I used to wonder why so many American-Christians are critical of their own church. Where they once kept their bitterness to themselves or perhaps addressed their grievances directly to God himself, they now have a new outlet (the blog) to voice their growing dissatisfaction. Some of my favorite bloggers are in that camp. They boast of foreign wisdom as if they are higher and more enlightened than the wisdom of the Bible, preached from pulpits Sundays after Sundays. Familiarity breeds contempt? Some would even go as far as to suggest that our children should be spared from the contamination of churches and it’s ideology. Suffer not the little ones to our idea of God, let them think for themselves. To a large extent, I agree. We adults are good at complicating things that are simple and readily recognizable to children. Worst, we pass on our faulty theology and doctrine to our children. However, we do not live in a world where everyone is naturally a friend of God. We do not live in a world without opposition from other spirit beings bent on frustration the will of God. We live in a world where opposing spiritual forces are constantly in a cosmic battle for our heart and mind. To let our children be is to offer up their mind to anyone and everyone. If we don’t shape their mind and draw their heart now, someone else will. Keeping them from churches and Christian ideas is not the solution. “It is appropriate to tell them what we think and believe, but we can do so without trampling their tender autonomy. Love, wait and allow them to develop and grow making their own decisions instead of showing off a little robot child who says all the right things, even if achieveing that result is to her detriment.”

There was a time when I grew impatient and increasingly frustrated with the constant complaining. I for one, is regretful that someone did not bring me to church earlier. My life could have taken a very different turn. Consequances that resulted from particular sins and some really bad choices could have been avoided if I had known the liberty that flows from the grace of God. One reader nailed it when he said this,

“People all over the world go to worship the Lord Jesus Christ Sunday after Sunday at the risk of losing their own lives and all we can do is whine about telling children the TRUTH. Chinese Christians are risking their lives to preach the Gospel to everyone and we are worried about indoctrinating our children in the faith once delivered to the saints? The problem here is that we have a uniquely American outlook. Talk to the Ethiopian pastor who was attacked by Muslims with knives while preaching the Word of God. Talk to the Chinese Christian who sits in jail and rots because of his boldness to be the “church man” in order that people who hate him will be loved by him with a message that could keep them from hell. Leave her a pagan? Follow this advice and her blood will be on your hands.”

A uniquely American outlook. I didn’t quite understand it until I heard some American preachers myself and I thought ….. no wonder their people are rebelling. Their God is like a vending machine, someone whom they can manipulate and command at whim. Makes you wonder who is God. Either that or it’s hell-fire-and-brimstone all the way. Can we blame our American brethren for their cynisicm? They are not opposed to God or Christ. They are opposed to the new religion of Americanism. Singapore is heavily influenced by the west, particularly America. Many churches here have adopted America’s brand of Christianity. While brimstone messages can be heard everywhere, the former is particularly symptomatic of first-world nations. So to be fair, it is not solely an American problem.