My previous blog was about children making accurate musical discernments. I have another story about their abilities to be more judicious and Scripturally wiser than many adults in matters of theology.
When I was a child growing up in the 1950's, I was raised in Catholicism. That meant Pope Pius XII was my theological superior, as were all his minions, including all the priests, nuns, and laity, which I was a minor member. I did not know the meaning of a heretic, but I was warned about them and knew they were dangerous and up to no good. They weren't going to Heaven. That was bad. Still is.
Down the street from our Catholic church was another church where heretics did whatever it is they did. What a shame. It was such a beautiful building and looked like a church, but what went on inside was heretical, and though I didn't know what that meant, I was to avoid it like the plague. The people inside that church were not going to Heaven. That was bad. Still is.
An interesting family lived two houses down from our childhood home. There was the lovely girl and her older brothers. The older brothers did stuff like build and fly homemade model airplanes whose propellers could take off your finger if you weren't careful starting it. They put an airplane motor on a handmade basal wood boat that literally did fast, huge "donuts" on the little pond by the bayou, and they built go-carts that went thirty miles per hour and always started. They blew up firecrakers and built firecracker cannons that fired rocks that stuck into tree trunks. It was reported that the oldest had climbed up the outside of the church tower down the street by using a corner of the building. This family was cool, and my siblings and I liked and respected them.
Then we found out they went to the Lutheran church. They were heretics and were going to Hell! That's bad. Still is.
I'll always remember a conversation my older sister Carolyn, 16, my older brother, William, 14, my younger brother Jack, 4, and I (9) had in the oyster shell driveway of our home.
Carolyn: "I think the Pope is wrong. Joe and Bill aren't going to Hell. How could God send good people like that to Hell?"
William: "They're going to Heaven. They've got to! It wouldn't be fair!"
Me: "Mary Ann is going to Hell? No way!"
Jack: "The Pope is wrong!"
William: "That means the priests are wrong too!"
Me: "That means all the nuns are wrong too!"
Carolyn: "I think that they are going to Heaven. I'm sure of it!"
Me: "So they're not going to Hell?"
William: "That's right. The Pope is wrong."
After a few more years of living and growing in my theological wisdom, I discovered that Lutherans worship Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, minus the judgemental influence of Rome and the Holy See.
Recently Pope Benedict revived the old, nasty claim that Catholicism was the One, True Church, and you had to be Catholic to get to Heaven. Shame on him! I knew four children who were theologically wiser than the present, well-educated leader of millions of Christians. Our only mistake was in judging that we knew they were going to go to Heaven. How could we possibly know?
"Judge not lest you be judged."