These questions were asked to me by some P4s.
“I don’t believe in God. At least I think I don’t. If he is real why does he allow us to live in nice houses and have lots of food but make others live with nothing?”
“So, why do so many people believe in God? How do they know it’s true? How do they know about God if no-one told them?”
“How do you know God made the world? I thought it was a big bang?”
And after hearing the story of the Israelites escaping from Egypt, starting with God sending the plaques when Pharaoh refused to let them go, a P6 asked “isn’t that God retaliating against Pharoah, does that mean it’s right to retaliate?”
We moved onto God giving the 10 commandments and the next part of the story where the Israelites despite all God has done start worshiping a gold statue. God punishes those people.
“Why should God punish people when they don’t obey him? Is he just selfish wanting everyone to only worship him?”
I directed them to think about all God had done for the people. Wasn’t he right to expect their worship and thanks?
“Oh, that’s like when my big sister tidied my little sisters room and she never said thank you. She just messed it up again.”
It is brilliant to see children thinking so deeply and exploring these big questions. We just need to give them a reason to start thinking about them and permission to explore them and possibly disagree with us. As they listen, process, ask questions and answer each others questions they are not just learning about Christianity, they are learning to think for themselves and developing the confidence to express their opinions about a whole variety of issues. I think it’s great!