What happens when a young child asks a probing question, a REAL question about God, Christ,…the truth? Imagine a young child in her teens in a Christian school. Imagine a young man in “Sunday School” at church. Imagine them asking real questions such as “Why can’t I see God?” or “In the Bible, Jesus keeps referring to God as His father. But you say God and Jesus are the same thing. How is that possible?” or “Why would God take my younger brother away in that car accident?”, etc…
How we answer these questions can have a profound impact on the future spirituality (or lack of spirituality) of those impressionable children.
We have two choices when kids ask these questions:
- We can attempt to explain as best we can these mysteries, doing some real research and soul searching ourselves so we can thoughtfully respond. We can take these children seriously as honest seekers who just want honest answers. We can expose them to a greater understanding of the fullness and complexity of God by digging deeper into the Bible with them.
- We can tell them to stop asking questions and to just take it on faith…just believe. We could scold them as class disruptors. We could ridicule them and make them feel silly or stupid for asking questions. We could even punish them for having the audacity to question the teacher or to question God or the Bible.
Now, I hope you are equally shocked by even the possibility of responding the 2nd way as I am. You may even be saying, “Does that really happen? Are you serious?” I am.
I’ve encountered MANY atheists, agnostics, or non-believers who started out as children of Christians…going to Sunday School, Catholic school, or a private Christian school of some sort. They had questions…lots of them. How questions were answered, in many ways, determined their lack of belief.
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