Thursday, October 18, 2007

Children are theological giants 

In the blue corner, we have an ordained United Methodist Deacon, holder of a Master of Religious Education and a Master of Sacred Music degree from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University.

In the red corner, we have a child with 2 months of Presbyterian kindergarten.

The outcome was a KO in the first round.

I listened as my wife had her theological butt kicked by our 5-year-old, Emily. It was not a surprising outcome. I really don't remember the issue. Julie tried to explain in nuanced terms with some background touchpoints. Emily struck hard and quick with "God made everything and everyone." She never let up and stayed on target. Julie tried some feeble "well, yes, but I was trying to explain that..." She never landed any punches and Emily just kept pounding on her with theological truths like "Jesus wants us to love everyone." Julie quickly conceded the fight with "Yes dear" and withdrew to her corner.

Adults should learn to never pick a theological argument with children. Children see and believe. They are not old enough to get confused by subtleties or see shades of gray. They see right and wrong, black and white, love and hate. They do not see legal but immoral, compromise, resentment, or agreeing to disagree. They are told that "God is love." "God created everything and everyone." "Jesus loves you and me." A child will come at you with the simplest, yet most accurate, spiritual truths. They are not going to lose. Give up. Or keep your argument brutally simple and based purely in slogans you can read in the Sunday School hallway. Or you will lose.

Children are theological giants.

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