I was alarmed by what I heard on Fundy Radio today. One of the more prestigious and highly-education speakers gave this warning:
“Tell your friends and loved ones to stay away from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The occult is nothing to play with, and many are those who’ve learned this lesson the hard way.”
A shiver went down my spine, because I’ve watched Buffy’s vampire-slaying gore before — never more than 10 minutes at a time, of course, it always seemed so silly, but somewhat intriguing — yet I did watch, and I was exposed.
Does this explain why teenagers seem so retarded, I wondered? Those boys did watch Buffy at times…No, no, I know it’s perfectly natural, especially in male teenagers.
Anti-Buffy Christianity is, I think, symptomatic of the impotency of sheltered Christianity.
To those engaged in the struggle with our postmodern world, Buffy certainly qualifies as the most trivial concern. Far more hideous, from my experience, is the prevalence of “personal peace and prosperity” which so feeds the American diet, and sadly captivates Christian households.
Christianity with Power
By far the most invaluable treasure parents can pass along is an authentic, deep understanding of God and the ways of God. Traditionally that meant taking the kids to church where they wriggled in the pews, augmented with family devotions where the kids endured King James English without understanding much. But godly parenting is not reading passages or lecturing against Buffy. God wants the home to be infused with His love. Only then will kids learn what love is and how it works so they can make a fair comparison against the hate-filled climate they meet in the world.
The Christian home should stand out as a “light of the world,” as Jesus explained it:
No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. – Matthew 5:15–16 (NLT)
To “let your good deeds shine” Christians mistakenly think means exhibiting a rigorous, moral behavior that can only be interpreted as priggish by outsiders. Anti-Buffy Christianity epitomizes the fear and irrelevant aloofness which sometimes marks Christian kids. It is a Christianity too trite to be effective in this culture, if it ever worked at all.
Clearly these traditional approaches to raising Christian kids must radically change in view of today’s hostility towards not only Christianity, but God’s love. The proof is irrefutable: Christians are losing kids in unprecedented droves from sheer boredom with the impotency of their parent’s faith. Secondly, and quite tellingly, is the lack of cultural response. We would expect that “everyone will praise your heavenly Father,” but quite the opposite: kids raised under the Christian flag are irrelevant elitists at best and certainly on the defensive.
But Christian kids who manifest God’s Love Ethics are certainly those for whom “everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” These kids stand apart from the typical selfish and hate-filled school hallways. Those schools are filled today with kids so lonely and with such little hope because their family lives are so ruined, but Christian families have the power and foundation to stand out as refreshing oasis in a parched, loveless desert. Those kids able to love by God’s rules become magnets.
This is not a complex issue. It was all considered, taught and practiced long before in the most adverse circumstances with the most resounding success—Christian parenting should simply reflect the power of Christian discipleship. The call to “Go make disciples of the nations” is the answer formulated by Jesus Christ two millennium ago to his own disciples, who indeed set the world aflame with God’s love, and it roared hot for generations despite terrible adversity and heartbreaking persecution. It is when Christians lose the momentum of the Great Commission and settle down to enjoy the enticements and comforts of this hate-filled realm they can expect to lose their children to the significance offered by the evil one.
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