“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.” – Malachi 4:5-6.
The relationship between parent and child has always been an integral part of God’s plan for humanity. The call for children to honor father and mother made the Ten Commandments. (The call for parents to care for children in is inherent.) In the old testament, fathers are commanded to discuss the Law with their children as they walk, and as they sit at home, as they go to bed, and as they rise in the morning (see Deut 6:7).
The great modern-day societal rebellions against God have always included a rejection of this principle, or an outright rebellion against parents. The communists held that children were the property of the state – even promoting the idea that parents would give birth, turn the children over to the state to be raised, and go back to work for state industries. (Karl Marx was a good enough politician to keep this out of the Communist Manifesto, even though Friedrich Engles wanted it in.) The Nazis held much the same position – children were the property of the Reich. The list could go on.
It takes on much subtler tones in America; as it would, progressives are always more subtle than revolutionaries. Nonetheless, if your preferred political ideology involves a healthy dose of turning children away from their parents, then you ought to be concerned about whose side you’re on, and whose plan you’re following. It is the American progressive that tells our schoolchildren, “There are things you know that your parents don’t” (with a side order of “so don’t listen to them”). Are there things the kids know that the parents don’t? Sure, everybody has stories of parents and grandparents who took forever to figure out how email works. It’s when the argument turns toward “so there’s no need to heed their advice and warnings anymore” that we get in to trouble.
Now, as an aside, I have no brief for the communists, socialists, collectivits, and progressives. The idea that they would rebel against God should surprise nobody. The world they want to create is not consistent with “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Why wouldn’t they rebel? My point is for the “Christian progressives” who want to see a more progressive, collectivist America with Biblical themes thrown in. We can debate at some other time whether this is consistent with Biblical teachings (I would hold that it isn’t). When your desires to bring about a “better” world require you to subvert the Law of God, you’re going about it the wrong way.
None of this is to argue that change shouldn’t happen, or that kids must always hold exactly the same philosophical and ideological viewpoints as their parents. Surely societies change over time (though, just as surely it is not always for the better). But those changes, if they are to happen, should happen as the next generation grows to adulthood, learns from their parents and their experiences, and forges the best direction they can for their children. It should NOT happen via indoctrination of pre-adults.
Perhaps tomorrow we’ll pick up this theme again, with its implications for the American education system. There is quite a bit to discuss, obviously. For now, if your parents are still with us, maybe you should give them a call today just to say “hi” and “I love you.” And if you have kids in the house, give them a great big hug, and tell them the same.