Family Ministry

advice, thoughts, and discussion

Why study God?

on August 6, 2012

One of the boys in my ministry came up to me yesterday after our story time. He said, “you know, I’ve heard that story before…so why did we have to talk about it again?” This made me think…why do we go over some of the basic stories with our kids over and over – Jesus walking on water, Moses leading his people, Noah and the ark, Jesus heals the sick girl, Adam and Eve….

We tell these stories over and over because they’re important. But, not just because they’re important. We tell these stories over and over because as children grow you can tell them more background and detail about the story. For instance, we tell kids when they’re in the nursery about how there were the first 2 created people. In preschool and kindergarten, we tell them that Adam and Eve disobeyed God and that there were consequences. When they’re in 1st-6th grade we can give more details about the boundaries that God sets for our lives and how sin affects people years after we commit them….and it goes on.

I decided to look up an article from our friends at Focus on the Family. “Why study God?” says:

“Does theology really matter? I believe in God. I believe in Jesus. I believe in the Bible. Isn’t that enough?” Reactions to theology are mixed, but more often than not, theology is viewed with suspicion. After all, isn’t theology responsible for divisions among Christians? Don’t theological arguments result in more heat than light? Given all the negative aspects associated with theology, does it really matter?”

I say it does. How many kids do you know that grew up in a Christian home, with faithful parents and a church family that loved and taught them…but they never really understood the full story. How many kids do you know that walked away from the faith because they were never taught the full truth of the Bible? What it really says, what it really means, exploring the grey areas with them as they can understand them. This is where we have Dogma and Doctrine (Dogma being the beliefs of Christians that are non-negotiable. Doctrine being the grey-ish areas of the Bible that separates denominations.) come in. This is a whole different discussion, but I will give a brief example. For instance – we should always teach our kids; God is 3 in 1 (the Trinity), Jesus died and rose again, God is the only true Divine being. A doctrinal issue would be; should women be pastors? Since I will be ordained into the Wesleyan church after my 2 years of practical ministry and have studied areas in scripture that support this view, I say yes. However, if you disagree I wouldn’t think any less of  you as a Christian. I would still consider you a brother or sister in Christ!

Back to our topic;

“Jesus called his followers to worship God “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24, NIV), later adding, “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32, NIV). But what sort of God are we to worship and how do we know we are worshiping “in spirit and in truth”? If the truth will set us free, then it seems quite reasonable to want to determine what truth, specifically, will set us free.

This is where theology can help us a great deal. Far from being an area of study reserved only for academics or the clergy, theology is important to every Christian. In short, theology is the study of God, encompassing concepts such as His nature, the nature of reality, the human condition, the person of Christ and more. But our study of theology must extend beyond merely learning facts and information. That’s where applying theology on a practical level – often called practical theology – also comes into play.

In Philippians 3:10, the Apostle Paul wrote, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection …” To know Christ is to know theology. C.S. Lewis once said, “Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.” Similarly, good theology must exist, not only because bad theology needs to be answered, but also because good theology ensures that we are indeed worshiping God “in spirit and in truth,” and that we “know Christ” as He would have us know Him.”

It is so important for our kids (and parents) to know the true Theology of the Bible, and not just what different books have to say. Christians need to learn Biblical truths at all ages, discover and wrestle with the tough issues, and embrace their religion. Without a real and true relationship with God and a theological basis to your worldview, you can never really become what God has created you to be!

Explore! Dive deeply into the Bible! Fall in love with God’s word, and understand the meaning of what is written!

Please read the whole article at –  http://www.focusonthefamily.com/faith/the_study_of_god/why_study_god.aspx

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