By J. Wiley Adams
The above sentiment has been used by many sects and humanitarian groups with regard to physical necessities in poverty-ridden parts of the world where many are dying of hunger, disease, and the harsh treatment of atheistic governments in those areas of the world. It is truly good to save the children even if we cannot save the adults. Why not save both? But man does not five by bread alone. Here in our own wonderful land people are dying from spiritual malnutrition. They need the Word of God.
However, let us look within the ranks of the church of the Lord. Are we even doing so much as saving our children? Case after case can be cited of congregations where the young peopl-e-are not obeying the gospel when it is time for them to do so. Why is this? Surely many factors would be involved in this. But, I have noticed that in some cases the parents of such children have been extremely loose in emphasizing to children where the priorities He. They will let them go off on outings and miss services, go around with worldly friends and do nothing to correct the matter. In fact, if I may be bold, some parents who are church members let their children do what they Jolly well please. The inconsistency is seen in that they always insist on their going to kindergarten, elementary school, high school, boy scouts, little league, girl scouts. They let them go in mixed bathing and expose their bodies to the lusts of sensual people. They allow them to sit around the house or go out in the yard without enough on to wad a shotgun. Then they wonder why their boys get some girl in trouble and why sometimes girls get with child out of wedlock and then they wring their hands and moan, “What did I do wrong?” For one thing they did not heed the Scriptures or the advice of those who could see where all this was heading. It is too late to shut the barn door when the horse has already run off. Even when parents do all it is possible for them to do, it might not turn out as we had hoped. But Ephesians 6:1,4 teaches children to obey their parents and that parents are to teach their children the ways of the Lord.
As long as children are at home, enjoy the blessings afforded in that relationship as part of the family, parents not only have the responsibility but the right to determine the conditions that will prevail in that household as a condition of staying there. When they will not abide by the parental rules, including attending worship and putting spiritual things first, then they should be told to leave and given their walking papers. If the Law of Moses were stiff in effect such rebellious children would be put to death.
The bad thing is that parents cannot take correction any more than some of their children. No doubt, some will read this and be offended. So be it. It is high time for God’s people to know there are still a few of us who will tell it like it is. We need more who will do so. Preachers and elders, wherever you are – will you join us in a return to the old paths of frankness and boldness in the teaching of the gospel of Christ? Save the children? Indeed, let us do so as a condition of saving ourselves!
Guardian of Truth XXXII: 22, p. 680
November 17, 1988