THE BABYLONISH CAPTIVITY OF HOMES
WHEN ARE WE GOING TO
START TEACHING OUR CHILDREN?
Maurice M Johnson
Los Angeles, California
September 8, 1969
Some of you have heard me announce a few times off and on for some years that Iím still studying the subject of worldliness. What is worldliness? Weíre told in John's inspired writing that, "If any man love the world, the love of the Father's not in him. If any man love the world, the love of the Father's not in him." What does it mean to love the world? We're told in James, "You adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that friendship with the world is-enmity to God. Therefore whosoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." The enemy of God if you want to be a friend of the world.
When are we going to begin with our children? Should parents begin with their children on the question of morals, on the question of what is lusts, what is uncleanness in the moral conduct? Certainly they should. Should they begin with their little children in the earliest, most pliable days of their life: to teach them what are illicit relationships, modesty and immodesty?
When are you going to teach boys and girls? When are you going to teach them, boys. and girls, to not be worldly and to not love the world? "If any man Love the world, the love of the Father's not in him." That's a pretty serious thing isn't it? Thatís an awful condition isnít it? "You adulterers and adulteresses know ye not that friendship with the world is enmity to God. Therefore whosoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." When are we going to teach our boys and girls that Christians are different? When are we going to teach boys and girls that the world lies in the lap of the devil and that the god of this world is Satan himself, and that he's a deceiver? When are we going to teach them? How early should we begin? When are we going to teach them that "the things that are highly esteemed among men are abomination to God? When are we going to begin? When are we going to begin to teach them What Christ meant when He said, "The world hates Me because I testify that the needs thereof are evil"? Let's not wait until they can begin to see a drunken sot or something of that kind, let's teach them in the beginning. Letís pray God we help them to begin with.
My brothers and sisters in Christ, you and I canít live easy-going normal lives like we could if we were living in the Garden of Eden. We've got to ... gird up the loins of our mind ... we've go to be different. Weíve got to suffer some things physically and socially, as a result ... we're on our way to heaven.
To go over the subject, "What're we going to do to keep our children whole ... wisely amused and entertained, and what are they going to do? We don't have wood ... I said my father wouldn't let me stay after school when I was in high school and practice athletic games. He said, "I don't want you on the school grounds after the schoolís over. You come home. I'll give you something to do." And I related, I said, "I'll get a cord of wood". And he had wood brought in, and saw wood. "Well well ... you don't have any wood to saw do you in your backyard to build a gas fire with and oil and so forth?
The problems. are not insurmountable for godly people. They're not insurmountable. There are no insurmountable problems for godly people. God doesn't let us have problems that we can't handle by His grace. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man. But God is faithful ... who'll not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able but will with the temptation make a way to escape that you may be able to bear it." "This know also that in the last days perilous times shall come. Men shall be lovers of their own selves." Boys and girls need to be taught discipline very young; need to be taught things they don't like to do, naturally, with a fallen nature, and lazy, and so forth. They need to be taught to do it, not with a cold rod.
Some of you remember when I was speaking on "Child Haters", I used the story in the Bible about Aaron's rod, the rod that budded. One of the the leaders of the twelve tribes, twelve of them, were to bring their rods at a given time you remember for a given purpose. Bring their rod and lay them up by the tabernacle, and then the rod that budded was the rod of the man that was in authority, in that particular case. And you remember when they came back, Aaron's rod budded. Aaron's rod budded; the other rods didn't bud. And I brought out, I used this expression, "Sterile Nagging Versus the Rod that Buds". Sterile nagging, na-a-ag at your child, fuss at your child, bawl them out. Wear them out. Make them ashamed of their parents and so forth. That's sterile nagging. Maybe whip them because you're mad. Let the child get by with something over and over again, because it doesn't bother you.
Now for a little bit, specifically, about such things as letting the children go to the playground after school. Since we have moved in, and nearly everyone here, if not everyone here, lives in town, you don't have a lot of space outside, room, that's your own property for the children to play, and so forth, and work for them to do to occupy them. They've got to be doing something, and they are doing something everyday of course. What should the parents plan to have them do so far as the parents can? What is the Christian's responsibility and privileges in such a time and day as we are living with their children? Monday after school, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, what's the parents' responsibility? Well it's not easy. We're not going to discharge it by finding out what the Boy Scout leader stays to do with them. That's the world's method. We're ... parents are not going to find and discharge their responsibility with their children as to extra-curricular activities, after school and so forth, by letting the YMCA and YWCA, the Worldlings, tell us the way to do it, unless we're conformists.
And that's the Machine Age, getting more and more and more, the Machine Age. Rugged individuality... individual responsibility is being done away with everywhere. Organize, join, organize, join, organize, join. And the parents are some of the guiltiest people on the face of the earth.
It's not as easy in some cases of course for you fathers to help plan something for your own boys in the way of an outing, a recreation, activities, as it would be for you to turn over to the Boy Scouts, turn them over to the boys' worker at the neighboring church or something. But a matter of ease isn't the
most important thing. None of the most important things in Life are easy. So determine like Daniel, a captive Jewish lad; he purposed in his heart he would not defile himself with a portion of the king's meat nor the wine he drank.
Can fathers do anything like that today? We're not captives in Babylon in the same sense, but boy we're in Babylon. And probably we're in a worse prison than Daniel was, in the Babylonish ... Iím going to speak again on the subject for a minute, "The Babylonish Captivity of the Church". I was looking at a manuscript that I ... had to write it out because during the War... well they made me write out everything I gave over the radio. And I gave a message years ago over KMPC on "The Babylonish Captivity of the Church", and I still got the manuscript, "Babylonish Captivity of the Church". You might say "The Babylonish Captivity of Fathers, of Homes".
Fathers and mothers, Christian parents, let's plan for our children prayerfully and not expect to have to go to the world. I mean to go to the world for amusement. Of course the boys, who have heard about such things as the Little League, baseball, know that in those games boys that are about the same age and about the same ability, I suppose, will be on this team and that team, and so far as being with their own age, more nearly like most all the Sunday School work too, primary department, cradle roll, primary department, junior department, intermediate department, senior department, and the other methods of segregation with our children that have proved to be what? They have proved to contribute to juvenile delinquency and the breakdown of the home, and make it easier for fathers and mothers to shift responsibility. I'm to1king about the sort of thing that we're profess.. we presumably have believed that caused us to give up Sunday School. We said we-believe that it's the God ... we know it's God's ... God-given responsibility of fathers, "Provoke not your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord".
Now by the way there, fathers " Provoke not your children to wrath". "Well what can we do?" We don't ever do nothing. We can do this and we can't do that. And my dad... of course he's lived his life, and mother. We can't do...". That may be the result of fathers provoking their children to wrath. Just "Donít, don't, don't, don't". Fathers provoke not your children to wrath, confusion, bewilderment, resentment. Fathers, don't do that, but bring them up. That means you're in the LEAD. That means you're in the lead. Not the Sunday School worker, not the Boy Scout worker, not the supervisor at the playground. YOU! Fathers are in the lead. You're in the lead. And you fathers get together and talk together. And ... now if you see your Christian boys, I mean boys from Christian homes and sometimes Christian boys, if they get fretful, if they fight... where's their father? Just imagine abdicating your responsibility and privilege as father, abdicating so a professional supervisor will take over. We don't have to do that.
You know as we read awhile ago in the 3rd chapter of Isaiah, God knows how to pull the big shots down. Oh you're too big are you to take care of your children? Is that so? All right, come down, come down, come down, let your children lead you. And that's what's happening and will happen increasingly in homes right here. "Well I don't have time." Oh you don't, huh? You don't? You'll have time to go and get your child out of jail maybe, or your girl attacked like the girl I was talking about ... Youíll have time for trouble, trouble, trouble! God can pull you down, my friend. When you and I don't take our place that God gives us.
There are parents right here that I know, and I'm not unkind, I'm trying to re-
mind you with love in my heart for you and for Christ and your children, there are parents right here that I know have taken trips of miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours ... partly maybe, I don't know, I'm not God, partly maybe because they didn't take hours early enough. Got to put in hours, got to put in hours. You think Almighty God can't collect His part in your life? If we don't put first things first my friend, we'll answer to God for it. Don't think that your children are not a big responsibility and a glorious privilege in your home.
It caters more and more to your pride. That's what brother Clayton brought out in his fine, timely comment. To be a star, if you're going to play ... the more you play you know, especially in organized games, the more you play, if you have any ability, you want to be a star and you want people then to look at you, (claps) like to see your picture in the paper, and it caters not to a spiritual, unselfish Life.
Fathers, it's within the realm of possibility for us to take care of our God-given problems without going to the Community Chest, to the Boy Scout and the Girl Scout, the YMCA and YWCA secretaries. We can take care of ourselves. Fathers will grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord when they wrestle with their own problems..
Now please believe when I say this, before we stop, if I have seemed to say without any equivocation, without any exception, that any of you fathers (and I don't know who has or hasn't) ... that any of you fathers who may have let your boys go here or go there. are therefore proving you're only irresponsible and weak, I don't mean that at all. We haven't done what we should have, and I haven't done what I should've done, and maybe brother Wilbur hasn't done what he should've done in exhorting and admonishing and suggesting; and other older ones. But let's not excuse ourselves any longer; I don't want to excuse myself any longer. We're not going to stay together even as closely together as we are now nor are we going to continue with the battling from outside and everywhere we hear, I mean from almost every direction anyway we certainly hear, the attacks upon the mind. There are various expressions like that: the onslaught upon the mind, the brainwashed people. Weíve got to get ready. People are being brainwashed for the coming antichrist because we're not walking individually as Christians, and that will mean numbers of Christians together. Because when I'm walking with a single eye looking at the Lord Jesus and trying to honor Him and you are too, why, if we live in the same neighborhood, we're together, we're really together, see...
But, basically, basically, you see, we've gone into the problem, "Fathers, bring up your children in the nurture and admonition in the Lord". And when fathers, in homes where there's both a boy and a girl, when fathers begin to accept their God-given responsibility, it's going to splash over on the wife and the girls too.
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