Growing Pains, by Randall Balmer

We have friends who decided to release their children from all obligations to attend Sunday worship when those children turned 18. Their reasoning is self-evident: What's required of each and every believing soul is willed commitment, not social (or parental) obligation. Once their children reached what some old creeds call "the age of discretion," they were, quite literally, on their own.

Many years have passed since those children reached 18, and I've never asked our friends how they would evaluate that decision today. My guess is that they'd shake their heads, shrug their shoulders and, like most believers with adult children, say that, well, it worked out, sort of.


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