You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:5-7
Ethan Metzger is a young man.
Not having the gift of prophecy, I don't know what kind of man Metzger will be, but I'd say, right now he's pretty solid. I say that because of something Metzger wrote for the first Annual Bronx Youth Poetry Slam contest. It was a contest Metzger didn't win. Too bad, because I like what he said.
Metzger's poem began talking about how a classmate had accused him of being "brainwashed" by his parents. The classmate said,
"You don't pray to God because you want to, you pray to God because your parents made you think you have to. You don't keep any of the laws of your own free will; your parents just made you feel guilty if you didn't keep them. Your parents brainwashed you your whole life, made you think you were doing God's work, but they were just imposing restriction upon restriction; you don't have any real conviction of your own. You don't really know anything about anything."
Rather than getting all defensive, Metzger thought and admitted his classmate had a valid point.
* He had been brainwashed into having respect for other people, for their belongings, for himself.
* He had been corrupted into thinking he should treat others as he wanted to be treated.
* He had been programmed to stand up for someone who was being picked on.
* He had been contaminated by parents who spoke of love and faith and character and religion.
* Even worse, Metzger added, his parents had done all this by setting an example.
Now I know not everyone has the writing ability of young Ethan Metzger. Even so, with all my heart I wish and pray that every young Christian teen would be able and willing to speak as coherently and clearly as he did when he was defending his faith and heritage.
Of course, in order for that to happen we need to "brainwash" our children. We need to help them see they are incredibly special because they know and believe in an incredibly special Savior. We need to direct them so they, like Mary, hold fast to the one thing which is needful. We need to give them priorities which like the apostles, say, "We must obey God rather than men" (see Acts 5:29).
Most of all we need to instill a devotion to the Redeemer so that they, when called upon to do so, may gladly offer a defense of the Christ who gave Himself so they might have life and have it to the full (see John 10:10).
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, may I pass on to those who come after me an appreciation and devotion to the great gifts I have been given through the sacrifice of Your Son, my Savior. In His Name I pray it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries