Brush with Christianity

Christianity was born of rejection so I am never amazed at the American’s ability to put forth Christianity as a societal ill. It does amaze me sometimes how people unknowingly accept and preach biblical principals as something other than biblical. I’ve been told that we don’t need religion, our nation works fine without being religious, and that we just need a common set of life respecting rules. I usually then point out the 10 commandments and sometimes note that our legal system is based on Judeo/Christian law. I’ve recently run across a couple of more instances that I felt were of note.

In a recent comment on the Herald’s Join the Conversation regarding the Virginia Tech massacre I suggested that increased presence of religion on school campuses could provide hope and social inclusion for students thereby reducing these types of incidents. This was met with the usual religion is the problem comments, but there were also a bunch of comments that mentioned how early social acceptance might have helped. However those comments didn’t address that Christianity has a long history of acceptance and that a church is a social group.

The second thing that came up may not actually be a case of rejecting Christian values, but it is certainly not claiming Christianity as a source. My wife and I recently began attending a small group whose subject is effective parenting. It is a study with Chip Ingram put out by Walk Thru the Bible Ministries. It is obviously Christian and relies on scripture for it’s parenting model. After the first session on Friday night we walked away with a few of biblical principles:

  • Clearly focus on what you want for your child

…Bring them up with Christian teaching in Christian discipline.

Ephesians 6:4 (Phillips)

  • Don’t over correct your children

Fathers, don’t over correct you children or make it difficult for them to obey the commandment.

Ephesians 6:4 (Phillips)

  • Principle of Modeling or Practice what you Preach

And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch? The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master. (Luke 6:39-40)

Yesterday, I drove to Seattle before the crack of dawn. I was listening to a few radio stations that we don’t get this side of Mt. Vernon when I ran into All in the Mind, a show from ABC Radio National. It was Natasha Mitchell interviewing Jerome Kagan a world renowned author and Harvard psychologist about how to bring up your children. They discussed theories by several psychology big guns such as Lock, Bowlby and Skinner. They looked at temperament, brain chemistry, reactivity, attachment and several other topics. This was interesting because I’ve taken a few psych classes in college, we are foster parents, we are in the parenting small group, but mostly because we have kids. Near the end of the interview and after all the psychology geek speak Professor Kagan offered a few simple points he felt would garner success in raising children and allow parents to throw away their parenting books.

  • Try to be predictable with your baby
  • don’t be harsh in your treatment,
  • be a good role model, that is, display in your own behavior, the values that you would like your child to have.

It was a bit difficult to believe what I had just heard, but the radio station was coming in clear and I had Q-tipped sometime in the last few days. This world renowned author and psychologist had just cited biblical principles as the way to raise your child. The latest modern psychology had just brushed up against Christianity. Christ’s teaching predate even the earliest modern psychologists by some 1700 years, would this make Him the true father of modern psychology?