Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Giving My Children a Choice to Believe: Will my children become blind followers

The question of indoctrination of children by way of religious upbringing has presented itself to me and struck a certain nerve. Mostly for the desire for clarity about this whole idea that a parent should give the children the choice to believe or not. Hopefully I can address this.

It is not a matter of belief. Belief in God is somewhat generic for many people and most of the people in this country do believe. It is religious practice that would inspire or give opportunity for authentic belief in a specific God. I have my children learn about God for the purpose that they receive teaching about morals, and about their purpose for living, and about who they are in this world. They currently learn that they are unique and special in the eyes of God, not just them but those around them that do not believe. They currently learn they have gifts which they need to discover. Those gifts are for serving others, including enemies. They currently learn to be humble, to avoid anger, and to pray for all people. The most important thing they learn is that God is the one who created them and that is why they they are special.

I don't think it is this teaching that people are against, it is the authority by which it is taught, God. One may say you can teach these things without God's authority and you can but all men and women have fallen short of these teachings and values. That is why God provides us an example in Christ and one that is without shortcomings. That is why it is authoritative. That is the reasoning. If one does not believe in God than of course they will have to find some authority on which to teach and it can be done but the foundation is shaky at its core.

So it is the authority of God and the existence of God as a concept, that is indoctrinating children into 'Blind Followers', not necessarily the tenets of the faith, which by no measure can be found disagreeable (besides political issues like abortion and homosexuality). I speak of the important laws of Christ about serving and loving others. This is what is taught to children. It is difficult to understand how the persons personal belief in the existence of a God, separate from there values that are agreeable, can be disagreeable. That belief can only affect the atheist in a positive way if the believer is authentic (as a human relationship). Most Christians are not out proselytizing to their atheist friends but simply interacting. What is so disagreeable.

I respect the Jew, the Buddhist, and the Muslim who abdicates his own moral authority to something greater than he. He recognizes he has little according to his own record. This requires humility which is not a natural strength, to grant the authority to God. I am a believer in the Christ and believe He is the way but deeply respect those who humbly seek a guild for their children for them to become descent people. This is honorable and can almost be separated for the belief issue. The belief in God, however the Atheist thinks about it and whatever they find offensive in with the message of salvation, they must recognize that the belief in Heaven and the teachings of Christ precludes a heart that has harmful intentions. It produces only goodness and hope in all ways toward the Atheist. If this were not so, the man or woman is not a true believer (Not as if the heart of a christian is flawless and perfect but if it were not for Christ in there that heart would be less along the way toward this perfection).

There is a void that is found in all people and that is the longing for eternal happiness or love.
In this world it has been shown to be somewhat of an illusion that takes constant work and persistence. The evidence is in how many love songs are written and how many of the love song writers have followed through with their promise and hope for true love. Others put this hope in careers or passions or hobbies or education, which I think is a good thing but it will always fall short in filling that yearning. The yearning and hope is filled in the hearts of a true believer and only God knows who these folks are of.

The first question of whether my children are blind followers and are indoctrinated is answered by how they act in this world. The second question of giving them a choice is answered by looking at them experiencing both the secular world, which they must live in, and the spiritual and religious world that I have opened the door to. When they get older they will be able to make a objective choice seeing both sides. Some children never ever get to see inside that door. They sadly look through the foggy windows from the outside world or they ask a passerby.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The value in a plant

Many people have their own favorite plants and style of gardening. The reason one person appreciates one particular plant versus another is complex and simple, if that's possible.

You can take any genus of plant or group of similar looking/growing plants. Most have several hundred varieties within one species. The Genus Rosa or Rose has over 100 species giving us 1000's of different roses. The same applies to many other groups of flowers and trees. It is amazing that there could arise 100's of different types of red rose, each looking unique and beautiful. It is more amazing and telling that for every rose or plant out there, it is probably somebody's favorite. God and nature and the creative drive in man give us variety of beauty to fill the complex and diverse variety of taste, style, and eye for beauty that all of us have.

So there is purpose in that there is not a developed and discovered rose or other flower that isn't somebody's favorite. In the same way there is purpose in that one rose will not satisfy all. For one, to continue pushing man to be creative in making more, and for two showing us if we see it, that like a rose, we are all unique and we appreciate beauty individually and in a unique way.

Where there is beauty there is also ugliness or another word would be disease. Just as we suffer disease, plants carry and transmit diseases that are deadly. I wouldn't use the word suffer however but it is another reminder of how we are. The most beautiful plant can fall to any number of diseases. Some tougher than others. I think it is something to think about that many times the most beautiful plants are in fact the most sensitive to harmful diseases. Where some of the most boring looking plants can survive in what we would consider dreadful conditions. Why?

I think for two reasons. One, we value what we see is beautiful. There are few things in this life that have value to us, that will be protected and secure without care and nurturing of it (family, friends, etc.) Just a micro metaphor of how God provides beautiful things for the garden that will become ugly without the proper care.

If you look at the entire character of the plant just as in a person there is value in that strong stable character of a pine. There is value in that unique beauty of a rose. You are trading one thing for another most of the time, especially with plants. The fact is even pines will fall to some disease or they will just fall on top of the house. The fact is some roses are resistant to the most prevalent diseases. I think these are the most valued plants objectively; those that are beautiful and strong. This is what we want but is it a bad thing for us to have to care and understand the things that are beautiful to us but. Luckily there will never be an indestructible plant; even if we wanted it, it would not be so great.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The christian hypocrite (older blog)

Category: Religion and Philosophy

I should write something here. Really quick. My point is that we are all hypocrite who stand for something higher than we are. For one Jesus is not someone we can come close to being like. We can try and God helps us, but we are still human inclined to sin. Just look at the sermon on the mount and it is basically a list of rules that could not possibly be achieved. The who point I think was that God wants us to realize that we cannot achieve this. That helps us realize we need Jesus sacrifice and need to be saved.

So There is no perfect christian not even Paul. Of course there are fake christians. God knows his kids. Even as christians we cannot achieve what we seek and so we are hypocrites. But think about something for a moment....

The only way to avoid ever being called a hypocrite is to stand for nothing.

Cinderella (older blog)

I listen to a lot of modern christian music. Some of it I don't like, especially the upbeat dance hippity hop type songs. But the songs that really tell you about real life at least the way I see my own life. Steven Curtis Chapman is a musician and he is very successful as Christian artist, very talented. I think he is a real christian, he loves people and his songs tell you that. He also has an adoption organization and he has adopted I think three children. He writes songs about his life and one song is about his five year old girl Maria. That song is Cinderella. This man loves his daughter and treasures the time with her in a way I can relate to. I think I shed a tear the first time I heard that song because I was thinking about my Naomi.

Then I here on the radio yesterday that Maria, the chapman daughter was hit by a car and is dead. I really feel for this man and his family. He is a man of faith and God has given him blessing and talents. God also takes away not just for him but everyone. Why. There is a reason. Either to bring people closer to God or closer to each other, or both. If there is a heaven, it is not a bad thing but it is so sad, because God does want blessings for us in this life.

He does not want pain for us. Sometimes I think he allows us to have pain because we need it to develop strength. Sometimes I think he allows us to have pain because we have strength and he wants us to strengthen others around us and ultimately bring people closer to God. I will pray for this man and his family because he has brought people close to through his music and know he will need to keep God close to him.

A tougher time (older blog)

I decided to learn spanish. Some of the guys at work speak both. The guy I work, adriane doesn’t speak a lick of english and so he will help. I am downloading spanish teachings on my ipod too. The other guys at work are totally going to help. The best part is my Nomo likes to learn so we can do it together. She is fascinated by the music.

Nomo and I both are doing well with lent. I haven’t had a even a coke and don’t plan on energy drinks anymore. I don’t see any difference in energy or work ability. Nomo is so good with her pledge. I accidentally offered her a cookie and she say’s, "dad too much sugar!" It is fun and I feel healthier.

I am starting to get back into working out a bit. Not like my obsessed days at the gym. Just sittups and push-ups. The girls get on my back to make it extra hard. I really don’t have a choice. Anyway I want to keep my back strong so a strong requires a strong stomach. Then right after the family work out we eat ice cream...balance.

Tomorrow is palm sunday and Nomo gets to wave that old palm branch down the isle and sing Hosannah in the Highest.

I want to write about the spring. The best time. The plants are moving and colors are coming. I want to learn the whole picture thing and trying to put pictures on here. Jap maples, etc...

I have been working for something for a long time. A man needs to build, create, live for something important or not. This is basic to all man. I am at a point where I cannot build. I cannot move where I am. It is brick with no mortor, a plant with no water, a beautiful home sitting on a pile of sand right next to the ocean. It is a bit futile to keep building when at best you are merely rienforcing an enexorably unstable foundation. I see things clearly. I cannot build anything where I am. I don’t know where I will be a year from now but I will not be staning in the sand or anywhere close. This is probably why I am finding menial ways of building myself up. They cannot compensate for what I wanted to build, nor for what I have never known for myself. Someday maybe.

God..(older blog)

What happens when your talking with someone and they say, "I understand I had a similar experience and this is how I felf." That is usually when a good friendship begins or connection with someone you feel knows you. Jesus is the only God in the history of the world that can truly say I understand. He was a man and understood what we need.

Just as a child needs discipline and punishment along with love and empathy. Every man/woman needs a God who like a father or mother, can provide both. He is closer than we know.

just some thoughts