Here are some further thoughts on the subject of covenant nurture. At Christ Churchwe have a whole bunch of kids. Kids are kids. Sometimes they do silly things and sometimes they need to be corrected. But as we treat them like believers (little believers, of course) a funny thing happens. They love coming to church and they worship vigorously. They also feel they are part of The Church with all its responsibilities and privileges (we don’t have “children’s church” and they are full participants). It has also been my pleasure to serve a congregation where the kids are much more respectful to adults, officers of the church, and to the church as a cultus. Sadly, most of my Christian experience has been in congregations where the kids are a confusing appendage that everyone wished would somehow transform into ideal adult Christians via photosynthesis. Unfortunately, most leave at the end of the day.
So, let’s stop putting stumbling blocks in their way and as King Jesus says, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 19:14)
Brett (AKA The Boneman) wrote about how we Reformed folk are to disciple/nurture our children not evangelize them. I remember when I was trying to come to grips with the idea of “presumption of regeneration” or “gracious regard of the baptized” (however you wish to linguistically cast it) discipling my children seemed like the most natural thing to do. I mean, I was crossing over from the Baptists, so if I was still evangelizing my kids, how was I any different from the Baptists? I got a lot of nervous and almost angry accusations from some Presbyterians…”You mean you don’t evangelize your kids???”
My answer is always a solid “no.”
Why should I evangelize my kids? I assume them to be in the Covenant. I assume they need to grow up in the faith and to improve upon their baptisms. I assume they need to hear the Gospel in all its fullness not just a truncated private altar call. And, until they give me reason to think otherwise, I assume them to be Christians. Why would I treat them any differently than any other child of God? Unless, of course, you think we need to constantly evangelize members of the Church.
When we first got back out to California we rented a townhome for $1900 a month. Sometime near the end of our first year there (and with the lease expiring) the owner called me to inquire if I was interested in buying the unit. I asked how much and she said "$515,000." To which I responded "You gotta be kidding." After that, real estate agents began showing up and calling to view the place (though we had no decrease in the rent for the inconvenience). So, we found another place to rent and now the owner had a tough property to rent (potential sale at any moment means month-to-month and a reduction in rent).
Well, here's the old joint and you can see that the owners had bought near the peak (2005) at $445,000 and their tax assessment shows they made about $9,000 in improvements. The flat sold February 26 of this year (we moved out in August and it appears to have stayed vacant) for $340,000. So, if the owners sold at a loss (I think they got foreclosed) they also lost $13,300 in rent (7 months vacant) and $105,000 in cash for a total loss of $118,300 on a bloomin' condo! The owner, who considered herself a savvy RE speculator/flipper, had 6 or 7 additional properties just like this...Flippin' don't pay and Redfin tells all.
A common but often annoying feature of life in Southern California is the neighborhood film shoot. First they put up the film location signs (they seem to never take them down) on a tree or power pole. Then they block off streets and make everyone drive way out of their way. They were doing this in our neighborhood this morning. A veritable city of talent and support staff descended upon us, inconvenienced us, and then left without a trace.
They film "The Unit" and tons of other stuff here in Santa Clarita. Sometimes its fun watching shows or ads and saying, "Hey, that's our neighborhood!"