Ask The Principal

Friday, May 26, 2006

II Timothy 3 and the public school playground...

Check out II Timothy 3 here and give it a read.

Note: If you are using Firefox or the new IE beta with tabs, open another tab with the Bible link so you can quickly cross reference the scripture.

In vs. 1-5 Paul is talking to Timothy and giving him sound counsel in practicing discernment with regard to the type of men he is to avoid. Interestingly as I read this list of sinful behaviors it sounds like the conduct demonstrated on the playground at school. We might think that if we see these behaviors as adults in the sanctuary or amongst the members of our fellowship, that we should avoid these men and we would be right to do so. Now, put your child in the middle of another sort of sanctuary...that being the fenced playground. Willingly many Christians place their precious children into this "sanctuary" and expose them, to varying degrees, to each of these vices mentioned. Not just once or twice a week, but several times daily, for 180 school days of the year. In light of this scripture would you consider this to be a right thing to do? (you decide)

Paul then describes the victims of these men as "always learning and never coming to the knowledge of the truth". (v.7) Believe me, these playground children are learning all the time. The question remains, what are they learning? I dare say that most learning at school happens on the playground. It is the learning of the type we as Christian parents want to protect our children from. Why do you think the "socialization" argument is so prevelent? The world wants to conform your children to itself.

The final point that I want to make is at the end of the chapter. Yes we have heard II Timothy 3:16 a lot because it is a key verse regarding the application of scriptures to all of life, but note verses 14-15:

"You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus"

We see that Timothy was read from childhood in the scriptures to such an extent that from his knowledge of the "sacred writings" along with his training he is able to receive wisdom that leads to salvation.

I try to be wary of reading too much into a scripture and I don't try to apply every scripture to every situation regardless of context. I will make two observations though. Firstly; Paul instructs Timothy to avoid men that, among other things, are disobediant to their parents. Secondly, Paul reminds Timothy of his Godly training.

I suggest that for our own children it would be a very good thing to:
  1. Keep them from the company of other children that, among other things, are disobedient to their parents;
  2. Provide for them the Godly training that would result in the ability of our children as they reach adulthood to "have known the sacred writings which are able to give you wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus". Calvin in his commentary of this verse makes note of the "kindness of God, if any person, from his earliest years, has thus aquired a knowledge of the scriptures". I suggest that for the most part this is not happening in the Christian homes whose children attend public school.

A post script; I changed the template of the blog because the old one had too much pink, and, being a teacher, I couldn't stand that the title was not in capital letters.

I have also been invited to participate in an email interview over at Oneway Purpose.

I'm not sure when it will start but I encourage you to drop by this young man's blog and give it a look. I really like what he is doing. I've been given my first question and I'll be answering it and sending the replies to him to post. Sounds like it will be an interesting exchange over the next few days.

2 Comments:

  • I will be collecting your answers along with a couple other interviews and the results of a quick survey and post the article about the end of next week.

    By Anonymous David Boskovic, at Friday, May 26, 2006 1:47:00 PM  

  • Excellent post. I also look forward to David's interview and reading your thoughts there. It is great to see you getting a wider readership. Your perspective is invaluable.

    By Blogger Spunky, at Friday, May 26, 2006 5:11:00 PM  

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