Just read an interesting post over at the Jesus Creed blog (Scot McKnight), and it reminded me of a post I did the other day about a children’s Bible that I bought to read to my son.
In this post, Scot is talking about a few books that he read recently concerning people who grew up in Christian families, but ended up leaving their faith as they grew older (an all too common occurrence, in my experience). He comes to a conclusion after reading these books, and here’s his main point:
“…we need to do better at a younger age at educating, at exposing to methods, at explaining alternative viewpoints, and at giving kids a chance to think outside the box. Forcing answers, squeezing evidence into a mold, shaping minds to think that it is “all or nothing” will lead to a bigger crash and burn of the faith than a more reasonable approach. Forceful education is a form of violence, and some respond with potent anger while others seem to leave the faith more gently…”
Frankly, I couldn’t agree more. It seems like parents & church leaders must be afraid that if they don’t ram Christianity down their kids throats, then they won’t grow up to follow Jesus… From what I’ve seen, the exact opposite is the case. A lot of the kids I grew up with in church aren’t going anymore, while I know lots of people who are Christians now who didn’t grow up that way. So it would seem to me that maybe it’s time to start changing how we’re exposing our kids to Christianity… Which might mean that we need to start being OK with having more questions than answers, and with teaching kids HOW to think/learn about God, and maybe not as much about WHAT to think about God…
I’ll end with another quote from Scot:
“What are your suggestions for the education of Christian youth?”
Well, what do you think?