Children—Capable of Making Life-Altering Decisions?

An attention-grabbing title recently appeared in The Washington Post’s op-ed section, “Why do we let children buy firearms?”—a shocking title meant to generate traffic, no doubt. As you may surmise, the article is in response to the unthinkably horrific fatal shootings of nineteen students and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas, and ten people at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.

Now, before I begin, please know this blog post isn’t about gun control or what can or should be done here in America in relation to that. That’s a complicated issue and demands careful consideration from lawmakers and others. I’m not even commenting on the efficacy of the author’s overall point that the US should raise the minimum age at which guns can be purchased. What I want to point out is a glaring inconsistency within Marcus’ secular worldview.

In the article, the author, Ruth Marcus, argues that in America we allow children to buy “deadly weapons” when their “prefrontal cortexes, responsible for impulse control, don’t finish developing until the mid-20s,” asking “what rational society allows that?”

But she’s not writing about eight-year-olds buying firearms. She’s bemoaning that eighteen-year-olds (hardly “children”) can purchase firearms at a time in their life when their brains aren’t finished developing and when many make poor decisions driven by “anger and aggression.”

We live in a nation where children—actual children—can completely alter their future by taking hormone blockers and cross-sex hormones to “transition” from one gender to another.

Now here’s the inconsistency within the secular worldview: we live in a nation where children—actual children—can completely alter their future by taking hormone blockers and cross-sex hormones to “transition” from one gender to another. Such decisions are vigorously applauded by most secularists and, in many instances, actively encouraged. And yet those making the choice are often very young children, whose brains are far from finished developing.

It’s a blatant inconsistency. For those with this secular worldview, apparently children are wise and developed enough to make decisions about their gender and sexuality, often without parental knowledge or consent, but young adults are not yet developed enough to make other decisions.

Now, obviously Marcus isn’t going to bring gender transitions into an article about gun control, but it really is worth taking her line of reasoning and applying it to the sexualization of children that’s raging in our nation: if, by her reasoning, young adults shouldn’t be allowed to purchase guns because they might make horrific choices, why is our society steeping children in the LGBTQ worldview and doing everything they can to encourage impressionable children to make irreversible decisions about their biology at extremely young ages? To quote Marcus, “What rational society allows that?” (But would Marcus speak out against this? Very likely not. And she would probably object to what we’re saying in this article—but any objections would be totally inconsistent.)

Our hearts aren’t basically good—we are evil and depraved and in desperate need of a Savior.

Marcus misses what so many in our culture miss: the problem is the depravity of our hearts. Our hearts aren’t basically good—we are evil and depraved and in desperate need of a Savior. Our nation has divorced morality from the absolutes of God’s Word, taught children they’re just animals and that right and wrong are relative, stripped away the meaning and purpose of life, taught them this life is all there is, and torn down the family unit that God designed as the first and most fundamental human institution—and then they wonder why sinful human beings act on their sinful tendencies! It really is a spiritual issue. But we need to be reminded, “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (2 Corinthians 2:14).

While Marcus misses the big picture in her article, she’s right that children and, to an extent, even young adults are not mini-adults, capable of all the responsibility and appropriate decision making we expect from adults. They need to be discipled and trained in the ways of the Lord so they can know right from wrong and have the right worldview to properly view themselves, others, and God. “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways” (1 Corinthians 13:11).

We live in a sin-cursed world and must wrestle with hard questions in the wake of tragedies, including those caused by evil people acting on their depravity. As the current national conversation centers around the horrors of what happened in Texas, let’s not forget that it is the biblical worldview and the gospel that is the ultimate answer to sin and evil (though certainly other practical considerations must be thoughtfully weighed) and that, someday, all evil will be destroyed and every wrong made right.

The Lord preserves all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. (Psalm 145:20)

Get More Answers on Answers News

This item was discussed yesterday on Answers News with cohosts Bryan Osborne, Dr. Gabriela Haynes, and Rob Webb. Answers News is our twice-weekly news program filmed live before a studio audience and broadcast on my Facebook page and the Answers in Genesis Facebook page. We also covered the following topics:

  • A culture of death
  • Evolution faster than thought
  • Déjà vu and the peppered moth
  • And more!

Source: Answers in Genesis

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