Protect your children from Antinomianism. Become like a lioness! Antinomianism will surely do harm to your children and grandchildren. Why? Because they will lose ten good friends for life who guard them in all their moral decisions. Ten friends who will forever stand with them to preserve all their most important relationships. Ten friends to show them how to please God. Antinomianism will destroy their ruler for how to please God. Guard your children from this erroneous view of the relationship between the law and the gospel.
Antinomian means to be against the law. This teaching has been around Christian circles for a long time. For instance, William Jay sought to guard his church from this view for most of his long pastorate in Bath, England. He managed to fight with grace and humility and is a good example for us to follow (See Warm-Hearted Calvinists). Antinomianism swept across South Florida when I was a young adult and just starting my family. We were told that having Jesus as our Savior was what counted. Looking at him as Lord over our moral and life decisions was not necessary; we could figure that out for ourselves. After all we had the Holy Spirit! I am very thankful for those who successfully argued against this “Savior, Not Lord” teaching. But, it keeps popping up and downgrading the Ten Commandments as relevant to life today.
We have to ask, “Whatever happened to the Ten Commandments?” When I was a schoolgirl in public schools, the Ten Commandments were usually on every classroom bulletin board along with George Washington’s picture. We heard the story of his truthfulness. We could read the commandments over the loud speaker for the daily devotionals in high school. There was a Bible on every teacher’s desk. The message was pretty clear: this is how you are supposed to act. Now, of course, not everyone even kept this outwardly, not to mention inwardly, but the point was still made to the students in general. The Ten Commandments had relevance to their daily life. ( I did not know anyone whose parents were divorced. My, my, look at our country now…look at western civilization now.) Antinomianism won this round. As the Ten Commandments lost their relevance for Christian conduct, why fight to keep it in the schools?
KNOW IT WHEN YOU HEAR IT
The following list should help you to identify antinomian teaching so you can protect your children from it.
- “The law is not useful or needed for a believer. He has the Holy Spirit as his guide.”
- ” The law was only for the Old Testament. Jesus has fulfilled the law and it is not needed today.”
- “To call the Ten Commandments the Moral Law puts way too much of a burden on people’s back. That is legalistic.”
- “You can have Jesus as your Savior, and make him Lord through a later spiritual experience, and then you will live on a higher spiritual plane.”
- “The natural law of man’s conscience and reason is enough for a rule of life. People can figure things out for themselves.”
- “A person needs a new heart before they can obey God’s Commandments, so to ask or expect them to obey is futile. Why expect moral behavior from students in public school?”
- “The law is only good for the unbeliever–to show him he is a sinner and point him to Christ.”
- “Is the Christian a Jew? Hasn’t Christ abolished the law? Isn’t Moses and his ministry done?”
- The examples in the Old Testament, the wisdom literature, and the prophets are all that is useful for Christians.”
- “You are under no obligation to keep the Sabbath Day holy in this Christian era. So the Ten Commandments are no longer applicable to us.”
- Each commandment comes with condemnation if you fail to obey it. A Christian is not under any condemnation.”
- “Jesus taught better laws than Moses. He was a reformer, not an interpreter of the Moral Law.”
- “Doctrine is not important. Confessions of Faith are outdated. What we need now is love and community.”
Does any of this sound like something you or your children are hearing?
How can you protect them?
- Don’t put your children under the teaching or preaching of anyone who is against the law and misunderstands the relationship between the law and the gospel if you can help it.
- Keep on using the Ten Commandments as a standard of righteousness in your home.
- Practice and teach evangelical obedience.
- Always point to Christ Jesus when you teach the Commandments. Sing “Jesus Loves Me” as an end to the lesson on law.
- Use the Commandments in your correction of the children. Your spirit should be one of encouragement, but, of course, forceful restraint is sometimes needed.
- Use the Confessions of Faith to open up each commandment for the positive and negative aspects of each commandment.
- Chapter 13 in my book, Old Paths For Little Feet, is a good resource for how to teach the Ten Commandments as the Moral Law. You can purchase it at cvbbs.com.
- If at all possible, be like the female lions. Stick together. Help each other to protect your “cubs.”