BURDEN OF HELL ON OUR CHILDREN
You may skip over this topic, but I have to put it here anyway. It’s important to me, and I believe it to be of the utmost importance to our children.
I talked with a young child a few nights ago who was literally scared to death of hell. She was petrified. She was scared of the dark, and of satan, and the devil. She was anxious and worried. This is not a fair burden for such a young child who has not yet had the opportunity to explore its own spiritual roads and experiences.
If you are a religious person, don’t you find it ridiculous that you'll visit half a dozen car lots, test drive 15 vehicles, check Blue Book and accident history or CarFax, read Consumer Reports for vehicle ratings and argue with the salesman before owning a car, yet you've owned your infinitely more important religious worldview without so much as knowing who wrote the book of Genesis?
Christianity in particular, claims to be a religion of love, peace, and joy with a loving God and Jesus. Yet, the immeasurable load of fear and guilt placed upon its adherents is unfathomable. I know, because I use to be there. But, in the words accredited to Jesus … “you shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free”.
Satan and the devil are merely esoteric ego-based inner thoughts ... the opposition ... and not some evil being planning and devising a way to end the world and reign as god. Hell is a state of mind, or a place of suffering here in this life … not the afterlife. Biblically, it was nothing more than the grave.
Believe what you will, research, or don’t; that’s you choice. But please … please … do not teach your children about a place called hell unless you do your homework to find out what and where hell truly is?
Teaching impressionable children to fear Hell is child abuse. You are betraying the trust of our youngest and most vulnerable. The nightmares that many of these children will carry into adulthood are on your shoulders.
Just a thought ...
~Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM.