Sunday, May 8, 2016

Are Godless Parents Better Than Christian Parents?

            Oh how some people passionately assault Christianity using any and every opportunity! In an op-ed piece authored by Tracy Moore and published online by Jezebel, albeit a year ago, Christianity was eagerly attacked.

            Deploying parenting as a premise, the author’s explicit assault was against God. She deployed the research data that godless homes nurture good children to explicitly assert the existence of morality independent of God and implicitly deny God’s existence.  

            Haven’t God and Christianity been constantly assaulted? So what’s new!

            Apart from the attack against God, this op-ed piece implies that Christian parents raise their children to be intolerant, racists and sexists, “Parents who raise their kids without religion are doing just fine, studies say, possibly even better. Overall, not believing in God seems to make people and their offspring more tolerant. Less racist. Less sexist. Enviro-friendly. And their kids care less about what's cool, which—say it with me—only makes them cooler.” (Emphasis Mine).  

            If my children fight against sins, for instance, if my children’s tirade against homosexual practice renders them as intolerant, then so be it. I prefer to be a proud parent of a child who fights against sins of all forms and sizes than not.

            But the Bible does not endorse racism or sexism. Certain passages in the Bible may insinuate racism or sexism, but, in essence, they are not. These verses could be clarified reasonably and adequately.

            Tracy’s op-ed piece creates a false dichotomy in parenting – godly and godless parenting – from within the context of morality. Since God exists necessarily, my argument to establish the false dichotomy presupposes God’s existence. (Proving God’s existence is beyond the scope of this article.)

            Men and women are created in the image of God. This does not effectively mean that only those who believe in the God of the Bible retain God’s image and the unbeliever does not retain God’s image. Even a godless man, a man who denies God’s existence, is created in the image of God. Whether the unbelieving man realizes or not, whether he accepts or not, he is indeed made in the image of God.

            Within the context of morality, man, who is created in the image of God, is innately inclined to do that which is good, because God is good. (Although evil exists in this world, our world is predominantly good.)

            A man, who rejects God’s existence, since he is made in God’s image, will innately do good. Therefore, since God’s image is firmly implanted in man – in both the believing and the unbelieving man – “Godless parenting” is an incorrect notion.

            Tracy Moore, in her op-ed piece, implies the failure of Christian parenting. This is not a ridiculous notion, for if we understand Tracy Moore’s argument from within the Christian perspective, we would partly agree with her. Allow me to elaborate.

            Because man sinned against God in the Garden of Eden, he cannot be perfect in doing good.  While a Christian’s innate inclination is to do good, he could sin because of Satan, who tempts him to sin.

            Satan has more reasons to attack a Christian than a non-Christian (cf. 1 Peter 5: 8-9). A non-Christian is already alienated from God, so Satan need not have any significant interest in attacking this man, unless this man could be an agent of greater evil e.g. Hitler, Stalin etc.

            Satan takes pleasure in attacking Christians who love the Lord dearly, who strive for righteousness, and who promote the rule of God on earth as it is in heaven (cf. Job 1:6-12; 2:3-6). Because the Apostle Paul served the Lord Jesus diligently with all his life, he was known by Satan and his entourage (Acts 19:15).

            Christian families are often a victim of Satan’s assault. This notion is not inconsistent with the Bible, “From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” (Luke 12: 52-53, NIV).

            However, this assault of Satan against Christian families need not be permanent, for Christian families would overcome Satan’s ploys by the power of God over a period of time. This is precisely the reason why we could partly agree with Tracy Moore that Christian parenting could fail.

            We partly agree with Tracy because Tracy spoke from an atheistic perspective, whereas we speak from a strictly conservative perspective of Historic Christianity.

            Christians could err. Christian parents could err. This is an acceptable existential reality.

            Christians are not an embodiment of perfection. While we march towards Christlikeness in our life, let us remember that we will only be perfect when we meet God face to face in heaven. While we live our life in this side of heaven, a genuine Christian strives to live a godly life. In other words, he will strive for perfection in all facets of his life.

            Why do Christians strive for moral perfection? To harmonize with God, says C.S Lewis in his discussion on Christian behavior, “People often think of Christian morality as a kind of bargain in which God says, ‘If you keep a lot of rules I’ll reward you, and if you don’t I’ll do the other thing.’ I don’t think that is the best way of looking at it. I’d much rather say that every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow-creatures, and with itself. To be the one kind of creature is heaven; that is, it is joy and peace and knowledge and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other.”

            Christians’ striving for moral perfection is a derivative of their remaining in Christ. When we desire to live right, God enables us to live right. When we strive to live right, God’s abundant blessings are always upon us – the greatest blessing of which is to live in harmony with God.

            Herein lies the distinct advantage for a Christian home over a non-Christian home. Irrespective of our parenting techniques, we enjoy, very minimally, two inherent advantages by virtue of our faith in Christ.

            First, even though we could err, God will be with us during our time of pain and suffering. He will transform our situation and heal the brokenness of our heart and that of our family. All we need to do is to remain in Christ, strive to do that which is right, and wait on God with faith, hope and patience. Time is not the criteria when it comes to fixing brokenness, but God will help us in our moments of pain and suffering. This is certain.

            Last but not the least; a Christian’s eternity is secure. When it is time for us to pass on from this world, we are sure to inherit a blissful heavenly dwelling with God, HIS angels and all those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.


Tracy Moore’s op-ed piece can be accessed at

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