Is Believing in God Childish?

By Natasha Crain

My 5-year-old son loves learning how the world works. Last week, he took an interest in a picture of a reindeer in one of my National Geographic magazines. I could see the wheels turning in his head as he asked, “Mommy, how can reindeer fly?”

He was, of course, thinking of Santa’s reindeer. I had no idea what to say. I wasn’t ready to tell him the big secret, especially with his 3-year-old sister nearby.

I stammered, “Umm, well, I’m not sure. Normal reindeer don’t fly. It’s only Santa’s reindeer. They’re special.” Cough, cough.

Nathan’s look told me he knew something was fishy, but he went on playing without further questions.

My heart hurt as I realized my twins are at the age when they’ll soon outgrow a belief in all the fun childhood things that don’t actually exist – things like Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the tooth fairy. At some point, we all come to the realization that reindeer can’t fly, bunnies can’t deliver baskets to houses and there isn’t an invisible realm of fairies interested in our teeth. We discover these cherished ideas simply don’t match reality.

Unfortunately, there’s one more idea that many people believe we should outgrow because it doesn’t match reality: God.

Is Believing in God Childish?

When my friend’s son was in 2nd grade, a classmate asked him, “Do you still believe in that God thing?”

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The implication, of course, was that believing in God is childish; that it’s something kids should outgrow the way they outgrow a belief in Santa. I can imagine that the question cut my friend’s son to the core. What child wants to think they’ve been snowed into believing another childhood story?

It’s not just playground bullies suggesting that God is an idea for kids. It’s a common claim by atheists. Sigmund Freud said belief in God is a childish fantasy. Albert Einstein called it a childish superstition. Bertrand Russell compared it with believing that a celestial teapot was orbiting the earth.

Childish beliefs are those that are abandoned as soon as we become capable of evidence-based thinking.

The reason so many atheists claim that a belief in God is childish is that they claim there is no evidence for God; anyone who continues to believe in something when there is no evidence for it is following a child-like thinking pattern.

It’s important for our kids to confidently understand why their faith in God has nothing to do with their former belief in childhood stories…

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Is Believing in God Childish? | Christian Mom Thoughts