CBP: Can you share with us your own Christian testimony?
Ray: I became a Christian in 1972. I came to the conclusion at the age of 20 that, because of the reality of death, life was futile. Happy though I was, I realized that everything I held dear to me was going to be torn from my hands by death.
During that time I found myself confronted with the fact that I had violated the Ten Commandments. I knew that I would be condemned on Judgment Day and end up in hell.
I was trapped, a guilty criminal in the prison of Divine Justice. Suddenly, the door began to open. Jesus Christ, God in human form, came to this earth and suffered and died in my place. For the first time in my life, the gospel made sense. I learned that the whole of creation was subjected to futility and death because of sin, but that Jesus took the curse of sin upon Himself. Then He rose from the dead and defeated death. When I repented and placed my trust in Jesus Christ, God forgave my sins and gave me the gift of everlasting life.
CBP: Why are so many children who are raised in solid, Christian homes abandoning their faith later in life?
Ray: I believe it's due to a misunderstanding of a crucial biblical principle. Many parents and children's workers believe that all a child has to do to be saved is to "ask Jesus into his heart." While that sounds good, the truth is that they must have an understanding of their own sinful heart, find a place of genuine repentance, and exercise saving faith in Jesus Christ. Most children who ask Jesus into their hearts at a very young age fall away from the faith when temptation strikes--often when they become sexually aware. Their experience reveals that their "conversion" was spurious. The book brings out the biblical teaching of true and false conversion.
CBP: Why isn’t taking our kids to church enough?
Ray: God gave parents, not the church, the responsibility for training up a child in the way he should go. One hour per week of biblical instruction is not enough to combat the influence of the world. Every Christian home should have family devotions every day. We should read God's Word and pray together daily. These are fundamentals of the Christian life, and yet so few families take the time to do this.
CBP: To some kids, the Bible is boring, and attempts to teach them biblical truths can seem to be a losing battle. What practical things can parents do in these cases?
Ray: Make devotions a fun time for kids. There are simple things we can do to ensure that children enjoy gathering together as a family. I've included suggestions in the book on how to make this a time that children can look forward to, rather than dread. For example, role-playing Bible stories with your kids will help them retain the principles behind the story. Just as Jesus used parables, you can keep your kids' attention by using anecdotes--stories that carry a deeper meaning. It also helps to keep devotions short and sweet--keep the time brief so it doesn't drag on, and give small rewards (perhaps a piece of candy) for memorizing Scripture.
CBP: You cite something you refer to as “the great key” in bringing any person to the Savior. What is it?
Ray: We must teach our children the Ten Commandments, God's holy standard. They show us what God demands of us. As Paul said, the Law shows us what sin is and is a schoolmaster to lead us to Christ. If we fail to teach our children the Moral Law, then they won't see their need of God's mercy, and they will ignore the Cross.
CBP: In your book, you mention getting kids “pumped about the things of God,” so their walk with the Lord is a great joy to them. What advice do you give parents on how to achieve that?
Ray: One of the best things we can do is to teach them the fear of God, and we do that by opening up the Ten Commandments. The Moral Law shows us that we are sinners, and that each of us deserves Hell. It magnifies the Cross. When a child sees God's love demonstrated in the Cross, it will fill his heart with an explosive gratitude. He will be pumped about anything to do with God once this takes place.
CBP: Does an emphasis on the Ten Commandments teach legalism?
Ray: The Bible says in 1 Timothy 1:8 that the Law is good if it is used lawfully, for the purpose for which it was designed. It was designed to show us that we need the Savior, not as a means of justification. Trying to keep the Commandments to enter Heaven is legalism, and legalism produces bondage. The Law does the opposite. If a football game has no rules, chaos ensues. But if all the rules are obeyed, the game flows. The rules promote freedom. It's the same with "the perfect law of liberty" (James 1:25). A correct use of the Law produces liberty. A society that forsakes the Commandments will have murder, lying, stealing, adultery, hatred, greed, etc. That sums up modern society.
CBP: What are some of the “harmful pollutants” that you mention, and how can parents safeguard their children from them?
Ray: There are many bad influences today. Some are secular education; sexually perverted, blasphemous, and violent TV programs; heavy rock music, etc. We need to live in holiness and teach our children to do the same.
CBP: If individuals don’t have children at home, will they still get anything out of the book?
Ray: Yes. It's applicable to grandparents, Sunday school teachers, children's workers--anyone who has involvement in children's lives. In addition, we all have friends and family members whose lives don't match what they profess to believe. This book is an ideal and inoffensive way for Christians to get the message of true and false conversion into their hands. They may not read it for their own sakes, but they may read it for the sake of their children.