I just came across this gem written by Barrett Johnson. I don’t know anything about him or the content of the site this came from. But this post speaks for itself. It is copied in its entirety below and requires no more comment by yours truly. Enjoy and be challenged!
How to Rase a Pagan Kid in a Christian Home
We end up teaching the wrong thing because we have the wrong objectives.
This sentiment was stirred in me afresh when I read an interview with Veggie Tales creator Phil Vischer. He was reflecting on how the “Christian message” he was trying to teach wasn’t Christianity at all…
“I looked back at the previous 10 years and realized I had spent 10 years trying to convince kids to behave Christianly without actually teaching them Christianity. And that was a pretty serious conviction. You can say, “Hey kids, be more forgiving because the Bible says so,” or “Hey kids, be more kind because the Bible says so!” But that isn’t Christianity, it’s morality. . .
And that was such a huge shift for me from the American Christian ideal. We’re drinking a cocktail that’s a mix of the Protestant work ethic, the American dream, and the gospel. And we’ve intertwined them so completely that we can’t tell them apart anymore. Our gospel has become a gospel of following your dreams and being good so God will make all your dreams come true. It’s the Oprah god.”
So what is your objective?
Do you teach your kids “be good because the Bible tells you to” or do you teach your kids that they will never be good without Christ’s offer of grace? There is a huge difference. One leads to moralism; the other leads to brokenness. One leads to self-righteousness; the other leads to a life that realizes that Christ is everything and that nothing else matters.
I want my kids to be good. We all do. But as our kids grow up, the truth of the gospel can easily get lost somewhere between salvation (where we know we need Jesus) and living life (where we tend to say “I’ve got this”). My experience is that the vast majority of parents are encouraging moral behavior in their kids so that God will bless their (usually self-centered) pursuits. It’s the American Dream plus Jesus. And it produces good, moral pagans.
Consider the key objectives you have for your kids. Seriously, take a minute to think about what would deem you a successful parent. If your goals are focused on your kids’ behavior, their happiness, or their accomplishments (but don’t include a dependence upon Christ and a submission to His will and work), then you might want to make some adjustments.
Because the world has enough pagans. Even plenty of really nice ones. What we need is kids who fully grasp the reality that they have nothing to offer, but who intimately know a God who has everything they need.
Drop your labels from the Labels for Education into the giant Campbell’s soup can in the foyer.
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You – yes you – can help financially support our camp simply by changing your internet search habits. Goodsearch.com makes it so easy: just set up a user account with them and add Iowa Regular Baptist Camp as your chosen recipient. Any time you use Goodsearch for your internet search needs, they will donate a penny to IRBC. In fact, you can earn even more for camp by searching the “Goodshop” section of the site to find online retailers who will donate a percentage of your purchase as well. So by doing the searching and shopping you would normally do online, you can support camp at the same time!
It’s that time of year when masses of people come up with great ideas to make next year better than this year. Some will resolve to lose weight only to gain. Others will resolve to reign in their spending habits and finally make some financial headway. Whether you are one who generally succeeds in your New Year’s resolutions, or if you are one who tends to only make it a few weeks, it NEVER hurts to try!
January 1 is a great day to start reading through the Bible once more! Looking at all 66 books at once will seem daunting. But when you realize that you can make it through the entire book in one year by simply reading 4 or 5 chapters each day, all-of-the-sudden it seems a little more attainable.
There are plenty of different ways to read through the Bible in a year. Denny Burk has come up with a simple 4-5 chapter per day plan that takes you from Genesis through Revelation. (Links to both Word and PDF versions are about halfway down in his post.)
You can listen while you read using a daily Bible reading podcast. Here is one that goes through various parts of the Bible each day. Here is another one that is in chronological order. The previous two links are iTunes specific, but you can find other podcasts that do not require iTunes or an Apple device at all. Just search Google for “Daily Audio Bible Podcast.”
The plans I have mentioned so far are all “slow and steady” methods. Peter Krol makes the case for “sprinting to the end” – starting January 1 and finishing the entire Bible as fast as you can.
What ever way you start reading, I can guarantee one thing: Any distance you make through the Bible will be MORE than what you would have read had you not started! So resolve now to make 2014 your Bible-reading year!