Religious Child Abuse

I see atheist and Jesus Christ-denier Richard Dawkins’ claim that, “Teaching children to accept their families’ religious beliefs is child abuse,” is gathering support among like-minded atheists and Christ-deniers. Apart from knowing he is an atheist and Jesus Christ-denier, I know little else about Mr Dawkins. Many such people have come and gone before him with others waiting in the wings to take his place when he’s gone. And, at 75 years of age, perhaps it won’t be long before he is gone. Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow Psalm 144:4. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away James 4:14.

However, taking his claim at face value, perhaps “child abuse” is a reasonable tag to pin on religious parents and guardians, provided we know Bible Christianity is not a religion therefore, Bible Christians are not religious! What? That’s right. Theologians describe true Christianity is an act of God reaching down to people, whereas all other religions are acts of people trying to reach up to God. The first is accomplished through a relationship with Jesus Christ, the second, though non-accomplished, is attempted through strict obedience to a system of man-made religious beliefs, codes, rules, laws, traditions and any other acts seen as holy, good and God-pleasing. Jesus said it, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father (God) except through Me John 14:6.

Although they were not abused sexually, I have spoken with numerous adults formerly from religious systems who, as children, had the “fear of God” put into them by priests or pastors or parents. Guilt and fear (dread) of God were root causes for them now living dysfunctional lives. Alcohol and drug abuse, violence, divorce – lots of it could be traced back to what I would call religious child abuse. Think of it, none of them learned of the love, mercy, forgiveness and compassion of God. The message they grew up with was something like, “God is looking down on you. He’s watching every bad thing you do and if you don’t start being good, you’ll go to hell when you die!” People who are atheists and Jesus Christ-deniers today, perhaps this is the reason some are so.

Someone may ask, “So, what’s the difference between those people and Mr Dawkins?” He has heard the true gospel of Jesus Christ countless times and has hardened his heart against it. Not so, most people suffering from religious child abuse. Certainly they have hard hearts, but they are yet to hear the true gospel. Many will soften their heart in your presence if the gospel is presented to them under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Many a tear comes to the eyes of the abused when hearing the truth of Jesus. That doesn’t mean they get converted on the spot, but it does mean they understand their abusers were not true men and women of God and that the true God is nothing remotely like the abusers in nature and character.

“Catholic guilt is my problem,” some non-practicing Roman Catholics jokingly say. But it’s not a joke for others. They’ll admit they’re genuinely guilt-ridden for not having lived up to their church’s “do” and “don’t” rules and dogmas. They shudder at the thought of the Ten Commandments for example, knowing they’ve violated most of them. From childhood they’ve been told they must obey them, but they have not been told obedience to them is impossible and that that’s why God sent Jesus and that’s why Jesus sent the Holy Spirit. In other words, the true gospel of Christ has been kept from them. That’s religious child abuse. Trying hard to get it right but knowing you’re getting it wrong – no wonder so many have been driven to despair.

How about the domineering, manipulative religious cult leader who tells his passive, unquestioning people, “I am the human face of Jesus Christ to you. Disobey me and my teaching and you disobey Jesus and His teaching!”  There’s lots of religious child abuse going on there. The grownups among them were abused with that lie as children and now they’re passing it on to their children! Not only are children abused in their “church” gatherings, they are abused every time that lie comes to mind. Suicide and other forms of self-harm are commonplace for many young people now in their teens, not to speak of suffering from nervous breakdown, depression and the like. Even so it is not the will of your Father….. that one of these little ones shall perish Matthew 18:14.  

How about the religious cult that teaches Jesus is a mighty god, but not Almighty God Jehovah? This religious cult denies the One God who exists in 3 Persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It denies the existence of the Holy Spirit as a Person. This religious cult rejects the doctrine of the Trinity; it rejects the doctrine of hell. And, they show you from the Bible how they’ve arrived at those denials. That’s not all they deny but that’s enough to send anyone to hell who accepts what they say whether they believe in hell’s existence or not. Religious child abuse is the charge laid here too – salvation in Jesus alone is denied them. The cult? Jehovah’s Witnesses. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End…… the First and the Last Revelation 1:8, 17; 21:6; 22:13.

Mormonism is a religious cult guilty of religious child abuse. When we look beyond their surface beliefs we find Mormonism denies biblical Jesus too, resulting in loss of salvation. They say Jesus is a created being, the first-born spirit child sexually conceived in spirit form by a heavenly Father and a heavenly Mother. Jesus and Lucifer (Satan) were brothers in the spirit world, with Jesus being chosen as the world’s Savior. They say Jesus was born of Mary on earth but not by conception of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was married to Mary, Martha and Mary Magdalene – a polygamous Jesus! Since Jesus was only a god and not God, so male Mormons can become gods too with continuous effort and obedience. Their Book of Mormon contradicts the Bible.

A religion that brainwashes young children into believing it’s okay to kill Jews and all infidels is guilty of religious child abuse, most certainly. Islam is the only religion sanctioning that presently, but who knows what children are currently being primed to carry out the same barbarism and will do so once God lifts His hand of restraint from the world? When we look at the forthcoming slaughter prophesied in the book of Revelation during the time of the Great Tribulation it’s not difficult to see Jew-haters and Jesus Christ-deniers of very young ages getting in on the act. They did it in Nazi Germany, Communist Russia and China and they’ll do it again. Nations sanctioning the murder of their unborn will have no problems brainwashing kids for killing purposes.

So what is it that brings many a tear to the eyes of people who suffer from religious child abuse? It is the knowledge that salvation is a gift from God to them; that it’s the will of God for them to receive it and that they are kept by the power of God once they do receive it. It is the knowledge that the sinless God Almighty incarnated Himself on earth in the sinless Jesus Christ and died on the cross in their place for their sin. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life John 3:16. It is the knowledge that they are saved from hell by God’s grace, not by striving to be a “good” person Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 2:11. 

Continuing: It is the knowledge that they have been freely justified by God’s grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus Romans 3:24. Justified – as the late Derek Prince loved to teach it: “just as if I’d never sinned.” He was correct to teach it that way, regardless of the religious naysayers in the church. God says it too! As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us Psalm 103:12. How far is that? Only God knows! So far removed are they, God tells us He has forgotten them Isaiah 43:25. As if that were not enough, God tells us we are free from all condemnation of our sins Romans 8:1. True, condemnation comes to us but not from God; it comes from Satan the devil, the founder of religious child abuse!

Continuing: It is the knowledge that they become a new creation in Christ at the point of receiving Him as Savior and Lord 2 Corinthians 5:17. As John Wesley put it: “He has new life, new senses, new faculties, new affections, new appetites, new ideas and new conceptions.” So yes, “child abuse” is a reasonable charge to make, but not in the “light” of anything Mr Dawkins says, for he is stumbling in spiritual darkness every bit as much as religious people trying to get to God by their own efforts are stumbling in it! But it could be called child abuse in the light of everything Jesus says – religious child abuse. To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them Isaiah 8:20. I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life John 8:12.

Published by Roger Williams

Himself, music and alcohol were his gods for the first part of his existence. Then 38 years ago he had a dramatic encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ. That experience changed his life and led him into Community ministry for 3½ years. He's been a radio broadcasting presenter of the Gospel for 30 years. Streaming on the Internet Roger can be heard every Sunday morning at 8:00 AM Australia EST. Simply click on 'Links' at the bottom of page: 'World Clock -Time Zone Converter' and 'Radio Revelations - Good News on the Radio.'

Join the Conversation


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Translate »