Christians are raising ideologues.
It would be rather convenient to assume that our children know why it’s reasonable to protect human life. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what many Christian parents do. They assume that teaching their children that a thing is wrong is thoroughgoing enough. Unfortunately, when it comes to ethics, Christians are raising ideologues.
Here’s a challenge.
Do a quick survey. Ask your child if they believe abortion is wrong. If you’ve done minimal Christian parenting, they’ll quickly reply “yes”.
As parents, we reserve the right to follow-up questions. Ask them “Why do you believe that abortion is wrong?”
They may say something like, “Abortion is wrong because it’s wrong to kill babies”. But, with that you’ve merely waded into the kiddie pool with them. In all honesty, they’ve only repeated their first answer. If that’s the extent of your argument, you’ve fallen victim to rationalism or ideology.
Christianity or Ideology?
Saying that killing people is wrong and knowing why it’s wrong are two different things. Ideologues are only interested in the that, and forcing that onto everyone. Christianity is not an ideology.
Considering the right to life positively may clarify it. Instead of asking why it’s wrong to take life, try asking why people have a right to their life.
To continue, ask your child if we have a responsibility to protect human life. If they answer “yes”, the next question ought to be “how far does that responsibility extend”?
Searching for answers…
I’ve teased you with potential quizzes for your children, but you may be doing a little soul-searching of your own. Have you developed answers to these questions? If not, you ought to begin. Can your children trust you to help them? Or, are you training ideologues who will continue to polarize our society?
Ethical questions about life don’t have easy answers. You won’t find explicit commands in Scripture that resolve all questions regarding ethics. You must carefully examine God’s Word, invest in a healthy understanding of systematic theology, and learn logical arguments to be that kind of parent. Loving God with your mind is essential to knowing how to answer questions like these.
What kind of defender are you?
How well have you done at loving God with all of your mind? Are you content with letting other, more qualified people do the heavy lifting when it comes to these questions? Are you just too busy? Is the work too tedious? Are your communication skills lacking? Is your idea of being a godly parent mere sin avoidance?
Many Christians are more like Moses than Isaiah. Instead of “Here I am! Send me.” they often excuse themselves like the actual great emancipator. Moses said, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but oI am slow of speech and of tongue.”
Moses was probably a pretty intelligent man. He’d been raised as royalty in Egypt, the most advanced civilization in the world at the time. Furthermore, he witnessed miracles and heard the voice of God, audibly. Yet, he doubted.
Make no mistake. Moses’ doubt ultimately was not self-doubt. Although he seemed to be concerned about his ability, or lack thereof, those were mere excuses. His objections were justifications of a deeper doubt. Moses doubted God’s ability to use him, despite his apparent uselessness. He knew that God would set his people free. He didn’t trust the how.
Please excuse me. I’m about to be direct.
Are you inarticulate? Do you have difficulty communicating?
How’s your vocabulary? Do big words intimidate you?
What about your intellect? Are apologetics and ethical topics hard for you to grasp?
Are you satisfied with the that’s of Christian ethics? What is your excuse? Who are you doubting? When you doubt God, who does it harm? Is that divisive without the why?
Ultimately, just like with Moses, if we refuse to do God’s work he’ll find someone who will. Sure enough, you can be assured that passing the buck won’t stand in the way of God’s Kingdom.
But are we merely interested in giving an answer? Do we have a duty to bring peace?
Our society is critically polarized, especially on issues concerning life. God’s people have become a people of that! We need more why people, people interested in answers, not mere statements. Why people are peacemakers as well as truth tellers. We don’t need another ideologue.
Teach your children the that, abortion is murder because it’s wrong to kill babies. That makes a great political slogan. But teach them the why too. Why? Because it’s the way to peace. As Christians, our duty is to do both.
o [ch. 6:12; Jer. 1:6]
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version
Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.