Thursday, September 08, 2005

Is aberrant childhood evangelism a form of spiritual child abuse?

Here is another example of why doctrine matters. Some of the so-called evangelism being inflicted on our children reminds me of Matthew 18.

Matthew 18:5-6 ESV "Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, (6) but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

We would do well to take verse six as seriously as verse five. Read the following for Tom Ascol's blog:

Dr. Thompson writes in her article in "Perspective" about the 200 girls who "accepted Christ" (I assume for the first time) and 247 others who were called to career missions in the 2005 camp. But, she writes, "the story of camp is not written best with numbers and statistics; however, but with faces of girls who lives were changed." Then she inserts a picture of a little girl named "Brianna" who looks like she is maybe 9 or 10 years old. Thompson calls her "one little girl with one big story" because "she asked Jesus to be her 'forever Daddy' at Camp Worldlight."

If this is the way the camp director is describing Brianna's decision, one is left to wonder (with fear and grief) just what the children were instructed to do and what they were promised would happen. If it was the biblical Gospel that Briannna was taught and called to believe then one would at least expect to see Jesus referred to as Lord and Savior.

I do not know exactly what was taught nor how the children were handled so I will not comment specifically beyond what I have already written. However, I am certain of this: those who preach a false gospel to children, lead them to give some kind of assent to such a gospel and then assure them that they are saved are guilty of spiritual child abuse. There is only one Gospel that saves sinners regardless of a person's age. To withhold that Gospel from children or to substitute something in its place in hopes of being child-friendly is to put a barrier between children and Jesus Christ.
Let's pray that we would not be found lacking when we share the gospel with our children.

Will The Next Generation Treasure Christ?


Shawn L said...

Thank you Tony, good words. It is distructive in many ways because they may in their older life believe that they have been saved, but don't really know Christ.

There are many teens / adults who put hope in their younger years of praying the prayer as kids, but today have no interest in Christ at all. This is partly our fault as a church of not getting the gospel right and carefully teaching what the scriptures teach.

Tony K. said...

A child once said to me "the guy on the church bus saved me" meaning he made me copy a prayer -

Russell said...

Take the poll!

ClayHarting.Com said...

It is rather scary if you think about it but tell me this, what if your youth minister does all the right things but the teens just don't really respond to the lesson they would rather play a game?

as a youth leader i have came across this a time or two

Bhedr said...

This is another reason I feel infant Baptism is such a dreadful doctrine. Oh the blood that is on the hands of those who teach it or defend those who taught it.