Friday, May 7, 2010

Tattoo or Catechize?

A man I know as talking with some friends who were discussing ways to be radical, ways to show that one was totally committed to Christ. In typical evangelical fashion one man said he had gotten a tattoo. That was the great proof he was following Christ. Most men in group agreed that was a radical statement. The man telling the story said he was being radical by catechizing his children. At this all the men stood dumbfounded. Which of course, was proof that catchizing is much more radical (and effective) than getting a tattoo.

Teaching your children a catechism and learning it yourself is one of the best ways to learn theology. It grounds a person in the basics of the Christian faith. The downfall of catechizing is one reason why the current generation of Christians is so weak theologically. When we teach our children theology we often have blind spots, areas of the faith that we do not know as well as we should. A catechism keeps us balanced and helps us overcome our blind spots. I would greatly encourage it. Of course, reading the Scriptures and memorizing it should be our priority. But catechizing has an important place in the life of a Christian family and church.

The Heidelberg Catechism was adopted in 1563. It contains essentially the same doctrine as the Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechisms. It has a pastoral tone. It is divided up into 52 Lord's Days so that one could study it in one year. I plan on posting one Lord's Day per week. Here is the first.

1. Lord's Day
Q: 1. What is thy only comfort in life and death?
A: That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.

Q: 2. How many things are necessary for you to know, that you, enjoying this comfort, may live and die happily?
A: Three; the first, how great my sins and miseries are; the second, how I may be delivered from all my sins and miseries; the third, how I shall express my gratitude to God for such deliverance.

No comments:

Let the saints be joyful in glory, let them sing aloud on their beds, let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; to bind the kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron. Psalm 149:5-8