Why I won’t teach my Son about David vs. Goliath

IMG_0701-1.JPG
David hoists the severed head of Goliath as illustrated by Gustave Doré (1866). [words are my own]

Just to start out I want to make it clear that I am not critiquing anyone else’s ability to parent their children Or the decisions they make in raising them. Nor am I speaking as a pro at parenting or theology.

I think most people are fairly familiar with the narrative of the battle between David of Israel and Goliath of Gath that is found in the Hebrew/Christian scriptures. The story of this battle is honestly one of the first things I learned in my sporadic visits to church as a child and as the years have gone by I can say for sure that it is a staple in most churches Sunday School curriculum. The fact that this story, one of a man killing another man, is taught to young children deeply bothers me. Sadly we romanticize it as an epic about good defeating evil, about all things being possible with God, and even about righteous judgment. We can read those concepts into the text, and even make a case for using it as a metaphor but is the moral of the story really ‘All things are possible with God’? I have a really had time believing that to be true. Especially once I continue to read the events that follow the battle.

As a Father, a human being, and as a Christian I can not justify using this story in such a way that celebrates the killing of a man while trying to flippantly make it about God doing the impossible through a young boy. When we fail to read the whole story we do a disservice to the scriptures and the truth that this story is trying to convey. The truth that violence begets violence and when we resort to using it as a means for advancement then we will certainly be molded into it’s image. David defeats Goliath while refusing Saul’s armor and sword only to later flee Israel and take up Goliath’s sword and armor for himself. Not only did he use The Champion of Gath’s armoring but he found himself in the middle of the Philistines ready to go to war alongside their king against the same people he had just saved, the Israelites. David killed their champion and then became their kings champion. Violence made him into the very thing he sought to destroy. Violence always makes monsters out of us.

I refuse to teach my son of the “valiant” acts of King David. I can not place value on the taking of someone’s life and neither did Jesus. Later on when my son has grown older and matured I will teach him that rejecting the way of Christ can bring incalculable harm and let the narrative of David speak for itself. There is a much greater lesson to be learned from the narrative than a boy facing a giant; When we reject the way of peace we will inevitably heap up for ourselves destruction. For those that live by the sword die by it and those that are violent are overtaken by it.

King Jesus > King David

Through whom, to whom, and for whom all things exist!
-Ryan

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Why I won’t teach my Son about David vs. Goliath

  1. Justin says:

    You contradict yourself by saying ” When we fail to read the whole story we do a disservice to the scriptures and the truth that this story is trying to convey.”

    You disown the reason David had to face Goliath, and try to muck it up for a purpose to make yourself seem more righteous than he. I reject your blog, Sir.

    You are ignorant of Scripture and are trying to prove a point and air your own opinions of things. If you have to give a disclaimer for what you post before people read into it, maybe you should spend time in prayer with God before posting a self-righteous post as this one.

    Thanks.

    • Ryan Cagle says:

      Hey Justin! Thanks so much for your comment! I sincerely love your input but would hope that I you decide to continue to converse on my posts that you would try and be more polite in your critiques of my heart. I highly recommend you check out René Girard who is one of the greatest Christians minds of our century. He spends a lot more time on mimetic desire than my one little opinion post on my personal blog.

      Grace and peace
      -R

  2. Jon says:

    Be led by God and not cherry pick what your son learns, there was a purpose for Goliaths death as well as anyone who comes against Israel and gods chosen, he who watches over Israel never slumbering nor sleeps.

  3. Caleb says:

    So… are you going to skip the cleansing of the Levant as well? I disagree with your decision. I’ve already made two buckskin slings for my young children. I think if you dug deeper into the origins of fellows like Goliath,you may change your mind. Start with Genesis 6. This is a rosetta stone of sorts and has clarified much of what is in both Torah and The New Testament. I’m not telling you how to mow your grass,either. However, your assesment belies a shallow and neutered understanding of both scripture and history. I’m here to help if you’d like.

    -Caleb

  4. Amir Skrgic says:

    This guy I’d absolutely right..by killing one Goliat you create another one. There’s violence in this story that I as a parent also will not teach my children. The problem with Goliat was not his size, it was his heart, he was evil..and probably brought up evil. I will teach my kids that it’s always wrong with violence. And guess what; if we all did we wouldn’t had such a warmongering world out there as we do now. Educate our young ones and may they rise and prosper in peace!

  5. scsdawg says:

    I think what David should have done is asked the Philistines to be nice and if that didnt work, he should have allowed the Philistines to take over Israel, ban the worship of Yahweh, and rape their women and children. That would have the “Christian” thing to do.

  6. Richard Jackson says:

    While I do agree with Justin, he seems a bit too harsh. But then how do you call someone ignorant and do it nicely?
    It is tough to draw a parallel between God’s building of the nation Israel amid mixed race (human and non-human) is not an obvious comparison to the problems we face today. We must be prepared to do many things to defend what is right from that which is evil. If not we end up just as SCSDAWG described. Minus that determination the gates of hell would have long ago wiped out the Church. Nope Ryan, it had to be done and is a good example of faith in action.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s