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Q. Why would you indoctrinate a baby into religion and not give them the right to vote at the same time? Is that not cultish? Is that not insecurity in your own beliefs setting a fine enough example…a fear of invalidation…a dictation of faith? Or is it fear of retribution for not seeking redemption once a child is taught they are a born sinner? Isn't that tampering with faith? (A.M.)
These are good questions. It is something we all need to think about carefully. All of us need to examine our reasons for bringing up children in the Christian faith. Is it the right thing to do? Is it teaching our children bias and intolerance?
This reminds me of a sci-fi theme I recently encountered. A perfectly human-like robot child was created for a childless couple. After receiving the child, all it could say to its new parents was, "I am ready to be programmed. Please program. I am ready to be programmed. Please program." The builder of the robot warned the parents that they needed to imprint their values and personality tendencies upon the robotic child or it would remain in an infantile state desiring programming all of its narrowly-focused, self-centered life.
Left to their own devices most children are naturally self-centered and greedy. They want the biggest piece of cake. They want the best birthday presents. They don't want their friends to win games or to succeed at sports or to achieve good grades in school. They don't want their siblings to receive parental love. They don't want their peers to succeed.
Personalizing Everything Around Themselves
Many of us can relate to this as we look at terribly spoiled adults who were never taught to think of others when they were growing up. They only think of themselves. Everything revolves around them. No matter how hard we try they personalize everything we say or do. Sadly, this is the human condition - by nature. We call it "sin."
A Free Country
We are so very fortunate to live in a country where we still have freedom to worship the way we choose and to raise our children as we see fit. In several countries children are brought up to hate Americans and Jews, and to hold and shoot guns by age 3 (you read that correctly). If you choose to raise your children with a Judeo Christian ethic in these countries you will lose all rights, pay exorbitant taxes, lose everything you own and possibly lose your life. We suffer none of that in America.
In our country we still have the right to follow the Bible's ideas about raising children. In the Bible we are told that "Even from birth the wicked go astray - from the womb they are wayward and speak lies" (Psalm 58:3, NIV).
That says it like it is, doesn't it? Nothing is held back.
Although this isn't "PC" it is the truth. The Bible doesn't give me false hope for man's true nature. All I have to do is open the newspaper every morning to see how true this is. Sadly, it is apparent that many people have evil tendencies and the world can be a hostile place.
Rather than let my children grow up with selfish interests and values as the newspaper shows me every day, God tells me to "lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul…You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up" (Deuteronomy 11:18-19, NKJV).
The Lord tells me to "Correct your children while there is still hope - do not let them destroy themselves" (Proverbs 19:28, NCV). "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6, NKJV).
A Shining Light in Darkness
The Lord tells me that a Judeo-Christian education for my children is a shining light in rampant darkness. With His teachings imprinted on their minds my children may - "may" - have the opportunity to learn to treat others as they would want to be treated. (This is no guarantee even with concentrated biblical teachings).
But, my children may learn to practice compassion, love, and respect for others. They may join the Christian forces who have founded hospitals, rescue missions and soup kitchens, the finest educational institutions like Harvard and Princeton, and the best medical facilities worldwide.
Here my son or daughter may become a Christian nurse or doctor who helps those dying of Aids. He or she may dig countless wells to bring uncontaminated, healthy water to those stricken with poverty who are living in squalor. My children may fight for the dignity of their elders. They may protest the killing of innocents. In other words, with a decent education our children may forge a little bit better world in the days ahead of us.
I know of no charitable hospitals built by atheists. Do you? I am not saying they don't exist. But, they are rare enough not to make our "radar screens." Yes…there are a good atheists - but most are self-centered beings who want to take away my right to believe the way I choose - not the other way around.
I know of no fine institutions of learning such as Harvard or Princeton built by those groups committed to abortion and euthanasia. Do you? They are too busy spending time and resources toward their causes.
Rescue Missions&Soup Kitchens
There are less than a handful - if any - rescue missions worldwide built by those committed to Post Modernism and relativism. Do you know any?
I could go on and on. But, you get the point.
A Bold Doctrine
Not only are Christians taught to train-up their children to be loving, giving, selfless beings, but even adult believers are told to saturate their minds with the Word of God. Romans 12:2 warns us not to "copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think."
This is a bold doctrine. But, knowing just how frail, sick and twisted we are without God's intervention leads me to embrace a faith that teaches me how to do good - regardless of what other religions teach about hate and intolerance.
With God's forgiveness and love …"I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us" (Philippians 3:13-14, NLT).
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