Do you want to know what breaks my heart? People who were raised in the church or exposed to Christianity who don’t want to “brainwash” their children by teaching them about Jesus.
I’ve met, talked to, or heard from many people like this. People who have bought into the idea that Christianity is just another religion and they don’t want to dictate their children’s beliefs. Or people who were absolutely burned by Christians and are trying to spare their children the same fate. These parents have the very best intentions for their kiddos. They are trying to protect them. And as someone who was “brainwashed” to a certain extent, I appreciate their concern.
But when did Jesus become something we need to protect our children from?
How have we so completely screwed up the good news of Jesus Christ?
It’s only brainwashing if it’s not true.
But, I can’t judge, because if I hadn’t actually met Jesus, I would probably be in the same situation. The Christianity I was exposed to as a young teen/adult was completely about rules, and standards, and attempts to make God pleased with me. Many of my peers would say that they never heard about connection or relationship with God, just distance and fear. Why would anyone choose to continue believing this? If that’s what Christianity was about, I’d protect my children too!
Fortunately, I had parents who knew Jesus, who had a relationship with Him, and who were teaching me about Him. I had a mother who was praying that God would become real to me. And, God answered her prayers. Many of my peers had parents who bought into the lie of performance and fear. God was not real, or close, or loving in their family; he was demanding, and angry, and harsh. And I can’t blame them for walking away from everything to do with “Christianity”.
Jesus is so much more than just another religion. He is so much more than church on Sundays. He is more than a “get out of hell free” card. The Bible is more than a dusty, boring, old book. But, Jesus is also more than rules, and standards. The Bible is way more than a list of do’s and don’ts.
How did we, the church, miss the One we are supposed to be following? Why have we substituted Him for flat, dull religion?
God, the One who created us, stepped into our world as the Ultimate Superhero. He had powers! He upended the religious tradition of the day. He lived, fulfilling more than 300 prophecies in his 33 years. He died, making a way for us to be friends with Him again, and then He conquered death! And, He’s coming back!! This is good news! This should make us excited! We should have passion and life and joy. We should be filled with grace and love and forgiveness.
What is wrong, that people feel the need to protect their children from Christianity? Have they never met Jesus? If they meet me, someone who has the very Spirit of Jesus living inside, they should be meeting Him!
“Jesus!! Forgive us for turning You into an idea or a religion and not letting you be the very real Person You are. Become so real to every one of us…let us see You, know You, and love You. Change us! Show us the stupidity of thinking our performance can make us look any better in Your eyes…when You already see us perfect through Your blood. Let us live in the joy and freedom that is found in You. Let us represent You in truth, accurately, showing Your awesomeness to the world. Use me. Amen”