A Different de-conversion story. Today I was looking through my feed on Facebook and ran across a de-conversion story I found intriguing on many different levels. We’ve shared several of these in recent weeks. From Joshua Harris to Marty Sampson, it seems there’s been a string of people leaving the faith.
A Story With A Twist
The post in question was about a letter to an advice columnist. It was from a distraught parent that was upset that her daughter had decided to leave the worldview of her parents. The couple felt betrayed by their daughter’s actions. Was this just natural teen rebellion? Would she eventually return to the fold? Should they tell her how deeply hurt they were by her actions?
We’ve talked many times before here at TMC about the youth exodus from the church. Stories like the one above are commonplace today. Parents deeply upset that their child has rejected their world view and gone down a different path. I’ve heard and seen it firsthand. Parents can be absolutely devastated with such news.
This article was different in one key respect however. The couple that were writing the letter were atheists. While they have tried to instill their values and beliefs into their daughter, she has nevertheless gone astray. She is now attending Quaker services, much to the dismay of her parents.
The Quaker Rebellion
The columnist dispensing advice couldn’t hide her amusement at the situation. She got a chuckle out of what she called the “Quaker Rebellion” of the couple’s daughter. Her suggestions were the same as I would offer a Christian parent in the same situation. Don’t over-react. Make it comfortable for them to talk to you about the situation. Listen and find out what appeals to them about their new beliefs.
I must admit, at first I was somewhat amused by the situation myself. As I’ve said, I see this often with Christian parents and students. I never thought that a kid would consider “rebelling” by going to Church! But as I began to digest the true pain these parents were experiencing; I couldn’t help but feel for them.
Should We “Let Them Decide”?
You see, this is more common that we’d like to think. The “I’ll let my child decide what to believe” thought process is common now days. This idea sounds very open and progressive, but is actually quite ridiculous when you think about it. This only makes sense if there is no right or wrong when it comes to theological questions. It’s a concept that the therapist didn’t seem to grasp either.
What I’m sure bothered the parents in the story was the fact that they felt they had passed on truth to their child, and it had been rejected. This could very well be a simple teenage rebellion, or it could be a genuine quest for truth. Only the girl herself can answer that question.
Parents pass on truth to our children all the time and don’t give it a second thought. We teach them math, and have no problems telling them that there are right and wrong answers. We don’t wait and let them decide what they’d like the answer to be. But as we’ve pointed out before, for some reason spiritual matters get pushed to the second level of the house. We don’t give them the same weight when it comes to truth.
I truly hope that the young woman in the story is experiencing a real conversion to Christianity. And I pray that she is doing so for the right reasons. Not from a sense of rebellion, but because she is carefully looking at the truth of the matter. This should be why anyone comes to the conclusions they do about spiritual things. Truth. Teaching children how to think, instead of what to think, should be our goal as parents and educators. This is different and more powerful than the “let them decide” model. And much more powerful.
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