Johnny Be Good

I want my kids to be good.  I want them to mind when their parents tell them something, to be kind to one another and everyone else for that matter, to respect themselves as well as others regardless of their age, to be honest and responsible. I want my kids to be good.

But this isn’t the same thing as raising Christian kids.  This blogger reminds us of this fact.  The fact that he quotes Phil Vischer is also interesting.
As with many Christian parents, when our kids came along and we were looking for good material for them to watch, Veggie Tales was at the top of the list.  They weren’t nearly as insipid as Barney or Teletubbies, they were Christian-based – what more could you want?  Our kids loved them, and so did my wife and I.  They were that rare mix of production that engages with young minds while also keeping the adult in the room from nodding off into a coma.  
In Seminary I remember being disgusted with one of the profs who criticized Veggie Tales.  They weren’t preaching the Gospel, he said.  And while I didn’t disagree with his assessment of the shows, I didn’t feel that it was a major issue, either.  After all, we need to teach kids all sorts of things, including how to be good people.  The shows may not have taught the Gospel, but that’s OK – not everything has to.  The Gospel can be taught another way.
Unless you get confused and assume that just because something uses Jesus and the Bible as a basis, it’s teaching the Christian faith and the Gospel.  In which case, you’re apt to not go out of your way to teach the Gospel otherwise, which means your kids grow up knowing they ought to be good people, but not knowing about Jesus and how He fits into that.  And when they hit high school and college and life, and find out that lots of religions teach people to be good people, suddenly there isn’t much compelling about the Christian faith and the Bible.  All these religions must be teaching the same thing, because they all want people to be good.  
This is a good reminder to my wife and I that we have to be intentional about conveying the Gospel.  While our kids have by and large outgrown Veggie Tales (although all of us still get a kick out of some of the Silly Songs with Larry segments), we need to continue teaching them the Gospel, and the rather counter-intuitive idea that while they are to be good people, they ultimately aren’t good people in terms of God.  Which is the unique and amazing message of the Gospel – that while the rest of the world and the religions and philosophies therein work their hardest to get people to be good (whether for social good or salvation/enlightenment/hereafter stuff), the Gospel recognizes that we can’t
That’s going to take some time to flesh out and discuss and clarify and pray about.  At least 18 years.  Hopefully not too much longer than that.   Right?  

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