Brother Paul... do you have children?
Yes, I have a 10 year old son and 14 year old daughter, and some years of ministerial experience teaching other parent's kids (aged 6-10). I also have a bunch of nieces and nephews, from my wife's side all of that age. I see them every week - they practically live with us!
In addition to challenging my qualifications (which you are entitled to do, of course), can you also address my last post?
I disagree that Veggie Tales is some commercially motivated conspiracy to corrupt kids ideas on God.
I think I also said this. I don't say it's a conspiracy, and I believe the creators of the show have well-intentions, but I do think the design and storylines are based more on man's design and understanding of behavioral concepts than God. Please, let the children learn ABC's this way, and about color and simple geography and addition and subtraction, but we should be extremely careful when presenting the gospel this way to their little minds, for reasons I've already listed in my previous post.
The TV and DVD has now become the spiritual nanny; parents turn on a disc and let Bob the Tomato and Larry the Pickle dress up like pirates and teach a watered down version of the gospel. It is but a microcosm of what we have for the adults in regular church. I can't imagine parents 200 years ago, dropping their kids off at the puppet master's shop for the day as they go off to work or go back home to sleep on the couch...and let the puppetmaster put on shows with cute pirates (pirates were villians - the equivalent of a drug dealer or mafia bandit today - and they were hanged when caught) and talking fruit and vegetables to teach them about Jesus.
So we see the parents spiritually reproducing, replicating their own values and worth of the gospel into their children, and this is partly the reason why we have the limp gospel today that we have, and the norms are so low and everything is steeped in amusement and entertainment. It all begins early, the conditioning, and the parents don't know any better, because they themselves are hooked on entertainment and sports and movies and other types of worldliness. Their Veggie Tale is Mel Gibson's Passion of Christ, or Joel Osteen, or Rick Warren or other actors in other movies - puppets for the big people. And it even spreads to those who don't subscribe to this kind of emergent theology; it can proliferate even within the ranks of conservative evangeliscalism and homeschooling.
Paul Frederick West
| 2008/8/26 7:49||Profile|
Yes, I have a 10 year old son and 14 year old daughter, and some years of ministerial experience teaching other parent's kids (aged 6-10). I also have 5 nieces of nephews, all of that age, that God has allowed me to minister to extensively and successfully.
OK... then we're on the same page.
Instead of challenging my qualifications (which you are entitled to do, of course), can you also address my last post?
No, wasnt questioning you're qualifications, just wanted to understand where you were coming from. Helps me understand you better.
I think I also said this in my post. I don't think it's a conspiracy, but I do think the design and storylines are based more on man than God. Let the children learn ABC's this way, and about color and simple geography and addition and subtraction...but I think we should be careful when presenting the gospel this way, for reasons I've already listed in my previous post.
We agree this should never be the primary education of kids... I think I made that clear already.
The reason parents settle for fruits and carrots to teach our kids the ABC's of God is the same reason why they drop their kids off Wednesday nights and hope the youth pastor can also instill spiritual truth. Most of the time the parents go back home, and pick them up later. The TV and DVD has now become the spiritual nanny; parents turn on a disc and let Bob the Tomato and Larry the Pickle dress up like pirates and teach a watered down version of the gospel. It is but a microcosm of what we have for the adults in regular church.
Absolutely, we agree 100% on this.
I can't imagine parents 200 years ago, dropping their kids off at the puppet master's shop for the day as they go off to work or go back home to sleep on the couch...and let the puppetmaster put on shows with cute pirates (pirates were villians - the equivalent of a drug dealer or mafia bandit today - and they were hanged when caught) and talking fruit and vegetables to teach them about Jesus.
I dont know... wasnt there. Neither were you (I'm assuming). You dont happen to own a Delorian that can hit 88 mph, do you? Unless you do, we're just speculating.
So we see the parents spiritually reproducing, replicating their own values and worth of the gospel inot their children...and this is why we have the gospel today that we have, and the norms are so low and everything is steeped in amusement and entertainment. It begins early, and the parents don;t know any better, because the parents themselves are hooked on entertainment and sports and movies and other types worldliness - and to compensate and appease the conscience, they avoid the 'R' pictures.
Well... I certainly understand your point here. This is true. Thats why I go back to what I was saying: It's the parents. If the parents are responsible, and are teaching their children the Word of God the way it ought to be taught, then something like VT can be a good supplement. The kids are grounded well, and VT can reinforce what they are already being taught.
This is why I am relunctant to put a blanket condemnation on something like VT. It's like anything else, it all depends on how it is used. TV can be a great tool... or it can be a dumpster of sin and depravation.
| 2008/8/26 8:27|
Good post, Steve, fair. I edited my last post a bit. Hey, you were right about me not living 200 years ago. I based what I said off of reading Matthew Henry's accounts and sermons of how to raise young children in the admonition of the Lord and the chldren's cathecism of Isaac Watts. Are you familiar with them?
I know you love Henry.
Paul Frederick West
| 2008/8/26 8:31||Profile|
I do love ol' Matt... but I'm not familiar with the children's cathecism of Isaac Watts, or Matthew Henry's accounts and sermons on how to raise young children.
Please advise as to where I can get my paws on them. They may be something of interest to our homeschool group.
| 2008/8/26 8:57|
| Re: Rewarding children|
Surely the parents are primarily responsible for the learning of our children. But so are their teachers in the professing church buildings.
So are you and me, parents and elders within the Body. We who are in Christ are [i]all[/i] responsible for being the spiritual "shepherds" and examples in feeding the entrusted sheep.
"Walk in the Spirit" " Walk not after the flesh"
"Mortify the deeds of you members" " Be not conform to the world"....these Words should all dictate the way we lead the young as well. Or do we help them to walk in fun and walk after their desire, to focus them back on the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and pride of life? All the while thinking to ourselves that we are leading them to Christ, with our this and that, aside from the Word and the Word alone.
While we do know that spiritual things are to be spiritually discerned, even for us, so why should it be any different for our children. The current churchian methods have nothing to do with dumbing down children, rather than perhaps, chiselling away more of this spiritual discerning capability in them, at their individual level moving forward.
Children are saturated by materialistic "rewards" and allurement of pride everywhere they go in the world already, why should they have a double dose from the churches, assuming we are indeed referring to the Church. They go to Sunday schools to look for shimmering stars, rewards, and AWANA for crowns, jewels, trophies, recognitions...???? What did our LORD get for HIS CROSS???? On earth? Is it not far better to teach them traits of patience, contentment, gratitude and love for the Christ Who died for them? To learn and know Him just for the sake of gratitude and obedience? Rather than throwing material stuff toward them?
We are told of heavenly rewards, so they will be received in heaven from The Lord's Hands. Why do we pay or reward them now in the flesh? Wouldn't some brief verbal reinforcements suffice? Spiritual pride in ourselves from time to time is horrible enough, try standing around religiously prideful youngsters....( I was around many of them in my homeschooling years.)
This topic is dear to my heart, though deeply saddened in my spirit. Let us not agree amongst ourselves, but agree with Scriptures, in everything, to the accord of One Spirit.
edit: Adding: Reverence, teach reverence.
[color=0000CC]Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.[/color]
| 2008/8/26 9:47||Profile|
True... we all within the Body of Christ have some responsibility in setting godly examples for the young. And God has gifted a few within the Body to teach children.
However, the commandments within scripture pertaining to the raising of godly children are [b]all[/b] given to the father. Nowhere else will you see anyone other than the father being given that charge. Not even the mother is given that charge.
This is serious business with God, and he will judge spiritually deadbeat fathers.
The mention of anyone else's influence on children is condemnation of those who would harm a child, or cause a child to spiritually stumble. And if you're found guilty of that, it's better a millstone were tied about your neck and you be cast into the sea than stand before God.
| 2008/8/26 10:23|
Absolutely true, the ultimate accountability falls back on the father, yet, the fruit of the work of all teachers, whoever they might be, are still responsible for whatever they teach before the Body and God. Needless to say, look around us, where are these fathers,in terms of spiritual leadership, in our time? Very very few! Perhaps it is for this same reason,i.e. the lack of spirit-filled fathers, we now have what we have everywhere...in my mind, so much distorted quereness in all of all.
Brother Krisp, be ever so thankful that God has brought you this far in life to be that Godly father for your/His children. I have been very thankful and admirable for men like you and some of the brothers here on SI...all too thankful indeed, to be comforted by some remaining spark in God's families.
Sigh..as for me, at times, I take comfort in the female saints such as those who influenced Timothy..the Hannahs, the Suzanna Wesleys...and believe me, I'm not at all of such caliber, in faith, alike these women. Nevertheless, still grateful to Him,especially for His blessed Word.
Keep up, beloved brothers/dads
| 2008/8/26 10:42||Profile|
Well... none of my kids are old enough to be out on their own yet, so the measure of my success as a father is still to be seen. Hopefully I havent screwed them up too bad! lol
| 2008/8/26 11:14|
Thanks everyone for the helpful resources you all pointed me to. A while ago we started to have family "famy" time with our little ones and the 16 year old.
I regret that I did not start them a long while back when I could have exercised more positive influence over our oldest son who does not walk with the Lord. For years I selfishly pursued my own walk with God and neglected our family. I will check out these books and see if we can use then in our devotions. As for now I am trying to explain the doctines in Romans to our 6 year old which is more challenging than to preach to adults.
| 2008/8/26 16:08||Profile|
You know, I've read some Purtian children's prayers, and I've seen the curriculum that ministers and teachers of the gospel from those times exposed the children to at an early age. How Susanna Wesley raised her two boys John and Charles, how Matthew Henry and Issac Watts taught on prayer for little boys and girls without puppets and talking vegetables. I've read accounts of youngsters praying with wisdom and power and tears and establishing early on a disciplined regiment of prayer set aside each day and quiet time with God.
Hey, brother Paul. Could you share with us some of the resources where you found this. Especially the Puritan children's prayers, and the teaching on prayer for children by Matthew Henry and Isaac Watts. I would be very interested in this. Thanks so much.
| 2008/8/26 16:18||Profile|