01 Jun, 2020 Christian No More: Walk with Your Kids When a Celebrity Says They Deny Christ
by Dr. Kathryn Knight
Kids have always followed heroes. Sadly, some Christian influencers have taken up the mantra of the world and now claim that God is not real and deny Christ. With long, well-written confessions of loss of faith, they seem determined to “free” others from the religion they have lately given up. Their reason is usually that they do not “feel” that God is real. They raise questions that seem to legitimize their walk away from God.
Our kids have listened to their music, read their books, followed the styles they set. But when these folks walk away from God, we do not want our kids to follow that trend. What can we do?
The most recent example is Jonathan Steingard of Hawk Nelson. His explanation about why he no longer believes in God sounds like a reasoned treatise. But when viewed from the Truth of the Bible, the questions he raises seem like he did not really understand Christianity. How can we talk to our kids about people – whether they are family members, friends, or celebrities – who say they no longer believe?
How to guide your children
- Pray for your kids. If they have made a profession in faith in Jesus Christ, remind them of the promises of God about never leaving them. If they do not yet know Jesus as their Savior, look at the Bible together and show them what it says about faith and salvation.
- Look at the writer’s reasons for losing faith. Steingard, for example, states that his faith just seemed to drift away. He likened it to a sweater unraveling. Paul addresses how Christians are to grow, not regress, in their faith, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” 2 Peter 3:18. Also, examine Steingard’s questions; many of them show a shallow understanding of God.
- Talk to your kids about the difference between religion and faith in Jesus Christ. Religion gives us emotional satisfaction when we “do” or “perform” certain things, but it is not the same as knowing Jesus Christ as your Savior. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us that we are saved through faith in Christ alone. We are not saved by Bible reading, or church attendance, or any other thing. Steingard seems to have misunderstood this point.
- Know what the Bible says about man’s need for a Savior, and how One was provided through Jesus. God is a holy, perfect God and He demands payment for our sin. That means without the blood of Christ paying for our sins, we cannot even approach God. Every single person must choose whether to accept Christ’s blood payment for their sin. Know that Jesus willingly died for every single person.
- Remind your kids that man-made regulations are not the way to know God. Even Bible reading can become a “Jesus-plus” grind if we measure our salvation by our consistency. No activity nor staying away from anything will save us.
- The Bible is clear that there is only one way to get to heaven. John 14:6 says that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, that no one comes to the Father but through Him. Discuss how some people (even those who grew up in a Bible-believing church) can be tricked to believe there are other ways to get to God. Make sure your kids know that any other path to God is not true.
- Pray together for the person who has walked away from God. Maybe they were not really Christian. Maybe they are a Christian who has quenched the Holy Spirit or is immature. Steingard admitted he used the Christian label to enhance his financial gain. Whatever the reasons behind someone who once claimed to be a Christian saying they do not believe in God, they need prayer.
- Listen to your kids. Do they question their faith? Are they scared God is not real? Answer their questions. Read the Bible together. Remind them that there is nothing that we can do to earn salvation – and there is nothing we can do to lose our salvation (John 10:28)!
- Tell them your salvation story and how you have seen God working in your life and in theirs. Use this opportunity to address some hard questions (yes, we live in a fallen, difficult world) but always remind your kids that God is in control and His Word is true.
God alone knows the hearts of these “former” Christians. We as Christians need to pray that no one who listens to them will be tricked, that Satan will not win this battle, and that the prodigals will either return to God or begin a relationship with Him.
Dr. Kathryn Knight is a 20+ year homeschool veteran who has graduated three of her five children.
Kathryn loves to find creative ways to make learning hands-on so brain synapses connect and her kids enjoy school and remember what they’ve learned.