Passing Down the Faith

September 22, 2022
5 min read

Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?” Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  (John 6:66-68)

We recently finished the second year of Creation Science Investigators with Grades 5-7 at RMCC. A new component that was added this year was a field trip. We took a bus load of kids to Jura Creek in Kananaskis where they could touch and see what we had learned about in the classroom setting.

The kids really enjoyed learning how to identify rocks and fossils while we navigated the narrow walls of the slot canyon. We settled in a dry creek bed for lunch and talked about the call to walk our Christian lives with endurance, followed by an impromptu question and answer discussion.

The questions were mainly about how to reconcile what the Bible says with what they’ve learned from respected teachers, popular movies, etc. What made this time difficult for me was not the content of their questions, but rather seeing the conflict in the kids regarding the idea of standing apart as Christians.

Their internal struggle reminded me of so much of my own.

I remember a few years ago I was invited to speak at a college and career group at a local church here in Calgary. During the meet and greet portion of the evening, I found myself surrounded by postgraduate, pre-med, and other students. I definitely felt a growing sense of intimidation prior to my talk, mainly because the topic I was sharing that evening included the field of genetics, which is outside my expertise. In all my preparations for the evening, I had not anticipated that I would be speaking to a bunch of pre-med students including someone who was in the process of getting her master’s degree in genetics.

While trying to calm my nerves, I started chatting with someone who, I found out during our discussion, was also studying in the field of genetics at the University of Calgary. When she learned that I too had graduated from the U of C, she remarked, “Can you believe that there are university educated Christians out there who still don’t believe in evolution or millions of years?”

I still remember the awkward pause, even years later, after she made that statement. I felt so embarrassed. In my response, I think I said something like, “Umm… I’m actually one of those people, and I’m your speaker for tonight.”

With my own children, as well as the children we teach in Kids Church, my instinct is to do anything I can to protect them from the sense of shame and intimidation I felt that night including equipping them with truthful answers and resources (which is really important).

However, what I’ve learned over some years about mentoring and teaching this next generation is that it isn’t enough to equip them with knowledge. Sooner or later they will encounter a question they cannot answer or they’ll find a Biblical teaching too difficult to embrace at the moment.

Just like those who were following Jesus, they will say, “This is a hard teaching, who can understand it?”

I personally believe the remaining 12 disciples were just as confused or potentially offended at Jesus in the moment as well. But that’s what makes Peter’s response extraordinary. You see, Jesus had touched these men’s hearts in an undeniable way. So much so, that even when things got really conflicted all Peter could say is, “where else can we go?” They had experienced the life and love of Jesus and knew they could not find that anywhere else.

Likewise in my own life and walk with the Lord, I’ve run up against hardships and disappointments. During those moments, what causes my eyes to look up is not my intellectual understanding of the truth. It is the fact that Jesus loves me and I have experienced His love personally, over and over again.

We are excited to continue to teach the kids the Biblical truths of creation and how there is no conflict between the Bible and science. But the most important part of mentoring and teaching the next generation will always be teaching them about the love of Jesus.

Our prayer for the kids at RMCC is that Jesus would touch their hearts in an unmistakable way so that when they are confronted with a difficult question or put to shame for their belief they will also answer, “Where else can I go? Only Jesus has the Words of eternal life!”

That is the foundation for a faith that endures.

“…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-2).”

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