God’s Beloved Daughter-Child | Part 2 of 4
My two small truths traveled well. When I began studying theology in earnest, I didn’t have to throw them out and start over. Nonetheless, along with my two small truths I carried a huge load of inherited, overheard, inhaled and drilled-into-me theology that also made its mark on me.
I learned to survive on my two small truths. I also learned to survive as a good student of regular teaching from my father, my church, and the church-run grade school I attended through grade 7.
You won’t find my two survival truths below. Instead you’ll find what I remember from about age 11. I’ll call it my first (unrecorded) ‘public’ theology. It’s what I would have said if you’d asked me then to tell you what I believed.
In my last post in this series, I’ll come back to the statement below. For now, here it is for what it is. I don’t believe it’s all wrong. I do believe it’s seriously flawed. Like looking at a beautiful painting or vision through distorted lenses and from the wrong angle.
What I believe when I’m 11 years old
In the beginning, God created everything perfect and beautiful. It would have stayed that way if Adam and Eve had just obeyed God.
Eve was the one who sinned first, which tells us something about females. She was tempted by the serpent. Then Adam sinned because Eve tempted him. So God cursed all of them and sent them out of the beautiful Garden of Eden.
Because of this, every child born into the world is stained with sin. It got passed on from Adam and Eve to their children and their children’s children—right on down to us.
God wasn’t happy about all this and so He decided to make a way to save us from our sin. He did that through Jesus who died on the cross for our sins. Then, when Jesus rose from the dead, he handed the job over to the church. The church is supposed to tell everyone in the world how to be saved from their sin.
The church and the world are totally different from each other. The world is a dangerous, hostile place of open, willful sin and degradation. The church is not. Every person in the world needs to believe in Jesus and then join a church. It’s possible for people to believe in Jesus and never join a church. But it isn’t the best way. They might get tempted back into the world.
When people who don’t believe in Jesus die, they go to a place of eternal punishment. It’s called hell. Many people believe it’s filled with fire and brimstone. Whatever it’s filled with, it’s not a happy place. It’s a place of eternal torment. Unfortunately, many people who do many good things will end up there because they never heard about or believed in Jesus.
If the church does its job right, everyone in the world will hear about Jesus and have a chance to repent, believe in Jesus, and go to heaven instead of hell.
The world is very large, so we need many missionaries to go and find people who are lost and help them get ready for heaven. We do this because God loves everyone, even the lost people. So we can’t just hate and stay away from all the people outside the church. We just need to go and help them see the light.
Unfortunately, everyone who comes to church or joins the church isn’t automatically going to heaven. In the end, God will judge each person to see whether he or she will make it in. We can’t tell who the lost people are in church. We can only make sure we aren’t lost even though we’re in church every Sunday and then some.
Church is about learning to be good like Jesus. We’re supposed to follow his example and the 10 commandments in everything we do. Parents are supposed to help their children learn to be good like Jesus. That’s why we have rules at home. The rules also help us keep out of trouble with the wicked world that is all around us all the time.
Even though it looks fun and pretty, the world and worldly people can trick you into being bad. So even if you don’t like the rules at home, you need to follow them. If you don’t, your parents are responsible for making sure you do follow them the next time.
The most sinful part of us is our will. Especially when we’re children, and especially when we’re female. All children have to obey their parents. In addition, all girls, women and wives have to obey the men who are in charge of them. Even though the men are sometimes wrong or very bad.
The best way for girls and women to make sure the men don’t misbehave is for the girls and women to keep the men happy, dress modestly, do their work cheerfully and let men be the leaders God meant them to be. Especially in the church and at home. But also in their jobs if they have to work outside the home.
It’s extra important for girls and women to obey the men and dress modestly, because when they do that, they’re also obeying God. Women are supposed to take care of the house and help out at church and cook the food and take care of all the children and as you already heard, keep the men happy.
When we die we’ll be judged according to whether we have Jesus in our hearts and whether we’ve kept the rules or not. Sometimes people do good things but they don’t keep God’s rules. So even if we ask Jesus into our hearts and we’re in church every Sunday and then some, in the end God will look at everything we’ve done and haven’t done and will decide whether we are good enough to get into heaven. Some people will be shocked to find out they haven’t been good enough. But it will be too late.
It’s very important to study the Bible. It was inspired by the Holy Spirit through men of God who wrote it down for us. That’s where we get information and instructions about what we’re supposed to do or not do.
There are many lists of sins in the Bible. We need to study them carefully so we know what we must not do if we want to go to heaven. We also need to study Bible stories about people like Adam and Eve and Jonah so we can see what happens when we disobey God.
Parents get to say what the rules look like at home. No one can keep all the rules all the time, especially when they’re very young. But over time we need to learn to confess, take our punishment, beg for forgiveness and then do it better the next time. Parents enforce the rules for the good of their children, and because God commands them to do this—not because it’s fun or enjoyable to punish them.
You might be able to fool your parents. But remember, you cannot hide from God, no matter what you do. God sees everything and remembers everything. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
God doesn’t take vacations or sleep. This is actually a good thing, because that means you can pray to God anytime you need to. You can ask God for help, or for courage to do the right thing, or for forgiveness for your sins. God will know if you keep anything back. It’s important to pray like this every day. God answers prayer. He also notices when you forget to pray.
At the end of the world, there will be a lot of war and something called tribulation. Then that will end and there will be a new heaven and a new earth, all up in heaven. All the people who get to go to heaven will be happy and joyful forever. They’ll sing and praise God a lot. There won’t be any more sin, sickness or sorrow. No tears and no death. The angels will be there, too. We won’t miss anyone because we’ll all be happy.
P.S. Please forgive me if I left out anything important. I never did this in writing before. Elouise
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 4 August 2014