The fact that so many parents desire their children to read the Bible makes me question the state of our world. Are that many people ignorant to the gruesome stories in the Bible, or is our world so horrible a place that we have to educate our children on who God is early on so that there is an early avenue of hope for them in a world that is about to destroy them? I mean, do we think about what we’re telling our kids to read?
We tell our children to get to know Jesus and about His love, but did we ever think about how conflicting it’d be for children to learn about how God ordered the entire annihilation of a region of people? It didn’t happen once, but several times. He created the flood, the fire and brimstone that reduced cities to ash, ten plagues to destroy a kingdom, a poison that killed the people He loved, and created other catastrophes while promising to do even worse in His second coming. But it’s okay, because God was just and the people were wicked.
Isn’t it worse to know that such abhorrent bad guys are in fact human? They aren’t monsters, ghosts, demons, or creatures. One of the earliest sins in the Bible is murder, but it was not murder out of rage or revenge. The first recorded murder in the Bible is from jealousy. The first murderer killed his brother, not a stranger, not a thief, or rapist. He intentionally killed his brother out of jealousy. This lets our children learn from the start that they cannot trust family.
The Bible then goes into far worse stories about betrayal from family. A husband feared people enough to claim that his wife was his sister. A wife gave her husband to his slave in order to have a child. Daughters drugged their father to have sex with him in order for him to have grandchildren. A mother helped a younger brother steal his older brother’s blessing. An uncle tricked his nephew into working 14 years for his wife instead of the 7 years that he originally agreed to. Then, brothers sold their youngest brother into slavery, and then lied and told their father he was eaten by wild beasts. The Bible teaches you early on that you cannot trust people, even the people who gave birth to you. All of them can betray you in some form or fashion, and that betrayal can be sick. And this is the first book of the Bible.
The Bible ups the antics of humankind by introducing our young readers to rape, homosexuality, prostitution, and slavery. A king had his soldiers throw the male infants and toddlers born to slaves into rivers as food for alligators and called it population control. After the introduction of slavery, there are other gruesome stories: men cutting themselves in worship of false deities, citizens thrown into furnaces and dens of lions for disobedience to tyrant kings, judged humans being stoned to death or hung up on wooden crosses, more toddlers and infants slain with weapons trying to find one Hebrew king, and, a documented story I can’t forget, a concubine being gang-raped until she died at the doorstep of a house where her supposed lover was sheltered from the violence.
Have we prepared ourselves to have the discussion on the putrid acts of humanity that continue even to this day? Have we prepared ourselves to discuss God’s response to our putridness? We have our children reading Bibles. We cannot be irresponsible or ill prepared for these discussions.
This is why I want to make Rated-R movies of the Bible. I want to show the world the gruesomeness of our species and how it pales in comparison to the punishments of God. I want to display things like why our justice system thinks so little of rape or why our nation tries to celebrate the depravity of humanity that is homosexuality. I want to show the correlation to the abuse of the Israelites in Egypt, Persia, Babylon, and Rome with the hunt of black people in America. I want to show the breakdown of a man who had to kill his daughter in order to honor an oath with God, and how men to this day continue to sacrifice women for victories. I want to show that humanity has not changed since the beginning of time, and neither has God.
God will come to punish the wicked and save the faithful. Are you able to talk you’re your child about the literal tons of blood God will reap at the end of the Bible? People will continue to be cruel with each other and stubborn in this cruelty until they are destroyed. Are you ready for your child to catch the correlations with today’s societies? As the biblical days, we do not live in a clean and censored world. Perhaps, the Bible isn’t something we should restrict our children from reading. Perhaps, we judge R-rated movies more harshly than we should.
My only question is: are you prepared to tell your children why God allowed the Garden of Eden to become what Earth is today? Are you going to explain to your child why Philistine’s gouged out Samson’s eyes rather than killing him? Are you willing to teach that child you handed a Bible why John the Baptist’s head was served to a princess for her birthday? In all your preaching on Jesus and the Disciples, how will you encourage the young, or even old readers, why the gruesome deaths of Christ Jesus and His followers shouldn’t be a fear of theirs? Will you be able to dive into the history of these societies, where men slept with boys as a rite of passage to manhood, or religions sacrificed babies to appease their gods, or where everyone’s marriage involved concubines, mistresses, harlots, slaves, or whatever you feel comfortable calling adulterers?
If you are prepared to have these discussions, I applaud you. I just wonder at what age I should give my child the book that will either break or make them. Will I be a good guide? Will I lead them astray? Will they see the continued wickedness in the Bible and overlook the hope? Will they find God a villain before they see Him as a Savior? I am terrified, and I argue that anyone trying to give someone a Bible should be equally terrified.
The Bible is a book full of hope, but let’s not act like the only thing discussed in the Bible is hope. Everything is not gruesome and putrid. Some things are actually pleasant, but in a lot of ways it is a reflection of life itself. There is much about sin and sin’s effects on the world around us. It is not a book anyone should read on their own. You should always have someone to discuss your findings with. I just wonder if you will shun the curious reader like you shun R-rated movies. They are so similar in a lot of ways, but arguably vastly different in their overall message.
You’ve seen R-rated movies. You know why children under 17 shouldn’t be exposed to such horrible stories, though not all children mature at the same speed. I leave you with this question: how are you so comfortable giving a child a Bible, even though what’s discussed in the Bible you wouldn’t want them to see in a movie?