Some time last week I saw someone mention that they had “Just led __ to the Lord”. After noticing the comments of this post I gathered that this was the persons child that had been “led to the Lord” so I decided to inquire as to the age of this child…which got me thinking about faith and children. This man’s daughter was six.
I was “Saved” at the ripe old age of 6. That’s right, at 6 years old someone believed that I was at an appropriate time in my life to decide the fate of my own mortal soul and to ask forgiveness for the plethora of sins I was guilty of. This, of course, was not true…the “gospel” was something I could nary understand at the time and I didn’t really grasp the cardinal doctrines of Christianity until I was around 14, when I became more serious about my faith. Until then I didn’t understand that the God of the Bible required sacrificial scapegoats to atone for the sin of man or that Jesus was supposed to be the end all be all of sacrificial lambs. I simply knew that the Bible was supposed to be true and that I felt an emotional “tug” at my heart when this whole Jesus thing was presented to me…so I said a prayer and I cried and I spoke in tongues etc.
Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.
According to Mark 10:15 believers are to accept Christ with the faith of a child. When I think of childlike faith however, I don’t think about it in a good light. Children believe in Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny which are all things that most adults will reject outright because there is no evidence for them. It conjures up thoughts of parents lying to their kids about how Santa Clause is watching them constantly in order to provide their just rewards upon Christmas Day rather than believing in something because it is true.Is this what the God of the Bible truly wants from Christians?
Childlike faith means ignorance…it means to accept things as fact simply because someone told you that it was. It means not investigating and even denying overwhelming evidence to the contrary of the claim being made. Childlike faith means to sit down, shut up, and eat your vegetables because if you don’t God will punish you forever. So God essentially says that He wants you to accept the claims of his lordship without question and without evidence, a position I find to be unfair at best.
My challenge here for my Christian readers is to consider the ramifications of ignorant faith, consider what god is asking of you. Is it fair or reasonable for one to believe in Extraterrestrial life forms without some form of proof for them? Why shouldn’t we hold god to the same standard of evidence?
Going even further I’d like to ask all my readers whether or not they find it reasonable to coax children into belief in Christ (or any other religious belief for that matter) if they cannot understand the ramifications behind it? If you can justify it at what age does this make sense? Is there a point at which this sort of thing can be considered emotional abuse?
Please comment, I’d really like some feedback on this, I want to do a part two of this.