Growing up as a good Southern Baptist girl, I learned plenty about the heroes of Christian missionary work around the world. As a teenager I once dressed like Lottie Moon and retold the story we’d all heard so many times before–Lottie Moon, starving to death as she gave away all she had to the people that she was called to minister to. Chad and I even considered naming our third child Lottie. No kidding.
In college we studied the forefathers of our Baptist heritage, marveling at the dramatic struggles that they endured as they fought for our denominational distinctives. But, there was so much about the history of the Christian faith that we didn’t really hear about. At that time, our seeker sensitive churches were light on doctrine, and theology was spoken of in terms of something that only real church nerds cared much about.
It was easy, under those circumstances, for Christian people to begin backing away from the truths of our faith. The less we cared or understood about church history, about the doctrines that Christians fought and died for through the centuries, the less we were committed to seeing them passed on to another generation of believers. And, soon the false teachers of the world started sounding like prophets instead of heretics. Soon church goers were unable to distinguish between truth and false doctrine as they read clever articles that denied everything that Christians have held close for thousands of years. Suddenly, all of the wrong things started sounding just right to untrained and out of tune spiritual ears.
On this 500th anniversary of the Reformation, what are we passing on to our own children? Are we building a thinking foundation for them to stand firm on as the world around them tries to deny orthodoxy? Are we teaching them about the heroes of the Christian faith–those who were willing to risk everything for doctrines that many today don’t even care to learn about? Are we consistently teaching them that salvation is through Christ alone, by faith alone, and are we showing them how God has over and over again preserved the truth of His word? Through every season of doubt and discouragement, discontent and disagreement, He raises up generations of people, voices in the wilderness, proclaiming His truth once again.
We have to be these very voices in our times. In our living rooms. At our dinner tables. We have to teach our children what this faith is and what it has meant to all of the reformers and rebels and outcasts and the guardians of the breath-taking reality of scripture. Church history matters. It is our story. It’s our children’s story, written long before the foundations of this world were laid. In a world that has tried its best to trample all over the truths of the Bible, we can show our children where they come from and help them see which footsteps are worthy of following. Start today, by painting an image of Martin Luther standing there, hammer in his hand, fire in his soul, truth on his lips. It’s a story worth telling about a faith worth preserving.
Find the shirts Adelade and Sawyer are wearing here.