Teaching Children Lawlessness and Rebellion

Students stand on the plinth of a statue of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill during a climate protest in Parliament Square on February 15 in London.
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Teaching Children Lawlessness and Rebellion

Government and law—these two bedrock principles underpin a healthy, stable nation and basic human interaction. When one or both break down, society destabilizes. In America tomorrow, children and teenagers will reject both government and law—and be praised by adults for it.

More than 100,000 United States children and teenagers are expected to skip school tomorrow and participate in 400 climate change protests across all 50 states. The school climate strike movement is inspired by Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who, since August, has committed truancy every Friday to protest outside the Swedish parliament. Thunberg’s crusade went viral on social media, and she has become a climate change rockstar, traveling the world giving speeches and interviews.

We’ve already experienced one of these protests in Britain. On February 15, thousands of schoolchildren cut school and fell upon cities across the nation to protest British Prime Minister Theresa May’s supposed inaction against climate change. It was neither pretty nor productive. In fact, it was downright destructive.

In London, teenagers and even small children gathered in Trafalgar Square, Parliament Square Garden and other iconic London sites. They marched angrily, they screamed and shouted, they carried signs and plaques filled with vulgar smears, irrational mantras and ridiculous opinions: “If you won’t act like adults, we will”; members of Parliament are “criminals”; “System change, not climate change.”

Video footage shows rogue teenagers writhing like leeches over the Nelson Column and the Winston Churchill sculpture, hurling vile denunciations at Theresa May and the government in a scene of total incivility, lawlessness and rebellion.

But what was truly gobsmacking was the amount of support, praise and admiration these children received from adults. These kids are denigrating law and government, two bedrock principles of Western civilization—and being praised for doing so!

Social media exploded with messages of support from members of Parliament, celebrities, journalists and media personalities. The National Association of Head Teachers applauded the protest as a “valuable life experience.” Virtually across the board, the children were saluted as selfless, mature and brave for standing up against the government and defending the environment.

This article by Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland is one among many: “Greta Thunberg led the way. Children skipping classes to take the moral lead is an indictment of adult complacency” (emphasis added throughout).

The moral lead? How does skipping math class to march the streets of London with your mates in protest of a fundamentally erroneous cause constitute taking the “moral lead”?

Thunberg believes that Western governments haven’t done anything to combat climate change and that they are simply ignoring the issue. This is demonstrably false. Literally dozens of laws and policies have been implemented across society in an effort to protect the environment and prevent climate change. (Britain’s carbon emissions right now are at their lowest level since 1888; and over the past seven years, the United Kingdom has experienced its fastest fall in carbon dioxide emissions in history.)

These kids weren’t interested in facts, science or evidence. Like their leaders on the radical left, they aren’t interested in rational discussion or debate. They weren’t presenting viable solutions. “Such is the upside-down, topsy-turvy state of our world, that the children are now the adults and the adults are the children,” Freedland wrote. Really? In what way did these children behave like mature adults?

Freedland wrote that it has “fallen to children to point to the emergency that is neither fake nor easily averted. It has fallen to those so young they are not trusted to decide what they can eat or when they can go to bed to sound the alarm about the crisis that matters most: the crisis of the climate.”

There is a lot of irrational folly to unpack here, not least the zinger that climate change is the greatest crisis humanity faces. But what about the admission that these kids are not old enough nor mature enough to be trusted to eat responsibly, to get themselves off to school, or to take themselves to bed, yet when it comes to climate change, our children are the moral authority?

“At first sight the reaction [to the protesting children] surely has to be one of unfettered joy,” wrote Freedland. Um, no. All I saw was rebellion, anarchy and disrespect. If you want to see a mature, brave teenager, ignore the rebels climbing over the base of the Nelson Column and cast your gaze upward. Horatio Nelson was 12 years old when he left his family and enlisted as a seaman in the British Navy. He spent his teen years at sea, living in cramped quarters on a diet that most of us would consider inedible. Now that’s a teen displaying maturity and sacrifice.

The National Association of Head Teachers supports the truancy. Its spokesman said that “a day of activity like this could be an important and valuable life experience.” In other words, skipping school and joining a protest is a form of education. But education in what exactly?

The children who participate in these protests learn that one can ignore and reject government, authority and law without consequence. This lesson is compounded when the parents and authorities abdicate their responsibility to uphold law and government and endorse lawlessness. Indeed, these protests sell rebellion as a virtue.

Respect for government and submission to law: These two bedrock principles underpin a healthy, stable nation and basic human interaction. When people on a large scale and without consequence reject authority and disobey law, society fails. These protests are a sign of our crumbling nations. They are evidence that the bedrock foundations of our nations are eroding. They are a sign of future disruption and collapse.

For students of Bible prophecy, these protests will bring to mind the prophecy recorded in Isaiah 3:1-4, where God says that He will take away quality leaders from the modern Israelites (mainly Britain and America). Instead of “the mighty man, and the man of war,” these nations will be led by children. “And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.” “As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths” (verse 12).

This prophecy was on vivid display in Trafalgar Square last month, and it will be on display tomorrow across America!

In the 1970s, Herbert W. Armstrong wrote about the rise of the influence of youth on society in his book The Missing Dimension in Sex. “But why? What is the cause?” he asked. “The world doesn’t want to hear the true answer! The world refuses to face the tragic truth! The true answer is this: Something has been taken away from this Earth that sorely needs to be restored! That ‘something’ is knowledge of, respect for and obedience to the government and the law of God!”

Hear, hear. This is precisely what these young rebels need: knowledge of, respect for and obedience to the government and law of God. Mr. Armstrong continued: “Why all this violence—this immorality? Here is the cause! Human nature—which is vanity—without any purpose, and absence of parental training and discipline! … Young people today are given nothing to live for! No hope! No future! They are more prosperous than ever before. They are bored! They are rebellious. The spirit of revolt is in the air! They resent all authority!”

That is an apt description of what we are seeing right now, and it was written by Mr. Armstrong more than 40 years ago. These children don’t need another day off school. And their rebellion and law-breaking shouldn’t be encouraged. As Mr. Armstrong said, our children need more parental training and discipline. More than that, they need to be given something to live for. They need hope. They need to understand their future and be motivated to attain their incredible potential.

They need God’s law and God’s government, which means they need God’s love!