Part Two: Practice

Chapter Twelve: Sunday Schools (pg 20 of 29)

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Chapter 12. SUNDAY SCHOOLS

  The modern way of worship is to separate God's children into different groups for services, depending on age, sex, marital status and similar standards. God's word does not direct such a separation; but to the contrary encourages family worship in the home and in the public services.

God's called ministers are God's instruments for the public instruction of and proclamation of the gospel to his children. It is God's ministers that are instructed to oversee and feed the "flock"; and God does not instruct us to separate families to be taught by those who have not been called to teach his children:

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

1 Peter 5:1-2 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, ... Feed the flock of God which is among you... .

When there is a flock of God's children, and an elder or minister called of God feeding them, then we have what God established as the way of public worship--the church meeting together being fed by one of his called ministers. Any other means of worship is of man and not of God. God's ministers are to teach all of the Lord's children; and there is not any authority for turning any part of the worship service or public instruction of God's children over to those who are not called to preach the word as is frequently done in institutions such as Sunday schools.

Sunday schools are a relatively new invention, having begun in the Isle of Man about 1703, and in England proper about 1753. The modern Sunday school movement began in England in 1780 when Robert Raikes started a school for neglected and poor children (See Encyclopaedia Britannica, Sunday School).

God has given gifts to ministers, and they are to use those gifts in teaching his children from the Bible. Sunday schools are often taught by women or by men who have not been called of God and ordained to preach and teach his word. This fact, coupled with the fact that all of God's children are to be taught together (there is but one gospel and God has but one family) is the basis for the fact that the true church does not have Sunday Schools as they exist in most religions.

This does not mean that the true church does not believe in studying and teaching the Bible. The true church does believe in the study and teaching of the Bible for God's word encourages such practices, but those that are responsible for guiding and instructing the Lord's children in public worship are ministers called of God for such purpose.

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