Colossians and Science
A Total Christ  -  by Walter Lang

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Day Twenty-Eight -- Colossians 3:20, 21

A Total Christ for Children and Parents

In his book The Messianic Character of American Education, R. J. Rushdoony notes how the evolutionist philosophy of American educators has led to lack of discipline in our schools. Among educators who were influenced by theories of evolution are Horace Mann, Henry Barnard, John Swett, John Dewey, William H. Kilpatrick, and Harold Rugg. They taught that children are born neutral with regard to good/evil and to repress a child is harmful. They discouraged discipline. Today there are many people practicing little self-discipline with regard to marriage, labor/management problems, and in the work force in general.


Two verses in Colossians treat these matters. From 3:20 we learn that children are to obey their parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to God. In 3:21 we learn that fathers are not to provoke their children to wrath. The expression "all things" sounds strong, but this is the kind of discipline God wants. On the other hand, when parents and others in authority exercise rightful authority, they ought to avoid embittering others. A prime example of this is Marxists who have made a religion of embittering people.

Rightful Disobedience

The expression "all things" can be confusing. If a child of Hindu parents in India has been sent to a Christian school (for superior training) and then, due to the school's influence, is baptized as a Christian against the will of his parents, is that not the proper thing to do? Or does obeying "in all things" mean that the child should refuse to become a Christian and thereby put in jeopardy his eternal welfare? The "all things" is explained more fully in Eph. 6:3 where we read that when children obey their parents, it will be well with them, and they will even receive temporal blessings. What happens when a child becomes a Christian and is baptized against his parents' wishes and, as a result, is cast out from society? Life will not be as easy and comfortable as it once was. Christian children will follow Peter's words to Jewish authorities in 4:19: "It is right to obey God rather than men."

In the Lord

Both children and parents carry out their obligations "in the Lord." Again, note the need for a total Christ. It is Christ's love for all people that motivates children to obey parents and motivates parents to exercise authority and discipline in love.

Reference 28.

Prayer: That we may be disciplined in love to obey proper authority and conversely, that we discipline others in love.

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