ImageA couple of years ago, a college professor was talking about major events in the formation of various nations.  He mentioned the crossing of the Red Sea in the formation of the nation of Israel and the crossing of Rubicon in the formation of the Roman Empire. He looked over his students and there was a disconnect.  With the exception of a couple of black students, the great majority did not know what the crossing of the Red Sea was and no one knew what the crossing of the Rubicon was.

A neighbor was trying to persuade me many years ago that even though she and her husband are Protestants, they were not going to influence the religion of their children.  Therefore, they decided that they would not take their children to any church, and when they are of college age they will decide what religion they want to follow.

About a decade ago, E. D. Hirsch published his book, Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know,  because he was frightened by the increasing ignorance of what was considered necessary primary knowledge of history, literature, science and religion.

The computer has also enabled us in a way to know more, and in another way to become dumber.  We can gain knowledge at our fingertips, but because it comes so quickly, we do not want to memorize any more.  These days only the hard sciences still insist on memorizing things – medicine, engineering, chemistry and to a degree, law.

When it comes to the knowledge about God as it is revealed in the Holy Scriptures, there is an increasing ignorance.  People talk exceedingly about religion but the term has become so amorphous, empty of a definition, that it can mean anything.  People talk the same way about God, but it self-constructed.  Through the prophet Hosea, God, Jehovah, the only true God speaks: "My people perish for the lack of knowledge" (Hos. 4:6)

Jesus, in his restoration conversation with Peter, said to him: Feed my sheep and feed my lambs (John 21:15-17).  Sunday School is one of the church inventions to teach the Word of God to the lambs – the children and the young, and the sheep – the remaining adults in our congregations.  We have a given obligation as parents and as churches to teach the Word of God to everyone.

As the school year starts, in many of our churches, Sunday School starts again.  In our church, Sunday School is for all ages.  We have classes for two-year olds so that from early childhood they can learn about God. But we also have Sunday school for very young children so that their parents will come and learn themselves.

One of the ways parents negate the importance of God's Word is by dropping off their children for Sunday School classes and then doing something they feel is much more important for them as adults – like shopping, reading the paper, doing the laundry or mowing the lawn.

I encourage you to find a church where the Word of God is being taught faithfully in their Sunday School classes.  Bring your children and stay with them so that they will have an idea about the Crossing of the Red Sea, of Mount Golgotha, and of God who made it all possible.

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Rev. Dr. George Hancock-Stefan

George Hancock-Stefan

Pastor George Hancock-Stefan completed 30 years as the pastor of the great congregation at Central Baptist Church in Atlantic Highlands in 2020. Those 30 years have been a blessed time for him, his wife...