Eighth Grade Faith Questions

Photo by Oberazzi

Photo by Oberazzi

For me, faith is as much (or more) about the questions than it is about the answers.

Each year at the beginning of their confirmation experience, I ask our 8th graders to list their biggest faith questions. Each year these questions are a good reminder of what our young people are thinking about faith.

The following questions were written by the youth and leaders of our current confirmation class. The questions are not listed in any particular order, but have been loosely grouped together by topic.

God

  • If God loves us so much, why did he: destroy the world, murder many people, kill an innocent child, allow Satan to kill Job’s family and children, and destroy many cities? If God is all loving and slow to anger, does the Old Testament really exist, or is it just a story?
  • How does God communicate with us?
  • Does God exist? (asked 2 times)
  • Is God real or an idea?
  • Where is God? (asked 2 times)
  • How does God walk on water?
  • Who is God? (asked 2 times)
  • Why don’t miracles happen today? (asked 4 times)
  • Why does God let disasters happen? (asked 2 times)
  • How does God watch over every Christian on earth, to make sure they’re okay?
  • Why does God only help some people but not everyone?
  • Why is it so hard to reach God? I still can’t hear him.
  • Is our destiny predetermined by God?
  • Why does God say he’s different, yet forces us to worship him?
  • Does God eventually talk to everyone who believes in him, or doesn’t believe in him?

The Human Condition

  • Is everyone still on their journey? It never ends?
  • Why do bad things happen to good people? (asked 4 times)
  • Why do people get sick?
  • Why are there still wars?

Jesus

  • How does Jesus watch over everyone?
  • When will Jesus come back?
  • Can Jesus really walk on water? (asked 3 times)
  • Who is Jesus?
  • Is Jesus a real person or is he made up?
  • How did Jesus forgive everyone of their sins?
  • How could Jesus heal people? Did he have magic power for healing people?
  • Where did Jesus go after he left the people?
  • How was Jesus so smart?
  • Why would Jesus keep purposefully messing with the Jewish church?
  • Why didn’t Jesus just find a girlfriend and become a farmer?
  • Is it bad that I don’t think of Jesus during school that much?
  • Is everything Jesus did real? (asked 2 times)
  • How did Jesus come back to life?
  • How did Jesus do all the amazing stuff he did?
  • If Jesus returns, when will he?
  • If there is life on other planets, did Jesus also save them from sin?

Church

  • What is confirmation about?
  • I want to get confirmed, but I’m doubting if God really exists. Does that mean I shouldn’t?

The Bible

  • How do we know the Bible is real?
  • How do we know that the Bible is true?
  • Is everything in the Bible a metaphor?

Prayer

  • What good does praying do when it doesn’t help your situation?
  • Why do I pray that my friend doesn’t die from cancer, yet she died anyway?

Other

  • Was earth created with age?
  • Does Satan control anything with God? Is that why bad things happen to good people?
  • Why are there different religions?
  • How do I know that this, of all religions, has the right god in it?
  • Did God create any other life forms just like us on different planets?

Comments

  1. Polly says:

    Love! And when you have them all answered….give me a call!

  2. Martha Brown says:

    You will have a fun year! Lots of adults asking the same questions.

  3. I’m super curious about the set-up–how do you ask them to ask their questions? What have you already talked about or done by the time you ask for these? Do they write them on pieces of paper or say them out loud? Etc…

    Also, if you had to guess a percentage: how many kids in this year’s class have been regular sunday school and/or worship-goers for most of their lives so far? Are their parents regular attendees of worship and/or adult education?

    (what’s that? I’m plotting a confirmation class that begins in 2 months? Yes, yes I am…)

    • We do this on the fall retreat, which is the first thing of the year. I set them up with some examples of psalmists questioning God and they watch a re:form video on Jesus’ baptism to prime the pump a bit. I have them write them on slips of paper and I read them out loud during our closing worship service.
      I’d say maybe a third are regular families. Kids definitely come out of the woodwork for confirmation

  4. Susan Schaefer says:

    Great questions! I love the honesty (“I want to get confirmed but I’m doubting if God really exists. Does that mean I shouldn’t?”) and the humor (“Why didn’t Jesus just find a girlfriend and become a farmer?”) Have fun with this class of kids.

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