“I do not want to drive across a bridge designed by an engineer who believed the numbers in structural stress models are relative truths.” – R.C. Sproul
I was delighted to speak on Sunday at Faith Christian Center in Arlington, Texas. I joined that community of believers in celebrating the 25th anniversary of the church’s affiliated school, St. Paul’s Preparatory Academy. The topic of my discussion was “How to Raise Christian Children in Today’s Culture.”
As I was preparing my remarks it occurred to me that raising children to both love and faithfully serve the Lord and Creator of the universe, Jesus Christ, is not unlike a primary goal of the late Dr. Jerry Falwell, founder of Liberty University.
In 1971, Dr. Falwell launched LU – now the world’s largest Christian university – and quickly got about the business of “training champions for Christ.”
I submit that “raising Christian children in today’s culture” and “training champions for Christ” are one in the same, and that both fruitful endeavors stem from the same rich soil.
But what is today’s culture exactly? What is a champion for Christ? And, perhaps most importantly, what – or Who – is truth?
Merriam Webster’s defines “champion” as “someone who fights or speaks publicly in support of a person, belief, cause, etc.” It is not merely a passing suggestion that Christian parents and educators train champions for Christ. It’s a command given us by God Himself: “Start children off on the way they should go (train them), and even when they are old they will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
We faithful are additionally tasked with an unambiguous calling on the way we (and our children) should go: “[Jesus] said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned’” (Mark 16:15).
The Apostle Paul admonishes in Romans 1:16 that we should not be “ashamed of the gospel,” but, rather, should “Do [our] best to present [ourselves] to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
In addition to leading by example, this means steeping Christian children and young people in the “word of truth” – the Holy Scriptures – and equipping them, in love, to champion (to “fight or speak publicly in support of”) the infallible, unchangeable and absolute truths found therein.
Matt Barber is founder and editor-in chief of BarbWire.com. He is an author, columnist, cultural analyst and an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. Having retired as an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer, Matt has taken his fight from the ring to the culture war. (Follow Matt on Twitter: @jmattbarber).