Counsels To Parents — Part III

Recognizing the grievous proportions which the ever present parent-child problem has attained in the midst of Present Truth believers, “The Symbolic Code,” in its July, 1937 issue, sounded the following alarm: {4SC10-12: 8.1.1}

“‘The parents are blind to the true state of their children, who have succeeded in entirely deceiving them. But those who have lost the control of their children are not pleased when others seek to control them, or to point out their defects for the purpose of correcting them.’–‘Testimonies for the Church,’ Vol. 4, p. 193. {4SC10-12: 8.1.2}

“Perhaps Mt. Carmel is having to grapple with no problem so often and so vigorously as that brought to view in the concluding sentence of the last quotation.” {4SC10-12: 8.1.3}

As pointed and serious, however, as was this note of warning, it fell upon many deaf ears. Few profited by it, with the result that today the relation of parent, child, and institution presents itself as a far more aggravated and distressing problem than when first brought to attention. As a matter of fact, so swollen and infected has the sore now become because that it has poisoned the whole body, and has even caused the amputation of several members contaminated beyond remedy. Why this calamity? There is but one answer, and that is: many who profess Present Truth do not whole-heartedly believe and practice what is written in the Code. In truth, doubt and disbelief in the Code is in varying degrees, leavening our companies everywhere. And only a few, “a handful to the tribes,” as it were, religiously attach face value to “this monthly visitor’s” high and solemn affirmation that “it positively demands that the heralds of ‘the great and dreadful day of the Lord,’ who are under its jurisdiction, must strictly comply with all the requirements, instructions, and advice which it bears to them from time to time, adding nothing to or subtracting nothing from the message. It will not countenance those who ignore its divine authority, for the church is to be the light of the world, ‘fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.’” {4SC10-12: 8.1.4}

Apparently, though, neither a “thus saith the Lord” nor an “it is written” has as much effect nowadays upon the conscience of Present Truth believers and upon their “ideas and theories, habits and practices” as do the sentiments: “They say, ” “I have heard” (T.M. 505), “I think.” {4SC10-12: 8.1.3}

Parents and parent-sympathizers, in especial, exhibit the most resisting and impenetrable Laodiceanism in this respect, being as impervious to the message’s counsels, warnings, and entreaties, as a stone to water. For instance, you have repeatedly been told that, as parents, your ways of child training and discipline are not God’s ways; that your ideas of love and kindness are false and baleful; that your blind love is naught but sentimentalism, and your indulgent kindness naught but cruelty. But who have believed what is written, and in fear and trembling diligently set to work to “convert and be healed” from these wrong ideas and theories, habits and practices, by which Satan binds the soul to his chariot wheel? Who, like David of old, when told, “thou art the man,” have, with deep, impelling conviction confessed, “I have sinned against the Lord,” and have then straightway and earnestly set about to “bring forth fruit meet for repentance” by first “confessing to (your) children, (your) unwise course in rearing them” (S.C., Vol. 3, Nos. 8-10, p. 3), and then by giving your “fullest cooperation (to) the school?” {4SC10-12: 8.1.4}

How much wiser, nobler, and happier would you and your children be to confess your sinful opposition to God’s light and His work, than to continue standing aloof, nursing imaginary or self-inflicted wounds, harboring grudges, petting grievances, and throwing stones at everything not to your liking, and at everyone with whom you do not agree in their efforts to educate and save your children. {4SC10-12: 8.2.1}

By your unwise indulging and your ill-advised sympathizing, your neglect of restraining and lack of disciplining, you have already done your children an incalculable injury, which must cost them their souls and perhaps you, yours, unless a speedy, drastic, and thorough-going change of affairs takes place both with you and with them–unless, in fine, your ideas and theories of religion, of education, of discipline, of work, and your life’s habits and practices undergo an immediate and radical transformation which will put you on the Lord’s side in the great controversy between good and evil. {4SC10-12: 8.2.2}

If as a Present Truth parent, you are one who would save yourself and your children, you will make haste to get yourselves at least spiritually out of the doomed cities, whose “pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness” will, eventually, only end in sadness as it did with Lot’s wife in Sodom of old–turning your last fond and lingering gaze into a pillar of salt, as it were. Then once free in spirit from the deadly clutches of these cities, you will henceforth keep your children out of public school and will instruct them at home, bringing “them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” until they shall be prepared to matriculate in the Lord’s school here at Mt. Carmel. {4SC10-12: 8.2.3}

“Parents flock with their families to the cities, because they fancy it easier to obtain a livelihood there than in the country. The children having nothing to do when not in school, obtain a street education. From evil associates, they acquire habits of vice and dissipation. The parents see all this, but it will require a sacrifice to correct their error, and they stay where they are, until Satan gains full control of their children. Better sacrifice any and every worldly consideration than to imperil the precious souls committed to your care. They will be assailed by temptations, and should be taught to meet them; but it is your duty to cut off every influence, to break up every habit, to sunder every tie, that keeps you from the most free, open, and hearty committal of yourselves and your family to God. {4SC10-12: 9.1.1}

Instead of the crowded city, seek some retired situation where your children will be, so far as possible shielded from temptation, and there train and educate them for usefulness. The prophet Ezekiel thus enumerates the causes that led to Sodom’s sin and destruction: ‘Pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters; neither did she strengthen the hands of the poor and needy.’ All who would escape the doom of Sodom, must shun the course that brought God’s judgments upon that wicked city. {4SC10-12: 9.1.2}

“My brethren, you are disregarding the most sacred claims of God, by your neglect to consecrate yourselves and your children to him. Many of you are reposing in false security, absorbed in selfish interests, and attracted by earthly treasures. You fear no evil. Danger seems a great way off. You will be deceived, deluded, to your eternal ruin, unless, you arouse, and with penitence and deep humiliation return unto the Lord. {4SC10-12: 9.1.3}

“The deadly lethargy of the world is paralyzing your senses. Sin no longer appears repulsive, because you are blinded by Satan. The judgments of God are soon to be poured out upon the earth. ‘Escape for thy life,’ is the warning from the angels of God. Other voices are heard saying, ‘Do not become excited; there is no cause for special alarm. Those who are at ease in Zion cry peace and safety, while Heaven, declares that swift destruction is about to come upon the transgressor. The young, the frivolous, the pleasure-loving consider these warnings as idle tales, and turn from them with a jest. Parents are inclined to think their children about right in the matter, and all sleep on at ease. Thus it was at the destruction of the old world, and when Sodom and Gomorrah were consumed by fire. On the night prior to their destruction, the cities of the plain rioted in pleasure. Lot was derided for his fears and warnings. But it was these scoffers that perished in the flames. That very night the door of mercy was forever closed to the wicked, careless inhabitants of Sodom. {4SC10-12: 9.1.4}

“It is God who holds in His hands the destiny of souls. He will not always be mocked; He will not always be trifled with. Already His judgments are in the land. Fierce and awful tempests leave destruction and death in their wake. The devouring fire lays low the desolate forest and the crowded city. Storm and shipwreck await those who journey upon the deep. Accident and calamity threaten all who travel upon the land. Hurricanes, earthquakes, sword and famine, follow in quick succession. Yet the hearts of men are hardened. They recognize not the warning voice of God. They will not flee to the only refuge from the gathering storm. {4SC10-12: 9.2.1}

“Many who have been placed upon the walls of Zion, to watch with eagle eye for the approach of danger, and lift the voice of warning, are themselves asleep.’ The very ones who should be most active and vigilant in this hour of peril are neglecting their duty, and bringing upon themselves the blood of souls. {4SC10-12: 9.2.2}

“My brethren, beware of the evil heart of unbelief. The word of God is plain and close in its restrictions; it interferes with your selfish indulgence; therefore you do not obey it. The testimonies of His Spirit call your attention to the Scriptures, point out your defects of character, and rebuke your sins; therefore you do not heed them. And to justify your carnal, ease-loving course, you begin to doubt whether the testimonies are from God. If you would obey their teachings, you would be assured of their divine origin. Remember, your unbelief does not affect their truthfulness.”–“Testimonies for the Church,” Vol., 5, pp. 232-234. {4SC10-12: 9.2.3}

“Any one of the children of the Hebrews who was found in an Egyptian habitation was destroyed. {4SC10-12: 9.2.4}

“This experience of the Israelites was written for the instruction of those who should live in the last days. Before the overflowing scourge shall come upon the dwellers of the earth, the Lord calls upon all who are Israelites indeed to prepare for that event. To parents He sends the warning cry, Gather your children into your own houses; gather them away from those who are disregarding the commandments of God, who are teaching and practicing evil. Get out of the large cities as fast as possible. Establish church schools. Give your children the word of God as the foundation of all their education. This is full of beautiful lessons, and if pupils make it their study in the primary grade below, they will be prepared for the higher grade above….. {4SC10-12: 9.2.5}

“Where are your children? Are you educating them to discern and to escape the corruptions that are in the world through lust? Are you seeking to save their souls, or are you by your neglect aiding in their destruction?”–“Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 6, p. 195. {4SC10-12: 10.1.1}

Mother and Father, Brother and Sister, do you really mean to escape “the overflowing scourge?” If you do, you will not one moment longer neglect or slight or disregard one ray of light, but will diligently restudy the Codes and quickly put into effect the solemn lessons, precepts, injunctions, reproofs, and warnings, which have been left unheeded as they have come from time to time. Thus, and thus only, will you so order your homes and your lives that you and your children may have a part in building the Lord’s “camp” and in gathering the nations, and finally of experiencing the ineffable and transcendent joy of entering into that glorious rest that remaineth to the people of God! {4SC10-12: 10.1.2}

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