Rising From The Dead Does NOT Make You A Vampire!

My children have been spending a good part of their Spring Break discussing a deep theological concept, one that I find some adults are unable to have a civilized conversation about:

"Did you know that Jesus rose from the dead, mom?"

I have been asked this at least once a day for the past week. And every time I respond, "Yes, I know that."

But that has led to them saying things like, "No way! You were there??? You saw Him come out of the tomb?"

I know I'm old but good grief, kids, I'm not THAT old!

Oh, and there's the, "Was Jesus a skeleton when He came out? Did His body decompose at all?"

Uh, no. I don't think so. The people who were there didn't say that he was decomposed.

"Hey, is Jesus like a zombie or a vampire?"

I've informed them that they may have been burned at the stake in an earlier day and age for asking such things.

"Well, that's what Easter's about, you know, about Jesus coming back from the dead, and that's what vampires do."

Yes kids, I know, that's only part of Easter, but I am following your logic. Really, I am.

"Hey, Jesus could be in that Twilight movie and kill the bad vampires!"

I've quickly realized that they seem to think of Jesus and other Manifestations of God as being some sort of spiritual superheroes, who can, among other things, get crucified and then rise from the dead three days later. And fight off bad vampires.

But moreso, I've realized that my sons are totally comfortable talking about God and spiritual concepts. They have some interesting ideas but they don't have any of the hang ups we adults sometimes have. When do we get those hang ups? And how come we hold on to them so much?

I'm sure some people probably think my son's questions are totally irreverent and inappropriate, but I like how they turn some of the world's great theological debates and mysteries into real, fun discussions.

But to be clear, NO, I do not think Jesus is a vampire, and I have made sure my kids don't think so either. Really, the last thing I need is hate emails saying I'm anti-Christian or something... I know that's the sort of stuff some adults like to spend their time composing instead of getting out there and doing good in the world!

Anyway, Happy Easter to all of you who observe such a very special day!


Kathy Rogers said…
Cracking up at your kids. The zombie argument makes sense to me.
Jameil said…
i never would've made the Jesus vampire connection. Kids! I bet there were some little Christian kids reading Twighlight thinking the same things and they're probably several years older than your boys! As long as they know the truth!
j'taimee said…
hahahaha. your kids are rad. and it's true - sometimes have a difficult introducing logic to their faith... when, if you're willing to expand your horizons, they don't have to be at odds at all.
Ms Angela said…
As a Baha'i, raising kids with the concept that all religions are essentially one and the same but revealed by God at different times in the history of mankind was an interesting and sometimes stupefying experience. My kids often asked me questions that made me pulling books out of my library for answers. That was good for all of us, but particularly humbling for me. I discovered that I wasn't half as "smart" as I thought I was, and if I wanted to answer their increasingly complex questions, I had to immerse myself in The Creative Word, and somehow understand the vast storehouses of knowledge enough to explain the concepts to my kids. The caveat, of course, was IF I understood even a tiny part of it!

That was beneficial for all of us, but the kids kept asking me even more probing theological questions almost everyday. There were times when I felt like I was dog paddling in an enormous ocean of words and concepts with no life boat! And even now, as young adults, they STILL ask me questions. Get ready,Liz! This will probably continue for many, many years!
Ian Lidster said…
This was terribly funny, Thanks for the Eastertime treat, Liz
1969 said…
Hey...those kids are smart. They are just trying to understand and rationalize.
nick said…
Sensible questions really if you don't know much about Jesus. Let's face it, the whole Jesus story must seem pretty weird to the average kid. Rising from the dead, loaves and fishes etc. As you say, good that they still feel free to ask those awkward questions that adults somehow don't like to ask.
DJ Black Adam said…

Hey, I am glad that your children think about these things, I wish more people, especially Christians, would.
Daniel said…
Los Angelista,
Wait until they ask you "Why God doesn't stop all the awful things that always happen?"
When do kids start to lose the ability to openly talk about such things? When they realize most people (including most parents) haven't a clue how to even begin to answer their questions.
sippinwineman said…
I've always tried to explain things to young people by first giving them some perspective.

I've got a LOT of answers, but still, the differences between the Old Testament God and the New Testament God still gets me..*sigh*

I usually don't discuss religion with folks I don't know, but. .
"Blaah, blaah.. . .I von't to save your soul"

okay. not funny. But your post was. thanks.
Jen said…
It's great that they're exploring. C did, too, at their age. He still does. Since we're from a very mixed background and basically secular, he's looked at a lot of theological viewpoints. Currently his interests are closest to Buddhism. I don't know if he'll ever end up finding spiritual beliefs he's comfortable with or not.
LOL. Your kids are awesome. It's great that they are so curious and you encourage it.

I wonder about these things myself. I mean, not the vampire part.
Romance said…
I love the Zombie argument!!! And well, their thinking is right on target.

I love Jesus as a spiritual super hero - uh, thats why we have the Jesus action figure at our house.

We are clearly irreverent...
Shiona said…
Wow what a way to put it. The Christians in my family would be up in arms. We would NEVER have such conversations. It is interesting to find out when those hangups come into play...
Liz Dwyer said…
Goodness, why has this week been so busy??? (why have I been such a lazy blogger???) Let me see if I can tackle your comments FINALLY -- goodness, I'm sooo tardy!

KathyRI told them that zombies usually evolve from voodoo -- and that without voodoo, there's no zombies. -- And then I couldn't believe I was actually trying to have a logical convo about it!

Jameil,Did I read somewhere that folks think Twilight is about abstinence? I dunno! I am sure there are other folks who think this too. Have to be!

J'Taimee,They ARE awesome kids. I love them. You know, I firmly believe that spiritual principles always have to have a practical, logical basis -- yes, no at odds needed. There is something about the culture that creates a weird polarity with the two.

Angela,Oh yes, these kids ask some DEEP questions and I have to really read up on things to be able to answer thoughtfully. I have no doubt this will continue for a LONG time -- and that is a good thing!

Ian,They keep me laughing and keep me on my toes, always! Glad to share! :)

1969,They are too smart for me... at 5 all I knew about was JELLYBEANS!

Nick,I should probably do more to educate them about the great religions of the world and the history of them all so that they know more about the life of Jesus, Mohammed, Abraham, Krishna, etc!

DJBA,Me too. But it's weird that as adults we argue instead of thinking and investigating on our own.

Daniel,Good point! Most of us don't have the ability to answer such theologically deep questions. My answer is that we never know what sorts of awful things have been prevented due to prayer AND we have free will so why should God stop things?

Sippinwineman,LOL, Imagine Dracula going around knocking on doors, passing out pamphlets! I always think that as humans, our understanding of God is sooo limited, we only see Him through the lens of ourselves, so it's hard for us to grasp how God could have different approaches over thousands of years. But of course, if folks don't believe in the legitimacy of any of the Bible, well, that's an entirely different conversation.

Jen,I think it's nice that you all give him the freedom to explore instead of just blindly following tradition or dissing other non-Judeo Christian faiths.

NYC/CR,Haha! The connections they make crack me up. They're always coming up with something new!

Zombie Mom,Go zombies! Get busy! I think the spiritual super hero thing is a cool idea, just no tight suit or cape, mmkay!

Shiona,I think some in my family would be as well. But I guess that's the way it goes. I'm really curious when the hangups come! Is it when we start to feel like our faith is at odds with the choices we want to make in our lives? When someone tries to manipulate, guilt or control through using religion?
Anonymous said…
Liz, It's Kimberly...this totally cracked me up!! The kids asked me too!! That kept saying wow, kimmy sue,,jesus really rose from the dead!! i was so surprised and loved how their little minds were trying to grasp the reality!! xoxox
Liz Dwyer said…
Kimberly,LOL! They SO missed you this weekend... and I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one they were questioning about all this! :)
Unknown said…
This reminds me....when I was a kid growing up in Malawi--'cuse me, being "raised" in Malawi (still working on the growing up part), I would return after Christmas Holdays to school (pvt., local schools would not have had this scenario play out) and hear about what Santa brought.

It wasn't until recently ('95) that I figured out the problem with my information processing:

I couldn't figure out why Jesus would want to dress up as a fat white man in a red suit, to go around and deliver presents to everyone. (January is the hot season). And who wants to be fat and white?

Not saying I have a problem with skin color, (whatever my problems I won't burden you with that) that wasn't it, I just didn't see the attractiveness of it, and worse, didn't Jesus have much more important things to do with his time than give the Brit's MORE STUFF?

Anyways, so not being oriented to the Christian traditions, as differentiated from the Christian Religion (I got Who Jesus is) was quite a problem for me and caused me some "are they crazy?" moments. The whole rabbits laying chicken eggs goes right along with that, though that wasn't as in my face as Jesus dressing up as a short fat red white man.

So this leads me to the point about lying to kids....we don't. And we tell them that Santa is 'grown up pretend' and it makes grown ups happy, and if you want to pretend too that is okay as my husbands grandparents love celebrating Christmas. Now they are older they know how the tradition started, but if they get presents, they know they are from the gparents because they sure aren't from mom and dad :)

Hope you like my cultural "don't get it" story. I remember walking through a grocery store in mid-December, hearing "jingle bells" and not getting that either. It was a shortly after that that I understood the orbiting of the earth and that while I was ready to jump under the nearest source of water to cool off, others were freezing. It was then that I also understood how America doesn't "get" Africa (YET) but how European culture (America is majority white therefore America too) gets into everywhere else....it is like, well, it doesn't matter that you are hot, christmas songs are all about being cold. I don't know...maybe I felt marginalized?

Living where running water and electricity are prized, makes the whole gift giving of Christmas seem really out there, but then I am going to guess that a lot of the world is beginning to feel the excessive culture surrounding Christmas.

So, that was my Santa Claus/Jesus confusion. I sorted out the whole winter/summer thing 10 years before I sorted that out. I have been laughing ever since....about that!

Thanks for your enjoyable blog.

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