It’s the monthly teen activity night at church. The teens have emptied platters of sloppy joes and bowls of chips and fruit salad. They are warm, full, relaxed. They are ready to listen.
The youth leader senses the mood. At the end of his short prepared study about God’s will, he asks if anyone has questions. One teen raises his hand, then another raises hers. They ask good questions—easy questions.
And then another girl lifts her hand, shy and tentative. “How do we know that we’re right? All the other religions—they believe that they are right just as intensely as we do. How do we know that we’re the ones who have found the way to God?”
The youth leader takes a deep breath. He answers more quickly than he should, grazing the surface, leaving the core of the question untouched. As the teens go home, they think about the girl’s question. They repeat it to their parents, who begin to fear that such questions might shake their own child’s faith. The girl has disturbed the waters, and she is labeled a doubter, someone who might not be a Christian. She must be fixed, converted. And in the meantime, does she really belong in the youth group with the other Christian teens?
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