The new Christian book for children, titled “The Cage: A Young Children’s Guide to the Biblical Teaching on Hell”, was published last month. It’s written by C. Matthew McMahon, Ph.D., Th.D., a Calvinist Reformed theologian who’s written 20 other books. His latest is a full-colored, fully illustrated book (Dr. Seuss style) promoting biblical teachings that could cause significant psychological and physiological harm to children. This would be considered an adverse childhood experience, as noted by the Center for Disease Control, yet such a hideous and inhumane teaching is allowed to be taught to children.
McMahon’s teachings represent mainstream Christianity. I’m not going to link his website, but you can access it from the link below (Friendly Atheist). According to his website, McMahon is currently a TV producer — Creative and Technical Producer for creating educational segments for the US Government’s Voice of America Network, Public Television and for CNN.
In the back of the book, there is a note from the author to the parents. He writes:
“Some parents may be thinking that this kind of exhortation to children will give little ones horrible nightmares… It would be better for them to have nightmares now while you teach them about the realities of hell… than to wind up in the reality of the nightmare that is hell. To the Christian parent of young children, I plead with you to… teach your children about hell and the power of God’s wrath.”
Quote from his YouTube book promo:
“Little children ought to learn all the teachings Jesus taught about in the Bible. 1/6th of everything Jesus taught about was on judgment and hell. That is a huge amount of teaching on the subject! But how do we teach our children such a hard biblical idea appropriately?
Jesus said to Israel’s teacher, Nicodemas, in John 3:3, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” This is not exclusive for adults, it applies to everyone every conceived under Adam’s original sin (see Romans 5). From the moment of conception, we have all gone astray under Adam’s original transgression. But how do we communicate this to children?
In this tastefully illustrated work that is completely in rhyme, the Bible’s teaching about hell is outlined in a very easy to understand manner. It is aimed at children 5 to 9 years old, but can certainly be read by any age. It concerns a young boy who we find is trapped in a cage called “Big Sin” and can’t escape on his own.
The cage is suspended by a chain that is rusting and could break at any moment. What will our young friend do? What is he thinking about as he stands there locked away? He sees others in cages as well, some who don’t escape, and some who jump to safety as their prisons doors are opened by a mysterious key. Will our young friend get out? How will he escape THE CAGE?”
Tastefully illustrated work? You be the judge. Check this out.
As Bo Gardiner, from “Friendly Atheist“. states: “It’s sick and depraved.”
The CDC study, regarding toxic stress, (adverse childhood experiences) notes:
“The ACE Study findings suggest that certain experiences are major risk factors for the leading causes of illness and death as well as poor quality of life in the United States.
It is critical to understand how some of the worst health and social problems in our nation can arise as a consequence of adverse childhood experiences.”
Brain Development and Early Experiences
“Our brains are sculpted by our early experiences. Maltreatment is a chisel that shapes a brain to contend with strife, but at the cost of deep, enduring wounds.” —Dr. Martin H. Teicher
From Child Welfare.gov:
Extreme Anxiety and Depression
Chronic stress or repeated traumas can result in a number of biological reactions. Neurochemical systems are affected which can cause a cascade of changes in attention, impulse control, sleep, and fine motor control (Perry, 2000a; 2000c).
Chronic activation of certain parts of the brain involved in the fear response (such as the hypo-thalamic-pituitary-adrenal [HPA] axis) can “wear out” other parts of the brain such as the hippocampus, which is involved in cognition and memory (Perry, 2000c).
“This is surely one of the most evil ideologies ever formed in the minds of men.”