Tag Archives: children

Death

For about two and a half months now, the only thing I have been really able to think of is my inevitable death. Every single day. And if I went a time without thinking about it, I’d get happy for not thinking about it, and then that would cause me to think about it. It was a horrible daily cycle. Every time it came to mind, it was with a finality. No heaven or hell. Just nothing. Everything about me, gone. All my thoughts and actions for naught, never to exist further. It was quite depressing to say the least. I would do best to distract myself from my thoughts. Many times I found myself internally yelling at my brain to just “shut the fuck up!” I hate my brain sometimes.

Going to sleep was no fun. Some night I would just lie awake, pondering.

And then, a couple days ago, it just stopped. My daughter was sick with a fever. She was miserable and didn’t want to be alone, so I went up to lie in bed with her to help her sleep. I still had the depressing notion of death and it’s finality of nothing on my mind at the time. And yet as I lay with her trying to comfort her so she can get some much needed sleep, something happened. Just as she dozed off, she said something to me. Now, for what would seem like an epiphany moment, you’d think I could remember what she said, but I can’t. I don’t know why, but for the life of me I cannot remember what she said. I do remember there was nothing profound or even religious about what she said, only that my brain suddenly changed. With her words, I smiled. There is a God and everything is going to be okay.

I know. It sounds blazingly stupid and I acknowledge that. I don’t know what was wrong with me. Perhaps it was a midlife crisis. As I often tell my wife, “I’m half over.” I don’t know what’s changed and I’m smart enough not to trust my feelings, but it’s nice to be okay with death and my destination once again.

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Little Nudges

Sometimes we are presented with little nudges towards where we need to go or what we should be doing. At times, those nudges are for something we should be doing to begin with. We all stumble, often time more than we’d like to admit. My nudge comes in the form of my second child encouraging me to get back into regularly reading the scriptures.

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When my daughter was born, I held her in my arms and read chapter one of Genesis to her. It was a touching moment and something I had pledged to do long before she was born. It just somehow seemed appropriate.

WP_20130919_018 Genesis 1 on the day she was born.

Yet now with a second child a mere six or seven months away, I want to do the same thing but I have yet to figure out what I shall chose for him or her.

Ottheinrich_Folio296r_Rev13 Really hoping I don’t find some years down the road that the appropriate scripture should’ve been Revelation 13.

I suppose this presents me with a good opportunity to buckle down on scripture, something I’ve been neglecting a bit lately. It’s interesting to see how these little nudges come when they’re needed. Now, I’m not saying it’s some cosmic force that’s pushing me into immersing myself into…

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God is like Elmo or Jesus is a Salad

My daughter got to talk on the phone to Elmo today (it was me). I wish I could’ve seen her face. She sounded thrilled. When Elmo put me on the phone (again, me), she told me that, “I talked to Elmo!” Over and over again. Perhaps sometime down the road I shall buy a big terrifying adult sized Elmo costume have a Skype conversation with her. Perhaps I can make Elmo a little more dignified by giving him a fancy pipe and a nice hat as he sips on a glass of whiskey on the rocks. Something tells me that while Elmo would be much more redeemable in my eyes, my daughter would suspect something is up.

I’ve been to a few churches, listened to a lot of different preachers, and seen a fair amount of views on Christianity. Most of them, while they may have the basics down, always had something off about them with me. For Westboro Baptists, God carries a stick and a gun just in case the stick isn’t long enough. In some of the exceedingly liberal churches, Jesus just can’t stop giving hugs to the point of it being uncomfortable and creepy. In some churches, Jesus is a life skills coach. And yet in other still, he only shows up long enough to say because he’s got another church to go to.

Much in the same way a child will know something’s not right if Elmo is participating in stuffy old people stuff, the Christian who studies the scriptures will know something’s not right when Jesus is put into strange clothes.

Perhaps this is why I like the LCMS so much. Sure, it can appear stuffy and boring to some, but it’s not wearing a funny hat either. The gospel is simply presented as it is without any fluff or personal opinion. To put it another way, think of Jesus as a salad and the church/preacher as a chef. Some chefs will mask the flavor with a salad dressing, but a great chef can make an amazing salad without any dressing at all.

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Is Killing Children Merciful?

A lot of Christian churches claim children get a free pass. They refer to this as the age of accountability. Even though nowhere in scripture is this taught. I think a lot of this so-called age of accountability is the result of decision theology. If you have to make a decision for Jesus, than Jesus can’t save you without your help first. This creates a problem because babies and small children can’t make a decision for Christ. They’re too young to understand. So, if they can’t properly choose Jesus with understanding, then that dooms them to eternal hell just for being dumb. You can see where this wouldn’t sit well for many people. So somewhere along the line came this idea of an age of accountability where children get a free pass because they can’t choose. And then, once you throw this in there, you’ve created all sorts of other conundrums. What about the mentally retarded? Do they get a free pass? What about those who never heard the Gospel? Do they get a free pass? What about the crazy? Do they get a free pass?

So, this age of accountability creates all sorts of problems, but what I’d like to address is the most glaring one. The one no one seems comfortable with addressing. Should we murder the children?

Appalling is it not? The thing is, if you believe in an age of accountability, then the answer is a resounding YES! You absolutely should be murdering children. If children get a free pass until they reach a certain age, then killing them is the only merciful option. Some might counter and say that it would be sin to murder children. Well, yes, that would be true. It would be a sin, but it would be a much more merciful sin than allowing them to risk eternal damnation by letting them grow up. To not murder children to ensure they get to heaven makes you an absolute monster. By some accounts, Hitler and Stalin were better people than you because they made sure that many children achieved salvation because they had the good decency to execute them before the age of accountability. They made the decision for Jesus for them.

As I’ve said in the past, children don’t get a free pass. Scripture says that faith comes through hearing. It does not say faith comes through understanding. It does not say faith comes through choice. It says faith comes through hearing. So preach the gospel boldly and worry not if they understand because Christ will give them faith if he so wills it.

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Putting holidays in their place

What would you say if I told you that there was a Christian holiday in December that is celebrated by the giving of gifts? And what if I told you that it’s not Christmas? You’d probably give me a mildly confused look, but I’d be telling you the truth. Christmas, contrary to the culture, is not a holiday celebrated with the act of gift giving.  In fact, it’s not even a single day.  It’s twelve days.  And despite what The Twelve Days of Christmas may say, it’s more like twelve days of feasting rather than twelve days of gifts. So if that is the case, than what is the Christian holiday in December that is celebrated with the giving of gifts?

Why, that’d be St. Nicholas Day on December 6th named after none other than St. Nicholas.  He was a third century Christian who has become synonymous with generosity.  In fact, is what our tales of Santa Clause come from.  He’s also where we get the Christmas tradition of hanging stockings to be filled with presents from as well.  I’m not going to go into his story, many other sites have done that far better than I ever could.  While I doubt this will sway many Christians, I want to say that I really enjoy the thought of having St. Nicholas Day as the day of gift giving.  You can still have all of the fun family events that you would do on Christmas every year and a few weeks sooner to boot.  But then, something more magical happens because of this.  On the twelve days of Christmas, you’re not distracted by all the gifts and what have you because that happened a few weeks ago.  So Christmas becomes a more special time.  A time for Jesus Christ.  I appreciate Christmas a lot more than I used to and it’s wonderful.

So this Saturday, I want you all to have a very happy St. Nicholas Day.  My wife and I celebrate with our daughter by exchanging our gifts and watching a Nicholas Cage movie with homemade eggnog.  I’m thinking this year she may need to finally see Con-Air.  😉

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Children Do Not Get A Pass

One of the great lies in modern evangelicalism today is the age of accountability; that is, children who die before attaining a certain age get to go straight to heaven.  But that’s a straight up lie.  The fact of the matter is, children do not get a pass.  In fact, there is nowhere in scripture that states anything remotely even resembling an age of accountability.

So what does happen to the dead children?  The answer is simple.  The same as everyone else.  If they are in Christ, then they shall be in heaven with him and if not they shall go to the lake of fire prepared for the devil and his angels. Though the Bible doesn’t exactly say much on dead children, it’s overwhelmingly clear that all have sinned and fall short the glory of God and that apart from Jesus Christ you cannot be saved. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it.  If he makes an exception, than the whole gospel falls apart.

Now that’s not too say that scripture doesn’t offer comfort in such situations.  Faith comes through hearing.  Please note, scripture doesn’t say, “faith comes through hearing and understanding,” but only says, “faith comes through hearing.” How glorious are these words when but a small fetus in the womb can hear the gospel faithfully preached to it through its mother’s belly.

Also, it is Christ who gives us our faith, we don’t come to it on our own.  Alas, just as we adults don’t come to a decision for Jesus, neither does the child, but Christ through his own mercy will grant faith to whom he chooses.

My friends, scripture doesn’t say a lot about children who die and we dare not speak where scripture has not spoken, but with authority we can boldly proclaim on what scripture has clearly spoken.

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