I heard a great sermon yesterday entitled, “How Not To Raise A Pagan” It was preached by Al Mohler at Southeastern Seminary. It can be accessed here. It was a great sermon from Deuteronomy 6. In this sermon he talked about how we teach our children about the culturally correct, socially acceptable God. We use the Bible like a greeting card, dispensing advice in fragments when trouble strikes. He then made this statement, “Do your children know that God kills people?” Wow. It is a provoking question. My wife and I had a discussion yesterday afternoon about that idea. Here’s the dilemma, how do we teach the children they are sinners without harming their image of themselves?
The answer we came to was to simply teach them about who God is. Teach them the truth about the character of God. Too often we fail to understand the level of grace in the Law of God. He knows what is best for us, He knows what will make life go the best for us, and He gave us that in the Law. As parents we know the rules for our children are designed for their good. They don’t see them that way. To the child it looks like we’re trying to take away their fun. As adults, we know better. Isn’t it the same with God though? He knows what is best for us as humans and He has standards for us. Since we aren’t as smart as God, we don’t fully understand why and how these Laws are always for our good. We are more like the rebellious child than the wise parent. But God is gracious in telling us how we should live.
Yes, God kills people. We must be diligent to teach our little ones the truth about God. We cannot simply share the story of Noah and talk only about the elephants and tigers. We must tell them why there was a flood…God was destroying all creation. We cannot tell them of Daniel in the lion’s den if we don’t tell them about the Israelites in Babylon for their disobedience. We cannot tell them about Baby Jesus in the Manger without telling them He had to come to redeem sinful humanity. Yes, God kills people. But God is a God of grace in the midst of that.