Why Raise Children In A Specific Faith?
Many parents have the idea that their children should sample a wide range of religions and be left to decide for themselves what to do. But there are serious drawbacks to this approach. Raising children that way raises them to be religious consumers, formulating their own religion by grabbing something from here and something from there. But it does not create believers. They might intellectually understand the idea that God is bigger than they are, but when they’re master of their own beliefs, they are the god over their self-created vision of God. They come to think that something is true because they decide it to be true. This lacks the coherence and depth of a longer, deeper tradition which has been built by the discoveries and failures of thousands of years worth of believers’ experience. It’s important to expose children to a wide variety of religious beliefs, for better knowledge and for breeding tolerance of others. But a child also needs to have a faith-family like they need their parental family, a faith-home as well as a family-home, something they can belong to, belong in, and belong with. It will not do to have them spend the first 16-20 years of their life spiritually homeless. They need to experience in depth what the real Christian faith is made of, instead of the mocking caricatures, misperceptions, lies, and bumper-sticker catchphrases found in the outside world (and in the church itself). They need to actually live out the rhythms and activities of a faith in each moment. Most important, though, is that the core of Christian spirituality, and in particular the good news of Jesus Christ, is either true or it is a rather foolish lie. If it is a , then stop reading this and go to some other Web site, because it’s asinine to waste your time teaching your children to do spiritual self-deceptions such as stage-acts of worship or prayers to a nothing. If it is , then it is crucial to stake your life and your children’s lives on it. The good news holds the meaning and purpose of your life, and theirs. Raise them to know that.