May 17, 2011

Closed Toe Shoes

Happy Vesak Day to all of you!

The boys had a day off of school today thanks to Buddha. Vesak Day is a celebration of Buddha's birthday, achieving of enlightenment, and his death. So naturally the kids get a day off from school!

In the last few weeks Garrett has been studying world religions in Social Studies. They will finish the unit with a field trip to visit a Buddhist and Hindu temple, a synagogue, a Chinese temple, a mosque, and a church.

Let me just say up front that I love the fact that he is being exposed to all these religions. I will also say that my opinion has put me on the receiving end of some criticism from those that feel it is dangerous to expose him to ideas outside Christianity.

I am certain I have stepped on some toes in my explanation that I feel there is nothing that will strengthen your faith like living life out from under a cloud of ignorance. I am not saying that one has to be student of world religions to be wise, but I am certainly saying that accepting everything told to you at face value without reading, studying the Bible, praying, researching and asking good questions will do nothing to deepen one's faith.

Stepping off my soapbox and putting it away in the closet.

I figured I'd go straight to the source for this post and ask Garrett some questions about what he has learned recently in Social Studies. You will see that Garrett has mastered the art of not being overly verbose.

Me: So, tell me again what happened the first day that Miss Miller started the world religion unit.

G: She said that she wasn't trying to convert anyone to a different religion, she was just going to inform us about different religions.

Me: What about the poll she took in the class.

G: She asked how many people were Christian and 6 or 7 kids raised their hands. There are two kids that are Hindu, one kid that is Buddhist, three Jews, and no Muslims. Eight are Free Thinkers.

(I was shocked that they actually went through a list of religions and had kids raise their hands to indicate which they believed in. I am pretty certain that would never happen back home.)

Me: What in the world is a Free Thinker?

G: Someone who doesn't have a religion.

Me: Which religions have you studied so far?

G: All except Islam but we aren't going to learn about Free Thinking.

Me: What do you think about the fact that you've studied all these religions?

G: It's a good opportunity to learn about what different people are accustomed to.

Me: Did any of the religions make you question Christianity?

G: No

Me: Do you think it's bad for Christians to learn about other religions?

G: No because if you're a Christian and you learn about different religions it helps you to see what other people believe in. And it was part of school and I had no choice which is fine with me.

Me: Which religion did you find the most interesting?

G: Judaism. Can you ask me some different questions now?

Me: Are you ready for school to be over?

G: Yes, I think every kid is.

Me: Are you excited to go home?

G: Yep......I get to eat Whataburger, Buffalo Wild Wings and Chuys.

He has been required to write a paper of sorts about each religion and I can honestly say that Scot and I have learned a ton from Garrett. It has allowed for some interesting conversations and I've loved watching the wheels in his mind turning.

Do I think he's going to come out of this a very wise Christian? No. He has a whole lot of life to live and much to learn that will refine him and his relationship with God.

Do I think he will be more accepting of others and have more of an innate ability to love? Absolutely and for that I am extremely thankful.


  1. Love, love, love, love, LOVE this. The girls and I are going to be part of a Somali Summer Club in June, and the Somali Bantu people who have resettled here in Ohio are Muslim. So, we'll be learning a lot about Islam, and I think it's a FABULOUS opportunity to compare what we have in Jesus to what other world religions lack.

    You are doing an amazing job. Amazing.

  2. Our God wants us to use our minds that He gave us to know and love Him. How small our God would be if knowing about other religions would draw His children away from Him. The more we know about other religions the more grateful we are to know the truth. The key is the truth. Knowing the truth about our Jesus and the other false gods. How sweet to be able to talk with Garrett about this now while he is still in your home rather than leaving him one day to the world's schemes with no guidance. The angel of light is a deceiver and we want our children equipped to recognize him. You go girl!!!!

  3. I am so glad you go before me. I am way less scared knowing I can look to you for wise counsel. AND in two weeks I can hug your neck.

    PS...I hate closed toed shoes. They pinch my feet... :)

    LOVE YOU! Crista

  4. You know how I feel about people who hide themselves behind the walls of the church because of fear. I think it's hard to tell people about the saving grace of Christ if you can't relate to or understand what others believe. This is fantastic for Garrett!

  5. Kyleigh is excited to take a Church History class at CCS...we cant wait to learn more about the history of the Church.
    I just LOVE THIS!

    I get to hug you for a long period of time in like 2 weeks'ish!



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