{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Book Recommendation:\n10 Questions Every Teen Should Ask (and Answer) about Christianity\n\nThis text deals with questions regarding cultural issues of our day such as race, gender, mental/physical health, relativism, origins of science, etc. in a clear and coherent manner from a Biblical worldview. Highly recommended.", "post_id": "61fb018c419e5a00387d535d", "reply_count": 8, "vote_count": 2, "bowl_id": "6080b1e04b9dea001cc60419", "bowl_name": "Christian Educators", "feed_type": "bowl" }
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Book Recommendation:
10 Questions Every Teen Should Ask (and Answer) about Christianity

This text deals with questions regarding cultural issues of our day such as race, gender, mental/physical health, relativism, origins of science, etc. in a clear and coherent manner from a Biblical worldview. Highly recommended.

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Hopefully you don’t implement this in your teaching. I’m not a Christian and I would be offended if you used it with my students.

@NYMS1,
I posted that prior to your response, so it was intended for NJMS, however my response to you would be the same. Thanks for your response.

Florida Elementary School

I appreciate your nuanced, thoughtful and honest reply. I thought I had answered, but will be more explicit. When I hear the words you speak from the basis of your belief, I am not threatened or put off by the core of your desire to approach your students with a humble compassion and respect for their own selves. I believe you could teach a Muslim, Agnostic, Atheist or any other child in the same manner. However, not all Christians [ and people on this bowl ] speak in the same manner. When we hear that the only way to peace and salvation is through Christ, with no caveat about doing so in a religious setting, it is concerning. I have said in several of my comments in this bowl that the umbrella that protects non-christians from christian teaching in public school or other secular settings also protects the rights of Christians to worship and believe what they choose. We must have both if either is to survive.

@NYMS1,
I apologize. When I said "my response to you would be the same," I meant more so in reference to the purpose of the bowl and the conduct of Christians toward one another and in non-Christian settings. The main distinction I wanted to make was that NJMS did not answer the question I asked him/her - that wasn't to you. Sorry for not making that clear.

As far as how "not all Christians speak in the same manner," please bare in mind that 1) there are many people who wear the name but are not genuinely Christians (see Matthew 7:15-23), 2) some are new to Christianity and are "young" in their learning process (actually, all of us are learning all the time, but understanding of Scripture should mature the longer we are in the faith), 3) some are genuine Christians, but are surrounded by a culture that confuses its identity (ie. equating my status as an American citizen with my status as a Christian, etc.) and learned to do the same, 4) Concerning the current issues our nation is facing, there are a lot of well-intentioned Christians trying to navigate how to handle these biblically, but may be struggling due to all the noise coming from all sides - including other Christians and 5) all Christians are human, and none of us have everything right. It's why we're so grateful for grace. (Lots of other categories, but you get the idea.)

You're right - the Constitution does protect the rights of U.S. citizens to believe and worship (or not) as they so choose; but we can't automatically assume ill-intent when someone posts to request advice from fellow Christians in a Christian forum around a tough situation. There needs to be room to talk about this stuff without hostility and hopefully reach some God-honoring conclusions. (God is honored when His people obey the laws of the land, so long as those laws do not require us to deny Him or to do something He has commanded us not to do.)

In terms of Christ being the only means of salvation, as Christians we do believe that to be true. It is the basis of our faith. We acknowledge that not every person believes that way, but to be honest, that knowledge should not be the deciding factor about whether or not we share - not browbeat, but share - the Gospel of Christ with others. He has commanded us to do so, regardless of if it is well-received, and He is our highest authority. I understand and would agree that there is an appropriate time and place for everything; But we may not withhold simply because others may disagree. (👈 Please do not read that as "We must teach the Bible is government schools." That is not what I am saying.) To do so would be disingenuous of us, disobedient to our Lord, and frankly, unloving to others if we actually believe what we say we do.
My main concern, here, is this: If I saw a bowl titled "Atheist Educators," I would either 1) not join, because that title does not describe a value that I hold, or 2) join, knowing and functioning with the understanding that this bowl is a place for people who do not believe God exists. If I, as a Christian, choose to comment on a post, I should consider how my words might impact that conversation. I do not agree with their stance, but how helpful is it to come into this space telling them how wrong I believe they are? Do I expect something to change by my doing this? We have seen this with too many people who would call themselves "Christians"  behaving in such a way toward others. People are often at odds while addressing a caricature of the other person's beliefs rather than the real thing. It is more productive to ask questions rather than accusing to make sure we are talking about the same things. Not to say we won't have disagreements in our conversations, but it is important that those disagreements are based on an accurate view of the other person's stance.
As I said before, anyone is welcome to be here, whether or not you are a follower of Jesus. But this bowl was not created to be a secular public space. It is for fellow Christians to encourage, uplift, ask hard questions, offer support, etc. I do ask that all conversations show respect to those they are addressing and consider what kind of content should be expected in such an environment.

I believe I have read your comments, @NYMS1, and appreciate the respectful tone, whether or not I would agree with every statement you made. All of the above statements are not directed at you, per se, but I feel the need to clarify some things here in general.

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