My biggest privilege as a Christian was the great commission, telling others about God and Jesus and winning souls for Christ. I nervously shared my faith with many others and to my knowledge not a one of them were converted. That’s kind of a relief now, honestly.
My biggest pleasure and proudest moment as a Christian parent was supposed to be raising my child in the faith, leading him or her to Christ and rejoicing with the angels when he or she was baptized. I don’t have any children, yet. But I couldn’t wait to have babies and teach them all about the love of God and Jesus. I’d looked so forward to singing “Jesus Loves Me” and “Jesus Loves the Little Children” and a host of other children’s songs that revolved around God to my bundle of joy.
Due to my circumstances I’d given up on the notion of having children. But now the opportunity presents itself anew. I don’t think I’d ever given any honest thought as to how or what I would tell my children about my beliefs, just that I would. Suddenly the thought fueled my doubts about Christianity. What exactly would I teach my children about God? What I would say sounded a lot like the above video. So what…would I….scare the hell out of my children? Literally? The truth of the gospel began to sound ugly and cruel, not loving and kind.
I have friends who post regularly on facebook how excited and proud they are that their child accepted Christ and they’re being baptized this Sunday. Now when I see that I have a bit of sadness. All of my other friends race to congratulate the lovely parents on a job well done and at the end of the day they have a bazillion “likes”.
One of the last times I attended church a five-year-old little boy walked the aisle and “gave his heart to Jesus”. His grandmother is the pianist and an avid KJV only advocate. She’s the one who sits in Sunday School and when she hears other people talking about grey areas like alcohol and playing cards she pipes up with “Hell is hot and Jesus lives”. She couldn’t resist the opportunity to speak. Hell hasn’t frozen over after all. “I’m so proud to know my grandson has been raised in a loving Christian home and that he knows about heaven and hell and the sacrifice of Jesus.” Yes, what a touching testimony of love indeed.
This is, after all, the credo among Southern Baptists. Get ’em while they’re young. Brainwash them now before they’re old enough to realize it’s all slight of hand, hocus pocus. I’ve decided for my part I can’t do it. The church I attend recently hosted VBS a couple of weeks ago. No one has come right out and asked why I didn’t participate. For someone who was so gung ho, so vocal about her beliefs they all look in askance about what has happened to me. They presume I’m backslidden.
If and when I do get the opportunity to hold my own precious child in my arms I’m going to say, “Welcome to this world. It’s beautiful out here. Enjoy the ride.”