Saturday, June 22, 2013

March 30, 2013- "It's for the Kids"

Today, I am wearing a sling. I have somehow injured my right shoulder. A few days ago was the 1st day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread as well.  We are celebrating God's festivals now. It has been interesting since we haven't really done these in earnest that we are learning. That first day was a high Shabbat, in it we are not to do any work except food preparation. That worked out nicely. Since my shoulder has been injured, I have not been able to do the daily work I normally do, so Scott and the girls have been doing my work and theirs as well. They are not used to my work, so I often have to remind them. I hate doing that, and I think they hate it too!
Perhaps hate is too strong. No one likes being told what to do.
Throughout scripture, the Children of Israel are told how to worship YHWH and not to worship anyone else, nor worship Him the ways other gods are worshiped. He gave instructions in the Garden of Eden to take off the seventh day of the week to rest as He had done in creation. He also told our first parents what thing not to do. In the New Testament, Yeshua tells us how to worship and how to love. Throughout the Bible He's talking to adults. Yet in our society, we have this mentality that there are things that are only for children's benefit and when we become adults, we can decide for ourselves if we want to follow the Lord's Word or not. We give advice to the children, we say certain things aren't appropriate to children but somehow the same things become appropriate to us as adults...we shield children from sin then when they begin to look like adults we expect them to suddenly make adult decisions and allow them to dress, talk, listen to, watch, read anything the world has to offer. This should not be so.
Yeshua said that anyone who causes a "little one" to stumble, it would be better for him if he had a millstone tied around his neck and be cast into the sea (see Matt. 18:6, Mark 9: 42, and Luke 17:2). That's pretty serious! He's saying that anyone who leads or causes a child to go astray would be better off drowning!
Mill stone

Here is Matthew 18:6 in different versions:
"If anyone causes one of these little ones--those who believe in me--to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. (NIV)
But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea. (NLT)
but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. (ESV)
but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. (NASB)
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. (KJV)
"But whoever causes the downfall of one of these little ones who believe in Me--it would be better for him if a heavy millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the sea! (Holman CSB)
I had the experience once of hearing one of my nephews tell his Great-Grandma that he was sorry that her daughter (his Grandma) had died. He was just matter of fact and unafraid. Only a few weeks before that he told his Grandma that it was OK that she was going to die and that God didn't hate her but that Jesus just wanted her to be with Him soon. He just told her it would be OK. He was so confident of the Lord's desire to have her at Home in Heaven with Him that he just treated it as if his Grandfather had asked him to go tell Nana to come into the kitchen! No one was shocked by his telling her this because that's the way children are! He was 5 at the time. I imagine that Yeshua would have chastised any of us adults if we had tried to explain away his faith or tried to make him feel bad about it.
Sadly, I have also seen parents train their children in wickedness deliberately. I once knew a woman who, in an effort to entertain her boyfriend and his friends, taught her boy of 3 or 4 to say curse words and in context. I have no idea what his life is like now as an adult, but I imagine Yeshua would be very displeased with this mother, possibly even to the extent that she would be better off to be cast into the sea with a millstone around her neck! Two vastly different little boys and their families....
What about something in between? What about something less harsh, that seems alright, but scripture tells us is still not OK? What about teaching a child to worship God in the way that pagan gods are worshiped or to worship pagan gods? What would be His response? I think it might be the same as the woman who was teaching her child to sin in his words. I recently watched a video about that very thing. Here is a link to it. It's not for the faint of heart or those who would not really search scripture.
I have heard it said by well meaning Christian adults that even though they knew certain things were wrong, they did it "for the kids." Consider Yeshua's words about causing little ones to go astray and millstones....