Sunday, September 1, 2013

A Conversation About Questions

I fear the conversation I'm about to share may lose us a few likes, but I hope you'll be able to move past the religious aspect and get to the point I was trying to make at the end.

While we were in Houston recently I was driving around with the kids, flipping through radio stations trying to find some good music when I heard the word "atheist." It caught my attention, so I stopped to listen. It was a Christian radio station and the speaker was talking about a recent survey showing 20% of Americans to have answered the question "With what religion do you associate yourself?" with "None." He then referred to a survey done in 1994 in which only 4% of Americans were atheist, secular, or without religion. He then started calling for a Christian revival. He was upset by these figures and the trend they suggested, and thought all Christians should be as well. They all needed to make more effort to "save" this 20%, and his suggestion was to focus on the children. I turned it off at that point and started talking to Josh (8y).

Me- Hey Josh, did you hear that? Apparently there was a survey done in which 20% of people in America said they weren't religious.

Josh- Oh, wow. We're part of that statistic.

Me- Well, we didn't take the survey, but yeah. What do you think about that?

Josh- That's pretty cool. What do you think?

Me- I'm pleasantly surprised the number was so high. The Christian man hosting the radio show wanted a revival. What do you think about that?

Josh- What is a revival?

Me- Well, I think he wants more Christians to preach their religion to more people, and convert more people to their way of thinking. He spoke specifically of targeting children, because if they can convince people when they're young that God exists, they'll be more likely to believe it when they grow up. So, what do you think about that?

Josh- Well, I don't know.

Me- Why do you think they want more people to believe in Christianity? Do you think they may be scared that 20% of people don't?

Josh- Maybe. Maybe they think that if we don't believe in God we can't be good people. Maybe they think since we don't believe in God we'll go to hell when we die.

Me- Maybe. So do you think they want us to believe in God because they care about us?

Josh- Maybe.

Me- Sometimes people get upset when we don't believe the same things they believe, because they may feel our disbelief calls their beliefs into question. It may cause them to ask questions, and some people aren't comfortable with that.

Josh- But questions are always good.

Me- Yes, questions are good. They help you find answers and help you seek the truth.

Josh- But they think they already know the truth.

Me- Yes, and it's not a good thing to think you know something to be truth, so you stop questioning it.

Josh- Questions are always good. When you're small you should start with small questions, like "What's one plus one?" then work your way up to bigger questions.

Me- Yeah, maybe, but it's good for you to think about big questions when you're young too. You have a unique perspective. You have a fresh outlook on life and the world. You may have some great ideas that older people may not have regarding the answers to big questions.

Josh- So we should ask big questions when we're young too.

Me- Yes, definitely. You should ask all sort of questions all the time, and you should continue revisiting those questions, because what you think may be the answer may change over time.

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