Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Throwing The Red Flag

I always have fun with my youngest son Jon. He is a bundle of fun and creativity. Last night, with all the enthusiasm he could muster told me how this guy on tv focused his Chi and slammed chopsticks into a piece of wood. I said, "Did you just say Chi Jon?" He said, "Yep." and then talked about how a guy could stand on a bunch of eggs with breaking any of them."

I threw the spiritual version of a football coaches red flag. It was time for a review. The play did not look right and I wanted a closer look. I did not want the opposing team to get something they had not earned. Now, I am not a New Age-ologist, understanding all things crystal or mystical but I am familiar with Chi. Chi is "the life giving energy that unites body, mind and spirit. Everyone has Chi. When you die, your Chi is no longer there."

My point is not to describe Chi but to ask and wonder how many parents would have missed that part of their kids story and said, "That's nice dear."

How many things do we hear everyday that go unchallenged. I am not saying we should die on every hill but I am not going to let my son start believing he has Chi and try to walk on our eggs. Although that would be a sight to behold. I am saying, as youth workers and parents we have to throw the red flag and call for a review especially among our believing students.

Statements that require the red flag

-Religions are all the same.
-As long as it makes you happy.
-It's ok if you really love them.
-God's doesn't care about....(my music, my hobbies, etc.)
-swearing (Yeah, I think it matters)
-Lewdness (speech is a big deal but we don't have to make a BIG deal about it)
-rudeness (manners and kindness matter)

As youth worker we have to keep our ears open to pluralistic and inclusive theology that invites a loving challenge. Challenging statements will sharpen a kids faith if we ask them to show us from the Bible why they think the way we do.

To ignore statements because we don't want to offend or come off as a religious bigots will only further a students biblical ignorance and could eventually undermine their faith. How did I tackle my 8 year olds sudden fascination with Chi?

I told him that for believers in Jesus we cannot fault Chi for our behavior. Life maybe out of balance but it is because our relationship with God is out of balance. It could be because we are not obeying God's word or not walking in the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit.

My son understood, to a point but I am just glad I threw the red flag rather than let the game play on. First down, dad!


1 comment:

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