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The Importance of Teaching Youth

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  • The Importance of Teaching Youth

    Do young people really need to know about apologetics?

    The link can be found here.

    The text is as follows:

    Who really needs apologetics training the most? Let's plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    Yesterday, I got to do something that's one of those privileges that I enjoy in the apologetics field and that's teaching youth. At my church, I had been invited to speak to the youth group about the importance of Christian apologetics. I did it with the help of a friend of mine who I brought to the meeting with me. Since this friend didn't go to my church, he played the role of an atheist asking the kids why they should be Christians. Unfortunately, our young Christians were flummoxed early on. That's when we told the truth. My friend is also a Christian apologist and that led us into the discussion of how we can know that Christianity is true and what difference it makes and not only that, but how much fun it can be to discuss these matters.

    In the end, one of the youth said a closing prayer and I think it showed that this was sinking in, at least I hope it was. The leaders at least certainly appreciated it. In fact, this is one of the events I consider the most important. It's great to talk to adults often on topics such as the resurrection of Jesus. That needs to be done. Youth are our main group we should be trying to reach. The youth are the ones that are about to go into the furnace of college most often and have their faith tested by professors who will be more than happy to debunk Christianity and by moral challenges such as dealing with sexual temptation.

    Ultimately, stressing to them that Christianity is true is what it's all about and they need more than warm fuzzies to know that. They will face hard times eventually and a good feeling will not sustain them and we should all know we cannot produce feelings. If we all lived according to our feelings, our world would be chaos and most of living the good Christian life is learning to overcome wrong feelings and wrong thinking. (And despite this, how many Christians act or don't act because of their feelings and even turn it into something supposed to be Biblical, like doing something because you "feel led" to do it?)

    But what if you have something else that drives you? That will really come into play when those times of struggle come. "Wow. It feels like God is absent now, but I know because of XYZ that He exists and that He cares about me and I know because of this historical evidence that Jesus rose from the dead." "Wow. My date is so hot and you know, I really would like to get to see all that she has right now and have some fun with her, but I know that that is not the right thing to do because of XYZ." "Wow. My spouse is being a jerk today, but I know I am to be the better person and love (or respect) more because of XYZ."

    Those times will come, and those necessities will need to be there. You will need to know how to think properly about the issues.

    When you do this, Christianity will become more real to you. Your worship will be better informed. You will get much more out of your Bible reading and study when you see it as a book that contains events that really took place in space and time. You will take your moral responsibility much more seriously when you realize that there truly is a good. Studying believe it or not can also be fun. Yes. There are times I don't really want to do it, but I suppose for some people, it's like working out. Many I understand don't like to work out really but once they get started, they are enjoying it and want to finish. It's just honestly fun to learn new things about Christianity.

    There's also great joy when you encounter someone who is rather a loudmouth atheist. Now of course not all atheists are like this, but those who are not will be the first to admit that there are too many atheists that they find frankly embarrassing for speaking on what they don't know about. These kinds do not want to meet a Christian who knows what they're talking about. Be that Christian.

    Also, as my friend and my wife and I discussed afterwards, there will not be many times that you will find that the atheist you dialogue with is convinced. This is sadly par for the course. As I had said in the meeting, I don't do it for the atheist most of the time. I do it for the people who are watching. Someone might see what is going on in that Facebook thread and really reconsider that there could be good evidence for Christianity and be strengthened in their faith by seeing how weak the opposition is. (This is not to say there are not opponents out there who really do think about the issues and know how to interact well with the arguments, but that for the most part, the objections you encounter are quite weak.)

    Friends. The youth have to hear this. They have to. We who are the adults and able to teach are doing our youths a great wrong if we do not equip them with Christian apologetics and if they go to college and fall away or fall away morally through sexual sins or other sins because we have not equipped them, then just like in the book of Ezekiel, we will be accountable for that. Do you really want that on your head? If you still want to ignore teaching your youth what they believe and why, then the question that needs to be asked is not "Why are they not taking Christianity seriously?" but rather "Why are you not taking it seriously?"

    We are at war friends and our youth are lined up to be the first casualties. We need for them to know that the life of joy and pleasure is found in more than just sex, music, video games, etc. It's found first and foremost in knowing God and learning about Him. Christianity isn't pie in the sky. It's not wishful thinking. It's an actual worldview that is meant to shape everything that you think and do. It has something to say about who you date, who you marry, how you behave, how you spend your time, how you spend your money, what you study in college, and every other aspect of your life.

    Please be teaching young people at your church apologetics. You could make sure that they enter the blessed presence of God one day by doing so.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters

  • #2
    Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
    those times of struggle come. "Wow. It feels like God is absent now, but I know because of XYZ that He exists and that He cares about me and I know because of this historical evidence that Jesus rose from the dead." "Wow. My date is so hot and you know, I really would like to get to see all that she has right now and have some fun with her, but I know that that is not the right thing to do because of XYZ." "Wow. My spouse is being a jerk today, but I know I am to be the better person and love (or respect) more because of XYZ."
    You used the symbol XYZ in three places. In all those places, did you mean "XYZ" = "He exists and that He cares about me and I know because of this historical evidence that Jesus rose from the dead."
    The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

    [T]he truth Im after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Truthseeker View Post
      You used the symbol XYZ in three places. In all those places, did you mean "XYZ" = "He exists and that He cares about me and I know because of this historical evidence that Jesus rose from the dead."
      No. XYZ just means you're able to give a list of various reasons.

      Comment


      • #4
        Great article Nick. I shared it on my Facebook and Deanna shared it as well.
        That's what
        - She

        Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals
        - Manya the Holy Szin (The Quintara Marathon)

        I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common
        Stephen R. Donaldson

        Comment


        • #5
          I didn't know you had a Facebook. Be sure to add me!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
            I didn't know you had a Facebook. Be sure to add me!
            It Is strictly for my immediate family. I don't add anyone outside my wife, kids, brothers and sisters and their kids.
            That's what
            - She

            Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals
            - Manya the Holy Szin (The Quintara Marathon)

            I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common
            Stephen R. Donaldson

            Comment


            • #7
              Alright. I sent a friend request to you and her so you can both ignore it I guess.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
                Alright. I sent a friend request to you and her so you can both ignore it I guess.
                Deanna will accept it. I can guarantee that!
                That's what
                - She

                Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals
                - Manya the Holy Szin (The Quintara Marathon)

                I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common
                Stephen R. Donaldson

                Comment


                • #9
                  She just did. Okay. Well you do have my number also so any time I can do something to help out, let me know. I do know Allie would love for me to take her to VA Beach someday so we could pass through and see you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Excellent advice. I can think of no other internal church mission that is more crucial at this time in this place. I taught the teens at our church using Bill Craig's curriculum. They absolutely loved it. The approach you used with your friend sounds very effective.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Agreed. Not every teen is self-motivated to find out for sure that Christianity is true to keep them from becoming a fundy atheist or something.
                      If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I offered to teach a defense of the resurrection to my church's youth group. The leader initially said yes but nothing ever came of it. Maybe I will try again now that we are getting a new youth leader.
                        "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
                          Do young people really need to know about apologetics?

                          The link can be found here.

                          The text is as follows:

                          Who really needs apologetics training the most? Let's plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

                          Yesterday, I got to do something that's one of those privileges that I enjoy in the apologetics field and that's teaching youth. At my church, I had been invited to speak to the youth group about the importance of Christian apologetics. I did it with the help of a friend of mine who I brought to the meeting with me. Since this friend didn't go to my church, he played the role of an atheist asking the kids why they should be Christians. Unfortunately, our young Christians were flummoxed early on. That's when we told the truth. My friend is also a Christian apologist and that led us into the discussion of how we can know that Christianity is true and what difference it makes and not only that, but how much fun it can be to discuss these matters.

                          In the end, one of the youth said a closing prayer and I think it showed that this was sinking in, at least I hope it was. The leaders at least certainly appreciated it. In fact, this is one of the events I consider the most important. It's great to talk to adults often on topics such as the resurrection of Jesus. That needs to be done. Youth are our main group we should be trying to reach. The youth are the ones that are about to go into the furnace of college most often and have their faith tested by professors who will be more than happy to debunk Christianity and by moral challenges such as dealing with sexual temptation.

                          Ultimately, stressing to them that Christianity is true is what it's all about and they need more than warm fuzzies to know that. They will face hard times eventually and a good feeling will not sustain them and we should all know we cannot produce feelings. If we all lived according to our feelings, our world would be chaos and most of living the good Christian life is learning to overcome wrong feelings and wrong thinking. (And despite this, how many Christians act or don't act because of their feelings and even turn it into something supposed to be Biblical, like doing something because you "feel led" to do it?)

                          But what if you have something else that drives you? That will really come into play when those times of struggle come. "Wow. It feels like God is absent now, but I know because of XYZ that He exists and that He cares about me and I know because of this historical evidence that Jesus rose from the dead." "Wow. My date is so hot and you know, I really would like to get to see all that she has right now and have some fun with her, but I know that that is not the right thing to do because of XYZ." "Wow. My spouse is being a jerk today, but I know I am to be the better person and love (or respect) more because of XYZ."

                          Those times will come, and those necessities will need to be there. You will need to know how to think properly about the issues.

                          When you do this, Christianity will become more real to you. Your worship will be better informed. You will get much more out of your Bible reading and study when you see it as a book that contains events that really took place in space and time. You will take your moral responsibility much more seriously when you realize that there truly is a good. Studying believe it or not can also be fun. Yes. There are times I don't really want to do it, but I suppose for some people, it's like working out. Many I understand don't like to work out really but once they get started, they are enjoying it and want to finish. It's just honestly fun to learn new things about Christianity.

                          There's also great joy when you encounter someone who is rather a loudmouth atheist. Now of course not all atheists are like this, but those who are not will be the first to admit that there are too many atheists that they find frankly embarrassing for speaking on what they don't know about. These kinds do not want to meet a Christian who knows what they're talking about. Be that Christian.

                          Also, as my friend and my wife and I discussed afterwards, there will not be many times that you will find that the atheist you dialogue with is convinced. This is sadly par for the course. As I had said in the meeting, I don't do it for the atheist most of the time. I do it for the people who are watching. Someone might see what is going on in that Facebook thread and really reconsider that there could be good evidence for Christianity and be strengthened in their faith by seeing how weak the opposition is. (This is not to say there are not opponents out there who really do think about the issues and know how to interact well with the arguments, but that for the most part, the objections you encounter are quite weak.)

                          Friends. The youth have to hear this. They have to. We who are the adults and able to teach are doing our youths a great wrong if we do not equip them with Christian apologetics and if they go to college and fall away or fall away morally through sexual sins or other sins because we have not equipped them, then just like in the book of Ezekiel, we will be accountable for that. Do you really want that on your head? If you still want to ignore teaching your youth what they believe and why, then the question that needs to be asked is not "Why are they not taking Christianity seriously?" but rather "Why are you not taking it seriously?"

                          We are at war friends and our youth are lined up to be the first casualties. We need for them to know that the life of joy and pleasure is found in more than just sex, music, video games, etc. It's found first and foremost in knowing God and learning about Him. Christianity isn't pie in the sky. It's not wishful thinking. It's an actual worldview that is meant to shape everything that you think and do. It has something to say about who you date, who you marry, how you behave, how you spend your time, how you spend your money, what you study in college, and every other aspect of your life.

                          Please be teaching young people at your church apologetics. You could make sure that they enter the blessed presence of God one day by doing so.

                          In Christ,
                          Nick Peters
                          Too late for me everything I found about apologetics had nothing to do with any youth group I went to.
                          Soon I'll be going off to college but I doubt I'll pay attention to any atheist I meet.
                          "Kahahaha! Let's get lunatic!"-Add LP
                          "And the Devil did grin, for his darling sin is pride that apes humility"-Samuel Taylor Coleridge
                          Oh ye of little fiber. Do you not know what I've done for you? You will obey. ~Cerealman for Prez.

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