“A quick note for anyone whose kids are sorting out their own feelings about faith which might mean their practices, church connection, and beliefs look very different from yours:
This is good and appropriate and no cause for alarm. It is also common, normal, and healthy. Most of us didn’t secure “permission” to examine our faith and church structures until we were older, and we were none the better for the delay. It is not faithlessness that leads anyone into scrutiny; rather, it is a refusal to blindly link the story of Jesus with human systems, religious hierarchy, partisan politics, and dehumanizing theology. I call that faithfulness of the highest order.
Our kids are not willing to endorse a church that is unsafe for the LGBTQIA+ community, and the “all are welcome” charade doesn’t pass muster with them. They see the convergence of religion and harmful politics that exploit and degrade and demean as anti-Christ, which it is. They’ve born witness to a Christian community that devours its own and revokes belonging like a sport, and they are uninterested.
If they want faith, it will be real or it will be left behind.
We should rejoice that they see through the pretense and refuse to be the next generation to wield faith as a weapon, a tool of power, or a members only club. Hallelujah.
Let them search. Let them criticize as they should. Let them press hard on the forms; faith isn’t that fragile. It can withhold the tension. Don’t be afraid.
I too have left behind quite a bit, and my kids say the same thing when I explain why I am still here: ‘We know, mom. It’s the Jesus thing.’
It is. I am still compelled by the baby in the manger who came to set us free. He is good and he loves you and he loves our kids, and none of us are powerful enough to erase this good story with our questions or critiques. Indeed, the right questions are essential so that faith isn’t carried away by the powerful.
“Don’t be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy which will be for ALL the people.’ Amen.”
by Jen Hatmaker