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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:34 pm 
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I was watching the show Little Big Shots last night, which is a show about talented kids, some very young, some a little older. There was a group of four from China who had a rollerskating routine that was pretty amazing. The thing is, they didn't speak any English, and the host, Steve Harvey, doesn't speak Chinese. What struck me was that the US and China have, shall we say, strained relations. Yet, you wouldn't know it by watching this segment. These kids were completely open to talking with Mr. Harvey, and seemed to rather enjoy it, even though they did not know the language. As I watched this, the thought popped into my mind: "The Kingdom of the heavens belongs to such ones." It got me to thinking: what did Christ mean when he said that?

Matt 19:13-15: Then young children were brought to him for him to place his hands on them and offer prayer, but the disciples reprimanded them. Jesus, however, said: “Let the young children alone, and do not try to stop them from coming to me, for the Kingdom of the heavens belongs to such ones.” And he placed his hands on them and departed from there.

Mark 10:13-16: People now began bringing him young children for him to touch them, but the disciples reprimanded them. At seeing this, Jesus was indignant and said to them: “Let the young children come to me; do not try to stop them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such ones. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a young child will by no means enter into it.” And he took the children into his arms and began blessing them, laying his hands on them.

Luke 18:15-17: Now people were also bringing him their infants for him to touch them, but on seeing this, the disciples began to reprimand them. However, Jesus called the infants to him, saying: “Let the young children come to me, and do not try to stop them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such ones.  Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a young child will by no means enter into it.”

Notice, both Matthew and Mark say "young children" (Greek paidia) and Luke says "infants" (Greek brephē). Both mean infants, though brephē could mean babies, thus some translations actually say babies. These verses are the impetus of infant baptism. Regardless, this post is not about infant baptism (though if you wish to explore that, please do... I have never researched it because I am of the opinion that baptism requires a conscious decision to ask for clean conscience and what need does an infant have of that? However, baptism into Christ is another matter entirely, one I do not fully understand.)

There are only two other places in the Bible where the "the kingdom" is said to "belong to" a group of people. Matt 5:3 and Matt 5:10. So, children, those conscious of their spiritual need, and those persecuted for righteousness sake. Interesting. But, my question is: why children? What makes them different? I don't have an answer, only an initial opinion: they are non-judgmental, they are extremely forgiving, they are inquisitive, they are accepting, and if they really are babies, they are entirely dependent on someone else to care for them.

Another question: why were young children and infants being brought to him in the first place? The passages say so he could touch them and offer prayer. This is somewhat puzzling. Were these children sick? If not, then what would have been the purpose of Christ touching / laying his hands on them and praying for them? I guess I don't understand what would have motivated their parents (presumably) to do that in the first place. Not that it was wrong, but it seemed out of place from the usual goings on.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:13 am 
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Peace to you LQ,


But, my question is: why children? What makes them different?

Children are a " sponge" eager and ready to learn and ask. And they are like an "empty book" ready and willing to be filled. Since they do not already have the worlds PREconceived teachings of man and religion IN THEM, if one allows Christ to teach them all things, the foundation from the beginning starts solid. Eliminating excessive baggage.



Were these children sick? If not, then what would have been the purpose of Christ touching / laying his hands on them.

When I read this, I heard our Lord say, " Aren't you ALL sick? Aren't you ALL born sick?

As long as our vessels we have NOW have sin and death in them, I think it's safe to say we are sick LOL!
And since none of us knew what exactly these children were predisposed of or already in them....because our Lord could heal by just "wanting to", his mercy was already being demonstrated greatly.


Just my thought on this,


Love and peace to you and your household, your sister fellow servant and slave of Christ,
Kim


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:47 pm 
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Were these children sick? If not, then what would have been the purpose of Christ touching / laying his hands on them.


Absolutely some of them were sick, dear LQ (peace to you!). Surely, our dear Lord would heal sick children quicker, if not sooner, than adults. Even we, imperfect as we are, tend to have (way) more compassion for a sick child (than for a sick adult). More importantly, they had faith in him - THEY knew who he was... and LOVED him... even if the "adults" did not.

If we stop and think about it, we have numerous examples were young children were called and used by JAH. Moses, as an infant, hidden so as to later lead Israel out of Egypt. Samuel, age 3-5. The 3 Hebrew boys. John the Baptist, called before he ever left his mother's womb. Jeremiah... David... Surely, Abel hadn't waiting until he was some particular age to begin serving JAH "acceptably," but did from the start.

Unfortunately, most LOSE their "childhood" in trying so hard be "grown." They lose their faith, their joy, their peacefulness, their mildness, their goodness, their patience/long-suffering, their self-control... their love. All to be "grown." True, we have to grow up, mature... but to what end? For most, to the end of rejecting God (and Christ, so same thing)... as soon as something "goes wrong" in their life/spirit.

When my son was young, he spent several weeks in the hospital for an illness and so I got to see several children hospitalized for one reason or another. NONE... bemoaned their situation. At least, not where I could see or hear them. ALL... accepted their situation. Their parents/guardians, etc., though?

While we may hear a child ask, "Why did God give me this (illness)?" or "Why did God let this happen to me?"... it's ONLY because some "adult" TOLD them "God" did it! If they were told the truth (that (1) we have an Adversary who "tests" us AND our parents; and (2) the flesh contains sickness in it and so truly is of no use at all, but it's the SPIRIT that gives life), they would never even think to ask such questions.

Even so, even though they do ask... yet, they almost always never blame God, but simply accept their lot. Adults, though? OMGoodness... we complain (if not scream outright) at the slightest scratch, itch, sniffle, pain, twerk, spasm, pill or shot to take, antiseptic to put on, etc. - LOLOL!

Bottom line is that the MOST Holy calls children, too, dear brother, even "infants". Many. As faith, not age, is the requirement. 1 Samuel 2:11, 12, 17-21; 2 Chronicles 3:16

As for (infant) baptism, the WTBTS is wrong on that issue, as they are on most issues. First, "infant baptism" is not actually that. Rather, it is a symbolic "giving" of one's child to God (similar to what Hannah did with Samuel), while (1) setting the child's name (in some instances) and also taking a vow from others ("godparent") to raise that child in the way you would, should something happen to you. Literally promising you that they they would teach your child what you would have taught them, had you lived. There is NOTHING wrong with that, nothing at ALL. I personally, would entrust my children to ANY of you here, were they young enough to need such, because I know you would do YOUR best to ensure they received what you (believe) I would have given them, from a spiritual viewpoint. At the very least, I KNOW you would (try to) talk them out of joining a religion but to follow Christ alone instead.

Where folks go wrong... is the "pomp" and ritual around it. Truly, all that's needed is for one to say, "Yes, I will do that for you." Christ himself entrusted the care of his own mother to another (Lazarus, along with Mary and Martha).

That the "ritual" involves sprinkling water on the forehead is also wrong and unnecessary, but it is to symbolize the child being "baptized" so that the parent feels they are "covered" and in union with Christ. What they miss is that the child is in union with Christ by means of the parent(s) unity, if such exists. So, no water needed.

However, that the "sprinkling" is meant... by the parent who does the sprinkling, such parent himself/herself having holy spirit... it just a symbolization of granting the child "water of life"... or holy spirit. Maybe as an "added protection" in case something does happen to the parent(s).

But there is no law "against" giving one's child to service to God... or asking others to care for the child in the case of demise. It's just unnecessary to do it before an audience (the "godparent(s)" yes should mean yes - there should be no need for additional witnesses; unfortunately, we live in a world and time where "yes" doesn't always mean yes, though, but even so, if the one's yes did NOT mean yes... then I wouldn't want them having authority over my child in my absence anyway. Because they'd probably do their OWN thing, there).

But my point is that there is no "age" appropriate time to dedicate one's child to God. Many did it even before the child was conceived, let alone born, as a "gift" to the MOST Holy. Given that He gave His Son as a gift to US... it might be the least we can do. Abraham certainly thought so. Keep in mind, "sending them to Bethel" is NOT dedicating them to God - it is dedicating them to serve false prophets and false christs under the guise of "serving" God.

Today, we would simply go to the Father, through the Son, make our dedication, then (1) do and say ALL that the Master directs us to do/say with regard to... and TO... such child; and (2) get out of his (Christ's) way. Because the child would no longer belong to US... but be a sacrifice dedicated to God, through Christ.

As always, peace to you all... and to your dear households!

Your servant, sister, and fellow slave of Christ,

Shel


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:15 pm 
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Quote:
If we stop and think about it, we have numerous examples were young children were called and used by JAH.


Good point. Honestly never did stop and think about this. Thanks, both of you!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:27 pm 
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leaving_quietly wrote:
Quote:
If we stop and think about it, we have numerous examples were young children were called and used by JAH.


Good point. Honestly never did stop and think about this. Thanks, both of you!


Greetings and peace to you LQ and Shel,

LQ, it is quite interesting that the Watchtower society has known this all along which is why they didn't have a problem with a 17-18 yr old pastor Russell starting their religion. Fully incorporating this so-called publishing company by the time he was 23. Imagine that?!!

But have since then had such a problem with so-called "younger ones partaking" with some lame excuse that they haven't been "tried and tested enough."

Like a 17 yr old has??

Anyways, the disgust and hypocrisy in it. Not that it made what Russell did okayyy, just that he was a child ( still a minor) when he started this whole ball of WTBS rolling.

Just thought about this, and that they published this in the Proclaimers book they taught out of for many years.


Peace and love to you all,
Your sister in Christ, kim


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