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Do you care whether your children believe in G-d? - Page 6

post #101 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kidzaplenty
The way I see it is like this. We are already condemned, by OUR own actions. Yes, by nature we are sinners. So without any help we are destined to die and go to hell (the payment of sin is death). But my God sent His only Son to us to lead us back to Him. MAN tortured and killed him. But because of His sacrific, His blood in ALLOWING man to kill him, He paid the debt for sin, which by it's very nature HAD to be in blood.
Still, this is the god that created the world and the rules and knew how it was all going to play out. He made the rules when it all could have been a garden party. Instead, it was a set up.
post #102 of 240
I would be disappointed if they did, honestly. I'd like to raise them to evaluate things logically.
And a YEAH to everything Rubywild said.
post #103 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyWild
Still, this is the god that created the world and the rules and knew how it was all going to play out. He made the rules when it all could have been a garden party. Instead, it was a set up.
Right. There is a logical fallacy implied when you propose a benevolent and omniscient god. It doesn't really work.
post #104 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kidzaplenty
So many "Christians" have given Christianity a very bad name. It is such a shame that our God of Love has been turned into such an evil punishing god in the eyes of so many. ..
While I do have a problem with some individual Christians, my biggest problems with Christianity come straight out of the bible.
post #105 of 240
Do I care whether or not they believe certain dogmas - no

What I care about is what they do in the name of religion/God. If my child decides to become a Christian - that's fine with me. So would Buddhist, Muslim, atheist or anything in between.

Its their actions, how they treat others, that is my biggest concern.

I was raised in an evangelical Southern Baptist church, forced to go and forced to participate, despite my endless cries not to go. Needless to say I'm not a church-goer anymore.

I do believe in a Divine creator - only because my life experiences has showed me this. I have no label to place on my religious beliefs. But I can't subscribe to any religion that holds themselves to be the "revealed" or "true" belief system - dogmas - as I believe it limits anything that the Divine may or may not be able to do.

Through our unschooling we have learned about major religions of the world - including Jesus, Muhammed, the Buddha. We have drawn on all those teachings to create our family principles - how we treat each other in our home and outsider as well. Most of the principles of major religions are very similar anyway.

My children have attended church with both sets of grandparents - Baptist and Catholic, only because they wanted to go. I don't force them and wouldn't allow them to be taken against their will.

Cara
post #106 of 240
What a timely question.

I had a traumatic religious childhood...brimstone and hellfire Baptist school and church that left me so deeply afraid of God I had no concept that he could ever be a comfort to me in any way. I was only raised to fear him. I never wanted that for ds.

Ds is naturally very spiritual, often asking me very pointed questions about what would happen when we died, would he still see me, where would he go. What worked very well was to ask him back: ie. what did he think, what would he like to have happen, what would comfort him to know? So, that way, I felt I better understood what it was he was needing. In fact, that was a huge reassurance and help to me for years, to just listen to him and ask him about what he thought, rather than jumping ahead and offering very much that was outside his awareness. Ds always had elaborate and detailed answers ready in his own mind. Even as a small child.

I think when he was 9 he read something, like an actual little John 3:16 propaganda type invitation to invite Jesus into your heart. He picked it up somewhere on his own and asked me several questions about it.

Anyway, all of this to say, that he was in the ER last week (he is 10)and we did not know what was wrong with him. He's had many heart surgeries and he was experiencing severe stomach pain. They had run lots of tests and it was late at night. Dh went home to feed the animals. It was semi dark in the ER room and ds suddenly said very slowly and quietly "I've had a very good life. I'm one of the lucky one's. Arent I? You and dad have always been great. I get to do the things I enjoy every single day. I've had a good life".

I was totally floored. Then very shaken up by him saying that out of the blue. I wondered if they were going to come in and give me some awful news, and this was some kind of...premonition.

It suddenly struck me, I don't know why, that I had to tell him right then a prayer we could say. I have never done that in 10 years. I think I said "I know a prayer we could say right now. A Heaven prayer (no idea where this name came from, it popped into my head). I was taught it when I was very little. It's a prayer people say who think there is a Heaven and want to go there one day. How do you feel about that?". I explained a little more about what it meant, and he clearly wanted me to tell him the prayer. I did, he repeated it, it was the best I could remembered of the very simple acceptance prayers I'd been told.

I don't know if it was the right or wrong thing to do but in the moment, that kind of moment, it was just not possible to consider saying nothing to him. I could totally understand why people call in priests or rabbi's to say a prayer over a very ill person. It was too much to imagine never seeing ds again. I could not just nod and say "Yep, it's been a great life son" and leave it at that. Maybe some could, but when I was right there in the moment, I needed to know I had not held back something that, however doubtful I felt over it at times, might have mattered a lot. And he seemed comforted by it. I know I was too.

So, my feeling is that, there may be a very natural path that will be there for each person, and the best way is to wait for the moment where you really feel led to share something with a child. That seems the safest way, the way likely to give them a feeling of safety rather than confusion or fear. I could have spent 10 years preaching to ds like my parents did, or just waited for one moment that it suddenly seemed the time to share something more with him.
post #107 of 240
Heartmama, I found that absolutely beautiful. Right to the very end where you said you could preach to him for 10 years or waited for a natural moment to occur to discuss something so deep and personal naturally. I totally admire your honesty and the beauty with which you handled the situation. How strikingly beautiful.

I do believe in God. The relationship I have with Him is something I cannot describe with words. And yes I would absolutely love for my children to experience what I experience knowing God. However it is not something I force on them. We dont do bible studies everyday and I am very sensitive when it comes to what they teach in sunday school (nothing like hellfire and brimstone type teaching going on) and if they dont want to go to sunday school they stay with me. Faith plays a huge role in our lives and not in the superficial sort of 'I read my bible everyday, look at me Im such a good person' kind of way. I dont fear my children going to hell so I dont instill that fear into them. I talk to them about my experiences about God and we pray together when they ask. It isnt my job to indoctrinate my children, its Gods job to draw them near to Him. Its my job not to interfere or hinder that process.
post #108 of 240
Thanks Genifer

Quote:
It isnt my job to indoctrinate my children, its Gods job to draw them near to Him. Its my job not to interfere or hinder that process.
This sums up my feelings better than I did. I think adults underestimate the fears, fantasies, and confusion children experience from the words and images of any religion. The one thing that stood out to me in the absence of indoctination or formal religion has been the effortlessness of spiritual conversations with ds. He likes to talk about God, and he feels a confidence about the whole issue. He probably says things that a fundamentalist would feel were intolerable inaccuracies (ds said once he knew exactly where Heaven was and pointed to a corner of the sky and gave me a vivid description of how one could travel there. He was very adament and all I said was "Oh it sounds like a wonderful place!" ) . You cannot teach confidence in God. I never had that, I still don't have it, I mostly have fear. If he that confidence now, the details will sort themselves out later.
post #109 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyWild
Still, this is the god that created the world and the rules and knew how it was all going to play out. He made the rules when it all could have been a garden party. Instead, it was a set up.
IMHO God gave us all a brain. When He told Eve in the garden of Eden not to eat the apple it was up to her to listen and do it. Instead like a defiant child she ate the apple. Therefore spiraling man into being born sinners. Yes, God knew how it was going to turn out, why then would he give us another chance? He sent His Son to die for us to give us the gift of Salvation. Would you do that for mankind? I sure wouldn't. God lets us decide whether to acept him or reject him. I am a Christian. Won't apologize for it. I don't walk in fear of God. I am in awe and wonder of Him. PPs stated they were once Christians. I wonder how you became an unChristian? I belive once you ask Jesus into your heart you are saved forever. There is no way to become unsaved., to my knowledge. I have always wondered if as some people believe there is no God, and you spent your whole life living as though there was, what do you have to lose? However, if you spent your whole life living as though there was no God and come to find out in the hereafter there is a God, I fear you'll have everything to lose.
post #110 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by trinasmom
I have always wondered if as some people believe there is no God, and you spent your whole life living as though there was, what do you have to lose? However, if you spent your whole life living as though there was no God and come to find out in the hereafter there is a God, I fear you'll have everything to lose.
What you'd have to lose is the dignity and integrity that comes from living according to one's beliefs.

If you live as though you believe in God, but in fact do not, then that would involve dishonesty on some level. Dishonesty toward one's self, toward others, possibly toward a church...

If there is a God, how would S/HE "respond" to someone who lived their life so dishonestly?

If by "living as though there is a God" you mean treating people well, respecting one's self, living altruistically and honestly, respecting the environment, etc; aren't all of those things possible without a belief in God?
post #111 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by trinasmom
I have always wondered if as some people believe there is no God, and you spent your whole life living as though there was, what do you have to lose? However, if you spent your whole life living as though there was no God and come to find out in the hereafter there is a God, I fear you'll have everything to lose.
See this puzzles me. This great almighty God would want someone to live a lie all their life? To pretend they believe in something that in their heart they don't? Why?

I would rather be true to myself and my beliefs then to pretend "just in case". I just can't imagine living my life that way.

I think it's really egotistical to believe that our creator really cares one way or another whether I believe or don't believe. I am good to other people, I am good to the Earth, I try to live a life that I and my family can be proud of. I can't imagine what I have to lose given that.
post #112 of 240
We cross posted Kamilla but were saying essentially the same thing so yeah that!
post #113 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by HelloKitty
We cross posted Kamilla but were saying essentially the same thing so yeah that!
post #114 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by trinasmom
I have always wondered if as some people believe there is no God, and you spent your whole life living as though there was, what do you have to lose? However, if you spent your whole life living as though there was no God and come to find out in the hereafter there is a God, I fear you'll have everything to lose.
See, I think this implies that anyone that doesn't belive in God, or a God, isn't or can't be a good person. There are many people who don't believe, but are incredibly wonderful, good-hearted and generous loving people. I see a great flaw in believing that as long as one believes in God and welcomes him into their heart, that they are saved no matter what they do or how they treat others.

My aunt told me, a long time ago, that you don't have to go to church to be a good person and just because someone goes to church, does NOT make them a good person. I will never forget that, ever.

I will not go into details, but I know people who have done some terrible, terrible things in their lives and never miss a day of worship. At times, I think it is awfully selfish to belive that simply by believing in God that one will go to heaven, even if they made life hell for others.
post #115 of 240
That is where faith comes in. Many people "believe" in God, or a god. But just belief by itself does one no good. Going to church does one no good. Being "religious" does one no good.

Everyone has done bad things, there is no getting around that. No one is perfect. That is where Jesus comes in. Belief in God alone is nothing, even the devil believes in God. But accepting Jesus into your heart and life, that is the only thing that matters. Your "denomination" does not matter, your church does not matter, your race does not matter, you gender does not matter. Jesus is the Key to it all. And when a person TRULY gives themselves over to Jesus, they will love their neighbor, they will be honest, they will exhibit the characteristics of Jesus. That is our goal, to become like Him. That is what being a Christian is all about. Just because people "call" themselves Christian, unless they are becoming "Christ Like" (that is what Christian means) they are just being "religious". It is a heart change that matters, not just an appearance change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trinasmom
I have always wondered if as some people believe there is no God, and you spent your whole life living as though there was, what do you have to lose? However, if you spent your whole life living as though there was no God and come to find out in the hereafter there is a God, I fear you'll have everything to lose.
I believe what she was saying was not that you are to live a lie, for God looks at the heart and not the outward apprearance and there is no way to trick him, but that by giving Him a chance you have nothing to lose. He will show Himself to anyone that really wants to know Him.

He is the Creator, and He does care whether or not we believe in Him. He really does love us. But He gave us a choice. Back in the garden of Eden, He gave Adam a free will. He never wanted robots, He wanted a companion. Adam CHOOSE to disobey one simple little thing and in doing so, thrust all mankind in sin. But God was still there. He led and guided man through the ages and then He sent His Son, Jesus, to give us direct access back to Him that we lost when sin divided us from Him.

It is not my job to just "not interfere" with my children's belief. But it is my job to guide them to the right belief. I can not choose for them. But I can show them the door and pray that they walk through. One day He is coming to gather His family to His side. And I pray on that day that no one would be left behind, especially my children that I love so much. Everyone must make their own decisions. Everyone must choose to accept or deny Jesus. That choice is a personal one that no one can make for you. So, I give my children all the facts and allow them to choose. But to choose, I must present all the facts to them. Why would I be OK to just allow them to walk away from our God and His Son when I KNOW that that is the only way? I would be irresponsible if I just allowed them to choose what ever they "felt" was a good path. Their very souls are at stake, and I will do EVERYTHING in my power to bring them to the One True God. But, the choice, once brought before Him, is their's alone.
post #116 of 240
:
post #117 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kidzaplenty
Everyone has done bad things, there is no getting around that. No one is perfect. That is where Jesus comes in. Belief in God alone is nothing, even the devil believes in God. But accepting Jesus into your heart and life, that is the only thing that matters. Your "denomination" does not matter, your church does not matter, your race does not matter, you gender does not matter. Jesus is the Key to it all. And when a person TRULY gives themselves over to Jesus, they will love their neighbor, they will be honest, they will exhibit the characteristics of Jesus. That is our goal, to become like Him. That is what being a Christian is all about. Just because people "call" themselves Christian, unless they are becoming "Christ Like" (that is what Christian means) they are just being "religious". It is a heart change that matters, not just an appearance change.
I agree with and I disagree. I am reading your post, as well, to be saying that one cannot be a good person without actively trying to be like Jesus. Is that what you are saying? Even one who lives life in that manner will go to hell if it isn't in the name of Jesus or for God?
post #118 of 240
I would care very much if my future kids don't believe in God. I have to live my life in the way I think is right (the only way in my opinion_ and that includes teaching my kids about God and his love for all of us.

And by the way...Christianity is not about "being a good person." It's not about us!
post #119 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimiij
And by the way...Christianity is not about "being a good person."
Well, that's pretty darn obvious in today's world.
post #120 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by tayndrewsmama
I agree with and I disagree. I am reading your post, as well, to be saying that one cannot be a good person without actively trying to be like Jesus. Is that what you are saying? Even one who lives life in that manner will go to hell if it isn't in the name of Jesus or for God?
Any one can be a "good person" and any one can have good morals, and not every "Christian" is considered a "good person" at first glance. However, a true Christian will start out where they are and begin improving themselves by following Christ and becoming more and more like Him as they grow and mature in Christianity. So all Christians have flaws.

As for our life after death. I totally believe that my God is the One True God the Creator of everything. And I also believe that He sent His only Son to die in my place, for my sins. I also believe that He was raised up to life again and assended back to God, His Father, in Heaven. Heaven is God's home. He wants everyone, all His creation to join Him there, to live there with Him. However, He will not allow those in who deny His name. Why should He, it is His home. I would not allow a stranger into my home, and if we deny Him, we are at best a stranger, at worst, His enemy. I also believe that there are only two choices in the afterlife. One with God and one without.

So to get to the very basics, yes, I believe that anyone that dies without accepting Jesus as their Saviour will be condemned by their own choice of denying Him. We all have a freewill to choose. I do not condemn anyone. I love everyone. And I do my best to be the best Christlike person that I can, by showing love to all no matter what they believe. I do not think I am better than anyone else, as a matter of fact, many times I feel much less than most. And I try to think of everyone else above myself at all times. But I will not compromise my beliefs for no one.
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