Let me preface this by saying I love my family, in-laws and genetic, with no reservation. This is not an attempt to bash them, only to point out a discrepancy in our belief systems.
So my daughters made Credit Roll and my son made Effort Roll this last grading period. I am utterly proud of them, and they are the delights of my life.
Now I don’t know if Lara has told her family or not. It’s not that I’m worried about it, but it does play out a scenario in my mind.
I imagine that the words “We’re proud of them” would be uttered.
As nice as the sentiment is, it is fallacious. They cannot, in their system of belief, be proud of my kids.
They believe that in order to go to heaven, our ultimate achievement as humans, one must accept Jesus as their savior from sins they never committed. I am actively inoculating them against ANY kind of religion. Why and how I do this is another post, but it is how I am raising them.
In that belief system, it doesn’t matter if my kids graduate with honors or become criminals. Without that “salvation,” NOTHING they do on this earth matters. It can’t. Nothing they can do on this planet can save them from hell except for faith. Being proud for an earthly achievement is disingenuous at best.
If we could ignore that part, I can’t ignore other issues. They also believe that we should give thanks and glory to a god for anything and everything we experience (including suffering, a whole ‘nother story.) Well, if I do my job well, that will never happen. They will never thank anything that didn’t help them. They can thank their parents, teachers, friends, siblings, pets, or any other being that helped them achieve a goal, but not a deity, because they won’t believe one exists. In my in-laws’ worldview, that’s sinful too.
Whatever they accomplish, whether they fail or succeed, they’ll know why. They will own it. It will never be the capricious will of an “omnipotent” puppet master. They will never need to pray for guidance: they’ll know where to go for that.
The argument I imagine I’d hear is “just because they didn’t ask God for help, it doesn’t mean he didn’t help anyway.”
This fails on multiple counts. Most egregiously, there was a Christian in the news recently claiming that God didn’t stop a load of kids from being killed because he’s a “gentleman” who doesn’t go where he is not wanted. So according to that asshole, he’d never help my kids. “But he’s got it wrong; that’s not how God REALLY is.” Ok, I’ll bite. So God will interfere with lives even if he’s not invited to the party? Then why would he do that, and not stop those kids from being murdered? I’m sure some, if not most, of the victims had prayed not to be killed. Seems like a dick move.
Taking that, too, out of the equation; if God can/will do that, then this whole Free Will thing is kinda bupkis, since God can make anyone do anything at any time, anywhere. It follows that:
1) If we have no free will, then we cannot be held accountable for our actions, thus no original sin or need for salvation.
2) If we have no free will, then God is equally responsible for all good and evil in the world, since he’s pulling the puppet strings.
3) If we have no free will, as God has a plan for us, then it means that he’s throwing people in hell for no damn good reason, because he wrote the story, and could have NOT written that in, and there’s nothing anyone can do to change their fate. Deciding to be “saved” is no more a persons’ decision than breathing is.
4) Back to the original point, if we have no free will, then they can’t be proud of my kids because it’s not them, it’s God using them against their will, and he would get the glory.
So they can’t actually be proud of them. According to their beliefs, nothing they do matters, they’re sinful for doing anything without asking help of or thanking God, and it’s God doing it anyway and not my kids.
I love them to death, but I can’t subscribe to that much cognitive dissonance.