Donnie V. Rader
I feel as though I am a step out of time. My concepts and values just don't' seem to mesh with those of today's generation. Maybe I should have lived in an earlier time. I'm certainly not what some might call a 90's man. But, just about he time I have adapted to the fact that I must be different than many in the 1990's, we are now ready to begin a new millennium. Oh me! Will the next decade complicate matters further? Will a greater gulf be placed between me and the people of the world? Is the time coming that I will be considered old-fashioned by my own brethren who now agree with me?
Oh, yes, my concepts and principles are old - I mean very old - straight from the Bible, but not out of date. And yet, they are viewed as too old fashioned for today. Over the years we have drifted little by little from the attitudes and ideas to which we once held. It doesn't happen overnight. But, as society changes, so do many of us.
Let me share with you some reasons that I say I am of the old school.
1. I still believe that the man should be the breadwinner and the wife should be a keeper at home. The man is commanded to work and provide for his family. Paul wrote, "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel (1 Tim. 5:8). The women were commanded to be "discreet, chaste, keepers at home" (Tit. 2:5). As out of date as it may seem, that is what the text says.
No, I'm not opposed to women working outside the home. There may be times that is necessary. But, that is a far cry from what is practiced by many women today, even by some who are Christians. We see women today who have become so occupied with their career that they are in no way "workers at home" (Thayer). How can a woman who does little cooking, cleaning, washing or caring for the family claim to be a keeper at home? I'm bothered by what I see today. But, then, I'm of the old school.
2. I still believe that parents should raise their own children and not turn that work over to their parents, day-care centers or anyone else. Paul told Timothy, "I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully (1 Tim. 5:14). The same apostle wrote to the Ephesians, "And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4).
This responsibility is laid upon parents and cannot be properly given to another. However, it is not unusual to find parents (where both father and mother have their careers) who "dump" their children on the grandparents to see them for more hours a day than they tend to the children. Others do the same with day-care centers. When children are older, they come home to an empty house to care for themselves because Mom is not there. In the situation described above, it is someone other than the parents who teach, train and discipline the children. I know that a lot of today's Christians don't agree with what I have said. But, then, I'm of the old school.
3. I still believe that the man should be head of the house and that the wife should be in submission to her husband. From the book of Ephesians I learn that one of the things necessary to walk "circumspectly" (Eph. 5:15; "carefully"- ASV) is for wives to "submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord" (v. 22; cf. vv. 23-24). Peter said that part of living a holy life (1 Pet. 1:15) is for wives to "be in subjection to your own husbands..." (1 Pet. 3:1).
While these passage are as simple as they can be, there are still women who are heads in their homes. There are those who have just as much or more authority in the home as their husbands. There are women who domineer over their mates. Do they think that a violation of Eph. 5 or 1 Pet. 3 is a trivial matter?
I for one am not ready to accept the new way of living. It may seem out of date and chauvinistic to demand that the husband be the head and the wife is to submit. But, then again, I'm of the old school.
4. I still believe that children are to be disciplined with a rod. Some psychologist and child-care "experts have said that spanking is cruel and classified as child abuse. I see parents who apparently agree with this principle. Children are told over and over to quit misbehaving and do what they have been told with little or no "proof" that there is authority behind those instructions. So, the child continues to do what he or she wants to do.
The Bible clearly speaks of spanking a child to train him properly. Notice the use of the word "rod" (comparable to a "switch") in these texts. "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes" (Prov. 13:24). "Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying" (Prov. 19:18). "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him" (Prov. 22:15). "Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell" (Prov. 23:13-14).
You may think that I am a little strict and hard concerning discipline. But, then again, you already know that I'm of the old school.
5. I still believe that sin should be called sin and never be minimized. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems that some today are trying to minimize sin. If it appears to be a little and insignificant matter (though it still violates the law of God - 1 John 3:4), it may be called everything but sin. Call it a mistake, poor judgment, something that shouldn't have been done or an imperfection. But when you get through if it violates the law of God, it is sin! Let us see sin for what it really is (Rom. 7:13). Let us never apologize for dealing with it. Let us never diminish the consequences of sin. If sin condemns the soul, and it does, why make it appear as a little thing?
Oh, I know that hard line preaching doesn't please the crowds. And, you're right, it makes people feel like they are being preached to. But, after all, I'm of the old school.
6. I still think that the fundamentals need to be preached. I think that some of us have gotten away from the basic principles of the New Testament. I mean that we have failed to study and emphasize those first principles. We assume that everyone already knows about the Deity of Christ, the one true church, baptism being essential, why instrumental music is wrong and hell. Whether we know it or not, we need to be reminded (2 Pet. 1:13).
Other titles can be more sensational. Other topics may draw bigger crowds. That is not to say that other principles are not needed. They are. However, lest we forget, we need to hit the basics again and again. The reason I think that shouldn't really surprise you is, you see, I'm of the old school. I like it. I think that's where I'll stay.