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How Can I Defend My Belief in God?

How Can I Defend My Belief in God?

 CHAPTER 36

How Can I Defend My Belief in God?

What would most likely hold you back from talking to a classmate about your faith?

□ Lack of Bible knowledge

□ Fear of ridicule

□ Not knowing how to start a conversation

Which method of talking about your faith would you find easiest?

□ Talking one-on-one to a student

□ Speaking before the entire class

□ Writing about my Bible-based beliefs in a report

Name a schoolmate who you think might be receptive to a Bible discussion if you knew how to bring up the subject. ․․․․․

 GOD probably isn’t the most popular topic of conversation among your schoolmates. Bring up almost anything else​—sports, clothes, or the opposite sex—​and you’ll trigger a lively discussion. But mention God, and an awkward silence may quickly descend.

Not that your peers don’t believe in God; many youths do. But some are embarrassed to discuss the subject. ‘It’s just not cool,’ they might think.

What About You?

If you’re reluctant to talk to your schoolmates about God, it’s understandable. No one enjoys being rejected, and being made fun of is even worse! Could that happen if you talked about your faith? It could. On the other hand, your peers might surprise you. Many of them are searching for answers to such questions as: Where is this world heading? and Why is it so full of trouble? Your peers would likely rather talk about those subjects with someone their own age than with an adult.

Still, talking to your peers about religion may seem like a daunting challenge. Really, though, you don’t have to come across as a fanatic,  nor do you have to worry about saying exactly the right thing. Talking about your faith can be a little like playing a musical instrument. Challenging at first? Probably. But with practice it becomes easier, and your efforts will pay off. How, though, do you get a conversation started?

Usually, you can find a comfortable opening. For instance, perhaps when a current event is being discussed at school, you can add your Scriptural perspective. Or you could try speaking to just one classmate. Easier still, some Christian youths have simply placed a Bible-based publication on their desk to see if it attracts a classmate’s attention. Frequently, it does and a conversation follows!

Which of the above methods could you try? ․․․․․

Can you think of another way you could talk about your faith with a classmate? If so, write it below.

․․․․․

Sometimes a school project lends itself to giving a witness about your faith. For example, what might you do when the subject of evolution arises? How can you defend your belief in creation?

 Defending Creation

“When evolution was brought up in the classroom, it challenged everything I had been taught,” says a youth named Ryan. “It was presented as a fact, and I found that to be intimidating.” A girl named Raquel expresses herself similarly. “I was terrified when my social studies teacher said that evolution would be our next lesson,” she says. “I knew that I’d have to explain in class where I stood on this controversial issue.”

How do you feel when the subject of evolution comes up in class? You believe that God “created all things.” (Revelation 4:11) You see evidence of intelligent design all around you. But the textbooks say that life evolved, and so does your teacher. Who are you to argue with the “experts”?

Rest assured, you’re not alone in your feelings about the evolution theory. The fact is, even a number of scientists don’t accept it. Neither do many teachers and students.

Still, to defend your belief in creation, you need to know what the Bible really teaches on the subject. There’s no need to make an issue over things that the Bible doesn’t directly comment on. Consider a few examples.

 My science textbook says that the earth and the solar system have been in existence for billions of years. The Bible says that the earth and the rest of the universe were in existence before the first creative day. Thus, the earth and the solar system may well be billions of years old.​—Genesis 1:1.

My teacher says that the earth could not have been created in just six days. The Bible doesn’t state that the six creative days were literal 24-hour periods.

Our class discussed several examples of changes in animals and humans that took place over time. The Bible says that God created living things “according to their kinds.” (Genesis 1:20, 21) It does not support the idea that life arose from nonliving matter or that God started off the process of evolution with a single cell. Still, each “kind” has the potential for great variety. So the Bible allows for change to take place within each “kind.”

In view of what has been considered in this chapter, how would you respond if a teacher or a classmate said:

 “Science has proved that we are the product of evolution.” ․․․․․

“I don’t believe in God because I can’t see him.” ․․․․․

Be Confident of Your Beliefs!

If you’re being raised by Christian parents, you might believe in creation simply because that’s what you’ve been taught. Now that you’re growing older, though, you want to worship God “with your power of reason,” having a solid foundation for your beliefs. (Romans 12:1) In view of that, ask yourself, ‘What convinces me that there is a Creator?’ Sam, 14, looks at the human body. “It’s so detailed and complex,” he says, “and all of its parts work so well together. The human body couldn’t have evolved!” Holly,  16, agrees. “Since being diagnosed with diabetes,” she says, “I have learned a lot about how the body works. It’s amazing, for example, how the pancreas​—a little organ that hides behind the stomach—​does such a huge job in keeping blood and the other organs working.”

Below, list three things that convince you that there is a Creator.

1. ․․․․․

2. ․․․․․

3. ․․․․․

There’s no reason to feel awkward or ashamed because you believe in God and in creation. Considering the evidence, it’s entirely reasonable to believe that we humans are the product of intelligent design.

In the end, it’s really evolution, not creation, that requires a huge leap of faith​—in effect, belief in miracles without a miracle maker! Once you’ve thought this matter through using your power of reason, you will feel more confident about defending your belief in God.

IN OUR NEXT CHAPTER

You see others your age getting baptized. Are you ready to take that step?

KEY SCRIPTURE

“I am not ashamed of the good news; it is, in fact, God’s power for salvation to everyone having faith.”​—Romans 1:16.

TIP

Be aware of your demeanor when you talk about your beliefs. If you appear ashamed, you may invite ridicule from your peers. But if you speak with confidence​—just as your schoolmates would speak about their views—​you’re more likely to win their respect.

DID YOU KNOW . . . ?

Sometimes when teachers are asked to prove evolution, they find that they cannot do so and they come to realize that they accept the theory simply because it’s what they have been taught.

ACTION PLAN!

To strike up a conversation about the Bible with a classmate, I could ․․․․․

If I am asked why I believe in a Creator, I will say ․․․․․

What I would like to ask my parent(s) about this subject is ․․․․․

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

● Why is it important to talk to others about what you believe?

● What are some ways you can comfortably express your belief in creation at school?

● How can you show your appreciation for the One who created all things?​—Acts 17:26, 27.

[Blurb on page 299]

“School is a preaching territory that only we can reach.”​—Iraida

[Picture on page 298]

Much like playing a musical instrument, talking about your faith requires skill​—with practice, you will become proficient

[Picture on page 300, 301]

You can conquer your fear of defending your beliefs