This was told to me as a humorous story. I laughed politely to mask my horror.
The crux of the bible passage is thus...
King Nebuchadnezzar demanded that at the sound of the royal gong everyone face plant themselves in front of the golden statue. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego said, "Yeeeaaaaah, ummmm.... NOT!" And King Nebby gave them a choice, "Worship the statue or burn in a fiery furnace". The three said, "we choose god, so pass the BBQ Sauce" and hopped in. Nebby's advisor said, "Dude! There's four in there and one looks like Jeebus!"
For the full NKJ version click here.
A lovely story to share with any Sunday school classroom of 10-12 year old children. Stick with god, remain inflammable.
It's all well and good to read of others choosing god, but that doesn't help a child with real world application does it?
So the Sunday school teacher draws a picture of a fiery furnace and a little stick figure labeled "you" and shows it to the young lad, and says... "Which would you chose? Would you stick with god and go into the furnace or would you stay safe?" The child thinks about it a long time and says, "I'd stick with god." So the teacher draws the stick figure inside the furnace.
Then the teacher says, "Alright, now what if there's a second furance..." and draws more stick figures saying, "Here is your Mother, your Father, and your Sister. If you choose god, then they will be thrown into the furnace." The child thinks for many long minutes and is really torn, not sure which answer to give. Thinking to help him the teacher says, "This is just one furnace, but there's another even bigger, hotter furnace". The child looks up disgusted, "Is the universe full of furnaces?????" [Insert polite laugh here. But the story didn't end with the punchline. Oh noooooo, it continued....]
The Mother, upon hearing the story after church, talks with her son on the way home. "Do you know which one I would want you to pick?" He sighed and said, "You'd want me to stick with god." She said "Do you know why? Because god would be there with us in the furnace." "Would he keep you from burning?" "Well not necessarily, but he'd be there with us."
indoctrinate to teach to accept a system of thought without careful evaluation or judgment.
Forcing a child to make the choice between god and his family is a hideous moral dilemma. But if you harp on it young enough and long enough it becomes automatized and not something that requires thought anymore, just a knee jerk reaction. Choose god and avoid eternal damnation and the hell with the consequences for anyone else.