Inculation – Part 1
in·cul·cate (ĭn-kŭl′kāt′, ĭn′kŭl-)
tr.v. in·cul·cat·ed, in·cul·cat·ing, in·cul·cates
1. To impress (something) upon the mind of another by frequent instruction or repetition; instill: inculcating sound principles.
2. To teach (others) by frequent instruction or repetition; indoctrinate: inculcate the young with a sense of duty.
From a very young age I learned about heaven and hell, good and evil, and God, Jesus and Satan. No, my parents didn’t go to church every Sunday. In fact up until my dad died when I was twelve my family didn’t go with any frequency at all. This sweet little couple with two kids of their own operated a bus ministry. They ran a route on Sunday that came by my house and one day they stopped and asked my parents if it’d be alright if they picked me and my sister up for church on Sunday mornings. So they came around in their re-purposed school bus painted green and white with Northside Baptist Church scrawled in cursive down either side every Sunday thereafter. Sometimes I got on the bus and sometimes I didn’t, but they always came around.
While my parents slept in on Sundays, frequently, I’d tool down the road to church. Seemed harmless enough at the time. They took all us kids into “children’s church” where we learned about Adam and Eve and creation, Noah and the ark, Abraham and Isaac, Jacob and Esau, Moses, the Isrealites and all their obstinance, David and Goliath, and all the stories of old. They taught us all about sin and where it came from, about the wages thereof, and about God and Jesus, and mercy and redemption.
They impressed on our young minds the truthfulness and reliability of all of the Bible. We sang songs about all these things:
‘The B-i-b-l-e, that’s the book for me, I stand alone on the word of God, the B-i-b-l-e’,
‘Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in his sight, Jesus loves the children of the world’,
‘God told Noah there’s going to be a floodie, floodie, Get those animals out of the muddie, muddie, Children of the Lord. God told Noah to build him an arky, arky, children of the Lord’,
‘I may never march in the infantry,
Ride in the Calvary,
Shoot the Artillery,
I may never fly over land and sea,
But I’m in the lord’s Army.’
‘Oh, be careful little ears, what you hear, Oh, be careful little ears, what you hear,
For the Father Up above,
Is looking down in love,
So be careful little ears
what you hear.’
‘Joshua fought the battle of Jericho,
Joshua fought the battle of Jericho,
And the walls came tumbling down!’
We played games and listened to stories as the leaders ‘acted’ them out with the characters on the flannel board. Learning about all of this was so much fun. Sunday after Sunday the greatness of God and his virtues were extolled to us.
Children’s church is where I first learned some really big words. They seemed big to an eight-year-old anyway; words like omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. We learned that there was only one God, he was the Christian God, and he was all powerful, all knowing, and all present. God was everywhere all the time, he could see and hear everything and even knew my thoughts, and he could do anything.
We learned that Eve ate the apple, gave some to Adam, and ruined the perfect garden. We learned that, just like that, sin entered the world and tainted every person ever since. We learned that God sent Jesus to fix it all and all we had to do was trust in Jesus and everything would be okay.
Child-like faith was all we needed.