Monday, February 07, 2011

Parents and Elders

"... since what we teach in catechism is the Scriptures and the confessions, that should properly be considered the official teaching ministry of the church of Jesus Christ. Parents entrusted with the spiritual education of their children fulfill their responsibility under the care and guidance of the church's elders.

. . .

'Two parties,' said Matthew Henry, 'parents in their families and... ministers in more public assembles, are necessary, and do mutually assist each other, and neither will excuse the want of the other.'

We have to take care that the elders do not usurp the role of parents. In God's covenantal structuring of the church he has never set elders or catechism teachers between parents and children or in place of parents. Elders, therefore, may not shove parents aside, nor may parents vacate their position in favor of elders. Instead, by administering a good catechism program, the elders fulfill their role by insisting and ensuring that the parents of the church obey God's command to instruct their children in his ways (Dt. 6:6-9, Eph. 6:4)."

-Donald Van Dyken, Rediscoving Catechism, 91, 101.

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