I know parents who have said this about why they don’t send their children to Sunday school or Scripture. I can see why they would think this is a good thing: they don’t want to force their children into something they don’t want and want to them to make up their own minds. And beliefs about spirituality are difficult – some children grow up resenting the religious education they went through as children. But at least they were taught.
Because, really, where is the choice if: a) you didn’t know there was a choice, and b) you’re not informed about the subject matter?
I asked my parents, once, why they didn’t send me to learn to play competitive sport outside of school when I was a kid. I was expecting something like, “it was too expensive” (with 6 children to raise), but their answer was, “we wanted to give you the choice.” What choice?! My friends used to play sport and I thought it was this special club that I wasn’t invited to. I didn’t know I could choose.
How do you expect someone to make a choice if you don’t teach them what’s available? And then, how do you teach if you don’t know yourself? The stakes are too high to simply ignore and hope they work it out for themselves. And if you don’t know yourself, are you willing to take the risk? When we’re talking about eternal life or eternal condemnation, wouldn’t you want to know and make an informed decision?
“for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”
When the world preaches the loudest, we need to make sure the truth is heard.