18 Daniel – Being Faithful in times of exile & persecution

18 Daniel – Being Faithful in times of exile & persecution

Sermon outline

  1. Introduction
    1. What does it look like to be faithful to God in a world which is hostile to Him?
    2. What does it look like to be faithful to God when the ruling powers want you to extend their government and that government is pagan? Secular? Antagonistic to God?
    3. What does it look like to be faithful when you are a minority in the midst of a majority culture and some in that majority want to see you dead?
  2. Worship false gods (Dan 3:6)
    1. The Fiery Furnace
      1. “What God can save you from my hand?” (Dan 3:15b, 2Chr 32:13-15).
      2. A Faithful response (Dan 3:16-18, Heb 11)
      3.  Result:
        1. God spares his people – no hint of fire/smoke
        2. God’s name is praised by the pagans (Dan 3:28-29).
    2. Daniel prays to God alone (Dan 6:7-9)
      1. Who will God’s people turn to for their needs?
      2. Result:
        1. Evil are destroyed (Dan 6:24)
        2. God’s name is praised (Dan 6:26-27)
  3. Become like us.
    1. Babylon Re-education and changing one’s culture (Dan 1:3-5)
      1. Grant them a high-level education in the Babylonian ways and language
      2. Expose them to higher level living so they desire the Babylonian ways
      3. Offer them a job in the government.
    2. Education is the key to worldview formation
    3. Daniel and his friends, will they remain faithful to God? Yes –
      1. God blesses them. (Dan 1:15-21)
      2. God’s name is praised by the pagans (Dan 2:18, 2:46-47)
    4. Similarities and Differences to today’s education
    5. Point – it is possible to be faithful in culture, if you actually know what living faithful means!
  4. Why are we called to be faithful even in times of exile and persecution?
    1. Do you know your word and its teaching well enough that you could recognize the subtle and overt calls by Culture/Govt to deny God in your daily life?
    2. God’s Kingdom will crush every earthly kingdom! His kingdom will never end.
    3. Christ inaugurated the Kingdom of God!
    4. Grace strengthens and sustains us in the face of opposition

For more voices on the role of education in the destruction of Christianity consider these quotations:

CHRISTIAN VOICES

  1. “The education the child gets at school takes place in terms of the religion of secular humanism, a religion that in principle and practice denies the God of the Bible. This is an education in terms of a complete world-view. And…it very difficult for Christian parents to break the intellectual and spiritual mould that Christian children are cast into by the secular schooling system. The school provides the whole ethos for their understanding of life. The State claims these children and in the school it moulds them into its own image, an image that denies that man was created in God’s image” [1]
  2. “I am as sure as I am of Christ’s reign that a comprehensive and centralized system of national education, separated from religion, as is now commonly proposed, will prove the most appalling enginery for the propagation of anti-Christian and atheistic unbelief, and of anti-social nihilistic ethics, individual, social and political, which this sin-rent world has ever seen.” – A. Hodge, 19th century Princeton theologian 1886
  3. See the CRCNA’s report of Christian Education/Day School here.

SECULARIST VOICES

  1. “I think that the most important factor moving us toward a secular society has been the educational factor. Our schools may not teach Johnny how to read properly, but the fact that Johnny is in school until he is sixteen tends toward the elimination of religious superstition. The average American child now acquires a high school education, and this militates against Adam and Eve and all other myths of alleged history.” [2]
  2. “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… 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 neighbor” will finally be achieved.” – John J. Dunphy [The Humanist magazine, Jan/Feb 1983]
  3. “Only a system of state-controlled schools can be free to teach whatever the welfare of the State may demand.“ Ellwood P. Cubberley, former Dean of the Stanford University School of Education 1898-1933 headed department, becoming first dean in 1917
  4. “Our schools have been scientifically designed to prevent over-education from happening. The average American [should be] content with their humble role in life, because they’re not tempted to think about any other role.“ William T. Harris, U.S. Commissioner of Education, 1889
  5. “The children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society which is coming, where everyone would be interdependent.“ John Dewey, educator and philosopher
  6. “We who are engaged in the sacred cause of education are entitled to look upon all parents as having given hostages to our cause. – Horace Mann, first secretary of education in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, “Father” of public schooling[Separating School & State, p. 48] 1837-48?

[1] Perks, Stephen C. Baal Worship Ancient and Modern (Kuyper Foundation: Taunton, England, 2010), p.23. 

[2] P. Blanchard, “Three Cheers for Our Secular State.” Humanist, March-April 1976, p.17-25.

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