Building up our children in the faith

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Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6, ESV

We live in a time and a world that it is more important to raise our children to understand the basics of Christian faith. They are being confronted with so much contrary thoughts on how we should view the world and often are confronted with views that not only contradict the Christian worldview, but are seeking to cause one to reject and walk away from the Christian faith in whole. Since the rise of Sunday School, we have seen the rise of those that claim no faith affiliations, often called “nones.” Both Pew studies and Barna have highlighted this increase as we find that now about one third of all Millenials and Generation Z now identify as “none” when asked faith affiliation. Much of this can also be attributed to the pluralistic mentality that entered into our world during the sixties with the rise of the anti-establishment movement which has permeated our academia and influenced the education system of not only our nation, but is prevalent in most academic institutions globally and is usually camped under the banner of postmodern thought. Much of academia not only teaches, but celebrates what they call the end of modernity and see it as the next stage in our development. In a study of postmodernity, we find that much of it grows from the rejection of traditional views and understanding and questions long held views and standards including those of the familial unit and how society functions.

The issue with postmodernity as the thread continues to unravel is that one of the central tenets of postmodern thought is that there is no absolute truth but that each could have a truth that fits their own circumstances of understanding. This mindset comes out of the philosophical movement of existentialism which causes one to question everything, i.e. how can you truly know anything? The reality of that is that eventually one must question whether or not this movement is one that is truly true or has deceived anyone from knowing the absolute truth of God by causing one to believe that each and everyone of us are in essence god. It is an anarchistic understanding and is nihilistic as it essentially makes everything inconsequential in the end, i.e. nothing really matters. This is end leads us down a path that rejects God and all moral authority because one can not say something is truly good or bad because it is all subjective. Ironically, many who hold this view seem to cling to their own ideas of what is right or wrong, true or false, and a new moralism arises that is based upon finding others who agree and deeming those who disagree evil and bad.

This is easily highlighted in a recent discourse that was had on my last post. This person on their blog has created a self-determined understanding of right and wrong and any who disagrees with their mindset is bigoted, ignorant, and mean. It is also why we see those that decried the police and attacked them, ironically, after telling the police and first responders to stay away were the first to decry the lack of response when violence occurred and it cost the life of one who was supposedly in a “protected zone.” We have entered into an era where there are those that reject God and have rejected all authority because they have been taught that there is no absolute truth, morality is subjective, and there is not real authority except when applied to things that are of great importance to them. Why respect parents or elders? For those that reject their elders, they feel that all that comes from older generations are based in ignorance and bigotry so it has no meaning. One thing that I have learned from those like one who recently commented on a past post is that their pseudo-intellectualism can be easily peeled back to show that the reality of their rejection of faith or any of the standards held from the past and it is usually centered on failures that they have witnessed with followers of Christ. Reality is that many of the “faithful” churched are not well-educated on the Word of God and the danger of flan-o-grams and children’s bibles the biblical accounts of history are turned to be easy to tell stories that often are written as simple moral tales that seem to want to make very difficult accounts into tales of how to live ones life. The problem of this is that if that is all that is done and no depth of faith development is done, they often find that the “god” that they are being taught is flat and lifeless.

One of the greatest arguments that I find of new atheism is the anger and hurt that they feel about the Christian faith yet they often act as though they are happy to be outside of it. This is easy to see as a veneer since they often feel the need to attack and tell others about how bad Christianity is. Having been on the outside of the Christian faith and returned to the faith, I can understand that pain. I never have walked as an atheist and can’t say that I find that to be a comforting path nor to be of much sense since it defies logic to think that anything was created by accident. Yet, I see the appeal ultimately because it places the person at the highest level. Most don’t think of the end in real terms that they so often point out that there is nothing and we become dust but when speaking thus most don’t really face the concept of mortality or, at least, there own. Yet, we stand with many who will teach and mock the Christian faith as they seek to pull away as many young minds as they are able. Oddly enough, most of them do not focus on other religions in their attacks. Why is this odd? They may criticize “religion” as a whole and may throw Christianity and other religions into a similar category, but most then focus on Christianity. This is because they look to the higher prevalence of Christianity in the West, but then they rarely speak out against the atrocities seen being done by other faiths across the globe. The reality is that we, as Christians, mostly acknowledge our sins of the past and much has been done by many Christians to attempt to reconcile for our wrongs done between various segments of Christianity and outside. We don’t try to defend the sins of our past, but we ask for forgiveness. Likewise, we are also quick to forgive those that ask for forgiveness of the sins done against us. That is part and parcel with our faith.

That is the importance of our faith and the teaching of it to our children. In a world that is unforgiving, particularly when we contradict whatever it is that is the modern calf that our world worships. Today’s calf that is the virtue of the age may be tomorrow’s unforgivable sin depending on how the tide of our age turns. It is important to focus on teaching biblical truth, which can often be hidden when we focus on more on the world narrative and lose sight of our Lord. It is important that we raise our children to understand that we are ALL made in the image of God. We need to teach the importance of family centered in a relationship of a father and mother who, as husband and wife, raise their children to see how they put God in the center of their lives and focus on giving grace when they err. It is time for us as followers of Christ to stand firm in our faith knowing that the truth will stand firm when all other things fall away.