The Future of Your Child
In this Atomic Age, there has been a definite awakening in many circles as to the value of Bible Study among the children in the British Empire and the United States. This conviction is not only found in Christian circles and shared by ministers, Sunday School superintendents and teachers, but this feeling has reached the Parliaments of the British Empire. Here are some of the facts.
General John Pershing, Commander-in-Chief of the American Expeditionary Force in World War I, has stated, what the United States needs is not a greater Air Force, a greater Navy, or a greater Army, but the crying need of the United States is a system of Sunday Schools from coast to coast, equal in number to those of the day schools.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, speaking to the British Parliament, stated that it is from Christian tradition that our nation has drawn its standard of life for long centuries. Then he went on to outline to Parliament the need of Christian education in schools. Following his address, the House of Lords debated for two days the question of Christian education in schools; there had been a similar debate in the House of Commons.
Some educators have stated that many people regard the present chaotic condition of the world to be a result of the dismissal of Christian ethics in the educational systems of Germany and other countries. This is unquestionably true and, if our land is to be preserved from this awful thing, the children of our nation must be taught the fundamentals of the Scriptures.
There are a number of outstanding facts which have come to light relative to the value of Bible teaching to children. The following are a few examples:
In a certain Police Court, 4,000 boys were examined and it was discovered that only three were members of Sunday Schools when the clime was committed.
In another Court of 8,000 cases, less than 3% had ever had any Religious Education in home, school or church.
Statistics show that Canadian Sunday School attendance is decreasing, this is likewise true in the U.S.A. and it would appear that, with the decrease of Sunday School attendance, goes the increase of juvenile crime.
Our daily papers view with alarm the increase in juvenile delinquency. If our boys and girls are to be kept out of the Police Court, they must be kept in Sunday School. Surely these statistics indicate the value of Sunday School work in the making of good citizens.
However, there is something even more valuable than producing law-abiding citizens and that is the preparation of souls for Eternity, and, as a natural outcome of this preparation, such will be law-abiding citizens. Here again the Sunday School shines forth. Investigations have shown that 75% of all conversions take place before 20 years of age. There are seven times as many conversions at 16 years of age, as at 26 years. Professor Athern investigated 6,194 people from 26 States of America and found the peak of conversion to be at thirteen years of age. Furthermore, it has been proven that those who trust Christ in their childhood are more consistent throughout their Christian life, than adults who come to a knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, as a personal Saviour, in adulthood. Perhaps these facts are surprising, but let us remember the value that the Lord Himself placed upon child life, for He said: “Suffer little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven” and, on another occasion, He stated to an adult audience: “Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Will Any Sunday School Do?
In Canada, we are greatly favoured in having a large number of Sunday Schools, but it would seem, we regret to say, that some are more concerned in interesting the children than teaching them the truths of the Bible. May we suggest to you, as a parent, that you inquire as to whether the teacher to whom your child is entrusted is a true Christian, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Furthermore, may we suggest that you inquire as to what is being taught your child, and insist that he be instructed in the principles of the Bible in all clearness.
It is striking to note that, in ten years of Day School training, the child receives approximately 12,000 hours of teaching, whereas, in the same period, in Sunday School, the child receives only 170 hours of actual Bible Study. For this reason, some schools have adopted the use of Scholars’ Manuals and papers with a number of interesting Bible outlines to be worked on each day of the week, and thus the child’s Bible knowledge is being daily increased. If your child is attending a Sunday School, where such a system is used, may we suggest that you encourage him in this work.
There are also many places, now, where mid-week children’s meetings are being held, with a view to the promotion of Bible Study by the children. There is no one who can be of greater help in this work than the parent, and we would urge you to co-operate to the fullest extent in helping those who give unstintingly of their time in the teaching of your child.
Surely thoughtful parents, in the light of these facts, will not only encourage their children to go to Sunday School regularly, but will also set them an example by attending the Gospel services themselves. In this way only will the spiritual heritage of our race be passed on to the rising generation.