If you were to poll parents on their greatest fears for their children, the answers would vary greatly—being victims of abuse, adopting unbiblical ideologies, being exposed to inappropriate material, indulging in destructive behaviors, and so on. But as dreadful and disheartening as those fears are, for the Christian parent, the greatest nightmare is a child never knowing the Lord. As a father of three, I know this fear firsthand.
I imagine my children living broken adult lives—enslaved to sin, harming themselves and others, never thinking of God, and leaving a trail of destruction behind them. Or, perhaps worse, I imagine them living outwardly pleasant lives—education, career, marriage, children, comfort—and yet neither acknowledging God nor giving thanks. I can all too clearly see the desires and personality traits of their 2-year-old selves taking root and becoming the rotten fruit or hollow triumphs of their adult lives.
— Joshua Chatman, pastor of Midtown Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee, The Gospel Coalition, A Parent’s Worst Nightmare, October 2, 2022
Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.
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