Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christian Mythology: 24. Tolerance – Myth: There is an age of accountability

I gave my children a lesson in planned obsolescence the other day. They each have an iTouch and enjoy playing games on them. My youngest son is autistic. I think other autistic people invented these electronic games. The repetitive music (tones really, hardly music) and actions naturally appeal to the autistic mind. He locks into playing for hours and hours if we let him. Once the whole family is home from school or work and gathered around the dinner table, the games stop for the day. No more tinny tones and sounds of electronic whizzing bullets and explosions. It’s family time. I like to take advantage of this moment at the table for a lesson.

Although he is autistic, my son can still get bored with the games he has. Another trait of some autistic kids is their uncanny brilliance. My son defeats most games quickly and easily. Therefore he thinks he needs a new challenge. The rest of us are just thankful for a few minutes of quiet relief. But soon his boredom turns to whining. “I need a new game. Can somebody give me seven dollars so I can buy a new game?” Sometimes he actually asks for my credit card to buy a new game online.

Instead of giving in, I asked him if he knew what planned obsolescence is. He’s eleven years old. He has no idea of course. I explained that these games were meant to be defeated. That way you will want to buy another. And another. And another.

I showed him in the Bible how such temptation works. I explained why this marketing formula is so powerful. I hoped he understood. He stopped asking for a new game at least.

But do we understand this principle that Satan uses to market his temptations to us? Do we understand that temptation has no age limit? Though a child may not understand the process described in Proverbs 27:20 and 30:15, an adult is equally susceptible. Though our temptations may be different at these ages, the process is still the same. The outcome is also the same. Death. God describes the inevitable in James 1:13-15. Temptation does not discriminate between young and old.

Praise God therefore that Jesus was tempted in all things common to mankind. Yet He was without sin. He is our way of escape. We do that by coming boldly to His throne of grace. Are you tempted? Run to the throne. Did you succumb and sin? Run to the throne. Will you repent? Run to the throne. There alone is the grace we need in Jesus for freedom, forgiveness, and mercy.

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