“When the Strife is Fierce, the Warfare Long…”
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16
It used to be that Christian students might have their beliefs challenged or even attacked in some cases when they attended a public university. However, we have moved beyond faith being challenged to all out warfare in our world today. The battle also begins long before university level for our children as well.
From the moment that children learn to turn on an electronic device to the first time they step into a public-school classroom, parents must be aware that their children will be inundated with a worldview that is hostile to Christ and His Church. We can no longer pretend that this reality does not exist. The world teaches contrary to God’s Word and His design regarding identity, sex, and marriage already in early childhood grades. Those waging this warfare seek nothing less than the defeat or capitulation of the Church.
How is the Church to respond? With the Word of God. This does not mean that the world is going to listen to our sermons and Bible classes. Our response must be to lead the families of our congregations back to the Word of God. This exercise cannot occur merely an hour a week. Families in whom the Word of God dwells richly are preparing their children for the battle going on all around us. Parents need to be instructed in God’s Word so that they can take up their calling of teaching their children. Daily devotions, morning and evening prayers, weekly worship, Sunday School and Bible class are all some of the ways that families can be shaped and formed by God’s Word.
The assaults that our young people are facing also serve as a reminder of the importance of Lutheran elementary schools, high schools, and universities. Parents should never send their children to public schools at any level without providing for their ongoing instruction in the Christian faith. College visits should always include checking out Lutheran campus ministries or nearby congregations. Our young people also need primers in apologetics that help them to answer and defend their faith.
The Scriptures describe the battle between Christ’s Church and the devil’s minions with vivid imagery. Satan is described as serpent, lion, and dragon, waging ware against God’s beloved. Dear friends in Christ, remember that for us fights the valiant One, Christ Jesus! Even the gates of hell will not prevail against Christ and His Bride, the Church. So we continue to fill the ears and hearts of our children, youth and all the saints with the mighty Word of God, that they would be able to stand firm and resist the assaults of the devil. May the Word of Christ dwell in you richly!
Prayer - Blessed Lord, you have given us your Holy Scriptures for our learning. May we so hear them, read, learn, and take them to heart, that being strengthened and comforted by your holy Word, we may cling to the blessed hope of everlasting life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan