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The Open Door

 

Jesus had a lot to say about children. He clearly mandated how we are to treat children and warned severe consequences for those who did not treat children with love, respect and care. Matthew 19:13-15 is one of the most familiar texts: “Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” And He laid hands on them, and departed thence.

In Matthew 18, verse one and following, we find Jesus using a child to teach the disciples, and all who were nearby, how the Lord feels about His “little ones.” He is speaking of the vulnerability of the humble follower of Christ. He uses the child as an example of humility and trust.

When Jesus called the child to come to Him, without hesitation the humble and trusting little one came to Jesus. It is clear that Jesus was speaking of His followers as little ones. It is also clear that He is speaking of this child He uses as an example.

Matthew 18: 3 and following reads: “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little one in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

One commentator said that the literal translation of the word for “millstone” is “a millstone of a donkey.” In other words, it would be a millstone far too heavy for a human to lift or turn. The commentator continued by saying, the drowning of the offender could actually be accomplished by a much smaller stone and a much shallower depth of water than the sea, but Jesus was communicating the greatness of the wrath of God on such a person.

There is an ungodly disrespect for children in the culture of our country. In just 15 minutes in front of a television one evening recently, Janice and I saw examples of the irresponsibility of the media with regard to children.

It breaks my heart that Atlanta is leading the nation in child sex trafficking. Recently, our Woman’s Missionary Union led a large group of us to lobby the legislators at the state capitol regarding this serious problem.

A new program about newborn children and bungling fathers showed some clips of upcoming episodes. One instance portrayed a father-to-be who was too distracted by his texting to be caring for his wife during labor. A second one portrayed a father who was complaining because the baby was taking too long to arrive. Clearly, he was frustrated by the inconvenience to his schedule of whatever it was he wanted to do. Another episode clip showed a father accidentally dropping a cell phone on his newborn baby. Of course, the baby cried.

I’m wondering to myself, “Are the producers of this stuff so insensitive that they would think this is humorous, or entertaining?” What about the fact that a cell phone dropping on a newborn could seriously injure the infant. The cameras and lights were on when the phone was dropped. Some director made the decision to include the event in the program without a thought of the message it sends.

Right after that promotional of the new series, there was a commercial showing a child in a pet container being checked into baggage at an airport. The child was on hands and knees looking out the cage door and had whiskers drawn on his face, as though he was some kind of animal. The mother seemed to be commenting that it was a cheaper way to transport the child.

The end of the commercial showed the child in the cage disappearing up the conveyor belt to be loaded into the baggage bay on an airplane. I don’t have words to describe how I feel about the person who would produce such reprehensible material.

While I have not seen an episode, I understand that there is a new program on MTV called “Skins” which depicts teenagers in all manner of promiscuous situations. Does it not even register in the minds of the producers of such programs that this is not a good thing to do, that possibly such programming would encourage involvement of under-aged young people in the drug culture and promiscuous sex? Perhaps that is exactly what the producers intend to do, and the program is an actual statement of how low we have gone as a nation.

It breaks my heart that Atlanta is leading the nation in child sex trafficking. Recently, our Woman’s Missionary Union led a large group of us to lobby the legislators at the state capitol regarding this serious problem. We need laws in Georgia that will slam the door on child sex trafficking in our state and serve as a model for the rest of the nation. There is no place for such reprehensible acts.

Dear God, in heaven, please deliver us from this great sin of our culture. In Your convicting power may we be brought to our knees in repentance as a nation. Cause our churches to stand up and declare, “Enough!” Dear Lord, we pray that the infatuation and preoccupation with sin in America will be replaced with spiritual revival that will sweep the United States.