The “principalities and powers of darkness” are discipling your children. We are witnessing an attack on children unlike we have seen in our lifetime.
Since Adam and Eve feared Cane and Abel’s bickering would lead to bigger trouble, parents have worried about their kids. Concern for children is well-founded. The world has always been dangerous for children. When Moses was born Pharoah ordered that Hebrew baby boys be killed as a means of population control. In our day the number one cause of death worldwide is abortion of preborn babies, making the mother’s womb the most dangerous place for a human being. Let that sink in. Not cancer. Not Covid. Abortion is the leading cause of death for human beings.
And now, once a baby is born, parents in America face government supported and mandated indoctrination into the LGBTQIA+ agenda in public, taxpayer funded schools. The effort to change the thinking of Americans on the matter of “sexual identity” began long ago. It accelerated in the 1970s, picked up steam in the following decades, before reaching rocket-speed in recent years (see Carl Trueman’s excellent book Strange New World).
Recently a woman in Oregon told me she attended a mandated training for educators on “equity and inclusion.” The first statement the trainer made was this: “The Adam and Eve story, and the idea that there are only two genders, is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated upon humanity.”
If this lie were only being force-fed to teenagers there should be outrage. But ignoring biological sex for the social construct of “gender fluidity” is being taught to preschoolers and elementary-aged children. Two elementary school teachers told me recently they have students who last year were boys, but this year claim to be “girls,” complete with new names, dress, and access to whichever bathrooms they choose. Girls are especially at risk because of the bathroom and locker room issue. “Puberty blockers” are being given to some children to keep them from the natural maturation process. The idea is that it will buy them time to decide if they are a boy or a girl. Other adolescents are undergoing surgery in an effort to match their body to their perceived “gender.” It’s unimaginably sad, wicked, and was unthinkable even 10 years ago.
To what can we attribute this attack on our youngest children? Clearly, “the principalities and powers of darkness” have made the minds, hearts and bodies of our kids the front line of the spiritual battlefield. Moreover, the forces of darkness have convinced many to point their finger at the church and proclaim, “You Christians are the problem. You are what is wrong in the world. You are bigoted and hateful for not embracing and affirming all that the LGBTQIA+ agenda is advancing.” This finger-pointing at the church and Christians is happening in government, educational institutions, and in many of our nation’s largest corporations. One in my family works for a large corporation that has recently announced it will cover 100 percent of the cost of “sex realignment surgery” for employees and their dependents. Will they do the same for cancer treatment or heart surgery? Of course not.
So, what can Christians and churches do? What must we do? First, fight for your kids. Don’t leave them to the bears. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that parents, grandparents, and churches do that is more vital than discipling children. Put on the armor of God, enter your prayer closet, and do battle for your kids. Take up the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and fill your mind and your children’s minds with the “whole counsel” of the Word of God. You cannot trust the training and education of your children to the schools. Find out what your child’s school is teaching them. Demand to know what they are being taught. It’s not like it was when you grew up. It’s not like it was the day before yesterday! Laws have changed. Educational goals and purposes have changed. Fight for your kids. Fight for your kids like Kendall Cummings fought for the life of his friend Brayden Lowrey when he was attacked by a grizzly bear. It happened in Wyoming in October 2022. Kendall jumped on the bear and grabbed his ear to get him off his friend! And it worked! Both men were badly injured, but they survived.
If your child was attacked by a grizzly bear, you’d grab its ears and poke its eyes and do everything possible to save your child. Children’s hearts, minds, and bodies are being ripped and torn by those advocating transgenderism. Parents, you must “fight the bear” for your kids. You might be attacked and called names, but it’s the life and future of your children that is at stake. And churches and pastors, we need to stand with, and stand up, for parents and kids. When a church stands together it will provide needed strength and support to those on the front line of this spiritual battle.
Second, churches must make discipling children and parents the highest priority. Jesus commanded us to “preach the gospel to all creation” (Mk 16:15). The next generation in our communities, and in our families, is a part of the “all creation” that we must disciple. Our discipleship must exceed that of the forces of darkness.
As part of this discipleship, we must help our kids answer two vital questions. First, is Jesus Christ Lord? Is Jesus the way, the truth and the life? Is Christianity true? Second, is Jesus worthy of our suffering? Your children will lose friends, jobs and careers by obeying Jesus. We must disciple them to know that they will suffer persecution because of their faith in Jesus Christ. They must be taught to love their neighbor and love their enemy, but they must not attempt to appease the children of the enemy. Appeasement never leads to repentance, but love can bring repentance and reconciliation.
The Northwest Baptist Convention, which I serve as Executive Director, is addressing this pressing issue by making our part-time children’s ministry position a full-time position. In this way we will be able to increase our efforts to assist parents and churches to disciple children. We will seek other ways to help our churches disciple children. The stakes could not be higher. Nothing is of greater importance.
In my Scripture reading recently I read the passage where Jesus sent the Twelve on mission. He told them to preach and heal. He also said, “If anyone does not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that house or that town” (Matt. 10:14).
It’s a hard word, but we need to remember that some hearts are so hard, and some rebellion against God is so intense, that we must simply walk away. Maybe a softening will happen in time, but we can’t let opposition from the enemy and his children steal our joy and sap our energy for disciple-making. We must press on to the next person, the next opportunity, and pray that the Holy Spirit has gone before us. And we must remember, we are strangers in a strange new world, but so too were those who first followed Christ, and every generation since.