The Goal, To Be Childlike.

Freethinkers are often asked why they just don’t become believers.  There is so much to be gained, they are told.

Sometimes the best answers come, not from freethinkers, but from believers.  One is Dan Delzell, who blogs on  Delzell is a Lutheran pastor in a suburb of Omaha, Nebraska.  Perhaps his writing reflects what is preached in many such communities.

He says for nonbelievers to become believers they have to lower their defenses.  They have to become like children bending to the will of their Father.  He is, of course, correct in that the language used in the Bible is full of authority metaphors about the relationship between child and parent.  He quotes scripture for this.

For millions of people, accepting beliefs as if a child and the god-as-father relationship is helpful.  They have a need to think in this way.

The main thrust of freethinkers, however, is not accepting beliefs from authorities, religious or government.  This is as far as one can get from the Christian childlike and god-as-father concepts.

Of course, there are occasionally freethinkers and atheists who become believers, not only in the Christian god, but in other gods.  Good for them if it is helpful.

But, to think freethinkers in general can simply set aside their own desire to think independently and become like children is far fetched.  It reflects someone who has had little contact with freethinkers.

The divide is too wide for most to cross.

2 Responses

  1. I think this takes a pretty narrow view of children and childhood.

    A lot of what’s great about childhood and children is testing boundaries, unrestrained creativity, spontaneous rule making and self ordering of their world that they engage in.

    Kids invent their own games and experiment with the rules in order to discover what works all the time.

    Children are freethinkers.

    1. seaofstories 1:02 Good point. What this Delzell does is extend the fundamentalist view of parenting, being the abosolute authority figure, and extent it to everything.

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