Monday, June 16, 2008

Suffer the Little Children....

Talking about Sunday school on our way home from church yesterday, my wife and I. Don't know particularly why, but it seemed appropriate at the time. Some folk see it as so important to have a thriving Sunday school – letter dropping the local community inviting the 'kiddies' along; spending disproportionate sums in setting up attractive Sunday school rooms, many of which are only used a few hours each week....
“I feel they put their energies into Sunday school because it's easier.”
“How do you mean?”
“Well, it's easier to tell a little child,' Jesus loves you', than to discuss the Christian message with an adult.”
“You mean it's a cop out?”

Here in our Western Societies there are still many hereditary Christians – people who have grown up in a Christian family and have taken the Christian message aboard without really thinking about it. They have absorbed the message as a child. They are quite comfortable with statements such as “The church teaches...” and “The Bible says that...” without any critical analysis, forgetting that different churches promote different teachings and that throughout the centuries the Bible has been variously interpreted to suite what a church wanted. So many find it difficult to have a discussion with someone who does not accept the infallibility of the church and the absolute truth of God's word.

We also know that many of these hereditary Christians grew cold when they really started thinking about their inherited beliefs. But that's another story!

A modern intelligent agnostic, when confronted by someone with the Christian message is going to want the answers to many questions. The Church must be ready and willing to give these answers without referring simply to their own dogma. These people will not be “coerced into faith by the sheer weight of the inexplicable” (J.B.Phillips: God our Contemporary).

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