"Give me the child until he is seven, and I will give you the man."
Powerful words, and an even more powerful indictment. For even back when these words were written (the early 1500s), the great thinkers and luminaries of the church knew that of all of the methods available to them for spreading the gospel and creating converts, none of them--even conquering and converting indigenous people at the point of a sword--held a candle to being able to indoctrinate young children. Raise them in, or at least with, the church, and most likely, the church will have them for life.
To the evangelical, this is an unparalleled crisis and an enormous challenge. To meet it, they have taken
Xavier's words to heart. They know that in a free Western society with free access to a world of knowledge, they cannot rely upon the fear, superstition, ignorance, societal pressures, and other traditional forces that have always kept people coming back to the church. They also know that they are losing ground badly in the marketplace of ideas. So they are focusing an enormous amount of energy and money where it will have the most effect: children.
|This all seems familiar somehow...|
All questions worth considering as you watch this excellent video from Seth Andrews. Andrews--a one-time evangelical Christian talk radio broadcaster who hosted one of the largest Christian broadcasts at one of the largest Christian radio stations in the US--now hosts a podcast and a rapidly growing online community called, "The Thinking Atheist." In this video presentation from the 2013 "FreeOK" convention in Oklahoma entitled "Get Them While They're Young," Andrews talks about the various ways that the evangelical movement is targeting and attracting children into the fold. Seth is a compelling speaker, and I hope you enjoy the video!