Religion " Religion' is a simple word that divides humanity in several groups. It is the claim of many influential Christian and Jewish theologians that the only genuine basis for morality is in religion (Nielsen 13). The morals and beliefs of children are greatly influenced by their home life. It is sad how children grow up, not able to research into their beliefs, but conform to the beliefs that have run in their families for generations.
Not many children break away from the traditional religion in their family because it has been practiced and influenced for many years. If one should participate in breaking tradition, he could be challenged by the family to show reasoning behind the change (Kaplan 258). In doing this, society still will be diverse, but at least that is one more person trying to express an opinion. The Old Testament is an accurate and valid resource to use when trying to explain Christianity and faith.
For example, it is amazing how one can justify his faith to a strong Catholic to prove that salvation is a free gift and not a time card for 'good works.' There is much difference between the religion of Catholicism and non-denominational Christianity. Though both groups believe in one God, the same God, growing up in the midst of the bickering of the two groups can confuse a child and bring bitterness toward this God that Christians believe is all-loving. School is an area where temptations are thrown in people's faces each day. Many people are challenged each day in these situations; children may be challenged in their home or in school because of the issue of salvation and trying to maintain a strong-willed mind as a young Christian.
Catholic children are taught their religion in CCD classes, and the result is the children learning to be good in order to go to heaven. Many of the the things they are taught come from the Old Testament. The Christian Bible includes the Old Testament unlike Judaism where their bible is the Old Testament. Children learn Christian virtues such as faith, obedience, piety, chastity, love, mercy, and humility (Garner 272).
Catholic children are also taught that if they do sin, than they simply can go confess their sins to a priest and then they are forgiven. According to the Old Testament, salvation is free gift and forgiveness is given straight from God, not through some high standing official in the Church. Catholics are given a bad name, and their religion is considered to be hostile towards others and unethical at times (Hudnut 22). I am Catholic myself and may not believe in some of the teachings, but I do not feel that Catholics are really this way. This ongoing hostility between Protestants and Catholics can hamper a child's grasp of Christianity. A child is taught the Christian ways of 'love thy neighbor' and then see the example of two Christian groups that cannot even get along.
The Old Testament teachings show 3 that there were no different sects under God, just His 'chosen people.' These Old Testament teachings are valuable in helping our youth of today understand this. What has happened to the religious thought of exploring the philosophical and scientific discussions of traditional concepts like sin, salvation, and the Gospel as one religion; Christianity (Hudnut 67)?