Wednesday, May 14, 2008

You Be the (Youth) Pastor

I'm reviving the "You Be the Pastor" posts to address a situation that happened at youth group last night.

During our teaching time, one 16 year old student (we'll call him Tom) raised his hand and said "I've been reading the Daoist scriptures and one thing it said was that if you want to be great, you must make yourself low. The ocean is the greatest body of water because it is the lowest." It was actually a perfect segue into our discussion on discipleship, so we talked about how that statement was relevant and how Jesus said similar things.

After youth group, Tom came up to me privately and said, "I'm thinking about becoming a Daoist. Is it a problem to be Daoist and a Christian?"

You be the (youth) pastor: What would you say?


At 9:03 AM, Blogger Erik said...

Wow, that's great that your student would talk to you about that.

Obviously, this student is attracted to Daoism for some reason. The remark he made about making yourself low might indicate that in fact, he is being attracted to things that are actually principles of the Kingdom of God.

I think I would point out the differences (after I did my homework) between Daoism and Christianity and then point out the similarities and clarify God's truth to the teen.

I truly believe that there are elements of Christianity in many of the world religions. All truth is God's truth. And what people/teens are attracted to in other religions is often something about Christianity that the Church has failed at. Instead of the Kingdom of Christ being shown brightly in the world, we have often allowed principles of the Kingdom to shine stronger in other religions/belief systems than in our own churches.

I'm interested in hearing how things turn out, thanks for sharing.

At 9:10 AM, Blogger Ben said...

Isn't it Taoism?

At 9:17 AM, Blogger Erik said...

Yes, Ben - I believe you're right.

At 10:16 AM, Blogger Corey said...

"Isn't it Taoism?"

Yes...but it depends on which method of romanization you use (God bless you, wikipedia! )

At 4:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I picture message him that image you sent seth for missing IP Group!


Seriously though I would ask him why he thought the Bible was different then Taoism. Go from there. The problem is the kids are youth group are REALLY quick on the draw and will ask the question 'what if the bible stole it from Daoism)?'

Now YOU be the pastor!


At 6:19 AM, Blogger Corey said...

Thanks for the thoughts. Erik, I pretty much did what you suggested, so I guess I'm either as awesome a youth pastor as you are or we both wander into periodic heresy...

The topic came up again last night, so I took the opportunity to talk about some significant differences (personal God vs. impersonal god, meditation techniques to fill yourself with God and his word vs. emptying yourself to gain enlightenment, etc.)

As you said, I think it's important to talk about the points of connection with respect instead of mocking or assuming that other religious systems are pure evil. This is especially true with a group of kids who, at this point, are highly relativistic and very much believe that all religions are valid ways to God. Bashing other religions is not an effective way to draw them to the truth that is found in Jesus.

At 7:22 AM, Blogger Erik said...

Thanks for the update, I'd love to hear how things will turn out. I've found that in the last 5 years or so, that teenagers have been more open to spiritual things than maybe 10-15 years ago. I'm not exactly sure why this is, but it's a great opportunity to share the truth in love with them.


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