The Christians or the Pagans?

A friend of mine sent me an article published by an organization called Restore Ministry.   It describes itself as “Offering hope to men, women and children in need of relational and spiritual restoration.”  Now, I don’t have the time to vouch for anything on the website, but I did find the article sent to me fascinating: “How to Raise a Pagan Kid in a Christian Home.”

Here is the crux of the article:

Do you teach your kids “be good because the Bible tells you to” or do you teach your kids that they will never be good without Christ’s offer of grace? There is a huge difference. One leads to moralism; the other leads to brokenness. One leads to self-righteousness; the other leads to a life that realizes that Christ is everything and that nothing else matters.

I want my kids to be good. We all do. But as our kids grow up, the truth of the gospel can easily get lost somewhere between salvation (where we know we need Jesus) and living life (where we tend to say “I’ve got this”). My experience is that the vast majority of parents are encouraging moral behavior in their kids so that God will bless their (usually self-centered) pursuits. It’s the American Dream plus Jesus. And it produces good, moral pagans.

A definitely fascinating perspective, that certainly has some traction in my mind.  How often do we, in one form or another, hear a homily that goes something like, “Be nice to each other”?

Food for thought on a Monday morning.

One thought on “The Christians or the Pagans?”

  1. Thank you for sharing this, Matt. This is something I want to ponder in my heart. But my initial reaction? I’m grateful that accepting “Christ’s offer of grace” is not a condition of being good. His grace — and the Truth that comes with it — exists and envelopes us, whether or not we choose to accept it. We are good because He made us like Him, not because of anything we have done or could do.

    Praise God for that, and that the many parents and children among us who haven’t got this quite right are intrinsically good in spite of themselves.

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