Charles and Linda Harris are feeling "duped" these days. Last summer they innocently let their eleven-year-old son Mark attend a vacation Bible school at a nearby church, Ruthville Christian Reformed Church. Though devout members of another congregation in town, they decided to let Mark attend for the week because some of his friends had invited him.
"Everything was going great at first." Said Charles. "The first day Mark brought home some drawings and other art projects he had done with the group. They were also memorizing the first few verses of Ephesians 1 for the week. I personally thought it was great. I'm always supportive of him learning more about spiritual matters."
But what began as a simple and innocent week at vacation Bible school soon turned into what the Harrises now call their "nightmare."
"We were having dinner Friday night after the week had ended." Said Linda. "It seemed like Mark had had a good time and made some new friends. So I asked Mark, 'Tell me what you learned this week, sweetie?' and he started telling me a bunch of different things they had learned, all of which seemed good. But then he said 'We also learned that God chose his elect from all eternity and predestined them to salvation.' Charles and I just stopped and looked at each other, and I said 'What did you say, love?' and he said 'We learned that God chooses us first, we don't choose him first.' I mean our jaws just hit the floor. We were speechless!"
As the meal progressed the Harrises soon discovered that during the week Mark had been taught about the doctrines of election and predestination, common to reformed theology.
"We called the church the first thing on Monday morning and really let them have it." Said Charles. "How dare they brainwash my child with all of that mess!"
The family is now faced with an even bigger problem regarding their son. Not only was Mark taught the doctrines, but he himself came to understand and believe them.
"I really don't see why my parents are so upset." Said Mark. "I mean, the Bible just says it right there on the page that God chose and elected and predestined. How could I not believe it?"
The Harrises tried for months to persuade their son to change his new views, but to no avail. The situation has recently become so frustrating for the family that they are now seeking therapy for Mark in order to "help" him with his "problem."
"Mark is now meeting weekly with a counselor on staff at our church." Said Charles. "They've only met twice, and so far Mark hasn't changed his mind, but we're going to give it some time and see what happens. We're just praying that soon we'll have our boy back the way he was before and that he'll soon give up this nonsense."