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Author Topic: Let children know everything?  (Read 11656 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: July 09, 2009, 03:25:03 PM »

There is NOTHING to forgive, Heorhij! I appreciate your perspectives! It seems to me most parents want to pass on to their children whatever it is they hold dear. In many ways, faith and culture are interwined, so teaching your children about your faith is also passing on one's culture/identity, not merely "faith".

You mention how degenerate the southern baptist style kids are. This is so  hard for me to believe. I grew up so afraid of breaking any law, any rule or regulation and I thought premarital sex, drugs etc were very, very wrong for Christians. Almost none of the young people in my former church engaged in any of these things. This strong teaching and belief completely prevented me from going near any of those things with a ten-foot pole.
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« Reply #46 on: July 09, 2009, 05:22:48 PM »

Pani Lizo, no, no offense, none, really. It's just... I don't know. I see thousands of these "well-trained in faith" students from local Southern Baptist families, every semester, and see that the vast majority of them are... you know. Wildest partying, dope, sex, even in the local high school hallways, quite in the open. And I just don't know, am not sure whether the proportion of these totally wild, headless kids is bigger here or in the families of atheists and secular humanists; I have a hunch that here,. it is bigger. Kids don't like being told what to do, never have. The highest incidence of teenage pregnancies is, where? Right, in the Bible Belt. The highest frequency of sexually transmitted diseases? Yes, also here. And another thing, - it's SO easy to confuse our kids and to give them the message that our faith is all about "being good," "behaving well," "listening to your mother," etc., and about THIS WORLD (hence all these campaigns to change the legislature, etc.). And yet another thing: Rowan says that our Orthodox doctrine is "precise." Is it? What does it say about Christ now? He is fully human, correct? So, WHERE is He? And how come we eat His fully human body? Is this easy to explain to a child? Is this POSSIBLE at all to explain to a child, or to an adult for that matter?

I think the difference that you're underlining, though, is that so many kids are essentially forced to behave a certain way by their parents because that's what is socially acceptable within their circles.  In my experience, Baptist kids get this frequently (I used to be one Wink).  There seems to be an unspoken rule that Baptists just never sin and therefore their kids must also be sinless, and the worst sin of all is to not be in church every time the doors are open.  So for the sake of appearing to be good Christians, parents force their kids to go to church to fulfill their "raise them in a Christian manner" obligation but rarely have I seen those same parents actually sit down and discuss what the Bible means, who God is, etc.  These kids grow up knowing nothing about their faith but they can develop a hatred for it since they've been forced to attend something that seems irrelevent to them.  My old Baptist pastor used to say he had a drug problem... his mama drug him to church every time the doors were open. 

As Rosehip also mentions, there's another end of the spectrum here:  The kids who were scared to death to break a rule.  I grew up somewhere in between, being partially afraid to do anything wrong and not seeing any point in going to church when all I experienced there was incomprehensible stories and Play-do. 

Personally, I think a good approach is to expose your kids to the church (gently, of course, as some of the biblical stories are pretty racy for kids) and to discuss, discuss, discuss.  Why do we hold XYZ part of the faith to be so important?  Why did Jonah get swallowed by the whale?  Kids are Why factories, so there is no shortage of questions to answer.  Of course they'll make their own decisions on what they believe at some point, and that's fine.  I just think it's better for them to understand why we believe what we do at a pace they can handle.
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« Reply #47 on: July 09, 2009, 05:53:18 PM »

Pani Lizo, no, no offense, none, really. It's just... I don't know. I see thousands of these "well-trained in faith" students from local Southern Baptist families, every semester, and see that the vast majority of them are... you know. Wildest partying, dope, sex, even in the local high school hallways, quite in the open. And I just don't know, am not sure whether the proportion of these totally wild, headless kids is bigger here or in the families of atheists and secular humanists; I have a hunch that here,. it is bigger. Kids don't like being told what to do, never have. The highest incidence of teenage pregnancies is, where? Right, in the Bible Belt. The highest frequency of sexually transmitted diseases? Yes, also here. And another thing, - it's SO easy to confuse our kids and to give them the message that our faith is all about "being good," "behaving well," "listening to your mother," etc., and about THIS WORLD (hence all these campaigns to change the legislature, etc.). And yet another thing: Rowan says that our Orthodox doctrine is "precise." Is it? What does it say about Christ now? He is fully human, correct? So, WHERE is He? And how come we eat His fully human body? Is this easy to explain to a child? Is this POSSIBLE at all to explain to a child, or to an adult for that matter?

I think the difference that you're underlining, though, is that so many kids are essentially forced to behave a certain way by their parents because that's what is socially acceptable within their circles.  In my experience, Baptist kids get this frequently (I used to be one Wink).  There seems to be an unspoken rule that Baptists just never sin and therefore their kids must also be sinless, and the worst sin of all is to not be in church every time the doors are open.  So for the sake of appearing to be good Christians, parents force their kids to go to church to fulfill their "raise them in a Christian manner" obligation but rarely have I seen those same parents actually sit down and discuss what the Bible means, who God is, etc.  These kids grow up knowing nothing about their faith but they can develop a hatred for it since they've been forced to attend something that seems irrelevent to them.  My old Baptist pastor used to say he had a drug problem... his mama drug him to church every time the doors were open. 

Yeah, that's very much what I see here. I used to give my "Baby Biology" (BIO101) students written assignments: explain a certain concept to your younger friend, someone who is still in high school or even middle school. (I really do believe that people begin to understand complex biological concepts when they learn to explain these concepts to someone who knows less than they do, and when they try to avoid the technical terminology.) A big part of my class routinely finished their assignments with words, "So, Jane (Jim, Carol, etc.), I hope this explains to you what X or Y means. See you in church on Sunday!" They really go to their churches two or three times a week, and also go to mission trips, etc. But sometimes they share with me their Facebook images and I am, well, if not horrified, then kind of... surprised. There are some really wild pictures, discussions of absolutely insane drunk parties (I almost wrote "orgies"), etc. And I know that the majority of these kids have already tried a lot of different drugs, and some of them might already be addicts. And of course guys openly talk about girlfriends, and girls about boyfriends, and quite a lot of them share apartments with boy/girlfriends, etc.

Personally, I think a good approach is to expose your kids to the church (gently, of course, as some of the biblical stories are pretty racy for kids) and to discuss, discuss, discuss.  Why do we hold XYZ part of the faith to be so important?  Why did Jonah get swallowed by the whale?  Kids are Why factories, so there is no shortage of questions to answer.  Of course they'll make their own decisions on what they believe at some point, and that's fine.  I just think it's better for them to understand why we believe what we do at a pace they can handle.

Thant sounds great. What worries me though is that very many biblical stories are not just racy - they are quite... evil. I just can't find another word to refer, for example, to Israelites killing every single man, woman, child, and even domestic animal in the Palestinian cities they captured. Or the story of Mordecai and Esther. Or the book of Revelation with its mentioning of how sinners will be tormented in the lake of fire for ever and ever in the presence of the Lamb (!). I am afraid that there is always a danger of developing in kids this "contractionist" attitude: it's OK that Jews killed Canaanites, because they are God's chosen people, and so are we, you and me.
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« Reply #48 on: July 09, 2009, 07:58:03 PM »

And yet another thing: Rowan says that our Orthodox doctrine is "precise." Is it?

You'd be surprised at how the even the Creed is too much of a commitment for people.

And I agree with EofK. I wasn't aware we were talking about keeping up "Christian appearances" in our discussion of "indoctrination" (kind of sounds like "brainwashing"...). That's hollow, false, and not going to take root in the soul. That's not even close to what I meant.
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« Reply #49 on: July 09, 2009, 10:42:58 PM »

And yet another thing: Rowan says that our Orthodox doctrine is "precise." Is it?

You'd be surprised at how the even the Creed is too much of a commitment for people.

And I agree with EofK. I wasn't aware we were talking about keeping up "Christian appearances" in our discussion of "indoctrination" (kind of sounds like "brainwashing"...). That's hollow, false, and not going to take root in the soul. That's not even close to what I meant.

But that's what's actually happening when kids have the "proper" "religious" upbringing. The only thing that changes it is a tragedy later in their life. IMHO, of course.
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« Reply #50 on: July 10, 2009, 01:01:05 AM »

I think the difference that you're underlining, though, is that so many kids are essentially forced to behave a certain way by their parents because that's what is socially acceptable within their circles.  In my experience, Baptist kids get this frequently (I used to be one Wink).  There seems to be an unspoken rule that Baptists just never sin and therefore their kids must also be sinless, and the worst sin of all is to not be in church every time the doors are open.  So for the sake of appearing to be good Christians, parents force their kids to go to church to fulfill their "raise them in a Christian manner" obligation but rarely have I seen those same parents actually sit down and discuss what the Bible means, who God is, etc.  These kids grow up knowing nothing about their faith but they can develop a hatred for it since they've been forced to attend something that seems irrelevent to them.  My old Baptist pastor used to say he had a drug problem... his mama drug him to church every time the doors were open.

Replace Baptist with Orthodox and the same picture appears in many an Orthodox Church whether one wishes to admit it or not.
 
Personally, I think a good approach is to expose your kids to the church (gently, of course, as some of the biblical stories are pretty racy for kids)

I didn't see an explicit content warning label on my Bible.   Roll Eyes

and to discuss, discuss, discuss.  Why do we hold XYZ part of the faith to be so important?  Why did Jonah get swallowed by the whale?  Kids are Why factories, so there is no shortage of questions to answer.  Of course they'll make their own decisions on what they believe at some point, and that's fine.  I just think it's better for them to understand why we believe what we do at a pace they can handle.

That's how I explained how Jehovah's Witnesses differ from Orthodox Christianity to my estranged wife and her niece.   Smiley
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« Reply #51 on: July 10, 2009, 01:23:57 AM »

I have to reply - as a young father, ex-drug addict and a HUUUUUGE! sinner.

 May I suggest a theory, If one wants to lead an Army, and has to prove His own mettle to His army, should he not be at the front lines?
I use this philosophy in my kitchens...Although I'm working with adults (you should agree that adults do not always act as such) I find that if I work the hardest, most (not all ) will follow in my passion and spirit to do a job well done.
The same goes with my oldest, five yrs. old. When I push her to pray with me or ask her to say the blessing over the food, I get opposite of what I want. But when I am doing these things and not asking for her help, she wants to...contrary, sweet, little, willfull child.  Wink She will now bring me a book of a saint or a story about Jesus - 1 out of 10 - not everytime but enough. She stands in church more often now too. I don't push too hard, just encourage by example. 
I find the same thing happens with adults that I am in charge of at work ( with inspiring them to do the job with passion for perfection ) or adult friends that do not know God yet. When they see little pieces of my spiritual life, it makes tham desire for some of that too.
Human beings IMHO are always striving for what they don't have, so if you want them to have something,  do it yourself for yourself. Some of them catch the bait!

(the reason I added the back history on my past is because I am working within a framework with my children where I do not speak about my past history with drugs yet. I will tell them that Daddy was doing some bad things before he met Mommy but people can change if they want to, God will heal them. This is enough for them for now. When they need more info and ask for it, I'll go a little deeper but not much. )
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« Reply #52 on: July 10, 2009, 10:13:56 AM »

Personally, I think a good approach is to expose your kids to the church (gently, of course, as some of the biblical stories are pretty racy for kids) and to discuss, discuss, discuss.  Why do we hold XYZ part of the faith to be so important?  Why did Jonah get swallowed by the whale?  Kids are Why factories, so there is no shortage of questions to answer.  Of course they'll make their own decisions on what they believe at some point, and that's fine.  I just think it's better for them to understand why we believe what we do at a pace they can handle.

Thant sounds great. What worries me though is that very many biblical stories are not just racy - they are quite... evil. I just can't find another word to refer, for example, to Israelites killing every single man, woman, child, and even domestic animal in the Palestinian cities they captured. Or the story of Mordecai and Esther. Or the book of Revelation with its mentioning of how sinners will be tormented in the lake of fire for ever and ever in the presence of the Lamb (!). I am afraid that there is always a danger of developing in kids this "contractionist" attitude: it's OK that Jews killed Canaanites, because they are God's chosen people, and so are we, you and me.

Indeed, and those are the stories that I confess, I don't really understand the reasoning behind them either.  (Even though I minored in Biblical studies in college, I feel like St. Paul when he says everything he knew before encountering Christ is like a pile of feces... I find I can't rely on most of what I learned since it was so far off theologically.)  In those cases, I think honesty is the best approach.  I would tell my daughter, "You know what?  I don't understand that either.  Let's ask Fr. Andrew about that."  I think it's important, too, to balance the history in the "Old Testament" with the life of Christ and the lives of saints.  That's one thing I felt deficient in when I was a young'un in church; I never felt like I could reconcile the genocide, adultery, incest, etc. with what Christ said and did.  My family stopped going to any church when I was around seven, though, so maybe I missed the advanced lessons. Wink
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« Reply #53 on: July 10, 2009, 10:36:46 AM »

I think the difference that you're underlining, though, is that so many kids are essentially forced to behave a certain way by their parents because that's what is socially acceptable within their circles.  In my experience, Baptist kids get this frequently (I used to be one Wink).  There seems to be an unspoken rule that Baptists just never sin and therefore their kids must also be sinless, and the worst sin of all is to not be in church every time the doors are open.  So for the sake of appearing to be good Christians, parents force their kids to go to church to fulfill their "raise them in a Christian manner" obligation but rarely have I seen those same parents actually sit down and discuss what the Bible means, who God is, etc.  These kids grow up knowing nothing about their faith but they can develop a hatred for it since they've been forced to attend something that seems irrelevent to them.  My old Baptist pastor used to say he had a drug problem... his mama drug him to church every time the doors were open.

Replace Baptist with Orthodox and the same picture appears in many an Orthodox Church whether one wishes to admit it or not.

Correct.  It's a problem in every faith, not just in Protestant churches.  I've seen and heard of many Orthodox kids who grow up just as unconcerned with Orthodoxy because it's never seemed like it was relevent (and not in the jazz-it-up, introduce rap and puppets way).  They don't see any connection with the way they live and what they do on Sunday.  Again, I think it comes down to really discussing with kids what we believe and why and living our faith ourselves.  Of course no kid is going to think church is relevent if they see their parents only acknowledge it once a week.
 
Personally, I think a good approach is to expose your kids to the church (gently, of course, as some of the biblical stories are pretty racy for kids)

I didn't see an explicit content warning label on my Bible.   Roll Eyes

There used to be a time when things didn't require warning labels... it was assumed the person using the item could employ common sense.   Wink
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« Reply #54 on: July 10, 2009, 10:52:43 AM »


Ok...I beg forgiveness before I even make the next statement...because it seems I am kicking a dead horse.

However, let me give you an example from my parish.

When I was a child, there were many families in the church who had children my age.  Dozens.  A few of those families made a point of "dragging" their kids to church each Sunday.  You may call it indoctrination or whatever you like.  However, those kids were in church, by choice or not, I don't know.

Other kids were left to "rest" and have fun, while their parents came to church.  After all, those poor kids have been in school all week, and they really need to sleep in once in a while.  It's all good.  They will find God in their own time, in their own way.

Forward 15 years.  The kids who were coming to church with their parents were still coming.  The others still weren't.  At the church parish meetings, the parents of the MIA children would yell and shake their hands at the priest.  He's not doing his duty to excite the youth...to bring them into the fold.  Is it really the priest's duty alone?  What about those parents? 

Forward another 15 years.  The kids who were going to church with their parents, are still in church on Sunday's with their kids, now.  The one's who got to sleep in, well, they haven't found God, yet.  They don't show up unless it's Easter or Christmas, and most don't even do that.

So, if given the choice of indoctrinating our youth...so that as adults they flourish and of their "free will" want to learn more about their faith and appreciate it....and come and bring their kids....I am all for it!

I pity the souls who have completely lost their way.  The parents are now old.  They can't see, they are bent over....and half of them can't even come to church anymore, because they can't drive...and ..oh, their kids don't care enough to take them to church.  Those "kids" are sleeping in after a hard week at the office.

Teach them when they are young....they will always learn more if they want to...and if they don't care for Orthodoxy, they can leave at any time!

Hit, while the iron is hot!  Don't miss the opportunity.

That's all I have to say on this subject!

Peace to all!

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« Reply #55 on: July 10, 2009, 11:00:29 AM »

Simplygermain:  I agree with you, and especially sympathize with having a sweet, willful child.  Pushing her to do something I want only ends up with her digging in her heels and screaming, "NO NO NO!"  However, if she sees Mr. Y and I doing something, she naturally wants to join in.  For example, there were several services of St. Andrew's Canon during Lent that we just couldn't make it to our parish, so we prayed the service at home.  Caitlin did several prostrations with us and I know there's no way I could persuade her to do a prostration.  Kids are just naturally curious so they'll typically mimic what their parents do and then ask why later.  It's a natural catechumen class.

I totally agree, too, on being honest with kids at a level they can deal with and not be overly disturbed.  I've done enough stupid things in my past that I'll eventually have to own up to with my kids but I'm not going to spring everything on them all at once.  I'll just explain it that mommy did some dumb, selfish things and then when they get older, I'll explain a little more detail but nothing too gory.  They don't need details, they just need to know that I messed up, I repented, and I moved on.
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« Reply #56 on: July 21, 2009, 02:40:15 AM »

Remember the old Roman Catholic (Jesuit?) saying: "Give me the child until he is seven and I care not who has him thereafter." Religious indoctrination at that early age becomes an integral part of the psychology of the person. Heorhij seems to see this as taking away the free will of the child as an adult. He would like his child to be Christian, but wants his child to freely choose that path.

Others argue that molding this religious foundation in a child is not only right and proper, but commanded. There is scripture to support this view. I must say that overall I tend to agree with the second position, much as my secular background wants to agree with Heorhij. I think what's needed is a balance, where the child is taught the Faith but also, at an appropriate age, made aware of other faiths and even disbelief as ways people can choose to live.
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« Reply #57 on: July 21, 2009, 01:57:02 PM »

This really isn't even a subject up for debate. If we read the Holy Scriptures, there is only one way we should approach this subject.

Ephesians 6:4
And ye Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: But bring them up in the nurture & admonition of the Lord.

And Again...

Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.

I could find ten more in the Bible if needed without taking anything out of context.

I know this has truth in it. For when I was old enough to make up my own mind, I chose to stray from the church of my youth, "down a slippery slope to perdition", one might say. But when I was in my twenties I began to thirst for truth and the experience of God and finally made my way to the Faith.
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« Reply #58 on: July 21, 2009, 02:02:51 PM »

This really isn't even a subject up for debate. If we read the Holy Scriptures, there is only one way we should approach this subject.

Ephesians 6:4And ye Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: But bring them up in the nurture & admonition of the Lord.

Again...

Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.

I know this has truth in it. For when I was old enough to make up my own mind, I chose to stray from the church of my youth, "down a slippery slope to perdition", one might say. But when I was in my twenties I began to thirst for truth and the experience of God and finally made my way to the Faith.

It seems it is a topic worthy of debate, though.  These verses only show that we are to train children, not showing detailed information on what is appropriate at each developmental stage.  It's not a question of "Do we teach our children?" Obviously, we do.  In my opinion, there is not a hard and fast rule, like when they hit age six they should be exposed to XYZ.  Each child learns at a different rate and some have the emotional, mental, and spiritual maturity to handle something that their peers may not. 
« Last Edit: July 21, 2009, 02:03:33 PM by EofK » Logged

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« Reply #59 on: July 21, 2009, 02:26:17 PM »

Are we not to be living out the Faith before our children all along? How can we keep them from something if we are living it ourselves? Of course they can't understand the mysteries, many adults don't have a full grasp on many elements of the Faith. However if we aren't doing something our neighbors are doing, and our kids ask why, then its going to come up. One way or another.

I don't think we can shelter them as much as we used to be able to do, what with tv and the net being what they are. My daughter had to learn about sexual crimes at a very young tender age, and I could never quite shelter her the same way again. So for all my effort to create a bubble, through no fault of my own it was burst.  Yet so far I have been able to shield her siblings from the same fate and only have exposed them to knowledge as I feel they are ready. Usually that comes as a result of them expressing interest themselves. Reading aloud some fictional stories of the faith at various historic periods really got my boys attention. Less so the little ones, but you do what each child needs as they need it. And you live out your faith in action in the meantime. That will be what they know.
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« Reply #60 on: July 21, 2009, 02:35:34 PM »

This really isn't even a subject up for debate. If we read the Holy Scriptures, there is only one way we should approach this subject.

Ephesians 6:4And ye Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: But bring them up in the nurture & admonition of the Lord.

Again...

Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.

I know this has truth in it. For when I was old enough to make up my own mind, I chose to stray from the church of my youth, "down a slippery slope to perdition", one might say. But when I was in my twenties I began to thirst for truth and the experience of God and finally made my way to the Faith.

It seems it is a topic worthy of debate, though.  These verses only show that we are to train children, not showing detailed information on what is appropriate at each developmental stage.  It's not a question of "Do we teach our children?" Obviously, we do.  In my opinion, there is not a hard and fast rule, like when they hit age six they should be exposed to XYZ.  Each child learns at a different rate and some have the emotional, mental, and spiritual maturity to handle something that their peers may not. 
IMHO, it seems evident that if there is no letter of the law concerning these things, each parent is endowed with the right to choose how we should expose our children to certain truths. The Bible doesn't directly tell us how to Lead a Country but gives examples of those who were in the position to do so and analyze it for ourselves. With the Law on our Hearts, we are guided by the Spirit and the Scriptures on how we, in our individual experience, should go about the daily work.
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« Reply #61 on: July 21, 2009, 03:08:39 PM »

Are we not to be living out the Faith before our children all along? How can we keep them from something if we are living it ourselves? Of course they can't understand the mysteries, many adults don't have a full grasp on many elements of the Faith. However if we aren't doing something our neighbors are doing, and our kids ask why, then its going to come up. One way or another.


Exactly.  Smiley  That, to me, is where the "training" comes in, when we explain to the kids why we do prostrations or why we cross ourselves and what it means. 
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« Reply #62 on: July 21, 2009, 03:12:57 PM »

IMHO, it seems evident that if there is no letter of the law concerning these things, each parent is endowed with the right to choose how we should expose our children to certain truths. The Bible doesn't directly tell us how to Lead a Country but gives examples of those who were in the position to do so and analyze it for ourselves. With the Law on our Hearts, we are guided by the Spirit and the Scriptures on how we, in our individual experience, should go about the daily work.

Right, each parent should have the right to choose how to raise their children.  It's because there is no clear cut path, no 12-step program that we have debates over what is the right, or even the most effective, way to go about it.  Even guided by the Spirit and the Scriptures, there are so many dissenting voices that it's hard to decide where to start.  (I'd throw in there, also, the guidance of those experienced with raising children.  There are far too many widely ranging interpretations of scripture and of what the Spirit is saying for me to be comfortable with that.)
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« Reply #63 on: July 21, 2009, 03:30:51 PM »

Even guided by the Spirit and the Scriptures, there are so many dissenting voices that it's hard to decide where to start.  (I'd throw in there, also, the guidance of those experienced with raising children.  There are far too many widely ranging interpretations of scripture and of what the Spirit is saying for me to be comfortable with that.)
"Debate" - To explain, I was referring to Heorij's original thoughts on whether children should be raised in the teachings of the church or not.

 Though I feel it is very important for us to learn what others with experience have tried, once we have acknowledged that it is important. In the decision to train up our children by action, as personal examples, lessons, the "how's and why's" etc....this is up for debate. And a good one at that. Wink
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« Reply #64 on: August 13, 2009, 11:51:04 PM »

I wish my parents had read the bible to me growing up (appropriate ones), talked about faith, God and the whys of it, instead of sending me to church, and nothing about religion was talked about at home. Maybe it would of changed some of my stinkin thinkin about "church", even though I always believed in God the father, the Son and the Holy Ghost- thanks to the influence of my Grandma (baptist sunday school teacher and primary 1 room school house teacher).  I, in turn, with my own children, read the bible "stories" to them, even when I wasn't attending any church.  Tis a good and right thing to do.
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« Reply #65 on: August 28, 2009, 01:47:34 PM »

yes tell to children many , but not in details so that you don`t mix their heads.Always let room for them to imagine and picture mysteries;Let the mystery work into the mind of children.
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« Reply #66 on: September 10, 2009, 05:08:02 AM »

I think the difference that you're underlining, though, is that so many kids are essentially forced to behave a certain way by their parents because that's what is socially acceptable within their circles.  In my experience, Baptist kids get this frequently (I used to be one Wink).  There seems to be an unspoken rule that Baptists just never sin and therefore their kids must also be sinless, and the worst sin of all is to not be in church every time the doors are open.  So for the sake of appearing to be good Christians, parents force their kids to go to church to fulfill their "raise them in a Christian manner" obligation but rarely have I seen those same parents actually sit down and discuss what the Bible means, who God is, etc.  These kids grow up knowing nothing about their faith but they can develop a hatred for it since they've been forced to attend something that seems irrelevent to them.  My old Baptist pastor used to say he had a drug problem... his mama drug him to church every time the doors were open.

Replace Baptist with Orthodox and the same picture appears in many an Orthodox Church whether one wishes to admit it or not.
 
Personally, I think a good approach is to expose your kids to the church (gently, of course, as some of the biblical stories are pretty racy for kids)

I didn't see an explicit content warning label on my Bible.   Roll Eyes

Don't give anyone any ideas  Sad

The simple truth is the culture we inherited is not always in line with our religion.  The idea that children should be shielded from anything that might upset them was invented by the Victorians, and has no basis in scripture that I'm aware of. 

Whenever secular a tradition seems to come into conflict with what is transmitted to us via scripture and holy tradition, the choice for me is clear. 


If a child is old enough to formulate a question he's usually old enough to get at least a partial answer.  Otherwise you risk lying to him.  And for what?  Because the British Aristocracy might not approve?
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« Reply #67 on: March 16, 2010, 12:19:11 AM »

if I would have learner the more scary parts of Christianity when I was a little one, it sure would have affected my childhood behavior!

tell them!  they'll be better off for it.
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« Reply #68 on: March 19, 2010, 04:53:10 PM »

Just Wednesday at Bible Study, I took my 3.5 month old daughter up to the front of the class so that she could see the icon of the Entry into Jerusalem and Transfiguration (which actually should occur around this time, but that's a different story). While the person who is our expert in icons was explaining the icons, Sophia was giving her complete and undivided attention. She was watching the icon the entire time, not even paying attention to anyone or anything in the room. Yes, she didn't understand what was being spoken about and she couldn't identify any of the characters, but it did her good and she probably learned enough to be familiar with the icon next time she sees it like she is familiar with Mommy and Daddy and Grandpa and Grandma, etc.

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« Reply #69 on: July 19, 2010, 11:34:37 PM »

Okay, I'm not a parent (not even an adult), but this topic may interest parents, so I'm posting it here.
Still, I have enough younger friends who enjoy talking with me about God.

My problem is, should we let children below the age of 13-14 know everything? I can't even imagine my little cousin's reaction by reading Genesis 19:5!
What about Hell? I know that we -Orthodox- believe in Hell in a much different way, but should we let kids know what Jesus said about fire and gnashing of teeth?

Socrates (in The Republic) once suggested that even if we treat something as symbolic/an allegory, we should not tell children about it, in case it contains anything violent.

Your views? Huh
I think that when a child is mature enough, just truthfully answer their questions, but use caution.  when I was 5, my grandmother told me that the world will end someday.  I could barely stop crying, and didn't sleep for three days in fear that the world would end in my sleep.
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« Reply #70 on: July 19, 2010, 11:45:59 PM »

Okay, I'm not a parent (not even an adult), but this topic may interest parents, so I'm posting it here.
Still, I have enough younger friends who enjoy talking with me about God.

My problem is, should we let children below the age of 13-14 know everything? I can't even imagine my little cousin's reaction by reading Genesis 19:5!
What about Hell? I know that we -Orthodox- believe in Hell in a much different way, but should we let kids know what Jesus said about fire and gnashing of teeth?

Socrates (in The Republic) once suggested that even if we treat something as symbolic/an allegory, we should not tell children about it, in case it contains anything violent.

Your views? Huh
I think that when a child is mature enough, just truthfully answer their questions, but use caution.  when I was 5, my grandmother told me that the world will end someday.  I could barely stop crying, and didn't sleep for three days in fear that the world would end in my sleep.
LOL. My son (13) has been convinced that the world will end in 2012,and he wont' get his license.
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« Reply #71 on: July 19, 2010, 11:47:37 PM »

Okay, I'm not a parent (not even an adult), but this topic may interest parents, so I'm posting it here.
Still, I have enough younger friends who enjoy talking with me about God.

My problem is, should we let children below the age of 13-14 know everything? I can't even imagine my little cousin's reaction by reading Genesis 19:5!
What about Hell? I know that we -Orthodox- believe in Hell in a much different way, but should we let kids know what Jesus said about fire and gnashing of teeth?

Socrates (in The Republic) once suggested that even if we treat something as symbolic/an allegory, we should not tell children about it, in case it contains anything violent.

Your views? Huh
I think that when a child is mature enough, just truthfully answer their questions, but use caution.  when I was 5, my grandmother told me that the world will end someday.  I could barely stop crying, and didn't sleep for three days in fear that the world would end in my sleep.
LOL. My son (13) has been convinced that the world will end in 2012,and he wont' get his license.
ah yes, that old myth.  I have several friends that have given up on schoolbecause they "are just going to die in a couple years".
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« Reply #72 on: July 20, 2010, 01:47:51 AM »

I cannot wait for 2012 to be over and done with.  When pseudo-science and superstition get together, too many minds fall victim.  Plus, the History Channel & Discover Channel where bad enough before the countless specials on "polar shifts" and the Horsemen of the Apocalypse...  Tongue
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« Reply #73 on: July 20, 2010, 02:00:17 AM »

Before the 2012 hype was the 2000 hype. I grew up being told that the rapture would happen 2000 and that the tribulation would start. Basically all of humanity would be in a hell on earth starting in 2000.
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« Reply #74 on: July 20, 2010, 06:45:39 PM »

Before the 2012 hype was the 2000 hype. I grew up being told that the rapture would happen 2000 and that the tribulation would start. Basically all of humanity would be in a hell on earth starting in 2000.
Hey, I was taught that too!  Cheesy For a while (up until I was 14 or so) whenever it got too quiet around the house or my parents were gone for a long time I thought they had been raptured. It probably didn't help that I thought the "Left Behind" books were second to the Gospel. Tongue

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