Thursday, January 2, 2020

I read Blake Laberee’s guest post on Pantheos, When Church Is Optional, You Set up Your Kids to Fail (2019-05-13). Blake is a husband, father of two, and the lead Pastor of a small Baptist Church in the Pacific Northwest.

I like this post because it is so authentically full of life and because it contains an important message that is ignored by many people who ignore church:

A local faith community is more important than every other local community because faith is the source of every human motivation. Individualism is a serious issue for humanity.

But I have a series of “Yes, but” reactions.

  • Yes, faith training is the most important of all training activities. But all human activities can and should be used for training your faith (and your children’s faith). Activities organized by a local church congregation aren’t the only occasions for this.

  • Yes, parents are responsible for educating their children. As a parent you cannot ask your children to decide which form of faith education is good for them. But only until the age where they start to participate in that decision, around the age of 10. After that age they need to learn that they have the right and duty of choosing their way. Letting them try, during three months, alternative activities than those chosen by their parents is an important and reasonable step on this learning track.

  • Yes, a local faith community needs its members. It dies when parents see it as a service provider who does, once per week, the education work they failed to do during the week. But Blake himself puts the foundation to this attitude because he exaggerates the importance of “proper” church meetings and fails to explain that faith education is much more than assisting such meetings.

I also like this post because it is a brilliant example of Bible idolatry and elitism.