Tom Roberts

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Associate Editorial

The Crying Need for Teachers

In many homes the Bible is a forgotten book. If children learn anything at all about God, it must be in bible classes. Many children grow up without hearing the wonderful stories of the Bible. This is both a sin and a shame. Ephesians 6:4 clearly puts the responsibility of teaching children about God in the home with parents as the teachers. So we need parents who will be teachers at home.

Yet, 1 Timothy 3:15 also reveals that the church is the "pillar and ground of truth." It has the responsibility also to see that the truth is taught. The manner in which the church has to teach is through the medium of dedicated men and women who will study and prepare themselves to teach. So we need teachers in the church today.

There is no conflict between the roles of the home and the church. Rather, they should complement one another and add to what the other is doing. When the Bible is taught in the home by the parents and in the congregation by Christians, the result is multiplied knowledge instead of ignorance. Too often, not enough is done in either place and children grow up without the knowledge of God in their lives.

What can we expect from children who grow up without the righteous influence of truth in their lives? Did you ever stop to think of the actual and practical importance of Bible training?

All of us, as we grew up, needed someone to admire and emulate. We all need a hero or heroine (not to be confused with heroin!) who will give us something as a goal to reach. When qualified teachers do their work, children are given these heroes straight from the Bible. They can admire and imitate the ones whose lives are good and righteous and worthy of admiration. Without Bible training, they must turn to the "weak and beggarly elements of the world" for someone to admire.

Adam, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Eve, Sarah, Elizabeth, Mary, Jesus, Paul, Peter, John. What wonderful images these names conjure up to those who are familiar with their life histories. Who can help but be thrilled when told of David as a young man as he killed wild animals when they attacked the flock — or as he killed Goliath while others crouched in fear before the Philistines? Don't you remember the thrill of reading of baby Moses and how he was hidden, found, raised and chose God rather than the pleasures of Egypt? Or Abraham and his faith which led him into a strange country to follow God? How about the purity of Queen Vashti or the strength of Esther who saved her people from death even while risking her own life? Do you remember the courage of John who stood before Herod and denounced him for his adultery? And the reverence of the shepherds and the magi who heard the announcements and traveled great distances to worship Jesus at His birth? How uplifting and thrilling and beneficial these true stories are to the development of character. How necessary they are to molding young lives in the image of God.

Now, compare a life influenced by these Bible characters to one which has only worldly people to imitate. Madonna, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Eminem, Oprah Winfrey, Backstreet Boys, Marilyn Manson, Darryl Strawberry, Allen Iverson, and other luminaries from TV, the movies, music and sports. Did you ever stop to realize that the memories of youth play a tremendously important part in forming character in later years? Think what a difference it will make in a person's mind if the only people available to admire have only evil qualiities: profane and obscene language, violent ideas, skepticism and doubt, ridicule, mind-bending music, rebellious actions, drop-out mentality, nothing holy and sacred — neither motherhood, patriotism nor religion. Kick the establishment, down with law and order, four-letter words, suspicion, hatred, racism, lust and covetousness. With this kind of environment, what will be the final product?

Do you see the need for Bible teaching at home and in classes? Do you understand the tremendous difference between these two manners of life?

Then what about training yourself to be a teacher? Why not willingly step into the gap and do your part to mold the lives of young boys and girls, men and women into the images of God rather than of the Devil? Why is it that elders always have a problem finding Christian men and women who will teach a class? Why do teachers consider a class a chore rather than an opportunity to do one of the greatest works this side of heaven? Perhaps we have never really considered how important a work it is that we are doing.

The next time you are called on to teach, think about this article and the truth it expresses. Think of the eternal good you will be doing. Train your children up in the way they should go. Take advantage of every opportunity to teach a class. Be willing to study and learn to teach. The things you put into young minds may very well be the exact things they remember when they grow older and, faced with a temptation, have to make a decision on which will hand their souls. There is a crying need for teachers.