The Puritan Thomas Brooks wrote one of Satan’s devices is “to present the bait and hide the hook; to present the golden cup—and hide the poison; to present the sweet, the pleasure, and the profit that may flow in upon the soul by yielding to sin—and by hiding from the soul the wrath and misery that will certainly follow the committing of sin. By this device he deceived our first parents.”1Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices (The Banner of Truth Trust 2019), 9. And so, it is that this same device of temptation continues today with the increase in the indoctrination of children in the culture of our time.
Today, Christian parents are finding themselves fighting against the increasing indoctrination of children in the form of unbiblical ideologies in the public square. These ideologies include Gender Theory, Critical Race Theory (CRT), Intersectionality, Reproductive Justice, and White Privilege, to name a few, all designed to twist the truth so that the ignorant are carried away to their own destruction (2 Peter 3:16).
This is why parents must heed the caution that private institutions or even the church itself are not the ultimate teachers of children. The responsibility remains squarely on the parents’ shoulders (Ephesians 6:4). Parents should always be on guard to pay attention to their flock, which is their children, for even in the church, savage or fierce wolves can come in and not spare the flock (Acts 20:28-30). Be that as it may, Christian parents must entrench themselves in core biblical principles and fundamental biblical convictions so that they may embrace their God-given duty to guide their children against these indoctrinations. These responsibilities, it must be stressed, are not a charge against educational options but are a charge for parents to earnestly embrace their God-given responsibility as the primary instructors of children.
Entrench Fundamental Convictions Founded in the Word
Martin Luther famously said “Unless I am convinced by Holy Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God, I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against my conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Here I stand, I can do no other”. In a similar manner, parents now more than ever have to dig their heels into the Word of God, be driven by the Word of God, and accept no other authority but the very Word of God in dealing with the heretical threat to the authority of Scripture penetrating the public square.
Parents must realize that the result of this indoctrination is that sin is erased, pride is exalted, and truth is redefined. “What does the Scripture say?” is the question Christian parents must continually ask in order to divorce secular ideologies from the revealed truth of God’s Word. These ideologies are using the same modus operandi Satan used in the temptation of Christ. Satan twisted the truth of Scripture and tried to entice Christ to grasp on to prideful self-exaltation and worship of evil. Christ repeatedly fought the Devil’s false ideology with the words “it is written” (Matthew 4:4), “again it is written” (Matthew 4:7) and “Be gone Satan! For it is written” (Matthew 4:10). The Christian parent’s sword against the indoctrination of children is therefore similarly the written Word of God (Ephesians 6:17).
The Scripture was sufficient for Christ, the Son of God, and it most certainly is sufficient for the godly parents shepherding their children. Parents have an obligation to know what the Word of God says about the false ideologies and use biblical truth as the remedy against the lies of secular ideologies. Whatever is being taught in schools should be defined in biblical terms with true fidelity to Scripture. Sin must be called out by its name to counteract the deliberate attempts to call evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20).
Embrace Family Duty and Foster Gospel Truth
For our children not to be outwitted by ignorance of Satan’s designs (2 Corinthians 2:11), parents should fully embrace their God-given duty to train up children in everything that pertains to life and godliness (Deuteronomy 6:7-9, Ephesians 6:4, Proverbs 22:6). Parents are ordained by God as stewards of their children and “it is required of all stewards that they be found faithful” to the Word of God (1 Corinthians 4:2). This means that it is the parent’s duty to shepherd their children into understanding the disastrous consequences of sin (Romans 6:23, Proverbs 14:12, Ezekiel 18:20), the reality of reaping and sowing (Galatians 6:7), the hard way of the transgressor (Proverbs 13:15) and the daily indignation of God against the wicked (Psalm 7:11-13).
In sharp contrast to the way of the wicked who will perish, the godly parent’s duty is to also institute a God-centric home founded on the doctrines of salvation and faithfulness to the truth of God. The glorious way of the righteous should continually be taught to children as well as the perishing way of the ungodly (Psalm 1). Children should be guided to fully depend on God through both formal family devotions and informal daily conversations (Deuteronomy 6:7-9, Proverbs 4:20-22). Parents should point to Christ as Ruler, King, Governor and the ultimate authority of the home. Furthermore, Christ should be exalted as better in every thought, in every deed, in every place and in every way the children turn.
Practically, godly parents should show that following Christ is far better than the way of the sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, those who practice homosexuality, the thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers and swindlers who will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) who are being promoted by unbiblical ideologies. And since indoctrination attacks biblical truth, Christian parents should teach children to love the truth of the Bible (John 14:6, John 17:3). Children should be taught that truth should be defined only by God and not teachers or school curriculum. Heretical, profane, sexually impure and godless books in the home and in schools should be exposed in accordance with the command to not allow sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness to be named nor filthiness, nor foolish talk nor crude joking (Ephesians 5:3-4) in their home and the lives of their children.
Enjoy Faithfulness in the Church and Focus on Christ
The apostle Paul rightly encourages us that “our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20). Scripture also commands us to forsake the ways of this world (Romans 12:1) and strive for holy living without which no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14). Bearing these biblical truths in mind, the Christian parent may feel they are isolating their children from society and missing out on opportunities that the world may have to offer them.
The remedy to isolation is faithful corporate gathering and worship with the family of God in a church that teaches sound biblical doctrine (1 Timothy 1:9-11; 2 Timothy 1:3) and maintains fidelity to that sound doctrine (Titus 2:1, 2:7). The Christian family’s satisfying prescription from isolation is additionally the faithful inclusion in the church of God as active members, serving one another and glorifying Christ. Christian parents should welcome and purposefully seek out friendships for their children and themselves with other like-minded believing families. They should also not deny the care and ministry from shepherds and overseers in their bible teaching church.
With the truth under attack, the church that is not “tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes” (Ephesian 4:14) or “led away by diverse and strange teachings” (Hebrews 13:9) is the godly parents’ God given earthly reservoir of family and community. It is in this church that a godly community is found and built, and families can partner together as believers. Christian parents should continually encourage their children to be involved in activities provided by the church such as bible studies, community groups, youth and children’s programs and outings.
Encouraging Final Words to Parents in the Fight Against Indoctrination
The fight against indoctrination may seem daunting and insurmountable and Christian parents may at times feel defeated and hopeless. In the book of Acts, Paul writes to us that God “determined allotted periods and the boundaries of [children’s] dwelling places, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward Him and find Him. Yet He is actually not far from each of us” (Acts 17:26-27). Christian parents must gather great encouragement in this assurance that their children passed through the preordained hands of God and were purposefully placed in their particular home. Because God placed them there, God will most assuredly bestow His sufficient grace to help them navigate all circumstances pertaining to their training and development in righteousness. Parents can as a result delight in the Lord and lean on Him (Proverbs 3:5-6), seeking His face for help in private devotions and prayer with full conviction that God will help them stand firm against unbiblical ideologies in the public square to the praise of His glory.