Why you shouldn’t let your kids figure out faith on their own

Photo credit cehofstra1.hubspot.com

by J.C. Thompson via http://www.churchleaders.com

You will often hear nonbelievers say that parents should let their own children decide what they believe. They say this, while the school, the media and the nonbelieving people are indeed telling our children what to believe. J. C. Thompson makes the case for why we need to teach our children the faith once for all delivered to the saints. Here’s J. C. Thompson:

Kids owning their faith is the goal, right? Why is it that we think that “allowing” kids to figure it out on their own is the solution?

One of the things that I begin to see happen in the dynamic between students and their parents is that students begin to fight against faith practices. Parents usually approach it in one of two ways: they fight it creatively or they step back and let kids “figure it out”.

As a youth pastor it’s a frustrating thing, because figuring it out sometimes really means the family stops practicing faith altogether. I don’t know if it’s because parents were just keeping faith practices happening because of the kids or it’s so frustrating and painful that they stop because it’s too hard to keep pushing their students to grow in their faith.

A couple of insights into young teens when it comes to faith:

1. This is the first time that students begin to see their sin as real. It’s so important that they know what to do with it. Unfortunately, a lot of the times, they hide, seek to comfort themselves, or run. All of these we see played out in the story of Scripture. They must understand, hear, see, how to properly deal with sin. Sometimes their pushback is because they are trying to hide rather than they “hate” going to church.

2. Their questions go unanswered. Young Teens or preteens ask why more than any other question. It’s the most important question to answer as a family. Why church? Why Jesus? Why the Bible? Our faith is based on the gospel. Bring them back to that. God made us beautiful. We became evil. Jesus died. He came back. No one can prove He didn’t even though it’s the most important question in the world.

3. Friends. They influence everything. Find good ones for your kids and invest in them. Do the most fun things with those friends. Constantly invite them places. You are responsible for helping your student make connections. Find them. Show up to their youth group and find good friends for your student.

Then Thompson gives 3 reasons why you should not let them figure it out on their own:

  1. You didn’t figure out faith on your own. Neither did anyone else in Scripture.
  2. Preteens and young teens are hormone-enraged emotional crazy people.
  3. Wisdom = Truth + Experience

Read the entire article here http://www.churchleaders.com

1964 video captures Intervarsity’s 7th christian foreign mission conference

Photo credit ivnorthflorida.org

Since 1946 InterVarsity has been providing a place for college students to see, hear, and respond to God’s global mission at Urbana conferences.  At Urbana students will learn about critical global issues from dynamic teachers, worship with thousands in one of the most diverse gatherings in North America, and be challenged by missional students and recent graduates who testify to God’s faithfulness to the ends of the earth.

This video below is a 16mm Ken Anderson film that captures the christian foreign missions mood of the churches in the tumultuous 60’s. At this convention, the students streamed in onto the campus of Illinois University from every state and province in the US and Canada, and 59 countries of the world (including 200 delegates from China). A harsh appraisal of the harsh realities confronting the church and the unfathomable resources of the power of God was the double barrel thrust that excited students as they weighed the totality of God’s demands on their lives and the harmony that exists between first century christianity and the  20th century world and their place in it.

At a time when protesting students are angrily staging free speech movements, dirty speech movements and free love movements, what is the magnet that draws 7,000 together to consider anything so devastatingly simple as the significance of foreign missions today. It is Intervarsity’s 7th Missionary Convention. The result was mental stimulation. It was positively exhilirating . At a time when our country was exclaiming over student irresponsibility, the atmosphere generated at this conference was one of seriousness and intense dedication, accompanied by wholesome humor and an absence of stuffiness. „Go ahead,” one father said, „but if you decide to become a missionary, don’t bother to come home.”

It was 1946 when Intervarsity launched its unique missionary endeavor. Once in every student generation- became the watchword. 600 attended that initial conclave. The number rose to 1400 at the second session. There were 1700 in 1951. Then with each 3 year span the total continued to rise. From the outset, the aims of the convention were clearly articulated.

Intervarsity Urbana 1964 Report

vimeo http://vimeo.com/73814327%5D

Why some college kids chose atheism

Photo credit www.collegescholarships.org

Larry Alex Taunton and his Christian foundation did a study of college students who are committed atheists, asking them why they chose atheism. What they learned is interesting. Excerpt from his Atlantic piece:

  • They had attended church

Most of our participants had not chosen their worldview from ideologically neutral positions at all, but in reaction to Christianity. Not Islam. Not Buddhism. Christianity.

  • The mission and message of their churches was vague

These students heard plenty of messages encouraging “social justice,” community involvement, and “being good,” but they seldom saw the relationship between that message, Jesus Christ, and the Bible.

  • They felt their churches offered superficial answers to life’s difficult questions

When our participants were asked what they found unconvincing about the Christian faith, they spoke of evolution vs. creation, sexuality, the reliability of the biblical text, Jesus as the only way, etc. Some had gone to church hoping to find answers to these questions. Others hoped to find answers to questions of personal significance, purpose, and ethics. Serious-minded, they often concluded that church services were largely shallow, harmless, and ultimately irrelevant.

  • They expressed their respect for those ministers who took the Bible seriously

There’s more, including the discovery that the high school years were decisive for these young atheists, in determining their religious (irreligious, I mean) path.

“Shallow, harmless, and ultimately irrelevant” — as a description of what I thought of church during my teenage years, does that ever strike a resonant chord within me. It was only when I got to college and understood that Christianity was so much more than I had ever imagined — that it could captivate the minds and gain the allegiance of men like Kierkegaard, Thomas Merton, Dostoevsky, the designers of Chartres cathedral, and so on — that I began to take it seriously. Kierkegaard in particular revealed to me why I had no use for Christianity as I understood it till then: I thought being a Christian was a feature of being a good middle-class American, and nothing more. If that’s all it is, then, to borrow a phrase from Flannery O’Connor, to hell with it.

I can understand why a bright college student would find atheism more compelling than Christianity, if that’s the only kind of Christianity he had seen. In the Netherlands last week, a friend of mine, not a Christian, said that the Church had to liberalize if it was going to hold on to young people. (He meant on sexual teaching.) I told him that it would seem that way, but that’s actually not true. Social science data show that the churches that have liberalized have no more luck holding on to young people than those who remain more or less traditionalist. When young people become more liberal in their views, they don’t seek out more liberal churches, which are available to them, but quit going to church at all. This makes intuitive sense to me. If church makes no serious demands on you, and you can pick and choose what you want to believe of the tradition to suit your preferences, then the religion will have no particular hold on you. Put another way, if church is only about teaching you how to be good, as distinct from teaching you how to be holy, then its appeal is significantly diminished, or so it seems to me.

Click here to read article in its entirety – http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/why-they-left-god/

Preparing your christian kids for college – even home schooled kids with the first Christian Psychology Introductory Textbook in 60 years

photo via Dr. Rice’s Twitter page
The Christian Post has an interview with Dr. Tim Rice, LPC, author of Psychology: A Christian Perspective, High School Edition, who home schooled his own children.

Dr. Rice introduces psychology from a Christian perspective says Christian students entering college are unprepared for the challenges of today’s Psychology classes and „schools-of-thought.”  He also believes this unpreparedness is a reason for the high rate of Christian students dropping their faith after entering college.

Dr. Rice on his experience in college, as a Christian: “As a young Christian, one of the first college courses I took (almost 30 years ago) was Psychology 101. I was not ready to refute the worldview assumptions hidden in the theories I was taught. Under the banner of “science,” the psychology professor challenged or ridiculed everything I held dear. I was part of the majority of Christians who “walked away” from their faith within 12 months of starting college. I wrote Homeschool Psych to help prepare Christian homeschool students for the dangers of modern psychology and to provide a framework in which our children can study the wonders of the soul, the mind, the brain, and behavior though a Christian worldview.” source  and photo immediately below are from North Georgia Home Education Academy- http://www.nghomeeducationacademy.com/psychology

Dr. Rice on the book:

I really believe that every Christian student needs to deal with Psychology class before they go to college. As a young Christian taking Psychology 101 almost 30 years ago, I was not very prepared to defend my faith and totally unprepared to recognize the worldview beliefs underlying the theories and schools-of-thought I was taught. I don’t want that to happen to students today. That is why I believe that Psychology is one of the most important electives that a student can take in high school.

I also believe that because Psychology is a contentious topic among Christians, we’ve abandoned it to the secular, humanistic, and evolutionary perspectives. We need to reclaim Psychology for Christ and that starts with high school students. The goal for the study of Psychology, just like the study of Biology, Theology, History, and every other discipline, should be to understand God’s creation and, in the words of Johannes Kepler, to „think God’s thoughts after him.” Instead of surrendering psychology or falling away in the face of the world’s teaching, we have a duty to put forth reasoned explanations for our worldview in every discipline, including psychology.

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/author-aims-to-equip-hs-students-with-psychology-from-christian-perspective-88006/#O02IJRYH6mS3884P.99

Passion 2013 – John Piper’s Message – Embracing Suffering + Francis Chan

John Piper photo form ChristianPost.com

John Piper’s message at Passion Conference 2013:

Embracing Suffering (HD)

source MrMarkkinho

Louie Giglio – Passion 2013

Resurrecting these bones

Francis Chan – Passion 2013

God is faithful

or from a second source chickabee222 – http://youtu.be/_br4vtx7ltw

Seeing and Savoring the Supremacy of Christ

above all things – Passion 2012

January 1–4, 2013

Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA
College Student Conference

Passion 2013 gathers college students across the nation and around the world to seek the face of God, asking Him to ignite souls in a passionate pursuit of Jesus Christ and a desire to spread His fame to everyone on earth. 

1st photo via http://www.calvarychurch.com

photo of schedule from http://ibccollege.wordpress.com

You can watch the livestream here http://live.268generation.com/. After each session the video will be posted for a couple of days (in case you can’t catch the live streaming) on this same web page.

Passion 2013 speakers include Louie Giglio, John Piper and Francis Chan.

Photo from the Georgia Dome, where the Passion 2013 conference is being held, for more photos courtesy of Campus Crusade, visit their website here http://crupassion.campuscrusade.net

Parent alert: Students get sick, some stuck in a trance at Quebec school after being hypnotized

Do not take it for granted that your children will recognize the danger they are opening themselves up to when prompted to practice New Age techniques like Zen, yoga, hypnosis, the practice of „emptying of the mind, and who knows what else they might be asked to do, as you will see in the story below, as reported in the Winnipeg Press, some of the students did not snap out of the hypnosis for several hours. This was a „fun” event scheduled by the school itself and apparently the administrators scheduled it without bothering to do the research. Also read – Christians: Yoga and Hypnosis are religions. On to the article from the Winnipeg Free Press:

SHERBROOKE, Que. – It was an end-of-year school activity featuring a hypnotism show, and it didn’t go quite as planned.

A Quebec all-girls high school said the activity went awry as numerous students had problems after the show – including one girl who remained stuck in a trance for four hours.

The incident occurred last week at a private school, Collège du Sacré-Coeur in Sherbrooke, during a lunchtime event.

Thirteen students reported headaches or nausea. At least five others appeared to experience more serious trouble after the show by a 20-year-old hypnotist. Some were in a daze with their eyes open. At least two were reportedly conked out on a table.

The school said one girl remained in a trance for four hours, which principal Daniel Leveille described as a „deep sleep” in a statement Friday.

School administrators called in the hypnotist’s mentor to help deal with the problem. The mentor and trainer, Richard Whitbread, brought the teens back to regular consciousness.

Administrators said they learned after the fact that hypnosis isn’t recommended for people under the age of 14 because people that young are particularly susceptible to it. The school said through a spokesman Friday that it had no idea such a show could have those side-effects.

Leveille said the administration plans to hold a news conference next Tuesday to provide updates. In the meantime, they’re keeping tabs on students affected by the show.

„This incident raises questions about our practices, which we wish to discuss to ensure similar events don’t occur again,” Leveille said in a statement.

„We also wish to gather all relevant information before talking to the media about this unfortunate event which, fortunately, did not leave any consequences.”

Some 450 students age 13 to 17 attend the Eastern Townships school, about 150 kilometres east of Montreal.

– The Canadian Press

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