Thursday, February 5

Generation LOST

"Under three things the earth trembles, under four it cannot bear up: a servant who becomes king, a fool who is full of food, an unloved woman who is married, and a maidservant who displaces her mistress." Proverbs 30:21-23 (NIV)

Last night, at the Awanas ministry that I am now participating, I gave the 'lesson'.

It has been a point of worry with me that such ministries in the Church of today are nothing more than a reflection of society's "no-compete or accountability' mentality and that has created within the Body of Christ a disillusionment of the Truth in the young that transposes itself into disassociation with church in later years or the emergent postmodern view of "religiousity" so that such 'clubs' are nothing more than social groups that are too often divided and contrary to the original biblical purposes to which they were formed.

We make games to keep them entertained, bringing video platforms and pool tables....with a bit of biblical instruction and call it ministry.

They become nothing more than 'holding pens' in which those called to the ministry of the children are often frustrated and disillusioned from the lack of desire and respect that the children exhibit about their faith and their pursue of God. I believe this is why there is such a high 'turn-over' in children's ministry volunteers.

I, myself, am trying to stay away from the opinion of "simply marking time" (in a way) because of the 'viewpoint' of the leadership in regards to ministry as a whole.

It is not my calling to serve in the children's ministry, but I saw the need (there are only two men in the whole of the Awana's program at the campus) and stepped into it to meet such need. An year's commitment is one of the 'requirements' of a 'favorable' Church view on the desire and purpose of those who minister in the church or want church backing to new ideas. Those are the rules, otherwise I would have probably left the position my first day.

At least, I figure, I can try to impart the importance of bringing God into their Wednesday night activities rather than just rubber-stamp their progress through it.
The 'model' of churchy things has led to a wealth of those who are unfit and unprepared for the rigours of living by faith and the persecution that comes from the evil one and his minions as a Christian walks closer and closer in relationship with God.

We have created, with our desire to 'be all things to all people', weak and unhealthy spiritual people who have brought those weaknesses into the home and are passing them onto the next generation.

I speak not from accusation...but from experience. I struggle with my son to implement such disciplines in my own home, because of my own history. I do better than some but realize I am far than the model. Going back to the discussion about 'judging' that I wrote a few blogs back.....I judge myself accordingly too.
We have created the conditions of the field and now are reaping the corrupted harvest.

As the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary says about this Proverb, "Pride and cruelty, the undue exaltation of those unfit to hold power, produce those vices which disquiet society."

If we do not learn in the years to which we are under the tuleage and instruction of those placed in authority above us, we will be a self-focused and self-serving people in our latter days. Much like what has happened in cultural and society, where the creed of the United States once was based on the 'consensus of the majority' has been corrupted into the 'minority view' of subjective righteousness and truth.

We act out of our wounded beginnings. And, rather than having cultivated a 'servant's heart', we learn of the 'protection of one's self'. When we are advanced into positions of power, our corrupted sense of 'religion' begets further corruption, to which society adjusts to accept as the 'norm'.

Our government is a large reflection of it. Our patriotism, now held to be separate from our faith, is the gaping wound of such sinfulness. The current definition of tolerance, in and of itself intolerant of one religion (Christianity), shows the progression from a people more interested in the edification and qualification of the young to a people who have declared the young to be lucky...that we allow them to breathe.

As I began the lesson, based on the instructions of Paul to his young charge Timothy, one of the more 'free-spirited' (read...uninterested) young persons in the group I belong to as a 'leader' was ignoring the common respect and courtesy one was once expected to give both the instructor and the fellow students. I called him upon it, reflecting that I was of the school where disruptive behavior such as he exhibited was dealt with in the form of 'corner watching'. "Nose to the wall, son" as my dad would say.

It wasn't his reaction that appalled me, it was one from the 'friendly and loved' leader, a young adult who is serving in the ministry group.

I upset her, which was given in evidence to the children around her with the rolling of the eyes and other body indications. The young man sat quietly, for a few moments, until he saw that and returned to his previous attitude, quietly. I knew I had lost one, before the lesson even began.

I had placed the verse I was teaching from on the board the previous Wednesday and asked the group to bring in a picture of someone they wanted to emulate or copy; be it professionally or personally. Only one child, out of twenty or thirty, copied the verse down and attempted to learn it. Even with the enticement of 'money' (reward points for the 'store' where they can 'purchase' prizes), only one came into Wednesday night's Awanas and tried to recite the verse.

Only one.

And only four brought a picture, two of them creatively making a collage of many clipped photos, of a person they wanted to emulate in a profession. Not a great ratio. Using the examples given, I reflected how our Christian journey isn't to gain eternal salvation but to walk in the confidence and assurance towards that destination already assured, in the training of ourselves into being copies of Christ.....emulation. That is what answers the internal question of "Why is Christ the answer?"

If we show those values we claim to follow in the biblical text to be nothing more than convienant and occassional to our own lives, it is reflected and amplified in our children's disinterest and disrespect of God, though many will claim to be followers of Christ.

Which leads me into the conviction I have, as do a growing number of men, that since have been living unpurposed and undesigned lives. Society has amplified this disconnect by feminizing men, declaring their innate instincts to be undesireable, and not holding the men to a biblical and clear standard: just use of Godly designed power, working in conjunction with a woman's design to create life-giving, life-nuturing and ultimately God-purposing environments for the generations following.

Instead of telling a child that they can do whatever they wish, creating an non-competitive environment where their God-designed purpose and talent isn't shaped and molde to be forged into unbreakable faith, and teaching them that rote learning is better than indepth, wisdom-seeking understanding; we have created a generation who is unknowing of God, undesiring of His ways, and who are self-involved in this life that they have been taught they are lucky to be existing in.

We've put the emphasis on the physical well-being and neglected the spiritual well-being. Is it any wonder the children of the world are striking back?

We need to return to the right focus, as emulated and reflected in the life of our Savior Jesus Christ. "Not my will, Father, but Yours be done." "The words I speak are from the Father and not my own."

What was the verse, you ask, that sparked this?

"Rather, train yourself to live a godly life.Training the body helps a little, but godly living helps in every way. Godly living has the promise of life now and in the world to come." 1 Timothy 4:7b-8 (GWT)

A no-brainer, eh?

It's time to retrain ourselves so that we, through the power of the Spirit, may reclaim and redeem generations of unbiblical living and save the generation to come.


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