Carnal Advice Rejects Eternal Values
I seldom read advice columns. These experts, so-called, such as Amy Dickinson and others are too often void of any spiritual truths. They write words that are typically settled into the present, physical world of carnal understanding. Their advice lacks God inspired wisdom. They seem to have no grasp of the eternal value of the human soul. So in ignorance, they seek to strip families of core spiritual strength.
Sometimes, when eating alone and having excess time to scan the headlines of the local paper, I catch words that draw my attention. This happened on a Sunday afternoon back on October 16, 2011. The words that captured my eyes read: “Teen Churchgoer Finds Faith Faltering.” The article came beneath an advice column operated by Amy Dickinson.
Even without reading the article, I felt in my spirit that this teen would never receive an answer that placed any value on the eternal position of the human soul. Now before you start howling, this observation is merely a reflection of what I see in this modern world that displaces truth with emotional babble shrouded as psychology.
Fear for the Stumbling Soul
Anytime someone appears at risk of stumbling, my interest in that person quickly intensifies. No true child of God will ever lose the security of eternal salvation. They are kept by a supernatural strength that exceeds their own abilities.
However, we who are redeemed are all in the same battle. The deceiver seeks to lie, kill, and destroy. We are here to help one another, to strengthen one another, and at times to lead home the fence-setters that have never truly received the redeeming power of the Holy Spirit.
Spiritual Relationships Expound the Value of the Soul
The newspaper article appeared under a heading tagged Relationships. The featured advice columnist is Amy Dickinson. To make it brief, a 16-year old child wrote concerning his or her disappointment with church related activities. In the course of many other comments, the writer closed with the following words – the “they” implies his or her parents:
“I respect their right to go to church; why can’t they respect my right to not go? I think I’m old enough to make the decision myself.”
Advice columnists Amy Dickinson provided a response that clearly evidences her failure to understand the value of eternal salvation and the ultimate disposition of the human soul.
I’ll make it short.
She began with the following words: “I agree that you are old enough to make the decision about whether to go to church.” Later in the article she advised the child to seek the aid of an assumed external authority over his or her parents. Faith,” she wrote, “in its many forms and feelings is individual and deeply personal. You should not feel forced to discuss it with anyone if you don’t want to.”
In fairness, Amy Dickinson prompted the child to negotiate a reasonable solution to the issue. However, her reasonable solution has already given weight to the concept of breaking free of parental authority in matters of spiritual importance.
This is so sad. Had this 16-year old child proclaimed a right to drink alcohol, engage in fornication or adultery, or even merely the freedom to party with people of known bad reputations and deeds, this advice columnist would likely have suggested a consultation with his or her wise and caring parents. Rather than seeking to undermine the authority of the parents, Amy Dickinson would have strengthened the authority of the parents.
But here, in the matter of greatest importance, the advice columnists presents the parents as overbearing, controlling, and unreasonable in their expectations. They should not be involved in their child’s spiritual life. They have no authority in matters of faith and God and hope and eternal security. To Amy Dickinson, it appears not to matter that hell waits on the horizon.
In every aspect of life, some parents will exceed common sense. This in no way nullifies the truth of eternal matters. Children should be raised in the fear and admonition of the LORD. And until they are self-sufficient and away from home, they are required to live according to the house rules.
If you consider a 16-year old sufficiently mature to dismiss their parent’s faiths and beliefs in the living God, consider also that they should be able to dismiss their parent’s decisions concerning cars, insurance, party rules, sexual attitudes and behaviors, drug use, and all these other temporal matters that hold but a candle to the eternal value of the human soul.