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By Natasha Crain
The other day I was talking to a friend of mine as we waited for our kids to finish an after school activity. Our conversation at some point turned to the importance of taking your kids to church. For a moment, my friend paused in a deep thought, then looked at me pensively and said, “I just want to be sure my son has hope, you know? Without God, there’s just no hope.”
I nodded. I agreed. Without God, there is no hope.
But I’m concerned about the way I’ve been seeing Christians, like my friend, speak about that fact lately. Her comment was the latest in a string of related hope statements I’ve noticed in recent weeks as I’ve observed conversations between believers and unbelievers online.
The conversations go something like this. An atheist will state something opposed to a belief in God (this could be just about anything), and a well-meaning Christian will reply something like, “Without God, life is meaningless. We’re just an accident, we have no purpose, we’re all headed to nothingness, this universe doesn’t matter at all, and there’s no hope.” You can almost hear the Christian confidently slamming the case closed.
I believe that my friend and the other Christians I’ve seen discussing hope like this are well meaning, but are ultimately speaking of hope in a misleading (and possibly harmful) way.
Here’s why we, as Christians, and especially as Christian parents, need to careful how we talk about hope…
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