May 14, 1998
"And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little one who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea." Matthew 18:5-6 NIV
Sadly, public indifference over bookseller Barnes and Noble's recent brazen insistence it has the right to sell books with pornographic pictures of children, is yet another deplorable example of the increasing acceptance of "causing our children to sin."
It is another grievous marker on both how deserving of, and close to, judgment we are.
In Matthew 18:5-6, Jesus, reflecting the Heavenly Father's abounding care for and defense of the weakest and most defenseless in society [such as "the fatherless, the widow and the alien"(1)], issues a penetrating warning-a warning we dare not ignore-about doing things that lead children to sin. His warning should sober us, since increasingly we have been doing just that. Look at what we are exposing children to in sex education, what children see on TV and movies, how they are taught abortion is a right, how they suffer molestation, how they are taught the gay rights agenda, how they are exhibited in child pornography (such as that found in Barnes and Noble). These are sins we ignore.
Our Greatest Sins Today
It should give us pause that our greatest sins today are against our children. Yet, we don't seem to care.
And we stand teetering on the cliff above the sea with a millstone around our neck. We should remember that one key way God evaluates a society is: How do they care for the most vulnerable?(2) Jesus emphasizes that when we "welcome a little child in His name," we are welcoming Him. Scripture declares that children are "the heritage of the Lord," and "blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them."(3)
However babies are largely viewed as intruders, unwanted -- until we want them. Our message to our children is that at our convenience we will want you; if you are conceived when we don't want you, we reserve the right to kill you; if we allow you to be born, then we will interact with you when it is convenient, meanwhile we will keep you in daycare.
Our children have gotten our unwanted message.
Our Growing Anti-Child Attitude
Our anti-child attitude has been building over the years. There was the sexual revolution of the '60's when long-held values about marriage and family were attacked, and things like promiscuity and The Pill were pushed. World War II probably played a role, when women left home for the work place. Most certainly Alfred Kinsey did, whose "research" in the late '40's on sexual attitudes and standards were hailed-and still are! Kinsey, as has been well- documented, used children and babies stimulated to orgasm as part of his studies. This despicable-and criminal-treatment of children should have caused us to trash his entire research. Instead we embraced Kinsey's revised sexual morality"-"a con-job on society"(4). Sadly we continue the fraud by using his statistics-Kinsey affirms our lust.
The lamentable consequence of all this is that our children really have no morally safe place to be. Violence and immorality are pervasive.
Our Schools Are Not Safe!
Schools ought to be morally safe. But school sex education routinely treats homosexuality as normal, with homosexuals brought in to explain things, which fits in with the gay rights agenda that has been pushed all across our society, with our children more and more the targets. No less than President Clinton gave his blessing to teaching homosexuality in schools. And of course sex education can include instruction on the use of condoms. Stop and picture the scene of a teacher standing before say twelve-year-olds, with perhaps your child in the group, holding up a banana prop and demonstrating how to put on a condom. Child pornography starts right there. Kinsey could not do it better.
Our Homes Are Not Safe
Home is changing. There is the emerging trend to allow homosexual couples to adopt children-something that is not about the "best interests of the child," but about re-defining marriage and family, of pushing a deviant life-style. We are debating whether to permit same-sex marriage and so to teach our children that such is equivalent to male-female marriage.
A chief offender has been movies and TV. Even Vice-president Al Gore, placing political gain over principle, commended the "coming out" of a gay character on a prime time show. On the Internet children have access to pornography.
Look at abortion, with youngsters told that killing an unborn is a right (implying that it is therefore morally right); and that a girl can kill her unborn without her parents knowledge or consent. Of course the womb ought to be safe, but our attack on our children includes the right to kill them there.
We could go on. But what we are doing to our children are not marks of our progress, but signposts of our degeneracy.
We must be clear: Whenever anyone teaches or exposes children to evil-whether that child is age five or eight or fourteen-they cause that child to sin; and they put a millstone around their own neck.
We Cannot Escape The Judgment of God
No wonder we face and deserve judgment. Can we believe that God who speaks so forcefully about His care of the defenseless will permit us to continue to despoil and destroy our children ad infinitum? The only reason we remain as a society is the mercy of God.
May we consider that, with the millstone on our neck, we are tottering on the cliff, perilously close to toppling into an abyss of judgment-a judgment of our own making.
We Pastors are Responsible
When we stand as a society before the bar of judgment we may be jolted that the sins against our children-the sins that we ignored-are the very ones that head up the indictment against us. If we are to avoid falling, a critical part of that lies with we ministers. We must lead in repentance for what we are doing to our children-coming to the Lord as He told us, as a little child. And our pulpits must become vigorous "children protectors,"-"speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves" and "defending the rights of the poor and needy"(5). May we as pastors must take children in our arms as Jesus did, and embrace and love them-they are not intruders, they are very wanted, each is an unrepeatable miracle for whom Christ died.
Do we want the Presence of the Lord? Jesus gives us a tremendous promise:
"Whoever welcomes a little child like this in My Name, welcomes Me."
And we must warn: Jesus is very clear that it would be better for someone to be executed than to cause one child to sin-just one-who believes in Him.
LET US PRAY!
Let us pray together: "O Lord we praise you that you as our Heavenly Father you care for us, and you care for the weakest and most vulnerable. Your Son set a wonderful example by caring for the children. May we care for them as you do, and speak up for them whether they are in the womb, in our homes or in our schools. Forgive us for causing our children to sin. We deserve your judgment. But we come to you as you said we must, as a little child, and ask that you send a revival which will include a renewed heart for our children."
(1) For instance Deuteronomy 10:18; Psalm 10:17-18; James 1:27
(2) Psalm 94:6; Isaiah 1:17 & 23, 10:1-2; Jeremiah 7:6; Amos 1:13
(3) Psalm 127:3-5
(4) Judith Reisman and Edward Eichel in their book, Kinsey, Sex and Fraud (Huntington House, Lafayette, LA, 1990)
(5) Proverbs 31:8-9