body is able to fight it off. This method is surprisingly effective, though some are a bit squeamish about allowing any flu bug to enter the body. so, they don’t get the shot, and later do get the flu! And it’s much worse.

A Spiritual Application!

Some Christian parents seem to have the same attitude in the church today. They want to protect their children against religious error and sin, but think the best way to do it is to ignore it. They do not want their children to know of the error that is being propagated in different places by false teachers. They want to shelter their children from controversy, and do not want their children to hear lessons designed to battle against error. They mistakenly think that the positive preaching of truth is sufficient, without admonition and refutation, to protect their children. This is a mistake.

The Bible reveals this very clearly. One example will suffice. The Apostle Paul went into the province of Galatia, and preaching the truth, established churches there. Shortly after his departure Judaizing teachers came in with their peculiar doctrine, and led the Galatian Christians away. Paul wrote, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ” (Gal. 1:6-7). The epistle to the Galatians named the false teachers, exposed their error and proclaimed the positive truth of the gospel. The lesson is clear. When error is present, it must be exposed and the truth must be taught. To ignore the error is to imperil our spiritual welfare…, and that of our children!

When error presents itself, to protect our children we must introduce it to them in a controlled setting. We must expose the fallacy of the error so that they will know it when they see it, and be able to combat it. To do any less is to be derelict in obeying the command of the Holy Spirit. “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4).

Evolution

Society has long ago accepted the theory of Evolution as scientific, and correct. It is taught in schools and in the media. My first grader brought home a coloring sheet recently that in a very subtle way taught evolution. He was supposed to circle the 6 things that did not belong in his dinosaur picture. One of the things that “did not belong” was a man climbing up a tree, another was a dog. This goes along with the evolutionary theory that dinosaurs lived and died millions of years before man came on the scene. It also violates the Biblical account of a literal six day creation, with God resting on the seventh day (cf. Genesis 1 & 2).

It is not enough to teach our children that God created the earth in six days. We must also show them the fallacy of the theory of evolution. We need to point out that even 15 billion years is not sufficient time to account for the current existence of and diversity of life. We need to show that the design of our bodies and physical universe indicates an omnipotent and omniscient Designer, not blind chance. We need to point out the destructive nature of mutations (the only possible mechanism evolution has at its disposal to explain itself), and that mutations can not possibly explain the gradual organization of life into more complex and beneficial organisms. We need to show that Evolution is unproven and scientifically unproveable, and that the Creation model better explalins the existence of the universe and life.

Too, there are now some gospel preachers advocating that the earth is old, and that the Genesis account is not literal. Though they do not classify themselves with the evolutionists, they do violence to scripture. They also give aid to the evolutionary concept by denying the literality of the Biblical account. They should be named, and their error should be exposed, lest our children suffer from their leaven.

Institutionalism

Much time has passed since so many churches were led into this digression. A generation of children have grown up since the split happened. Many of these children have not been actively taught why it is wrong to support human instituions out of the treasury. Others do not know what is wrong with the church sponsoring “brotherhoodwide” works, or what is wrong with kitchens and fellowship halls. While occasional lessons on authority are heard (not nearly as often as they need to be), seldom are these applications made. So, this generation of children has had children of their own, and ignorance is the common state with regard to the institutional issues rather than knowledge.

One Christian in her late 30’s mentioned recently that her child had visited a liberal church and was asking why we don’t have donuts and coffee during class on Sunday mornings. She admitted that she really didn’t know why, though she rememberd as a child some lessons from the pulpit condemning such practices. She found herself wondering about it as well! Brethren, if we do not preach lessons on the nature and work of the church, and do not show how the social gospel violates scripture, we are destined to repeat this error! If we don’t preach lessons on the eldership, and church autonomy and show how the sponsoring church arrangement violates scripture on both of these subjects, we are doomed to repeat our mistakes. If we don’t point out that the church support of human institutions does violence to the concept of the sufficiency of the church, then another institution will one day come along and clamor for the Lord’s money! We must inoculate our children from this error!

New issues are rising up today. Error is being propagated on such subjects as: 1) Divorce and Remarriage; 2) Fellowship; 3) The Nature of Jesus; 4) The Creation Account; 5) The Covenants of God; and others.

The attitude of some preachers and some parents is to simply preach the truth, and leave the error alone. As one mother put it, “I don’t want my son to hear about these things! We should just preach the truth, and ignore what is out there!” But, our children are being invited to “youth” lectureships where these men are preaching. Parents are sending their children (often without going along themselves), and are ignorant of these issues. The preaching being done in many places is almost totally positive in its approach, with no room for singling out the leavening agents among us. Our children are being exposed to sin, and they are not inoculated against it! Brethren, we had better wake up to the dangers!

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).