We weren’t going to write today but we will be gone the next two or three so we thought we would leave you with a post or two. The title comes from the following question from the blog at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistparenting/2016/05/what-do-i-tell-my-child-about-the-bible/
What Do I Tell My Child about the Bible?
Nothing is gained by lying to a child or watering down the truth or providing some alternative answer. You teach the child the truth in the best way possible but for that mother this is an impossible task as she admits that she does not have the truth. She wrote:
I don’t know how to tell my daughter what I believe when she’s old enough to start asking. I want to say,
“No religion has it all right. We who are called to faith, to religion, to the spiritual–we’re trying to connect with the divine. We’re all doing our best, and we come to it in different ways, through different sources. My practice includes Jesus, because that’s who I knew when I was a child, and that’s who I seek now.
If no religion has it right then there is nothing to teach the child. This problem occurs when parents listens to the wrong people, do not follow biblical instruction to discern between true and false teaching and when they reject the truth for some more appealing doctrine. That parent, and others like her, have nothing to offer their children because they did not accept the truth when it was presented to them or they walked away from the truth and now they are left with a giant-sized problem that they cannot solve.
She could have easily ‘connected to the divine’ if she followed biblical instruction instead of letting unbelievers and fake Christians steer her away from God and towards a god of their own making.God has answered her question long before we read her blog, 5,000 years before. Here is what God said to teach your children:
“Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the Lord your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it,
You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.(Deut. 6:1 & 7)
Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, when the Lord said to me, ‘Assemble the people to Me, that I may let them hear My words so they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.(Deut. 4:10)
If you go to Biblegateway and put in their search box the word ‘teach’, you will get approx. 273 answers to that question.God wants his people to teach their children his commands, his direction, his instructions. He does not want children lied to and kept away from faith in him. That author goes on:
I can’t tell her stories from the Bible while teaching her that they are literally true. I remember being told that and not learning until I was much older just how complicated a collection of books it is.
Why not? They are literally true and nothing is impossible for God thus the compilation of a collection of books is not outside the realm and scope of God and his power.You need to teach children that they need to believe God because love believes what the other person is saying. Love does not call God a liar when we know that he cannot lie. But there is more:
I can’t tell my daughter that the Creator God from the first chapter of Genesis made the world, said it was good, then angrily punished two people (and because of them, all of us) for breaking a single rule. I can’t tell her that that same God then destroyed the entire world with a flood except for a handful of people and animals on a boat. I can’t tell her that the nation of Israelite marched into Canaan and slaughtered people wholesale at the word of a warlike God. And I’m not sure what I can say about the gospels and their inconsistencies and my love for the book of John, which is beautifully crafted but perhaps the least “factual.”
She distorts what God did in both instances and yes you can tell your children that disobedience brings punishment. That lesson will help them understand why their parents got angry and punished them when they disobeyed their parent’s rules, even a single one. If children do not learn that God punishes sin, how will that author keep her children from sinning or fear God as Deut. says above?
How will she keep her children on the straight and narrow when she does not teach them the correct lessons they need to remain on the straight and narrow? If that parent does not believe God and the Bible how can she expect her children to adhere to the rules of God and be righteous?
Can I tell her one time I read the story of the leper in Mark, the one who came to Jesus and asked to be made clean if he was willing,… Can I tell her the first chapter of John sends chills down my spine with the words, “And the word became flesh and dwelt among us?” Do I tell her (when she’s older) that the first time I read a chapter out of Song of Solomon, I was struck by the beauty of the language and the image of the woman’s body drawn by the passionate words?
If you teach her that the OT events were not real and literal how can that author expect her child to accept any NT event as true and literal? There is nothing stopping that child in rejecting the literalness of the NT events because she has already been told that the Bible is not literally true.
I don’t know how to talk to my child about the Bible, this text we read every week at church.
She doesn’t know how because she does not accept the Bible as true and doe snot follow Jesus. If she believed God and accepted the Bible as true then she would know how to talk to her child for all she would have to do is ask God for help in explaining the Bible so her child would understand it. She has rejected the answer and the any help she had access to because she has rejected the truth and the Bible and followed after strange teaching
God has already provided the answer to that question and we saw two examples earlier but here are some more:
But as for you, stand here by Me, that I may speak to you all the commandments and the statutes and the judgments which you shall teach them, that they may observe them in the land which I give them to possess.’ (Deut. 5:31)
We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. (Col. 1:28)
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.(Col. 3:16)
Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.(2 John 1:9)
For the true Christian parent, the question asked by the blogger is a no brainer for we are already told what to teach our children. We teach the truth and the ways of God, all of them. We teach our children the right way to go. God has also warned us not to teach the wrong things and there are plenty of wrong things that can and are taught children:
8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.
10 For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain.(Tit. 1)
Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were so occupied were not benefited. (Heb. 13:9)
So we teach children that there is true and false teaching, educating them on the difference and why one set of instructions are true and why another is not. We do not isolate children from the realities of life but prepare them by teaching them correctly and what to watch out for so that they can recognize when the truth and the false come their way and know how to hang on to the truth and avoid the error.
We do not do what that author did and reject the truth then try to teach their children something they know nothing about. If you reject the truth then you have nothing to teach your children.