Each of us has been declared a child of God in the Bible. In Genesis man is said to be created in the likeness and image of God. In speaking to the Athenians on Mar Hill the Apostle Paul proclaimed all men to be the offspring or children of God.
We all know that childhood begins in infancy but does not end there. Childhood is a time of steady progress from the early stage of infancy to the ultimate stage of maturity. Children are not designed by the Creator to remain childlike forever. Instead they are destined to grow up “unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ”(Eph 4:13).
Unfortunately the church wants to keep everyone in infancy. That way they can function as the teacher, the guardian, the disciplinarian, and overall controller of everybody, no matter how many years they have been on this earth. No one ever becomes mature enough to escape church dependency. The children can never grow up and grow out of the church. Their only escape is rebellion, not against God but against the smothering influence of institutional religion.