Wednesday, September 19

Friendly Get-Together at Awana (*Updated)

Last night after soccer practice, the girls were invited by their friends to go to their Awana meeting tonight. I accepted, but I'll be staying with the group, and I will be sure to discuss what they heard on our way home.

I'm praying that I'll be up to the task, since when I look at the Awana information, I see that there are differences in theology. Most of them are minor, but when children are still being formed, one can't be too careful. I think the biggest error is the one relating to salvation; the Awana program teaches, like many Protestant denominations, that you cannot lose your salvation. This page on salvation finishes with this:

Once I am saved, I am saved for eternity.
Once saved, I cannot lose my salvation. No creature or thing can take it away from me. I cannot lose it by any action of my own.
God says: … I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish. (John 10:28)
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

Clearly, this is not what the Church has taught for 2,000 years, and so if we cover nothing else before we go tonight, we'll cover this one. (And it's actually pretty easy for me to cover, since I taught about it at the co-op last year in my apologetics class.) Now, mind you, there is little difference between Catholic theology from what I understand and the rest of this page, but this is a big deal. It's important to me that my girls understand the nature of sin and that mortal sin is, indeed, discussed in the Bible (though not specifically named as such).

I also am emphasizing that any apologetics the girls wind up doing is done with great charity. No one wins converts by saying things like, "What do you mean you think the Lord's Supper is a symbol? Are you crazy???" And since children can be rather blunt, I am trying to help them to temper their potential (and probably instinctual) reactions to differences in doctrines.

Now if I could only remember where I put the Faith Defender cards...

Update: It wasn't that bad. Mainly, they played games and then instead of the "counseling" (I guess kid-friendly Bible study, etc.) they caught up on the lessons. Big Girl did have a friend challenge her about Baptism being essential to salvation and about Confession. From what she said, she held her own because for the Baptism discussion, she told me of two different things she said in response. Can't give verses for it, but that's fine for a child of 8, right? We can work on it as we go. I know she's getting plenty of the Bible, and she is learning the Faith very well, too.

I do have to say one thing, though. I had at least three different people - total strangers, mind you - who asked me if I attended church. They were absolutely ready to invite me to services.

When was the last time a Catholic asked you that? As a Catholic, and I'll include myself here, when was the last time you invited someone to Mass?

I was really touched by everyone's faith, and it was very sweet when people kept asking me if I had a church. I'd smile and say yes, I do. We go to (insert our parish name here). Now I'll tell you this. I was absolutely a Catholic after that because our parish is named for Our Lady. :) Plus, whenever we prayed, I crossed myself. Not to be showy, mind you, but because it's just what I do and it's second nature. I did resist the urge to wear my Hail Mary shirt, though. *wicked grin* I might wear it Friday to the soccer game instead.


Stacey said...

haha, I used to go to Awana! We sang goofy songs and did Bible verse memorization and watched "Mac and Me." My dad used to make fun of us... "What's Awana? A-wannabe a Brownie?"

I'm going to have to gently reinforce what we believe if Ace ever goes to private schools. Just let the girls know that some people believe differently than you do, show them what the Bible says, what the Church says, and they'll know what's right. We can't shelter them from other beliefs forever. Unless we move to communes, and I've never liked wearing dresses.

Ebeth said...

Christine, You go girl!!! This is just exactly what we as Catholic Parents are supposed to do. Guard out children, but with thought and prayer and understanding!! I wish more parents took their position in our children's spiritual lives more seriously....most would just let their children go and not even check into what they are being taught!!

Christine the Soccer Mom said...

Stacey, you are right about not sheltering them to the point that they don't know there are people who believe differently than we do. Big Girl is, as far as I know, the only Catholic child on her soccer team, and she's got lots of friends there. (Hence the invite.) One weekend, a girl on the team had a sleepover and everyone else was going to Sunday school and services at the girl's church the next morning. Big Girl did a bit of apologetics that morning while explaining that we'd be picking her up for Mass instead. (Mainly, conflicting times, I suppose.) I am careful to teach them that they cannot have an attitude of "we're better than you cuz we're Catholics" with anyone. But I'm still vigilant in making sure that they don't get confused, either. Thank God I have the Catechism to help guide me when I teach them the faith!

EBeth, you are right. We can't keep them from the world (or other non-Catholic Christians!), but we must be prayerful about it. It does distress me that some people have a laise faire (sp?) attitude about faith, but what can I do? These are really nice people, and most of her soccer team goes to this Awana group, so she'll know lots of kids there. As a matter of fact, the girls were invited because it's "bring a friend" night and their friends usually don't have anyone to bring. All of their friends seem to be in the group already! LOL!

It's like everything else with our homeschool. I am here to protect and guard them (and their immortal souls!!!!), not to smother them and lock them away from everyone else. And many times, that means that I go into unfamiliar places so they can hang with their buddies.

Anonymous said...

I think what you're doing is great! It gives them the opportunity to test their own faith in the Church by being exposed to other ideas and then finding out why the Church is correct. I hope I'm that good about it when it's my turn... And like you say, parents screen TV and movies, video games, books, etc, they should be screening Sunday School (and the like) as well.

I have a cousin (she's 6, first cousin once removed) who her mom (DH's first cousin) was Catholic but has apparently converted (tho' she'd never "put it that way") to Baptist (?) and now her daughter (the cousin I started this about) is going to Awana. It makes me shake my head and almost want to cry; she made a vow to God to raise their children Catholic (she was married in the Catholic Church, or at least the marriage was blessed), and she's breaking it.

God Bless!

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