Youth need to know God
Re “Remain in me” (Features, September). James Penner offers some suggestions to stem the tide of Christian teens and young adults leaving church institutions. Perhaps some consolation might be that leaving church life doesn’t necessarily translate into leaving God.
An offsetting concern might be that some people within churches are finding security in community but not in their faith. There comes a time of needing to transcend to a faith in God that facilitates “knowing” God far beyond the confines of “knowing about” him. It’s this faith, gifted by God, which makes even the mysteriousness of God real.
Penner’s suggestions focus mainly on how teaching might be improved, but seem to assume that what we teach is not in need of examination. It is typical Christian teaching – motivational and within the doctrinal confines of knowing about God, but lacking in probing the depths of knowing him.
Today’s young people, who are aware of a global need for God’s presence, need guidance to find faith in the one God who transcends religious tribalism and reveals himself far beyond the measure of institutional belonging. Perhaps young people are getting ahead of Christian teaching and some may have gone looking for him.
Stewardship must be modelled
Re “Electronic transactions enable faithful giving” (News, October). While I can agree with everything written in this article, I also feel the aspect of teaching stewardship to our children was entirely overlooked. I was taught stewardship by seeing my parents model sacrificial giving when I was younger. Are we giving up this important teaching tool for the sake of convenience and practicality?
Our family briefly signed up for an automated debit program at our church but promptly cancelled it. Though I do most of my financial transactions online, the automated plan didn’t allow me to model giving in front of my children. Are we teaching our children to “do as I say” rather than “do as I do” with such automated giving plans?
Letters to the editor
Mennonite Brethren Herald welcomes your letters of 150–200 words on issues relevant to the Mennonite Brethren church, especially in response to material published in the Herald. Please include name, address and phone number, and keep your letters courteous and about one subject only. We will edit letters for length and clarity. We will not publish letters sent anonymously, although we may withhold names from publication at the request of the letter writer and at our discretion. Publication is subject to space limitations. Letters also appear online. Because the Letters column is a free forum for discussion, it should be understood that letters represent the position of the letter writer, not necessarily the position of the Herald or the Mennonite Brethren church. Send letters to: Letters, MB Herald, 1310 Taylor Avenue, Winnipeg, Man. R3M 3Z6, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.