Is there benefit in taking a child to church? | INFJ Forum

Is there benefit in taking a child to church?

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by Sriracha, Aug 4, 2011.

Share This Page

Watchers:
This thread is being watched by 5 users.
More threads by Sriracha
  1. Sriracha

    Sriracha Not here.
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Threads:
    98
    Messages:
    3,459
    Likes Received:
    1,897
    Trophy Points:
    375
    MBTI:
    ISFJ
    I'm interested in hearing forum members thoughts on this subject. It doesn't matter what religion/church. Please describe your experience as a child, as a parent or both.

    I grew up forced to go to a Christian Church (nondenominational, but very traditional ... attend Sunday School and then the Sermon.) I hated it. Sermons equaled drawing practice on the back of tithing envelopes and getting knocked over by a little old lady's rose perfume. My parents would bribe myself and my siblings with Duncan Donuts. The concept of religion was something I understood, but I did not understand "spirituality" until my later teens. I place more importance on spirituality than religion, thus making all the forced church attendance pointless. I know I'm completely neglecting the fact that MY parents may have had a need to attend church.

    Here I am contemplating the thought of doing what my parents did to me ... to my own children. However, their experience may be far different than mine. A friend has invited me to attend her church. Nontraditional, nondenominational. As a parent, it is my duty to expose them to things in order to forum opinions based on their experience. Hmmm I think I just answered my own question :) I LOVE THAT! However, I still would like to hear your thoughts.
     
  2. the

    the Si master race.
    Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Threads:
    479
    Messages:
    14,396
    Featured Threads:
    9
    Likes Received:
    8,677
    Trophy Points:
    1,112
    MBTI:
    ISTJ
    Enneagram:
    9w1
    [h=2]Is there benefit in taking a child to church? [/h]

    Yes
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  3. just me

    just me GONE

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Threads:
    202
    Messages:
    11,711
    Featured Threads:
    14
    Likes Received:
    4,820
    Trophy Points:
    996
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    not here
    MBTI:
    infj
    Enneagram:
    6w5
    I was brought up in a church. Values learned should also be taught through example at home for the best results. If not, it can lead to rebellion, confusion, turning against, and so many other things. I am thankful my parents brought me up in a church and exposed me to the elements of Christianity. We still make our own choices later in life, but it helped me to be rooted and grounded from a child. It may be viewed as a responsibility of sorts.

    Did I like or understand everything as a child? No. Do I like or understand everything as an adult? No. I am still thankful.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    Sriracha likes this.
  4. OP
    Sriracha

    Sriracha Not here.
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Threads:
    98
    Messages:
    3,459
    Likes Received:
    1,897
    Trophy Points:
    375
    MBTI:
    ISFJ
    Elaborate please?
     
  5. randomsomeone

    randomsomeone Well-known member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Threads:
    8
    Messages:
    2,145
    Likes Received:
    305
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    A friend once told me that "prayer for children should be as natural as breathing." Kids process things as a certain level so if there are options for kids (Sunday School, Children's Liturgy of the Word) then take advantage of this. Otherwise try to make church services as fair as possible for them. With mine (I have four kids...but they're not kids anymore), we sat in the front row so they could see the liturgy and not the just backs of grownups....they felt more connected to what was going on this way. Sometimes we sat in the balcony so if they were fidgety it was not a problem. I refused to be terse about such things....love always comes first.

    I think it important to have them relate to other children and families that share a core belief system, and allow them to really engage/participate in a way that is appropriate, both in community and at home. Don't force it, of course, but give them a chance. The community of faith belongs to children as much as to the rest of us...."suffer the little children to come unto me and hinder them not."

    I also believe that appropriate codes of conduct for children should also extend to adults at an adult level. Consistency. If living a faith life works for kids, it works for adults, too. No double standards.

    Finally, be prepared to help kids understand their faith at more adult levels as they grow. The simplistic presentations we get at children need to be updated as their intellectual curiosity grows. This often does not happen as kids become adults. The church can support this, but it should happen at the home, too. Be ready for it. Allow young people to encounter contemporary movements, speakers, communities where the light shines authentically...give them a broader perspective than one's own immediate faith community.

    My 2 cents for now...
     
    Sriracha likes this.
  6. slant

    slant Fairly Tragic

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Threads:
    279
    Messages:
    7,731
    Featured Threads:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1,805
    Trophy Points:
    777
    MBTI:
    INTJ
    Enneagram:
    6w5
    Yes, it is easier to brainwash them the younger you start.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    charlene likes this.
  7. This

    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Threads:
    147
    Messages:
    6,595
    Likes Received:
    1,855
    Trophy Points:
    323
    MBTI:
    .
    Enneagram:
    .
    I think if a child wants to go to church with you, you should take them. If they have no interest or go once or twice I wouldn't pressure them further. If I had a child I'd probably take them once or twice at around 12 or so, so that they could experience it. ask them what they thought but that there beliefs were up to them.
     
    Sriracha likes this.
  8. Frugal Gourmet

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Threads:
    2
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    9w8
    You may have heard of Saddleback Church, or Pastor Rick Warren.

    I met a boy on my street when I was about 5 and he was eating a bowl of Fruit Loops while sitting on the curb and holding a fishing pole. It turned out his father was a singer at the then-fledgling church meeting in a local highschool. They invited me to go along and I jumped at the opportunity because, up until then, I was forced to attend Catholic church with my Mom and Dad and I was BORED!

    Saddleback was fun and made learning about the bible and religion a matter of curiousity, no matter what your age, and not a matter of dogma and tradition. I grew up in that church and left on my own accord by the time I was a senior in highschool (going to Catholic school, no less).

    I feel like that extra day in church, or school, each week was paramount for my intellectual development and, more importantly, it was through this church that I formed many of my earliest social networks and had the safety to grow through those uncertain and awkward years. The camp environments were safe and VERY fun and although I was dealing with the greater questions of God and spirit it wasn't a cult and I wasn't expected to confess sins if I wasn't interested in doing it from my own volition.

    I sometimes ask myself if I would want a child of mine to grow up the same way I did and the answer is always YES!
     
    Sriracha likes this.
  9. Peppermint

    Peppermint Well-known member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    Threads:
    25
    Messages:
    3,337
    Likes Received:
    5,530
    Trophy Points:
    877
    MBTI:
    _
    Enneagram:
    _
    I would not take my child to the church. It's religious institution and I'm against religion (not faith tho), and find religious influence to be detrimental to impressionable minds. I would want to keep my kids as far from proselytizing individuals as possible until they obtain the ability to think critically. Reading and studying on their own is encouraged and desirable, but I don't want them influenced by others.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    Siamese cat and Sriracha like this.
  10. the

    the Si master race.
    Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Threads:
    479
    Messages:
    14,396
    Featured Threads:
    9
    Likes Received:
    8,677
    Trophy Points:
    1,112
    MBTI:
    ISTJ
    Enneagram:
    9w1
    Wont they be influenced by the authors of what they read?

    I just dont see the point in excluding children from something that the parents are benefiting from. I dont think children should be hidden from life and the real world either.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    Sriracha likes this.
  11. Nixie

    Nixie Resurrected

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Threads:
    84
    Messages:
    9,524
    Featured Threads:
    3
    Likes Received:
    3,575
    Trophy Points:
    976
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Oregon
    MBTI:
    ENTP
    I think the only thing you teach children is that church is random if you aren't committed to attending on a regular basis. I agree with [MENTION=751]Peppermint[/MENTION] I am not a Christian and do not advocate for Organzied Religion.

    However, as an opportunity to reach out to your kids, I think it would be a good thing. I believe that spirituality is important and you should have honest and frank discussions with your children. If you went, I would have a good discussion before hand about the nature of the invitation and be prepared to answer their questions about what the experience entails and perhaps your own beliefs. That way, you can give the experience context and open that spiritual dialogue with the kiddies.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    Siamese cat and Sriracha like this.
  12. Majesty

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Threads:
    53
    Messages:
    1,756
    Likes Received:
    508
    Trophy Points:
    657
    MBTI:
    ENTP
    Helps you if you feel like brainwashing or boring them to death.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    Sriracha likes this.
  13. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
    Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Threads:
    323
    Messages:
    10,047
    Featured Threads:
    49
    Likes Received:
    5,563
    Trophy Points:
    1,102
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Australia
    MBTI:
    INTJ - A
    Enneagram:
    10000
    If you believe that going to Church is a good thing: then yes.

    My experience of Church, growing up was a good one. My family is Catholic - and we would go to Church during the week, or early before Mass: my parents would point out the different saints in the stained glass windows/icons and tell us a few things about their lives. They would also explain what the Mass was about and some different ways of praying/meditating. We also used to put our left-over pocket money in the poor box; and sometimes help out with the St Vincent de Paul Society (a charity organisation to help the poor).

    I guess my brother and I learned to love, respect and imitate those who are more perfect/beautiful (spiritually) than us - the saints (and way above them, God) - and to have a special respect and care for those who have less than us (material wealth).

    Personally, I am very grateful for the way our parents raised us.
     
    Sriracha likes this.
  14. Barnabas

    Barnabas Time Lord

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Threads:
    263
    Messages:
    5,238
    Likes Received:
    653
    Trophy Points:
    667
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Florida man
    MBTI:
    wiblywobly
    Enneagram:
    timeywimey
    whether you think taking your kids to church on Sunday is right or wrong, for the religious family it's simply impractical not to. It's kind of hard to get up and go to church on Sunday and leave a young child at the house. I wasn't really a Christian when I first started to go to church neither was my mother, she sent me to church on Wednesday because the church offered to help kids get their homework done, give them some time to play organised games with other kids my age and feed me on their dollar. Do I think those things were valuable, yes, when I started attending Church on Sunday of my own volition, I found the sermons practical and Sunday school to be informative, one giving you moral guidance the other giving you an education I find both of those things useful.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    Sriracha likes this.
  15. Siamese cat

    Siamese cat Madame Cat strikes again

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Threads:
    33
    Messages:
    2,043
    Likes Received:
    487
    Trophy Points:
    642
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    5w4
    I also agree with @Peppermint .

    My parents are somewhat religious but they decided they won't take me to church (they never go there either) and that they'll leave it up to me decide if I want to be a part of any religious group or not, when I'm old enough to choose for myself. They let me develop spirituality, read and they did their best to answer all my questions about religion.

    As a part of a school programme, I went on many field trips and have visited many monasteries and churches in my country (many of them are very old, up to 6 and 7 centuries), I had a chance to talk to many people from clergy and some of them were kind enough to answer some of my questions also. I love the feeling of being in a church, cathedral, monastery, there is something to it, especially in those that are old and have interesting history, but I don't appreciate much clergy people, especially those who opted to work in churches, though I do have great admiration for those who live secluded lives of hermits in a far away monasteries.

    After some time and a lot of soul searching I decided religion is not for me. So, to conclude, the choice my parents made was an exceptionally good one for me, but I do understand it might not be the best for every kid.

    If I ever get to have kids, the choice I would make would probably be dependant on the preferences my child is showing and my opinion about religion at that time. Nevertheless, I would never just decide that my child we'll be a part of some religion and take them to church, I would rather take him to several churches and talk to people there with my child, let them feel the atmosphere, have a say whether they want to be there or not, ask questions.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    Sriracha likes this.
  16. Deathjam

    Deathjam ooooh
    Staff Member Tech Admins

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Threads:
    404
    Messages:
    4,500
    Featured Threads:
    4
    Likes Received:
    1,323
    Trophy Points:
    856
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Yorkshire, UK
    MBTI:
    ENTP
    The priests might see a benefit in more children going to church
     
  17. OP
    Sriracha

    Sriracha Not here.
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Threads:
    98
    Messages:
    3,459
    Likes Received:
    1,897
    Trophy Points:
    375
    MBTI:
    ISFJ
    It is extremely difficult to find a church that will back up social principals in which I am teaching to my children (I live in the deep south.) All of my experiences in EVERY church I have visited as youth or adult were intolerant of what they consider immoral behavior. My worldly perception is quite liberal, which many times is not compatible with religion. This is the reason why I MYSELF do not attend church. I honestly cannot tag myself as affiliated with any one belief system. What I believe is right for my heart and soul; and does not have to be for anyone else.

    My children are taught tolerance of all people and that we are all created equal. My children are taught that the world is their oyster, full of possibilities and choices. I want my children to be the best they can, in their TRUE self (what ever that is.) Like I mentioned in the OP: As a parent, it is my duty to expose them to certain things in order to forum opinions based on their experience.

    Thank you for sharing your stories, getting an understanding of different perspectives helps in this journey! :)
     
  18. OP
    Sriracha

    Sriracha Not here.
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Threads:
    98
    Messages:
    3,459
    Likes Received:
    1,897
    Trophy Points:
    375
    MBTI:
    ISFJ
    Not an issue. My kids have been taught good touch, bad touch since they were VERY small... and we revisit the topic often. I've seen how abuse affects children all too often ... only takes one time to fk up their life forever. One of greatest fears for my kids.
     
  19. Harpy

    Harpy Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2011
    Threads:
    2
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    Type 9
    I loved going to mosque as a child. I got to wear nice clothes and my Mom would let me wear some of the special perfume (It's called attar, made from Frankenscience). We'd usually go out for ice-cream after Friday prayers. I would pray next to my father and afterwards we'd say hello to our friends (well my parents said hello, I usally ran around like a crazy person with the other kids). It was a family tradition and a deeply comforting one. Going to a mosque wasn't just hoping in a car, driving to a select location to performing muslim aerobics or muslim chanting. There was a lot of love and attention endowed in those tiny, what were then meaningless, acts. This is not to say that mosque was always a very happy place, but really what is? I don't believe in outright rejection of anyone-anything, particularly my religion. It's part of the gift my parents give to me. It's the legacy of my ancestors. Moreover, it is MY tradition (And 'aint nobody gonna tell me what to do in my house). I'm going to change it to suit my needs. I follow what I like and find meaningful, I change what I can and I don't follow what I don't like. I'm not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    So much of my adherence to religious practices is following tradition (not blindly of, course, but shifting, playing and endowing new meaning on tradition to meet my needs). It's nice for me to think that I am performing the same action that my parents, my grandparents and my ancestors did. It creates a chain on transmission, a living story. It's lovely to know that you are part of something greater than the concerns of oneself. The act of performing a ritual almost breaks down the idea time of time and space. When you are performing the ceremony, someone somewhere in the world or at some given time in the world is performing the same act. With the performance of the act, the distance between you and the person is removed, it is almost as if for a few minutes there exists no you, no them- just simply the one. The rituals, these ceremonies become powerful conduits to realize that one is not alone.

    Of course the caveat at the end, this my perspective and the approach I will teach the children of my house- respect tradition but do not become burdened by it. It is just another perspective to see the randomness we call existence.
     
    Sriracha, the and randomsomeone like this.
  20. justeccentricnotinsane

    justeccentricnotinsane Community Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Threads:
    39
    Messages:
    367
    Likes Received:
    78
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    An atheist would never say - should I be sending my child to church so that they can make their own mind up?

    I was and am a completely non-curious atheist and I went to Brownies and Guides (like the Scouts) but didn't know they were religious under I was older and I went to Sunday School because my friends did. Kids tend to believe what their parents do. I assumed God was a story (because my parents treated it that way or didn't place importance on it) until I was 5 and a teacher told us the nativity and then said "and that really happened - it's a true story". Well that didn't sound quite right to me (because we tend to trust our parents' logic) so I asked my mam and dad - is that story true? My mam's words, if I remember correctly, were "I don't believe it is". So neither did I. From then on, it didn't matter what anyone else said. When I was bullied at school because I said I didn't believe in God, my parents said I could believe in God if I wanted to - but why would I believe in God if my parents said he didn't exist? Up until a certain age, for most of us, it really is our parents that we trust.

    In the end my parents taught me to say I was Christian at school and explained (lied) to me that this just meant "good" and didn't have anything to do with religion, so that got me out of being teased! But at the end of the day, your kids are going to be more interested in what you believe anyway. They won't make their own choices until much later. Right now, they want to be with you and they're not particularly going to take in the religion that much anyway (believe me - years of Sunday School - I was there for the biscuits and I came home not remembering a thing about what I'd learned!) Take them to church because that's what you do. You're not making a choice for them, you're just being their parents.
     
    Sriracha and Barnabas like this.
Loading...

Share This Page