Sunday, June 13, 2010

I might be a Presbyterian

Yesterday we packed up our car, enjoyed one last breakfast party at Bob Evans, and drove all.the.way across the rolling tree-laden countryside of Pennsylvania to stop for a couple nights with the Captain's brother and sister-in-law in their new home.

This morning we went to church with them.

I love my own church, but I also love any service in which the message seems tailor-fitted to things I have been mulling in my own mind. I love the way God orchestrates us to be ready for some truths and challenges, while he also moves other people to share those truths and challenges with us at the proper time. This morning was one of those times.

The Children's Sermon portion of the service

As my children grow, I have a growing sense of my responsibility to train them in the way of Jesus. Yes, they have the freedom to choose truth for themselves at the time they are ready. One of my children has already done so. But my job as a parent is to disciple them in what that faith in Jesus really means and requires of them.

At the end of the church service this morning, a man got up and shared his vision for teaching the Westminster Catechism to the children. He never knew the points of the confession of faith as a child; and he thought maybe if he had been taught them early on, he may have had more answers at critical moments of his life.

I grew up (and still continue today) in a less formal church tradition, in which children are taught stories straight from the Bible, along with some basic character and topical lessons. The idea of treating a catechism as the structure for a child's belief has always seemed foreign to me. Yet lately I have been impressed that I need some kind of structure to help my children frame the points of our faith.

Truly, the Bible is our authoritative text, above anything the church leaders of generations past may have interpreted. However, that does not automatically invalidate the truth of the points of the confession.

And so, by reason of this earnest plea for the importance of giving our children words and points to support the reasons for our faith, I was moved to commit to teaching the Westminster Confession to my own children. 150 points of our faith, phrased in words appropriate for children to understand.

I'm not ready to leave my church, but my time this morning in a little Presbyterian church has rewarded me with some ideas about how to fulfill my responsibility to disciple my children in the truths of the Bible.

1 comment:

  1. which one are you using? i'm intrigued by this too. we live in a largely (90%) LDS community in which they teach catechismically as well. i'd like to be able to correctly counter with our own teachings in a formal manner.


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