Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Not me, and certainly not MY children!

There is a great danger, a great temptation that every parent must resist, lest they fall into and in so doing become accessories to the sins of their children! That temptation, is the pride of holding to a doctrine like 'total depravity' (think psalm 51, 'in sin my mother conceived me' = a sinner by nature) while acting as if such really isn't true of our children!
For the most part every young new parent has had one of those awakening experiences where we jokingly confess, has 'convinced us of sin nature in children', you know what I mean; you stumble upon your child manipulating another child, or displaying an unthinkable (so we thought) amount of rage towards someone, or even a stare you in the eye with no sort of hesistation flat out LIE! Yep, we've all seen it, and if we're observant enough and honest enough we've seen them do things that were not something they picked up from someone, not something anyone taught them, and it should have convinced us that such children are in fact little sinners, sinners by nature, sinners who (face it) often love their sin, who desperately NEED a Savior!
The scriptures don't teach us to keep our children from 'foolishness' (rebellion) by use of the rod, but that the rod will drive it from them (Proverbs 22:15 it's 'bound up in the heart'). This is a reality that Christian parents must face, they must face it biblically, and that is why keeping our children 'from evil' is not 'training them in the way they should go' because they themselves are the problem and only God can redeem and transform them.
The scriptures warn parents that a 'child left to himself will bring his mother to shame' (Proverbs 29:15) which might be a clue to the importance of the diligent oversight required for raising children. This is another confirmation of the biblical teaching of total depravity, that is not to say we are as bad as we could be, but that men are capable of any and every form of sin! This is true of our children as well, and though we strive to raise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord, if they are not regenerate then they are being restrained by God through various means, but if God was to give 'them over' (Romans 1) to their lusts then whether we can swallow it or not, there is NOTHING that they are not capable of doing or becoming, nothing!
It's the inconvient truth, isn't it? O sure we would never say 'Lord I thank you that I'm not like...those sinners...i do this, i do that...' because that would be self-righteous, right? However what's troubling, is how many might dare to say, "But Lord, I do thank you, that my children are not like....those sinners....they do their chores, they recite their catechisms, they ace their exams, they eat healthy, they are polite, they are cultured, they watch fox news, they help at church...." and that sort of pride-filled naivete will absolutely affect how you address their sins (if you do) and how you apply the gospel!
Now you've seen the parent, or should I say, you have seen this in yourself (at least within), where a parent is told by someone that their child did this or that, and they (or you) reply, "Oh no, that doesn't sound like my baby, my child would never do THAT!", sound familiar? You know it was just the 'wrong crowd', it was a 'bad apple', but oh no, that can't be our children, right?
Do you see the disconnect? Do you see the re-interpretation of what the bible says about man? How can we point our children to Christ if we won't face their problem? How can we truly plead in prayer for their souls if we won't agree with God that they need to be radically transformed?
If we were biblical, if we truly held to what we so casually confess, then we would have a grander view of God, a clearer view and hatred of sin, and a more awestruck view of the grace we have through Jesus Christ!
Take the case of the teenager who molests his younger siblings, at such we are sickened, we are outraged, and we rightly call it sin. Well as time goes on and things are dealt with, regardless of the arguments of what 'dealt with' is sufficient (and what would 'enough' be to make it all better?), the Christian can affirm that if such a one was to confess their sins and truly turn in faith to Jesus Christ than such are absolutely and completely forgiven and even restored by God Almighty! That such are then included among this list of vile sinners '...and such were some of you' (1 Corinthians 6:11) who are not perpetually tagged as a certain cast of 'worse' sinners, but those who have been delivered from such bondage. The world then says, 'wait you sort of Christians take the issue too lightly, you just sweep it under the rug and pretend it's nothing.....' on the contrary we go WAY beyond those who might call for such offenses to be deserving of the death penalty, we say that such are deserving of eternal torment in Hell! We all fall short of the glory of God, and while not every sin is exactly the same, or the same in how God will punish it, all sin has this in common, that it is against a holy God and deserving of eternal punishment! God has not swept any sin under the rug, for such would be contrary to His just nature and contrary to His warnings in scripture, rather God the Father has provided forgiveness of sins by imputing (placing upon/crediting/applying) the sins of His people to Christ, so that on the cross Jesus is paying for the sins of others and thus providing salvation and full forgiveness of sins for those who turn to Him in repentance and faith, those who do that receive His righteousness and are accepted because Christ represents them!
If we were to label the 'worst' sins, the 'worst' sort of sinners, we could start with the depraved sexually immoral, we could show how violence added to that against the most helpless makes it even more detestable, of course not many want to add in those who kill the most helpless (the unborn), but if we were to make a case for those who REALLY will 'get it' from God, it will be those who had the most light and rejected it, namely bonafide HYPOCRITES in the church..........and here's what you need to remember, that sort of sin is described by Christ worse than the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, which might just be those of our own children!
For this reason we have NO GROUNDS to think, 'not my children'. Friend face it, your children left to themselves will not only sin, but will enjoy it! They like you, like me, have thought of things, no one should ever think or talk about, horrifying things, evil things! Don't put your hope in their innate 'goodness', don't put your hope in their 'good company', don't put your hope in their 'Christian education', don't put your hope in their 'morals', no you must welcome God's instruction concerning who they are and what they need!
Of course they need boundaries, of course they need to be guarded from this and that, and such matters are addressed in scripture, but we must not fail to come to grips with the reality that they themselves are sinners by nature. They need more than to be kept 'from evil', they need help to see evil within, to consider their dilemma in comparison to God, NOT in comparison to the lost street kids.
This means more than teaching your children to avoid that one house where the registered sex offendor is at (as if you NEED that info to not have your children hang out at some single guys house...um), it's more than teaching them to not let someone touch them here or there, and to tell you about it, but it requires the uncomfortable reality that you must teach THEM not to do that, not to give in to that, not to hesistate in rejecting that, and YES they need to know that it's disgusting and God hates it (and that God sees it).......and shame on us if we have taught them to be afraid to confess such things to us! Furthermore parent, this means we can't blow it off, we can't ignore it or call it something tamer or cuter, or something along the lines of the philosophy of perverse God hating pyschologists, NO, we must call sin, sin, we must deal with sin and never buy the lie that if we give it time or hide it that it'll just go away!
We must loathe and fear the 'appearance of godliness' or else we will sacrifice our children to a host of secret sins which will terrorize them the rest of their lives, and then send them to Hell! It should go without saying that such things, the eternal state of their souls, are in the hands of God, but He has commanded us how to raise them and warned us how not to raise them, so then it is our duty and privledge to give ourselves to following and looking to Him as He instructs, this is how we TRUST in Him, while making every effort to lay no stumbling blocks before our own children!
May the Lord help us all!


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