Statistics and I have a love/hate relationship. It was probably my least favorite course in college, but I have to grudgingly admit statistics can provide some helpful information. Statistics can be skewed, but if the methodology is sound, the results can teach you some important things.
The Barna Group is well known in religious circles for their research on Christian issues. They specialize in trying to analyze what makes a person live (or not live) a truly Christian lifestyle. Their books are often bestsellers, perhaps because they try to sort out the difference between Christians “in name only” and those who are really close to “practicing what they preach”.
Most Christians will tell you faith is a huge part of living a Christian life. The Bible has chapter after chapter that discusses faith – what it is and its importance to the believer. The problem in our modern world is that the skeptics our children will encounter dismiss faith and demand only “logical” responses to their challenges.
How can parents encourage the faith that is “sure of what is hoped for and certain of what we do not see” in our children? (Hebrews 11:1) Is there a way to use logic without compromising faith? How can we prepare our children to have faith when surrounded by skeptics in the media, in their classrooms and in the world around them?
Have you ever seen one of those sitcoms when the character is trying to make a moral decision? Often he will suddenly have two figures appear on his shoulders. One is angelic in appearance, with white clothing and often wings and a halo. The other looks like we are supposed to think the devil looks, with red clothing (and a cape for some strange reason), a long red forked tail, red pointed ears and a pitchfork with prongs.
Over the years I have given in to more temptations than I would care to admit. Unfortunately, I don’t recall ever seeing this man dressed in red when faced with my choice. Maybe if I had seen him, I would have made a wiser decision. Usually Satan has disguised himself in much more creative and appealing ways.