Apologeet.nlAre They Shaming and Naming Your Kids?
In the last video I talked about how you should not raise your kids, and hopefully it helped you to be more conscience about the importance of your role as a parent. Now, there is another thing I would like to discuss. I came to realise that one of the biggest weapons of Satan is that one of shaming and naming.
As an adult, I have heard my fair share of shaming and naming. I kind of got used to it. Years ago I was invited by a school to talk about Evolution and Creation. That was great fun! I recorded it and put it online. Within a few days my inbox received an avalanche of hate mail. I think I received 1700 messages in just a few days.
There were those who threatened me, those who cursed me, those who made memes about me etc. You name it and I received it… Yes, even death threats. I even received angry messages from Christians! Just a few messages were encouraging. Some Christians said that they would pray for me.
I wasn’t shocked too much, although, I was impressed how fast things can go viral. Overall, I think that adult Christians should be able to shrug their shoulders, and look up to the Lord for confirmation. But, I also realise that this can be very hard when one’s personality is more leaning towards the emotional side. I do not say that you’re dumb when you feel uncomfortable with this kind of attacks. What I do say though, is that when one is firmly rooted in Christ, he or she should be able to take some blows.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Children and Peers
But how different it is when you’re a young child or even teenager. God blessed us with five children, of which three are in their teens. Even though they are pretty secure in their faith, they still struggle when it comes to nasty remarks or peer pressure.
Mostly, they come to us with their questions or to receive confirmation. That is the big bonus when you are able to home-school your kids. They learn early on, that they do not have to depend on peers or teachers for their identity. No, they can mirror themselves with us.
My son, hear the instruction of thy father, And forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, And chains about thy neck.
This is often the opposite when children go to school. There, they look at other kids of their age. What is this or that kid doing? How do they behave? What do they think? I think there is no need to explain that these role-models are a bit sketchy, to say it at least. I mean, how could a child of 13 be the role-model of another child. The child needs to learn a lot of lessons first before it can function as a good role-model.
If thou seekest her [wisdom] as silver, And searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, And find the knowledge of God.
But, even if a child looks up to a teacher, it doesn’t mean they are safe. Sure, there are teachers who really love their job and want to try to get the best out of your child. There was a time I believed that all teachers are like that. I actually thought that those few teachers who pulled me down with their words were exceptions. Sadly enough, I have to admit that I have been naive on that issue.
There are teachers out there who I would call mercenaries. They are being paid to do their jobs. I know this sounds harsh, but I can’t put it any other way. They seem to care only about how to survive another day with those pesky teenagers. And they seem to find joy in bullying some of them. This kind of people will quickly find out the weak spots of the children in their classes. When I look back at my school going years, I can precisely name some of these teachers. They didn’t like the fact that I wasn’t like the rest of the group. I had different ideas, I didn’t respond the same as the others did, I didn’t give the expected answers, I questioned some ideas… All good ingredients for some old fashion shaming and naming.
Jesus warned for false prophets.
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
I hate to say it but many Christian seem to be totally oblivious to this text. They seem to think that prophets only walk around in and around religious activities. They forget that a false prophet can easily be disguised as a teacher who mostly want to mould their students into their own world-view.
Shaming can have a very negative effect on children. It is almost always very emotional laden, and guess what? Children are easily impressed by emotional statements. We, as parents, need to be aware of this, and we need to help our children to arm themselves against this behaviour of others.
But to prepare your children, you need to know about the thing they are going to hear. I am going to combine most of the shaming in three categories. I know that shaming comes in many forms but most of them boil down to the same general idea. Let’s look at these three things our children are likely to encounter.
Number 1: Studies have Shown that Christians are more Gullible than Un-believers!
In other words: Are you a Christian? Really? You do know that it has been proven that Christians are less intelligent than others right?
And sure enough, I searched with DuckDuckGo with the phrase “religious people are not smart,” and the very first hit gave me an article named: Why Are Religious People (Generally) Less Intelligent?
Many sceptics, atheists and the like know about these studies, and they gladly use them as ammo for their attacks. However, even though there are studies to be found who indeed claim this statement, there is much more to say about these studies. I will not go into detail but let me direct you to the work of Christian apologist Mrs Natasha Crain. Mrs Grain say this:i
I have an MBA in marketing and statistics and have taught university-level market research, so I’m a professional numbers geek — a numbers geek who dug into all these research studies to find out what they really say. Today I want to set the record straight.
Her research actually demonstrated that of the 63 studies:
- 35 showed a significant negative relationship between intelligence and religiousness (the more intelligent a person, the less likely to be religious).
- 2 showed a significant positive relationship between intelligence and religiousness (the more intelligent a person, the more likely to be religious).
- 26 showed no significant relationship between intelligence and religiousness.
Before you say: “You see! 35 studies demonstrate the point!”, I would like to suggest reading the article as a whole. Bottom line is that there is no sensible ground to paint the picture that Christians are less intelligent than atheists. Anyone who wants to make you believe otherwise is just sherry picking the results.
What to do?
Teach you child about the truths of Christianity! Show your child which world-view depicts reality better. It doesn’t matter if the so-called intelligent people believe in a materialistic and naturalistic world-view. Them, believing something to be true doesn’t automatically make it so! Many unbelievers have to go through some very interesting intellectual gymnastics to hold their position.
Yes, this requires you to study the word of God, to be aware of the things that are going on outside your own house. It requires you to sit down together with your child and maybe read through the article I just gave. Go through history and show them that there were, and still are, many God-fearing people among the scientists.
Teach them that the right stuff is not depending on how many intellectuals believe it is right. Many smart scientists believe that abortion is a good alternative. Just because they say it is right, doesn’t make it right. The same with a world-view. A world-view needs to be sound, and it needs to give a precise picture of reality. It doesn’t matter how many smart people believe in the Christian world-view.
Number 2: You Believe it Because You have been Told to Believe it!
There you go! You just say this because you are being indoctrinated by you parents! You are probably afraid to say something else than your parents. It is like believing in Santa Claus! One day you’ll discover that they have been lying to you all this time. You should think for yourself! Try and read some real scientific books, and you’ll find out how dumb your position as a Christian is!
Let’s see what the word ‘indoctrination’ means. The Cambridge Dictionaryii says the following:
To often repeat an idea or belief to someone until they accept it without criticism or question…
Honestly, I haven’t met many Christians who raise their children in a way that questions aren’t allowed. Actually, quite the opposite! I have met more Christians who themselves question and criticise Christianity. They often disagree with things about marriage, homosexuality and the idea that Christ is the only way. All these things, they say, are to be read with the ancient times in mind.
However, I am sure that there are Christians who teach their children just to swallow whatever the pastor or the father of the house says. No questions permitted! In that case, we could say the same about unbelievers of course. Indoctrination is not the domain of religion. I know atheists who can be really sharp when children say something out of the box. They pride themselves in the idea that they are rational and only follow the evidence where it leads… Except, when that evidence leads to the Bible.
To say that a child has been indoctrinated is just a hollow phrase. The person who says so can not know whether this is true or not. To know whether Christians do this, the critic has to investigate this first hand. And I promise you this: Most of them are not willing to really investigate the situation. No, they just like to utter this nonsensical accusation.
What to do?
So, how are we going to arm our children against this attack? Very simple, just don’t indoctrinate them but teach them about other religions and ideas as well. No, you do not have to tell them that all the others are true as well because that would be the equivalent of intellectual suicide. But discussing atheism, Buddhism, Islam and all the others, can be very refreshing when you compare them to Christianity. Let your child discover the truths about Christianity. Teach them that their faith should be theirs and not yours! Teach them that prayer is something personal between them and their Father in heaven.
And again, I cannot stretch this far enough! Be an example. Show them your personal walk with Jesus! Be real!
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Number 3: If you Used your Brains, you Would have Agreed that Christianity is Dumb
In other words: Why do you choose to be so gullible? People who really think critically do not believe in fairytales like you faith.
You might have heard people say that they are joining the ‘Brights’. The Brights movement is a social movement whose members refer to themselves as ‘Brights’, and have a world-view of philosophical naturalism. Their famous incantation can be summarised in two words: Critical thinking. As bright as these people may be—Yes, I do believe there are intelligent people among them—it seems that they always adopt the idea that if you start thinking critically, you always end up agreeing with their ideas and conclusions. In other words: If you believe in a supernatural being, you are not thinking clearly. If you logically follow the evidence, they say, you will have to dismiss the existence of God.
Sadly, even though they apparently have some good working brains, the can never be wise in a Godly way.
The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.
Both Christians and atheists mostly refuse to believe without evidence. This begs the question of what can be seen as evidence. And again, both the Christian and the atheist will defence their own position as they both believe they have sufficient evidence. You see where I am going with this? Right! Nowhere. These discussions are quite often useless because we all have the same evidence, but the interpretation of the evidence is different. I wouldn’t spend my time discussing who is the real critical thinker. Both parties have people who are not really using their brains, and both parties have very knowledgeable people on board.
What to do?
Help your child to see through the smoke screen of the argument. Unravel the argument. Show them that the idea has some strange assumptions.
- A Critical thinker forms his or her beliefs on foundation of evidence.
- God cannot be proven, there is no evidence for His existence.
- If you believe in the existence of God, you’re clearly not thinking critically.
If you strip these kinds of attacks from their façade, you’ll quickly find out that they are mostly based on presuppositions that are nothing more than that: Assumptions! In this case the assumption seems to be that Christian belief even though they know there is no evidence.
The next step should be discussing how the different words are being used by different people. For example, when I tell you that I am gay, you might assume that I just admitted to be a homosexual. However, I actually wanted to say that I am happy as can be. That was the original meaning of the word, and it still has that meaning. So, when someone talks about ‘evidence’, what does this person actually mean? Is evidence pure naturalistic? Is it something you need to be able to touch, smell, see or hear? Or can it also be indirect evidence like the wonderful creation around us?
We need to tear down their arguments.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (AMP)
The weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood]. Our weapons are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ.
It will be helpful to teach your child about logical fallacies. We have read the book called ‘Fallacy Detective.’ It was great fun to go through all these fallacies and to trigger the children to think hard about the examples. I’ll place a link to the Fallacy Detective websiteiii in the description of this video.
And finally, do I really need to say it again? Yes! I believe I do. Teach you child the nitty-gritty of Christianity. Make it a fun thing too! Don’t just read a bit of the Bible and leave the rest to the youth pastor! No, read a bit. Discuss it. Try to find some extra information about the part you’ve just read. Don’t avoid the difficult parts. Tackle them head-on and do shy away from admitting that you to have trouble to understand certain things. Of course that means that you will have to do some homework yourself as well. But isn’t that worthwhile? You are in the unique situation that you can help your child on his or her way to the Father in heaven… Don’t take that responsibility too lightly.
So, these where my three main point I wanted to discuss with you. Please do not hesitate to mention more of these shaming tactics in the comment section below!
Let me quote myself from the last video:
We all want to raise our children to become strong followers of Christ. You did not receive children to see them do well in the world but become lost for eternity! My wife once said that she wasn’t planning on raising our children to become ready for hell.
Kent hovind used to make a joke. I think it was in his first seminar from before 1998, where he said:
[…] everybody is good for something. Even the worst of you could serve as bad examples if nothing else.
And although he was joking, it seems that many do not understand the implications of really being a bad example. Don’t fall in that trap of thinking to lightly about the importance of raising your children! Show them both how to live and how to think as a Christian.
Again, let me know your thoughts in the comments of the video below. Remember! I am mostly active on my Odysee channel. You’ll find a link to that channel in the description of this video.
I very much appreciate your prayers and support! Please take a look in the description of this video to find out how you can help me. Also, I’ll place a link there to both the Dutch and English transcripts of this video.
God bless you, thank you for watching, and we see each other in the next video!
i Natasha Crain, Are Christians Less Intelligent than Atheists? Here’s What All Those Studies Really Say, [internet] https://www.namb.net/apologetics/resource/are-christians-less-intelligent-than-atheists-heres-what-all-those-studies-really-say, published 22-01-2018, accessed 18-07-2022.
ii Cambridge Dictionary, Indoctrinate, [internet] https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/indoctrinate, Cambridge University Press 2022, accessed19-07-2022.
iii Nathaniel Bluedorn and Hans Bluedorn, Fallacy Detective, [internet] http://www.fallacydetective.com/, 2022, accessed 19-07-2022.