by E.J. Norman
The Banner of Love'He brought me to the Banqueting House, and His Banner Over Me was Love.' --Song of Solomon 2:4 'Thou Hast Given a Banner to Them That fear Thee, That it Might Be Displayed Because of the Truth.'--Psalms 60:4
Elder E. J. Norman
I will first offer a brief form of an apology for this article lest some reader become alarmed and unduly prejudice at the principles set forte I realize I am discussing a form of worship which is almost nationally accepted, I am only discussing this subject to get before the minds of our children in the true light of the Bible teaching, that they may not be intimidated and perplexed when asked why don't you go to Sunday School
First I will say that the modern day Sunday School was not instituted by Jesus Christ nor authorized by Him, it is solely an institution of man, and that one Robert Raike, in 1781 of Gloucester, England, for the sole purpose of providing literal education for poor and unfortunate children. In 1874 it was suggested by John Wesley and graciously accepted by his people that the foresaid institution become 'Nurseries for Christians.' Question: Shall we stand by and see the institution that our blessed Savior gave us set to naught and replaced by one that sinful man has stipulated? I say no. It is a kingdom of the world. Shall we permit a worldly institution to teach our children that the design and method of teaching that Jesus himself set up, to wit the Church, is insufficient, is obsolete, it is not modern, it is not in keeping with times of the day? Again, I say No! I will not charge such fallacy and insufficiency to our blessed Lord.
It is not necessary to set forth an outline of the purposes and intent of the modern day Sunday School, but I shall only give a few Scriptural citations of God's Word and then let the unbiased and unprejudiced reader be the judge.
And all thy children ,shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of thy children Isa. 54:13. Will this source of teaching be sufficient and effective? Yes! 'Great shall be the peace of thy children.' 'How' is the Lord going to teach His children? What kind of school and teachers is He going to use and what will He teach them? Before we proceed farther let us notice there are only two classes of people the regenerate and the unregenerate. The unregenerate only has a carnal mind, cannot please God, cannot be taught of the things of the spirit, because the carnal mind is enmity against God, not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. Rom 8:7. The regenerate can be taught but, in regeneration, God the Spirit is the teacher. Good and upright is the Lord: therefore will He teach sinners in the way. Psa 25:8. Again we find where He will make a covenant with Israel. 'Israel' means beloved of God those whom He has does and will regenerate, and the teaching that many are endeavoring to do in This day in Sunday School is done in regeneration, as according to this covenant. 'For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days saith the Lord. I will put my laws into their minds and write them in their hearts, and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people; and they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, know the Lord, for all know me from the least to the greatest, Heb. 8:10-11. Now there is some teaching involved in this covenant, but he says emphatically we shall not do it. Jesus says he will do the teaching in this covenant. I maintain that this covenant is substantiated upon the covenant of grace of which His blood is the foundation, and when Christ teaching in His covenant is set at naught and man's teaching is supplied instead, they have thereby doubted the blood of the covenant, wherewith they were sanctified an unholy thing and have done despite to the Spirit of Grace. Read Heb. 10:28-29.
We have briefly set forth some of the principles that come under the head of teaching (Spiritual instruction) and have found by God's word that no institution set up by man or set of men can impart these spiritual instructions but come to us by the spirit and grace of God alone
Now I am frank to confess and will boldly assert that there is some teaching for servants, preachers, teachers to do, but that teaching is strictly confined to an institution that Jesus set up, or organized, which is the Church and not man. One of the first commandments to teach given by Jesus, was to His apostles, and are the foundation of the Church. Matt. 28:19. He gave some Apostles, and some prophets, some evangelist, some pastors and teachers. Eph. 4:11. The same who was a pastor was also a teacher, and Jesus gave them to the Church to teach. Paul was a pattern for all that would follow after him, and he was appointed a preacher and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 2Tim. 1:11, appointed by Jesus Christ.
Now it is a fact that teachers of God's Word (the Bible) are called and sent by Him, and that is a gift from God to the individual that is to teach them, is it not a fact that anyone who assumes this work or gift of teaching must be in a different class to those whom God calls and sends. I will let, Thus Saith the Lord, render the final standing of these teachers, and let me say kindly and tenderly this is not my ultimatum, but it is Bible. Let us read it. 'But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you.' 2 Pet 2:1. Now the truth remains if we are not God sent teachers, then we are false teachers, or if we do not have the gift of teaching, We are sure to teach something that is not the truth, and God is certainly not pleased with it. In Matt. 28:20. He specifies in His commandment of teaching, God to the Apostles, and that was His everlasting Gospel.
Another serious objection I assign to modern day Sunday Schools and the reason I cannot conform my ideas to them, makes me believe that Jesus Christ did not and does not authorize them, we find that at least fifty percent of the teachers are women, and that does not conform to the teaching of the Bible. In all the teachings of God's Word, there is not one instance where He gives a teacher, calls a teacher sends a teacher in the person of a woman. 'I suffer mot a woman to teach or to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 1 Tim 2:12. 'Let your women keep silence in. the churches: For it is not permitted unto them to speak, but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.' 1 Cor. 14.:34. So I maintain that the teachers whom God gives, calls, and sends should teach His people what the Bible teaches and not send our children to a religious institution that Jesus did not authorize, that man originated and it's principles of teaching was an arrangement of some L. L. D. Theologian of some publishing house and there is no more of the spirit and grace of God in it than there is in the dollar for which he does it for.
Oh Lord give me grace as a God called teacher to teach God's children the Bible, and give me grace to grow in it until the day I die.