By Robert W. La Coste
In teaching a young adult class not long ago, I asked the simple question “Why are you a member of the church of Christ, why not some other church, give me some reasons.” A young girl with a sheepish grin on her face hesitantly remarked, “Well I was just raised in the church, it is all I know or have ever known.” That was hardly the answer I was looking for, and much to her embarrassment, that was not really the answer I think she intended to give.
But such is the case! Some children are not “brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). Instead they are “raised in the church,” with the saying meaning no more than coming to the building and looking at the ceiling until the preacher is, finished, for to them the church is the building, where they “cut their teeth on the pews.”
The children are hardly all to blame. They have in many cases seen the indifference, negligence, and spiritual ignorance of their “raisers” (?). Parents, yes, have brought their children to the various services of the church, but never have once stopped to tell their children what the church is, why they are going, and what they are to do in going there! Because of the spiritual ignorance of these parents, they produce naturally after their own kind; unless the child should create his own incentive and learn without parental guidance and spiritual teaching.
Many of these kinds of children are simply “raised in the church” because they know of no better way to express why they have been coming all these years.
What is going to happen to the church: twenty, thirty or even forty years from now if the only answer to why many are members now is “It is all I have ever known”? I cringe, every time I even think about it???
Parents – wake up; teach your children at home, and on the way to and coming back from services why they need to be faithful members of the Lord’s true church. Teach them what the church is all about, its work and mission and what their part is in the, body of Christ!
I hope it is a snowy day in July before I hear that “reason” from someone again. Have you heard it lately? Have you given it???
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XVI: 21, p. 2
March 30, 1972