35. DARE NOT TO OFFEND LITTLE ONES
“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)
The purpose of this story is to warn you against putting undue fear, unclean fear into the hearts of little ones. Doing so will terribly “offend” them regarding clean fear toward our Creator God.
One of the most devastating and deplorable things I see in this heathen idol-worshipping nation of Japan, is Japanese parents putting the fear of devils into their little 2-year-old children. On certain Japanese holidays, they take their infants to a heathen temple or shrine to hold those precious little souls close to a Japanese man (a member of that pagan temple) who is wearing the mask of an ever so ugly, grotesque, fierce devil. The sight of the fearsome demon depicted on that mask terrifies the infant, as the foolish man wearing the mask pretends he is “coming after” the infant, to “get” the infant. The young foolish parents laugh at their precious infant’s frantic screams, wails and cries (horrified by this monstrous attack that is ever so real to the infant’s mind).
All false religions aim to control their believers thru means of various false teachings of various retributions and punishments, resulting in instilling unclean fear into the soul that is indoctrinated with those false teachings. I cannot fathom the foolishness of the young parents who laugh over their infant becoming hysterical over that fierce demon mask right close in their face (and being worn by a living being who is acting fierce).
Yet when, with a heart full of love and concern for a child’s eternal welfare, I calmly explain God’s Truth to children, warning them that people who reject The Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour are put into never-ending Hell fire, parents and other adults think it horrible of me to speak such frightening things to 6-year-old children. Of a certainty, that true and real fate that I teach is THE most frightening thing that can happen to a human soul. Thus, we “Christian Believers” have a God-given duty to be a diligent watchman, properly warning all the people we possibly can, to flee the wrath to come.
Back in the late 1980s, I had ridden the trains to visit a Japanese family (at their invitation). When it came time to leave, they insisted on taking me home by car; a lady, her adult daughter driving, and the driver’s small girl, about 4-years-old (in the front seat beside her mother who was driving). She was a precious little thing who was well behaved. All 4 of us were talking as we headed out of the city toward my house in this rural town.
“Where are we going?” After about 20 minutes, the 4-year-old piped up with that question to her mother. (She had simply piled into Mom’s car with Mom and Granny.)
Her Mom paused briefly and then gravely answered, “We are going to the mountains.” I did not yet know the “fearful” significance of that statement from the Mom to her little daughter. I will learn it well during the next minute.
That precious little soul became ever so fearful and started whimpering to her Mother. “I’m sorry. Oh, I’m sorry.”
I soon realized that Mom typically “disciplined” that child by means of false, idle, fearful threats. When that girl was bad, Mom would put on an “angry act” as she told the little one that she would take her out into the dark mountains and leave her (throw her away). Mom would continue, describing the dangerous animals that inhabit the mountains (bears & such). “You won’t have a house, or food to eat. You will be alone. The bears will try to eat you…” And on and on Mom would rant, striving to make her little one be good by means of instilling unclean and false fear into her. Oh, it definitely scared that little soul. I praise God for His Holy Scriptures, which warn that such an offender of little ones would be better to have a millstone hanged about their neck and drowned in the depth of the sea.
“Well, Missionary Richard, just who is supposed to be the executioner in such a case, and carry that out?”
Well, to stick perfectly with the Scripture, Our Lord gave no command for anyone on earth to kill the offender of a little one in that matter. But I believe we can rest assured, that when each and every such offender of little ones is judged by Almighty God, they will clearly come to the understanding that they would have fared better for all eternity, if that death sentence had been carried out before they committed that horrible stumbling block offence.
“Lord Jesus Christ, my Soon-Coming Judge, please cause us all to gravely think on how commonly adults attempt to control little ones with fearful lies and deceit (thereby bringing unclean fear upon them), because their little souls are yet so limited in knowledge that we can “get away with it”.
Cause us to think on the detriment of lies that are not fearful, rather simply used for convenience sake, such as (There aren’t any more cookies!), tho the 5-year-old well knows there are still cookies remaining. Please make us adults fully aware of how greatly such deception will UNDERMINE that child’s trust in us, as they steadily mature, thus (one day soon) becoming aware of just how terribly deceitful we were to them.
May we keep in mind the painful corporal punishment ordained in the book of Proverbs. A parent can minister the proper amount of proper physical pain when called for, without a single word of lying or deception, but rather telling the child; “I love you. I want you to do right.” “I want you to love and obey Jesus to make Him proud of you.” Save us from the tragedy of offending little ones. Make us aware of the great sorrow those offences will bring to the offenders on Judgment day.
Also save us adults from telling children fictional ghost stories and horror stories as truth to entertain ourselves on the fearful reaction of little ones to this unclean fear. Amen.”
Granny was sitting beside me in the back seat. And when her little granddaughter started whimpering in fear and apologizing, Granny tried to keep her laughter quiet and hidden from the child, as Granny leaned over to me and whispered, “She is always so quick to apologize.” Of course! That is because God graciously created a believer’s heart in little ones. Tell them the Truth in simple words, and then ask them if they want to tell Jesus they are sorry and ask Him to forgive them. Many will do so the 1st time. And just about all the rest of them will, after a few more regular sessions of teaching them in love, this Vital Truth.
Richard Yerby (Matsuida, Japan) www.Christ-is-all.us