I think I’m on a dad blog kick here, I hate to say it, but it’s extremely easy to model my posts after my child. She does things right, she does things wrong and often she does things that just don’t make sense. I’m sure we’re similar to God in that aspect, He shakes his head at a lot of what we do, or doesn’t understand why we do things. Unfortunately, that’s not what this post is about, really. It’s about Apologetics, or more conversely training our children to understand the “Whys” behind our faith.
See, when I was growing up, going through Christian school, church and Wednesday night youth group, I understood what was right and wrong, I understood the Bible stories and I understood what God expected of me, but I didn’t understand the “Why”. This (after a very long winding path, that I may or may not get to) has led me to finally getting into and studying apologetics.
In his book, Love your God with all your Mind, Moreland makes a salient point that after the Great Revival in the United States we lost our intellectual curiosity surrounding Christianity. See, prior to 1850 really, local pastors, lay preachers and the clergy in general were extremely educated men. They were often Doctors, Lawyers, Philosophers that were primarily Christians. Many of our church fathers were also educated as well. Many Apostles were educated or had become educated after Christ’s return to Heaven, Paul being a roman citizen was extremely educated and Peter, being only a fisherman’s son, became educated in Rome after the resurrection as well.
Christianity is the only faith on Earth that tells us to continuously question our leaders, pray and read, and to find God in His perfect systems through science, math, logic, reason and our own studies on philosophy, civility and government. Somewhere after the Great Revival, but before Darwin’s explosive report on evolution and his theories surrounding it, we found an intellectual Fischer in Christianity. No, it wasn’t that our clergy were illiterate, it was the people they were preaching to stayed but infants in the faith.
I’ve spoken about it before, but this is how our faith, what was once taken as truth for over a thousand years in the west, became relegated to simply personal opinion. Science, and the human fallibility ingrained within the discipline, became the new religion. It would slowly take hold among the brightest minds and infiltrate to the smallest children throughout the 20th century. Now, I am not saying science is bad, or is a conspiracy. I’m not crazy, as stated before God expects us to study His systems on earth so we can learn and enjoy more and more is wonders. Theoretical and Philosophical sciences should not be taught en masse, however. Those soft sciences were the issues and have created hosts of problems over the years.
So what was the point of explaining all of this? I had my daughter homeschooled last year due to my local school system not having a concrete plan for handling the pandemic (virtual or not, what’s the difference etc.) and I used the Abeka Academy brand of homeschooling for kindergarten. I absolutely loved it, it was fantastic to work with them and my daughter loved it too. Fast forward to two nights ago, and after getting some ice cream after her first day of “real school”, my daughter tells me, “Dad, I really like school, but there’s an issue. They don’t talk about God there.”
Unfortunately having a theological, philosophical, and political discussion over the constitution wasn’t in the plan for a school night with a six-year-old, so I brushed it off a bit. That night though I began to think that she needed something to reinforce her faith, and also that would tell her the “why” behind her faith. Our children are being inundated with constant attacks from a secular society that tells them the right thing is what God says is wrong. The obfuscation further persists when these are brought to society as legal acts to the mind of a child (or an adult). While teaching them about the Bible and even creation is all well and good, it never gets them to a point where they can see why someone else isn’t held to the same standard as they are.
Now, we’re getting to the point of the matter. I know as a child and seeing my own child do this, it is extremely frustrating to watch as another child gets to behave or do something that is strictly against what she is being taught. Much like us as Christians we have to grapple with a world that tells us what we believe is wrong on a daily basis by people that are richer, more powerful and frankly more insulated than we are. We sometimes want to look at God and point to the other person and say “BUT THEY’RE ALLOWED TO!”, and that’s where the kicker is. See, on Earth we belong to one of two adoptive parents. We are either the children of the creator or the children of the destroyer. Children of God or Children of the Devil. The Devil is like the parent that praises their children no matter what they do, they make excuses for them, they hide them when they’ve done wrong. God is like a parent that carefully instructs His children unto perfection or as close as possible. He expects us to use everything in order for us to want Him to be proud.
Nowadays what is the more common parent? What do we see? Parents today aren’t taught to discipline their children or to expect anything more from them. We are taught to always take their feelings into consideration no matter how asinine it may be, and to always try to accommodate the child -a child who looks up to us as parents- it’s literally the blind leading the blind.
However, we know what happens when the child inevitably points at the other kid and goes “Why can’t I do that too?”, the next sentence is “BUT THAT’S NOT FAIR.” I guess the point of all this, and it wasn’t really meant to be a moral of the story type post, but more to get you thinking type post, the point is how do we stop our kids from asking the first question in the first place. Now you’re all telling me Good luck Michael I have 3 kids and I still can’t stop them from asking that. Maybe we even ask ourselves that sometimes, but we stop ourselves from voicing it. That’s what I want from our children, I want them to know the “Why” before they even ask why they can’t do it. If they know the “why”, even though something may seem completely unfair, they won’t have to ask the question because they will already know the answer. And that’s how we will raise a generation that can stand firm on the truth.
If you all have any apologetics for kids study guides (Preferably primary ages) or tips and tricks I’d love to hear it. As much as I enjoy writing deep series and philosophical arguments for adults, children baffle me sometimes on their comprehension, so I would rather work on this from another author’s angle.