There was much ado this week on the Facebook around the issue of preachers’ kids and why they go bad.
Seems, fount of wisdom, Katy Perry who is a preacher’s kid opined as to why preachers’ kids lose their faith, leave the church they were brought UP in, and even sometimes abandon their teachings and beliefs in God altogether.
The way I see it, Katy Perry seems to wear her rejection of her childhood teachings like a badge of honor.
Although I think Ms Perry is misguided and foolish and her interview in Vogue is a train wreck, the article or post about it contains some good, viable information.
It talks about Katy Perry’s preacher’s kids story, and implies that her story is every PK’s story.
But, it’s not the story every preacher’s kid would tell, and it’s for darn sure not mine.
Oh, yes, I’m a preacher’s kid, or PK as some would call it.
Frankly, I prefer TO: Theological Offspring. It sounds classier, and as you can tell from the name of my site and the many and varied topics on which I post…
Well, I’m just a classy guy.
So, no to the PK and yes to the TO, ok?
The post written for For Every Mom by Megan Briggs, a child of a PK herself, is well written, well thought out, and hits the mark, or close to it.
But, to be sure, I think Katy is wrong.
I think she chose to reject what she was taught, not because there was too much of it, or because there were no choices, but because it is just easier and often more advantageous to be the rebel.
Which she is.
I’ll make some comparisons – and as you know – this will get rambley – hey, it’s the way I roll.
Ms Perry is the daughter of evangelical pastors Keith and Mary Hudson.
Difference # 1, I am the son of a Baptist Preacher, teacher, and expositor and his wife. Mom was Dad’s wife and our mom. She was a member of the church, an active one, but she didn’t belong to the church, and T-RUST me, the church knew it.
There are similarities too. Katy grew UP singing in church, as did I, she hit it big, and I, well, I did not. Perry states her attendance at church was required. Mine was as well.
But, then I was a kid, Mom and Dad were going to church, I’m six years old, they are not going to let me stay home by my lonesome – who needs all that DFACS trouble anyway?
Her family “steered clear of cultural traditions like Santa Claus and anything having to do with Halloween…”
Difference #2, Daddy told us the real reason for Christmas, sang “Here Comes Santy Claus,” and schooled us on where Red and Green came from and how Christmas had moved from a celebration of Christ’s birth to a pagan ritual to a combined event.
Daddy was pretty smart, knew his history and more than that, knew the Bible. Halloween was a time for kids to dress UP, get candy, and have fun. We never had the witchy scary stuff. I went as a hobo, Popeye The Sailor Man, stuff like that.
We even had a Halloween Party at church.
Perry implied in her interview that there was a “…political line of thinking she was expected to adhere to…”
Her dad watched Fox News.
And though my dad watched all the talking heads on TV, and was a very spiritual/religious man, I don’t think religious affiliation is a requirement for Fox News fans.
Perry’s folks were protesters. They protested Marilyn Manson.
Dad wasn’t a protester. He wrote the editor of the local paper – often.
Perry, like me, was taught the doctrine of separation.
The Bible says ‘…Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing…” in 2nd Corinthians.
The Apostle Paul wasn’t just referring to her relationship with Russell Brand… In other words, there’s a path of salvation and a path of destruction. The Apostle Paul suggests pulling away from the pleasures of the world and trusting Jesus is the right route to take.
Katy of course, has become a major influence in modern day media culture.
She refers to a “…higher power bigger than me because that keeps me accountable…” but she doesn’t believe in an “…old man sitting on a throne…”
I was taught there is a God, the Almighty God, and He is on his throne in Heaven overseeing the world.
Old Man? who knows, He might be an old man, and He’s assuredly a higher power.
But He’s not only a higher power, He is THE Higher Power.
Why is it so difficult to call him God?
Katy has substituted her political activism for her religion while declaring she has to “…stand for something…”
What’s wrong with standing for what you were taught, and what’s wrong with standing for God?
And there was some blather in there about sexism and misogyny, trauma from her past about a controlling guy, blah, blah, blah.
Katy like me, was taught there’s a Heaven and a Hell.
She has decided that’s not the case.
Time will tell.
Fortunately, the article isn’t all about Katy Perry. The writer offers some suggestions :
- Give your preacher’s kid a choice whenever possible
- Make your parent-child relationship a priority
- Be honest with your preacher’s kid
- Don’t force doctrine on your preacher’s kid
The writer says, “The thing that stands out to me the most in Perry’s story is the lack of choice in her upbringing.”
Of course there was little choice when it came to religion. Most families are that way – at least families with parents who have a religion.
Teaching kids right from wrong is called parenting allowing them to make ill-advised choices is called neglect.
But, Katy says she had no choice.
Again, I disagree. We all have choices.
This is where my story starts…
Looking back, there were few choices in my childhood, and almost none when it came to church, the Bible, and God’s son our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…but in reality, I like Katy, had a choice.
One either chooses God or rejects God.
It’s pretty simple looking back, but at the time it was tough.
I don’t remember thinking as a child, “…the minute I get out of this house I’m never going to church again…” but for a while, I had little time for God, the church, or religion.
I know we were there every time the doors were open, Sunday School, Worship Service, Wednesday Night Bible Study, Revivals, Bible School.
Heck, I’ve been to more funerals and weddings than most people.
We went, and though the choice wasn’t ours, it didn’t turn me off on God.
But I strayed.
I went a while without opening my Bible.
I went a while without praying.
I made some bad choices. I won’t call them mistakes, because they were decisions. My decisions.
And for a while, I like Katy, saw things differently. But I, unlike Katy, came back.
Thank God for that.
The Bible says “…Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it…”
That’s pretty much a promise if you ask me.
Teach the children well.
Tell them what you believe is true and sure.
As parents, do all you can.
But in the end, it is still the option of the child.
There were five of us.
The older two never strayed…I mean never strayed…it was annoying, and a standard I decided early on I’d never make.
The last three of us – well, we strayed.
And for a while we stayed.
But, always in the back of my mind there was that “Train UP the child” thing.
As a kid, it was fitting in.
Germantown wasn’t easy for a Baptist preacher’s kid.
There were temptations, there was acceptance, and there were entertainment options so to speak.
Dancing was forbidden.
I loved to dance.
I still dance.
But, always in the back of my mind, I knew some things, some of the choices, weren’t right.
I wonder, if Katy feels that way.
What Katy doesn’t say and where we differ is I believe that if the Devil can’t get to the preacher, he will try to get to his kids, and if the preacher isn’t watching, he can lose them to Satan.
It happens, and it was happening to me.
But, always in the back of my mind, it was a choice.
I chose for a season to reject what I’d been taught.
I chose for a season to ignore what I’d been taught.
And I chose for a season to do what I wanted.
When it all comes down to it, it’s all about choices. One can be taught one way all their life, but their own free will determines the path they will take.
Katy’s folks gave her choices, she just rejected them.
For me, in the end, it was my choice to choose their choice.
Looking back, I see now how fortunate I was. I heard things growing UP that most people never got to hear. Not everyone had a dad who knew the Bible like mine did. Not every kid heard the Bible stories told by someone who really knew them, really studied them, and really loved them.
Not everyone was fortunate enough to be a Preacher’s Kid.
If you’d like to read the article please go to For Every Mom – here’s the link…
It’s a great blog every day.
Just a note…
- “If there’s one thing I’ve heard from disgruntled preacher’s kids, it’s that they couldn’t stand the hypocrisy they witnessed.”
- Let me be clear; I can’t not conjure UP one example of hypocrisy in either of my parents.
- Don’t force doctrine on your preacher’s kid
- I disagree – entirely. Parents, preachers or not, are supposed to teach their children what they believe is right and give them enough space to opt in or out.