Saturday, November 08, 2014

Teaching tip 66. Helping children to defend their faith.

T.T. 66. Helping children to defend their faith.


In my teaching tip “What do children believe” (Newsletter 89), I looked at the problem of children from non-Christian homes being taught Biblical truths by their Bible teachers and then having their parents or secular teachers contradicting it.


This problem was brought home to me quite recently. Having completed my “Bible in schools” lesson in a state school, the class teacher returned and was immediately asked by one of the children “Do you believe the Bible?” The teacher’s answer was “No I don’t.” What is that pupil and the others who overheard then supposed to believe?


I have witnessed similar situations a number of times over the years. Once a 6 year old boy was pulled aside by his class teacher to have a “one to one” session with her, at the same time and in the same room as I was teaching the remaining pupils my “Bible” lesson. The boy asked his teacher “What is fiction?”  She replied “Fiction is like myths and religion. It didn’t really happen.” Her comment was clearly heard by myself and all the other children. If she could make comments like that in the presence of the “Bible” teacher, what would she, and others liker, say to the children when no “Bible” teacher is present?


Although there is no “magic” solution to the above problem I believe that, when teaching children from non-Christian backgrounds, we could do five things :-


  1. Pray for the children. Never underestimate the power of prayer and remember that God’s Word as we speak it is far more powerful than any words of human origin.


  1. Encourage the children to always use their minds and think for themselves. Teach the children not to accept any statement as true, simply because someone says it is - even if that person is their Bible teacher! Often, if we really examine a belief, the inconsistencies and falsehoods soon become apparent.


  1. Teach the children that when a person says “I don’t believe in God” or “I don’t believe that God wrote the Bible”, in most cases it is not that the person cannot believe, but rather that they will not believe. To believe in God or a Creator means that we have to admit that He made us, and therefore He owns us. Although He will never force us to do anything we don’t want to do, He has every right to tell us how we should lead our lives. Some people don’t like that idea as they would rather do whatever they want to do. They therefore try to overcome this problem by denying God’s existence, or that the Bible is “God’s word”. However if the unbeliever were challenged as to why they don’t believe, by asking such questions as “Have you checked it out for yourself, have you looked at the evidence?” Or, “Have you actually read the Bible yourself?”, you will probably find that they haven’t.


  1. Remind the children that the evidence of a Creator / God is all around them. We only have to look at the sky or the many wonderful living things around us to see this. Our common sense and experience teaches us that nothing can make itself, everything has to have a creator / maker. Although human beings can make many wonderful things, they have to have starting materials to do so. We cannot make anything out of nothing, and we cannot make anything living from anything that is not living. Only God can do those two things.


  1. Emphasise the importance of the Bible. State that Christians believe the Bible is God's Word, and therefore what the Bible says, God says. If a particular belief or idea clearly contradicts what the Bible says, it should be rejected. Ultimately it comes down to who we choose to believe. Do we believe God who was there at the beginning of time, knows everything, is never wrong and cannot lie, or do we believe people who were not there at the beginning, only know a tiny fraction of all there is to know, are often wrong and sometimes lie?