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by Michael Sherrard
Time and time again, I hear the story of one who has left their belief in God in the bin of their childhood memories alongside Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny. And more often than not, I’m given one reason that is quite strange. Well, its not strange to me anymore because of how often I’m given this answer. Too often, I have people tell me that the reason they do not believe in God anymore is because no one ever let them ask a question.
Just recently a friend of mine had an old college friend who is an atheist find him on Facebook. The old college buddy sent my friend a nice message that said, “I know we had our differences, but I’ve always admired you and appreciated the respectful conversations we had.”
“It was strange to the get the note,” my friend told me. “Too random to not consider that maybe the Lord was orchestrating something here.”
So my friend kept the conversation going and at one point he asked him, “What is your biggest objection to the existence of God today?”
His friend’s answer is a sad indictment on the state of many churches. He said, “No one would let me ask a question.”
The friend went on to explain how in High School he started to have some questions, and so he brought them to his pastor and other church leaders. And rather than acceptance and a healthy conversation he was practically shown the door. He was told on more than one occasion that believers don’t ask these questions. They just trust God and have faith. He concluded that his questions didn't have answers and that Christianity is a fable.
This is not a unique story. I hear this all the time.
How many of you have heard or even said yourself, “If we had answers then we wouldn’t need to have faith.” But Jesus welcomed skeptics and questioners and gave them answers and so should we. If we do not, we will affirm the doubts that cause questions and send our children to atheism.
But we are on the side of truth and have nothing to fear. We need to encourage questions and welcome the questioner. So what can we do to encourage and allow teenagers to ask questions so that they don’t have to just ask siri or google, or worse, decide that there are no answers to their questions…
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