The following bit of theology was published by John Bond, the Senior Minister at Lifestreams Christian Church, South Perth and is attributed to Paul O’Rourke, who is on the board of Emily’s Voice, and works closely with the ACL – and spent a year as a consultant to them on their “for kids sake” campaign.
I love how he says that “there are record #’s of children in out of home care” and then he says “this corresponds to increasing reports of abuse and neglect”
Yes, the Australian Christian Lobby has said there is a correlation between “foster care” and “child abuse”.
I leave it with you to listen to this … but the part I wanted to draw your attention to is the exposition of the rationale for evangelizing children. The part about hindus and children … is staggering. Folks one is at a loss for where to begin, but I suggest that the ACL all read Dickens on thier next retreat as they ponder their view that things today are awful and getting worse.
These are people who don’t just use “evil” as an pat of speech, and “angels” aren’t metaphors, They literally believe that Satan is real and he causes social problems. I’m sure glad to know that someone is keeping the hallowed ideas of the 1500’s alive in Canberra.
I’ll post more on this, later, but read it and weep …
Why Satan hates our children
2 parts – Why Satan hates our children and how he uses us to steal from, kill and destroy them
John 10:10 NIV “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full,’’
During the last couple of years of devotional reading I have been impacted by Jesus’ where He highlighted in Matthew 18, Mark 9 and Luke 9 children’s humility, purity and willingness to serve as key prerequisites for anyone entering God’s kingdom.
These are the very qualities that Satan discarded when he led a rebellion against God and was cast out of heaven.
Isaiah 14:12-14 (NIV) How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”
This reveals that Satan’s pride was his downfall, while its (prides) absence in children is their greatest strength.
Jesus went on to say in Mark 9:37 that we welcome Jesus and the one who sent him when we welcome children. To emphasise His love for children and the special place they hold, Jesus goes on to use some of the strongest language in the New Testament in warning adults about causing children to sin.
Mark 9:42 (NIV) “And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.
These are fighting words to Satan who, since the creation of the world, has been at war with God through the sons and daughters of Adam, both to break the heart of God and prevent the extension of God’s kingdom.
Satan hates our children
Satan hates our children because children are the brightest reflection of God’s glory
Given humanity is the highest of His creation, and a constant reminder to Satan of his loss. The children’s heartfelt praises are a fragrant perfume to God, but a stench in the nostrils of Satan, the former worship leader of heaven.
Matthew 21:15-16 (NIV) But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple area, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant. “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “‘From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise’?”
The battle lines have been drawn and the stakes are high; the hearts and minds of people.
Satan hates our children because they enjoy an intimacy with God that Satan lost
Matthew 18:10 says the children’s angels are always before the father’s face.
Matthew 18:10 (NIV)“See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.
They have a special access to the throne that adults seem to lack.
In Mark 10 Jesus blasted the disciples for trying to prevent the babies and infants from gaining direct access to Him.
Mark 10:13-16 (NIV) People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth; anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.
This Scripture also says Jesus enjoyed the children’s company, allowing them to sit upon his knee and blessing them.
Satan hates our children because he fears them
God has often used children to teach adults about kingdom principles, as agents of change and God’s servants, spokespeople and role models.
- The servant girl who convinced Naaman to seek the man of God to cure his leprosy (2 Kings 5:1-3)
- Miriam, who skilfully convinced Pharaoh’s daughter to pay her mother to raise her brother, the abandoned Moses (Exodus 2)
- Josiah, the eight-year-old king who showed wisdom beyond his years after the failure of adults to follow God (2 Kings 21:24)
- David, the shepherd boy who slew a giant and led a nation (1 Samuel 17)
- The Boy who offered his meagre lunch to feed a multitude (John 6:9)
- Samuel, who brought correction to the apathetic and derelict Eli (1 Samuel 3)
- Esther, the orphan who went on to save her people through her wisdom and courage
- Mary, God chose an unmarried teenage girl to bear the Christ child, and to manifest himself in human form as a baby, born into poverty in a backwater of the Roman Empire.
Satan hates our children because they are the most receptive to the Gospel
They still have most of their lives still ahead of them to share their faith with others.
Children represent half the population within the 10/40 window, those countries between the 10th and 40th degree of latitudes regarded as unevangelized or unreached by missiologists.
There are 4 billion people living within the 10/40 window including 37 Muslim countries and 7 Buddhist nations. 80% of the world’s poorest people live there. 1
Research by George Barna and others show that from 40-60% of people who will make a decision to follow Jesus Christ, will do so between the ages of 4 and 18. 2 Children represent a window within a window, and a strategic opportunity for Christians responding to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-22).
Barna writes: “Consider the facts. People are more likely to accept Christ as their Saviour when they are young. Absorption of biblical information and principles typically peaks during the pre-teen years. Habits related to the practice of one’s faith develop when one is young and change surprisingly little over time.’’ 3
God knows this, and so does Satan. Throughout scripture, but particularly in the Old Testament books of the law and Proverbs, parents are told repeatedly to train their children in the things of God. Children are underrepresented in missions spending, yet are the most responsive people group.
Care for children, including introducing them to Jesus, is also an effective way of introducing their siblings and parents to a personal saviour.
Consider the story of the widow in 1 Kings 17 and 18 who says “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth,’’ (18:24) after God raises her son from the dead through the prophet Elijah. God had miraculously provided food for the woman and her son for two years, but it was the miracle of her son’s resurrection that convinced her that Elijah’s God was the one true God.
Satan hates our children because they represent the future of the church
It has been said that the church is but one generation away from extinction. Satan recognises the strategic nature of preventing children from getting to Jesus. Children are at the very heart of a battle as Jesus build his church, declaring that the gates of hell will not prevail (Matthew 16:18).
As a ministry involved in holistic child development, Compassion bears testimony to church growth directly related to the church’s ministry to children through sponsorship – This happens right thru the developing world.
Satan hates our children because they have a simple faith, innocence and ready ability to believe the things of God
Jesus told his disciples in Mark 10:15 that they would not enter the Kingdom of God unless they became like little children.
In John 3:3, Jesus said we must be born again.
Keith White explains: “You’ve got to let go of all your adult, culturally-laden preconceptions and be ready, as it were, to start over again in Christ, just as a baby is starting for the first time,’’ 4
In Luke 9, the disciples are arguing about who was the greatest. You get the sense it was not the first time hostilities had broken our, given their backgrounds and the amount of time they spent together. They were jostling for position and title, perhaps jealous at the perceived favouritism shown by Jesus towards Peter, James and John who accompany the master to the mountain of transfiguration. Jesus, sets a child in their midst to highlight that greatness resides in service and humility, not pride and power.
In Mark 9:3, it says the disciples were reluctant to tell Jesus about the nature of their arguing. They had been caught out; they were acting “childish’’, but Jesus commanded them to be “child-like’’. The same or next day, the disciples demonstrate their inability to grasp Jesus’ concept of humility and childlikeness when they try to stop the mothers from bringing their children to Jesus. Full of self importance and their own worldly agenda, Jesus has had enough and tells them in no uncertain terms not to get between him and the children. With fiery eyes, Jesus’ indignation is literally, “How dare you’’.
The apostle Paul picks up on the innocence and purity of children when he tells the church in Corinth to be like infants in regard to evil… people listen to these words…
1 Corinthians 14:20Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.
Katherine Copsey, in her essay, What is a Child? 5 points to several child-like characteristics within a child from which adults can learn in connecting with God. These include children’s uncomplicated nature; their ability accept things at face value; their gift of perception that enables them to discern duplicity and hypocrisy; their sense of awe and wonder at God’s creation; willingness to share and give to others; their simple needs, optimism and faith.
“The God of this world (Satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers,” (2 Corinthians 4:4) but not children!
Dr Vinay Samuel says children have an inherent transcendence, a sense or sensitivity to the Divine, to “mystery’’ and to the touch of God in their lives. 6
World renowned Australian-based worship leader Darlene Zschech bears testimony to the faith and hope that children possess from her family’s meeting some years ago with AIDS orphans in South Africa. The children, who all knew they were dying of AIDS, sang for her the Hillsong praise anthem, All Things Are Possible, with a heartfelt joy and confidence that belied their dire circumstances. They understood what it was to know Jesus. It seems these children had the same revelation as another young girl who, when asked what she would say if God asked why he should allow her into heaven replied: “Why should I have to say anything? He knows me. I’ll just run into his arms.’’ Amen!
Satan hates our children because they love God, and he loves them
This may seem somewhat trite and obvious at first glance, but consider the relationship between Jesus and children. Jesus can identify with children; after all he entered the world as a child, experiencing the same joys and pains of childhood of his peers. Jesus’ very birth caused the death of dozens of baby boys; Jesus never forgot the cost of his coming to children just like him.
Jesus could trust himself to children in a way that he could not and would not with adults. On many occasion in the Gospels it is recorded that Jesus’ knew the heart and thoughts of men: deceit, hypocrisy, hate, evil, slander, unbelief and selfishness. Jesus never had to be cautious with children, because they came with clean hands and pure hearts.
Finally, children never turned on him the way adults did when he failed to overthrow the Roman empire. Adults nailed Jesus to the cross, not children, and it was adults who accepted the blame for his wrongful death, on behalf of their innocent children who had no say in the matter.
In a couple of weeks – How Satan uses us to steal from, kill and destroy them.
1. Patrick Johnstone, Operation World, CD Rom, 2001
2. George Barna, Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions, Ventura, California, Regal Books, 2003; surveys quoted by Dan Brewster, Asia area director of advocacy, Compassion International.
3. Ibid. George Barna. 47.
4. Keith White, A Little Child Shall Lead Them. Rediscovering Children at the Heart of Mission. Paper presented to the Cutting Edge Conference, De Bron, Holland, 2001
5. Katherine Copsey, What is a Child?
6. Reference to Vinay Samuel by Dan Brewster, Child, Church and Mission, p 96, Compassion International 2005
Why Satan hates our children
John 10:10 NIV “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full,’’
Satan hates our children because…
- Children are the brightest reflection of God’s glory
- Children enjoy an intimacy with God that Satan lost
- He fears Children
- Children represent the future of the church
- Children have a simple faith, innocence and ready ability to believe the things of God
How Satan uses us to steal from, kill and destroy CHILDREN
Children pay for the sins of adults. They paid for the sin of the first man and woman, and have been victims of adult neglect ever since.
Satan uses us to steal from, kill and destroy Children when we abort children or give birth to less CHILDREN
He has largely succeeded in preventing women from having any children, or fewer children. Ironically, those women unable to have children of their own find it difficult to adopt the tens of thousands of needy children in our world. Waiting lists are long and the process slow and cumbersome. You can’t help but think that Satan laughs while the children cry and the adoptive parents wait.
Abortion is the ultimate form of child abuse. The statistics are shocking.1 An estimated 40 million children are aborted annually. In Australia, an estimated 100,000 abortions are performed each year, many paid for by our national health scheme. Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott was vilified by the pro-choice, anti-child lobby when he spoke up for children at a speech a few years ago at an Adelaide University. In South Australia, the state of his provocative speech, more children were aborted than born in 2004. Australia recently made it easier to have an abortion with the approval in 2006 of the RU 486 abortion pill.
In his book, Fewer, Ben Wattenburg notes that birth rates are declining in many developing and developed countries. He notes that 63 nations have birth rates under the 2.1 needed to maintain the population. He points out there are growing number of nations whose women are deciding not to have any children. These include Germany, 26%, Finland and the United Kingdom, 21%, Italy and The Netherlands, 19%, and the US, 16%.
This is contrary to God’s plan for mankind which is to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 2:9), and to raise Godly offspring (Malachi 2:15)
Satan uses us to steal from, kill and destroy Children when we oppress, exploit and neglect Them
We do this through a variety of means, but most notably through either poverty or prosperity. Adults are almost always the cause of both extremes through sin expressed in corruption, neglect, exploitation and various forms of physical, emotional, spiritual and sexual abuse.
Around 30,000 children die daily from preventable causes 2, that’s over 10 million children annually. Preventable causes include malnutrition, neglect, abuse and simple childhood diseases. Children are the hardest hit by poverty, have the least means to change their circumstances, and yet are our nations’ future.
Consider the enormity of child poverty from these figures: 3
- An estimated 670 million children live in abject poverty, 37% of all children
- 100 million children live on the streets of the cities of the world.
- There are 10 million child prostitutes with an estimated one million more children added each year to this vile trade.
- One third of children have to live in dwellings with more than five people per room.
- Over half a billion children have no toilet facilities.
- 134 million children have no access to school.
- 246 million children work; and 171 million of those are engaged in the worst forms of child labour.
It is adults who sell their children into the child sex trade, and adults who use their services; adults who force or allow children to work or fight adult wars; adults who abuse, neglect and devalue children.
Many adults in the developed world are robbing, killing and destroying their children, not through lack, but through prosperity.
Contrast this with the facts that a third of Australian children are overweight or obese. This figure will increase to 50% within the next two decades unless the trend is reversed. 4
Adults are not paying enough attention to what their children eat, allowing the children to dictate meals choices or buying unhealthy fast foods because of their convenience.
Australia is one of the richest countries on the planet but also has one of the highest teen suicide rates 5.
Our children are resource rich but starved of time and love.
Wilson Grant, in his book, The Caring Father, says children measure love by the amount of time we spend with them.
God leads, and his yoke is easy and his burden is light (Matthew 11:30), but Satan is driving adults to go faster, better and longer, and our children are being sacrificed on the altar of “success’’. Many families are leaving others to raise their children through a variety of childcare options to enable parents to work.
Satan always wants us to go to opposite extremes which denigrate and devalue children. In the 19th century and half the 20th, It used to be said that children should be seen and not heard; now children are not heard because they are not seen! Stressed and selfish parents are increasingly seeing the few children they have as burdensome, to be raised by others or overindulged.
Satan uses us to steal from, kill and destroy our children when families fall apart
Almost half Australian marriages end in divorce 5. In most cases, divorce damages and hurts children.
Blended families, access visits, increased child care and greater exposure to abuse from stepfathers all put strain on relationships, and children suffer through insecurity, fear and doubt.
Satan uses us to steal from, kill and destroy our children when we raise them according to his ways instead of God’s
Secularist and animistic beliefs and practices are at the expense of children. The animistic and secular worldviews argue that there is no absolute truth.
Satan wants secular westerners to believe anything and everything, rather than the right thing. There is no true north, no definitive right and wrong, and children are scared from lack of boundaries and direction.
Animism tells our children that their fate is sealed and to accept their destiny rather than striving to achieve greatness. In fact, Hinduism says failure to accept one’s lot will retard growth in future lives.
At the other extreme, the secular worldview says this world is all there is, so get what you can, even at the expense of others, as there is no ultimate consequence.
Paul writes in the book of Romans (1:18-22) that we have exchanged the truth about God for a lie. He also refers to the weak and miserable principles (Galatians 4:9) and hollow and deceptive philosophies (Colossians 2:8) that enslave people.
These harmful worldviews manifest themselves in a variety of behaviours damaging to children. A Hindu mother whose daughter is raped does not seek justice for the wrong, or care of the child because of the belief that the offender will get his in the next life, and that the child may have done something in a past life to become the victim.
At the other extreme, children are told there is no God and that they make their own luck, fortune and happiness. In the animistic world view, children effectively have no rights, in the secular; they have all rights, but few responsibilities, creating the bizarre scenario of children being able to divorce their parents.
God charges parents and the church with the responsibility of bringing children to Jesus through an awareness of his majesty, commands, promises, unconditional love for individuals and redemptive plan. In effect, God’s glory is being replaced with man’s, God’s wisdom with man’s flawed knowledge, grace with hard work and luck.
Satan uses us to steal from, kill and destroy children when we overestimate or underestimate their abilities and potential
Unfortunately, the church is as guilty as the world in the latter of these two scenarios. In many of our churches, ministry to children and ministry by children are seriously lacking. Children’s workers are often untrained volunteers given scant resources. Children can be overlooked by the ministers, the church boards, leadership and the congregation at large.
While children are not small adults, they have exceptional ability to understand the things of God.
I recall a story from India of children, on hearing in church that God heals, had sufficient confidence in Him to go to a local hospital and allow the Holy Spirit to heal dozens of patients they laid hands upon and prayed for.
For these children, God said it, they believed it, and then acted upon the word with the simple but profound faith they possessed. Winky Pratney
Many churches have underestimated the ability of children to make a personal commitment to Christ, preferring to wait until children are in their late teens or adulthood before recognising their ability to minister or baptising them.
Scripture tells us that by age 12, Jesus had such knowledge and wisdom that he captivated the religious leaders of his days.
Satan wants us to believe that they are only children, to dismiss their faith. I say let these spiritual dynamos loose on a dying world where adults are preoccupied with their own needs, or have become confused and cynical from trying to figure out their faith. Children have no such distractions, doubts or fears.
Some organisations, including organisations such as the United Nations, have overestimated children’s abilities, giving them rights they do not have the maturity to handle.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child, while well meaning, has some dangerous articles that conflict with parental rights and responsibilities. In some cases, State (Government) rights seem to override parental rights, with children given the disturbing right to be final arbiter.
We overestimate children’s abilities when we give them other freedoms and rights they are unable to handle. Many countries have been lowering the age of consent, giving children earlier, and State-sanctioned rights to engage in hetero and homosexual relationships.
Ephesians 6:12 (NIV) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.’’
Satan uses us to steal from, kill and destroy children when we exasperate them
Ephesians 6:4 (NIV) Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
Colossians 3:21 (NIV)Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
Fathers are not to exasperate (parorgizete, “provoke to anger”; used only here and in Rom. 10:19; Col. 3:21) their children by unreasonable demands, petty rules, or favouritism. Such actions cause children to become discouraged (Col. 3:21).
Instead, fathers are to bring them up, that is, rear or nourish (ektrephete, “provide for physical and spiritual needs”; also used in Eph. 5:29) them in the training (paideia, “child discipline,” including directing and correcting; “training” in righteousness [2 Tim. 3:16] and God’s “discipline” of believers [Heb. 12:8]) and instruction (nouthesia; cf. 1 Cor. 10:11; Titus 3:10) of the Lord.
Children are to obey “in the Lord” (Eph. 6:1) and parents are to train and instruct “in the Lord.” He is to be the centre of their relationships and of their teaching and learning.
1 Thessalonians 2:11, 12 (NIV) For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.
Satan uses us to steal from, kill and destroy Children When…
- We abort children or give birth to less them
- We oppress, exploit and neglect them
- Families fall apart
- We raise them according to his ways instead of God’s
- We overestimate or underestimate their abilities and potential
- We exasperate them
Ben Wattenburg, Fewer, Chicago Ill, Ivan, R, 2004.
Dan Brewster: Child, Church and Mission. A Resource Book for Child Development Workers. Compassion International, 2005.
Vinay Samuel, Some Theological Perspectives on Children at Risk Transformation (Vol 14, No 2, April/June 1997).
Wilson Grant, The Caring Father, Nashville Tenn, Broadman Press, 1983
Fiona Stanley, Sue Richardson and Margot Prior, Children of the Lucky Country, 2005, Pan MacMillian, Sydney.
All scripture verses quoted are from the New International Version.
1. State of the World’s Children 2005. Statistics say 10.6 million children under five die daily from preventable causes.
2. As reported by Brewster and McDonald in Children, the Great Omission booklet prepared for the Lausanne III Conference, Pattaya, Thailand, 2004. (Oxford: VIVA Network, 2004).
3. Fiona Stanley, Sue Richardson and Margot Prior, Children of the Lucky Country, pp 24, Pan MacMillan Books, Sydney, 2005
4. Ibid. Fiona Stanley, pp 26.
5. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Marriages and Divorce in Australia, www.abs.gov.au/aussats/abs@.nsf