Religion”Religion” is a simple word that divides humanity in several groups. It is theclaim of many influential Christian and Jewish theologians that the only genuinebasis for morality is in religion(Nielsen 13). The morals and beliefs ofchildren are greatly influenced by their home life. It is sad how children growup, not able to research into their beliefs, but conform to the beliefs thathave run in their families for generations.
Not many children break away fromthe traditional religion in their family because it has been practiced andinfluenced for many years. If one should participate in breaking tradition, hecould be challenged by the family to show reasoning behind the change(Kaplan258). In doing this, society still will be diverse, but at least that is onemore person trying to express an opinion. The Old Testament is an accurate andvalid resource to use when trying to explain Christianity and faith. Forexample, it is amazing how one can justify his faith to a strong Catholic familywhentrying to prove that salvation is a free gift and not a time card for “goodworks.” There is much difference between the religion of Catholicism and non-denominational Christianity.
Though both groups believe in one God, the sameGod, growing up in the midst of the bickering of the two groups can confuse achild and bring bitterness toward this God that Christians believe is all-loving.School is an area where temptations are thrown in people’s faces each day.Many people are challenged each day in these situations; children may bechallenged in their home or in school because of the issue of salvation andtrying to maintain a strong-willed mind as a young Christian.Catholic children are taught their religion in CCD classes, and the result isthe children learning to be good in order to go to heaven. Many of the thethings they are taught come from the Old Testament. The Christian Bible includesthe Old Testament unlike Judaism where their bible is the Old Testament.Children learn Christian virtues such as faith, obedience, piety, chastity, love,mercy, and humility(Garner 272).
Catholic children are also taught that if theydo sin, than they simply can go confess their sins to a priest and then they areforgiven. According to the Old Testament, salvation is free gift andforgiveness is given straight from God, not through some high standing officialin the Church. Catholics are given a bad name, and their religion isconsidered to be hostile towards others and unethical at times(Hudnut 22). I amCatholic myself and may not believe in some of the teachings, but I do not feelthat Catholics are really this way.
This ongoing hostility between Protestantsand Catholics can hamper a child’s grasp of Christianity. A child is taught theChristian ways of “love thy neighbor” and then see the example of two Christiangroups that cannot even get along . The Old Testament teachings show3 thatthere were no different sects under God, just His “chosen people.” These OldTestament teachings are valuable in helping our youth of today understand this.What has happened to the religious thought of exploring the philosophical andscientific discussions of traditional concepts like sin, salvation, and theGospel as one religion; Christianity(Hudnut 67)?