The results of the “2010 American Values Survey” published last week by the Public Religion Research Institute in Washington, DC proved quite troubling.
The American youth are NOT embracing historical American values! The disturbing revelation of the generation gap within our culture demands immediate attention.
I am proclaiming this week: Youth Week, 2010. Part 3 of the series for this week discusses the ways in which we stop the progression of Fabiansim and its effects on our youth.
First Action: VOTE
The lifeblood of our Constitutional Republic is “We The People.” Right now, America is hemorrhaging liberty. On November 2nd, every American who believes in the values that made this country strong must get to the polls. Better yet, vote early!
Second Action: THINK HEBREW
I bet I have your attention now. To ensure lasting results in our desired change of direction, we need to think beyond the ballot box.
Proverbs 22:6 admonishes us to “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Scriptures tell us the way in which children are trained in their youth is the way they live their lives. It is the way the ancient Hebrew people knew how to pass their God-given values to their young.
Although it is unlikely that Upton Sinclair and his fellow socialists ever read this verse, they understood the principle behind it.
You capture the heart of the nation when you capture the hearts of the nation’s youth.
Moses illustrated this principle well as he prepared the Children of Israel to cross the Jordan into the Promised Land; a land where the One True God was unknown to the pagan civilizations. Militarily, Moses knew they could possess the land. However, the only way to permanently inhabit the land as commanded before God was to impress the commandments of God upon the hearts of the young.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 also reveals the Hebrew concept of raising youth. The process is two-fold.
First, Moses proclaimed to the adults that they must have the commandments of God firmly in their hearts (and thus reflected in the way they lived their lives).
Secondly, Moses proclaimed the parents are to diligently teach the commands to their children.
The emphasis of this process cannot be underscored enough. If the faith of the fathers was not passed to the children of the Israelites, the Promised Land would have been a one-generation wonder!
Take a moment to reflect on the active verbs Moses used in these passages.
“Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
The verbs clearly communicate there is an educational element to training. But education alone is not enough to burn God’s commands into the hearts of our youth. While spiritual truth can be learned as a mental exercise, demonstration of that truth in the lives of adults will shape their future beliefs and behaviors.
One of the most basic building blocks of Biblical reality is that spiritual truth is caught like we catch the flu. We catch it from being around those who have it! Education helps us understand, seeing it in action in the lives of those we love and respect helps us make it our own.
Sadly, our “western” culture and mindset have reinforced for us that if we take our children to church and to Sunday school every Sunday, that is enough. We have erroneously and dangerously assumed that if we teach our children the truth, that “truth” will find its way into their hearts.
Children today are being bombarded with too many so called “truths.” It was Vladimir Lenin who said, “Give me a child for the first five years of his life and he’ll be mine forever.” Regrettably, the majority of the children in America are “given” to the federal and state government educational programs for the better part of their first 18 to 22 years of study. The results of the 2010 AVS survey should be no surprise to any of us.
The answers are not easy. I have been a father for almost 27 years, a pastor for 33, an educational consultant for 20, and an advisor to those who serve in the U.S. Congress for 5. While I cannot claim to have all the answers, I know we can start with simple steps. The work will not be completed overnight, or in a week, or in a month, or in a year, or maybe not even in a decade.
The results of the 2010 AVS survey clearly indicate our failure with our children. If Albert Einstein were here with us today, and if we fail to act on the information we have been given, he would be giving us his definition of “insanity – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
We have a long road ahead of us. It is not going to be easy and it will cost each of us something. For the remainder of our lives, we must be dedicated to the process of impressing the commandments of God into the hearts of our children.
Next week, we begin “Solutions” week – raising up the next generation.
The Moral Liberal, Contributing Editor, Gary Brown, is the President of the Idaho Values Alliance, and Founder and Executive Director of Reach America.