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Jan 2019

Cate-WHAT?!

To be honest with you, when I first heard the word catechism, images of a stanched nun with a ruler and red eyes flashed across my mind. The first question that came to mind when hearing this mysterious word was “Cate-WHAT?! You’re going to do what with my kids?!” But over the years, my understanding of catechism, its function, goal, and fruit, have given me hope as a parent. It has given me a road map on how to maneuver through family devotions.

A: What is a Catechism?

The word Catechism comes from the Greek word catechesis. Catechism is a summary of the principles/truth presented in the form of questions and answers. In our context, a catechism is a series of truths derived from the Bible to provide direction to vital theological truths presented in the Bible. Instead of replacing or supplanting the role of the Bible in Christian education, a catechism ideally serves as the basis for it.

B: A Catechisms Function and Purpose

A catechism does three things:

  • It reinforces theological truth presented to us in the Bible.
  • It protects against error, false prophets and heresy (false teaching dealing with the nature of God’s being, how one is saved and the person of Christ).
  • It helps to mitigate some of the problems associated with the private interpretation of scripture.

 
Recently, my children and I heard a televangelist say he served the Father because he was greater than the Son. He also stated that most people served the Son and the Holy Spirit while he served the “BIG GUY.” This is an ontological heresy. How are we going to refute that if we do not know what the scriptures teach regarding the trinity?

Historical creeds and confessions do not replace the Bible, they protect the soundness of biblical interpretation. American evangelicals have moved away from the practice of using a catechism for subjective and experiential modes of meaning. It is no accident that biblical illiteracy has risen by abysmal levels, and that false doctrines have rushed in like a flood. Why is this? Important safeguards (Creeds and Confessions) which relay basic doctrinal truths have been removed. When Satan blinds minds from seeing the truth, we are most helpless against him when the truth is not known.

David said in Psalm 119:105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” A catechism points us to the only clear path to salvation. It points us to the only rule of faith and practice, the Word of God. A catechism says to us this is what the Word has taught concerning the nature of God, the nature of scripture, the nature of the person and work of Christ.

C: Its Goal

The goal of a catechism is to help you love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul. Its goal is to help you engage the truths of the Word, know them, and worship the one true God. Its goal is to help you remember important scriptures surrounding the Trinity, God, Jesus Christ, and salvation by grace through faith.

In order to cultivate a love of the truth, RH Kids at The Fourhundred has been using the New City Catechism for several weeks to teach the important truths of the Word of God. Here are some of the things we have learned:

 
We are praying that the parents of Redemption Hill Church at The Fourhundred would partner with us as we seek to impart these truths to the hearts of our children. Please feel free to pick up a copy of the New City Catechism for your family, and the accompanying devotional, downstairs in the parlor of The Fourhundred.

Your Servant in Christ,
Demetrius

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