For most families, the most important component of their inheritance will not be money…
Inheritance consists of many components. The one people probably think most about is money: how much money will their parents leave behind?
But that’s not the most important aspect of inheritance. It’s likely the least important component.
The most important aspect of inheritance that any parent can pass on to their children is worldview. One definition of worldview is “a network of presuppositions (which are not verified by the procedures of natural science) regarding reality (metaphysics), knowing (epistemology), and conduct (ethics) in terms of which every element of human experience is related and interpreted.”
The definition may sound academic, but at bottom it’s about being self-conscious about applying your Christian faith to your life. The Apostle Paul put it this way: “Everything that you might do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus. Give thanks to God the Father through him…Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (Colossians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 10:31).
The most critical component of inheritance that parents give their children is their worldview. Their children watch their parents and imitate them beginning from the age of 3 or less. This is why the Bible is adamant about the parents’ role in educating their children and teaching them to walk in God’s commandments: “You will love Yahweh your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might. The words that I am commanding you today will be in your heart; and you will diligently teach them to your children; you will talk about them when you sit in your house, when you walk on the road, when you lie down, and when you get up. You will tie them as a sign upon your hand, and they will serve as frontlets between your eyes. You will write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:5-9).
There are rival worldviews. Humanism and evolutionism are the primary rivals to Christianity in the modern Western world. Atheistic science attempts to prove that it was not God who created the universe from nothing, but that the universe created itself from nothing in the Big Bang. Instead of a literal Hell and Lake of Fire awaiting unbelievers, humanistic science teaches that there is no spiritual reality, and that all things will run down, and all information and life will be destroyed, in the heat death of the universe. There’s no Hell to be afraid of, just a meaningless existence which will end in about 14 billion years. Consequently, this worldview leads to the conclusion that there are no moral absolutes. In Christianity, because God created the universe, He establishes the rules for how it operates and how we are to operate. But in secular humanism, there are no permanents except the unrelenting evolutionary change governed by a purposeless, impersonal universe.
Many children have fallen away from the Christian faith because their uncritical exposure to the teachings of evolution and the Big Bang theory in public school causes them to doubt the truth of Scripture. The Apostle Paul warned us not to be taken captive by rival worldviews: “In [Christ] all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden. I say this so that no one may trick you with persuasive speech…See that no one captures you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, conforming to the elements of the world, and not conforming to Christ” (Colossians 2:3-4,8).
It is the parents’ responsibility to teach their children a Biblical worldview. There are many resources put out by Answers in Genesis and Creation Ministries International that challenge the prevailing worldview of secular humanism and show how its criticisms of the Bible are unfounded. There are apologetics resources available from American Vision that teach children how to defend the Christian worldview against all critics.
Because worldview is such a critical component of inheritance, deacons should recommend these resources to the parents in their congregation when discussions of long-term financial planning come up. If the church teaches Sunday school classes on raising children, links to these sites should be shared. Parents should be encouraged to purchase these resources. The church could even buy a few to keep on hand to give away to new parents.
The point is this: money is such a small aspect of what inheritance is that the main focus of any discussion involving inheritance should be on worldview and ethics and what parents are doing to bequeath “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” to their children. It should be on teaching kids to read the Bible, to study the Bible, to study God’s laws and commandments, and to learn how to defend the faith.
Otherwise, money that is left to foolish children will be spent on foolish causes. “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Matthew 16:26).
Biblical inheritance must not be limited to the mere passing down of earthly wealth. That is certainly an aspect of Biblical inheritance, but it is not the most important part.
Parents imparting to their children a Biblical worldview is the most important part of inheritance. Teaching them to discern right from wrong, to match their word of faith with their deeds in life, are much more critical than money.
In the modern world, the rival religion to Christianity is secular humanism, which is governed by Darwinian presuppositions. Children are exposed to this rival religion predominantly in public schools, and then in college and universities. Public school education works to undermine Christian religion at every angle. It works on a child, gnawing at their faith, from the time they enter Kindergarten until they get their first full-time job. It does this five days a week, eight hours a day, during the most formative years of a child’s life.
Parents who are serious about leaving a meaningful inheritance to their children must pull their children out of public school. They must pay the price to give them a Christian education. There are many high quality homeschool curriculums available. One is the Ron Paul Curriculum. It provides a cheap, high-quality, video-based homeschool education, from First Grade to Twelfth Grade.