For The Children

Wednesday, July 18, 2007
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Proverbs 30:5-6 – Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar. (NIV)

I was involved in a radio debate a few months ago, regarding an issue about a local church having an evangelical crusade during school hours. Kids were taken out of their school for two hours, over a period of three days, to go to a revival meeting. Classes were practically shut down and teachers left with very few students. The kids who didn't get their parents' permission to go were left behind. Sometimes, when the other students came back, they were singled out and told they were going to hell.

I disagree with this happening on several planes. I think that the constitutional "agreement" on the separation of church and state is being flouted. More importantly, I think that the kids who are harassing others are not witnessing to Christ in a way that He would want. He was very careful to look after the younger ones in His midst, and I don't ever remember Him telling children that they were going to hell. Someone, somewhere, is adding something to Christ's words and deeds; and that, according to today's Scripture, deserves to be rebuked by God.

Now, I don't want any child on earth to miss out on going to heaven, to experience God's everlasting love, and to know of Christ's grace. It seems to me that those who create an apocalyptic anxiety in those who are so young damage their innocence and may even pervert their souls. When Christ condemns those who cause little ones to sin (Matthew 18:6), He doesn't exclude zealous preachers or crusading churches whose message may create fanatics and incite hatred. The condemnation is for all those who cause little ones to sin, not just for those who are outside of the Christian community.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, children are a precious gift to any community. They need to be cherished by those of us who preach, teach, and reach out from church. Keep us from raising insensitive fanatics and intolerant fools, whose religious hatred harms other souls. Help us to nurture gracious servants and godly shepherds, whose Christian love will win over their peers. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.

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John Stuart <>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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