Friday, April 20, 2007

Salvation for Children?

It has greatly saddened, worried, and frustrated me to find recently that several well known educators do not believe that children can be truly saved before the age of accountability. This implies that before the age of accountability, children can not be held accountable for their sins. This also implies that children can not enter into the blessings of God if they can not obtain salvation. By extension, because children can not obtain salvation, they can not have spiritual gifts.
First, what is the age of accountability? One professor believes that age is about thirty years of age. Are you kidding me? I have read others who believe it is the age of twenty based on Numbers 14. Still others feel the age of accountability is at conception based on Psalm 51:5. Psalm 58 and Romans 5: 12-14. There is such discrepancy among Christians over what the age of accountability is, how in the world can we hold to the belief that children can not have salvation?
Second, seeing how Jesus interacted with children, leads me to believe that children can enter into God's blessings through salvation. In Matthew, Jesus refers to faith of children several times (Mt. 18, Mt. 19, Mt. 21).
Third, anyone that has children of their own has witness to their unadulterated faith! My son, though only six years of age, states without any doubt that Jesus is in his heart. Not only is he sure of his salvation, he knows exactly when his moment of salvation took place. Who are we to judge this faith? Shame on us who would cause a child to stumble because of our own agenda's whatever they may be!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Too Much Knowledge?

How much do we really need to know in current events? As ministers for Christ, do we need to keep abreast of all the current tragedies as they unfold in our country and world? In light of the terrible events at Virginia Tech on April 16th, I am wondering how much is too much knowledge? I have had to take the news off my Google homepage because the travesties that occur to children give me sleepless nights. I start worrying incessantly about my own children and their safety and well being. So how much is too much?
In John 17 when Jesus prays for his disciples, he prays not they would be taken from the world but that they would be sanctified by the truth of God's word. To sanctify is to set apart. If we are set aside by the truth of God's word, why would we fill ourselves with news of destruction and despair?
In Philippians 4, the Apostle Paul exhorts us to think on those things which are true, honest, right, pure, lovely and admirable. If we think of these things, then the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds. Does this mean that we should not watch the news then? Most news reports are not pure, lovely and admirable for sure. They may have truth and honesty. But do these reports of tragedy give us peace? I think not!
So then, I am caught in a quandary. Do I keep up on events so that I can be informed and thus help those I minster to try to understand tragic events? Or do I choose to think on only those things that are pure, lovely and admirable and shut out the news?
I would like to shut out the news. Much sadness, sleepless nights, and worry has been on my mind because of news reports. But if we are not up to date, how can we effectively minister?