Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Church and Negativity

Is it a good idea to force kids to go to church? Billy Graham sure thinks so...
Q: I had to go to church when I was young, but I always resented it and quit once I got older. Now, I'm married with two small children, and my wife thinks we ought to start going to church for their sakes. But what's to keep them from resenting it like I did? -- M.M.
I'd suggest that MM follows his gut and not force his children to go to church... for their sake. It's my opinion that becoming a member of a religion should be a personal choice. Children should be allowed to grow to an age where they can make a reasoned decision if they want to attend or not.
A: Have you ever asked yourself exactly why you resented having to go to church? Was it because you found it boring and wished you could be doing something else? Or was it because you simply didn't like being told what to do -- no matter what it was? And if you start going to church again, will you have the same feelings?
I ask this because your attitude (whatever it is) will inevitably influence your children. In other words, if you resent going to church, they'll probably resent it also. Never forget, our children learn from our example, for better or worse.
Is that necessarily the case though? MM was forced to go to church, yet he ended up not wishing to attend any longer. His parents wanted him to go, yet he didn't want to after going for a while. According to Billy MM's parents wanting to be there and wanting him to be there would translate into him wanting to be there. That obviously didn't end up being the case. Perhaps the real problem is that MM simply couldn't believe in the religion of his youth any longer.
But perhaps God is trying to get your attention, and He's using this situation to do it. Right now, God means little to you; your disinterest in church is a sign of this. But God doesn't want you to remain a stranger, and I pray you won't.
Or maybe MM realized that the claims of his religion were not rooted in fact, or perhaps the ugly side made it too hard to remain in the fold. But I have to wonder, would Billy be so adamant that MM force his kids to go to church if it was a temple or mosk instead? Somehow I think his advice would change very quickly.

-Brain Hulk

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