Tag Archives: children

Apologetics for kindergarteners

My daughter came home from school the other week and while talking with my wife about her day she mentioned that one of the boys in her class told them that God doesn’t exist.

As much as I wanted to lay out for her the intricacies of the cosmological argument, the moral argument, the teleological argument, the historical argument, and a whole range of other evidence that points to the existence of God, I knew that my 5 year old, brilliant as she is, would not be able to comprehend them.

So what should I do to 1. combat this challenge she has received to her fledgling faith and 2. strengthen her faith?

The first thing I did was to address the absurdity of the claim that God doesn’t exist. The exchange went as follows:

Daughter: My friend told me that God doesn’t exist.
Me: That’s silly, that’s like me saying that since I didn’t catch God in a glass jar he must not exist.

The purpose of this exchange was to, quite simply, make the assertion that “God doesn’t exist” appear as absurd as it actually is. Universal negatives require omniscience and I have yet to meet an atheist who meets that criteria so it is safe to dismiss that notion outright.

This also helps to teach my daughter that all propositional truth claims require evidence and sound reason in order to be properly substantiated.

Me: Why does your friend think that God doesn’t exist?
Daughter: I dunno.
Me: Probably because his father told him.

I want my daughter to learn how to follow ideas back to their source. In this case its a pretty safe bet that the source of her friend’s belief is his parents. Just like the source of my daughter’s beliefs are her parents. I won’t/can’t provide the reason her friend’s parents’ disbelieve in the existence of God, but I want to whet my daughter’s appetite and let her know that her trust in us is not without warrant.

So I finished our short conversation with.

Me: How do you know that God exists?
Daughter: I dunno, how?
Me: You know God exists because you trust your mommy and daddy. And how do you suppose we know that God exists?
Daughter: How?
Me: We’ve examined the evidence and arguments from both sides and have found the evidence for God’s existence to be overwhelming.

Like I mentioned above, I’d really like to go into the specifics on the plethora of evidence and reason we have to believe that God exists and, more specifically, that Jesus is the promised messiah. Instead I planted a seed. I intend to water it as she grows, but for now I only want to accomplish two things:

  • Introduce her to apologetics, the need to defend her faith
  • Provide her with a basic answer/reason/foundation for her fledgling faith
Share/Bookmark

What’s wrong with teaching “gay history”?

California bill SB48 is touted as another step in combatting discriminatory practices by teaching students about the contributions to humanity made by gays, lesbians, and transgendered persons.

“Most textbooks don’t include any information about (lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender) historical figures or their civil rights movement, which has great significance to both California and U.S. history,” the bill’s author, state Senator Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, said during a news conference Thursday.

“This selective censorship sends the wrong message to all young people, and especially to those who do not identify as straight,” said Leno, who is openly gay.

Leno, however, begs the question when it comes to teaching GLBT issues in an age appropriate manner. As child psychologist Miriam Grossman testifies:

Personally, I think this whole situation underscores the need for robust voucher programs to empower parents to opt their children out of things like this.

Should a woman be forced to carry a child to term?

When talking to pro-choice people I’ve often heard the sentiment that a mother’s choice trumps the child’s because of property rights. From a question I posted on Quora:

Wes, also incorrect. Society establishes just termination of human life over property as well. It’s about territory/resource more than anything else. And no, as I mentioned to Herbert, acknowledging the fetus as homosapien doesn’t negate the right of a carrier.

And to answer your question: In most all ancient cultures and laws and still today: the fetus has never trumped the carrier. We decide based on the residence. And the female’s rights will trump the fetus not because of biological category, but because of anatomy.

Here’s my response:

If the fetus were to have “infected” its mother then I could see where they would have a point. But it is well evidenced that the rape and incest only end up producing a biologically new human life about 5% of the time.

So to treat the fetus as a foreign invader when the fact is that in the vast majority of fetuses were created as a result of a deliberate choice by the mother to engage in procreative activities.

So the question should really be: Should it be acceptable to kill someone for the sole reason that their continued existence may prove to be an inconvenient result of deliberate choices made beyond their control?

In the end, I think pro-choice is merely a code word for anti-child. I believe children are easily sacrificed by people who feel it is their right to be selfish hedonists who live as they please, have junk food sex, and generally don’t have time to be bothered by repulsive children.

What Do ‘Pro-Choice’ Protesters Really Think About Abortion?

It needs to be pointed out that their attitude towards sex as a sterile, recreational activity unconnected with any biological consequences combined with their view of children as parasites are not unique. These are the predominant views of our society, pushed in all facets from politics to education to entertainment.

The future looks very bleak for any children produced and raised in the homes the people above will provide (when they choose to provide it, of course). One protester even had a sign “would you trust me with a child?”

What the above video shows is how it is socially acceptable, indeed fashionable, to spurn our biological design in pursuit of unbridled hedonism.

How does the younger generation view marriage? And what does that say about our society’s future?

At a wedding the other night I wittnessed an event that charactarized the state of marriage in America.

This event ocurred when it came time to throw the bouquet and fling the garder belt, a tradition which supposedly determines or indicates who is the next to be married.

First the women

When the bride went to throw her bouquet the single ladies dutifully lined up. Their attitude was less than enthusiastic. They reluctantly shuffled over to the area where the bride was to throw the bouquet. And when it came time, the bouquet was begrudgingly caught by the woman it hit.

Now for the men

Likewise, the men were not enthusiastic about catching the garter belt. However when it came time to catch the garter belt a strange thing happened. No one caught it. Not only were the men not enthusiastic about catching the garter belt, they were actively opposed to the very idea! After hitting one of the men in the chest with the garter belt, the groom walked over and shoved the garter belt into the hands of the man he had hit. None of the men wanted the garter belt!

And their attitude was not mere apathy. I can fully understand not being overly enthusiastic about something that takes a lot of hard work to produce so little personal pleasure. What struck me was how openly hostile the men were to the very notion of marriage.

Observations

Marriage is an unpopular endeavor to say the least. Having fun with a member of the opposite sex is desired, but making the tough decision to build a life with someone is not. Even after deciding to get married, the decision to have children is generally held off (if nature does not interrupt the couple’s plans that is) until the woman decides she wants to accept the role she was designed for.

Among young adults today, marriage and children are not seen as logical next-steps on the road to maturity. In fact, outside of attaining gainful employment (and for some even that is a stretch) there appears to be a great lack of ultimate goals being aimed at.

Perhaps that’s why one of the biggest problems we face today is a failure to launch. Why bother to launch when you haven’t yet decided on the destination?

A secular case for government involvement in the institution of marriage

There is a secular case to be made for government involvement in the institution of marriage. Marriage is the only institution wherein a new life may be created. No, the generation of new life is not an automatic given nor are those who choose, for whatever reason, not to generate new life to be considered less in any way than those of us who do. But the fact is that without children, marriage would really devolve into little more than a contract or partnership.

Now one of the problems that clouds the whole debate on marriage is that most people tend to think that the issue is only a positive one. That is, that the issue is about the creation of a marriage and the state’s recognition thereof. That is sadly not the case, if that were all there were to it then the state would really have no reason to create and maintain such a registry at all. No, the real debate is on the unfortunate and often unavoidable issues that arise at the end or dissolution of a marriage. Who gets what and, more importantly, what about the children?

You see, marriage exists to proactively protects the rights of the children. Among these rights are the right to know and have a relationship with both of their parents, which means their mother and father. Marriage in this respect, serves to attach mothers and fathers to children and to each other. Can this be done outside of a legal marriage? Perhaps, but statistics show that without the commitment that comes along with marriage men are far less likely to remain in a family unit and children are far more likely to be hurt in all kinda of ways, including physically, emotionally, mentally, developmentally, etc.

When it comes to homosexual unions, the issue of children’s rights becomes even more sticky, and it is the rights of the children that are often overlooked altogether. You see, while people are busy talking about the rights of the gay and lesbian couple few people seem to be concerned with the rights of the children that are inherently and necessarily violated.

These rights are inherently violated because a homosexual union cannot biologically bring about new life, therefore they must either adopt which has historically been seen as an exception to the rule, but homosexual marriage would make it the rule and biological parentage the exception. In other words, the state would move from recognizing parentage based on biological fact to assigning parentage based on subjective standards. Something that has been done in countries like Canada that have already implemented homosexual marriage, and something that is being considered in homosexual-friendly states like Massachusetts.

Children’s rights are also necessarily violated because if marriage is not kept to the natural, historical, and biological definition, the state is required to intervene in the affairs of married couples even more than it does currently. Currently the state only intervenes when there is a dispute. That means that the only role the state has in regards to marriage is to resolve disputes if they arise. Ideally, most marriages will not require much, if any, intervention. However if marriage is redefined, the state must go from being a passive spectator that only intervenes when a dispute arises to intervening in many areas now, especially when children are involved, to cover over the biological gaps opened up when we separate from a biologically-based definition of marriage.

Sure, governments also interact with the institution terms of offering tax breaks (or supposed tax breaks) to encourage the formation and sustaining of healthy marriages. However that is really out of a selfish motive as biologically-based marriages are historically self-sustaining, requiring little in the way of government services or interference and also capable of producing well adjusted offspring by themselves. By contrast, on average, single parents (mostly mothers thanks to our sexually permissive culture) and homosexual unions require much in the way of government assistance, services, and general interference (ie. to strip/assign parentage in the case of homosexual marriages). If for nothing else than out of a commitment to limited government, the idea of homosexual marriage ought to be rejected.

So while families may not necessarily be defined by legal marriage but they are most certainly modeled on them if they wish to be anything short of a train wreck and an unnecessary drag on society.

Children in House Church

As a mother of children currently ages 4, 2, and 6 months; at the first mention of meeting in homes as a body of believers, I thought “What do we do with the kids?” and I often still wonder “What do we do with the kids?”.

When we met with two other families with young kids in Augusta, we started off hiring a teenager from the neighborhood who worked as a Mother’s helper. We quickly found that especially the kids under 2 kept making their way back to their mothers. Since we all lived next door and our kids played together almost every day and knew the rules of each house, we finally decided to all have a meal together and then let the kids play on their own while we studied the bible. Of course babies stayed in the room with the adults and all the kids were welcome to come quietly sit in on the study with their parents. On most occasions this set up worked really well for enabling the adults to study, but we never focused on prayer, worship, or teaching the kids anything about God. We were meeting as friends and neighbors doing a bible study and we all went to our respective churches where we worshiped and our kids were taught on Sunday mornings.

When we moved to Marietta, we began to meet exclusively with a house church group that had no young children other than our own. Especially in the beginning, there were many occasions where I just didn’t want to go. It was so much work to keep the kids inline in someone else’s home that wasn’t set up for young children. It took forever to get out the door with food for a potluck meal, materials for our study, toys and books for the kids, diapers and sippy cups and two kids who really didn’t want to go. Then we had a another baby so we added at least one more bag and a heavy baby carrier to our list of supplies. There was so much prep just to get there and once we got there, I was so tied up setting up a spot for the kids to play, fixing their plates, making sure they didn’t spill or drop food all over the place or break anything, and trying to keep them still and quiet during the main study time that I came home more frustrated than ever. But with all of the frustration from the kids, the group of believers that we met with was great. We truly worshipped the Lord and even though I was never really able to participate much in the study and discussion I saw the benefit of talking through things as group instead of having one presenter on a pedestal.

One day a family with two boys ages 3 and 5 visited our group, adding a few challenges to our meetings. We had been with Breaking Bread for several months, so my kids were accustomed to rules that I had given for each house and the routine of the meeting. But just like my kids a few month previous, these boys and their parents had never met with a body believers in someone elses home. Having four children playing was a much more chaotic. While this family unfortunately only met with our group for a few weeks before deciding to go back to an institutional church, it provided an excellent opportunity for the entire group to evaluate how to incorporate children into the meeting more and support parents so they could interact more in the study. After a few weeks of discussion, the group decided to add a short children’s devotional,  a couple of children’s songs to the singing time, and have people sign up to take the children out do a lesson with them during the main discussion time. We tried this schedule for a few weeks and decided to take out the children’s devotion because they listened more in a one on one setting during the lesson and my oldest child in particular would not speak in front of the whole group. The kids really enjoyed the one on one lesson and it was great not to have to pack so much stuff to entertain them and be able participate more in the discussion. Unfortunately, we moved soon after starting this idea so most people were only able to sign up once.

Now we have moved to Roswell, too far away to travel to several of the houses in the Breaking Bread group. We haven’t found a closer group to meet with yet, so we are looking at starting a new group. Given the opportunity to revaluate how to best teach our children who God is and how we relate to him, we have tried going to a few nearby institutional churches. I think especially preschool age children learn better in groups where they can do more hands on activities and play games related to a lesson. We’ve tried this for two weeks now and I don’t know that it is the best decision. Will it be too much to try to go to an institutional church on Sunday’s and have home church on some other day? Can Wes and I really sit through the Sunday morning production every week without being cynical? Today at the end of the prayer just before the closing song a couple gave their 9 or 10 year old son the ticket to get his sibling out of the nursery. When the boy started to walk our during the song, the parent quickly shooshed him, sent him back to his seat, and the father told him just watch the last song then you can go. Will we end up like that? The production isn’t over yet and they better watch whether they care to or not.

If the house church model is best for adults, why shouldn’t it be for kids too? Maybe it’s just important to have a group with other kids in it? If everyone in the group thinks of it as a family, coming together to worship would  the group as a whole be willing to be dedicated to teaching the children?

I think each group will have to find their own way of handling children in an organic house church. Church is a living organism and the needs and strengths and each group will be different and charge from season to season. As we start to seek a new body of believers out in Roswell, we are going to try to find a group of people who intends on truly treating the body as a family with a commitment to love and strengthen all members of the family. As long as we come with that mindset, the rest will work itself out.

At night, the monsters come out.

Putting my daughter to bed the other night I listened as she whined in protest about not wanting to go to bed. I half-heartedly asked her why (as I was hurriedly stuffing her blankets, dolls, and other paraphernalia around her) and right as began to shut the door, giddy with the anticipation of a few hours of glorious silence (freedom!) I heard her whisper ever so quietly…

At night, the monsters come out.

Something about this struck me. Not wanting to miss a teachable moment, I stopped what I was doing, walked over to her bed and sat down next to her. The following conversation ensued about the monsters in her room that come out at night.

Me: Honey, you don’t need to be afraid of monsters. Want to know why?
Her: Why?
Me: Because Jesus is stronger than the monsters.
Her: Jesus?
Me: Yes, and do you know where he lives?
Her: Heaven?
Me: Yes, and He also lives in mommy and daddy. And you know what else?
Her: What?
Me: He owns this house.
Her: Really?
Me: Yes. So who can beat up the monsters?
Her (more confidently now): Jesus!
Me: Right, and where does he live?
Her: Mommy and daddy.
Me: Right
Her: and me too?
Me: Some day honey. But for now, you can rest assured in the protection provided by your father and mother through Jesus.

Since then, not only has my daughter “been brave” and faced the monsters with the knowledge that they aren’t stronger than Jesus. She has also begun to look forward to the day when she can accept Jesus into her heart.

Tuesday bonus: The Secular case against abortion and homosexuality.

In a stimulating discussion with a friend of mine following my earlier post on homosexuality I was asked to provide further support from a wholly secular standpoint to substantiate my position against homosexuality. Here’s my response:

My secular argument against homosexuality mirrors my secular argument against abortion and that is: Population.
Human capital is the greatest asset any nation has. This has been true for all nations at all times in all places. In fact, there is almost nothing that can’t be solved with a brute force application of people (just ask the Chinese).
While your assertion of homosexual couples adopting unwanted children (a product of a highly feminized culture I might add) is a nice sentiment, the reality is that selfishness does not produce the sacrificial environment required for the rearing of children. homosexuality, as you so eloquently put it above, is not something done for the mutual pleasure of the other person nor is it done for biological means. It is wholly done, as are the vast majority of abortions, for selfish motives.
For the single and simple reason that a population in decline is readily susceptible to merely being out-bred by foreign cultures (as is the case in in the EU currently in regards to Islam), I would strongly argue that the last thing we ought to be doing as a culture is worrying about the myth of overpopulation or propping up anti-family and anti-children ideologies.
Simply put, we need babies. Lots of them.
Not babies that are left to the state to support and care for. Or the army of single mothers created in recent decades by liberal legislation. no, we need strong families with men who give a damn about someone other than themselves.
In retrospect, the issues of homosexuality and abortion share more in common than being anti-family and anti-children. They are both only sustainable in a culture that is anti-men which got that way when men became fat and lazy.
Incidentally,

My secular argument against homosexuality mirrors my secular argument against abortion and that is: Population growth.

Human capital is the greatest asset any nation has. This has been true for all nations at all times in all places throughout the history of human civilization. In fact, there is almost nothing that can’t be solved with a brute force application of people1.

While your assertion2 of homosexual couples adopting unwanted children (a product of a highly feminized culture I might add) is a nice sentiment, the reality is that selfishness does not produce the sacrificial environment required for the rearing of children. homosexuality, as you so eloquently put it above, is not something done for the mutual pleasure of the other person nor is it done for biological means. It is wholly done, as are the vast majority of abortions, for selfish motives.

Simply put, we need babies. Lots of them.

Not babies that are left to the state to support and care for. Or the army of single mothers created in recent decades by liberal legislation and social programs. No, we need strong families with men who give a damn about someone other than themselves.

In retrospect, the issues of homosexuality and abortion share more in common than being anti-family and anti-children. They are both only sustainable in a culture that is anti-men which got that way when men became fat and lazy.

It should concern us that the countries with growing populations are not in the first world. They are in “less developed”3 countries where things like abortion on demand and pure pleasure seeking aren’t luxuries the average man can readily afford.

For the single and simple reason that a population in decline is readily susceptible to merely being out-bred by foreign cultures4, I would strongly argue that the last thing we ought to be doing as a culture is worrying about the myth of overpopulation or propping up anti-family and anti-children ideologies.

Update:

After publishing this I received a challenge regarding my assertion above regarding population decline being a real issue in many countries. My opponent pointed out that the population of the US in particular was actually increasing. Here is my response:

The US’s population is increasing due to immigrants, specifically the Spanish-speaking community not because we are choosing to have the required 2.2 children required to merely sustain our population.

As far as military service or society, I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing for a society to discriminate against behaviors/lifestyles that aren’t conducive to their growth. Russia found this out not too long ago as their national policies against sex plunged their country into a population crisis such that now they are forced to almost completely reverse their stance on the matter and hold national sex days in hopes of merely staving off a massive population shortage.

In short, its not just the type of sex that is an issue here, it’s the selfish lifestyle and attitude towards procreation in general (which is why I lump abortion in with this argument as well).

We should, as a country, at least be focused on the fact that killing off our population (abortion) or promoting selfish lifestyles (which stretches beyond homosexuality) is not something that strengthens us a country nor something that has benefited any country in history.

  1. just ask the Chinese []
  2. This is in reference to a rather colorful description of anal intercourse which I’ll leave up to your imagination while sparing you the details. []
  3. Read: less selfish []
  4. as is the case in in the EU currently in regards to Islam []

Are all children born on this earth meant to be?

I think that question really depends on how you define the phrase “meant to be”.

If the question is whether every life is infinitely valuable to God and worth a chance at a full life then I would emphatically say yes, the Bible teaches that all life is precious.

If you are asking whether God knows who will and won’t be borne then I would have to say that he does since it is clear in Scripture that he knows the end from the beginning.

Now if (and I think this is the culmination of the other two for most people) you are asking whether God has a hand in who lives or dies and has a reason for some living and some dying then I think we need to back up and remember the above two facts in addition to what God essentially told Job through a blistering series of questions.

Specifically, that God is not the only actor in history. Even though he knows and is more powerful than the other actors (such as Satan and you and I) God is not obligated to prevent them from causing evil of their own and generally acting against his will.

We also need to keep in mind that while God knows the end from the beginning, we also know that this world is not the perfect one God is working towards. In Genesis 3 sin entered the picture and had a profound effect on everything, including the human reproductive system such that some children are lost to what we could call “natural evil” and some children are lost to evil someone intentionally does (like abortion).

It is important to keep in mind that we essentially live in a war zone between heaven and hell and until Jesus comes back we should expect to see evil like the loss of innocent children.

This is actually one of the reasons the Gospel is called the “good news” because it lets us know that the death and destruction we find all around us here on earth will not last forever and that Jesus, by rising from the dead, has conquered death which provides us hope.

In other words, even the children who don’t make it aren’t completely lost.