Well, it all started with talking about baptism and then moving on to leading a child to faith. For some reason I don’t feel completely done with the subject. Maybe this is more or me than you, the reader of this blog.
There are a lot of ideas swirling in my head and I’ll try to grab them and formulate coherent thoughts concerning them.
The other day Henry Zonio wrote a post discussing the idea of careless evangelism being equated to child abuse. Henry wasn’t saying this, just responding that idea.
Henry did reference Mark 9:42 about the heap of trouble we’ll be in or leading a child toward sin. I can’t quite get this verse to completely fit in this context. I don’t condone careless evangelism, having kids raise their hand and repeating a prayer to fulfill the greatest decision in life, but I can’t quite believe that this is the same as the action described in Mark 9:42. HOWEVER, as a rational human being and a Christ Follower with a brain, I can’t see careless evangelism as something that God’s crazy about. I imagine that it makes him sick, but that’s just my opinion.
Again, that’s one of the factors that bugs me about rushing baptism. We’re in a rush to make sure a child is a Christ Follower just so they can be baptized. I’ve prayed with several children minutes before getting in the water and it bugs me that they’re making the greatest decision in life because it’s something they’re supposed to do before they get baptized. If that’s the case, we’ve cheapened the thing that’s most precious in life. I came to faith as a four year old. Why? Because I didn’t want to go to Hell! For the next two weeks I prayed in tears that Jesus would come into my heart every day becasue I didn’t want to burn. What four year old wouldn’t? Sure, Hell is a reality for those who reject Christ but when getting out of Hell is our motivation for following of Christ, have we cheapened Christ’s one desire.
I follow Christ becasue it’s what I was created for. I follow Christ becasue it allows me to have community with God. I follow Christ becasue it brings fullness to my life. I follow Christ becasue he’s got a better plan for my life than I have for myself. Shouldn’t this be our motivation.
Perhaps we can begin to curb careless evangelism of children by starting with the proper motivation.
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