And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
There is a modern unscriptural movement in Christendom that is so prevalent in modern churches that most likely you are involved in it, and you don’t even know any better. This is a movement known as “age segregated church.” In this type of arrangement infants are dropped off at the nursery on your way in the door. Walkers are on the other side of the nursery, but basically in the “baby wing.” Three and four year olds have their own classrooms with plenty of watercolors and play dough, not to mention animated video tapes that will keep them entertained. On down the hall older children are herded into their classrooms, while the youth huddle together in the back to discuss matters of the day, as it relates to “their” culture. Finally, Mom and Dad make their way into the auditorium in order to hear the message targeted for “adults.” The children love this arrangement as they get to visit with all their friends. The teenagers love it because they can foster their relationships with the other teenagers. Mom and Dad love it because they get a much needed break from having to put up with their out of control children for an hour or so. “But when Jesus saw it, He was much displeased…” (Mark 10:14)
You see the modern Sunday School movement, which gave rise to the children’s church movement, had its beginnings in the late 1800’s. So, for over 1800 years, the Christian Church met together as families. This movement was formed for the well intentions of teaching poor orphans about the Bible. Yet, it did not take long for it to expand to include not only orphans, but the children of the congregation. Prior to this time, fathers used to lead their families in family worship each night. They realized that they were responsible to disciple the next generation so that the Church did not die. However, as they observed the Church organization taking on this job, many stepped back and allowed them to take the responsibility that previously belonged to them. As a result, children (and the adults they have grown up to be) have become biblically illiterate. Children no longer are expected to sit still for two hours while worship is going on. They are so media saturated that they can’t do without the alluring trance of the television long enough to sit and worship the creator of the Universe.
Yet, there is a reformation gaining momentum. Yes, the establishment is huge, and it won’t be an easy transition. But here and there, one family after another are waking up to the fact that unless things change they will lose their children. This family integrated reformation comes on the heels of the homeschool movement. Just as families have looked at the government school system and decided that they have been given jurisdiction by God for the training of their children, and not the state, they are beginning to wake up and realize that the church does not have the jurisdiction for training their children either. It really makes a lot of sense when you stop to think about it. And families are, finally, stopping to think about this very important issue.
Fathers, it starts in the home under your leadership. Disciple these young ones that have been entrusted into your care. Then, sit them down right next to you in the meeting of the Church on the Lord’s Day. They need to learn right doctrine. They need to observe how men and women worship the Lord. They need to see their own Daddy honor the one true God.
Let the children come unto me, for such is the Kingdom of God.