Why do children lose their trust in the Bible?
Published: 6 December 2011 (GMT+10)
(First appeared in a CMI newsletter)
CMI speakers get to conduct a variety of ministry, including churches, public meetings, prisons, universities, radio, etc. A large part of the CMI ministry that is underwritten by ordinary folk like you is to Christian (and public, when invited) schools.
While I’m pleased that more and more children we minister to get to hear that the Bible is real history, they are still the minority, even in churches and Christian schools. When I ask, “When were dinosaurs made?” most will reply, “Millions of years ago!”
One reason is that churches, schools and Sunday Schools often teach the Bible, and in particular the Old Testament, as if it were just a book of ‘stories’—nice accounts with a moral message, but not connected to the real world of science and history. Then, when the children are taught the ‘facts’ of biology, geology, astronomy in other classes and on TV, etc., they see their faith as remote from reality.
This was evident in one good Christian school I once visited, despite every teacher being a solid Bible-believer. The primary/elementary school youngsters were wide-eyed and amazed at the things being said, and enthusiastically asked lots of questions. Though they clearly hadn’t learnt much about the Bible being real history, they were open and receptive; many told me how much they enjoyed the talk.
By contrast, when the high school students (by now, coming to terms with the reality of life in a fallen world) they showed little interest in the idea of someone talking to them about the Bible. I could almost hear the collective groans as the subject matter I was going to talk about was introduced. This was until I was able to catch their attention when talking about natural selection, variation within a created ‘kind’, the origin of ‘races’ where all people came from, and, of course, dinosaurs.
Reverse the disconnect
Why the about face in interest? Because the Bible suddenly became connected to the real world. It wasn’t just a book of stories about morals to beat them over the head with. It dawned on them that the Flood of Noah was real history accounting for much of the geology we see in the world today, the Tower of Babel could account for the origin of different people groups, and that the Bible explains dinosaurs and so on.
The school had not realised that the Bible needs to be brought into all areas of our thinking, not just left for the ‘Christian studies’ classes. Unless this happens, our children will be ill-equipped to defend their faith against evolutionary ‘bombardment’ they will receive in higher education.
You may recall the testimony of scientist Chang Sha Fang (see The Battle of Chang-Sha). His family had a strong Christian heritage, producing several generations of pastors. At his home, he says,
“Bible stories and verses were read all the time and the entirety of God’s Word was believed. … We never concerned ourselves with the theory of evolution.”
So Chang-Sha was not prepared for the onslaught he received in university. He had no answers, and neither did the other Christians around him. No longer could he believe the Bible—the ‘facts’ had proven it wrong. Until he was introduced to CMI material which was able to undo all the ‘brainwashing’ (as he puts it) that undermined his faith.
Parents, pastors, teachers and leaders, we cannot stress enough the importance of teaching our children (and grandchildren) using the correct worldview. That is, the Bible as the absolute authority in all areas—so that they are able to discern the truth in years to come.
Michael M. Wrote and said:
“Keep at it! I get the impression that the real fruit of your labours won’t show for a couple of decades yet, when the kids with minds now impressed with creation teaching grow up and take their positions in our society.”
As we’ve often said, “evangelism starts in the home.” We have great helps for all parents (regardless of how or where your children are educated) in the Parents Corner of our site. Also see the children’s section of our store for great resources to help train your children.