Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Parents and Church

I've posted this comment on a blog entitled 'The Oregon Adventist Pastor'. The comment is a response to this article in the Washington Post.

My Comment:
Although I don't consider non-believers in church to be a problem, I do find the reasons that parents seek religious influence for their children as problematic.

The Post quotes one parent as wanting religion to provide a "moral foundation and spiritual guidance" for his child. This corresponds very well with the impression I get from parents seeking a church or church-school experience for their children.

Church and religion (including Christianity) is seem as primarily concerned with morality. This perception of church is unfortunately perpetuated by most Christian communities.

Perhaps this is Adventism's biggest challenge, to focus on the teaching of Jesus, not the teaching of morality.

Am I right?


At 17 May, 2006 09:49, Blogger Jan McKenzie said...

If the teachings of Jesus are not moral in nature, what are they? I'm not sure what your saying.

At 19 May, 2006 07:36, Blogger Marcel said...

Jan, if I may translate what I believe Torsten is saying, our challenge as Adventists is transitioning away from an imposed morality structure (modernism) as conditions for being a Christian, for even the Pharisees practiced morality. The non-believing parents mentioned in the article haven't found grace, and that, along with their children, is the only "teachings of Jesus" that matters to lead those parents to the foot of the cross.

At 22 May, 2006 16:57, Blogger Torsten Pedersen said...

Thank you Jan and Marcel commenting on my post. Both of your comments have giving me much to think about. Marcel reformulated my thoughts better than I can myself and I don’t know if I can give a good answer to either of you.

I probably misused the word ‘morality’ when trying to describe what non-believers find attractive in church for their children.

It was not my intention to say that Jesus’ teachings are contrary to the law. Nor that morality, defined as faithfulness to Gods law manifested in love, is not at the heart of christianity.

Jesus actually taught extreme morality: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly father is perfect”! But Christianity without Jesus, or without his death and resurrection, is meaningless. Morality, defined as adherence to rules or maxims, can on the other hand be taught without Jesus.

I guess, I just find it hard to understand that church can be an attractive place for parents to bring their children, when they are not really interested in Jesus.


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