Raising an Interfaith Child
MOST HELPFUL POSTS
Tara - posted on 03/25/2014
It seems that how you go about teaching each faith depends on how important faith is in your family. If it is a part of your life, but not the center, then it will be easier to teach about Christianity and Judaism in an objective way. However, then I think you may want to evaluate what your purpose is in teaching it at all. Because for each of these faiths, to truly ascribe to the beliefs is to dedicate your way of life to its teachings. For Christianity and Judaism, it is really not possible to merge the two into an integrated practice if the Jewish person is not a Messianic Jew, because that person is still waiting for the first coming of the Messiah and does not believe that Jesus is that person. Therefore one faith negates the other, so I'm not sure how they can co-exist in one person. Questions to ask yourself: Are you passing on the faith simply for the purpose of tradition and celebrating holidays? To establish the general belief in a higher power, or more specifically God? Are you teaching the two faiths with the hope and goal that your children will someday choose one to practice? I think you and your husband have to answer these questions before you begin your teaching--set your goals for the meaning and purpose of faith in the lives of your children and then go from there. I see this as an incredible opportunity for your family to grow in faith together, perhaps in one direction, perhaps not, but what a beautiful journey it will be.
Angela - posted on 03/26/2014
QUOTE (fromTara Garcia):
“Christians study the Old Testament, which I believe (and please correct me if I am wrong) is the same as the Torah”
No, it’s not quite the same! The first 5 books of the Old Testament (being Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers & Deuteronomy) are collectively known as “The Torah” or “The Law” or “The Pentateuch” or “The Five Books of Moses”. They are ONLY THE FIRST FIVE BOOKS of the Old Testament!
So .,,,, Antonio Capaldo when you begin a sentence with “Tell him/her that the Bible, the Torah and the Koran …” as though these are all separate books, you too are forgetting that the Torah, is the first 5 books of the Old Testament, which is itself part of the Bible!
Anyway to get back to the question posed by Caryn Sullivan …. This is quite a difficult feat you’re wanting to achieve. It is perfectly possible for you and your husband to educate your children on your respective religious beliefs – and perhaps the beliefs of other religions as well. But only to educate them – in the sense of imparting knowledge and information. Subscribing to any religion as a committed believer requires FAITH. And most religions (including the Judaism and Christianity) demand exclusivity – that’s the nature of the belief system!
It’s perfectly possible for one family to celebrate the holidays and festivals of several religions. But religious beliefs are not really about holidays and festivals – that’s tradition! Having a religion is about having a relationship with God – within the framework of the religion you subscribe to.
If your children might one day make a choice between Christianity and Judaism, would you not want it to be based on their relationship with God? Do you really want them to think “Ah well Hanukkah is better than Christmas so I reckon I’ll be Jewish ….” (or vice-versa). Because that’s what presenting religious values from the mere viewpoint of holidays and festivals would do.
You cannot be 100% passionate about your own religion if you’ve married someone of the different religion. Neither can your partner. Lots of couples who ask the same question you’ve asked, about raising children in a mixed religion household are people who have gone with the flow and with the religion in which they’ve been raised. That’s fine but don’t ever pretend that your religion is something you’re passionate about if you feel it would be OK for your children to choose to ultimately follow your partner’s religion – or a different one altogether.
Tara - posted on 03/25/2014
This will be my third post--I can't help myself, this topic is fascinating to me. Just reading Nancy's post and she has a good point about young children not being equipped to process philosophical differences between the religions. Such a great point, which made me think-if my family were in that situation, I would not be able to bring up the idea of Jesus because my kids would ask so many questions and I don't know if I could adequately explain, on their level, why my husband and I were divided in our belief about who Jesus is. So I'm thinking that means you may have to hold off on the introduction of Jesus into your children's lives. And this is going to require some soul-searching on your part, as a Catholic and I assume having professed your belief in Christ, how do you feel about your children not knowing who Jesus is right now? Is that something you can be at peace with? Because I think the introduction to that specific aspect of Christianity-the core and cornerstone of it-is going to make the discussion very complicated, possibly beyond what your young children can understand. So you have to decide if that's OK with you. I know you requested books and info on how to teach both religions, and while that's helpful, the whole thing can be simplified in one word: Jesus. From a belief standpoint, He is the only difference between Christianity and Judaism. Christians study the Old Testament, which I believe (and please correct me if I am wrong) is the same as the Torah. The New Testament is all about Jesus, and this is where divergence occurs. The God of Christianity is the same God of Israel, so in terms of the introduction of God, there should be no discord. Jesus is the difference-maker (and as a follower of Christ, I am so thankful for that, but I digress). If you can resolve how to handle the "Jesus issue" then you have your answer.
Sarah - posted on 03/25/2014
I have a little bit of experience with this...20 years married with 3 kids...I'm Catholic, he's Jewish. First, I want to tell you right away that it won't always be easy, and sometimes it will be really, really hard. Know that you are not alone, though; 50% of Jews are marrying Christians, so there's a lot of interfaith couples out there. Please do this - search the internet for groups that can help you - if you are in the NY metro area including CT/LI/NJ/NYC and NY points north, or in Boston, look up the Interfaith Community and check out your local chapter. I believe there is some kind of group in Chicago, too. Look for a group that will support your interfaith family, not one that will pressure you to go in either direction. Whatever religious decisions and paths you make, it will be so helpful to know other people in the same situation.
Rubab - posted on 04/13/2014
raise him only by humanity. love all , respect all , no matter of religion, race, colour, and may be any countery , , tell the child to be honest with all human being . . .All religions on earth are like different flowers, every flower give dif fragrance so love all of them . . . this shuld be basic teachings
Marie - posted on 04/07/2014
Start with Adam and Eve, or Abraham and Sarah. I used "365 Bible Stories for Children" for my guys. Either parent (ideally both!) should help your child through the Old Testament stories. They can be presented as either history or faith through the last of the Prophets. That will give you several months to discuss between yourselves where your traditions are the most rich, and how strong your faith is in each religion. I have friends who have converted to Catholicism from Judaism, and others who have become Jewish by renouncing their belief in Jesus as the Messiah.
If nothing else, your discussions will enrich your spirits and you will appreciate the depth of your child's wisdom as you all seek Truth. Either way, may God bless your family!
Antonio - posted on 03/29/2014
God Has some truths written on the human heart? Who is the lucky one who found the notes of God?
When you claim to govern in the name of God that’s where the troubles begin. Any law which is sold off as being Divine consequently rules out all the others. The issue is that there are Abraham, Christ, Mohammed, Buddha, Manitou etc. ...
Who is the one embodying the supreme divine law? We will never find out because if we did we would get so close to God as to become God ourselves. It is wise that God is left in the background and that nobody dares to elect himself as his representative on earth.
The only Law we are allowed to know is that the 'Natural Order of things. ",all the others are the result of human processing, and in the case of the prophets are fairy tales
Rebecca - posted on 03/28/2014
Find the commonalities: joy, kindness, peace, love, forgiveness (Alphabet Living stuff—if you don't know the book, check it out!). Go from there—you can't go wrong when you are led from the purity of what humanity has to offer.
Anon - posted on 03/27/2014
Explain the Jewish teachings/ traditions, visit a sabbath observance. Then take the child to a Catholic Mass, and show the child what they have in common, in particular you could talk about the temple sacrifice and the Passover lamb...then explain that Christ is the Passover lamb being sacrificed/offered to the Father at every Mass. You could also explain that the psalms are common to both religions and that the Mass parts and prayers derive from Judaism. You could explain that Christ ( the first Catholic..the founder of Catholicism) and all of his disciples were practicing Jews. The Jews of Christ's time and before were waiting for a Savior ( read Isaiah, about the Suffering Servant) to redeem for them what Adam had lost through sin. Christ's disciples and his cousin John recognized Christ as this Savior and Redeemer that Isaiah had foretold. John announced, when he saw Christ coming " behold the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world" identifying Christ as this suffering servant and the paschal lamb who atones for our sin. The priest echoes the Baptist at holy Mass by repeating these words at the consecration. You could also talk about the Jewish day of atonement. Essentially, Catholicism is Judaism, but without waiting for a savior anymore. Judaism recognizes the old covenant, Christ made a new one on Holy Thursday, in His blood...the new and everlasting covenant. All of the old covenant and Judaism prepare us for the new covenant and point to Christ, who is the fulfillment of the old covenant.
Vanessa - posted on 03/26/2014
My 5 year old son has reached the existential age too. He has so many questions about faith, as I remember having too when I was young. I think it's a blessing to your child that they have two parents who can share their religious knowledge. You can teach your child how they are different and how they are the same, and what a great way to introduce the conversation of faith, indeed it's a conversation which lasts a lifetime. Our kids are growing up in a time when beliefs and faith will be challenged. So a person with greater knowledge will be better prepared to understand their own faith.
I've done a few things: purchased books about different spiritual leaders, shared what I know and let him know that I don't know it all. A true spiritual life is a journey. And the holidays are a great way to open up religious discussion.
Your child is blessed with two parents of similar and differing beliefs. And with that wonderful flexible mind, I imagine he/she will probably have a more solid and realistic understanding of God than those who are spiritually more sheltered.
Antonio - posted on 03/26/2014
The question is: Believe or have faith? Rule or Revealed Truth? Do not deny yourself .... in the name of a Myth!
To have faith in someone means to sacrifice oneself, cancel oneself completely. Are we sure this is what God wants? Are we sure that God wants our submission? I do not like this idea and I am sure He does not like it either. He can incinerate us whenever he wants, why would he needs to humiliate us to that extent. I think that God only expects respect and gratitude. To believe in someone for any reason, even the most trivial one, is very different than having faith in someone. Much in history was played on this subtle difference: in the former case we remain ourselves with our own dignity, in the latter we become slaves.
Rabbis, Mullah, Bishops do not ask you to believe but to have faith…but faith in what? Obviously they ask you to have faith in them, guardians and interpreters of the Holy Scriptures and of God. This gentlemen’s presumption is preposterous,
They made such blunders referred to religion interpretations and to their hierarchies’ behaviour to make even the most naïve man turn pale. I am sure blunders were made in good faith, but as we all know…the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Their the whole thing becomes even more unbearable as it is skilfully seasoned by the vast majority of church-goers through behaviour of self-sacrifice, altruism, charity, dedication to others through intercession of all saints, spirit of sacrifice and so on in a genuine and participatory manner.
Religion hierarchies are obviously the point of reference, they are master of this behaviour, they give everything to people without asking for anything in return, but one tiny detail: in return they ask for your “soul” and that is “everything”.
These gentlemen, in conscience or in good faith, are technically the slave owners of the worst kind: if you want to go to heaven you have to give them your Soul, that is the most precious thing you have .. Your Mind, almost all yourself!
Have you ever thought about that? For example, if any psychiatrist analyzes the behavior of the majority of so-called prophets, technically qualifies them as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia Borderline.
Antonio - posted on 03/26/2014
I think this is a good opportunity for you to take a secular attitude. Religion is a purely personal matter and does not allow intermediaries such as bishops, mullahs or rabbis. Tell him/her that the Bible, the Torah and the Koran are the wonderful tales compiled by humans. When they grow up they will realize that the most important thing is the person, and that Catholic, jew, muslim, etc. .. etc. .. are adjectives, a quality of the person, and not the most important thing.
Bridget - posted on 03/26/2014
I agree to what you are saying. Having two parents come together and teach their child two different things and than expect for their child to believe it and/or be okay with living life like that, that is SO confusing! I understand that, completely. My parents were like that, too at one point. One catholic and one christian, at one point. Eventually they ended up giving it all up. One, because it was stressing me and my sibling out and two, because from the resources they used to get to know "The" God and the resources they used, how they studied it, just like with a lot of us today, it brought confusion and than resulted in nothing, not getting to know Him at all. And, but if we really believe that when God says in James 4:12 that there is one lawgiver(not 2,3, or so on), who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?, than we are to believe that. Just like there is only one way to understand math, science, english, so forth, so is there only one way to serve God, understand Him, and so forth. Confusion is a horrible thing. Confusion is something that stresses us all out when we feel that way and, but we also have to realize, not only what it does to us, emotionally, but where it comes from. God says in 1Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. So in reading that that lets us know that when we get confused it is not coming from God, which after that conclusion, it leads us left with only one other person to blame it on, Satan. Knowing that, now, we are not to first, let him get the victory, by throwing in the towel and accepting any wind of doctrine(Ephesians 4:14) or going to the extreme and believing that there is no such thing as "The" God at all, because doing so and saying so ourselves, we deceive ourselves. Making yourself believe that there is no God at all is like convincing yourself that The Flood that God created never happened. Convincing yourself that it never happened although, you have not only read it in His word, taught that in an organization and, but have also been taught that in school. Whether teachers mentioned the name, God or not, in school, one of the things you will learn in school, at least one point in your life, is about fossils. We have learned in school that although we have not seen them before, there are such things as dinosaurs and by knowing we found physical proof on that, we believe it. Same as The Flood, scientists and biologists have found fossils of fish in the high mountains. God said according to Genesis 8:9 that the waters were on the face of the whole earth. So in reading that in God's word AND also finding proof of that in real life. . .cannot get anymore real than that, right? So anyways, again as far as confusion goes, confusion is just another word for stress. As far as stress goes, stress comes from when our spirits our battling with something that it KNOWS is right verses what our flesh THINKS is right. Now as far as your case goes, your spirit at one point and even now, I see, clearly, knows that there is a God, because if you thought not, you would not be concerned about it. Just like when someone tells you the sky is red and you believe it not, because you see with your own eyes that it is not and so knowing, you take no stress upon it, you let not that confuse you, you move on, basically. And, but like I said with your case, judging your belief in God according to your concern, your question, just like back than, you still believe that there is a God, but your flesh, now fights thinking if He is real or not because of what you experienced before, with your parents. You want to still believe He is true, but you do not want to take that step, because you are afraid it may bring your child confusion, just like it brought you confusion, when you were a child, yourself. Again, like I said though, don't fight it. God loves you. Just like you would hate to see your child end up getting thrown back and forth with EVERY wind of doctrine, so would and does God hate seeing what He created, for His good will and purpose, not man's will and, but have man try and convince them that their will and their purpose for what they teach is better than God's. Like I said, before that is not right, but yeah anyways there is just SO much to learn about God and how HE works. More than what I can give you over this circleofmoms.com and so i say this in conclusion to the matter, come with me and fellowship with me as God hath purposed us to according to Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Come and fellowship with God's church, determinating it being God's church, according to Romans 16:16 Salute one another with an holy kiss. The "churches of Christ" salute you. I go to the Church of Christ. The sign you see outside the building is not a name, it denotes ownership. And besides the sign out front it is God's church according to God's word. If some organization denotes the ownership as Christ, but hold not the doctrine of Christ, God says in 2John 1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: or vice versa you get one that teaches the doctrine, but denotes not the ownership coming from Christ(John 14:6), God says receive it not neither bid him God speed, just like when someone tells you that the sky is red and you know not only with your eyes, but with studies to show that the skies are a reflection of the waters, which is blue, also, you know not to receive it, neither bid it any concern at all. You cannot have one without the other. Just like with a butterfly, you cannot call a butterfly, a butterly if it does not act like one, look like one, neither does it even fly at all, like one. The Church of Christ mentioned in Romans 16:16, still exists, according to what Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. His church that Jesus Christ established after His death(see Hebrews 9:15-18) 33 A.D. (After Death), still exist, today, in the year 2014. It exists and I am a witness of that, because I go to one. I go to the church of Christ, not MY church like many other organizations would say to get you brainwashed into thinking that THEIR church is God's church. Those people say THEIR church, denoting that they own it, not God and by just hearing them say that you receive it not, neither bid it God speed. But yeah, according to what God said in Romans 16:16 Christ's church is The Church of Christ and also the teaching on the inside, is what makes it His. This is the Truth in what I give you, the bible and like I said I know that your spirit knows that this is the Truth, too, the scriptures i give you, because of you putting this question on here in the first place, showing your concern. Now the only thing left to do is to walk after what your Spirit KNOWS is right or what your Flesh THINKS is right. Will you come with me?
Rebecca - posted on 03/25/2014
We raised our three now grown children in both faiths incorporating traditions of Judaism and Christianity. It is a rich way to bring up children but has its difficulties as well. I thought of it as different expressions much like different languages.My husband and I had much respect for both faiths. here is a good resource: http://www.interfaithcommunity.org/resou... Another option that works for some families is Unitarianism.
Nancy - posted on 03/25/2014
Katherine, in regard to your question about teaching reincarnation/universality, etc., neither the Catholic nor the Jewish faith adhere to those philosophies. The Bible says that it is appointed to man once to die, and after that, the judgment. I don't expect Caryn and her husband to teach their son the principles you mentioned because they don't apply within their systems of belief. Because we live in a free country, you are blessed to be able to hold a set of religious beliefs that differ from those of mainstream Christianity and Judaism, but please know that the Sullivan family will most likely choose not to educate their son in those things. Please don't judge them any worse for holding sincere beliefs different from yours, just as you wouldn't want to be judged for holding beliefs that are different from theirs.
Caryn, yes, the Jesus question will be the ultimate question. Since you and your husband hold sincere religious beliefs, I can tell you want your son to grow up within a religion, not devoid of one, as we have heard in some people's replies. Within a couple years, you will need to make a stronger decision (as I mentioned in my earlier post) because of the rites of passage that are specific to Catholicism (First Communion) and Judaism (Bar Mitzvah), so you and your husband will need to keep talking.
In the meantime, you should be able to find plenty of Bible story books focusing on Old Testament saints like Noah, Moses, Daniel, Joseph, etc. Our church had some of these, but I don't know where they are right now. I'll see if I can find the titles, but any Christian bookstore would have similar books. Religious intermarriage is actually fairly common, and many people make it work.
Here is the URL for an interesting article by Rabbi Reeve Brenner. Perhaps it will help you and your husband.
According to some research I did, the children technically aren't considered to be Jewish if the mother isn't Jewish. Even if you raise them in the Jewish faith, a Conservative Jewish congregation would require them to "convert" to Judaism when they are older. From what I've read, however, more liberal reform Jewish congregations don't look at it that way and are accepting of children as Jewish if one parent is Jewish and the children are raised in the Jewish faith.
Some people might say that perhaps you can find a faith somewhere between the two that you can all practice as a family, perhaps another version of Christianity. I believe the only way that would work would be to find a Messianic Jewish congregation, as some of the previous writers said. The Messianic Jewish communities practice their faith with Jewish traditions, yet with the belief that Jesus was the Messiah, the completion of the Jewish hope for a Savior. This sounds like the perfect answer, until you realize that it would require both you and your husband to change the ways you practice your religions. For him, he would have to acknowledge Jesus as Messiah (or feel a real conflict about the issue, at the very least). For you, the traditions and celebrations of a Messianic Jewish congregation are a very far cry from the Catholic traditions you value so much.
Rabbi Brenner's article presents four options for raising your son: you can attempt to raise him with neither religion, both religions, the Catholic religion, or the Jewish religion. Rabbi Brenner discusses the pros and cons of each in a very clear way that is probably as objective as a Jewish rabbi can get. I really encourage you and your husband to read his article.
When your son is grown, he will decide for himself which faith he will adhere to. In the meantime, I encourage you and your husband both to pray about this and see if the Lord gives you any clear direction. If I find any more materials that might be helpful, I'll let you know.
I was raised in a Catholic/Jehovah's Witness family. I'm a good hearted, loving, respectable individual. But I wish my parents never taught me anything about religion. And I was able to find it on my own if I wanted to do so. I do not associate with either religion and have chosen not to believe in any god or faith. Let the child decide when they are old enough. For now, teach him or her good morals, values and to be a good person. If and when they inquire about religion, then bring that topic up.
Bridget - posted on 03/25/2014
You asked us how do we teach a child religion, not religion"s," right? So to teach a child "a" religion, you need to first figure out what religion, you and your mate would like to practice, together, not separately. If you guys cannot agree on that, with talking, alone, than I suggest you let someone intercede on that, to help you guys possibly come to not just a decision and, but a "peaceful" decision. According to the holy bible the word peace is defined as "God" not gods and His Word, not word"s" being the center of peace, without Him, no other can achieve such things as that(The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) Acts 10:36). So in other words when it says "the word" it means that God sent one word not two words, so one doctrine would be the first step to peace. second step, once you have one word, one teaching, it has to be sent from God according to acts 10:36. Acts 10:36 says that that was and is peace, what was sent from God, what was preached by His son, Jesus Christ is peace. Now to assure that Jesus is the way to go, His word is the truth, and the life that He lived is the way we ought to live our lives, according to John 14:6, we are to first hear God's word in order to believe it(And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized. acts 18:8) once we hear, which some of it, we have, just now(showing Acts 10:36), once we hear and believe it we are to repent of our past ways and than get baptized for the remission of our sins, in the name of Jesus Christ, than after that we shall receive the Holy Spirit (Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.Acts 2:38). The Holy ghost is just another word for peace, peace is just another word for Jesus and Jesus is just another way of saying Religion not religions. To achieve peace in your family, to achieve "a" religion you have to have someone interceding, teaching you what is best for you all and that someone is Jesus Christ, Lord of all(acts 10:36). The Lord of all(every race, young and old, tall and short, rich and poor, etc.), Jesus is Lord of all humanity, once again, according to the bible. Now after talking about the bible, you may or may not believe it, I don't know, and but i just thought i would give you a Godly answer to a Godly question. This is what I believe in and with no conceit, I know is true, not only because the bible says so and, but there are prophecies to back up God's word, for example Noah's ark, some people believe its as any other story that we read in the fiction aisle or the ones that do believe it, they believe, just because the Bible(God) says it happened which is good, too, that is like a child believing what their parent tells them and does it because they knew them first so therefore that would be the person they think has the best judgement on life and godliness, you know, and, but besides believing and trusting in God you have to know, for yourself that what He says is true and by that, your personal experiences, research(I did that w/ Noah's ark, read it in the bible and on answersingenesis.org by Ken Ham and Tim Lovett(Information on them go to www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/about#kham), probably comparing and contrasting His word from other doctrines you have heard. that way, doing so, that will show yourself approved unto God and man that you are a workman that needs not to be ashamed, because you read and studied just like it was regular school, and, due to that, you are able to rightly divide the word that is true(2 Timothy 2:15). So you AND your mate, do that, so you both, again, like I said, can make and have a peaceful decision on how to raise your guys child. You could either ask me on different doctrines, too, if you prefer. I have studied several other doctrines and have done several different practices in my life and out of all my years so far I have found this one Solid(Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.)
Arleen - posted on 03/25/2014
Examine and clarify your beliefs and values: your child will have the loving basics that you choose to present.....I would recommend the book, "God is Not A Christian: And Other Provocations" by Archbishop Desmond Tutu....His premise is that the concept of God is far too large for just one religion.....Consider celebrating and embracing all holidays that honor the divine, the miraculous, and the good........Look for the common denominators in the 2 faiths that you and your spouse represent...The Chanukah and Christmas stories can be shared with equal joy!
Maria - posted on 03/25/2014
I was raised a Christian in the Greek Orthodox faith. I was led to believe that anyone outside our faith would not be welcome in heaven. You can imagine how awful that made me feel as a child in a public school who made close friendships with children of different faiths. I could not understand why we were special and they weren't. What I came to understand as I matured, is that religions are made to create divisions in people. As a spiritual person, that did not resonate with me. I refused to believe that because my friend was Jewish, or Catholic, or Hindu, or whatever that they would not be welcome in God's kingdom. So by the time I became a mother ... I taught my daughter that there are many paths to God ...and each one is right ... and to honor them all ... so every December, we celebrate and honor all religious holidays knowing that they are all the path to God ... and in doing so we learned about the many wonderful rituals and traditions of other faiths ... spirituality is about connecting and loving unconditionally ... not creating doctrines to judge and divide ... that NEVER felt spiritual to me.
Katherine - posted on 03/25/2014
I am a spiritual person and do NOT classify myself in any religion. How would you teach your little one about universality, reincarnation and the first law of thermodynamics-matter is neither created nor destroyed (applied to spirituality)? I have tried different ways but it is difficult for him to comprehend. Any ideas?
Katherine - posted on 03/25/2014
What about teaching spirituality? I do NOT classify myself in any religion. How can you teach universality, re-incarnation, and the first law of thermodynamics-matter is neither created nor destroyed (applied to being spiritual)? I have tried different ways but it is difficult for him to comprehend. Any ideas?
Tara - posted on 03/25/2014
While I think it is wonderful to expose children to different schools of thought, different cultures and beliefs, I do think, in your case, that because the two religions in question are Christianity and Judaism, that you are going to have to address the issue of Jesus. One religion specifically believes he is Messiah and the entire faith is built on that belief. The other specifically believes he is not Messiah, and the faith largely focuses on the hope of the coming of the true Messiah. So at some point you are going to have to say "this is what daddy believes, but I believe this" and then prepare yourself for the question "why?". And if your kids are anything like mine, they are going to ask and ask until you come up with a satisfactory answer.
Patricia - posted on 03/25/2014
Interesting topic which wasn't discussed before having children. Jesus was a Jew and Christianity exists because of his death. From their provide information about Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Budah and Judaism letting the child make a conscious decision. But most important teach him/her that their is a higher being/spirit that does exist and faith is not logical.
Nancy - posted on 03/25/2014
Are you both practicing your faith? The answer to your question is very different depending on how strong your views are and how strongly they affect your daily life.
Assuming you and your husband both practice your faith, how about starting with where the faiths agree? Begin by teaching your child the Old Testament. Teach him/her how timeless the truths are in the Old Testament books, and you and your husband can each tell the child how those beliefs shape the person you are. If both parents attend church, have the child attend sometimes with one parent and sometimes with the other. If both parents do not attend church, then the child can attend sometimes with one parent and other times stay with the other parent.
Be very open with your religious beliefs, but a five-year old is not ready to hear about all the philosophical differences between the two religions.
Some people are very quiet about their religious beliefs--they hold them and practice them, but they find it difficult to discuss them. If this is the case with either you or the other parent, the child will often take up the religious beliefs of the parent who practices the religion and talks about it more openly.
Have you and the child's father discussed how to raise the child in regard to religion? How did the conversation go? Do you and the child's father each respect the other's rights to hold differing religious beliefs? If not, there is a marital issue which may need to be resolved before deciding how to raise the child.
Many families in similar situations celebrate both sets of religious holidays so the child can understand and celebrate the parents' beliefs. In fact, Jewish holidays are celebrated with the Jewish extended family and Christian holidays are celebrated with the Christian extended family. Both religions have deep traditions which can provide a secure spiritual foundation for the child. This only has to be a problem if the parents allow it to be.
Even a child raised in only one religious system has to decide later whether he/she will practice that faith or choose to follow another set of beliefs.
I think the biggest thing is for the parents to get on the same page. If the family is divided because of divorce, this can be much more difficult. However, I feel strongly that neither parent should show open disrespect for the other parent's religious beliefs. As the child becomes a little older and would prepare for first communion, the parents will need to be in agreement whether the child will go through the catechism classes and begin to practice the Catholic faith. Similarly, an age of Bar Mitzvah or Bas Mitzvah will require another discussion on the part of the parents. It is okay for the child to know that there are two different religions going on here, and, in the mixed-religion families I've dealt with, the children have actually said, "I'm half Jewish and half Catholic," (or their family's equivalent).
It is not possible for a child to be both Jewish and Catholic, in that, the same child should not try to do First Communion and a Bar Mitzvah. I hope this helps.
Melanie - posted on 03/25/2014
I'm a chaos witch, and my hubby is a secular humanist. I've found that having more than on philosophical point of view benefits children. It exposes them to the fact that each person has a different perspective on things. Never suppress philosophical curiosity. I raise mine pagan, but if they choose a different path later, that is okay with me. I have one rule though: no philosophical persecution.
Antonio - posted on 03/25/2014
I think the problem is more for the parents than for the child. Just tell him that there is a God, a higher being, and that there are several ways to thank and express our gratitude ... the way the Jewish, the Christian way, the way Islamic, etc. .. etc. ..
When he grows will understand . My idea abouth religions is....
People erected wonderful monuments to their God: the Vatican, Mecca, the Temple of Solomon, the Mosques, the Pyramids ..... are all sacred places and in some cases they are the subject of controversy as the city of Jerusalem ....
"This is my God’s wall! No, it belongs to my God and therefore I am the only one who can pray here.
As a sign of submissiveness some of them move their heads back and forth when they read the sacred writings, others whip themselves in procession to mortify their flesh.
My favourite prayer is the Indian prayer for Manitou; they dance with their back straight and the prairie is their temple. I doubt that God wants us as slaves, He wants us to be thankful to Him
When I go to St. Peter's I am amazed by the majesty of that place, I feel very tiny and everything there reminds me that if I am not obedient to God Laws I will be doomed.
But is the worship place so important place? Well ... ....
My Temple is on the shore in Latina: the sun is setting and I am sitting on sand dunes on the Sabaudia coast, a light breeze is blowing and the sea is as smooth as oil. I perceive its apparent motion, it is disclosed to me filtered through the atmosphere as to remind me that I am not allowed to see it fully in its magnificence.
A mullet is splashing out of the water, it must be chased by an amberjack or a bluefish; I am waiting a bit concerned, I cannot spot the bluefish reaching the surface again, I like to think that it could make it, but who knows?
Around me there are many cyclamens, a solitary one is between my legs, I am looking at him and I realise it is greater than St. Peter's, the Mecca, and the Temple of Solomon altogether.
Maybe I'm praying, the pleasant breeze makes me realise that He is a friend and that the only law that I am allowed to know is that the 'Natural Order of things. "
From : The Rabbit Culture
Bonnie - posted on 03/25/2014
Exposé your child to all of the significant interfaith holidays.
Cook or buy the foods read up on the different holidays. Go to
the library and get children's holiday books. Also get adult books on the subject.
Google on line for resources, cook together and play music and make crafts for both cultures. Go to community celebrations for the holidays at church and at synagogue. Google all crafts recipes etc. buy music for children and adults for the celebrations. Put up decorations, symbols etc. May your home be filled with light and love.
Allison - posted on 03/25/2014
First I want to say...thank you for continuing your faith. So many mixed religion couple just stop going to church because they don't know how to handle it. That being said, God is in the New Testament which is known and used in both religions. Start there. Introducing Jesus is where he controversy will be. Look into Christian Jews. They are awesome at explaining the connection between Jesus and all of the Jewish feasts and holidays.
Brittanie - posted on 03/25/2014
Well God gave us free-will that's a start. And to have faith you don't necessarily need organized religion. But it does help when kids are young to instill believes and values. My husband and I are both Christian I was raised Lutheran and my husband Mormon. We are have some different views but we have agreed that as as we teach by example and teach our kids to be good people that's what's important. Also you can have strong faith but carry beliefs of different organized religions. I definitely have Lutheran believes but I would say I am more of a Buddhist and have other believes too.
Caryn - posted on 03/24/2014
Hmmm. You are right - other peoples stories may not work, but they also may work. I'm looking for some tangible ideas on how to introduce it. My husband and I spoke a lot about this before we got married and decided to practice both - to the best we can. To date, we have been celebrating all holidays but haven't introduced the concept of God. I wanted to know some good books, good stories that might help in that category. I do know it is confusing, but also realize that there are a ton of mixed marriages and I'm assuming that many of them are happy. Yes, introducing differences can be a challenge but I also think it can be a gift. It exposes people (my family/son/our friends) to culture and educates all of us all. My husband and I have a very strong relationship as he has supported me twice through cancer...and our family is very focused on love. So, while I'm nervous in some ways, I'm not in others. I appreciate the book suggestion below and would love to hear other books, ideas, stories, websites, events that can help us on this journey. Keeping an open mind is a great lesson for him, too - thanks Rebecca
Rebecca - posted on 03/22/2014
To Alma's point - instead of imposing which is better than the other (i.e the lettuce,tomato example) why not teach your child they're both just as good? Your child is an independent thinker and as long as you teach him respect and to keep an open mind (rather than being harshly judgemental) you will not face such conundrum that you are worried about.
Alma - posted on 03/22/2014
HI Caryn, your son is in a very importan age of discovery, where he will start asking big questions, and its hard to say that others peoples stories will work with you, Im sorry if it sounds harsh, but but a lot will depend on you and your husband, its hard to tell a child that you belive on this but your father something very diferent, its like you teling him " tomatoes are the best food, and your DH saying it is lettuce what its the best" what does I five y/o do with this? before you know it he will torn trying to please you and your DH, its hard to grow with two parrents with defferent any thing, religion, cultural background, language sports team, traditions, you name it, now that the facts are on the table waht do you do? the best thing would've been to talk this before the marriage, but at this moment you and your DH have to agree to raise him on one faith, for the the sake of him, putting your or your DH, priorities aside, before he decides that its better to atheist or to pick a difent faith, it possible, but it will take a lot of working together as a family instead of what I say and what he says, good luck and God bless you.
Caryn - posted on 03/21/2014
Thanks to everyone who replied. I'm a newbee on Circle of Moms and this was really helpful. Everyone gave me some information to move forward with - and I greatly appreciate it. I love success stories and ideas on how to positively move forward. Thanks again. Happy Spring!
Rebecca - posted on 03/20/2014
I would suggest teaching your child to have an open mind, and to be respectful of both. my husband is jewish and i'm hindu. It's complicated cause both religions are inherited, but hinduism from the father and judism from the mother. The two don't really correlate at all but at the end of the day, it doesn't matter. We observe parts of both religions.
Sharon - posted on 03/19/2014
Just replying to your statement: Well, Christianity isn't Jewish. I'm not sure why the previous poster seems to think that. Yes, there are some similarities, but they are also quite different when it comes to the New Testament. Not trying to preach - just trying to explain why I said what I sid, which I cannot do unless I reproduce the whole book, "Christianity is Jewish" - You said you didn't understand why I would say that,,,,We are trying to respond to the original post of raising an interfaith child of Jewish and Catholic persuasion. My recommendation would be to go to a Messianic Jews group and see how they combine the faiths.
Sharon - posted on 03/19/2014
I didn't say the Jewishfaith is the same as Christianity but that Christianity is the completion of what the Israelites hoped for, the Messiah. Perhaps connecting with a group of Messianic Jews would help both parents come together. As I said, Jesus was the sacrificial lamb, dying once for all, rather than having to repeat the sacrifices over and over again. SOme scholars believe there are over 300 Old Testment prophecies whoch Jesus fulfilled. Here are over 40 of them: 44 Prophecies Jesus Christ Fulfilled
Prophecies About Jesus Old Testament
Scripture New Testament
1 Messiah would be born of a woman. Genesis 3:15 Matthew 1:20
2 Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Micah 5:2 Matthew 2:1
3 Messiah would be born of a virgin. Isaiah 7:14 Matthew 1:22-23
4 Messiah would come from the line of Abraham. Genesis 12:3
Genesis 22:18 Matthew 1:1
5 Messiah would be a descendant of Isaac. Genesis 17:19
Genesis 21:12 Luke 3:34
6 Messiah would be a descendant of Jacob. Numbers 24:17 Matthew 1:2
7 Messiah would come from the tribe of Judah. Genesis 49:10 Luke 3:33
8 Messiah would be heir to King David's throne. 2 Samuel 7:12-13
Isaiah 9:7 Luke 1:32-33
9 Messiah's throne will be anointed and eternal. Psalm 45:6-7
Daniel 2:44 Luke 1:33
10 Messiah would be called Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 Matthew 1:23
11 Messiah would spend a season in Egypt. Hosea 11:1 Matthew 2:14-15
12 A massacre of children would happen at Messiah's birthplace. Jeremiah 31:15 Matthew 2:16-18
13 A messenger would prepare the way for Messiah Isaiah 40:3-5 Luke 3:3-6
14 Messiah would be rejected by his own people. Psalm 69:8
Isaiah 53:3 John 1:11
15 Messiah would be a prophet. Deuteronomy 18:15 Acts 3:20-22
16 Messiah would be preceded by Elijah. Malachi 4:5-6 Matthew 11:13-14
17 Messiah would be declared the Son of God. Psalm 2:7 Matthew 3:16-17
18 Messiah would be called a Nazarene. Isaiah 11:1 Matthew 2:23
19 Messiah would bring light to Galilee. Isaiah 9:1-2 Matthew 4:13-16
20 Messiah would speak in parables. Psalm 78:2-4
Isaiah 6:9-10 Matthew 13:10-15, 34-35
21 Messiah would be sent to heal the brokenhearted. Isaiah 61:1-2 Luke 4:18-19
22 Messiah would be a priest after the order of Melchizedek. Psalm 110:4 Hebrews 5:5-6
23 Messiah would be called King. Psalm 2:6
Zechariah 9:9 Matthew 27:37
24 Messiah would be praised by little children. Psalm 8:2 Matthew 21:16
25 Messiah would be betrayed. Psalm 41:9
Zechariah 11:12-13 Luke 22:47-48
26 Messiah's price money would be used to buy a potter's field. Zechariah 11:12-13 Matthew 27:9-10
27 Messiah would be falsely accused. Psalm 35:11 Mark 14:57-58
28 Messiah would be silent before his accusers. Isaiah 53:7 Mark 15:4-5
29 Messiah would be spat upon and struck. Isaiah 50:6 Matthew 26:67
30 Messiah would be hated without cause. Psalm 35:19
Psalm 69:4 John 15:24-25
31 Messiah would be crucified with criminals. Isaiah 53:12 Matthew 27:38
32 Messiah would be given vinegar to drink. Psalm 69:21 Matthew 27:34
33 Messiah's hands and feet would be pierced. Psalm 22:16
Zechariah 12:10 John 20:25-27
34 Messiah would be mocked and ridiculed. Psalm 22:7-8 Luke 23:35
35 Soldiers would gamble for Messiah's garments. Psalm 22:18 Luke 23:34
36 Messiah's bones would not be broken. Exodus 12:46
Psalm 34:20 John 19:33-36
37 Messiah would be forsaken by God. Psalm 22:1 Matthew 27:46
38 Messiah would pray for his enemies. Psalm 109:4 Luke 23:34
39 Soldiers would pierce Messiah's side. Zechariah 12:10 John 19:34
40 Messiah would be buried with the rich. Isaiah 53:9 Matthew 27:57-60
41 Messiah would resurrect from the dead. Psalm 16:10
Psalm 49:15 Matthew 28:2-7
42 Messiah would ascend to heaven. Psalm 24:7-10 Mark 16:19
43 Messiah would be seated at God's right hand. Psalm 68:18
Psalm 110:1 Mark 16:19
44 Messiah would be a sacrifice for sin. Isaiah 53:5-12 Romans 5:6-8
Jodi - posted on 03/18/2014
Well, Christianity isn't Jewish. I'm not sure why the previous poster seems to think that. Yes, there are some similarities, but they are also quite different when it comes to the New Testament.
Having said that, you can teach your child about MANY different religions, and let them know which ones you each believe in, and then let them know that that what they believe in is their choice. As long as you are teaching them about the different religions, I don't see the issue. The problem will be if you decide you want them to actually practice one or the other religion.
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