“[Young People] must understand that faith is not belief in spite of evidence, that believing does not make something true, and that sincerity is not all that counts. Biblical faith is trusting in what you have reason to believe is true, which makes the object of your faith what really matters.” –Chris Sherrod, Home Field Advantage
Coming Tuesday, January 22,
2013 Standing Strong,
An Evening for Parents
Families are important for kids’ faith! Or as author Chris Sherrod states, “Parents are the key ingredient!” Sherrod is one of multiple contributors to Sean McDowell’s new book titled Apologetics for a New Generation. His article, “Home Field Advantage” makes a strong case for God’s design for faith training and equipping in the family.
Sherrod begins by highlighting statistics for the large numbers of youth that leave the church after graduation. As a parent, these numbers get my attention! Citing the familiar passage of Deuteronomy 6:4-9:
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Sherrod describes the responsibility that God has given to parents to possess God’s principles for themselves and to pass them on to our children. He clearly explains that passing God’s truths on to our children involves both communicating and modeling them. Modeling requires spending quantity time with our kids and teaching real life lessons at home. “More is caught than taught,” he says. Our children will learn what we actually believe through our choices and want to see that our beliefs make a difference. Faith is best taught in the context of heart level relationships and Sherrod explains, “youth workers and Christian teachers cannot in a group meeting establish the heart-level relationship that God desires between parent and child.”
In addition to solid doctrine and biblical morality, Sherrod also believes strongly that the church and home should equip young people in apologetics. He coins a term “Thomasphobia” – the fear of doubting, and describes how youth are afraid to express their doubts. “If they are not encouraged to express their doubts, one of two things could happen, both of which are grave: Either they will suppress all questions and adopt a blind faith, or they will be easily swayed by fine-sounding yet false arguments against Christianity and end up with a dead faith.” I appreciated his strong reminder that wrestling with faith questions is a healthy way for faith to be owned and strengthened.
Our responsibility as parents towards this type of faith building and questioning can be daunting. We don’t have all the answers! But we can be prepared. Prepared to engage in open dialogue and talk about tough questions. Prepared to seek out answers together as a family.
On Tuesday, January 22, 2013 Apologetics Canada is hosting a special event for parents and families to help us prepare for the road ahead. Special guest and engaging speaker, Detective J Warner Wallace, will equip and empower parents on ‘What’s waiting for your kids’ and provide practical strategies and suggestions. We invite you to take this opportunity to prepare to be a family that is ‘Standing Strong’. This event is at Immanuel Fellowship baptist Church – Abbotsford, BC. The event begins at 7:00pm and is free.