Children need Sunday school

January 13, 2020 | 17 comments

“It’s about time!” I thought, when reading a recent article written by a professional who works with children and has seen clear evidence that children with religion are much better off mentally than children deprived of faith in a higher power. She reminds her audience that telling children “they are going to die and turn to dust” does not give them any kind of inspiration to live, especially when the going gets tough.

In her article, “Don’t believe in God? Lie to your children,” published in the Wall Street Journal, on December 5, 2019, she wrote, “As a therapist, I’m often asked to explain why depression and anxiety are so common among children and adolescents. One of the most important explanations—and perhaps the most neglected—is declining interest in religion. This cultural shift already has proved disastrous for millions of vulnerable young people.”

She explains, with facts, that the shift away from religion in America has been attended with increasing mental health problems. She has observed that, “The belief in God—in a protective and guiding figure to rely on when times are tough—is one of the best kinds of support for kids in an increasingly pessimistic world. That’s only one reason, from a purely mental-health perspective, to pass down a faith tradition.”

She elaborates on how giving children a spiritual center makes them more compassionate, grateful, caring for others, and sounder in mind and perspective. They have fewer mental health problems. To her, the evidence is clear.

I don’t agree with her suggestion to lie about God to children. Parents are role models and lying is never a healthy model to emulate. However, her message, that nihilism can take thought to dark places for children, can give useful direction to parents wanting to raise happy well-adjusted children.

I found the article to be a proverbial breath of fresh air in times that faith in God is often talked down, belittled, even ridiculed. There is no doubt in my mind, that faith in God makes a positive difference in one’s life. Children who have been blessed with a proper understanding of God as Love, are blessed for the rest of their lives. Even if they cease attending church, they will still be blessed beyond measure.

A solid spiritual education is one of the greatest gifts a parent can give their children.

“Don’t believe in God? Lie to your children”

17 thoughts on “Children need Sunday school”

  1. I often think how scary the world must seem to those who have no hope and faith in a perfect, loving, all powerful God. I am so grateful for Christian Science!

  2. Sound reasoning. And provides a basis for adults to tap into their own childhood Sunday school or faith tradition education and experience years later,. If the Sunday School teaching is expanding and magnifying the truth that God is Love , a governing and always present Principle to turn to and find help and comfort in, then Sunday school is a life-investment for sure. This was my own experience.

  3. Leading so they can follow Truth, is vital. We must begin taking on the role of leader, or we don’t have a following. It’s a tough road, one we’re traveling here, with our Sunday school doors wide open, but no attendees. I love that Sunday school one of the first places a child learns GOD IS LOVE! Bless you Evan for leading the way!

  4. Thank you for referencing that WSJ article, Evan. Somehow I missed it last month, but this morning I found it and read it. There is plenty of anecdotal, matter-based evidence to support the idea that the loss of interest in religion has created a lot of challenges, challenges which can be “tackled” only by returning to our spiritual roots. Christian Science is certainly the ideal way to do that!

  5. Organized religion has gotten a very bad “rap,” over the past ? decades.
    We need to revise our use of the word, religion, in our social interactions, and talk instead about Truth, divine Love, divine Mind… Even the word God has been so twisted in meaning that it is hard to use freely any more… Sad, but kinda true, don’t you feel?

    I so support the work of our Christian Science Sunday Schools! I’ve spent most of my 5 decades of church membership in there. But, fyi, my 3 children and their children have told me repeatedly over many years that the SS alone would not have kept them in CS, It was the amazing supportive work done at the CS Summer Camps that did this. I praise their work repeatedly!
    Just wanting to keep the word going, about CS camps. We need em both, it seems.

    Thanks, Evan, for all your Posts, and especially this one.

  6. Hooray! Thank you Evan! I certainly agree – it is so encouraging to see public comment on the importance of the knowledge and love of God for children!
    I found a book that emphasizes this. The book is titled The Spiritual Child by Lisa Miller, Ph.D., “professor of Psychology and Education and director of the Clinical Psychology Program at Columbia University, Teachers College.”
    http://www.today.com/parents/how-raise-spiritual-child-3-exercises-dr-lisa-miller-t11736
    Paraphrasing from the website, the author explains: Every child is born a spiritual child. We all are “hardwired” with a natural spirituality. But this inborn capacity needs to be strengthened into the greatest of all our human resources through parenting. It’s the most important thing a parent can do, she says.
    Lisa Miller shared exercises for strengthening a child’s natural spirituality – My favorite was called: TRAIL ANGELS. Author Lisa continues, “Our daily world is full of trail angels who show up and bring just what we may need.” She encourages parents to tell their children about the “angels” that helped them that day – whether they were thoughts, intuitions, or appeared as people. Perhaps it’s as simple as someone helping them find a special ingredient at a grocery store. Then ask them about the angels in their day – and then ask them when they were an angel for someone else!
    According to her research, she has scientific proof that children that are more spiritual were 40% less likely than their peers to fall into drug abuse, and 60% less likely to suffer from depression, but are far more likely to have meaning and purpose in their lives, and thrive.
    We don’t doubt that!
    Thanks again Evan – for this and every day you give us!

  7. This timely article took me way back to my early C.S. Sunday School days. Different teachers asked us to memorize the wonderful, timely words from the Bible and S & H. We would be asked to recite them for the following Sunday class. And, today, how grateful I am to those SS teachers—quickly comes to mind, the Commandments, the Beatitudes, special, uplifting one verse admonitions for support and safety from Psalms, Proverbs, John I etc. etc —and the Scientific St. of Being plus “one liners” from our textbook–how these treasured , memorized writings have rescued me and mine over the years. I am so grateful that these saving thoughts from God via so many disciples, SS teachers and MBE have been there for me to grab onto when the going became rough. What a gift for us to give to our children and others in need. My gratitude for those loving SS teachers knows no bounds.

  8. I Too am Most Grateful for my 20 years spent in a Christian Science Sunday school. I am very thankful my Grandmother found Christian Science before my Mom was born. A family member had been diagnosed with a cancer, the medical said was incurable, and he was sent home to die. A sweet, caring, neighbor, who had already found CS brought “the book”, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy to share with my Grandmother. The Truths in this wonderful book were studied by the whole family and healing came. The entire family became students of Christian Science. My mom was born into CS and was raised in Sunday school. No matter what has happened in my life, Truths about our dear Father/Mother God I learned in my Sunday school experience have come to my rescue. I use it everyday and even help others with struggles, which is my Favorite thing to do. Nothing is unhealable…NOTHING!!!!!!!!
    I wish every child could learn the Truth about God, who is their Creator. Learn who they are as His beloved child, who is loved, protected and guided by God at every moment. It is The Best Gift you could ever give and no matter what age you may be, YOU are still God’s beloved child. It is Never too late to start this lesson and Science and Health holds the Complete guide to learning this Provable Truth. I write in Every single book I share “This is the Very Best I have to give, enjoy and be well”. Lovingly CayDee

  9. I my coaching I work with young athletes promoting their progress in the activity I teach. I found that honesty works well with them. Though it is not allowable to work with them directly in a spiritual way, I find that encouraging them to look beyond the material to what ever faith they have helps them to achieve their goals. Any activity that we engage has a certain level of failure associated with the learning process, This interaction overcoming failure requires a faith that failure can be overcome. This faith is entirely metaphysical when one comes to realize the spiritual basis for faith, one becomes capable of wisdom, spiritual understanding.

  10. Two boys was taking with the sunday school teacher and one of them told that he had been in a acsident with his bike, but i start thinking about God and i dident get hurt, the other boy tell the same story and said that had not been thinking about God but he altso was not hurt, ok said the teacher, you dident thinking about God , but He was thinking about you.

    1. I am grateful, Stig, for this sweet story, which serves as a powerful reminder that God is omnipresent, always protecting His beloved children — each and every one of us. Thank you for sharing it.

  11. Evan, I have enjoyed each of the comments about this powerful position in saying that children need Sunday School. Yes, the truth is that they grow from it. I am remembering that there are no atheists in a foxhole or in any position of extremity. Certainly the sensitivities of children are tuned into what really counts in life and that is Sunday School, summer camp, wholesome after school sports and home life that cherishes their inborn innocence and purity. And, yes, God is always caring for us despite untoward circumstances. God blesses all of us.continually.

  12. I agree with the comments thus far. However, I also feel very strongly it depends on what you teach children to believe God to be. If it’s a God to be feared who sends sickness, punishment, disasters, evil of any nature, it won’t promote a positive attitude towards life. I had a close friend in high school, who was a devote Roman Catholic, who one Friday forgot what day it was and ate a lunch containing meat. She was absolutely terrified of what punishment she would receive and continued to have nightmares for quite some time. I tried to console her, without being critical of her religion, but it wasn’t much help. As a result of her parents complaining to the school, the cafeteria was no longer permited to serve meat on Fridays. I strongly disagreed with this action feeling it was unfair to the majoirty of students who could eat whatever they wanted any day of the week.

  13. As a former elementary and middle school teacherAND Sunday School tracer (whew) I totally agree.. I taught in Public school and I always had a student or two who would bring their Bible to class
    (I taught ancient history) and because the child(ten) brought their own Bible and asked questions about the text- it was ok for me to clarify and answer their questions. Those children were much better adjusted, harder working and great kids.

  14. Oh dear Evan, thank you so very much for this SpiritView toppic. It is so very important in today`s times! Am so very grateful that I myself had the wonderful privilege to attend Sundayschool for 10 years. And decades later I taught the little ones by drawing the relevant Bible story of that week`s lesson sermon, and then talked about that story. But what is when there are no more children in our Sundayschools. Oh I am so very much longing and praying that God sends us His children to our Sundayschools. We are prepared to teach them the omnipresent Love of our wonderful God!

    I agree fully with everybody and enjoy every comment, they are so wonderful and helpful! Thank you very much dear commenter friends 🙂

  15. This article couldn’t have been more timely as we have been battling with our young teen about attending Sunday School. There is a very aggressive thought base right now making kids feel that organized religion isn’t necessary. Thank you for being obedient to the One Mind and sharing this!

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