Page 1 of 1

What was your childhood experience with Christianity?

Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 5:59 am
by Secularick
Growing up, I wasn't forced into church all too often. The few times I went were a fairly even split between wanting to go because, for example, my cousins were going and I didn't want to miss out on what they were doing, and going because I had to when a babysitter took their kids.

This gave me experience across a variety of church services — from Sunday morning youth things to vacation Bible school — but it seemed to always occur at Calvary Baptist Church in my hometown, which was pretty remarkable given that not only did my cousins and me live way out near the county line where other churches were closer, but my babysitter lived *outside* the county and definitely could've gone to a closer church.

The services definitely seemed tailor made to be fun and "cool." There was a presenter at VBS who did a whole presentation filled with yo-yo tricks, and the youth services for older kids were presented in a special auditorium that was dark with an almost concert feel.

I'm not sure if I learned anything that was actually like reflective of real Christianity in any of it, but I remember there being some fun kids there. The older kids group had two teens named Tom and Jerry which I was always amused by, and they were pretty fun too.

One service in particular left me with a particularly amusing idea regarding Satan. We were taught that for any of the bad things we did, the Devil would come up ever more from "below" and grasp ever more onto us. If we continued to do bad things without asking for forgiveness, that the Devil could completely lay hold of us and that would be that. I was young and as naïve as could be, so that terrified me; for at least a few weeks after, I remember distinctly feeling fear anytime I did something bad and telling God I was sorry or whatever.

But all of this makes me wonder… Why do churches go so far out of their way to tailor services and events toward children? There's no indication that they should be doing anything like that in the Bible, nor is anything in the Bible written with a young audience in mind.

I'm no believer, by any means, but when I'm dealing with the Bible, I tend to understand it according to what one might call a Calvinist interpretation. To wit, the Bible says that spiritual things are spiritually discerned, and that all people are born in sin. Therefore, until a person is born again, they are not the audience of the Bible. It is pearls before swine.

What do you think?

Re: What was your childhood experience with Christianity?

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2020 9:15 pm
by amazingmeag11
In response to your post @secularick, I think a lot of the reason churches focus so much on teaching children has to do with Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it." (NASB)

Some may argue that focusing on children hooks them at an early age because children are young and impressionable. That may also be the case for some churches. There are bad apples in every bunch.

As far as being *born again,* some denominations may argue that a child who is born into a Christian family and baptized as an infant is considered saved/born again, meaning that child is the audience of the Bible. Other denominations argue that being born again is a decision; one that can't be made until one is of a certain age. Some denominations set that age in childhood; others, adulthood. There are many ways that can be interpreted. I'd have to do some research on what exactly the Bible says about being born again and the context in which it was written in order to tell you whether any of these notions are "truly Christian," or not.

Re: What was your childhood experience with Christianity?

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2020 9:25 pm
by amazingmeag11
My childhood experience with Christianity began in the Catholic Church. I went to a Catholic elementary school and grew up going to church once or twice a week. I knew all the Bible stories forward and backward, but it wasn't until going to a youth group at another church in high school that I realized those stories and my "eternal fate" were connected. After that, I began church hopping, going to any church I was invited to by friends (and sometimes strangers).

I eventually made my way back to Catholicism in adulthood, got married in the Catholic Church, and did my best to be a "good Catholic." Of course, it was never enough, and eventually those differences ended my marriage.

Who knows? Maybe if I had been taught more about faith along with the religion, I would've been a better Catholic as an adult. However, I'm glad to have the ability and desire to search for answers on my own without needing a church to tell me what to think and how to feel. I'm still a Christian, and I will always believe in the Christian God until proven otherwise.

Re: What was your childhood experience with Christianity?

Posted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 6:26 am
by Secularick
Your last statement there, that you will always believe echoes one I made to my friend Sandi at work some twelve or thirteen years ago, amazingmeag11. And well, she sure to tell me "I told you so" after all was said and done. ;)

Re: What was your childhood experience with Christianity?

Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2020 12:25 am
by amazingmeag11
If that day ever comes, you can feel free to say, "I told you so." Until then, we'll just keep agreeing to disagree. ;)