Over the past few months we’ve received several comments and questions about our youth and what questions are they asking about their faith. As a parent or grandparent, have you taken the time lately to sit down and talk with your kids and grandkids? Do you know what questions they are asking, especially about their faith?
I read a recent study conducted on kids from Christian homes that range in age from 11-14. Even though the study was done in the suburbs of Sydney, Australia, I‘ve read other reports that reflect similar attitudes.
According to the Australian study, the top four questions asked were:
1. How can I know that God exists?
2. How could a good God send people to hell?
3. How can I believe in a good God when there is so much suffering?
4. Doesn’t evolution prove that God doesn’t exist?
The kids were also given the option of writing down questions that were not on the survey. Among the top questions they wrote were:
1. Where does God come from?
2. Why did God make us?
3. If the Big Bang is true does that mean God is not?
4. What is heaven & hell and how do you go there?
Notice that the main emphasis of their top questions is the existence and nature of God. Their questions are foundational ones. Also in both groups of questions were ones about evolution and the Big Bang.
By the age of 11, kids are being bombarded with evolution in the public school classroom, on TV, in the movies, books, magazines and even in many of the video games they play. And whether or not you realize it, those questions they have about evolution and God can directly impact every other question they raise including the existence and nature of God.
As a parent or grandparent, if you can’t successfully answer their questions about evolution, the Big Bang and how they relate to the Bible and God, chances are you will have difficulty with the rest of the questions.
You need to be equipped to teach them the differences and similarities between evolution and biblical creation. The only similarity they have to each other is that they are both a belief system. Evolution is not science, it is a philosophical belief system used to interpret the evidence garnered from real science, just as is biblical creation.
Many Christians try to blend evolution and the Bible by claiming that God used evolution as His means of creation. However, the differences between evolution and biblical creation are numerous. To begin with, evolution involves billions of years and creation only thousands. Evolution denies any intelligence and relies completely on naturalistic mechanisms for the origin of everything. Creation believes that God created the universe and everything in it in six literal 24 hour days.
Additionally, the order of creation differs substantially between the two belief systems.
- Creation – earth before sun and stars; Evolution – stars and sun before earth.
- Creation – earth initially covered with water; Evolution – earth started as molten blob.
- Creation – oceans before dry land; Evolution – dry land before oceans.
- Creation – life first created on land; Evolution – life started in oceans.
- Creation – plants created before the sun; Evolution – plants came long after sun.
- Creation – fish and birds created same time; Evolution – fish millions of years before birds.
- Creation – birds created before land animals; Evolution – land animals long before birds.
- Creation – whales created before land animals; Evolution – whales evolved from land animals.
- Creation – man and dinosaurs lived together; Evolution – dinosaurs died out millions of years before man.
Another big difference between evolution and creation is death. Evolution is the religion of death and creation is the religion of life. Evolution is based upon hundreds of millions of years of death before man existed. Creation starts with man who sinned and brought death into the world. Evolution teaches that death is all we have to look forward to. Creation teaches that our physical death is not all there is. After we die, we either end up in Hell in a state of eternal separation from God or we end up in a state of eternal life in Heaven in the presence of our Creator God.
So as you can see, there can be a great deal (your child’s eternal salvation) riding on your ability to be able to give sufficient answers to their questions. To help you prepare to answer your kids and grandkids questions on God, His nature and evolution versus creation, I would highly recommend the following resources:
Lukabyo, Ruth, What Questions Are Adolescents Asking?, Youthworks.com,Jan. 24, 2011.
Instructing a Child’s Heart
From interaction with their peers to the instruction and correction that they receive at home, children interpret their experience from a worldview that seeks to answer their fundamental questions: Who am I? What do I exist for? Where can I find joy?
As parents, we need to be providing our children with a consistent, persuasive, and biblical framework for understanding the world God has made and their place in it. The instruction that we provide for them should not only inform their mind; it should be directed towards persuading their hearts of the wisdom and truthfulness of Gods ways. We must impress truth on our children’s hearts, not to control or manage them, but to point them to the greatest joy and happiness that they can experiencedelighting in God and the goodness of his ways.
Instructing a Childs Heart is an essential follow-up to Tedd Tripp’s previous bestseller, Shepherding a Childs Heart. This book gives practical instruction aimed at helping parents instruct their children in ways that will persuade them of God’s wisdom. Instead of focusing solely on changing a child’s behavior, the authors help us to look at the heart of the child. Point your child toward the happiness they will find from doing things God’s way!
“This book brings the Bible into the parents’ lives in a fresh way. It is one thing to say that parents must use the Bible for parenting. It is another thing to show how that is actually done. Instructing a Child’s Heartprovides practical, real life instruction on how to do just that.” John Younts (Author of Everyday Talk)
“Tedd and Margy Tripps Instructing a Childs Heart is a biblical and practical sequel to Shepherding a Childs Heart.” Marvin Olasky (Editor-in-Chief, WORLD Magazine)