Children today are a strong focal point of our society. Family upbringing can a be a big factor in to whether a child can act as a Christian or not. If a child is brought up with good values and are thought to think of others and that life is not just about ourselves then they will be able to act as good Christians. Children can often be selfish and only think of themselves if not taught better. Although if you observe children you can tell which ones have had a good upbringing and those that have not been taught right from wrong.
Children are more likely to accept and not question at a young age whereas if older they may already be selfish and only think of themselves. Also in St. Marks gospel Jesus says; ‘I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it (10:15)’ By this he means adults must learn from children who have an unquestioning, unconditional love and belief in what they are taught- an honest innocence. Most Christian children today are baptised as a baby, this is because their parents want them to be part of God’s family.
When a child is baptised one of the things that they will be blessed with is that they will be able to resist temptation if you are baptised as a child you are more likely to be able to be a better Christian as you have the power to resist temptation. Some people may argue that being baptised as a baby is too young, as Jesus was baptised as an adult, but I think if a child decides they do not want to follow on in the Christian faith they can then not follow on to do their conformation class which then they will be able to make an informed decision about what they believe.
Children may be seen as too self-interested to be a disciple and are more likely to fail but part of being a disciple is failure for example when Peter disowns, Jesus forgave him and he shows that he understands human failure. Peter went on to be the leader of the Church despite his failing. Although these are still children we have to think about the fact that Christianity equips you with the tools and guidance of the Holy Spirit to help and guide you away from wrongdoing.
With all this support children should still be able to be just as much of a Christian as any adult. Children can do many things to act as disciples such as go to church, give money to charity, read/serve in mass and fundraise. I think a good example of how much children do really care is in Blue Peter, every year they organise the Blue Peter appeal, in which thousands of children organise bring and buy sales and other fundraising events for the issue they are raising for.
‘Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all (11:43-45)’ By this Jesus meant that we should serve others and help them as much as possible and I think all the children taking part in the Blue Peter appeal have done this. Another thing that we have to consider is when you say ‘child’ what this would mean. In the dictionary there are two definitions these are;
* Any person between birth and puberty
* An infant; a baby
What would we see as the right definition it is hard to classify do we mean by their mental age or by their physical appearance or by their age. If we cannot identify what a child is then how can we decide that we cannot have them as Christians? I do not agree with this statement as I feel there are many worthy children that are Christians in the world today. Children today are tomorrow’s generation and we depend on them to carry on good will an d follow our faith. Christianity is a way of life not an age.