Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Daughter the Broad Evangelical

My daughter's name is Genesis Grace. She is three years old, and judging from her own statements and actions I would say she is not a regenerate child of God. It isn't that I'm getting down on my daughter; we're all born this way. She is behaving as any unregenerate self-loving sinner should be expected to act.

Her mother and I have been strict disciplinarians, and we have trained her to not do certain things out of fear of punishment. This includes being defiant towards us and hurting/stealing from her 9 month old little brother, Amos. Recently, however, my wife and I realized that there was a major hole in the discipline she was receiving, because we had not, up to this point, made God a factor in her discipline.

So, seeking to consistently parent her with a healthy respect for God and what He thought about her actions I decided to explain to her, "You know, when you're bad and defiant towards us, we spank you. But the really important part is that when you disobey us you're disobeying God. And it's wrong to disobey God, because you're supposed to love God. He deserves our love, doesn't He?"

Her response was thoroughly practical and modern: "Yeah, He does. But I just don't like it when you spank me."

This got me thinking that much of the modern church has people living for God because they're afraid of going to Hell. But how many people pursue sanctification out of a sense of love for God? The motivations have been reversed from what they ought to be. Instead of repenting and living the Christian life out of a love for the Divine, many evangelicals live without security out of a sense of self-preservation.

Now, my daughter lives out of a fear of temporal punishment, but it isn't a stretch to reflect that once she understands the doctrine of Hell, she'll also live out of a fear of eternal punishment. She can still do both of these things without being regenerate. Anyone can live out of a sense of fear; it takes a new heart for us to obey God out of a sense of love.

Pray for my daughter's salvation. Pray for the Church.

1 comment:

  1. Adam- Thanks for this honest post on Father's Day!
    Yes, I will pray for precious Genesis Grace. I love her honesty and the way she seems to be taking things in!
    Praying for salvation (a new heart)and a love for God for her. Praying for more love to Christ for us as members of a local church and love in the universal church.


Before posting please read our Comment Policy here.

Think hard about this: the world is watching!