Just got back from our youth group retreat and it was excellent. But before I go into that, I wanted to tell you all that I'm currently watching CBC's Test the Nation (the first nationwide IQ test!) I took the test online already so I am only watching for entertainment. So far I have learned that CBC has some serious technical issues that one would hope they would have fixed.... I mean .. if you're going to show a video and ask questions, you should really make sure that the video doesn't pixellate and stall. Anyway, let's talk about the test later. (Edit: It's not Sunday any more.... so this post is a bit outdated.)
The theme of the retreat was "Got Purpose?" and our theme verse was 1 Corinthians 10:31.... "So whether you eat or drink, whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." This weekend, I was also mulling over Tree's recent post where she referred to the blog about debunking Christianity.... I did go and visit the site, but didn't really study it for long - kind of found it a bit hard to navigate, actually, but that might just be me. I do think it's sad that someone who once preached about God could turn so against God.... and that he would feel that Christianity actually prevents one from living a full life, contrary to how Jesus said that he had come to give us life, that we could have it to the full.
I think this is a question many people, perhaps (to generalize) often teenagers, struggle with. Does Christianity impose limitations on the life we can lead, or does it instead offer a fuller life? The answer seems to depend on your perspective. Consider the worldly perspective - the me first, take care of number one attitude. From this viewpoint, any "lifestyle changes" would seem like limitations. But from the other perspective, where life is lived in community with others and with God, those lifestyle changes that we make are beneficial to ourselves and others. I think Tree touched on this in her post. The bottom line is that God does offer us an abundant life. Maybe sometimes we don't know how to receive it, or how to live it to the fullest. Maybe we fall back into the worldly view sometimes. Maybe we just don't really understand what Jesus meant about having life to the full.
Sometimes I think our problem is shortsightedness... and a little selfishness too. But in my view, God's promises include a joy that reaches deep into our hearts, and peace that lasts even through troubling times ... the "debunkers" seem not to have really experienced this. They talk about judgmental Christians, the "myth" of tithing equals more providence from God, one post I browsed through talked about how the author had come to faith through his own fear in the devil and relief that Christianity offered protection. But have these folks experienced the relational God?
I'm just musing through many thoughts right now, thinking of how to help our teens grow closer to Christ, fearing that some of them will one day turn into debunkers. May God help me to live a life that models after Christ. It's certainly not an easy path, but it is rewarding.