Should a person just accept the religion of his parents as his own religion? Sometimes people sing: “Give me that old-time religion. It was good enough for Mother, so it’s good enough for me!” Others say that no one should try to convert a person from the religion in which he was raised. What does the Bible teach?
Suppose a person’s parents were idol worshipers, heathen, or even atheists. Should those people just accept their parents’ religious beliefs without changing? If you say they should not, then how can you be sure that you should accept the religion of your parents without changing? The fact is, there is some other standard we must use to determine whether our parents are correct before we accept their views, isn’t that right?
Consider the people who were faithful to God in the first century. Did you ever stop to think that every single one of them had to leave the religion of his parents? Paul, for example, had been raised in the Jews’ religion (Galatians 1:13,14), but he had to be converted to please God. Was he wrong in changing? Gentiles in the first century were converted from heathen idol worship to serve the living and true God (1 Thessalonians 1:9). Where they wrong to change?
The Bible says, “We ought to obey God rather than man” – Acts 5:29. And he who loves father or mother more than Jesus is not worthy of him – Matthew 10:37. It is wonderful if our parents are right religiously. But the fact is that the Bible is the only infallible religious guide (2 Timothy 3:16,17). If we wish to please God, we must compare everything our parents taught us to the Bible. If our parents’ beliefs agree with the Bible, we should be glad. But if we find that our parents disagree with the Bible, then let us follow the Bible and not our parents.
(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2017
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