But, one good thing about this is that it's causing me to think about what I consider important, especially in regards to my children. Some of it may be a matter of semantics, but I think the way we word things often shows the underlying thought behind the statement. For example, the statement: Our children need to understand theology and the Reformed faith as soon as possible. Okay. Sort of. Personally, I have a problem with that statement. I would rather say something along the lines of "Our children need to understand the gospel as soon as possible."
See, Presbyterians tend to be very theology-centered. And that's good, to a point. It's good to know why you believe what you believe, and digging deep is appropriate at times. However, sometimes we focus so much on the -ology that we forget about the simplicity of our faith. We forget that it's all about "Jesus loves me; this I know, for the Bible tells me so." However, this particular person seems to also have balanced his theology with some actions, which I can respect.
Another thing that has been brought up in reading through the information we've been given about this person is what we want our children to learn. Now, this particular person brags (and that's not a bad thing) that 30 kids from his church stand up in front of the church and recite 25 catechism questions and answers. Awesome. Good for them. Again, sort of. Me, well... I would MUCH rather my child stand up and recite 25 Bible verses. The catechism was written by men. It is fallible. It is not ordained. And I do not base my life on what men have written. However, the Bible, now that's different. It's infallible. It's ordained by God. It is worthy of basing my life on it.
I'm not just criticizing this particular pastor. I'm criticizing Presbyterians in general for our fixation on the words of men. Calvin was a great guy. So was Luther. But they were just men!!! I know several people who don't want to raise their children in a PCA church because they want their kids to learn Bible stories, not just the catechism. And I'm beginning to agree with them.
There's got to be a middle ground. A balance between teaching theology and the pure gospel. Unfortunately the person I know who best did that let his family fall apart. There's got to be a church that teaches the catechism as a help to understanding the Bible, but concentrates more on the Bible itself, especially for kids.
As it is, I feel sort of lost. I don't want to be solely responsible for my child's spiritual education. But I don't really trust anyone else's way of doing it either. (Yes, I have help from the Mechanic. But he would agree we would like the help of a church... and haven't really found one that we think will really help us like we want.)
Ah... parenting. So confusing. =)