A Biblical Rejoinder for: Back from Monrovia

By Henry N. Scere, II

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
April 1, 2005


I read the rejoinder written by a one-time journalist Alex Redd in response to the article entitled Back from Monrovia written by Bro. Abdoulaye W. Dukule.

I believe the aim of the rejoinder was to help the unnamed character in the article (the boy’s father) in rearing his son to be a “good gentleman”.

Firstly, I would extend my candid thanks to Mr. Redd for his splendid writing that depicts his study as counseling psychology student and his desire to use his psychological impartation to “solve problem.”

However, I believe strongly that helping the parents of the boy does not call for psychological jargons that have the propensity to further increase the problem of the child. While, I do not intend to engage this situation with an academic criticism or debate but with intend of putting first thing first. This is the problem that our society is facing. There is a serious tendency of our cultural pattern for the society to turn to the secular ways of doing things by ignoring the God given patterns that have been provided by the word of God.

The Bible is the only single book that has the proven capacity to meet the behavioral problems of our children most especially in this so-called modern world that we find ourselves in. But it has been ignored by most of our leaders in high places. For example, the Bible is no more been emphasized or taught in our public school, thereto, our children are left with the winds of assumption or presumptuous theories (what I call the guessing school of thoughts or the comparative theory of animal and human being to solve problem).

The Bible is lying in the homes for decoration purposes on our dividers. That is the tools I wish to recommend to the parents of that boy, and all desiring help in rearing their children.

The solution is not going into what Mr. Redd called the Preventive Approach and Intervention Approach that pick on the parents or put the blame on someone and using them as scapegoat for the misbehavior. This is a complete societal problem that psychologists have created and fail to solve it long ago. While, the Bible was ignored to please falling humanity that is living in the eleventh hour of the giving grace of God.

Kindly permit me to build on the vacuum approach of Mr. Redd’s rejoinder. Look at what Mr. Redd called preventive and intervention approach. “ The preventive approach is a method used as a way to prevent forth-coming problems or issues. For instance, a parent may routinely teach his children how to say an emphatic NO to drugs alcohol and unprotected sex as well relating to others when it comes to social pressure. By making them aware of the negative effect they will take caution while socializing with their peers. The intervention approach comes into play when the problem already exists. That is, devising ways and means to help solve the existing problem since there are prevalent issues of alcohol abuse, peer pressure, American media influence as well as permissive parental influence.”

Mr. Redd goes on to talk about the studies relating to identity development to parenting style, which he referred to democratic parents ways of encouraging children participation.

However, the issues of identity development do not hold any longer. Because this model directs us to some personalities that may lead our minds to the optional theories, which brings about choices within us. Where there is choice there is the propensity to be confused; where there is confusion there is the propensity to get in trouble; where there is a trouble there is a cause to be condemned; where there is condemnation there is a willingness to commit crime; where there is crime there will be an arresting officer to jail the committer. This is where that teen finds himself; in the area of identity development crisis that is taking control of this so-called modern world. His focus is on the outside world. His sisters are right underneath him who are living normally because they are not yet partaking in the identity development theories of the time. This is what we called in biblical counseling the uniformity behavior of modern man. We all want to be just like someone instead of striving to submit to God’ word which is the unity of man despite of diversities (uniformity is striving to be like someone and unity is submitting to God for the good of all.)

This is the time for us to go back to the Bible, because, there we can find right model for child rearing in this modern world. I am sorry that Bro. Abdoulaye never use the opportunity to direct that brother back to the Bible.

Let us look at the biblical model of child rearing. But, before we look at this model of child rearing, we have to know, what is the Bible? The Bible is the word of God useful for teaching, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that people of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work, including the rearing of our children. II Timothy 3:16-17.

This is the basis of my rejoinder on the article: Back from Monrovia. The word of God is the best tool available for correcting of our children including ourselves.

The Bible admonishes us to “train a child in the way he/she should go and when he/she is old he/she will not turn from it”(Proverbs 22:6 NIV). The Bible continues to tell us to train children (age: 0-12) not teenager or youth. This is the mistake that most parent make in rearing children. We also train children by sparing the rod and Bible says we should not spare the rod (see Proverbs 13:24; 22:15). Proverbs emphasis that the blueness of the wound cleanseth away evil; so do stripes the inward parts of the belly (Proverbs 20:30).

With these few verses from the Bible, I would like to admonish our Liberian parents not to be pro-modernists in the way that their children will be a mess of the mass, by this I mean they will follow every winds of the so-called modern world.

I would like to close with serious advise for our parents to turn back to the Bible when these children are between ages:0-12 and not living above this so-called modern world that is passing away slowly. This is the time for us to get closer to Jesus Christ and not “identity development” theory. This is not the time to look on to the environment to model our children when the Bible is right on our dividers. So, let us reach out for our Bible, accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, and get to know Him on a personal level.
About the author: Henry N. Scere, II a 2000 graduate of the Gbarnga School of Theology in Liberia and a seminarian studying Biblical Counseling at the Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Plymouth, Minneapolis-Minnesota. Contact him at hscere@centralseminary.edu or henryscere@yahoo.com