Mar 22

Short and sweet tonight, fellas. The way it should be, in my opinion! :D

So the story goes something like this:

I was at church today, helping out with sunday school as I’ve been doing (rather inconsistently, I must admit) for the past couple of years.

We were talking about King Solomon, who asked for wisdom when God asked him what he wanted. Great man, King Solomon.

Anyways, out of the blue, a little girl suddenly comes out of nowhere, and says:

“I was at a thing the other night… a-a-nd there were lots of drunk people fooling about… a-a-nd shirts were being ripped and…”

Of course, us leaders are stunned for a fraction of a second. The guy that’s taking the sunday school class recovers promptly, however, and manages to state: “Well, that’s not very nice, is it?” A rather generic response, but kudos to him for deflating the situation.

It got me thinking, though. Obviously the girl (who would only be in grade 4, mind you) had witnessed some sort of drunken party where the adults were acting in a far-from-responsible manner. I mean, seriously – a child shouldn’t have to see things like that.

Hence, Impressionable Young Children. Today’s title was inspired by how little children, who, like the girl at the drinking party, can be influenced by those around them. Their parents influence them. People older than them influence them. Which is why we need to be careful about what we say (and do) around young kids.

A guy named Dean (former leader of Radi8 youth) once told me that he had to tell bogans on the bus to tone down their language as he had his kids with him – which was perfectly acceptable. Had I been in his shoes, I probably would have done the same thing.

It’s those kinds of things that make impressions on the children of our generation. The swearing, the drunken behaviour, the bad behaviour exhibited by adults and those older than the childern. I’m not trying to be sarcastic when I say “Won’t someone think of the children?”

There’s no reason we should swear, or be drunk around our children. Absolutely no reason at all – and to be frank, it’s downright unacceptable. I for one don’t want my kids to be exposed to that sort of behaviour, at the very least not until they’re old enough to understand it properly. There’s no way that girl would have known that what was going on at that party was just something that adults do from time to time, and no way to know that alcohol can make smart people do stupid things.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that we should show a good example to our kids. Don’t swear around them and don’t expose them to bad influences. Understand this – I’m certainly not saying that you should mamby-pamby your children – far from it. Let them learn from their own mistakes (see how hot fire is?), but don’t expose them to things that they ordinarily wouldn’t be exposed to, like random drunken behaviour.

Comments below.

written by Benny Ling at 11:16 pm, Sunday 22 March, 2009 \\ tags: , , , , , , , ,

8 Responses to “Impressionable Young Children”

  1. 1. joe Says:

    Don’t you think church/religion is also exposing them to something as well, that is to say that they are too young to make up their own mind about whats right and wrong. Sure they need to know morals but don’t you think religion should be kept for a more mature age? Especially when the Bible is far from Play School i.e.

    “She reached out her hand for the tent peg, And her right hand for the workmen’s hammer. Then she struck Sisera, she smashed his head; And she shattered and pierced his temple” SAW VI oh i mean Judges 5:26″

    Just a query not a personal attack and I’m not the Anti-Christ lol.

  2. 2. Benny Ling Says:

    I totally agree – church/religion definitely is exposing them to something, and that they’re far too young at that age to make up their own mind. Also agree that some parts of the Bible can be a wierd place – even adults still have trouble understanding it!!

    However, unlike the example of drunken behaviour from select adults, I think that church/religion is one of the few examples of a good influence. Where are the kids going to learn their good morals from otherwise? Their non-christian parents? What? How does that work, exactly? :P (Bear in mind that I’m not saying that non-Christians have “bad” morals, just that they might have a different set of morals compared to Christian parents.)

    If you don’t expose your children to church/religion early on, how are you supposed to let them make up their own minds about it later on in life? They won’t have the full story, they won’t know all the other, kid-safe things that the Bible has to offer for children. By not exposing your kids to church/religion at a young age, you’re essentially given them a pre-bias against it later on. I can tell you now that a child who is exposed to church/religion later on in life has less chance of becoming a Christian – although that’s not always the case, of course.

    Question for you – if you were an atheist, but your kid heard about this thing called “church” from a friend at school (who then invited your son/daughter to go along with him/her), would you let your son/daughter go along and give it a go? Similarly, what about if it wasn’t your 5 year old kid that was going along to church, but your teenager? Would you do the same thing in both cases?

  3. 3. joe Says:

    Christian morals are incredibly outdated though man take the ten commandments for example the only commandments that are really morally relevant are don’t steal and don’t kill someone. I’m sure a kid could work that out for him/herself, and any parent would say don’t take others peoples stuff without their permission and killing is bad MMKAY!

    The commandments also fail to mention anything about rape, child molesting, drugs, torture etc which is far more relevant these days. Can you think of anything else we still cleave too from the Bronze Age?

    Do you really believe that without God people would have no morals? In a prehistoric caveman society I’m sure they would of got together and said “Umph Umph don’t kill is bad!” So Non Christian parents have just as much accountability for raising a morally sensible child.

    Children (1-10 i guess) are too innocent and too easily convinced. I’m pretty sure Jesus said something about making your own mind up. And because Jesus’ childhood/teen years were somewhat absent from the Bible he can’t be the best role model for children. To quote you on “They won’t have the full story,” I don’t believe any Christian child in the world has the full story they have the picture book version with the donkey and the palms etc.

    Christianity would also mess with their minds when they learn about dinosaurs and other cool stuff. At Sunday school they get taught that God made Adam and Eve and the talking snake as well as the rest of the animals about 5000 years ago. Then they learn that dinosaurs were prehistoric legends that ruled the earth long before man. No child needs this. It really is child abuse.

    Of course I’d let my child go, but I’d warn him: They will play nice music and say nice things that will make you feel nice but make sure you really understanding what your doing before you give them your beliefs and your money. I’d go along with my younger child and I’d let the teen work it out for himself.

  4. 4. Benny Ling Says:

    You’re taking the Bible too literally, and interpreting it wrong to boot!

    The Ten Commandments were made obsolete by Jesus’ teachings – the first of which was “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind”, and the second which was “Love your neighbour as your love yourself”. Of course, how you interpret those two commandments is up to you, but I can tell you that there are a hell of a lot of things that can be taken from those two commandments.

    From these two commandments, you can then extrapolate them out to today’s society and the crap that comes along with it – including all your rape, child molesting, drugs, etc – most of which weren’t around in biblical times, so of course there isn’t anything in there that specifically says “drugs are bad, don’t do them”.

    I never said that people without God have no morals. :) As to the non-Christian parents? Accountability, yes. The same set of morals as Christian parents, no. Again, I’m not saying that they have BAD morals, just different ones – and there’s nothing wrong with that! :D

    If you say that children are too innocent and too easily convinced, would you want them to learn a set of good morals, (Christian or otherwise), or a set of bad ones? And even though Jesus did say something about making your own mind up, it’s like that age-old question of what happens to babies who die, isn’t it? Do they go to heaven, or to hell? They don’t know sin, and haven’t sinned, so they go to heaven.

    You’re completely right. Children don’t have the full story. They can, however, make their own minds up (like Jesus said), with all the facts that they have.

    I probably wouldn’t label it child abuse, but yeah, it is a little confusing. Again, once the child has all the facts they’re free to make up their own mind. As for Christian scientists, well, they must have massive arguments on the weekend, hey? :p In any case, the conflicting creation stories is nothing compared to some other things that children learn, eg. homosexuals, transvestites, and all that horrible, horrible stuff. Ugh.

    Good choice on the going to church decision. Kudos. :)

  5. 5. joe Says:

    Nice responses man, If you don’t mind we may as well keep this going!

    “You’re taking the Bible too literally, and interpreting it wrong to boot!”
    Bible = word of god doesn’t it though? I never get how people say that e.g. why the talking snake is literal but Jesus’ command to sell everything they own is metaphorical. It’s downright silly having to pick and choose but that’s a bit beside the point.

    As for Bible’s view on gay peeps (kill them with fire), Jesus doesn’t mention it once so why is it such a big deal? There has been scientific proof that’s it’s a birth defect (too much estrogen or something) so should we tell our kids to love thy neighbor even if he does wear mascara? Or to throw stones because he’s different?

  6. 6. Martin Pilgrim Says:

    Interesting debate going on here. I hope you don’t mind me coming in and helping with the discussion too…

    The whole question of morals has become very interesting within society at the moment, and you’ve both noticed this. Joe, I find your statement about how outdated Christian morals, and specifically the 10 Commandments, are as particularly fascinating…

    The 10 Commandments are not a specific set of rules with only a face value meaning. Each commandment means more than just, say, “Thou shalt not commit adultery. ” There is more meaning in it than just its face value. This commandment can be interpreted as not just “Don’t cheat on your wife”, it is also interpreted as “Don’t lust after a woman”, and that gets into one of your problem areas of rape. This commandment says “Don’t rape people”. That is exactly what it says. It just doesn’t say it quite like that. If the 10 Commandments were written so that they should only be taken at face value, then there would be a heck of a lot more than just 10 commandments!

    There are other commandments that are still relevant today as well. Take 9 for example: Don’t bear false witness against your neighbour. Lies are a huge problem within our society today, with honesty being a real problem. Commandments like this are important and timeless.

    It’s also interesting to define your point of relevance as well. The modern culture is moving away from thinking the 10 Commandments is relevant, but in reality, if you read them, you’ll find they are still very relevant. Society is trying to tell us that we can choose what we want to do with our lives. I don’t know what you think of this, and it is your decision. That being said, the morals put forward in the Bible are there for our best interests. Society is assuming that we can do anything without consequences, when this isn’t true. You’ve got to wonder about some of the problems in the world today, how come they’ve occured. Take terrorism and things for example. I mean, really, is it right to go and kill hundreds, or even thousands of people like that? I’ll let you make up your own mind on that.

    I think I’m kind of going on a round about way here, but what I’m really trying to get to is this: The Bible has a set of guidelines for our lives, that if we follow them, we will lead happier lives, making us and everyone around us happier and safer.

    I think Jesus summed it all up nicely when he was talking to the Pharisees.

    Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
    Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
    This is the first and great commandment.
    And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
    On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
    (Matt 22:36-40 KJV)

    How is love not good for our children to learn?

    And this brings me nicely onto your question about homosexuality. An interesting one, I must admit, and one that I’m not actually sure I’m qualified to answer… But here goes anyway…

    I’m assuming that you’re referring to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah when you say “kill them with fire”. This is an extreme example, but hey, it’s in the Bible anyway, so obviously God wanted us to have it. If you remember the story, you would recall it was a whole city that was completely given over to sin (as defined by God). There were not 5 people in that city who were followers of God. If there were, God said he would have saved the city. And by the way, don’t read that as Christians don’t sin, as that sure isn’t true! God didn’t want to destroy that city, but the level of sin in it were just astounding, and hence he had no choice. There was no chance for that city to be redeemed. It also serves as a warning, with Lot’s wife turning into a pillar of salt. But hey, that’s kind of getting off the track here.

    I think we can move back to what Jesus said in how we should treat homosexuals. In his statement, he says love your enemies. It’s that thing I was talking about before, where the meaning isn’t always exactly what it says. It isn’t just our enemies that we should love, but we should love all people, no matter who they are. As such, we should love homosexuals, as God loves us. It’s definitely an interesting question, and this is kind of the area I don’t really know how to answer you correctly… We should try to show homosexuals the error of their way in a (Godly) loving way (please don’t take me the wrong way), not via anger and wrath. And I really don’t know how to continue that part of my response, but I hope you get the idea of what I mean. Either way, we definitely shouldn’t be throwing stones!

    Oh, and the literal and metaphorical interpretation of the Bible is another excellent question. Sometimes even the most experienced of Christians don’t understand what’s what in the Bible. Probably the best way to figure out what is going on is to read and compare lots of parts of the Bible, and figure out what they come together as. If you know what I mean.

    Anyway, I hope I haven’t been too forthright, or forceful at all. I don’t intend to be!

  7. 7. joe Says:


    haha just kidding

    Sorta what I’m getting at is that most of Jesus’ teachings are common sense are they not? and they aren’t original to Jesus’ either look up the Egyptian sun God “Horus”.

    Also in my outdated argument I want to mention validity. If Jesus took the time to right his auto-biography before his suicide mission that would of been convenient, but instead it was left (as were all the Bible Chapters) hundreds of years after they had happened (if they happened).

    I just can’t seem to believe the validity and correctness of a book that has been written by men who were guided by god. Also, the men were guided by god too, who decided what shall be removed from the bible. Bible is edited even today, so the editors are, too, inspired directly by God.

    At the time of Jesus, everyone agreed that the old testament was the right way, written by people inspired by god, thus their writings were true to them. Why should their righteousness disappear during time?

    Most Christians are saying that some parts of the old testament are wrong in modern culture, like the one which encourages you to bash your enemies children’s skull to a rock or stone women who are not virgin when married.

    SOOO yes confusing indeed.

    Make sure you bash me over standard tcp/ip connection if i have my facts wrong!

    Look forward to response, and perhaps an EPIC BLOG!

  8. 8. Benny Ling Says:

    I responded! Finally! :p