Friday, August 30, 2013

Protecting Our Children

The coming of September signifies two realities; summer is over and school is beginning. Every family with children knows the importance of supplying children with the proper tools for learning. We drive from store to store searching out and purchasing the best school supplies we can afford so that our children will have the best advantages to learn. We then send our children off to school proud, and rightly so, that we have provided an education for our children.

September looks a bit different from a child’s point of view. Summer is over and school is beginning is like saying fun is dead and torture has begun. From an early age we tend to dread going to school, and look ahead to the next summer when school is over. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised when, as adults, we don’t like even the idea of sitting down and learning something, let alone going to school.

Unfortunately, our dislike for school has affected the way we learn and practice our Faith. We know intuitively, as the old Greek saying goes, “Γηράσκω αιεί παν δισασκόμενος” which means, “I grow old always being taught.” So why is it, when it comes to our Faith in Jesus Christ, we act as if we know all there is to know? Why is it, we DON’T grow old always being taught in our Faith?

We have accepted a poor understanding that, when it comes to Church, learning is for children. This was never the understanding in the ancient Church. Adults were always expected to take time to learn and read about the beauty of God’s promise and the Orthodox way of life, so they could raise their children to follow in their footsteps. In 21st Century America, this has never been more important than it is NOW. Here are some Faith issues our children are facing at school right now…
·         It doesn’t matter where you go to Church, God is everywhere
·         You shouldn’t have to fast, Jesus ended all those rules
·         You’re not supposed to pray to idols (and they’re talking about Holy Icons)
·         Jesus died on the Cross to pay the penalty of our sins
·         You shouldn’t be baptized unless you are old enough to accept Jesus for yourself
·         If you were baptized as a baby, you weren’t saved
·         You shouldn’t pray to Saints

In EVERY ONE of these issues, our children’s friends (and other adults) are telling them the Orthodox Church is wrong! What are you going to say when your children tell you the Orthodox Church is wrong? How can we protect our children if we don’t continue to learn? Here’s a starting point:
X  Attending Bible Study weekly
X  Read from the Bible daily (let your children see you reading, it helps)
X  Arrive to Church ON TIME so you can hear the Holy Scriptures and sermon
X  Buy a book from the Mount Tabor Bookstore and read more about the Orthodox Faith
X  Read the lives of the Saints
X  Fast every Wednesday and Friday
X  Take time to understand what the Church actually teaches about issues
X  Call me and we can always find time to sit and chat

By all means…’s ok to tell your children their friends are wrong and the Church is correct!

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