Atheists and skeptics claim that Christianity is harmful to children. The root of this claim is probably unfortunate incidents in the lives of those who make it. Recent studies do not support the claim. The March 2021 issue of Christianity Today published an excerpt from a book by Rebecca McLaughlin titled 10 Questions Every Teen Should Ask (and Answer) about Christianity. It contained some interesting statements about the effect of Christianity on teens.
Therapist Erica Komisar writing in the Wall Street Journal in 2019 said, “Don’t believe in God? Lie to your children.” The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that belief in Christianity “contributes to a wide range of health and well-being outcomes later in life.” Even a quote from atheist Richard Dawkins said, “the evidence that people who believe in God seem to behave better than those who don’t.”
In my 41 years of teaching in public schools, I dealt with all kinds of kids in all types of situations and saw the effect of Christianity on teens. The young people who were active in their religious beliefs were the best students and acknowledged school community leaders. Kids that were in trouble with the law, or with the school, or who were actively involved in gangs were almost universally kids who did not have a Christian foundation. I found that a vast number of my students did not have a Bible. I kept a Bible on my desk, and it not only precipitated a lot of questions, but it was frequently stolen.
On four different occasions, students went to the school administration requesting that I be allowed to present my lectures on evidence for God’s existence to the student body. This culminated in “minicourses,” where the students could come to my presentations or go to various other activities, including recreational ones in the gymnasium or the swimming pool. We had good attendance at the lectureships, and I usually gave them in the school auditorium.
An old biblical proverb says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Young people need to see the evidence for God’s existence and the validity of the Bible system of how to live. In our present age, that evidence is primarily hidden from young people. That is what the Does God Exist? Ministry is attempting to address. Kids hear the arguments against faith and Christianity from the media and aggressive atheists. For them to make their own decisions, they need to hear the positive evidence for faith. There is a positive effect of Christianity on teens.
— John N. Clayton © 2021