I wanted to relate my post on Church Fragmentation to being a Dad, since that is the other subject that is always on my mind.
Right now, I’m a big fan of the Catholic Church (Which seems weird considering all the shit they are going through right now). My wife wrote about our experience last Saturday at a local Easter Vigil Mass, and she really caught the spirit of what has been so captivating to me. It’s that reverence, that spirit, that holiness, that I don’t see in Evangelical churches.
But then there is the first comment, from Lauren, that gives me pause (a viewpoint that i’ve heard from many of my catholic friends). I’m scared that the awe inspiring amazingness of the Liturgy will be lost upon my child growing up in it and become “dull.”I don’t want to raise my son in a church where it is all about, “believe this and do this, to be good Christian.” (which the Catholic church has a unfairly given bad reputation for) And while that attitude is also prevalent in the Evangelical Church, it was never an attitude that I was raised with. I know lots of “cradle Catholics” as Lauren calls them, that have turned away from the church for precisely that reason, while I haven’t come across as many in the Evangelical church. (Not that I’m saying there’s anything wrong with Lauren’s faith, I’m just over-generalizing from her comment)
I want to raise my son with a strong Christian faith. But I also want that faith to be his decision. And while at this point in my life I am a huge fan of the liturgy of higher order churches, I know it isn’t an environment that is condusive to developing the kind of faith I have. Growing up in a stuffy Catholic Church, I think I would have been turned off by it too.
So this is an additional element to my current conundrum. I’m not making a choice for something that suits me, I’m making a choice for something that suits my family. (I know this is a decision both my wife and I will make together, I’m just examining my thought process right now)
I don’t want my son to grow up to be a stuffy Christian, and I don’t want him to lose his faith because of the church. I can only do so much, so I want to make sure what I do really counts. One day I am going to be a Pastor, and that will carry enough baggage as it is, just ask any PK (pastor’s kid). So the choices I make now aren’t just affecting me and my salvation, but that of my son as well. Because even though it is his choice, the parent chooses the initial path. And I’ll be loving and supportive where ever that path may lead, but I like to think that the choice I’ve made for me will also be the choice that is right for him.
Do other parents worry this much about faith and their children? Do atheist parents try to instill the values of athiesim in their kids and worry that their choices and values will drive them somewhere else? Do other Christian parents worry about the things I am worrying about? Do Muslims, or Buddhists worry about these things?