Equipping the Next Generation – Part 2

What are we telling the next generation? How are we shaping their worldviews?

Philosophy and Mission July 8, 2024

In Part 1 of this series, I defined the term “worldview” and explained its generational importance. In this installment, I explore the importance that education plays in shaping the worldviews of young people and preparing them for times of trouble. 

What are we telling the next generation? How are we shaping their worldviews? Ultimately, their generational worldview will greatly affect the spreading of the gospel and the finishing of the work. I believe it is not long now before Jesus makes His appearance. We will arrive at Generation Omega sooner than we think.

Psalm 145:4 says, “One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts” (KJV) or, in a different translation, “Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power” (NLT).

The goal of the Education Department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is “Educating for Eternity.” This is my concern. Are we, as Christians, educating and equipping our young children and people for eternity? 

Matthew 19:14 says, “But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven,” and Proverbs 22:6 notes, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” We all will have to give an account to God for the part we played in shaping the worldview of our children and young people. 

Likewise, Jeremiah 13:20 says, “where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock?” and Matthew 18:6 states, “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

We offend—affect—our children by what we pass on. The responsibility is great. We must do everything in our power to help equip the next generation and shape their worldviews. God expects it. We must be intentional because outside forces are intentionally shaping them as well, including society, the government, and their schools.

Our society is largely humanist and secular in its thinking. The last census of the United Kingdom, taken in 2021, revealed that, for the first time ever, less than 50% (46.2%) of people identified as Christians. 37.2% said they are non-religious. The country is becoming more secular with every successive generation. There has also been a rise in pagan, New Age, and similar religions. 

A song titled “We’re Coming for Your Children” was recently circulating on WhatsApp. Some of the lyrics include,

You think we’re sinful, you fight against our right,
you say we all lead lives you can’t respect.
But you’re just frightened, you think that we’ll corrupt your kids if our agenda goes unchecked.
Funny, just this once, you’re correct.

The song continues,

We’ll convert your children… we’ll make them tolerant and fair.
Just like you’re worried, they’ll change their group of friends,
you won’t approve of where they go at night.
And you’ll be disgusted when they start learning things online
that you kept far from their sight.

In 1983, John Dunphy, a humanist, said, “I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers that correctly perceive their role as proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being.” He adds, “The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and new—the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism, resplendent with the promise of a world in which the never-realized Christian ideal of ‘love thy neighbour’ will finally be achieved.”

Schools are the staging ground for the things that the government and society wish to instill in the next generation, from views on evolution to gender identity and human sexuality. Why? Because most schools are teaching from a secular worldview and not a biblical worldview. 

Your worldview will affect how you respond in a crisis. Some of us believe we will become biblical superheroes when the time of trouble approaches or when we are faced with opportunities to defend our faith. Your worldview determines just how prepared you are. If you have not forearmed yourself before, it will not happen. Forearming is not a passive preparation. To be forearmed requires intentionality. You must have a purpose in your heart. 

In Part 3 of this series, I will emphasize the important role that parents, caregivers, and educators have in instilling God’s word in the younger generations. I will also elaborate on the unique goals and strengths of Adventist education in shaping generational worldviews.


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