There’s an article that was recently brought to my attention via Facebook entitled, “Study Discovers Children Raised Without Religion Are Kinder And More Empathetic.” It’s coming from a site called, “Awareness Act,” and while its credibility is questionable, the article does its job as far as asserting a subtle yet compelling reason for removing Christ from the marketplace.
I mean why would you support or even subscribe to something that seemingly contributes to a self-absorbed condition among children?
The article is reinforced and summarized by another site and it condenses the overall findings this way:
Across all countries, parents in religious households reported that their children expressed more empathy and sensitivity for justice in everyday life than non-religious parents. However, religiousness was inversely predictive of children’s altruism and positively correlated with their punitive tendencies. Together these results reveal the similarity across countries in how religion negatively influences children’s altruism, challenging the view that religiosity facilitates prosocial behavior.
Here’s the thing: Christ’s sacrifice on the cross represents one of the most selfless acts of unconditional love ever recorded in the history of mankind. Combine His Identity with the suffering that He endured for the sake of the very ones that were driving the spikes through His hands and you have the Ultimate example of altruism.
For those who don’t typically use the word, “altruism” in casual conversation, “altruism” (ALL-true-izem) means, “the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.”
That’s Jesus to a “T.”
There’s three things that I would submit in response to this article that makes it profoundly bogus.
Friedrich Nietzsche said that when people find out that God is dead in the nineteenth century, two things are going to happen in the twentieth century: First of all, the twentieth century will be the bloodiest century in the history of mankind and a universal madness will break out.
He was right.
We killed more people in the twentieth century than the previous nineteen put together and the “madness” that he predicted he experienced himself in that he spent the last 13 years of his life insane.
Why is this significant?
Because part of the way the above study evaluated altruism was though a game where kids where shown a collection of thirty stickers. They were told they could select 10 of their favorite to keep, but not everyone would be able to play the game. It was called the “Dictator Game” and this is the way in which the child’s “selfless” tendencies were being evaluated.
I’m not sure how that resonates with you, but I’m more inclined to look at the way in which the absence of a moral Absolute affects the lives of individuals and nations in the context of warfare and socio-economic anomalies and let that be the gauge I use to evaluate the Christian faith rather than how a child responds to a game.
Just because you say you’re a Christian doesn’t mean you subscribe to God as He’s revealed in Scripture. In other words, saying you’re “religious” could mean just about anything. Does Christ command us to be selfless? Absolutely (Phil 2:3-4)! Do self proclaimed “Christians” take that seriously? Given the fact that 25% of Christians don’t subscribe to a “biblical” God, it’s hard to tell.
Finally, the fact that you’re a child coming from a “Christian” household doesn’t mean that you’re being taught to revere Scripture let alone what it is that constitutes its content. This goes back to what was mentioned under #2. If you don’t know what you believe and why, or if you base your creed on a collection of experiential preferences rather than the Word of God, what can you realistically expect as far as child’s conduct when this is the “classroom” they’re being taught in?
The Progressive mindset is founded on a godless paradigm. Everything from Socialism where government is god to the doctrine of entitlement where the individual is god. Either way, it’s a situation where moral absolutes don’t exist, one’s origin and destiny is purely happenstance and an individual’s sense of purpose is entirely subjective. Some see that as liberating because there’s no accountability and any kind of adversity or criticism can be categorized as fundamentally “wrong.”
But in the absence of a Standard, you have chaos, hopelessness and death. That’s not being overly philosophical, that’s just looking at the utility of Scripture, the testimony of history and the common sense evaluation of any situation that exists in the absence of a transcendent reason to “be.”
What ails society is not problematic because of Christ…
…what ails society is present because of a refusal to honor Him.