Kids Apologetics Series – For Upper Primary Kids (ages 8-11)
Teaching Plan – Argument from Morality Psalm 119:137-138
This is the fourth in a 5 part apologetics series for kids. Apologetics means to defend the faith. The aim of this series is to equip kids so that they are always prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks them for the hope that they have (1 Peter 3:15). This series can be taught in kids church over 5 weeks or can be used at home by parents to equip their kids. Note if this is being used at home you may decide to skip or change the game.
Lesson 1 looked at the question of why should we do apologetics.
Lesson 2 looked at the argument from creation.
Lesson 3 looked at the argument from design.
The fourth lesson focuses on the argument from morality. The big idea is to show God’s existence from the existence of moral laws
Just like if we are to draw an accurate map of Scotland we need to compare it to the actual Scotland to see if we have got it right, to see if an action is good there needs to be a standard by which we measure whether an action is good or bad. If there is a standard we can say an action is objectively good or bad. In society we are quite happy to say certain actions like love are objectively good and certain actions like murder are objectively bad. That means there must be a standard in which to measure these against. The standard must be outside of humanity and it must be personal only a person can give laws. Therefore, the only possible solution is God as he is the only personal agent outside of humanity.
Please watch this video before teaching this lesson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxiAikEk2vU
The argument from morality is as follows:
- If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist
- Objective moral values and duties do exist
- Therefore, God must exist
We will look at Psalm 119:137-138.
Righteous are You, O LORD, And upright are Your judgments. You have commanded Your testimonies in righteousness And exceeding faithfulness.
This shows that God’s character is righteous and that his commands flow out of that righteousness.
How we want kids to be changed at the end of this lesson?
We want kids to be able to use the argument from morality to defend the faith.
1 Peter 3:15 memory verse – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XX8z9f_H5GU
- This song will help us learn this key Bible verse for our series
- This verse shows us that God commands us to use apologetics
Recap and introduce
We have just listened to a song on the Bible verse 1 Peter 3:15. This verse includes a command “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks to give the reason for the hope that you have.” This was our point from lesson 1. We do apologetics because God commands us too.
Lesson 2 we saw one reason people often give for not believing in Christianity is because they believe Science has shown that Christianity is wrong. We saw the argument from creation uses Science to show God exists and that Science doesn’t show Christianity is wrong.
Lesson 3 we saw another answer to those who say Christianity can’t be true because Science has shown that Christianity is wrong. We saw the argument from design uses Science to show God exist
Today we are going to see another argument for the existence of God. Since moral laws exist, there must be a moral law giver. There must be a standard by which we measure whether an action is good or bad. The only possible standard is God’s character. Therefore, we can show God exists from the existence of good and evil.
Spend 2 minutes having the kids create two lists one of actions that are good and one of actions that are bad. Have the children feedback some of the actions they have written down.
- Ask the children “How do you know these actions are good?”
- Would these actions still be good or bad if another person thought the opposite? Why?
- For example, Hitler thought it was good to kill people was he right?
- We need a standard to right or wrong to determine what is right or wrong
- Have an item which you can measure length eg/ a table
- Have the children guess how long the item is
- Then measure the item and tell the children the answer
Explain that when the children guessed the length they were guessing subjectively. The length of the table was what each person doing the guessing thought it was. Is this a good way of measuring the table?
To get the true length of the item we needed to use a standard of length. We used a tape measure which records length in cm’s. The standard is cm’s.
What standard can we use to measure morality?
Read Psalm 119:137-138.
What does this passage tell us God’s character?
- God is righteous – that means his character is good
What does this passage tell us about God’s commands?
- They are righteous
- They are righteous because God is righteous
The Bible claims that God’s character is the standard by which we measure whether something is right or wrong.
Most Atheists (people who don’t believe in God) would agree that if God does not exist then there is no standard by which we can measure whether something is right or wrong.
Another way to put it is like this:
- In order for there to be good, there must be a moral law or rule
- If there is a moral law or rule there must be a moral law or rule giver
- This moral law giver must be a person (someone with free will) because only a person can give laws.
- The only person we know of outside of humanity is God
We can use this argument about a standard for morality to provide evidence God exists. The argument goes like this:
- Step 1) If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist
- Step 2) Objective moral values and duties do exist
- Step 3) Therefore, God exists
We have seen both Steps 1 and 2 are true therefore, God exists.
We can use this argument in two ways:
- Firstly, we can use it as evidence for the existence of God when we talk to people who don’t believe in God
- Secondly, we can use it to encourage other Christians in their faith.
Assign one person to be the “Captain.” The role of the Captain is to call out the actions and dismiss the players who don’t do the actions quick enough or who break from character. Once the captain calls an action, each player has to quickly start performing the action (e.g. within 3-4 seconds). If they don’t find a group fast enough or perform the right action, they are out of the game. When there is 1 player left, the game is over.
Here is a sample of the actions or commands that the Captain will call out…
- Captain’s Coming!: Everyone stands at “attention” (in a salute), and they can’t move from this position until the caller says, “At Ease!” If they laugh or break from the attention, they are dismissed.
- To the ship!: Players run to the right.
- To the shore!: Players run to the left.
(for an added bonus be sure to point the right direction the first few times and then begin to point the opposite occasionally. You will be surprised how many go the way you point instead of the right direction)
- Sailor Overboard!: One person drops to one knee the other stands behind them, puts a hand on their shoulder. Both scan the ocean for the sailor overboard.
- Crows Nest!: Three players stand backs to each other and lock arms at the elbows to form the crows nest.
- Mess Table!: Four players (or as many as you have) squat in a circle like sitting at a table and pretend to eat like they haven’t eaten in days. Tell them to make really loud eating sounds like “YUM YUM YUM YUM YUM!”
- Walk the Plank!: Five people (or as many as you have) stand in a single file row hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them
In that game we had to obey commands. The commands were like rules. There was a command or rule giver – the captain.
In life we have moral rules like love others, do not murder, do not lie. Since there are moral rules there must be a moral law giver. This is an argument we can use to help demonstrate God’s existence.