“Thinking is by far the most frightening and dangerous act any human being can perform. People would rather die than be forced to think. A whole nation would rather blow itself to pieces than question its basic values. Whole groups of religious sects all through history have preferred committing mass suicide rather than face the possibility of error or change.” Victor Villasenor, Crazy Loco Love
One of the more challenging tasks I have struggled with as a parent has to do with passing on my Christian faith to my boys. I would like them to believe like I believe, but I also want them to think for themselves.
Just like my boys, I grew up in a Christian home; it was easy to claim Christianity. As a matter of fact to not claim Christianity would have been hard work and would have led to unwanted family tension. When asked, I described myself as a Christian, but for all intents and purposes Christianity wasn’t really my faith. It was a faith of convenience and peer pressure. I suspect that my experience is not terribly unique and I wonder how similar my boy’s faith journey is to mine.
The good news, for me anyway, is that my faith journey continued and today I can claim a Christian faith of my own. The scary part, at least for some, is that the road to making my faith my own began with questioning everything.
From the basic – why do we go to church on Sunday? To the complex - do those people who preach about the end times even know what they are talking about? To the uncomfortable – why is the church so judgmental? Do we really get to determine who is in and who is out?
This process of questioning everything was instrumental in helping me make Christianity my faith. I do not believe in the same way my parents believed, but that is OK. I suspect that my boys will not believe the same way I believe and one way or another I will have to be OK with that.