Raising ECK Children in a Christian Society

I have a six-year-old son and four-year-old twins (a boy and a girl). Like other children their age, they go to school, which is a good thing. Yet religious doctrine is taught in the school, and it makes me feel bad they have to go through that.

Schools in Nigeria assume that every child is from a Christian home. As such, they make the kids sing Christian songs at the morning assembly and in class, and they even make Christian religious studies a compulsory part of the curriculum.

My kids come home and start singing Christian songs. After singing the family HU song, sometimes my elder son catches himself saying, “In Jesus’s name— Oh, sorry—May the Blessings Be.

My dilemma is that I do not want to create confusion in their minds as to which religion to follow. I dont want to make them feel like there is an unspoken enmity between Christianity and Eckankar. But, at the same time, I want them to have a full ECK background and foundation without any distractions or confusion.

Sometimes, when something falls, one of the children screams, “Jesus— Sorry—Mahanta.” Then the others say, “Don’t you know we are ECKists and not Christians? You should say, ‘Mahanta.’”

How can I handle this situation?

—Utomi C, Nigeria

Dear Utomi,

Sadly, you are in a difficult place. It’s small comfort to know that other ECK parents are facing the same frustrations. But a wider perspective reminds us that our children are not really our own, but God’s.

Your children have come for certain life experiences. It may be that some will be ECKists and others Christian.

The birthing of a new teaching like Eckankar often leaves ripples in its wake. Your present and future children—should you decide to have more—will become stronger by having to defend their ECK beliefs from challenges put to them by others.

How do you deal with your situation?

Just love your children.

Whatever path they choose, they will end up in the same heaven. It will just take the Christian children a bit longer. But what’s the hurry in eternity?

One day, there will be many qualified ECK teachers. Our schools will be models for a rock-solid education in science, literature, the arts, and more. And certainly in spiritual matters. But that time is not yet here. Everyone now involved in the effort to build a foundation for future ECK children will one day be lauded for their drive and enthusiasm to make the dream of ECK schools come true.

So back to the present . . .

You and your family have the strength to gain from the lessons gleaned from your struggles today. Take it a day at a time, and know that I am always with you.

With all my love,