Originally published Sunday, 08 June 2014.
Last week we discussed the necessity that we, as parents, youth workers, and educators, do not mark certain literature containing conflicting worldview narratives as taboo. If we do, we risk heightening such texts to forbidden fruit. Conversely, openly discussing worldviews and other religious beliefs as they arise equips our children to seek the truth. Further enabling them to discern truth from lies and the underling message behind the texts they encounter.
Akin to this open discussion of worldviews is gun safety. Let me explain. Ron and I want our children to handle guns--that is unloaded guns in our presence. You may ask, Wait a minute, won't that increase their curiosity about guns because you planted the ideas in their heads? I would like to propose the contrary.
By allowing our children to handle and inspect unloaded guns under our supervision, we provide a safe environment for their curiosity to be satiated. Showing them the workings of specific guns and discussing the use and the dangers of such tools gives them a safe, controlled environment to have their questions answered . We do not want to simply tell them, "Never touch a gun." Kids are curious, they will be drawn to the unknown and forbidden. Additionally, guns are not bad in and of themselves. If we take the mystery out of the equation, we leave our kids knowledgeable about guns, their use, and handling rules by which to keep them safe.
This doesn't mean we leave loaded or unloaded guns within our children's reach or access, but it means that they know guns exist and we have set parameters by which they can learn more in a safe environment. As they grow, so will their independence level in learning how to load a gun and use it properly for hunting and self-defense. The same with our teaching of a Christian worldview; we teach them as they grow in the hopes they will apply this knowledge throughout their life to distinguish good from evil, truth from lies, and to know God and make Him known.
I propose that knowledge of conflicting worldviews, and thus religions, should be handled in the same manner we employ with gun safety. Educating our children on the whys and whats of the world gives them more knowledge to ascertain that the world around them is best, and only, explained by a Creator who has come, and will come again, to redeem His fallen creation from sin and death and restore it to its original perfect state.
Satan is using our children and youth as more than target practice. He wants to kill and destroy them. Equipping the generations to recognize the enemy, and solid knowledge to combat his lies, will assist in winning the battle for truth. Supplying children with the knowledge to speak into and about worldviews is a tool to spread the gospel to all nations.