Thursday, December 1, 2005

Confirmation class and Bush bashing among other things

You've heard the analogy of the frog in a boiling pot of water? I think that's where Christians are in our society today except that the temperature is getting to the point where we're beginning to notice and speak out. I understand that the government can't endorse a religion but in a lot of the cases where Christmas symbology is being squashed, government endorsement of Christianity isn't happening. From the removal of the Ten Commandments in court rooms to the current court case trying to have the words 'In God We Trust' removed from our currency, the Judeo-Christian principles our country was founded on are under attack.

I tend to agree that the workplace is probably not the place for overt religious expression but I worry that we'll some day become a society which has pushed God so far off into a corner that He may one day treat us in kind. I think we've been so blessed in our country and I don't think it's because of dumb luck on our part. God has been there with us all along and I also believe we're hardening our hearts toward Him in a way which saddens Him.

Should we not have a Pledge of Allegiance because of the words 'under God'? Is it a good thing or a bad thing to try and instill in people the belief that there is a higher power?

What do you say to your child when they come home from Confirmation class and tell you that their teacher says they're biased against the bible because their spouse is in a science related field and they just can't bring themselves to accept the writings/stories in the bible? What do you tell her when she tells you that they don't even pray in Confirmation class? What do you tell your child when you pick her up after Confirmation class and she's in tears because they've been studying the 6th Commandment (Thou shall not kill) and she stood up to say that abortion was killing but nobody agreed with her and no adults agreed with her? Do you sense as I do that the water temperature is rising? At what point do you begin to say enough and stand up for what you believe?

Tammy sent off a letter to the teacher last night and told her that Rachel would no longer be attending classes there. I asked Tammy if maybe Rachel should continue there as she could be a beacon of light for some of the kids who may need some inspiration. Tammy disagreed as there would be no support for her from anyone and with Rachel being the 'baby' Christian which she is, she didn't want to see her in that position as it would be bringing her down. This morning when I got home I read the email she sent and I went one step further and sent it to the church's lead pastor. I anticipate they will write or call later today. Here's what she wrote...

My family does not go to Shepherd of the Valley but I enrolled my daughter in your confirmation class as she really wanted to compete in Dance classes and they conflicted with confirmation times at Hosanna Lutheran Church in Lakeville. Her dance instructor offered up your confirmation classes when we told her that we would have to drop out of dance this year due to the conflict. I thought the compromise would be ok as we would enroll back in her confirmation classes at Hosanna next year. I also thought that a traditional Lutheran Church would be a good source of reference for her Lutheran heritage as you would be focusing on Luther’s Catechism.

My daughter has a vital relationship with the Lord. She knows Him as her personal Savior. She has however conveyed to us an uneasiness with the lack of enthusiasm about the Lord in Confirmation class at your church. I understand that you are reaching out to a lot of kids and a lot of kids may not know the Lord but when her teacher states that she is biased about the Bible as she is married to someone in the science field…I find that troubling. I take that to mean that she doesn’t take the Bible as the whole truth. She also stated that she knew that the kids were only there because their parents made them go. My daughter stated to me …” Mom, I want to be in church”. We prayed about it and I told her that maybe she was there to help some other kids know Jesus. But….

Tonight was extremely troubling to me when she got into my car in tears. (She cried off and on all night. She is not a crybaby and can handle teasing and is physically tough…she does have a tender heart though) I asked her what was the matter. She said that you were talking about the commandment “ Thou shall not kill”. She said that kids stood up and said they thought abortion was ok and that it wasn’t killing. She stood up and said she thought it was totally wrong to kill a baby. Then kids talked about rape. Rachel said it still didn’t make it ok to kill the baby. She wept as she relayed this to me. What bothered her was that no one stood up with her against abortion. She felt alone…….was she?

What exactly is your stance on Abortion? No adult stood up and supported my daughter for her stance which is Bible based. No one explained that abortion was a violent end to a life. No one explained that God had a plan for every human life and that all humans are precious in his sight, even the unborn. Adults did however stand up and say that “Sarcasm “ was like killing. Please explain this to me. How can you throw out debate about war and abortion and not offer guidance to these precious seeking minds. You are supposed to be the Light. If you don’t stand on the Word of God as total Truth, what are you there for?

I am just extremely dismayed and disappointed in your leadership. I am taking my daughter out of your confirmation classes. I would really like a response. I fear what you might be teaching my daughter next week on sex. (Please Jesus, let it be on abstinence and not choice and birth control.)

Please contact me,

In Jesus, His Love, His Truth,

Tammy


An update...The pastor in charge of youth studies phoned Tammy this afternoon and said that he was in attendance last night and thought the whole thing was a simple misunderstanding. He went on to say that the kids were given subjects to talk about and to voice their opinions with respect to the 6th commandment. Because nobody agreed with Rachel did not mean that she was wrong. Tammy asked him what the church's position (elca) on abortion was and he stated that they oppose abortion. She asked if any of the leaders or did he himself stand up and explain that to the kids, especially after Rachel stood up and was the only person voicing that belief. He said he did not. Tammy told him that he really needed to clarify the church's position for the children and to give them scripture they can refer to. She stressed that the leadership to conduct this sort of discussion was nonexistent last night.

At one point the class got onto the subject of war and the pastor stated that the war could also be considered a violation of the 6th commandment. (I'd have to disagree here also as I think the commandment is about murder rather than war and there is a difference between the two.)

She also mentioned that after the large group had broken into a smaller group there was a lot of Bush bashing among the kids in Rachel's group. Not once did the teacher stop and ask the kids to consider praying for the president.

The pastor closed by saying he was glad that she contacted him and that he would consider what she told him.

I asked her if the phone call changed her feelings about Rachel going back and she said it did not.

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