Tuesday, May 12, 2009

And so it begins...

I received this email...

On Easter weekend, at church, Avery was presented with the story of Christ, and he prayed a prayer for salvation. He talked with someone about this, and expressed his understanding of who Jesus is and what he did for us. He is listed at the church under my name, and they just called and told me this.

There is a class coming up that kids can attend with their parents. It’s called Kid Faith, and it gives an opportunity for the parents to know for sure that the kids understand their decision. Immediately following the class, the kids can be baptized.

It would be great if you and/or Nikki could come and attend with Avery. If not, I’d be happy to take him with us.

I was raised Methodist, so the whole "salvation" thing is a little different for me. But, it looks like my boy has prayed "the prayer." He's asked Jesus into his heart. If I thought he had the faintest idea as to what that means...I would be completely on board. But, I know the kid doesn't have a clue.

I've talked to him about his experience at church when he attends with family, and this is why the kid prayed "the prayer"...

1. His cousin did it, so why the hell, not! **note to self: teach the kid about peer pressure.**

2. They give you free shit at church. Bibles, toys, swords, hats...all kinds of shit. And we all know that kids love them some free shit!!

3. They compete to win prizes...my boy CANNOT resist any form of competition.

4. For the love of Christ...they have donuts at church, and donuts are delicious!!

So, I don't think he's quite ready to sign on the dotted line.

I know what you're gonna say..."He can learn morals and good things at church," "He will be surrounded by children being taught morals and good things," "It's such a good foundation," etc....

Hmmm, let me ponder my youth...

I remember the kids in my youth group. I specifically remember one trusted member of the group who paid me a visit in the summer of my 16th year. My parents were at work and he wanted to hang out...he was older, but was a good friend. We all trusted him. Upon arrival, he tried to sell me on giving him a little ole blow job. You know, for Jesus!

**Allright, I threw the whole "for Jesus" thing in there. He never once mentioned Jesus. You got my point, though, right?**

I informed my friend that I would most definitely NOT be fallating him and sent him on his fucking way.

I know that this was just one asshole out of plenty of good kids, but church youth groups are not immune to unethical behavior.

My point, and there is one, is that the MORALS, and GOOD THINGS, and the STRONG FOUNDATION that he might learn in church...he is MOST DEFINITELY learning at home, thankyouverymuch!

This email initiates the sheparding of my children to churches, by friends and family armed with good intentions. Where they will assuredly learn about faith, love, hope, and prayer, and, undoubtedly learn about fear, hypocrisy, superiority, and guilt...and possibly even a little about oral sex.

And so it begins, the uphill battle of trying to teach my children to think for themselves and make their own way in this world "with little regard for 'supposed to'," as Rassles so eloquently put it.

**I can only imagine how my mother will react to F-bombs, blow jobs, and Jesus...all in the same post!**


Tatman said...

Bravo! Thank you for teaching your kids these values...YOURSELF. I don't need anyone to tell my kids to "pray" so that they can be shown a "path" for their life. They need to keep their asses on the straight and narrow, or Daddy's wrath will be a more urgent issue. There are too many other things to get into in this comment block, but I applaud you and your choice to take a real position of support and teaching in your children's lives. BRAVO!

Family said...

Well, I felt sort of the same way when my oldest said the prayer at the age of 5. It took 3 years of discussions with him before I finally let him get baptized. You never really know for sure if they fully understand it. The Bible does say to come to him like children. ( Mat. 18:3-4) Which is why I think it is easier for kids to trust in God, than adults. I did it when I was 12 and I thought I fully understood it but until I had my own children did I really fully understand the sacrifice that was made. I think it's smart for you to not jump for joy yet and discuss it with him. And as for the boy in your youth group, although I am not condoning what he did but one thing you have to understand as a christian is you are a sinner and that doesn't stop after you have asked Jesus into your heart, he sounds like a typical teen boy that needed to try a little harder to walk the christian walk.

Rassles said...

Yeah, my experience with church youth groups was that they were just as bratty, self-serving, and conniving as every other group of children and teenagers. And I went to youth groups my whole life- Catholic, Episcopal, Methodist, fucking Apostolic, even. Always out of curiosity and the hope that I could identify...the parents were cool about it.

But what I learned? Christian morals don't make you a better person. Non-Christian morals don't make you a better person. both groups have bad and good.

As far as morals go, I disagree with many of the morals imposed by Christianity, as a rule. Not just that, but the philosophy behind the religion. Some nice people practice, of course, but it's wrong for me.

So you do your shit, because after reading your blog, I'm sure they can learn better from you than lotsa other people. Because you're the shit.

Rassles said...

PS: I am not saying Christians are bad people. Not at all. Like with any group of people, there's a vast variety of personality types. I am not saying that Christianity is composed of bad morals. I don't want to offend anyone with that, because I really have the utmost respect for religion and spirituality, of every faith. It just doesn't speak to me.

PPS: Nikki, I heart you.

The Mommy said...

I am a church goer. I also believe in prayer as it is something that has helped me through my life. A faultering one at that. I believe that it is a positive thing for kids but if you don't feel comfortable with it, you definitely have to go with your feelings. Church isn't for everyone. I agree with you also that this baptism occasion is something that the child needs to understand fully and completely and you know your child better than anyone. I feel you made the best decision for your child and I give you props for that.

Also, I fully agree with Family and her comment!!!!

Kameron said...

I think it is up to you and your family to teah your kids. I find it insulting and out of bounds for people to push their beliefs and wishes on others. They put you in a shitty position and I would be pissed about that.

Catherine said...

I prayed the prayer at 4 - on palm sunday. I remember it with clarity. I asked to be baptized and met with the pastor to talk about God. That was May of 1983.

I feel like a lot of who I am is in spite of the church. I disagree with a great number of contradictions just like the ones you mentioned.

But I do think making that decision for my self was a pinnacle point in my life. While I didn't understand the Bible at that point, I definitely knew I was searching for something.

I wonder sometimes at why I did what I did, but for all I've struggled through - predominantly coming from an extremely abusive family - I'm very thankful for the decisions I made. I came from a horrible family situation, worked my way through college, and moved to a city where I have a beautiful family of my own and a good life.

There are many ways I could have been distracted along the way, but I find much hope and peace in believing God has a purpose for me. That's just me. Somehow it got me through some of the most difficult situations in my life.

I assure you, I don't really get along well with the church. They seem to care more about appearances than truth.

I agree that churches push for decisions for numbers. I am a little anxious myself that someone will "pray" with my son and he won't understand. We are teaching values at home as well and I don't want him to have the golden cloak of Jesus without knowing anything about theology.

Nikki B. said...

Tatman: thanks...it's appreciated, because this hill seems pretty hard to climb...and i've just begun!

Family: i ain't mad at him...he was just a squirrel trying to get a nut!

Rassles: i couldn't agree with you more, about the religion thing. i just think fear and guilt is not a good way to live. not for me anyway! oh, i also agree with the part about me being the shit!!

Mommy: Thanks...

Kameron: THANK YOU...it's my biggest beef with religion

Catherine: Glad it was what you needed in your life. i just think that's a lot of pressure for a kid...i understand (kinda) religion and it's a lot of pressure for me, as an adult....i can't imagine getting it as a kid. i didn't...all i knew was that my mom MADE me go to church and that if we didn't go, we'd die a fiery death.

Tina said...

Great Job Nicki.....

You are the parent and you don't need someone putting that pressure on your child. You know what is right for your child and BRAVO for standing up for what you believe in!

heidi said...

Just to, yk, play Devil's ADvocate (or is it God's advocate in this case?!) for a moment...

What are you afraid of, Nikki?

Yeah, sure, there are some bad apples at church. There are some real jerk-offs and peopel that automatically assume that since they "know God" they're better than you. WHatever. God will deal with them in His time. And, yeah, there are people who will judge you and make claims on you. But how is that any different than the rest of the world? Some homeshoolers look down on us public schoolers and judge us. They think they're better simply because they homeschool. People that are more green than others. Organic, wholesome, peace loving, liveral, conservative, gay parade walkin', completely heathenistic people judge and think their way is better than yours. It's the way of the world. You just did it in your post, too.

So the boy goes to church. And wins some crap. And has a good time. Maybe he learns something that will help him make a better informed decision when he's OLDER and is capable of making that decision..maybe he doesn't.

You get to still teach him at home. You get to still guide him and instruct him.

No harm no foul, right?

Poop. B is SCREAMIN' ...we can do this in email iff'n you want. If not, well, psh. Whatever. ;-)

Carebear said...

Oh yeah, this post is sure to upset Mother. Uh oh. I never want to offend people by sharing my personal beliefs, but I can't help but ask from a believer's perspective, who are we to question at what age God can begin working in our hearts? Perhaps your little man loves Christ in a way that we cannot understand or fathom. While I commend you for the "MORALS, and GOOD THINGS, and the STRONG FOUNDATION" you are giving him at home, if his heart is actually calling him to Christ and there is even the smallest chance its more than just the donuts, I beg you to let him explore his "positive volition". My family was not religious, but my single mom sent us kids to Sunday school and youth group every week just to get the free daycare. She never imagined that the faith would "take" but it is the single greatest gift she ever gave us...

Okay, wow, I really just came over to say THANKS for daring Tim into that hula hoop vlog - effing hilarious and I LOVED it!!! Please don't take my previous comments as a lecture or me trying to push my beliefs on you. I just wanted to share my own lifelong postive experience with church, as well as stand up for the God I love. Thanks!