I am not interested in an apology from you over the statement you made in a recent ad in which you said, “We have to break through this private idea that kids belong to their parents. We have to recognize the collective idea that kids belong to the community.”
Actually I think the American Church should offer you an apology. How are you supposed to know that the belief system you hold to is so contrary to what we say we believe when we don’t hold to it with the same faithfulness and fervency that you do to yours?
We undermine what we say we believe by what we actually practice.
We make big statements about God and who He is; we say that the earth belongs to Him and is His creation but that doesn’t make much of an impact on how we are raising our children.
We educate them the same way you do. We send them in droves to a public state institution that has made God completely irrelevant but somehow are horrified when you actually say that our kids belong to the same state.
We are equally horrified to hear the callous disregard you have for the beginning of human life and we’re disgusted to hear it reduced down to a question of economics and choice. But last year a video released by the National Association of Evangelicals said that 80% of church going teens are having premarital sex and one third of their unintended pregnancies also end in abortion. No wonder you roll your eyes at our hypocrisy.
We allow our children to date and enter in and out of relationships the same way and allow our daughters to dress just as provocatively and expect different results. Our marriages look no different, our families are just as likely to fall apart and end in divorce.
Instead of being an enemy to our sin, which is also the same as your sin, we’ve dressed it up and tried to make it look different but our words are a fragile glass wall that cracks easily under the weight of honest soul searching repentance.
But some of us are eagerly shattering that wall. Some of us want you to see the life changing difference between the community you live in and want us to give our children over to and the one that is ruled by and subject to Christ and His word. We want to show you a living breathing Gospel centered community and not the one that has pretty religious words as decorations but still looks a lot like yours. It’s a community that looks a lot like what Tim Keller talks about.
Take moralistic religion into the center of your life, and you’ll feel superior to the secularists. Take secularism into the center of your life, and you’ll feel superior to all those stupid religious people. Take the Gospel into the center of your life, and you’ll be humbled before people who don’t believe what you believe, you’ll seek to serve the people who don’t believe what you believe, and you’ll know that a Man who loves people who don’t love Him is what your whole life is built on.”
You think our children belong to the community but the truth is that the community belongs to our kids. It belongs to us. And it is our responsibility and honor to create and shape one that accurately reflects God. You won’t like it. Not even a little bit. But that’s okay.
Because that kind of community isn’t just for our good. It’s also for yours.