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Mom's Most Shocking Annoucement

November 12, 2007

My parents raised me in a Seventh-day Adventist home, and we went to church every Sabbath. When I turned 16, I just started questioning everything about the church—mainly the doctrines. One day when I started fussing about the church and religion to my mom, she simply said, “You don’t have to go to church.”

What? My mom, super strict about everything—from grades to guys—couldn’t have shocked me more. What did I do? I went to church, because I was just in a rebellious mode that pretty much caused me to want to do the opposite of what my parents said.

Probably Mom was using reverse psychology on me, I don’t know. But I’m glad I continued going to church. Here are two reasons why:

• The people. I like people—I like to socialize. I had a lot of friends at church—grown ups and teens. I’d miss seeing them if I didn’t go to church.

• The answers. At church I found answers to my questions about doctrine. My Sabbath school leaders tackled topics I questioned and gave me biblically-based advice and Bible texts to look up for myself.

For these two reasons I still go to church—I have a lot of friends at church that I like to see and hang out with after church, and I go there to get answers from God about my life. Looking back, I’m glad Mom said I didn’t have to go to church.

I’m not a parent, so I’m not sure how I’d handle the issue with a teenage kid of my own. Do you think parents should force their kids to go to church? Should they give them a choice? How do your parents handle the church issue with you?


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