Ten Ways Your Kids’ Christian Faith Is Under (Im)Moral Attack, and What You Can Do About It

Ten Ways Your Kids’ Christian Faith Is Under (Im)Moral Attack, and What You Can Do About It

This is serious.

The lions are metaphorical. Depending on where in the world you’re reading this, you’re probably not at threat for your life. But your Christian faith is certainly under attack.

And your kids’ Christian faith is under even harsher attack.

It’s being attacked in ways you never even imagined when you were growing up.

Believe me? If you’ve got kids (or students to teach) age 10 or 12 and up, ask them whether any of these gay-rights slogans seem to make sense to them. (Ask yourself, too: Does any of this bother you, as if it might be true?) This is all from my just-completed series, “Christian faith under (im)moral attack.” (I explain “(im)moral” here.)

This is serious.

Who wants to be a Christian when we have that kind of reputation? Not many kids do. Not unless they know the truth about charges like these.

Go ahead. Ask your kids.

Let them know it’s safe for them to answer; that you won’t berate them, lecture them, or (especially!) ground them for what they say.

Of course you might be wondering what to do instead. You didn’t know you were signing up for this, did you? Doesn’t matter. You’ve got the job. And I’ve got these very strong suggestions for you.

Here’s What We All Must Do For Our Kids’ Christian Faith

  1. criticalconversationscover.jpg

    Purchase Now!

    Recognize that we’ve all been subjected to a massive blast of media telling us to think this way. Why should you be surprised if you or your kids have been affected by it?

  2. Realize this is just a part of it. In Critical Conversations: A Christian Parents’ Guide to Discussing Homosexuality With Teens, I identify 17 more challenges of a similar sort.
  3. Take it seriously! This is an attack on faith, and it’s been working. Kids are walking away from Christianity because of it. Churched kids. Kids like yours — unless you equip them properly
  4. Be sure you don’t know just what you believe about morality and marriage, but why you believe it. I hate to say it, but we Christians haven’t give these things enough thought.
  5. Be confident! Maybe you don’t know the answers. That doesn’t mean they’re not there! Click any of the links above to find specific answers to these ten challenges. (They’re not complicated.)
  6. Be relational. Not sure how? That’s a lot of what I have to share in Critical Conversations.

Or in other words:

Be aware.

This is for real.

Be encouraged.

It’s a strong attack but not overpowering. God is still God. And there are calm, rational, sound answers to every challenge against the faith.

Be responsible.

If you don’t stand in the way of these false challenges for your kids, who will?

Become equipped.

You can do it. I’ve written a parent-friendly guide to help you.

And finally:

Be helpful to others.

Share this broadly. Other parents’ kids are facing exactly the same attack.

16 thoughts on “Ten Ways Your Kids’ Christian Faith Is Under (Im)Moral Attack, and What You Can Do About It

  1. Nice post. I have just started reading your blog and like it. I have four children of various ages and they get this all the time.

  2. You cannot tell your children to treat some people differently for obvious reasons. You cannot also say God said this and God said that, because unless you believe in following exactly everything the Bible demands literally you have cherry picked this one issue and have no leg to stand on.

    The Bible was written by ideologists and superstitious scribes during times when these ancient people in Israel were still sacrificing children by burying them under the foundations of houses to ward away evil powers.

    Children are not stupid, this is a modern world with modern thinking and if groups of people religious or otherwise reject the natural changes of modern society to actively support ancient religious doctrine from thousands of years ago, how can religion be taken seriously and survive in 2016 and beyond?

  3. You know, if you read the book, or even clicked on the links, you might have been able to contribute something more interesting to this discussion.

    As for the Bible being written by “superstitious ideologues,” you might be interested to discover how incredibly far ahead of their times they were.

    I believe there may be more than a hint of “ideologue” in your own comment. You could disprove me on that if you want to by engaging seriously with the points that I’ve made.

  4. this is a modern world with modern thinking and if groups of people religious or otherwise reject the natural changes of modern society to actively support ancient religious doctrine from thousands of years ago, how can religion be taken seriously and survive in 2016 and beyond?

    The argument here, if there is indeed an argument contained in the above, is that there is something intrinsically and morally good about “the natural changes of modern society” (modern progress?) But what is it about modern progress, in and of itself, which makes it good? Is all modern progress good?

    I can think of a number of recent movements which claimed the mantle of modern moral progress which have turned out to be failures—for example, communism and fascism.

  5. Tom Gilson says “As for the Bible being written by “superstitious ideologues,” you might be interested to discover how incredibly far ahead of their times they were.”

    This comment may have some truth, but as it was written over 1500-2000 years by about 40 different men that were the common people of the day such as a priest, tax collector, fisherman, shepherd, prophet and many others it would be limited.

    They may have been very advanced thinkers of their day, however it is clear that they were a primitive people compared with today and the Genesis account along with other events conveniently reinforces what was not known in those times and their superstitious beliefs.

    JAD says “But what is it about modern progress, in and of itself, which makes it good?”

    I do not claim everything about modern society is good. The point I am trying to make is that you cannot get in the way of progress or change driven by society, whether it is perceived as good or bad. It is like standing in front of a train, it cannot stop.

    Another point I make is that religious ideology is slowly being dismantled by thinking people through innovation and scientific progress that has progressed faster over the last 100 years and will continue to progress faster as time moves on.

    If religion is to survive and providing the radical Islamic hoards do not take over our Western democracies, they will have to drastically change their thinking to encompass and engage with a modern society or eventually die out.

    A good example of failure due to progress is your comment on the downfall of communism and fascism.

  6. No.

    They may have been very advanced thinkers of their day, however it is clear that they were a primitive people compared with today

    They were scientifically primitive, but not philosophically. That was the point you missed in the article you read. They weren’t just advanced for their day. They were brilliant, and in the relevant field their view still stands as philosophically coherent. Your charge of “superstitious” is unfounded chronological snobbery.

    I do not claim everything about modern society is good. The point I am trying to make is that you cannot get in the way of progress or change driven by society, whether it is perceived as good or bad. It is like standing in front of a train, it cannot stop.

    I note you left room for a distinction between progress and change. Good for you.

    But try to be the advanced kind of thinker you claim we modern people are. Have you never heard of a social movement bringing about change in society? There was a time when people predicted southern California would become a wasteland due to runaway air pollution, which was driven by society, by the way. Look at it now! That’s just one example. If that can happen, then “change driven by society” is not unalterable.

    Another point I make is that religious ideology is slowly being dismantled by thinking people through innovation and scientific progress that has progressed faster over the last 100 years and will continue to progress faster as time moves on.

    That’s an evidence-free assertion. Wow. Religion is not dying out in this world. Sorry. And scientific innovation is orthogonal to Christian religion. It doesn’t affect the truth of Christianity. It doesn’t supplant it. It doesn’t have that much to do with it. Scientific discoveries about natural history do — but they’re not exactly teaching us there’s no God!

    If religion is to survive and providing the radical Islamic hoards do not take over our Western democracies, they will have to drastically change their thinking to encompass and engage with a modern society or eventually die out.

    The denominations that have tried that are dying out. (Do you believe in evidence, or not?)

  7. BTW, what does “encompass … modern society” mean?

    I’d say one good answer would be “transcend.” That’s a good term describing Christianity.

  8. You state “They were scientifically primitive, but not philosophically.” And even suggest “They were brilliant”.

    Philosophical in terms of religious belief and God maybe true, however great philosophers include Epicurus, Zeno of Citium, Avicenna, Thomas Aquinas who was a believer in God, Confucius, Rene Descartes, John Locke, Plato, Aristotle and Paul of Tarsus who was an apostle and without Paul who is claimed to have written 13 or 14 earlier books of the New Testament it is believed the Christian religion would have died in a few hundred years at best.

    One out of 40 is classed as great, I ask where do these other writers rank as philosophers who you claimed were brilliant? I suggest you are wrong and biased due to your ideology.

    You say “social movement bringing about change in society” issue. OK I agree society does not always get it exactly right and are prone to knee jerk reactions, however in many cases mainstream science confirms concerns of society such as the largest living structure on the planet approximately half the size of Texas is the Barrier Reef in Queensland Australia and it is bleached over 80% and up to 50% is dead or dying due to the rising temperature and water quality created by climate change and man.

    You say “That’s an evidence-free assertion. Wow. Religion is not dying out in this world.”

    Evidently according to Wikipedia and the 2012 Gallup International survey, the number of atheists is on the rise across the world, with religiosity generally declining. However, other global studies have indicated that global atheism may be in decline due to irreligious countries having the lowest birth rates in the world and religious countries having higher birth rates in general.

    You say “Scientific discoveries about natural history do — but they’re not exactly teaching us there’s no God!”

    The Catholic church was dragged screaming into the real world when it had not completely accepted or rejected Darwin’s evolutionary principles and hence it put no burden upon conscience. However, John Paul accepts forty-six years later “as an effectively proven fact.”

    This is not evidence proving any god does or does not exist and cannot prove that God created the universe, on the contrary it disproves much of religious scripture and doctrine and paves the way for further scientific evidence regarding the beginning of life and this will make the belief of a creator very limited.

  9. Change for change sake is no better than progress for progress sake. Again, it all depends whether the change is good or bad. For example, freedom of thought, belief and conscience is a fundamental right that was recognized as a right even in ancient times. For example, in 212 AD a Christian lawyer and apologist named Tertullian wrote, “[I]t is a fundamental human right, a privilege of nature, that every man should worship according to his own convictions: one man’s religion neither harms nor helps another man. It is assuredly no part of religion to compel religion—to which free-will and not force should lead us.”

    David Little, writing for Georgetown University’s Freedom Project argues that we find hints of the right of conscience even earlier in the New Testament.

    “A second and related appeal is to the idea of conscience and its eventual connection to a belief in natural rights. Paul’s declaration that “Let every one be fully convinced in his own mind (Romans 14:5) and his rhetorical question, “[W]hy should my liberty be determined by someone else’s conscience?” (I Corinthians 10:29, English Standard Version), along with his elaborations in several of his letters on the place of conscience in the Christian life, became the basis for the repeated defense of religious freedom as freedom of conscience.”

    http://berkleycenter.georgetown.edu/essays/religious-freedom-and-christianity-an-overview

    However, I think we can go back even further. We can clearly see the idea in the play Antigone by Sophocles.

    [The play] explores themes such as state control (the right of the individual to reject society’s infringement on personal freedoms and obligations); natural law vs. man-made law (Creon advocates obedience to man-made laws, while Antigone stresses the higher laws of duty to the gods and one’s family) and the related issue of civil disobedience (Antigone believes that state law is not absolute, and that civil disobedience is justified in extreme cases); citizenship (Creon’s decree that Polynices should remain unburied suggests that Polynices’ treason in attacking the city effectively revokes his citizenship and the rights that go with it – ”citizenship by law” rather than “citizenship by nature”); and family (for Antigone, the honour of the family outweighs her duties to the state).

    http://www.ancient-literature.com/greece_sophocles_antigone.html

    It would be folly, as many on the secular progressive left apparently wish to do, to weaken the freedom of conscience.

  10. Just one comment I would like to make.

    The freedom of religion impacts on everybody and often in a harmful way, even to those who want nothing to do with religion and that is the major problem.

    For example, issues such as tax exemptions, paedophile priests, discrimination, political persuasion and influence, child indoctrination, child gental mutilation, creation, young earth etc.

  11. Tax exemptions aren’t taking anything away from anyone. To think they are is to misunderstand their role in American history as well as the social capital churches add to communities, which far exceeds their tax savings. Who runs homeless shelters? Who feeds the poor? Who hosts AA meetings? In my town the answer to every one of those questions is exclusively the churches.

    Child genital mutilation has absolutely nothing to do with tax exemptions because (unless you count circumcision, which is most often done for non-religious reasons, so you had better not be thinking of that) the two don’t happen in the same countries! I mean, how hard do you have to dig to try to find something to complain about? Good grief.

    Pedophile priests and tax exemptions have nothing to do with each other. The same for the rest: you’re just saying you don’t like religion. Duly noted, but really, there’s no particularly new information there except that you’re having a hard time discerning how all this really functions in real life.

  12. If you think there are not religious groups scamming the system you must be either very naive or trusting. They do not have to declare earnings so we will always be guessing as to where the money goes, and do you really think that because they are religious organisations they play strictly to the rule book, and do you expect these faith healers and TV evangelists or even a large traditional church to be up front all the time?

    I do not deny that some churches actually do the right thing and distribute much of their income to the poor and needy, however it is one sided coin.

    Child genital mutilation I agree has nothing to do with tax exemptions and I never claimed it did. UNICEF estimated in 2016 that 200 million women had undergone the procedures in 27 countries. An estimated one-third of males worldwide are circumcised. The procedure is most common in the Muslim world and Israel where it is near-universal for religious reasons.

    Women can be old enough to make their own decision on circumcision and often babies and children are circumcised in some poor countries to prevent diseases and this is an acceptable use of the practice. However, if it is done to children solely to meet religious ideology it is simply abuse because these children do not have the freedom to make up their own minds, just as in child indoctrination where an ideology either religious or political is forced upon a child.

    Paedophile priests are a problem for all societies and I never claimed they had anything to do with tax exemptions. As with politics, the young earth creationists teaching in schools and everything that is associated with religious ideology and its effects I am claiming that everybody including people religious or not who do not want the consequences of somebody else’s belief.

    As you can see I do not have to dig very far to find a genuine disagreement with religion. I believe you have a hard time accepting these criticisms of religion and I can understand this, however it is about time it was sorted out as religious or non-religious people of any persuasion or ideology do not have the right to impose their will or irrelevant traditions on any group or person within society.

  13. Ok, where I wrote “tax exemptions”substitute “freedom of religion.”

    I can easily accept criticisms. When people deliver uninformed or one-sided criticisms, though, I like to help them see reality.

    I’m extremely aware of problems in the church. I have friends who have done time.

    But you presented freedom of religion as a net negative. This is uninformed and/or distorted.

  14. I have a severe problem with this statement, too:

    As you can see I do not have to dig very far to find a genuine disagreement with religion.

    That’s like saying, “I do not have to dig very far to find a genuine problem with education,” or “politics,” or “business.”

    If you think there are wrong things going on in religion, more power to you. Jesus himself had huge problems with some religion — have you read the Gospels to see? To speak of “religion” as a global, undifferentiated term is to think of religion wrongly, however. Buddhism has more in common with atheism than with Christianity.

  15. To criticise issues we disagree with, is that not the idea of these forums? It would not be an issue if I was to present freedom of religion as a net positive or present a neutral stance.

    I know that many people have benefited from religion during their times of psychological and emotional distress, and the close knit communities that come from church congregations. I am also well aware of the organisations supported by religious denominations that provide for the sick and needy, however these are not the issues I am criticising but they are often the only narrow righteous view taken by many religious people.

    I am also aware of many accounts of former worshippers suffering from years of religious indoctrination and ideology. Many have been ostracised for rejecting the church and of course a number of gay people have committed suicide from wholesale rejection.

    The fight to keep religious preaching, and so called creation science out of the classroom away from vulnerable children is a huge negative for all religion, as is the indoctrination by parents and teachers of children who are not old enough to make their own decisions about these matters.

    Religion as you know plays a huge role in American politics and far more than just huge donations from cash rich religion and big business. Was it not Bush who said he was on a mission from God to end the tyranny in Iraq and Middle East peace?

    As you say, Jesus had such huge problems with other religions, therefore was not that the writing on the wall for the future? Was he so ignorant that he believed the world would fall at his feet? Of course in the old testament it was simple to find enough reasons to murder the trouble makers, but of course this is another story that many Christians have either never taken the time to understand or believe it does not exist.

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