Friday, April 24, 2009

What if parents do not want their kids to learn about God?

With our culture rapidly moving away from Christianity, a thought struck me today: what if parents do not want their children to learn about God? So much of not only church growth theory but church planting is built around the concept of reaching young families. There has been a belief for years that young people, once they start having children, begin to seek out a church because they want they kids to learn about God. This belief has been justified, and indeed I have witnessed this belief to be true.

But young people used to have memories of going to church. Now, many of them do not. Moreover, many are hostile towards churches and Christians, not just disinterested. How do we reach out if young families are actually seeking to protect their children against Christian beliefs? How do we reach people who do not want their kids to learn about the Bible or Jesus?

Do we even know how to reach a culture that is not pre-disposed towards Christianity? Where VBS and Children's worship and the like is something to protect kids from?

I would welcome your thoughts on this.

5 comments:

starstattoo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Corey said...

Want to reach an areligious society? give up any indoctrination and dogma you have(can't think of any YOU have James, but a loud minority of christians are stuck on "Gays are EVIL!!!!" or "No instruments!" or "The pope is infallible" or w/e. and they are turning people off)
Get back to simple universal messages that even an atheist can agree on and support, like "love your neighbor as yourself"

James Nored said...

Ryan (Starstattoo),

I do think that we do need to ask why people some are angry and to examine ourselves to see if we have acted in unChristlike ways. If we fail to acknowledge that we make mistakes, we are not honest. As the apostle John said, if we deny that we ourselves sin, "the truth is not in us."

People can be angry for many reasons. For instance, sometimes people are just jerks, and this can make us understandably angry. Anger at injustice directed towards others is a godly characteristic.

For myself, I know that I can also get angry when people tell me things about myself that I do not want to hear, even if it is true. Anger is a secondary emotion, a defense for some primary emotion like hurt, disappointment, fear, etc. I can only really hear people who tell me things I do not want to hear or believe about myself if told by a person whom I know absolutely loves me and has my best interest at heart.

We would do well to take this approach today. Yes, there are lifetyles that Christ calls us out of. But people can usually only hear this within the context of a caring relationship and after they have encountered Jesus.

I lament that some do not know Jesus. But they do have an opportunity to know him through us, if we live the life Christ calls us to live. Wow, I fall very short here!

As you say, faith is a choice. My point is simply that we must learn to share Christ in a sometimes pre-Christian, sometimes post-Christian society. The good news is, Christianity thrived in a pre-Christians environment, without a single law or senator on its side. God can do this again.

Thanks for commenting, Ryan. I found your photos very interesting.

James Nored said...

Corey, it is always good to hear from you, my friend. You are often in my thoughts and prayers.

As I said in the previous response, there are certain things that God calls us to that will never be popular. But we must indeed, as you suggest, start at where people are and with common points of agreement. We must hold up Christ and present him (and live like him). When people truly accept the lordship of Jesus, they will follow him wherever he calls.

It is not that we should abandon core teachings of Jesus and the Scriptures, but that we need to emphasize what Jesus emphasized and start where Jesus started.

Thanks for commenting, Corey. Always good to dialogue with you.

starstattoo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.