Community Apologetics: Starting with your family

by Maryann Spikes

Before you venture out on your voyage to becoming a community apologist, it’s time for a status check.  Fellow CAA blogger, Austin Gravley, points out that becoming a community apologist ripples out from your relationship with Jesus.  The next peak in the ripple:  If you have a family, they are the first community for which you are responsible.  Before you swim off to prevent or resolve the faith crises in your community, make sure you take care of the same issues in your own home.

All the polls in the past few years show a rapid increase in those who have left their religion, and a rapid decrease in church attendance. Read “The Leavers: Young Doubters Exit the Church” wherein Drew Dyck writes,

“Almost to a person, the leavers with whom I spoke recalled that, before leaving the faith, they were regularly shut down when they expressed doubts. Some were ridiculed in front of peers for asking “insolent questions. … ‘the most frequently mentioned role of Christians in de-conversion was in amplifying existing doubt.’ De-converts reported ‘sharing their burgeoning doubts with a Christian friend or family member only to receive trite, unhelpful answers.’”

Does anyone in your family have doubts and questions?  Have you bothered to find out—have you worked through it with them?

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William Wilberforce is the historical figure of the biographical drama film, Amazing Grace, who ended the British transatlantic slave trade. In his book, Real Christianity, he writes, “In an age in which [apostasy] abounds, do we observe [parents] carefully instructing their children in the principles of faith which they profess? Or do they furnish their children with arguments for the defense of that faith? … When religion is handed down among us by heredity succession, it is not surprising to find youth of sense and spirit beginning to question the truth of the system in which they were brought up. And it is not surprising to see them abandon a position which they are unable to defend.”  The parents Wilberforce was talking about had children, who grew up and had more children, and so on—resulting in a world where a mother would purposely raise her children without God.  Read that article—this woman clearly was not raised to know who God really is, so it is no wonder she doesn’t want her children to know God…

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READ OTHER POSTS IN THE COMMUNITY APOLOGIST SERIES:

Part One: Stepping Up to the Plate: The Call for Community Apologists

Part Two: How To Get Apologetics In Your Local Church

Part Three: Becoming a Community Apologist: The Significance and Cost of Being an Apologist

Part Four: Getting People Into Apologetics: It Starts With You

Part Five: Personal Obstacles to Becoming a Community Apologist

Part Six: An invitation to women apologists: Join the dance floor!

Part Seven: Defending the Faith in Your Community – Every Day

Part Eight: How To Get Apologetics In Your Local Church 2