melted ice cream just milk?”
does violet get its own color when it’s just like purple?”
decided which one was the Big Dipper and which one was the Little Dipper?”
cannot tell you how many times I’ve declared, “Ok, no more questions, please,
thank you!” Children are relentless. Their thirst for knowledge is a bucket
with a hole in it, and my spout has runneth dry plenty of times.
in a world where it’s our job as Christian parents to help our children be able
to understand and defend our faith if
need be, how do you help them have faith in the very book our faith is based on,
first is to answer their questions—to help them sift through the mainstream
Christian references they’re bombarded with and to help them develop their
filter for Biblical truth. Does that mean you know the answer right away? No!
them discover the answers to their questions and knowing the answer the moment they ask are not the
same thing. Did you KNOW what to do the first time they had a diaper rash? No,
you researched—you asked your mother. Well, when you experience this part of
your parenting journey, as your children begin to ask questions of their faith,
let’s do the same level of research together.
QUESTION #1: Hollywood and the Bible
I know what happened, but how do we know Moses did THAT part?” (While watching
DreamWorks’ Prince of Egypt—side
note, amaaazing soundtrack.)
seven-year-old has a big imagination and understands, in theory, creative
license. From the time she figured out what speech bubbles were, she’s been
putting words into people’s mouths.
do you balance creative license and the adaptation of historical texts? Let me
tell you—it’s not easy. So complicated in fact, there are even college degrees
about it (#GoPanthers! @ChapmanUniversity #Classof2012). We learned the art of
adaptation, to craft the kernels of truth buried in characters, and how to put
words into the mouths of the greats. Even Moses.
this was probably the easiest of all questions to answer: Hollywood just makes it up! They do not care that they are adding
themselves to the discourse of the Bible as literature and the Bible as modern
media (Would they even know what that means?). They do not care if they distort
Bible history and perpetuate pop culture’s historical inaccuracies (blonde
leads to . . .
QUESTION #2: Proof the bible is real
is it different in this one?” (Why are some stories different depending on
which Bible storybook you pick up or which version of a film you watch?).
got to the story about the resurrection in this Bible storybook, one of the
many interpretations available at any bookstore or library. The resurrection
story was presented only in the context of Easter. It actually didn’t contain
the word “resurrection,” or “risen”—it went straight from Jesus’ death on the
cross to “and this is why we celebrate Easter.” WHOA! Hold on, folks.
you are someone who celebrates Easter you might be thinking to yourself “Oh
that’s great—throwing in a holiday we actually celebrate into the mix is proof
the Bible is real.” Sorry to burst your bubble, but celebrating Easter says more about you than it
does about the accuracies of the Bible. Perpetuating holidays, that incorporate pagan tradition, are not based on the
Bible, and are not taught by Christ’s Church actually destroys the validity of
the Bible in your child’s eyes.
WARNING then: read your Bible story books before you read them to your
children. Make sure everything featured in there, including pronouns, aligns
with your faith.
QUESTION #3: The historical reliability of the Bible
these all just stories, like the parables that Jesus taught?” (Extra points for
your kid knowing what “parables” are!)
to Merriam-Webster, a parable is usually a short fictitious story that illustrates a moral
attitude or a religious principle. So, what if the entire Bible is nothing but
a series of parables? What if Jesus’ life is a big parable? An important one,
one that brings peace and joy to billions—but, fictitious still?
This is where the
historical reliability of the Bible comes into play. This is where we, as
Christian parents, can stand our ground academically. The authors of the Bible
did not have Google. They did not have any way to know, for example, that there
was an active synagogue in Athens in the 1st century if, in fact, Apostle Paul
hadn’t traveled there himself and seen it with his own eyes (and then the fact
landed in a side comment in the book of the Acts of the Apostles 17:17).
Archaeologists such as Dr.
Nelson Glueck have been arguing (successfully, I believe) that “no
archeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference” (Glueck, Rivers in the Desert, 1959). This might
be too high-brow for the preschoolers, I get it. But have you ever heard the
phrase, “If they lied about the little things, they’ll lie about the big
things”? Well, the authors of the Bible didn’t lie about the little things—the
science of archaeology is continuously proving that.
So yes, the stories of the
Bible most definitely share attributes with simple parables—they illustrate
moral attitudes and strengthen religious principles. And yes, as Christians we
believe they are entirely real—from David & Goliath, to God sending an angel to Mary.
Do the questions ever stop?
I hope not! As our children
grow in their faith I only hope they keep asking hard questions. And if they
ever ask questions that I don’t know the answer to right away—wow, how proud
will I be! To know they are traveling deeper, thinking more broadly, being
challenged in ways I never was—a parent can only hope.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS: This blog was by
Naomi De La Cruz with Biblical support by Joe Velasquez, a minister of the
gospel of the Church Of Christ.
Naomi De La Cruz is a staff writer at INC Media Services, a mother of two, a slanger of books, lover of outdoor urban adventures and a baptized member of the Church Of Christ since 1998.
Joe Velasquez has been an ordained minister in the Church Of Christ (Iglesia Ni Cristo) for over 4 years.