My 11-year-old daughter has been invited to a youth event at a Christian church out here. I have heard the name of the church a lot, but I’m not sure if I am comfortable with her going to the event because I don’t know where they stand and if they would put pressure on her about her own religious beliefs.
If we were still in Gwinnett, I would be very comfortable with her going to events at Cannon United Methodist or Grace Fellowship, just to name a few. Even though I am Catholic I know those churches fairly well and feel like she could enjoy the commonality in the religions and her religious beliefs would still be respected.
I grew up going to preschool and camp at First Baptist Church in Decatur even though on Sundays you would find my family down the road at St. Thomas More Catholic Church. (My mom was the accountant for the Baptist church.)
I taught VBS at First Baptist in middle school and went on Spring Break trips with the church’s youth.
I also attended Wednesday night services regularly with my best friend at Grace Fellowship Baptist. (This was when it was tiny but Pastor Buddy was there.)
There were only a few occasions over the years were I felt uncomfortable at churches of a different denomination. I never knew what to do with that saving business. Was I saved? I didn’t know how to answer because Catholics never talked about that. I do remember one girl – a friend of friend – telling me I was going to hell because I was Catholic. I just let that roll off my back. I didn’t think I was going to hell. And the only other time I felt uncomfortable was at one church’s softball game (not Grace or First Baptist). They made me sit in a hot car because I had on shorts – long shorts mind you but they were shorts. It was hot to be sitting in a car. (Sure would have been awful if I had died in the hot car because I was wearing shorts.)
I want my children to be able to enjoy going to church events with their friends and be strong enough in their own faith to learn about other faiths. But they are children, and I don’t want a pushy person hurting their feelings or telling them they are going to hell.
Do you let your children attend youth events at churches of other denominations? What about completely different religions? What would do you about this situation – would you let her go?