To the Editor:
In a recent letter to the editor, a writer shared the opinion that for Christian families to teach children that Jesus died to save them from their sin is propaganda and seems to her to be “child abuse.”
The writer should know that what she identifies as possible abuse is the sharing of the Good News, or Gospel: the very core of the Christian faith, followed by billions on the planet. It’s not just a fundamentalist position. Also, Christians worldwide do not view Jesus as just a “decent man” but God in human flesh, who paid the ultimate penalty for our sin. He was the perfect example, not only of love but of truth.
Of course, those who don’t regard him as God would not see his words as the ultimate truth, even if they do regard him as an important moral teacher. If his teaching is regarded as any “good man’s” opinion and not the timeless voice of God, it is understandable that much of his teaching would seem offensive, in an age when everyone sees “their personal truth” on par with his or anyone else’s.
This may be because it’s humbling to consider that Jesus Christ might know more than we do and
he may speak with greater moral authority. Objectively, considering the impact of his life, time-tested teaching, death, resurrection and impact on history, it’s only reasonable to regard his words more highly than even the world’s greatest philosophers — certainly, more valuable than the word-on the-street.
When parents share with their children their need to love and trust Jesus, they do so out of profound love and a deep commitment to what Christ taught as the truth. It may not come across as a loving act, to share with anyone that they fall short of God’s perfect standards and that they will never live up to them without the help of his Son. No one really wants to hear that. They’d prefer to hear that we’re all inherently good and we’ll all go to a better place in the end. Unfortunately,
Jesus taught the opposite. In fact, he is famous for saying “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no
one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6) —If you are open to it, please see for yourself other things he actually said, by reading Matthew, Mark, Luke or John in the Bible.
What I would like the writer of the letter, the readership of this paper and our community to understand is that the motivation for those who are devoted to Jesus to share their faith with their families and friends is love, not hate.
Pastor David Ripley | Grace Christian Fellowship