Everyone loves a good story, right? With the right delivery, a story can be greatly entertaining. Or curling up reading a good story by the fireplace is a great way to pass the time. However, I will not teach the Christmas Story again.
If you have never been to the Ark Encounter or Creation Museum, a part of Answers in Genesis in Kentucky, I suggest you make the trip. The Ark is actually built to scale, the same size Noah built his ark. The inside is incredible—if you have ever wondered how Noah fit so many animals in his ark, the Ark Encounter makes it clear, there was plenty of room. There may have even been room for more!
So what does the Ark encounter have to do with the Story of Jesus birth?
Well, one major premise of Answers in Genesis is the way the evolutionists target the very foundation of Christian Faith. If the enemy can convince us that the Book of Genesis is not true, then why would the rest of the Bible be true?
The history of Noah is full of sin, death and destruction, on a global scale. Why then is Noah’s Ark the theme of so many children’s areas and nurseries? It doesn’t make too much sense to me. Think about the last time you saw a depiction of Noah’s Ark. You are probably thinking of a brightly colored painting, with a rainbow in the sky, a little boat, and a handful of animals standing on the deck of the ship, with Noah and his wife waving at you. That doesn’t exactly sound realistic to me.
Why I will not teach the Christmas story again
When we teach Bible Stories, we are setting the stage for some very subtle subconscious thoughts. In The Story of Noah, we get the main points in the picture (the boat, the rainbow, two of every animal) but the representation is not very realistic.
A story, by definition, is a fictional narrative, a legend or a fable. In fact there is only one definition of the word story that I found includes a true or factual series of events. Other than that, the word story implies fiction, something not true. There is even one definition that means a lie or falsehood!
It was an eye-opening revelation to me. When we teach Bible Stories to our kids, we may be subliminally implying that the events we are talking about never happened.
Why are kids leaving their faith?
If the enemy is able to cast doubt on the validity of the Bible and the history of events contained inside, he is effectively cracking the very foundation of our faith. As our kids grow up, if we are not careful, we may find those cracks growing, to the point that somewhere in high school or college that foundation will crumble and our kids will walk away from their faith. Rather than take Answers in Genesis at their word, I did some of my own research. I read several studies and some of the data is alarming:
88% of the children in evangelical homes leave church at the age of 18
In one study, an answer given for why they left faith behind was “Some stuff is too far-fetched for me to believe.”
Only 33% of churched youth have said that the church will play a part in their lives when they leave home.
61% of today’s young adults – had been churched at one point during their teen years but they are now spiritually disengaged.
One major reason people abandon their faith is: They left because they had troubling, unanswered questions about the faith.
90% of youth active in high school church programs drop out of church by the time they are sophomores on college.
Eye Opening Barna Research
Barna’s most comprehensive research study investigating the perceptions, experiences and motivations of 13- to 18-year-olds in Generation Z, reports the following:
59% of students in this age group Identify as Christian or Catholic (down from 75% for “Elders”). 21% say they are atheist or agnostic (up from 11% for “Elders’). 14% say they have no religious affiliation (up from 9% for “Elders”) 2. Students in this age group offer the following “barriers to faith”:
“I have a hard time believing that a good God would allow so much evil or suffering in the world” (29%) b. “Christians are hypocrites” (23%) c. “I believe science refutes too much of the Bible” (20%) d. “I don’t believe in fairy tales (19%) e. “There are too many injustices in the history of Christianity” (15%) f. “I used to go to church but it’s not important to me anymore” (12%) g. “I had a bad experience at church with a Christian” (6%)
The above research findings and quotes were taken from http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/are-young-people-really-leaving-christianity/ In the article, there are many, many studies that are mentioned, including research from Southern Baptist Convention, Lifeway, Assemblies of God, Josh McDowell, George Barna and more. If you have time, you should check it out. If nothing else, the findings tell us there is a real enemy that is fighting for our kids. We have a huge responsibility to our kids to help them own their faith, to help them build a strong foundation, so they will be able to stand strong and not give in.
As parents and ministry workers, part of our responsibility includes helping our kids build their own spiritual foundation. As the above research shows, the enemy is out to destroy this foundation, which means, more than ever, we need to be intentional about what we say and what we teach.
By teaching ‘bible stories’ are we unintentionally contributing to the cracks in the spiritual foundation of our kids?
A few things to remember:
Your kids will have questions.
Your response to these questions will impact your child’s beliefs. Too often we think the spiritual response is ‘because that’s what God wanted’, or ‘we just have to have faith’. I don’t know about you, but sometimes having faith as an adult is difficult. If it’s hard for me, I can’t imagine how difficult it could be for a child. (Check out an article here on how to teach your kid’s about faith).
It’s ok to be honest with your kids. If you don’t have an answer to their question, work together to find the answer. How you approach their questions will have an impact on what they believe (or don’t believe).
Science and the Bible really do match up.
Too often, we are uninformed and fail to do our own research. When scientists make claims, we do not have enough knowledge to know whether they are right or wrong. That sometimes means we can tend to believe their claims. Answers in Genesis has lots of materials available that will help you see how science and the bible actually work together, not against each other. Being better prepared for the questions our kids have will help their foundation stay strong in the midst of the information they are inundated with. We need to help them be informed with truth, and help them find answers to their questions. If we don’t help them, someone else will help them, potentially convincing them that the lies are truth.
For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. Romans 1:25
So that is why I won’t teach the Christmas Story again. Or the Easter Story. Or the Story of Noah. Or any other Bible Story for that matter. I want to be intentional about helping our kids build a strong spiritual foundation. I will instead choose to teach the History of the First Christmas. Or the Truth about Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. Or How Noah Saved the World. Or any number of different ways to phrase it. I will now be mindful that the words I choose knowing they may contribute to small cracks in the spiritual foundation of someone else.
Will you continue to teach Bible Stories? Am I overthinking the whole subject? Post a comment and let me know what you think.