Since I was running around a lot during Children, Youth and a New Kind of Christianity, I wasn’t able to take in every presentation and the whole of the panels. But what I did see of Wednesday’s Panel on Violence and what I’ve since heard about it has left me with a thought.
What many people have noticed is that, while the panel certainly focused on difficult issues about violence in the Bible and the world, it didn’t get too deep into the whole idea of what this means for children and youth and how we pass on the faith to them. For some, this may have left them wanting more… But it leaves me with an important thought. Perhaps we adults haven’t yet wrestled with the sheer violence in the Bible and the violence that exists in our world. Perhaps we don’t know how to talk about teaching children and youth in light of violence because we haven’t figure out how to deal with this violence for ourselves. Perhaps the Panel on Violence demonstrated that many of us aren’t ready to discuss how to teach young people about the violence in the world and the scriptures because we’re not really sure what we should, as Christ-followers, do and think in light of this violence.
So while the panel might not spent much time dealing with what violence means for passing on the faith to young people, it showed that we adults have a lot of work to do and conversations to have before we feel ready to deal with this difficult issue with children and youth.