Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What Does Your Child Believe About God?

My wife recently reminded me of something that happened while visiting with a family we know well.  I wasn't around to see this myself, but she was helping with some of the children that were present.  At one point, one of the children--not yet old enough to read--opened up a Bible, pointed to it, and said loudly, "if a man will not work, he shall not eat!" (Or, at least, he was paraphrasing that quotation, which comes from 2 Thessalonians 3:10)

So far as my wife could tell, there was no obvious context for what the child had done and said.  He was simply acting out something that he had seen.  We're not certain where he had seen this done.  It could easily have been a pastor, a parent, or perhaps some other friend from church.  Although there was indeed something stunning about the incident, we probably can't say that we're entirely surprised, either.  The sentiment contained within that Biblical passage is a very popular one with some people, and with good reason, especially in these difficult economic times.

Yet, there's something about the image of a young child quoting that particular passage, and in such a way, that I find very troubling.  Whoever had quoted that passage to (or perhaps merely in the presence of) him, it left an impression.  Is this the main thing we want our kids to know about what God thinks about people?  Sure, personal responsibility is important, but why didn't the child point to the Bible and "preach" from John 3:16, instead?


  1. Wow. I am honestly troubled. I know I shouldn't be, but when the words "social justice” are considered dangerous liberal propaganda in many homes right now, it worries me. For example, I know people who were and are against health care reform because they said, “Churches will help the poor and down trodden- not the government,” and yet they would rather, I fear, teach their children "if a man will not work, he shall not eat!" rather that Jesus feeds the five-thousand. I think you are more than right about John 3:16.

  2. Thanks for sharing. I'm still working through the implications of all this, myself.



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