Around town are billboards and canvas banners for churches providing Vacation Bible school. These gatherings last anywhere from three to 10 days and are a way in which the church can serve members and have an influence on the larger culture.
Christian families are not the only ones invited to VBS. The nonchurched and nonchristian are welcome. VBS is a great place to park the kids for a few days at little expense.
By David Tulis
One hopes God will bless these efforts, especially if the teaching is biblical and faithful and makes the most of God and his providence and the least of man and his intelligence, gifts and virtue. Indeed, a faithful preaching of the Word in any context serves God’s kingdom.
However, VBS is a picture of an important compromise Christians in Chattanooga have made with the modern welfare and warfare state. State and federal government with the aid of counties have taken over the family role in education by providing free schools.
Public schooling is the instrument that makes a free people subject to the state. Schools are a means of marketing for the state, getting the people to yearn for its services and interventions. Schooling is a vehicle to convey to the people the ideas of consumption and debt, whether for a college degree or a Ford F150 pickup truck. It is impossible to have a love of liberty and free enterprise and submit one’s self to a state school system.
Best we can offer
Vacation Bible schools are the weak answer to the powerful claims of modern schooling. It could be seen as a rearguard action by a retreating Christianity. Christianity has been yielding since the rise of pietism and premillennial dispensationalism launched by J.N. Darby, Dwight L. Moody. In our country, that’s well over a hundred years. (See Ian Murray’s The Puritan Hope; Revival and the Interpretation of Prophecy, Banner of Truth, 1971)
What’s really needed is for Christian parents not to be satisfied with the VBS scheme because they see it as a poor stand-in for year-round Christian education.
They should demand that educational service providers — schools, namely — have an explicitly Christian worldview in every subject that they teach. That means whether in mathematics and history, the Christian presupposition prevails, these main points would include six-day creation, the providence of God in all things, the validity of God’s law and the promise of the gospel through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Fruits of these doctrines are, yes, local economy and free markets.
Clearly, Hamilton County public schools are incapable of meeting these requirements, as they have presuppositions contrary to the gospel about the nature of man.
The Christian church and Christian people in Chattanooga have long compromised with the state by remaining patrons of the state VBS — its Very Bad Schools. They are indifferent to its atheism and materialism, but they hold on to a form of Christianity. This Christianity gives them to become indignant when a last vestige of God’s claims are scraped out of the public school system. Most recently that has been the free giveaway of Gideon Bibles in Bledsoe County and in North Georgia Christian prayer at football games, both much on the margins of the life of the average public school.
God’s people continue to keep classes of an atheist and progressive system full. The sermons from many pulpits in Chattanooga are poor enough that they keep Christian families in a servitude to the state, for which most pew sitters are thankful because they don’t have to write tuition checks every semester (public school being free, yes).
Be successful in business with AM 1240 Hot News Talk Radio — the Sean Hannity & C0lin Cowherd all-talk platform
Vacation Bible School filled the gap for me. But that was 60 some years ago.
I was born again during a vacation Bible school program. It was an experience like I never experience again. I was around 10 years old. The preacher had the older kids in the auditorium. The preacher was preaching about salvation. At that age I had not read much in the Bible.
The preacher was saying, “There is none good no not one, we have all sinned and come short of the glory of GOD.” He repeated that several times during his sermon.
I finally looked myself up and down trying too see what might not be good about me. About that time the Holy Spirit came on the scene, grabbed a hold of me and I began to shake till I had to ask myself what is going on. At that point my eyes were opened. I looked back over my short 10 years, hoping too see something that I could say to myself that I really was not all that good in the eyes of God.
The Holy Spirit took hold of my hand to pull me out of my seat to go down front to make a public profession of my faith. It took two or three or more pulls before I moved out and was led down to the front.
No one was down front except the preacher and me. The preacher asked me if I wanted to accept Christ as my Saviour and I said, yes. I looked up and saw a very bright light and in the upper back part of that light I saw what appeared to be a human figure.
And then I felt a very heavy weight lifted off my shoulders. Was I reborn? Something happened. I have never been the same person since then.
Heaven is a perfect place. No sin there. We have a chance in this life too strive for perfection. Look at the FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT mentioned in the Bible.
I believe you will never make it to Heaven if this FRUIT is not reflected in your life. It is part of striving for perfection in this life. We either live a life of sinning or a life of striving for perfection.
THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT. THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR LIVING BY FAITH IN GOD.
There is no substitute for other aspects for living a Christian life. But it is impossible if you are not born again. Some people tell me if I try to live according to the 10 commandments that I being legalistic. I see nothing legalistic about living by the 10 commandments or by any other laws or commands of God.
It is simply a matter of OBEYING God. I have never heard anyone say you are being legalistic if you try to live by and obey man’s law. It is just a simple matter of putting forth the effort to stay out of jail.
On the other hand it is a matter of staying out of hell if you obey God’s law. But first you must be born again. You do not obey one law to be born again. Salvation is not a matter of keeping a law.
It is impossible to obey GOD UNTIL YOU ARE BORN AGAIN. I never learned one thing about this in my years of public education. Our government works night and day to see that God does not have a hand in anything government thinks it can control.
But that is not really the bad part in all of this. The bad part of all of this is people obey man in all his ways when they should be obeying God. The moral of all of this is: You were born into man’s world.
You can be born into God’s world. Try God’s law. It works.