Home Schooling and the Millennium
Posted in Theologically Speaking
What we believe about the future, about the meaning of the word, “millennium”, will affect how we organise and direct our home schooling time and how we perceive what we are trying to accomplish.
The term “millennium” comes from one place in the Scriptures, Revelation 20:2-7. Among evangelical or born again Christians, it is probably safe to say that the most popular belief is that there will be a literal 1,000-year reign of Christ which He will institute upon His physical return to earth. He needs to return because the Gospel message will ultimately face defeat, save only a few and the world will continue its downward spiral without supernatural intervention. This view is known as Premillennialism, because Jesus comes before (or pre) His millennial reign.
There are actually two other views of the millennium. Amillennialism does not go along with the idea of a future literal 1,000-year reign of Christ on the throne. These “a-mils” (or no-1,000) see the 1,000 as a symbolic figure meaning a long time, that Christ reigns and has reigned and will always reign. His reign has become progressively stronger since the resurrection, but will only reach its zenith once Christ returns to judge the world and create the new heavens and the new earth.
Postmillennialists may believe that we are in the millennium now, again an indefinite long period of time which can be said to have begun in power with the outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit at Pentecost, or that the Gospel rnessage will ultimately usher in a 1,000 year period of peace and prosperity, after which (post) Christ will return.
Premillennialists are eagerly awaiting the Lord’s return which most of the popularists tell us could happen at any moment, maybe this afternoon. Therefore we must be focusing our attention on evangelising the unreached millions and not get too involved in the more mundane chores and responsibilities of everyday life. With this time constraint, some Christian groups have been tempted to take short cuts with the Gospel and do all they can to attract people in while downplaying the sin bit which tends to put people off. We’ve all seen those churches which seem to be into the entertainment business these days. It comes fsom this desire to get people in at all costs, because the time is short. With the year 2,000 right around the corner, it is almost irresistable not to lean heavily toward the idea that a week of 1,000’s, from 4,000 BC when many believe God created the world, to AD 2,000 (6,000 years) is to be capped by the final Sabbath 1,000 years, or the Millennium of Christ’ s reign on earth.
But if this is the case, many of us will be right in the middle of our home schooling years when the year 2,000 arrives, with our children still living in our homes. So why are we slogging our guts out to give them the best academic, social, spiritual and character training we can if they will hardly ever get to use any of it if at all? We should get them saved and then pack up and get ourselves off to the mission field to save a few more souls from the coming fire.
Both the Amillennialist and the Postmillennialist see a lot of work to be done to bring the Gospel to bear on this sin-cursed world, not only to bring sinners into the Kingdom, but also to bring every thought and authority and power captive to obey tbe Lordship of Christ on the earth now before His physical return. They are not under the same time constraint as are most Premills. They see more to a life of service to Christ than just evangelism.
Now I would love to go into a deep comparison of Biblical passages and theological histories concerning the millennia1 views. I would love to show how our sinful natures exploit each of the views to our own selfish ends, bringing disrepute to Christ’s Name . Maybe another time. But let us look at how this affects our home schooling. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say, let us look at our home schooling and see what is revealed about what we really truly believe regarding the millennium.
Most of us believe there is quite a future before us. We are training our children up to be men and women of God, who know the Scriptures and are not afraid to wield the sword of the Spirit, when faced with the enemy’s lies. In fact, we get quite excited when we think about the careers they are likely to have, the pioneering Christian work they are likely to do in so many areas of endeavour since they have been reared with a more consistent Biblical worldview than we have ourselves, the spouses they are likely to marry, the even more Godly and Christlike grandchildren they are likely to rear for us since their home schooling programme will be so much more advanced than ours. We are training them up to not just cope with this evil world, but to take a hold of it with both hands and with God’s help to change it round the way it should be, to turn the world upside down as did the early apostles. Isn’t this what the early church fathers did? The Reformers? The Puritans? The many revivalists of the 1700’s and 1800’s?
Hasn’t revival been our prayer for NZ and the world for many seasons now? Don’t we in fact see home schooling and Christian schools as a foundational step in this direction ? Don’t we envision our children being able to articulate the Faith and demonstrating to a crooked and perverse generation how the Word of God has the only right principles for individual, family, church, community, and civil behaviour? Maybe the home schooling movement is the revival we have been praying for.
We are actually people of victory, not defeat, are we not? We filled in the Certificate of Exemption form confident that we would win the Exemption. We took on home schooling confident that we could overcome all the hurdles and do a really good job. We stick at home schooling confident that it will provide spiritual and academic and social and character building benefits far superior to those represented by a School Certificate or Bursury. We write to MP’s confident that we will not allow them to intimidate us nor force unwanted restrictions upon us. We are willing, for the sake of our children’s futures, to do things we never would have dreamed ourselves doing a few years ago. We forget what lies behind and we strain forward to what lies ahead. In short, we too are concerned about serving God in more ways than just evangelism.
Brothers and Sisters, people of God: I get the sneaking suspicion that if an outsider were to study our lifestyles and then to categorize our views on the millennium according to what has been observed, none of us would qualify as Premillennialists!! Well, as for me, if the Lord comes this afternoon, I want to be found doing His will. If He doesn’t come for another 700 years, I want to do all I can to ensure my descendants then are found doing His will and living in a world that reflects His standards more than does the present one.
From Keystone Magazine
May 1995 , Vol. 1 No. 2
P O Box 9064
Phone: (06) 357-4399
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