Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Taking children to church

A letter asking Billy Graham why parents take little kids to church services? Isn't the root reason pretty obvious?
DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: Why do some parents insist on bringing their young children to church? Even if the kids are well-behaved, they don’t pay attention or get anything out of the service, and they just bother those of us sitting near them. — M.C.
I actually agree that young children shouldn't be drug along to church services, but for entirely different reason...
DEAR M.C.: You don’t say if your church provides a nursery for babies and young children; most churches do, and if yours doesn’t, you might want to suggest this to your pastor.

In any case, it’s wrong to assume that children don’t get anything out of church. Admittedly, they may not follow the sermon or listen to much else that goes on in the service.

They’ll realize, however, that going to church is important to their parents, and to everyone else who attends. And as time passes, they’ll realize that it should be important to them, too. Many children do like to be part of the singing, and those hymns will begin to be part of their memory.
I know that when I was young, we went to church on Sundays. While we were well behaved, I don't recall looking forward to getting dressed up and going to church. But while I didn't really enjoy going, I believed what we were being preached. After all, it was taught as if it was an unquestionable truth that was coming from an undoubted authority.

I was young, so I believed what I was told by my elders. And that's why churches encourage the bringing along of young children, and in many cases have services to make bringing children easier. It's childhood indoctrination, pure and simple. Tell them often enough and confidently enough that this is true, and a young mind will believe you. Compare it to Santa Clause if you must. Parents tell their children about him as a fact, and they believe. But the truth is, they are believing no more than a story. And the same is true of children indoctrinated into the church.
Instead of being upset by children attending services at your church, I hope you’ll thank God for them, and pray regularly for them and their parents. Most people come to Christ while they’re still young, and God may be planting seeds of faith in the hearts of your church’s children right now. God has promised that his word “will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire” (Isaiah 55:11).

In addition, do all you can to support your church’s programs for its youth. Young people face challenges and pressures many of us never knew, and they need a solid moral and spiritual foundation to their lives — one that comes from faith in Christ. Remember Jesus’ words: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Mark 10:14).
If church services are so good for children, why not let them go to any service then? Instead of going to a Baptist service, let them go to a Catholic one regularly. Or let their friend's family take them to a Protestant service instead of your families Catholic one. Or even still, what if they want to go to Jewish or Muslim services instead of Christian ones?

A funny thing happens when a child goes to any particular kind of service. Kids that go to Catholic mass regularly, usually become Catholic. Those that go to Baptist services with their family will become Baptists. Children that attend Mosque will find themselves to be Muslim, so an and so forth. But a trend is clear... Children (at least initially) believe in the church of their upbringing. This fact should make it clear that taking children to church does not lead them to the unbiased truth, but rather leads to them blindly following the religion of their upbringing.

In my opinion, children should be isolated from religion until they are able to study religions and are allowed to figure out which one (if any) makes the most sense to them. That way they can follow what they actually believe in, instead of what they were brainwashed into believing in.

-Brain Hulk

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