The next generation

September 17, 2007 at 7:44 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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I saw something the other day that got me to thinking. It was a headline that said, “The giants are passing, who will take their place?” It’s a very important question for believers. With many of those we look to as giants of the faith passing away, is there anyone who can take their place? Notice I didn’t say will. I am sure that there are plenty that will try to take their place. But is there anyone that can?

 It seems that, today, Christians are not raised the same as they used to be. You might say, “that’s because times are different”. That’s true, times are different, but the Bible says that there is nothing new under the sun. One of the things that makes the Bible so amazing is the fact that throughout the hundreds of years that the Word has been going forth it has always been fresh and dynamic. It doesn’t matter how different the times are, the Word still applies. And that’s what has me concerned.

 I look at the church today, especially the youth, and wonder “what happened?” The kids dress just like the world, they talk like the world, they think like the world, and many of the leaders and parents just condone it. We convice ourselves that it’s ok for them to do all of that because we don’t want them to stand out or be persecuted. So we let them dress in clothes that reveal things that only their future spouses should see. We let them backtalk us and others with such disrespect and venom you’d think they were getting ready to join the Navy. We let them act like little kids and rant and rave when they don’t get their way. We let them completely forsake everything their supposed to believe, but at least we let them keep the name “Christian”.

 And each generation seems to be getting worse. Which leads me back to the initial question. Who will carry on the work of people like Billy Graham when he goes home to be with the Lord? Sure, we may have an interim “grace” period, but if something doesn’t change soon, we will see the collapse of the church because there is noone to carry on the work that needs to be done. We adults are the role models. And much of the burden falls on us. Much of the reason that our kids are acting the way that they are is because we have given them that example. The ready little Susie gossips about the kids in her youth group is because she’s heard her mom do the same thing after Sunday morning service. The reason Bobby is already sexually promiscuous is because he’s seen his dad staring at the little twenty-something young girl across the isle.

 Sadly, all of this seems to be ok for a majority of Christians. “That’s just the way it is.” No, it’s not. That’s they way we allow it to be. We have a standard that we are supposed to be following but we’re not. We are supposed to be going out and seeing people not only accept Christ as their Lord and Savior, but we’re supposed to show them how to read and understand the Bible so that they have a chance against the world. Unfortunately, many in the church don’t know how to do that. We have become so used to being fed by our pastors and other ministers that we don’t know how to do anything for ourselves anymore. We get caught up in programs and “by-the-book” ministries that we are not creating disciples, we’re creating clones. We are creating entire churches full of “believers” who can only repeat what they’ve heard others say. It’s “penguin Christianity”. The pastor/pastoress take the Word and they chew it up and make it nice and simple(oftentimes leaving out much of the necessary truth) and then they feed it to the little Christians. That may be gross, but it’s the truth. We are looking to others to do all the work for us and, in the process, we have no individual identity of who we are as individuals or as a local church. We have become so caught up in looking in on ourselves and patting ourselves on the back for “what we’re doing for the Lord” that we don’t see the tragedy happening in our own walls.

It seems that all the modern church is concerned about is numbers. As long as we have more people coming in, we must be doing something right! Um…nope. It’s not about how many. It’s not about an increase of 7% from last week to this week. It’s not about how big the building is. The buildings are being filled with people who can shout, dance, sing, and “Hallelujah” with the best of them, but can they tell the difference between truth and lie when they hear it? Can they discern when a scripture is being taken out of context? Can they let go of the hurt that’s been caused to them and love people anyway? Can they stand in faith when their convictions are tested by believers and non-believers alike?

With the giants of the Christian faith passing away, who will take up the plow and work the fields? Will you?

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