Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

youthful theological debate

6/20/13

 

                        A while back I happened to witness a very interesting debate between a four year old and a  six year old. The issue in question was whether God loves Satan. The four year old vehemently denied that God could love Satan, while the six year old insisted that God loved everyone.

 

                        One would imagine that this question would never, ever be raised by adults in a traditional church. Such depth of reasoning about God and the biblical account is most emphatically discouraged in the average church. If too many challenging questions are allowed to be openly aired in our assemblies and classes, someone might begin to doubt the church's answers and its general interpretation of the Bible. No need to ask questions; just listen to what is taught and that is all you ever need to know.

 

                        However one may answer such a question, it is certainly refreshing to see the uninhibited way children deal with their understanding of God. They test it, question it, and debate it without reservation. If your spiritual fellowship does not promote the same, then whatever theology is taught there will be a hand me down.

 

                        Many in the church don't give a hoot for theology in the first place, so such is not even an issue for them. These many seek a place of community and an outlet for collective benevolence and volunteer efforts, without much regard for theological discussion. However, even those who dismiss similar questions as unimportant should care about how church teachings may guide and impact our children. Theology is a powerful cultural component, affecting all aspects of our lives; and our children unconsciously absorb much which the prevailing theology promotes. To blithely allow the church to indoctrinate the young without debate is hardly a benevolent thing. It is merely an easy way to abdicate our responsibilities as adults. Those who truly have the child's best interest at heart should encourage exactly the kind of discussions initiated by these two youthful theologians. It is the basic difference between education and indoctrination.