Great Stuff Found on the Web — The Child who Cries in Church Dies in Church

This was found on Pastor Philip Hoppe’s blog, Meditations of my Heart. Pastor Hoppe serves as pastor at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Ellsworth Kansas. Besides being a pastor, he is husband of one beautiful wife and father to five children.

 

The Child who Cries in Church Dies in Church

Okay, this phrase will never be as popular as “The Family that Prays Together Stays Together.” It probably will not be embossed onto artwork at your local Christian bookstore. It likely will never even find its way onto the top of some organization’s letterhead.

But it is equally as true as the much more popular phrase above. Oh yes, there are exceptions to every man made axiom, but the general wisdom is true. And what is the wisdom here? It is this: people brought to church in infancy are more likely to still be there in their maturity.

Wisdom says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).”

I think way too many people assume that this wisdom only becomes applicable once a child has the mental and vocal faculties needed to understand the content of our faith. That is not true. It is relevant from day one of life. All research reveals that even the youngest of children are learning all the time. The beginning of their training is gained by observation of the habits of those who care for them.

Many young moms and dad worry about bringing their infants to church because despite their best efforts, the child may break out into loud cries. And when this practical fear is combined with the satanic lie that infants can not really benefit for being in church anyways, often young parents and their infants remain willfully away for a time from Christ and his Church. And sadly, those willful choices often become permanent habits for parent and child alike. An all the while Satan chuckles as how he can use one or two disapproving looks in the pews combined with a simple misunderstanding to remove people from Christ and his Church. When this happens, his work seems all too easy.

So young moms and dads, bring your infants into the Lord’s house. Doing so trains them in the way that they should go. When they are old, they will not depart from it. And next time someone gives you that look when your baby is not as quiet as they remember their own being years ago, go up to them after and say, “The Child who Cries in Church Dies in Church.” They certainly will not know how to respond. The chuckle can be yours that day.

About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord, LCMSsermons.com, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

More of his work can be found at KNFA.net.

Comments

Great Stuff Found on the Web — The Child who Cries in Church Dies in Church — 12 Comments

  1. Parents have babies, on a schedule, generally. Sometimes, that does not work, time wise, w/a Divine Service. Bottles are great, when they are tiny. We didn’t bring food, or toys, to Church ( Oma may have, but that was the reward at lunch, afterwards).
    Toddlers, got the “kiddie” bulletin, did that while waiting for services to begin, then you learned how to sit, not fidget, and take part, & sing. Insert potty training here, lol.

    I was always grateful for a crying room, (special ed E.C. little boy: if ya couldn’t hear & then ya could, organs & music are loud & hurt). I didn’t want either one of our boys, to distract from those around them, we always had a cry room, where the D.S. was piped in. I & they still took part, just w/o distracting from the Pulpit or those around us. But, hey, we are really strict, w/our kids.

    To be honest, I’d rather hear a baby crying, a toddler fussing, Or them “chatting away”, than see adults, fidgeting, looking at watches, etc.

    Cuddles, sitting on Mumma/Daddy/Oma or Opa’s lap, is fine & rather sweet. I can’t imagine, when families, went to hear our Lord teach & preach, there were no babies, toddlers, & kids, there. Let’s remember here, to feed the 5,000, he used a little boy’s lunch. Not long ago, the Pastoral Hatchling, was in a full blown allergic reaction & severe asthma attack. Dad took him into the Crying Room, used our portable Neb machine, gave P.H. his meds, & they stayed, listened, & still participated in the Service. Just from afar, as all that would have distracted others, had we not. Babies cry, toddlers fuss, things happen, ya don’t need a study or consult, to use common sense to figure out, what & how & where.

  2. “…. then you learned how to sit, not fidget, and take part, & sing”

    I think this is way more distracting than the crying, letting the kid crawl and wander around instead of sitting still !!!

  3. I was always told (when my kids cried) that the Lord would much rather hear the crying of the children than the snoring of the saints!

  4. Timmy #4,
    That really all depends, on how parents, teach it. I & my sister, and then my boys….”don’t make me take you to the loo, sweet pea.” That usually does the trick.
    It isn’t that tough. By 3 or 4, they know to stand when the adults do, sit & listen when they do. Or, w/mine, until the summer prior to kindergarten, they both still took morning naps. One did stand, sit, & sing, the other just fell asleep. The point is, it all about training & teaching & that, begins w/parents. I’ve seen adults, not fair half as well as little ones. Kids tend to bear a responsibility, that belongs to adults, not them.

    To this day, have no clue what happens or what to do in the loo, but it worked really well, lol.

  5. It is this: people brought to church in infancy are more likely to still be there in their maturity.,

    That’s right! Ignore the dirty looks cast by those crabby old people as they watch your 2 year old boy crumble and smash goldfish pieces all over the pew and the floor. Chances are good that neither their children nor grandchildren go to church anymore. Some young couples cannot bear the sneering looks, become discouraged, and leave the divine service early.

    My wife and I choose to smile right back at those grumpy old goats! Their mean looks accomplish nothing. If I were to park toddlers and preschool aged kids in the nursery during Sunday school and during the entire service, what will they have learned? Sure, the nursery is ok should the kids remain unruly, however…….

    I think way too many people assume that this wisdom only becomes applicable once a child has the mental and vocal faculties needed to understand the content of our faith.

    Question for the Evangelicals: Where in the Bible does it state that God has two standards for judging us. Is there one standard for adults and another for children? Citations, please.

    Even a member of Mensa would be viewed as a fool in God’s eyes. Jesus compares us to sheep. Sheep count among the dumbest animals in His creation. Why are we called sheep?

    http://www.sheep101.info/sheepbasics.html

  6. @Mark #2
    Mark, okay I’ll bite. The link to the church you list, has a pentacostal image for worship; then the information under the worship tag is about ‘what we do for God’ ‘how we are involved’ ‘the type of people we are’ “who we are’ ‘what we do’ ‘how we participate.’

    This is all real nice. But this is not the theology of worship in the Lutheran Church. Worship is foremost about Christ, AC IV, receiving the Word and Sacraments, receiving absolution. If this is your church, please see your pastor and ask him why under ‘worship’ your church is presenting a very unLutheran image and theology. Instead of citing the people and diversity, all that we do…how about mentioning Christ and His gifts? Why we worship? What is the focus of worship? Why do we come to worship?

    Oops, never mind. Seriously, oops. I though this was a LCMS church, but I just saw that this is a AFLC congregation. The AFLC proudly heralds Philip Spener as a great theologian and church father, that explains it.

  7. @Lumpenkönig #7
    Is it too much to ask not to bring food into a sacred place of worship? Do you vacuum up the mess, the crumbs you mention, or leave it for others to clean up after your children? Perhaps this is why you get “dirty looks.”

  8. @Rev. Weinkauf #9
    WOW. April Fools to you too, Rev. Weinkauf!

    In case you are serious, we do clean up after ourselves as much as possible. Just for fun, go ahead and tell all the parents of small children in your congregation not to bring in small containers of goldfish or Cheerios during the worship service. I would wager that the back pews of your sanctuary would be empty every Sunday morning after such an announcement were made and enforced.

    Regarding dirty looks, I am only criticizing some (not all) senior citizens who had kids 40+ years ago and have long forgotten the struggles that young couples with kids experience. By the way, we get dirty looks from those same crabby people in restaurants, too. We make sure we leave a larger than normal tip for the waitress for her trouble. Similarly, since you pushed the issue, we also leave a larger than normal amount in the offering plate every Sunday to compensate for any loose crumbs that we missed. Thanks for your concern.

    Is it too much to ask LCMS pastors not to bring in worship and study materials by Rick Warren and Willow Creek? Who is supposed to vacuum up that mess, or do you leave it to web sites such as Worldview Everlasting, Pirate Christian Radio, or Issues, Etc. to provide laymen with Lutheran doctrine unpolluted by “Hee Haw” Evangelicalism? Which is the bigger mess, in your opinion? Which mess contributes to young couples leaving the LCMS for the non-denominational seeker church down the street, where the theology is the same, the worship songs are the same but played better, and where the coffee is Starbucks?

    I wish the LCMS would stop the covert feeder program to the non-denominational seeker churches.

  9. @Lumpenkönig #10

    “Which mess contributes to young couples leaving the LCMS for the non-denominational seeker church down the street, where the theology is the same, the worship songs are the same but played better, and where the coffee is Starbucks?

    “I wish the LCMS would stop the covert feeder program to the non-denominational seeker churches.”

    (Worth repeating.)

  10. In a Lutheran church, the babies are crying and the adults are not chatting. My mother insists she cannot hear the babies crying, but she can hear two adults whispering from the other side of the church.

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