I’m headed to church tonight, you dirty infidels, so let’s call this a preemptive strike. I apologize in advance for starting your weekend with this horseshit, but by the end of this, I think you’ll agree with me, that this needed knocking down.
So, before I go sit my godless ass in a pew under bloody corpses in various stages of a torturous death penalty, I’m gonna smack a bitch. A bitch that says we must tell our kids they’re sinners.
Yes, ya heard me, Mr. Jeeby-lovin’ Mike McGarry, thinks you should tell your kids that they are flawed and broken. In what turns out to be a horrific story, McScary tells us about a time his son was feeling a whole load of guilt over accidentally hurting his little sister. The obviously young child had his head buried in his pillow, crying with guilt, and Daddy McDouchecanoe decided to handle it like this:
In that moment, and in moments like it, I reminded my son that he’s a sinner.
He told his guilt-ridden son, in no uncertain terms, that he was broken, and that his behaviour was because he was broken and there was, more or less, nothing he could do about it.
It’s akin to saying, “Yes, you hurt your sister, but because you were born broken, it’s normal. There’s really nothing you can do about it because we’re all sinners.”
Suddenly, the fog is clearing and it’s becoming plain as day how so many religious people grow up to be hateful assholes and some of them dangerous hateful assholes. Somewhere along the line, they had a Daddy McPewSniffer tell them that there is no need to try and better yourself because your natural state is that of a goddamned sinner, no holy.
“Oops, I hurt my sister!”
“No biggie, you were born broken.”
“Oops, I killed the cat.”
“As is expected, sinner.”
“Oops, I shot a bunch of people in a firey rage.”
Hey, as long Junior McFuckKnocker remembers to repent before he dies, he’ll get to spend eternity in paradise playing Parcheesi with kid-fucking priests and canasta with all those serial killers who were doing god’s work. So what if he takes out a couple hundo in a school shooting before that? He’s just sinning like Daddy said he would.
If I refuse to tell my kids they’re sinners, I’m forfeiting a chance to communicate gospel grace.
Toss with what McChristmas just said, and you have a delicious, nutritious, word salad. What the fuck is “gospel grace”? Does it stain? Can we mount it on the wall like a trophy? Do we need tickets to lay our eyes on it? Can I fit it in the trunk of my 2008 Dodge Caliber? What if my son’s baseball gear is in there?
When we don’t teach our kids about sin, we are actually making it difficult for them to become Christians. Without knowledge of their guilt, there can be no confession of sin or profession of faith. But when we teach our kids about their sinful nature, they’re more prepared to prayerfully turn to God for strength and help to resist temptation.
Their guilt. Their guilt. Is it any wonder so many Christians are miserable and angry when they start out life guilty; when, as children, they’re treated like they’re born criminals? They are told they ought to have guilt; ought to feel guilt. They are told their nature is to do wrong, and then their parents are shocked and confused when their kids do, in fact, do wrong.
“Son, you’re a sinner.”
“Wait, why are you sinning?”
“You told me I was a sinner, Dad.”
You’re a sinner if you do, and you’re a sinner if you don’t, ain’t that right McJeeby? So, why bother bettering yourself if you’re a sinner no matter what?
we must prayerfully seek the courage and wisdom to speak gospel truth into their lives as God opens opportunities.
This will involve telling them they are sinners… this should be a basic cornerstone of gospel-centered parenting
No, Michael, I won’t tell my kids they’re sinners. They’re not broken and they have nothing to feel guilt for. They’re born as blank slates onto which we try our best to imprint our values. Sure, they will make mistakes along the way, but I will always tell them they have the ability to learn from them, and that those mistakes and errors in judgment are not things they can’t help – they can help making them next time, by learning from it. I will tell them that they can grow and learn and get better at things, so long as they put in the effort.
Under no circumstances would I ever tell them that at their very core, they are defective.
Tonight, I will go sit in one of your stuffy churches, breathing in the stale mothballs and trying not to catch eye contact with one of your dying, bloody Jeeby statues. I will tell my son when he asks why there are so many dead guys on the wall, that not only is your little cult obsessed with death so much that you decorate with it, but that you all believe yourselves to be broken. I will look him in his perfect, sparkling blue eyes and tell him, “but you’re not, little dude. You can be thankful that you are not broken, sweetie.” With a hand around his shoulder, I’ll pull him into a cuddle and say, “You’re perfect kiddo. Just the way you are.” I’ll tell him that because I believe that. I’ll tell him that because I believe in my son’s capacity to grow, learn and do good. I’ll tell him that because I don’t think he is defective.
Because that, Mr. McGarry, that is the cornerstone of good parenting.