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Posted over 2 years ago

 

I wanted to bring this topic up for discussion. Should religion be forced onto your family, such as kids, wife, or in-laws? 


I do not know how many times in my early to late teen years that I did not want to attend church, or wanted to attend a different church or just find my own religion beliefs. But as I recall their was no way my parents would have allowed me to  skip or go anywhere else or even consider any other types of religion. When I would bring up the idea I was always told off by my dad and that it was nonsense and that I needed go or find someother home to live in. It wasn't that did not like going to church, but I had problems with the church. The size of the church was to big for me, some of the standards and teachings were not something I believed in 100%, the music was not what enjoyed. I am a Christian, but just look at how many denominations their are under Christians. I would take my foundations and beliefs in what my family and church had taught me and look for something that suited me and something that I could see myself grow in the Lord.


Is this something you would do to your kid or teen if they wanted to explore other religions and make a decision on their own? Should parents force their religion beliefs onto their family? As I look back onto those years and the present years I can't help but see the same thing happening in this generation of teens. I see parents dragging their teens to church, making them go here and there, making them do this and that with the church. But in the end I see the same results that happened to me, I lost all interest in even going to church, made reasons why to be out of the service, and stopped listening to the pastors messages. I see more rebellion in teens in such ways as what they wear, what they say, and how they represent themselves while coming to church. By making your kids or teens come to church are we not pushing them away from what we are trying to teach them? If you taught them well growing up don't you believe that they will make the right choice in their religious beliefs? Because every Sunday I go to church I see teens with bad attittudes cause they had to come to church. 


Now I am not saying that kids should make their own choices, but teens in high school age, around the age of 16 start to get that "why" in their heads. They want to know more and explore things in their lives. I think we have to give our kids the background that we have while they are young. Give them a good solid base to stand on while they are young. Get them envolved in church programs and activities. But when the time comes let them go and explore a little bit, maybe even explore with them. Have discussions on what they have seen or heard at these other places. He or she needs to find that right place so that they can grow in the Lord and do things for Him. 


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First of all, a very good question! These are the types of questions we need to be asking ourselves (and others) as you have. Here are my thoughts on the matter of religion and the household.


There is no religion in my household. This may come as a shock to some of you. There are 43 different religions/belief systems listed on religionfacts.com. Most of these religions all have the same goal. They all agree that there is something wrong with mankind. And they are searching for peace. Whether it be inner peace or whatever. Each has it's own way of going about attaining that peace. Or for some, they would call it salvation. You do these things, you'll be a good person, and God will spare you. And that is the path of modern day Christianity. You go to church, pay your tithes, try to be a good person, don't fall asleep in the sermon, and you'll go to heaven. Problem is, that isn't working anymore. People like you, Stryker, see right through that and maybe that's why you longed for more. You longed for relationship, not religion.


The real problem is the church today looks very little like it did in Acts. It is the parents' job to bring up their children in the way of the Lord. If we were doing this, we wouldn't HAVE to drag them through the doors. They would long to come. They would see the true community of the true church. The would see their parent's godly lives, the miracles God does through them. Every kid longs to resemble their parent. Men if you have a son, you know this. You know your son wants to be just like his daddy. Women, if you have a daughter you know this as well. Maybe these teens with bad attitudes are just reflecting what their parents are covering up with masks.


So, back to the initial question. Should I force Christianity on my wife and kids. The answer is yes, but I shouldn't have to force it. It should flow. I'm a solid believer that the faith of a child reflects the faith of their parents. Now this isn't always the case. There are just some kids who refuse. So when they turn 18, they can do whatever they want. Choose whatever religion they want. But until then, the 5th Commandment is in effect, enforced with a whip, or a belt, time out..lol whatever you folks do.


Could you imagine if Paul had a son. Could you see Paul Jr. telling him "I don't want to go to church!" Not happening. The culture was different.


We need an injection of Christ in our culture.


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Romans_116 says ...



First of all, a very good question! These are the types of questions we need to be asking ourselves (and others) as you have. Here are my thoughts on the matter of religion and the household.


There is no religion in my household. This may come as a shock to some of you. There are 43 different religions/belief systems listed on religionfacts.com. Most of these religions all have the same goal. They all agree that there is something wrong with mankind. And they are searching for peace. Whether it be inner peace or whatever. Each has it's own way of going about attaining that peace. Or for some, they would call it salvation. You do these things, you'll be a good person, and God will spare you. And that is the path of modern day Christianity. You go to church, pay your tithes, try to be a good person, don't fall asleep in the sermon, and you'll go to heaven. Problem is, that isn't working anymore. People like you, Stryker, see right through that and maybe that's why you longed for more. You longed for relationship, not religion.


The real problem is the church today looks very little like it did in Acts. It is the parents' job to bring up their children in the way of the Lord. If we were doing this, we wouldn't HAVE to drag them through the doors. They would long to come. They would see the true community of the true church. The would see their parent's godly lives, the miracles God does through them. Every kid longs to resemble their parent. Men if you have a son, you know this. You know your son wants to be just like his daddy. Women, if you have a daughter you know this as well. Maybe these teens with bad attitudes are just reflecting what their parents are covering up with masks.


So, back to the initial question. Should I force Christianity on my wife and kids. The answer is yes, but I shouldn't have to force it. It should flow. I'm a solid believer that the faith of a child reflects the faith of their parents. Now this isn't always the case. There are just some kids who refuse. So when they turn 18, they can do whatever they want. Choose whatever religion they want. But until then, the 5th Commandment is in effect, enforced with a whip, or a belt, time out..lol whatever you folks do.


Could you imagine if Paul had a son. Could you see Paul Jr. telling him "I don't want to go to church!" Not happening. The culture was different.


We need an injection of Christ in our culture.


Amen!! Paul probably would have stoned Paul Jr. for that. Agree parents need to be bringing their children up in the way of the Lord, cause if they won't who will? Sad to say that even Christian parents show more of the world then the Lord in their lives, which the kids see and follow that way. I know of a few families in my church that the parents would rather be friends and let the child do whatever they please. Instead they need to be leading by example, buckle down on the child, discipline them. I can not help but bring up the movie "Courageous" when talking about how parents need to raise their children. If fathers will not lead then who will? If parents don't have an active roll in their kids lives then who will? 


 



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If fathers will not lead then who will? If parents don't have an active roll in their kids lives then who will? 

 


Satan.


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Much of what I do in the church today is reflective on my father and my mother and their example to me as a child.  They went to church religiously (so to speak).  They served in whatever capacity that they were asked to serve.  They showed me by their example that it was in fact, important....... not only for them, but for me and my brothers.  When I was young, I leaned on the knowledge and faith of my parents.  As I entered my late teens and sporadically into my 20's and 30's, I had to make my own decisions as to what I believed and correspondingly, how I conducted myself as to my attendance.  As I dated, I would sometimes attend the churches and services of the girls I dated.  Is it easy to make excuses why not to go to church?  Certainly it was and still is.  God has given us so much beauty in the world, it becomes very tempting sometimes to say, "I think I'll go to the beach, mountains, deserts, ball game(s) or name your favorite place.  That said, if I go to theses places on any given Sunday (my chosen day of sabbath worship), I show my kids that it isn't important for me to be in church so why should it be important for them?  It comes back to the example my parents set for me and the standards that they kept.  It is important to set the example for the children in their early years.  Fortunately, they all love going to and participating in their assorted activities.  Do I hope that as they grow and mature that they will keep the faith?  I sure hope and pray that they do so.  Will I be disappointed or love them any less if they choose not to?  I might be somewhat disappointed and hope that they might some day return, but I will always love them.


Interesting that as I read what I have just written, isn't this what God might be thinking about each of us as His children?  He sent us to live on earth where we are temporarily away from His presence.  He wants us to return to Him.  He sent His son to show us the way, be our example and be our Savior and Redeemer.  He gave us The 10 Commandments (as opposed to the 10 suggestions) to help us.  The Bible tells us to raise our children in the path of righteousness or the sin be on the heads of the parents.  It also tells the children to "Honor thy father and mother that thy days might be long upon the earth."  The Bible is the "Word of God is it not?  He gave us our agency to choose and is disappointed in us when we fall but we know that He loves us anyway.

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Well I think it all depends on the definition of "force" you use.


Am I going to punish my child for disobeying God's commands? Yes.


Is he going to have to attend church with me? Yes. He does not have a choice. We are going to read the bible together. We are going to pray together. He does not have a choice, because I am his father and he will obey me, just as I must obey God. I do not have a choice.


The bible is very clear that we should teach our children God's commands and his ways. It is not an option for me. Thus it is not an option for my child. This goes back to the 5th Commandment. Even Jesus obeyed his mother and father when he didn't want to. (Check his first miracle, or when he was at the temple as a young boy).


My point is, that if we are truly living a godly life, then force is not necessary. The fact of the matter is most people are not living a godly life and must coerce their child to attend church because of it. God did not give us free will so that we would reject him, but rather choose him. And his commandments are not options. They are not suggestions (thanx skoolcop :) ). Really, once you become a child of God, you no longer have free will. We cannot be in our will and God's will at the same time. Remember Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done?


God doesn't force himself on anyone, but once we are adopted we can no longer do whatever we please.


SSU remember we are talking about the Christian household. If it were outside of the home, say neighbors, co-workers,ect. I agree that we should not force our faith down people's throats. But we have commandments we have to follow when it comes to raising our children. And the children have commandments as well. Ephesians 6:1 "Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right"


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Skoolcop,


excellent! Amen.


No matter what path my children choose to take, I will always love them. I want to be the best example of what a Christian looks like in their lives. As the bible says, if I raise them in the ways of the Lord, they will not depart from it. Thanks for sharing brother.


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 Bump SkoolCop! You do not know how many times I wanted to skip church when I was kid to go a ballgame or go to an event of some sort. But parents would never allow it, they would always say we have church to attend. So basically growing up I never went to ballgame on a Sunday afternoon, or skipped church, or went to the beach or did anything cause my parents had wanted us in church. When would take trips to visit friends out of state on a weekend we found a church to be in. I think I only missed church a couple times in my childhood days, being in the hospital and family reunion, could not find a church in NH. I thank my parents for instilling into me the want to go to church and not just blow off church just because its church and other events are more important. To this day I make church as much as possible, but with work and military it can be a struggle, but thank God for chaplains!


The "force" I was talking about is how far would you take it to if your child did not want to follow. Like in your statement Romans 116, You said he is going to attend church, read the Bible, and pray. What if one day your children do not want to read the Bible together or as much as they should, or your children don't want to pray together as a family any more. How far would you go in force? Are you going to kick them out of the house for not wanting to do those things anymore? Are you going to whip them because they don't want to read the Bible and pray together, or not as much? Would you threaten your children with whippings and being kicked out of the house if they choose not to follow along with what you have been doing for last how many years? This is where I feel like it can hurt the child forever if you were to go a little extreme on punishement for not following you. Just as a personal opinion I think if someone was to punish me or threaten me with the above whippings and being kicked out of the house, that would push me away from the Lord even more and possibly damage what has been taught to me over the last how many years. 


 


 


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StrykerBrig21 says ...



 Bump SkoolCop! You do not know how many times I wanted to skip church when I was kid to go a ballgame or go to an event of some sort. But parents would never allow it, they would always say we have church to attend. So basically growing up I never went to ballgame on a Sunday afternoon, or skipped church, or went to the beach or did anything cause my parents had wanted us in church. When would take trips to visit friends out of state on a weekend we found a church to be in. I think I only missed church a couple times in my childhood days, being in the hospital and family reunion, could not find a church in NH. I thank my parents for instilling into me the want to go to church and not just blow off church just because its church and other events are more important. To this day I make church as much as possible, but with work and military it can be a struggle, but thank God for chaplains!


The "force" I was talking about is how far would you take it to if your child did not want to follow. Like in your statement Romans 116, You said he is going to attend church, read the Bible, and pray. What if one day your children do not want to read the Bible together or as much as they should, or your children don't want to pray together as a family any more. How far would you go in force? Are you going to kick them out of the house for not wanting to do those things anymore? Are you going to whip them because they don't want to read the Bible and pray together, or not as much? Would you threaten your children with whippings and being kicked out of the house if they choose not to follow along with what you have been doing for last how many years? This is where I feel like it can hurt the child forever if you were to go a little extreme on punishement for not following you. Just as a personal opinion I think if someone was to punish me or threaten me with the above whippings and being kicked out of the house, that would push me away from the Lord even more and possibly damage what has been taught to me over the last how many years. 


 


 



I see what you are saying. And I see your point. Each situation is different. Each child is different. So I can't say right now if my son told me he wasn't going to read the bible anymore whether or not I would discipline him with "the rod" or not. But I know what I won't do. I won't sit back and say "Okay, that's your choice."


Also keep in mind, for the Israelites the violation of the 5th Commandment was death by stoning. So really the question today is, how far does God want you to go? Now obviously Jesus nailed the law on the cross so we don't stone our children when they disobey, but we are supposed to discipline them.


It all starts early. When a child is to the point where they don't want to go to church or read their bibles anymore, ect, well they are usually no longer children those are usually teenagers. So if you start too late then it'll be hard to get them on track. It is also hard for new believers who already have teenage children and the whole Christian life is new to the family. I can't speak for those people, I can only speak for me and my experiences. Each family is different and each child is different but in every situation we must look to God's word for guidance on how to raise our children. Amen?


I can tell you this, my son is 4 years old and he knows who created him. He knows who made the earth, all the animals, the plants, the people. He knows who is in charge. He knows it aint me. He knows that Jesus died for him and that he resurrected. And I am going to train him to be a disciple. Through prayer and discipline I know that God will continue to build up my son's faith. I know he will stumble in his life but I am confident no matter what he will return to seek God's face. Because God instilled those values in him at a very early age.


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batgirl41 says ...



Stryker brig21: I read the term you mention some of the , " standards," and, "teachings," were not agreeable to you by 100%. Did you ever go talk to the preist and ask him why perhaps the teaching or standard was like that in first place? The reason behind it...what it would produce and why that may be beneficial? Did you ask these questions before you decided to doubt in the teachings? Sometimes when we read about certain standards and teachings we need to do this with an open, receptive ( non-judgmental) mind so we can try and understand them and all the Possibilities they may uncover!!  and if not perhaps write down questions we have about the teachings.


Also: The practice of even questioning established " standards" and " norms" seems to be something that is maybe a controversial thing to do......but what if someone is questioning ( Not at all with defiance) but just a Need to understand. Like if you do a Math problem.....okay 25 x 3 = 75.....ok great..... what if i want to know why you multiply them in the first place? What purpose does this ( in the end serve and who invented the notion of multiplication ) that is an example of ( maybe a stupid one) but that's all i could think of. I mean it's kind of weird for someone  learning math to question mathematical formulas and where they originated...I know....but I found myself doing that when I was in school.....i guess religion is no different to me. When I have found some answers from my questioning I have felt really inspired because I felt like I could see a little clearer.....it waslike wearing sunglasses and seeing the world through a veil of darkness and than taking the sunglasses off and seeing the reality in bright, detailed truth. Sometimes questioning something Does end with finding an Answer.....and you may even agree with what the answer is and feel it is helpful to you! Hope I am explaining ok....if not....anyone feel free to tell me what you think I am doing wrong.....I'm open to hearing ya! Also .....Stryker Brig21...I am not proposing the solution to your inital doubt to some standards is simply asking why they are beneficial at all and finding perhaps that you may agree....because you may not....just saying before you judge something always give it time to think about it ( and gather as much information about it as you can ). I have found that if you read something rather quickly and React.....simply react by saying, " yes," or, " no," is often too simple. Reactionary behavior is useful is many instances but I prefer to not react ( wait for time to pass as I think) and than react.....Did you give it time before you decided the standard was incongruant with your standards. AND......also I have to say .....that I am only putting out there but I have been brain storming, I may be wrong, I may be right....what do you think?


 I agree with you 100%! I always investigate and look into more detail anything that I might question from the pulpit. But when the pastor explained his position on the topic and explained very thoroughly with his facts and what he thought and used Bible verses and what not to come up with his opinion on that topic. Once he finished his message I knew inside of me that it did not sound right for me. Others may agree with it and follow what the pastor says, but for me I took what the pastor said and thought different. I agree with most of what the pastor preaches but on this topic I just cannot follow him. 



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Romans_116 says ...



StrykerBrig21 says ...



 Bump SkoolCop! You do not know how many times I wanted to skip church when I was kid to go a ballgame or go to an event of some sort. But parents would never allow it, they would always say we have church to attend. So basically growing up I never went to ballgame on a Sunday afternoon, or skipped church, or went to the beach or did anything cause my parents had wanted us in church. When would take trips to visit friends out of state on a weekend we found a church to be in. I think I only missed church a couple times in my childhood days, being in the hospital and family reunion, could not find a church in NH. I thank my parents for instilling into me the want to go to church and not just blow off church just because its church and other events are more important. To this day I make church as much as possible, but with work and military it can be a struggle, but thank God for chaplains!


The "force" I was talking about is how far would you take it to if your child did not want to follow. Like in your statement Romans 116, You said he is going to attend church, read the Bible, and pray. What if one day your children do not want to read the Bible together or as much as they should, or your children don't want to pray together as a family any more. How far would you go in force? Are you going to kick them out of the house for not wanting to do those things anymore? Are you going to whip them because they don't want to read the Bible and pray together, or not as much? Would you threaten your children with whippings and being kicked out of the house if they choose not to follow along with what you have been doing for last how many years? This is where I feel like it can hurt the child forever if you were to go a little extreme on punishement for not following you. Just as a personal opinion I think if someone was to punish me or threaten me with the above whippings and being kicked out of the house, that would push me away from the Lord even more and possibly damage what has been taught to me over the last how many years. 


 


 



I see what you are saying. And I see your point. Each situation is different. Each child is different. So I can't say right now if my son told me he wasn't going to read the bible anymore whether or not I would discipline him with "the rod" or not. But I know what I won't do. I won't sit back and say "Okay, that's your choice."


Also keep in mind, for the Israelites the violation of the 5th Commandment was death by stoning. So really the question today is, how far does God want you to go? Now obviously Jesus nailed the law on the cross so we don't stone our children when they disobey, but we are supposed to discipline them.


It all starts early. When a child is to the point where they don't want to go to church or read their bibles anymore, ect, well they are usually no longer children those are usually teenagers. So if you start too late then it'll be hard to get them on track. It is also hard for new believers who already have teenage children and the whole Christian life is new to the family. I can't speak for those people, I can only speak for me and my experiences. Each family is different and each child is different but in every situation we must look to God's word for guidance on how to raise our children. Amen?


I can tell you this, my son is 4 years old and he knows who created him. He knows who made the earth, all the animals, the plants, the people. He knows who is in charge. He knows it aint me. He knows that Jesus died for him and that he resurrected. And I am going to train him to be a disciple. Through prayer and discipline I know that God will continue to build up my son's faith. I know he will stumble in his life but I am confident no matter what he will return to seek God's face. Because God instilled those values in him at a very early age.


AMEN!! I agree with all that. 



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 That is the problem with religion these days. Everyone wants to tailor it to what they want and how they interprete the Bible. For instance with Christians you have Baptist, Southern Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, and many many more. Each one interprets the Bible to what they feel is right and not what is right. You will never find a religion that you will 100% agree with. You will find problems and things that you disagree with in all of them. As well as a lot that you like and agree with. You can move from one religion to the next and find something in each of that you like and do not like. But that is not what you want to do. You maybe in one church were you agree with the pastor but not the music standards, or you like the music standards and not the pastor. You may like the pastor and the music but not like the things the church does. The denomination that you choose is what you think will help you grow in Christ and do His work while you are still on earth. 


Now for me I am a Christian, I believe that God created the world, not science, and made everything we have in this world. That is what the Bible states in Gensis 1:1, and through the first few chapters as well. Not one bit of science was used in the creation of the world, no bang, blast, or explosion. I also believe that Jesus Christ born into this world to save the world. Before Jesus Christ was born no one paid the price for our sins. But when Jesus Christ was placed on that cross with spikes in each hand He paid the price for everyones sins. I also believe that Jesus died on the cross, was burried and raised again on the 3rd day. I have faith in this act and believe that it happened as stated in the Bible. That is the only way to heaven, believeing and having faith that Jesus died and arose again for our sins. No good act or deed will get us into heaven. If we do more good in our life, God will not weigh it against the bad and if we did more good he allows us into heaven. Because if you follow that you will not get anywhere near heaven, but the opposite. 


Religious standards never change. Most of these different religions try to change their standards with the times and what is going on in the world. They will change their preaching and music and other things just to fit the times. God's word fits perfect in this time as it did back when he taught Himself in the streets. We are to live our lives after the Lord and what he taught us in the Bible. I also see what you saying, laws have changed, parents can longer stone their children for disobedience. No more cutting off arms and fingers for stealing(at least here in the US). In that case it really does not affect religion. 


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 I don't think any religion should be forced on anyone young or old; mentioned for them to make their own decision maybe, but never forced.  I am a prime example.


When I was a kid, I kind of enjoyed going to church.  "Kind of" meaning I enjoyed the fun after school portion and not the strict sit down, shut up, and learn part (I didn't go to a lot of free will accepting churchs).  And then when my parents got divorced I was dragged to 20 million different churches (One in Georgia which I don't think I'm allowed back in because I'm pretty sure I was excommunicated, but in my defense they asked a question they wanted the truth to).


Then came the constant guilt.  My mother used to (well actually still does) keeps telling me that I will never be happy unless I go to church. And even more when I was completely down and depressed, I ended up in a church hearing the sermon...and felt worse.


So, I feel a structured religion may not be for everyone and forcing on anyone is just a bad idea and can actually cause more harm than good.  Let the kid make the decision; and as long as the kid is not sacrificing animals in the garage, you should support their decision.

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 Well cmm07r  you feel guilty because you are guilty.   The bible say we've all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.   That is why Jesus came to earth to make an attonement for our sins.   Religion and church will not get you there.  It is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that does.   


   We need more men to take their role as the head of the house not only by teaching but also an example.   Children are under the authority of their fathers and as said before on here set the rules for the house.  


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Ah! LadyG,that is perfect.Ones personal relationship with Jesus Christ is the ticket.Although I believe the church IS important in our daily lives so that we may commune with those of likeminded spirit,the more important thing is the church we carry within our hearts.This is NOT a church of mortar,bricks,stone and pews,but a church of the holy Spirit,which is what Jesus left with us as he departed this earthly life.As a father,try as we may and try as we might,we sometimes fail miserably.I attended church failtfully with my wife ,two sons and daughter in their formative years.My children even attended a Christian academy and we all went to mid-week services and wittnesed,as well.My eldest son is now an Athiest,my youngest son an Agnostic and my daughter attends no church.As a Baptist minister for the past 15 years I take the total blame for this.

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 Dave as parents we can only do so much.  I dropped my daughter off at church on Sunday and despite me God has grown her into a godly women and mother.   I am amazed when I think of it how great she has turned out and it is all God's doing not mine.    So don't beat yourself up you did your best and that is all you can do.  You laid a foundation for them to return to. 


YaYa Sister

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 I don't feel guilty.  The part that made me feel bad was I was trying to forget about my life trouble, but the sermon reminded me about the problems and left more depressed than when I came in.


And I kind of have to respectfully disagree.  You don't need religion to be a great parent, just great more fiber and character which I have just fom good up bringing and living by the golden rule...and I'm Agnostic.


Like I said, religion is for some people and not for others.  It's just not something that should be forced onto others.

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I wrote out a long reply to this but it said my content was inappropriate??... not sure why but I will try to reword my response...in a few ,I have to rewrite it then type it :) GOOD TOPIC :)


 


In Life we should experience an adventure that will create a memory worth repeating.....unknown.....

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Dave your childrens personal beliefs is not your fault you set the bricks in place for that foundation to be built.


In Life we should experience an adventure that will create a memory worth repeating.....unknown.....

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I'm sorry, but if you are a born again believer in Christ and you only "mention" Jesus to your child...that is a gross injustice. Almost sinful!


I'm married to the LORD..no prenup

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My eight year old son attends a Baptist christian academy for two reasons it is the best school in the county and I wanted him to have the same opportunities I did as a child to learn the gospel and form his own thoughts as an adult. I grew up attending and never missed a service. I am the person I am today because of my testimony and belief in Christ. I also believe a person is responsible for their personal relationship with Christ not the neighbor, the preacher, the sibling, you have to establish that bond. I also think sometimes that fellow  christians judge others harshly this happened to me recently via facebook because I support a page that has a acronymn in the title this person did not like, do I dare add this site also supports law enforcement. I do not feel I am less of a christian for supporting this page and I appreciate how others are easily able to cast a stone a perfect christian does not exist although we should always strive to be. my first response was much longer but this is the just of it..


In Life we should experience an adventure that will create a memory worth repeating.....unknown.....

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Wow!  So many directions - so little time!  :)


First and foremost: I don't believe 'religion' is a good thing.  I know we often use that word to reference our denominations and beliefs, but I wanted to go ahead and say I don't practice a religion, I have a relationship.


Which brings me to my answer for Stryker: I believe that if we truly have a REAL relationship with God, then we don't have to force anything. I have 3 brothers, 1 half-brother, 1 half-sister.  We were at church everytime the doors opened.  We were taught the Bible from a young age.  But it was more than that.  A holy life was lived in front of us. People who depend on the church to teach their children everything they need in 3 hours per week will get out of their children what they invest.


People often say "Do as I say not as I do" with their actions.  This cannot EVER work in the church world.  It's called hypocrisy - sin.  While they live in your house - yes.  Make them go to church, sit in for nightly devotions and prayer, and by all means, teach them Truth.  But that is not forcing a religion on them.  It is teaching them to abide by the rules set before them.


They may choose differently when they get out of your house, but that is something that is between them and God.


@batgirl:  I do put 100% confidence in my beliefs.  Why?  Because God said in HIS Word everything I need to know.  If I have one ounce of unbelief, the enemy will use that against me.  No - we can't be perfect in our faith and belief but we can pray "Lord, help my unbelief."  Another reason - why practice something you don't believe?  If I doubted God for one minute because of my 'religion' or denomination, I'd find another religion.  And I say that with all due respect.  It was a divine creation and still is today.  Yes - cultures and societal norms change.  They always have and always will.  But the Word says there is nothing new under the sun.  Nothing is new for or surprises God.  Yet, He gave us a Book to live by and He expects us to.


@Romans:  I agree totally!  If you're gonna say it - do it!  If not, this teaches children double standards, hypocrisy, and dishonesty.  To live less that what you preach is unfair and even dangerous for your children.


I can't remember who brought it up but:  My pastor tells us from the pulpit, "Don't take my word for it.  I am human and make mistakes.  Look these things up for yourselves.  If you have questions or if I've missed somehting, come to me."  He is very humble.  People have disagreed with him through the years and they have sat and discussed it out.  He and I have had more than a few discussions.  It all boils down to digging in the Word and finding God's Truths more than just on Sunday in church.


@cmm07r: You are right - to a point.  You don't have to go to church or even be a believer to be a good parent.  My foster brother is a fantastic father and his wife is a fantastic mother.  Neither go to church or are believers.  But my point is this: If you knew there was something so much greater than this world had to offer (or even thought there was) what kind of parent would want less than that for their child?  Are you, as a parent (I'm not singling you out.  It's a general question for all.) willing to risk your child's eternal soul because you're a 'good' person?


No-I don't have children.  That's a choice I have made.  I have 4 nieces and 1 nephew.  I teach them and talk to them about God all the time.  They see a righteous life lived by me.  My youngest niece will be 4 this summer.  She knows Who made everything - including her.  She knows about baby Moses.  The older children observe and even ask about righteous actions and reactions.  Their parents do not teach them, so I do.


I am not at all perfect.  And they know that.  But they also know we should strive to be like Jesus (Who is perfect) everyday.  They know that when a person says "I'm a Christian." or "I'm a good person." that those things alone don't get you to Heaven.  As someone previously said - "Christian" holds a wealth of people, all of whom will not make it.  Our children know that it takes a relationship with God, repentance for your sins, to get to Heaven.


I also don't remember who brought it up but: Going to church may not be one of the 10 Commandments, but we are still told to do it..."Forsake not the gathering of the bretheren/believers/etc" (depending on which version you're reading).  Yes - we are the church.  It is not a man-made place.  But we are told to gather in that place.  This is to edify - or build up - each other, to be encouraged, to learn from His Word.


Here's something that may blow your mind since I said that - The altar was never meant for sinners. How 'bout that?  (This was a completely new thought for me when I heard and studied it.) We think we have to get a sinner to the altar.  And that is great when they come up and turn their lives over to God.  But the altar was not originally designed for that.  It is for believers.  Some altars were for disposing of burdens, giving praise and thanksgiving, etc.  We often get the wrong idea about church and that is why we should read, study and pray and not depend on our only spiritual food to come on Sundays.  You can't get by just eating one physical meal per week, so why would you try it spiritually?

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 Big Bump whitetm!!! 


You wouldn't go in there for a million bucks...A Cop does it for less...A Reserve does it for free....

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whitetm says ...



@cmm07r: You are right - to a point.  You don't have to go to church or even be a believer to be a good parent.  My foster brother is a fantastic father and his wife is a fantastic mother.  Neither go to church or are believers.  But my point is this: If you knew there was something so much greater than this world had to offer (or even thought there was) what kind of parent would want less than that for their child?  Are you, as a parent (I'm not singling you out.  It's a general question for all.) willing to risk your child's eternal soul because you're a 'good' person?



When I do have kids, I would want to do whatever I can so that they can so that they can be the best they can.  I won't force anything, but I will nudge them in the right direction as much as I can.  Ultimately, no matter how much I help them along, it will still be their decision to make in the end.

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cmm07r says ...



When I do have kids, I would want to do whatever I can so that they can so that they can be the best they can.  I won't force anything, but I will nudge them in the right direction as much as I can.  Ultimately, no matter how much I help them along, it will still be their decision to make in the end.



I completely agree with your last sentence.  Out of my mother's 5 children, I am the only one fully devoted to church, God, and His will for my life.  One is what I call a "slacker."  He does what he has to in order to get by.  He does not encourage church attendance in his children nor does he take extra time to teach them.  Another takes his daughter to church but lives that hypocritical life.  I can say that because I know his life - not being judgemental.  One fully admits he is living wrong and doesn't care.  The last - well - I'm not sure that one even understands where she is with God.


We were all 'brought up' the same way with the same values and beliefs. While we lived in our parents' home, we lived by their rules, including going to church and living by our parents' teaching.  Whether we believed it or not was a different story.  And now that we're older - decisions have been and are daily made.


It will always be their decision when they are old enough to make that decision.  But while they are still young enough to teach and living in our homes, it is our job to do our best to teach them right and enforce our rules.  Understanding that adults will live how they choose has been the hardest thing for my mom to grasp.  Parents often think they did something wrong because their kid(s) isn't living the way they were taught.  But like you said - it is ultimately each individual's choice.


Thanks Stryker!