Monday, November 13, 2006

scary question maybe.

"There is no such thing as a Christian child, there is only a child of Christian parents. Whenever you hear the phrase Christian child or Muslim child or Protestant child or Catholic child, the phrase should grate like fingernails on a blackboard"

Richard Dawkins said that. I wonder if I would be a "christian" if my parents didn't raise me as one.


Blogger Joel said...

Christianity has little to do with who your parents are or what "title" or "banner" they lived under. I would go as far as to say that it has nothing to do with your parents, to the extent that they helped guide you to or away from belief in Christ.

Christianity, or more specifically a relationship with Christ, is something you can't manufacture nor inherit. It is something that has to be nurtured and developed. You may become friends with someone through someone else, but associating with that someone else doesn't instantly make you friends with their friends (at least not in the true sense of friendship). You must first kindle a relationship with them individually.

Christianity is a personal journey. Parents may influence their children and instill in them morality or immorality. A child will at some point no longer be a child, and will make a decision to accept or reject the moral ideologies, or lack thereof, of their parents.

I don't think Dawkins addressed the flip side of someone who didn't have "Christian" parents, as you've proposed.

6:57 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is always somewhat hard for children to sometimes understand the relationship between them and God. It’s almost like they are Christian because it’s kind of the only way they know, from their parents. Being a Sunday school teacher it is hard to get my point across a lot of the time, and a lot of the kids don’t really want to be there because THEY want to, it's because their parents. But I think growing up in Christian family has a lot to do with how one is today. And for Dawkins to say its like "fingernails on a blackboard" is a little bit too much in my opinion. It depends on the child individually, if that is what they really believe.

3:38 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

well your question raises another question. Is there such a thin as predestination? Because if there is(and i think there is), it doesnt matter if you grew up in isolation, Gods sovereign grace would not let his love escape you even if you wanted to fight it.

7:13 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’ve gotta admit, Dawkins brings up a solid point. Whenever someone has an opinion or a belief, it is in their nature to share this belief with other people. To try to persuade them to understand their own personal ways. Like human natures way of convincing themselves it’s ok to think the way they do. So of course, parents are going to teach their children their own personal religious beliefs.

What is that child? I don’t know. Does it really matter? What about families with parents of different religions?

Yet, in the long run, does it really matter what religion a person is? What is the point of religion? If the point is to help the individual lead a moral and good life, does it matter which religion helps any specific person find spirituality? Who are we as mere humans to say who is right and who is wrong?

I don’t know the answers. That’s kinda a lie. I know what I believe the answers to be. But I don’t know the true answers. I just find them fascinating.

Keeping thinking and questioning, Zach. Just don’t forget that sometimes it’s ok to not know the answers.


7:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am going to say that I kind of agree with this guy. I was raised by devoutly Christian parents, and I do believe in God and Jesus, and 8 out of 10 of my sibling are Christians too. But what about the other two that are not? And my parents were not exactly the loving Christian example.

Also, I have two friends who were raised by atheist parents and converted to Christianity.

I think that everyone has a point where they decide whether they are going to stay the religion they were raised to be, or divert from their original. Growing up, many of my friends would say when asked what religion they were, "My parents are catholic, but I believe in evolution"

I guess its situational.

9:46 PM

Blogger Sammie said...

I cannot tell you how many times your same thoughts ran through my mind at one time. I was born Jewish, but when I was growing up we never really practiced anything. When I was little my mom even gave me a gift from Santa by our menorah every Christmas morning. My parents never really pushed me to be Jewish, they just let me know I was.

It wasn't until I got to college that I started to really enjoy my religion for what it was.

10:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I certainly was never told anything about Christianity by my parents, my mom hates religion.
I discovered church on my own at 12...
I guess this has made me feel more responsible for my relationship with God. There's no one to force faith upon me... It's tough to start having faith after being raised without it but that environment also fosters independence and searching so...
A *true Christian*'s a faith is entirely their own, whether or not their parents encouraged it. I have lots of friends who were raised in a Christian environment and rejected it...and vice versa

** not a great term but... I mean someone who has a growing, personal relationship with God

9:26 PM


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