If you need a problem for your youth or adults to struggle with on some random Sunday morning, try this one. I got it from a comment on a blog post (not mine). The blog was about forcing your children to go to church or letting them decide on their own. Here's the challenge: What do you know about faith and the Bible that can help you respond to this? It might work best if people are broken into groups and share their responses at the end. You might find a lot of good, yet different, responses. Ready? Go!
If I saw a growing minority of people who never ate [went to church], at all, and never suffered any ill effects from it–they never got hungry, never got weak, never missed food in the way we’d expect–I might give up daily eating. It would save a lot of money, after all, if food wasn’t really a need, but only something we’d been taught to THINK we needed.
If I saw children routinely being hit by cars and not being hurt–and I’m not talking about miraculous near-death brushes, I’m talking about if a child could be hit full-on by a speeding vehicle with no harm, like the child was Superman–then I probably would let my daughter play in the road.
If science and statistics proved that children learned just as much by NOT going to school as they do by going to school, I wouldn’t make my kids go to school.
And what of church? Well, the more I learn about the world, the less I see Jesus actually doing anything real. I see there are good people and bad people in Christianity just like there are good people and bad people in other religions, so Christianity isn’t needed to be a good person. I see unhappy Christians and happy non-Christians, so I know Christianity isn’t required for happiness. I see dozens and dozens of examples where the Bible got things wrong, where it looks like God doesn’t even exist–so I have less confidence about the Bible’s predictions of heaven and hell. So no, forcing your kids to go to church isn’t the same as educating them, protecting them from harm, or caring for their most basic bodily needs. It’s just brainwashing, to force them to behave how you want them to behave.