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We’ve Traded Prayer For Pistols

Dr. Pierre Coovert

I want to address the issue of school shootings in this article. I am kind of a news junky, we listen to the news a lot in my home. The recent shooting in Texas dominated much of the news for days after it happened. I have only heard one person who had any idea of the real cause of all of the shootings in the public schools in America.

The first recorded school shooting on American soil was in 1764. America was not even a nation back then. From 1764 to 1962, a period of 198 years, there were 122 shootings on school property, and 104 deaths. That averages out to one shooting every 1.6 years, and one death every 2 years. In the 56 years from 1962 to today, there have been 376 school shootings, averaging seven shootings per year. There have 500 deaths averaging 9 per year.

What happened in 1962 that changed things so this started happening? They banned prayer, the Bible, and God from our schools. Along with this, discipline was eliminated from our schools and strongly discouraged in our homes.

Our public schools have evolved into left wing indoctrination centers. America used to be among the top nations in eduction. We have dropped to near the bottom because it is more important that our schools toe the left wing line than teaching our children to read, write, and do math.

The theory of evolution, a theory without a real scientific basis, has permeated our education system from preschool to the highest levels of education in America. It teaches that man is just an evolved animal, and not a direct creation of God.

They are also teaching that there are no absolute moral values, and that culture and society determine what is right and wrong. It is true that, in the minds of people, society does play a big role in teaching right and wrong, but that doesn’t mean that right and wrong are determined by culture and society. The basic meaning of moral is, according to custom. In our culture it is wrong to eat your enemy, but in a cannibalistic culture, it is morally correct to do so.

There is a real problem with this teaching when it comes to the subject of school shootings. If there are no absolute moral values, then shooting up a school is not morally wrong. We all know that it is wrong because God has put the principle that we are not to murder our fellow man in the hearts of every man.

I want to play a song by a friend of mine that expresses quite well what has happened in our country since 1962 and the elimination of God from our schools. The title of the song is “We’ve Traded Prayer For Pistols.”

This has been a rather long introduction, and I would be shirking my duty if I didn’t tell you what God has to say on the subject.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

The Hebrew word for “train” means in initiate or discipline. It is a military term, and it means to discipline a soldier to obey without question, like in basic training, for those of you who were in the military. The goal is not to teach blind obedience, or not to think, it is to teach the principles to the point that they become one’s natural reaction to a given situation.

In a combat situation, delay in reacting to an order can cost lives, as can disobeying an order. We are in a spiritual war, and our children must be taught to obey God’s commands immediately, and all the time. Their automatic reaction to any situation ought to be, what does God expect. It is only when this type of training is given to our children that God promises they will not depart when they are old.

None of us are perfect parents, and we are seldom 100% successful in our training, but the more attention we pay to it, the more the precepts of God will be instilled in our children. The more God’s precepts are instilled in our children, the more godly they will be.

I would like to point out that this passage does not say that they may depart, but they will return in their old age. It says they will not depart when they are old. In Deuteronomy we are told that this is a full time job:

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)

I don’t have the time to elaborate on this passage, but if you pay attention to what it says, you will see that our training of our children is done through everything we do. It is through our speech, our actions, and our testimony. It is a full time job.

We need to educate our children fully in the things of God. We can’t allow them to be indoctrinated by our education system without countering it with the Word of God. Having our children in church and Sunday school is not enough. Even having them in a “Christian” school is not enough. They must be in a home that puts Christan values and principles above all else.

Let’s look for a moment at the teaching of evolution as a scientific fact in our schools. This unscientific theory teaches that there was nothing, and that this nothing exploded and evolved into everything we see today. True science teaches that this is impossible. It teaches that life cannot come from non-life.

The Bible teaches that God created everything except man by simply speaking it into existence. Man was created differently.

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7)

God formed man out of the dust of the ground, breathed into him the breath of life, and man became a living soul. This is not said of any of the other creatures.

You will observe that when an animal kills, there is no remorse or guilt. They don’t have a conscience that tells them certain things are wrong. We can teach them to do, or not to do, certain things, but it is only the fear of punishment and the love of reward that makes them do, or not do, these things. Man, on the other hand, knows that some things are right and some things are wrong because he has a conscience and God has put His law in it.

For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) (Romans 2:14-15)

Even those without the law of God know certain things are right an wrong. Where does this come from in the theory of evolution? This is why those who believe in evolution eventually come to the point that there are no moral absolutes, and that each one is a law unto himself. If there are no moral absolutes, then each one does become a law unto himself. What he thinks is right or wrong is what is right or wrong. No one has the right to tell him what he should or should not do.

We tell our young people that they are just evolved animals, then we wonder why the act like animals. Remember, what we sow is what we reap.

Let’s get back to the training of children. We need to correct them if they are to learn what is right and what is wrong.

Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. (Hebrews 12:11)

Being chastised, or corrected, is never a pleasant experience. When it is accepted, and corrections are made, it yields the “peaceable fruit of righteousness.” What is the “peaceable fruit of righteousness?” It is the peace that comes from knowing that we have done that which is right, and have not done that which is wrong.

The Book of Proverbs is a book of wisdom. When we learn what it teaches, and put it into practice, we live our live in the wisest of ways. This wisdom is passed on to our children if it is really the center of our lives.

Let’s take a look at what Provers has to say about discipline and our children.

Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul. (Proverbs 29:17)

Children that are corrected from the earliest age give the parents rest. They also are a delight to their parents, and to others that they are around.

Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. (Proverbs 22:15)

Children are full of foolishness, that is, they lack understanding and wisdom. It is the job of the parents to drive this foolishness far from them. It is often done with the rod of correction. The best rod is not a physical rod, which is sometimes needed, but the rod of the Word of God.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (2 Timothy 3:16)

The Scriptures are profitable for what we are to teach our children, and what they are to believe (doctrine). They are profitable for teaching what they do wrong (reproof). They are profitable for teaching them how to correct bad behavior (correction). But most importantly, they are profitable for keeping them from doing wrong in the first place (instruction in righteousness).

Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying. (Proverbs 19:18)

If we wait too long, there is little hope of correcting a child. The longer we allow the child to act inappropriately, the more the bad behavior is embedded in his character, and the harder it is to correct it. I know it is hard to see your children cry, and we don’t what to see them hurt, but if we don’t apply the rod of correction, they will be hurt much more later in life because of their bad behavior. A little hurt now is better than a lot of hurt later, and possibly a ruined or shortened life.

Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. (Proverbs 23:13)

The first thing I want to do with this verse is to deal with the meaning of beatest. The word has very strong negative feelings attached to it because it is so often used concerning beating someone to a pulp, usually for no good reason. What both the Hebrew word, and the English word mean is to strike, often repeatedly. It is the using of the rod to drive foolishness out of the hearts of children as we saw in Proverbs 22:15 above. It is giving the child a whipping, not beating him into submission. The purpose is to inflict pain so the child thinks before committing the same error again.

It has often been said that today there is too much Spock, and not enough spank in the training of our children. When children misbehave at the grocery store, it is because they are not disciplined consistently at home. When the child misbehaves in public, and the parent says, “just wait until we get him,” he knows there is little likelihood of any punishment for his misbehavior.

The youth of today have no respect for authority. Since there is no moral absolute, why should they respect what someone else says. They have been to school for a few years and think they know everything better than those in authority over them. Paul told Titus to teach that we are to be subject to those in authority over us.

Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, (Titus 3:1)

Think about this, if you are not subject to those in authority over you, how can you teach your children to be subject to your authority? If traffic laws, like speed limits and red lights, mean nothing to you, why should your limits mean anything to your children?

Let me wrap this up by saying that children are shooting children in our schools because we, as a society, have taught them to do so. We have stopped teaching them the absolute moral values of God’s Word, either by actually saying they are not absolute, or by violating them ourselves. We have taken God out of our schools and are teaching that one religion is as good as another. Even Islam, which teaches its followers to kill those who won’t come to their way of seeing things, is equal, or to some, superior, to Christianity.

Parents have stopped the old fashioned ways of disciplining their children. They need to get back to it. I know that in modern society we cannot strike our children in public, but if children are properly disciplined at home from the earliest age, just a disapproving look should get the job done in public.

Learn enough about evolution to teach your children the errors of the theory and the accuracy of what the Bible says.

Make God such a part of your daily life (Deuteronomy 6:6-9) that your children know that you are serious about Him and His precepts.

Get back to the Bible in everything.

Copyright 2017 Pierre Coovert, All rights reserved