Tuesday, December 4

Teach your children well.....

And he said to them, "You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.' But you say, 'If a man tells his father or his mother, "Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban (an offering )"' (that is, given to God)— then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do." Mark 7:9-13 (ESV).

The chief complaint amongst the future generations of Christians, or those who profess at least a passing allegiance to the faith of Jesus Christ is rigidity of beliefs amongst those who still claim to be followers of Christ. It is the notion of absolute moral and spiritual truths that are evidence to the growing share of young people, such as Jesus being the sole path to Heaven and the immorality of homosexuality that is redefining the boundaries of American culture---opening the door to the moral and relative decline in understanding the concept of historical warnings.

A generation, pursued by the Church by redefinition and reinvigorating its 'stuffy' image, is further and further away from the basic tenements that once defined the strong evangelical Christian. Well known names as Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyers, and Rick Warren find no moralistic danger in avoiding moral boundaries as a wrathful God, and His decrees of moral absolutes in favor of attacking the declining membership levels in the church.

So, instead of preaching the absolute Gospel of Christ, they are a growing number of Pastors and Ministers who have an liberal and flexible moral standard. So, in favor of reaching those who wouldn't attend churches of old, the new model has attendance with no moral growth. The dangers and warnings of the Bible go unheeded.

"For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10 (ESV)

Any history buff will tell you; Ignore history and you are doomed to repeat it.

Tradition in the church now is anything with love, anything without judgment, anything without substance. We all can make our own relationship with God, ignoring if we chose the structural guidelines for that relationship. After all, God loves us. He would do us no harm, He says so. His plans are, after all, not to harm us, but to prosper us.

We assign human standards to God, who is beyond all human comprehension. We limit God to a humanistic worldview and declare it good.

We want to become God. Maybe the Latter-Day Saints have it right. We are simply the future gods of future worlds……

To borrow a phrase from my step-mother, "Heaven help those poor souls."

Because if we are what gods are to be, there will be many, many worlds that repeat the history of this one. Warfare, deceit, humanistic absolutes absolutely defined by individualistic needs, and a host of diseases that defy our valiant drugs that were the 'miracles' of the past because we couldn't foresee the danger of reliance rather than prevention.

A religion that rises in membership with the blatant declaration all who are opposed must die.

A people who live more for doing something to help a wrong than fixing what caused the wrong in the first place.

A country that continues to cry out for comfort and understanding and turns its back upon the very foundation by which those answers were definable.

This all from a future cabal of gods. Is there any wonder that all of creation groans?

As a parent myself, I want to raise my son and two daughters in the right way, doing a great job at seizing the title of "Father of the Century" upon my departure from this world…….. And, in the search to find the way that is correct, I rely on historical evidence, absolute truth, and moralistic metrics that pervade our world. And it rounds out to the Bible as the absolute authority that defies even the boldest of the disclaimers.

"You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6:8-9(ESV)
I also establish boundaries, give instruction, and train them to support themselves in a world increasingly hostile to our follower of Christ worldview. I expect, accept, and counsel them in a relationship they need with the Creator, which will hold them well in their later years. It is this that reflects to me the opening verse. They respect their father, and hold him to the standards by which they are held.

Ask any parent, they would probably tell you the same thing. They want to do a great job, but somewhere that desire falls short. In a Barna study, parents of children under 18 revealed that they don't have a strategy or plan for how to accomplish that lofty goal. Here's some ideas from the biblical source of Deuteronomy:

"Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life Make them known to your children and your children’s children—" Deuteronomy 4:9(ESV)

"You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise." Deuteronomy 6:7 (ESV)

The problem that most parents face is that they don't agree that they are key to their children being well-rounded. According to the Barna study, it is "developmental environments" that will develop their children. Too often, those environments are not in the Christian community, but very secularized. It is the tutelage of these 'subs' that the children are engaging the future.

Instead of being intimately involved in their children's instructions, parents now-a-days exercise spin control like politicians and jockey for position to set them and their children in the best possible light. "Let's not show what the world has labeled intolerance by sticking to an absolute worldview" and "We'll pass on Church because of the 'holiday' inconvenience of being on the 'same day'." Instead of fostering a deeper understanding and relationship with the Creator, parents are throwing in the towel and allowing others to help define their children's worldview. And we sit in our circles of community and wonder why the membership is declining.

While faith, according to this Barna Research Group study, is acceptable among the attributes of the younger generations, it is that notion of faith that ceases to be a progression of their parents faith and becomes something beyond a mere reflection of biblical foundations. They are directly opposed to church traditions, biblical teaching, and rules or behaviors that are based upon these things.

So we are left with a generation that is rapidly developing the consistentcy of dough; meanable to the touch of any baker's hands and without the moral absolutes of their professed faith.

And we wonder why?

Remember, the Bible tells us to "Train our children in the way they should go and they will not stray in their adult years." (paraphrase mine).

The Barna Research Group) conducts primary research, produces media resources pertaining to spiritual development, and facilitates the healthy spiritual growth of leaders, children, families and Christian ministries. Located in Ventura, California, Barna has been conducting and analyzing primary research to understand cultural trends related to values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors since 1984. www.barna.org is their website.

No comments: