Worldproofing Your Kids Sue Bohlin Probe Ministries www.probe.org
5 Questions for Christian Parents to Keep in Mind 1. Who makes the rules? 2. How do we know what is true? 3. Where did we come from? 4. What are we supposed to be doing here? 5. Where are we going?
Who Makes the Rules? • As a nation we used to believe that God made the rules • Through special revelation He told us what they are • Shift in the culture • Man makes the rules
Who Makes the Rules? • When man makes the rules: • Strong and powerful vs. weak and defenseless • Everything breaks down into chaos • Much pain and suffering in this life is the result of making our own rules and violating God’s
Who Makes the Rules? • When God makes the rules: • Life works the way it was designed • There are good reasons for the rules • Josh McDowell’s Right From Wrong: God’s rules protect and provide • Sex before marriage: purity protects our hearts and bodies, purity provides a better sexual relationship within marriage • Don’t cheat and lie: God is truth, honesty and truth-telling protects us from the pain of lies and provides for a peace-filled life
How Do We Know What is True? • Christian view of truth: absolute truth • Western world used to believe all truth was God’s truth • Renaissance and Enlightenment: “Man is the measure of all things” • Modernism: People believed there is a body of truth “out there” that can be discovered through our reason
How Do We Know What is True? • Postmodern view of truth: no such thing as “true truth” • Truth is what I make it, whatever works for me. I create truth based on my feelings and experience. • Christian absolutism (“Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven”)
How Do We Know What is True? How do we help our kids know what is true? 1. Foundational truth of our lives is God’s word • Not just a body of truth: alive and active (Heb. 4:12)
How Do We Know What is True? • Teach them the Bible’s strongest truth claims: • In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth • People are infinitely valuable • We have a sin problem and we need a Savior • Jesus’ claims to be God • Our kids need to know the truth before they can spot a lie
How Do We Know What is True? 2. Teach them not to be afraid of criticism from those who do not believe in truth. • Those who claim a postmodern worldview don’t live by it • Postmodernism doesn’t match the real world • Those who claim there is no absolute truth still stop at red lights • They pay for groceries with the same money we do
How Do We Know What is True? 3. Strengthen our kids’ confidence in the truth by teaching them logic. • Begin with the simplest rule: A does not equal non-A. • Two opposite ideas cannot both be true • Teach them to recognize red herrings, ad hominem arguments, begging the question
How Do We Know What is True? • Philip Johnson’s book Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds • Make it a game: “Spot the Lie.” • Songs, movies, TV shows, commercials and advertisements • Encourage them to recognize when people make up private meanings for words • “That depends on what the meaning of the word is is.”
How Do We Know What is True? Truth matters to God because He is truth. It should matter to us as well.
Where Did We Come From? • Also: “Who are we?” • The way we answer these questions also determines how we deal with: • Animal rights • Abortion • Infanticide • Euthanasia
Where Did We Come From? • Not about sex and the stork but creation and evolution • 2 basic answers: • God made us • We are an accident of the universe: the unplanned product of matter plus chance plus time
Where Did We Come From? • If God made us: • We are infinitely valuable and intrinsically significant • God personally called each of us into existence • Every other human on the planet is equally valuable and loved
Where Did We Come From? • If evolution is true: • There is no point to our existence • We have no value because there is no value-giver • Cornell professor Will Provine: “If evolution is true there is no such thing as life after death, there is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning for life; there is no free will.”
Where Did We Come From? • We come hard-wired from the factory longing for transcendence • We desperately want to be part of a larger story where we are beloved and pursued • We long to know there is meaning to the world and to our lives • We come equipped with an innate sense of fairness and justice • These concepts have no meaning in a world without a God who is absolutely just and moral
Where Did We Come From? • Tap into these basic longings to teach the creation story • It’s the only adequate explanation for our legitimate thirst for: • Relationship • Significance • Fairness • Transcendence • The creation account also helps us understand other issues
Where Did We Come From? • It’s not murder to use animals for food and clothing • Animals are not like humans • Not made in the image of God • Need to be good stewards
Where Did We Come From? • Creation account makes human life sacred and holy • It’s wrong to kill babies before they are born (abortion) • It’s wrong to kill babies after they are born (infanticide) • It’s wrong to kill the sick and infirm (euthanasia)
What Are We Supposed to be Doing Here? • What’s your purpose in life? • Many high school and college students: “To have as good a time as possible.” • Culture’s expectation that everything is supposed to be fun and entertaining • Wal-Mart employees
What Are We Supposed to be Doing Here? • Cast a vision for our children’s part in the larger story of life • God has a plan and a purpose for their life • He calls us to play our specially designed part • Innate longing for transcendence: they have a role in the “big story” of creation, fall and redemption
What Are We Supposed to be Doing Here? • Teach by word and example that work has dignity and value • Work is not part of the curse! It is part of God’s perfect design • Adam and Eve were stewards of the Garden • Work is part of being a “difference maker” • Student, fast-food counter person, house cleaner, computer programmer, president, mechanic, administrator, teacher, mother or father: we are called to make a difference in the world and in God’s kingdom
What Are We Supposed to be Doing Here? • Be a cheerleader for our children’s God-given gifts and talents. • Be students of our kids to understand their “package” • Explore personality styles
What Are We Supposed to be Doing Here? • Spiritual gifts • Acknowledge gifts and encourage kids to develop them • Help kids discover they are called to a special place of service with a special unique set of equipment to do whatever God has called them to do!
Where Are We Going? • Another way to inspire confidence in the Christian worldview is to celebrate the fact that the best part of life is still ahead. • To recognize the larger cosmic story of creation, fall and redemption, we need to point kids to the certainty of an afterlife. • Remind them that their choices on earth will determine their future in heaven. • Train them in the wisdom of considering both short-term and long-term consequences of choices.
Where Are We Going? • Take our children to biblical passages and good books that give them a glimpse of where we’re headed. • “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling around with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.” C.S. Lewis
Where Are We Going? The Chronicles of Narnia
Where Are We Going? “Perhaps we are now qualifying for what degree of power and authority we will be granted when we reign with Christ. The New Testament assures us that those who endure, those who serve now, will reign later. We can challenge our children, “Are we making daily decisions to serve, to develop our gifts and talents so we will be best prepared to reign with Christ?” Lael Arrington • You can keep your fork
Where Are We Going? You can keep your fork