Monday, October 09, 2006

God's Family (over) God's Courtroom

(Continuing the discussion on children's spiritual formation in a postmodern context---what fresh might emerge? What new metaphors and shifts in emphasis might bring about a greater number of children valuing the commitment to become a disciple of Christ and then staying connected with the Christian community beyond their years under parental control?)

I suggest that a deliberate attempt must be made to emphasize for a good period of time the metaphor of God's Family over God's Courtroom. For young children, the concepts, imagery and language involved in Reformation's imagery of God's Courtroom has resulted in perfomance based religion. Of course we don't call it 'works' ... but the freedom inherit in God's grace has been lost. The prodigal daughter/son imagery has been replaced with judgement, payment of sin, justification, pronouncement of guilt, owing a huge debt, etc.

God's Household of Hospitality and Grace communicates to children:

o Love and acceptance in their Creator's Household
o Privilege and freedom/grace in their Father's Household
o Forgiveness and do-overs in their Jesus-Friend's Household
o Contributing/doing/ministering becomes joyful and fun (in partnership with God's Spirit) rather than an obligation to payback never ending debts


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