Thursday, May 11, 2006

More on Randall Balmer

As I read through "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory", I have seen a lot of truth in his observations.

In the latest section I read, he is talking about a "Bible Camp" that he observes and his experiences as a child. I found his observations interesting as he was talking.

"This differed, I suspect, from the message that brought my parents into the evangelical fold. They heard about their sinfulness, yes, but the complementary element of the law is God's grace, which saves us in spite of ourselves. Therein, as Luther realized, lies true freedom and liberation -- not in the observance of tiresome moralistic schemes, but the celebration of deliverance from sin in Christ. In time, first-generation evangelical converts learn the canon of evangelical taboos, but only after their experience of grace. For their children, however, the sequence often is reversed. As an evangelical parent, if you are concerned (understandably) about the spiritual welfare of your children, you will establish guidelines for them so they will grow up in the faith, or, more accurately, grow up with all the trappings of godliness. Their "conversions" then become adolescent (or pre-adolescent) rites of passage, often accompanied by fabricated emotions in order to convince their peers, their parents and most important, themselves of their sincerity." (page 106)
As often joked, I resemble that remarked, although I may be third or fourth generation. Reading this, then, there is no surprise that many of those that I grew up with are living lives where their childhood faith influences them very little.

My challenge, then, are to show the aspect of Grace, not rules, to my son!

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