Are you raising your kids with religion?

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Popping in for a quick update: I've contributed to another episode over at Momversation. It's funny; I've always thought - especially online - that me or anyone saying that we have clear-cut beliefs and that we find strength in our faith will elicit eyerolls or hateful commentary. (I don't just think; it has.) It's been my experience that taking this stance is unpopular. Sure, the majority of people in America identify themselves as Christian but that question is illogical if you're using it alone to define spirituality: ask how many people regularly go to church or read the Bible and the answers will be quite different. Really though, I think everyone feels that their beliefs will be criticized. It's an insecurity we all share. Yay!

I made several important points which weren't included in the final cut of this episode that I would really like to share here:

- I don't want to raise my kids with a blind faith, but with a discerning faith. I don't want them to walk into any house of worship and holler "I'll take what you're sellin!"

- I believe that when my kids leave my house they should have a solid foundation. I don't want them spending the better part of their most productive years trying to "find themselves" or wondering what they believe. I feel that it's my job as their mother to make sure that they are ready when it's time to leave the nest and to help them with their decisions now. It's not pushing anything down their throats, no more than telling them to eat their vegetables or that no, Green Day and Sum 41 are not real punk, listen to some Ramones or The Dickies.

- I don't think you need Jesus to be a nice person but if you want to get to Heaven, Christian beliefs dictate that you kinda require Him.

Not all Christians are like Carrie White's mother. Thank goodness for that.



37 Comments

Great topic for discussion! And it was great that you all could voice your opinion without dissent amongst yourselves. Now what you get from the trolls at large is another story!

We are raising our kids to educate them Biblically and we pray that they make the choice for themselves to take the same path (faith-wise) that we have. We want our kids to understand that you are not "born" a christian, but that there is a moment that comes where you have to make the choice as to whom you will serve. I wish so badly that I could make the choice for them, but...alas...that's not how it works!

Who's Carrie White?

Great Convo.
I believe all good people to go heaven. Maybe the Christian heaven and the Jew heaven will be separated by a velvet rope...but the God I believe in wouldn't turn someone away...
But that's just me....I pick and choose what to believe within Christianity....
I was raised Catholic...
I still believe in saints...BUT...I don't think all Saints (those people expressly touched by God) were Catholic.
I believe in Judgement.
I believe in reincarnation.

Here's the catch. I went through 12 years of CCD to realize that strict Catholicism wasn't my bag and that I had "other" beliefs. How do I give my kids that knowledge without having to do the "catholic" thing....

Luckily - since our kids aren't even conceived...we have time to think about that.

Great post and video! Obviously we are teaching our children about having faith in God. (My husband is a pastor and I minister in several areas of our church.) Honestly, I don't really think of it in terms of being "religious". I love knowing Jesus and try to respond to His incredible love by living a life that honors Him..I don't do that alone..I am only able to do that because His Spirit lives inside of me. There is nothing remotely good about me. We go to church several times a week (Sunday morning worship and Wednesday bible study, as well as other ministry centered activities) and we love every minute of it. I think that being a part of a church body is an essential element to living a christian life. We all need the encouragement and strength of others..and we also need to strengthen and encourage others.

I don't spend time worrying about what others think about my convictions or if they want to belittle what they do not understand. I do feel sad for them because knowing Jesus is simply the best thing I have ever done. And I also believe that I will live eternally in heaven with Jesus.

I believe that sharing my faith with my kids gives them a solid foundation for their life. I heard several people on the video say that they will teach their children right and wrong which makes me wonder how they define right and wrong. Is it based on the law? The ten commandments? I would think it would be hard to define right and wrong if you do not believe in God or have a solid belief system. Most of our basic laws are based on biblical beliefs. I would be curious to hear more about this in a follow-up video. I think it is great that they would discuss the topic.

It's interesting how your somewhat traumatic experience with religion as a child made you seek out a more genuine experience as an adult. I admire that you are so certain with your choices, even though you seemed to have had a bumpy road getting there. This segment definitely could have been much longer!

Dana,
That was great conversation. I admire you and your courage to stand up for what you believe on such a public platform. I'm sure it was a little nerve racking for all of you women to discuss your views on such a hot "topic." It is refreshing for me, another Christian woman trying to raise her kids with an understanding of God's grace, mercy, love and forgiveness to read/watch someone else who holds the same conviction. God Bless and thanks for taking oart in that momversation.

Hi, Comrade Dana. Thank-you for talking about this. I also think that having blind faith in something is no way to live. I want to know what I believe, but more importantly, why I believe it. I also must stress for all to hear, that Christianity isn't just knowing facts about Jesus and what he did for us. It's equally knowing Him as Savior and Lord and having a relationship with Him. It isn't enough to just know THINGS and TRUTHS about Jesus Christ; it's about knowing Him as the way, the truth, and the life. I truly think that religion is the "opiate of the masses", but I think Christianity is not a true religion. Religion is all about a person building a bridge to God and Heaven with their own hands, and by their own deeds. Christianity is all about the bridge that God built to us in order to save us from the Judgment. Jen, a few questions I must ask. How many good deeds does it take to earn salvation? What is the definition of "good"? I don't have a perfect understanding of what is good. In fact, I will say no one does. But I believe that God, being perfect, does. I believe that His standard of goodness is absolute perfection. I know I am not perfect. So I believe that since I have failed God's litmus test of goodness I deserve wrath and not mercy. I must have Christ's imputed righteousness that was earned for me on a Roman cross to be able to enter Heaven. Anyways, just my thoughts. Take care Comrade Dana, and you too, Jen. Jesus Lives/Loves

/There is a fountain filled with blood,/
/Drawn from Immanuel’s veins,/
/And sinners plunged beneath that flood/
Lose all their guilty stains./

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life published some interesting stats in Feb. 2008, I think. Seems that Americans are shifting their religious beliefs and practices more than ever. Raised Catholic by a Episcopal turned Catholic turned Episcopal (confused, yet?) mother & eat fish on Fridays Catholic Father, I'm one of those statistics. In a nutshell, I've come to believe that religions are made by humans and subject to human foiables. Still, I would like for my kids to know about all the different religious practices because there are many beautiful and divine to learn about each. Some days all I can try to teach are morals and ethics. This book: Soul Sunday by Carrie Brown-Wolf - has been helpful. Kids are not that interested, yet. Hope they will be more so in the future. Good topic!

this is a huge topic in our house right now. With a 15 month at home, we are debating where we want to send her to school. I know, she is only 15 months, but hey, some schools require a lottery to get in and we must think about that if we end up deciding against catholic school (which is where DH and I went for 12 years). Just not in the same mind with the cannon law of the catholic church right now and I can't stand them telling me how to vote. So we are exploring sharing God's story with our daughter over time, but let her decide later in her young years of she wants to pursue catholic education.

Oh my. I could hug you right now. I've been so angry and frustrated with the blogging world and just found your site (momversation linked from GGC) and am so relieved...So, so glad to have found a kindred spirit and look forward to reading your blog. :)

I'm so happy you are not ashamed to say people actually need Jesus to get to Heaven. These days most people are so afraid of offending someone by speaking the truth that the Truth is getting lost in being PC! Our children need a solid foundation in the truth of God's Word so that, as you said, they will know who they are in Christ...loved, forgiven, and empowered by His Spirit.

"I don't think you need Jesus to be a nice person but if you want to get to Heaven, Christian beliefs dictate that you kinda require Him."

Amen. Thank you for stating your beliefs clearly and unapologetically.

I A to the G R E E... or would that be an A to the M E N ? Either way... great, Simply great.

We put both of ours in Catholic school three years ago, and we've never regretted it.

How can any 13-year-old NOT like "Blitzkrieg Bop" or "Manny Moe and Jack"? Beats me. I'm having better luck with Go Betty Go.

Kids.

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