“Why Southern Baptist New Calvinists Don’t Like Jesus in our Children’s Hearts”: a Bedtime Story.
I have a great Facebook friend who always reposts the choice articles floating around the internet. My writing time is limited, but every now and then he reposts something that I cannot pass on. I already knew about the David Platt kerfuffle concerning the dissing of “asking Jesus into our hearts,” but this particular article followed Platt’s cue without leaving out the children. After all, Jesus said not to prevent the little children from coming to him in case they are among some that he has chosen. Ya, let all of them come; the little runts he hasn’t chosen will find out soon enough that they never had a prayer, but nevertheless, those who pray for salvation anyway should at least do so correctly lest they offend God even more.
The article was written by New Calvinist Jared Kennedy and posted on Church Leaders .com. The article is predicated on nine reasons to not teach children to ask Jesus into their hearts. Now granted, I object to Southern Baptists, of which I am one, incessantly deemphasizing what they think is the fine print of salvation: repentance. There is too much Jesus as Savior only, and not Jesus as Lord AND Savior. Yes, and I say again, “yes,” many Southern Baptist child converts fall away because they know Jesus as Savior only, and do not also realize that he also came to destroy the works of the Devil. The cross not only makes that possible, but that being one of Christ’s purposes for going to the cross should at least get an honorable mention in our lives. In case you missed it—that’s de-emphasis for purposes of emphasis in my ever failed attempt to beg folks not to teach a half gospel—especially to children. I think we often exclude the “repent” in the “Repent and…. [believe]” for fear that the recipient of the good news will not deem the “repentance” part as such (good news).
By the way, I never get to teach children anymore because my favorite lesson is the one where God sent the two momma bears to maul a group of children for mocking one of God’s prophets. I always add the little caveat that since the mommas mauled all of them (if I remember correctly, 42) they must have tracked down the ones who had initially gotten away throughout the night, and probably in their cozy beds while savoring their supposed getaway. Southern Baptist parents are usually aghast towards teaching things like that about God to children lest they think they can make God angry in some way via bad behavior or disobedience.
But back to Kennedy. From here, I must launch on a comment by one of my Southern Baptist brethren in regard to the article: “What’s going on?” Being Southern Baptist; 10% tithe; rededicating your life; at least twice, Southern Baptists not knowing what’s going on: priceless. Well, here is the Cliff Notes on what’s going on. You can fill in the blanks with the 80 gigs of electronic data I have accumulated to back up my thesis. I will tell it as a bedtime story. Maybe that will work.
Why Southern Baptist New Calvinists Don’t Like Jesus in our Children’s Hearts:
A Bedtime Story by Paul M. Dohse
Once upon a time, there was a man named Johnny Calvin. He had a great, great grandfather named Auggie. Johnny’s double great granddaddy was faithful to the wicked witch of the west, Queen Catholic. Both Auggie and the Queen believed man could not find God without them. Auggie believed it because a magic doggie named Pluto told him man cannot know reality without striving to find it beyond what we can touch, see, and hear. Auggie learned from Pluto that those who come to see reality through thinking really hard thoughts should rule over those who think reality can be understood by observation. But either way, people are very, very naughty, even those who see reality.
Therefore, Auggie made up his own bedtime story about how all of reality is Jesus [the objective gospel], and Jesus, and what he does, always stays outside of us because Jesus is reality and good, but we are always naughty. Pluto the magic doggie also had puppies who grew up and taught that Jesus didn’t really come as a man because spirit is good, and things that we can touch, see, and feel are naughty like us.
Eventually, Auggie’s descendants, Johnny and Martin, liked this idea, but didn’t like the Queen because she said that she could be the only enlightened one to rule over all of the naughty people who can’t know good things. However, they continued to revere their double great granddaddy even though he served the Queen till the end of his life. Also, Johnny and Martin didn’t like it that the enlightened Queen thought that Jesus does good things inside of people if they are a member of her empire, pay their dues, and drink her magic grape juice. It made them angry that she believed Jesus does good things inside of naughty people. Jesus must always stay outside of us [the Reformation gospel of The Centrality of the Objective Gospel Outside of Us].
So, Johnny and Martin started their own empire called the Reformation. Like their double great granddaddy, they believed the enlightened ones must rule over the totally naughty. If the totally naughty devoted their life to realizing more and more how naughty they are, what Jesus does outside of them will look bigger and bigger. But many of the totally naughty couldn’t help themselves. In fact, a little girl shoved her mommy so Johnny cut off her head.
And that’s what David Platt will do to you if you ask Jesus into your heart.