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Who is a Believing Child

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BACKGROUND - The Israelite didn't need a king. They wanted a king like other nations (1 Samuel 8:7) and they got a man named Saul. Saul spent his entire reign seeking God's input on what to do but always ignoring the input. Prophet Samuel eventually told Saul that obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22) and informed Saul of God's rejection of him as king. Yet, Saul continued to walk by his own sight and not by faith in God. This behavior led Saul to a shameful and painful death, right after his sons were killed (1 Samuel 31). David met God's requirements to become king over Israel and to this day he remains on the list of great men of faith regardless of his many sins. The point is, God's requirement of who He wants to lead His people cannot be modified by humans without consequences. The only way to avoid putting a choke-hold on God's truth is to have an open mind, regardless of how it may affect us as individuals (Galatians 1:10).

Abraham Inetianbor
Moses and Aaron were chosen to lead and eventually had their leadership position revoked - Deuteronomy 32:48-52. These were qualified leaders at one point, who failed to continue in the qualities that qualified them in the first place. Yes, we live under the law of grace but our God is the same and gave His requirements for who He wants to lead His people - not in Israel but in His Church. If continuity in faith doesn't matter, then once an elder should forever be an elder regardless of what they do after being appointed. I'm in no way preaching perfection so don't get it twisted. There are a lot of requirements listed for appointing elders in God's Church (1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1) but I'm only going to address ONE (believing or faithful Children) in this piece. God is not evil to make it difficult for us to understand His word especially when it pertains to life and godliness. The human never ending cravings for selfish gains often leads us to a place where we become comfortable having multiple beliefs on a clear truth.

BELIEVING CHILDRENSpeaking of God's truth, Paul asked a very clear question that if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he manage the house of God (1 Timothy 3:5). This alone is enough for us to conclude that there is NO age limit for your children to remain faithful to God. The house of God is full of grown adults and not babies running around in diapers. My ability to control a toddler who has no voice of their own in my household does not qualify me to manage or oversee a bunch of adults in God's house. The true test of a child remaining a believer is shown when they are adults of their own free will. You don't certify the submissiveness of a child when they are voiceless or willing to trade perks or pocket allowances for attending worship services. How do I expect the flock made up of grown men and women to trust my ability to Shepard and keep them safe when the flock I raised from childhood is being fed to the wolves and I don't seem to see anything wrong with this?

A believing child does not mean a perfect child. It simply means a God fearing child that refuses to depart from the ways of God, which was shown to him or her in accordance with the scriptures. Paul through the Holy Spirit will be contradicting himself if his intent is to give a certain age when it becomes OK for children to abandon the faith or become unbelievers. Timothy was a believing child and Paul admired him for not abandoning the ways of the Lord that was shown to him by his Mom and grandmother(2 Timothy 1:3-5).

I understand Proverbs 22:6 is in the "Old Testament" but when did Ephesians 6:4 become obsolete in relations to how Christians ought to raise their kids? Timothy was already a preacher when Paul acknowledged him as a son to his parents. The reason some people are called a grandfather or grandmother is because the choice we make to bring a child into this world has no expiration date. The choices they make later in life does not erase that tie. In Acts 16:1, Luke described Timothy's Mom as a "believer" or a "believing" Jew, which is a term often used by the apostles to describe those who are followers of Christ. This is the same term Paul used in Titus 1:6 while referring to the children of an elder as being faithful or believing children. Throughout the bible, "pistēs, pistōn, pista" is used interchangeably when describing Christians as those who believe, believing or believers.

HOUSEHOLD - Husband, wife and kid makes up a household. The same household that the man must manage well (1 Timothy 3:5). The world has a powerful influence on anyone of these people that makeup the household including the man. This is not breaking news and will not change until that trumpet sounds. People like Noah, Joshua and Lot lived in a corrupt world too, so the excuse of worldly influence on our kids does not hold water. If we are going to use the excuse of the "worldly influence" on our kids to say why the child of an elder does not need to be a believer, we might as well use the same excuse for the wife who is also a member of the household but not an office holder. The wife can become an unbeliever too and it will be OK. Why not take it a step further and make an unbelieving man into an elder in the Lord's Church? Where do we draw the line when interpreting God's plain truth that we don't own?

God called Jesus "My Son" at around age thirty (Luke 3:22-23) and Jesus often said He came to do the will of "My Father" (John 6:38-40). Noah's sons were over one hundred years old after the flood when God referred to them as "your sons" in Genesis 8:15-16. They were married adults and the bible still referred to them as "sons of Noah." This is because kids do not fall from the sky. They are forever tied to their parents. Not holding a leadership position does not disqualify anyone from being a Christian or going to heaven. It simply means you do not qualify for the leadership position. And if you are a true Christian, you can still perform your Christian duties without holding an "official" position unless there is pride or a personal gain as the motivating factor.

UNBELIEVING CHILDREN - Paul told Timothy to be an example to the "believers" in 1 Timothy 4:12. In addition to being called believers, Christians were also referred to as saints, trustworthy, faithful or reliable in 2 Timothy 2:2. Paul clarified in verse 13 of the same chapter two, what it is to be faithful when he described Jesus as "remains faithful" acknowledging Jesus as one who cannot disown Himself. The way apostle Paul described faithful or believing children in 1 Timothy 3:4 and Titus 1:6 is the same way faithful Christians or believers were described throughout the New Testament. A believing child is someone that is NOT "wild" or blatantly disobedient to their parents and to God. A child that people can generally agree is indeed respectful and a subordinate to his or her parents regardless of age. The opposite of "believing" is UNBELIEVING or rebellious.

Paul used "anypotaktois" in Titus 1:6, Titus 1:10 and 1 Timothy 1:9 to describe a disobedient, insubordinate or rebellious behavior, which is also how the unfaithful Christians and unbelievers are described. When the bible describes unbelievers and the unfaithful as rebellious, who are we to say that "faithful" or "believing children" does not mean a child who is a Christian? The only other explanation is to say let's throw the bible away and rely on our own individual interpretation.

CONCLUSION - No fancy statement, blog, book or scholastic interpretation can change the bible truth. Running a corporation is NOT the same as managing the house of God. The souls in your care needs to be spiritually led and fed and your best resume is your household. I truly believe that the only thing that is hypothetically worse than sinning is re-writing God's plain truth and making it fit into our lives (Deuteronomy 4:2; Revelation 22:18-19; 2 Peter 2:1). We should all find ways to help each other make progress in our spiritual journey, not reaching for ways to dilute sin. This requirement of "believing children" is crystal clear and even if it isn't, we are better off erring on the side of caution than looking for ways to force the bible to fit into our lives. Stay Blessed my friends.

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