It’s time for a giveaway, friends.
Violence, poverty, hate… this world is sinful and rough and lately the weight of it has been especially heavy for me. My reach feels small, my time feels short, and I know I’m not the only one that wants to be more present and effective for the Kingdom. Bonus points if that effect impresses upon our children the importance of being advocates for the vulnerable and oppressed.
Loving people well is hard to do. Loving people who don’t like you back is even more difficult. And yet, it was Jesus who said “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:27-28)
Who was Jesus charging with these words? Just a select few? No:
I’ve painstakingly compiled a list of 4 scientifically proven apologetics action hacks. These are revolutionary ways to spur your pursuit to defend the faith and grow in your love for God and others. Brace yourselves! Are you ready?
To be fair, I’m probably not the right person to be penning this post. In a given month, there are many days during which I “just can’t even” and don’t scrounge up sufficient motivation to accomplish much-needed tasks- mopping floors, raking the chicken run, and reading a book falls by the wayside. Cracking my Bible open begins to feel like a chore. That’s when I know the motivation needs to happen and the “can’t even” excuses need to end, and I suppose that’s why I’m writing this post: defending the faith is an active process, we’ve ALL been through a drought, and we can help each other out.
This summer, our church’s Sunday School program pulled together a curriculum for the K-5th grade students. They focused on God and science. Biologists, mathematicians, astronomers, nurses, and chemists from our church congregation presented lessons to the children each Sunday morning, accompanied by group experiments, worship songs, and more. The kids came alive with each presentation and excitedly discussed God and science in one breath. We could all see that something uniquely important had taken place this summer. God and science aren’t two opposed “things” to these children; they go hand in hand. It was a beautiful effort on the part of our teachers and members, and is one of the many reasons we’re thankful to presently be part of this church body.
This should be happening in our homes, too!
Last week, I wrote about Natasha Crain’s forthcoming book, and as I composed that post, I asked one of my sons what they would say if a skeptic asked “How do you know God exists?”
He replied, “Let’s start with this, God made everything, right? But if people said He didn’t, it couldn’t just exist by itself! Only God can make everything by saying a word… and because He’s doing many miracles. (pause) And the Bible.”
At the time, I made a mental note of those points, in the hope that we could circle back and address them at a future date. Providentially, my son brought that conversation up today and rather confidently reasserted that a person who doesn’t believe God exists should just read the Bible.
While that is true, and that the Holy Spirit often brings people to a saving knowledge of God through the Word, my child’s smug tone called for some correction and guidance; So I became the skeptic.
Have you asked your kids “How do you know God exists?” lately? I’m not sure I’m brave enough to ask mine and share their answers here. I like to think my husband and I do a pretty good job of helping them think carefully about God… but we all know how kids have a way of humbling us. Often publicly. However, in the interest of encouraging you to continue/start talking with your kids about God, I’ll ask one of them and share their answer. Here we go.
Recently there was an officer involved shooting near our home. Two men were wounded, and unfortunately, one of the police officers died. At our son’s school, kids were given the opportunity to write letters and draw pictures to encourage the local police department. When he came home from school and shared what he knew about the incident, our other son launched into a textbook “Why does God allow evil?” interrogation. He was so upset in that moment by the injustice and the loss of life.
Eventually, our conversation led us to God’s justice and our eternal home. I explained that our forever home with God will dwarf our suffering during this life. Neither child could conceptualize where people “are” after they die, or where they’ll be for eternity. They had the vocabulary mostly right, but there was a disconnect between the words and the meaning, and they were obviously confused. So we sat down and drew a diagram to help them “see” what happens when we die.
It’s easy to stay in your bubble. It’s cozy and familiar. Even on the occasion when one belief is causing friction with another, as long as no outside source shines light on the cognitive dissonance, we can keep on keeping on.
But that’s not what we’re called to do. And it’s not really what we’re content with, is it?
Memorizing scripture is an important part of helping children understand and own their faith in God and the Bible. Along with apologetics, scripture reading and memorization are essential for solid foundations. Are you ready to dive in?