Our 'faith' almost completely blinds us to the psychological trauma that our children go through.
I received this email today from my cousins wife about their seven year old child. (I've deleted the names at the astronomical chance that someone might recognize them)
"To all of our family and friends I just wanted to let everyone know that L____ got saved last night.(—:—about 9:40) L____ and I were saying our prayers at bed time (Dad) had left to go lock up the church. L____ has asked questions for some time now but he just wasn't quiet ready until now. He was very worried and upset about (his sister) being sick with the flu. He was afraid she might die. This got him thinking about if he died where he would go. I told L____ that God knew that little kids like him did not understand everything about salvation and if he died he would go to heaven. And he told me that he did understand that he was a sinner and that Jesus died on the cross for his sins and he wanted Jesus in his heart that he would not go to heaven until he was saved. So him and I talked more and we both asked each other allot of questions. Then his dad came home and we talked about it with him. (His dad) and I asked him if he wanted to pray and ask Jesus in his heart or if he wanted to talk to someone else like brother T__ and he wanted to. So they went to the church to talk to T__ in his pj's but T__ was in a meeting so L____ wanted to talk to Mr. S___ so then they went to see S___. S___ talked to L____ and asked the same questions that we did. He asked L____ if he wanted to say the prayer there or if he wanted to go home and pray with mom and dad or do it at church. Logan said he wanted to do it at home with mom and dad so they left S___'s to go home and pray. But the farther they drove L____'s heart was so burden that he ask (Dad) if a car hit us right now and we died where would they go. (Dad) did not want to confuse L____ so he said that He would wake up in heaven looking for L____ and L____ said dad I would not be there would I because I have not said the prayer. He told his dad to pull over right then in the Thunderbird Complex parking lot so he could say his prayer and be saved so they did. (Dad) said it was a Great prayer and he told Jesus that he was a sinner and he knew that he died on the cross for his sins and he wanted him in his heart and asked Jesus to forgive him for his sins. I wanted to share this with everyone and to thank everybody that helps in children's ministry because our children really do understand more than we think. After L____ said his prayer he told his dad that he thought it would be something hard but it wasn't. That is why he wanted to see brother T__ and S___ to confirm it was just that easy."
This isn't the tooth fairy or Santa Claus myth…... This is eternal damnation, burning, fire and torture forever and ever and ever. This is what we brainwash our children with. The fact of the matter is that its already hard enough just being a seven year old….to add on the concepts of being a 'sinner' and facing everlasting fire, torture and suffering is absolutely SICK…...
And we go around 'Congratulating ourselves' for this travesty.
How do we combat this?
In the bible belt a child is surrounded by peers spouting the same stuff at school, daycare, everywhere. Naturally questions are going to come up… How do you teach your children something 'different' than they are going to hear from almost everyone else they talk to?
How do you teach them something they are going to get 'beat up' for believing? Something that they will be ostracized for?
Its very hard to go it alone….or even in small numbers.
The children of the faithful are given the reassurance that they will not suffer Hell if they do as their parents say. Aside from “the rod” i am sure that most children of religious parents will be given a decent upbringing. At all stages in life people are influenced by questionable sources, at least now we have free access to all points of view.
I do not think that the human race will ever completely leave behind religious belief but we are making steady progress. I think it is beneficial to make your own beliefs known when confronted with religious thought. This steady pressure to review a religious persons beliefs will have a beneficial effect.
Not so sure about that.
My Husbands family were raised in a very strict religious household.
Two of his siblings are incorrigible repeat offenders that are spending the majority of their lives in and out of prision.
Every time they go to Prision, they find God, and when they get out, they commit another crime within a year and are caught.
One is 52 years old now, at the end of his most recent imprisionment, and preaching in prision now.