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September - Pastor's Message

posted Sep 23, 2015, 10:40 PM by Karen Lindsey
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.   --Proverbs 22:6
                             
            It's back to school time. Teachers are organizing their classrooms and maintenance crews are sprucing things up both inside and outside the schools. Parents with reluctant kids in tow are hitting the stores, collecting school supplies.
            Why do we go to so much trouble to send our kids to school? I suppose the most obvious answer is that it's the law. The point of education is to instruct children in reading, writing, math, science, and history. We're often told of the many social benefits resulting from education: more people working and not using social programs, educated people are usually happier and healthier, to name a few. But higher drop-out rates have a negative effect on culture.
            What about Christian education? It's not the law; it's optional. Are there any social benefits?  In past generations it's true that not everyone went to church but still many of those parents sent their kids to a nearby Sunday school so they would get a little moral instruction. That was understood to be a good thing.
            There was a time when most kids at least went to Sunday school. These days fewer participate regularly in Christian education because of so many other demands on their time. I think we are seeing the fruit of children growing up without exposure to worship and education. That God is mostly ignored in our culture leads to some pretty serious moral and spiritual problems.
            This morning (Wednesday) a young reporter and her camera man were murdered as she conducted an interview. Not long ago Christians meeting together for Bible study in South Carolina were murdered. I could name many more instances of this sort of violence. We can argue about gun control, but a gun is an inanimate object. The problem lies in the heart of the person who commits the act.
            When will people wake up to the fact that we are in a battle against sin and evil?! 
But how can they know anything about the battle if they don't know basic Christian teaching about sin and evil. They don't know that Jesus said this: "For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly." (I guess there's nothing new under the sun, is there!)  
            If we want to see less violence and more peace we need to pray about the spiritual anemia in our country. We need to pray that people will respect Christ's Church and teachings, and as Luther said, "gladly hear and learn them."
            The only way to turn things around is to train and instruct people in God's Word, beginning at a young age, and helping them make a habit out of participating in instruction and worship. This is where the Holy Spirit does the work of converting and transforming the human heart. Please consider inviting a child to Sunday school and being a consistent presence and moral role model for that child. Most important is the salvation of the child. But instruction in the Christian faith will result in many other benefits in personal life and in the life of our communities.

In Christ,
Pastor Lori
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