Youth, part 2…

Yesterday’s post really affected me. I mean, yes, of course I know our children face great challenges and yes, of course I know our children face more tough decisions than many of us did when we were growing up, But to find an organization of “adults” challenging our children to commit blasphemy just floored me. I do not intend to dwell on it in this blog, but I am praying for guidance on how to fight this in my own community.

I’m struggling…what is that turns someone away from God so much that they are willing to commit blasphemy? Afterall, most of these young adults grew up in Christian households.

My son is about to begin his graduate work in Christian marriage and family counseling. He was not surprised at all by any of this. Apparently, atheism is quickly becoming the fad “religion” of choice, if you will. Many of these children have been hurt in some way by their church, family, or someone calling themselves a “Christian”. Recent media coverage hasn’t done us any favors either. I haven’t had the opportunity yet, but I intend to discuss this in greater detail with him over the next week or two.

Two out of three kids stop going to church after graduating high school. Why? Well, last night I asked two of our recent graduates that no longer attend church. Their answers varied:

  • “Church is boring and I only went because my parents made me go.”
  • “God is perfect and heaven is perfect. I’m not, so I’ll never get in. Why bother?”
  • “Church is not relevant today.”
  • “Christians don’t walk their talk. Nothing but a bunch of hypocrites. If that’s what religion is, I don’t want any part of it.”
  • That one struck a chord because I’ve heard that all of my life and, in fact, was a reason I stopped going as a young adult. But that’s for another time…

    These kids are searching for something. They need to feel like they are a part of something, like they belong and that they matter. They are not being fed and they do not feel loved. They don’t want lip service. They want action.

    As I mentioned before, we’ve been richly blessed with our two children and the strength of their faith. To some degree, I believe that has clouded my vision of reality. It’s time to take off the blinders. This isn’t going away and it’s not going to get better by itself.

    They were created to worship. If they don’t worship God, they will find someone or something else to worship, and they are…

    How do we show our youth who Christ really is? How do we make Christ not only relevant in their lives, but vital?

    Blessings,
    David.

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    11 thoughts on “Youth, part 2…

    1. totaltransformation

      Their responses seem to indicate that their parents (and their church) didn’t do a very good job of explaining multiple doctrines. But I am not surprised by this since many parents fail to model good Christian behavior, many parents fail to do any biblical instruction outside of Sundays.

      Reply
    2. expreacherman

      I was a victim of non-teaching, laissez faire Calvinist parents and a dead Calvinist church, all of which I rejected as unsatisfactory.

      So, I became an atheist for the exact same reasons those kids gave you. I empathize.

      I heard no Gospel message, no urgency to make a decision for Christ, no explanation of why I should be a “Christian,” lots of “love” but no Love of God in Christ Jesus the Savior.

      That is until age 35 when someone explained to me the “simplicity that is in Christ,” from which my mind had been so terribly corrupted.

      I thank the Lord that someone cared enough to explain simply, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus for me — and asked me to believe it.

      In Christ eternally by God’s Grace and my decision,

      ExP(Jack)

      Reply
    3. Grits n' Grace Post author

      Jack, I’d like to know more about what you mean by the “simplicity of Christ”. Intellectually, I get you mean, but am curious how that simplicity was relayed to you.

      Blessings,
      David.

      Reply
    4. expreacherman

      David,

      Thanks — I will see if I can condense the events leading up to my decision to trust Christ.. It was a trip I’ll never forget. I thank the Lord for people who were concerned for my eternity.

      The story may be longer than a comment should be but I will try.

      I cannot find your email address, so if you are so inclined, drop a line to me.

      In Christ eternally,

      ExP(Jack)

      Reply
    5. expreacherman

      David,

      Thanks for asking about how I went from atheist to believer and my understanding of the “simplicity that is in Christ.” [2 Corinthians 11:3]

      Today I remembered a post of some years ago, a letter to a friend (formerly with ABC TV and a writer for Peter Jennings) back when he and I were suffering from cancer. It will be have lots of detail about your question.

      I will put the link to that page at the end of this post.

      There is nothing difficult about going from atheist to believer in Christ. As I said, I was raised in and surrounded by Calvinism and never heard the simplicity of the Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ. I experimented in many religions, the occult, etc.

      After marriage I became concerned about my family and realized I had no foundation for them. I saw politicians ruining the country so I became active in national politics.

      I was tricked into attending a Christmas Concert in a slightly underhanded way… After the Concert started, to my disgust, I found out it was a Christian concert.

      But, I heard the Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ alone. I never heard such a clear explanation before.. logical, understandable and well researched. For the first time in my life the Bible made sense and I understood it. Without fanfare or endless emotional pleading, I was invited to place my trust in Christ as I sat there in the audience. I trusted Christ that night. No walking the aisle, no “stop your smoking and drinking” no “turn from your sin,” just the simplicity of the Gospel.

      The rest is history and an interesting story…

      You may read the complete story and details on our personal web site at:

      http://weaverclan.com/faith.htm

      Two very important things I realized from the pastor that led me to Christ and as I studied for the ministry:

      1) Give the Gospel at any and every meeting. Be sure to invite your people to trust Christ right where they sit regardless of your audience. You never know when there may be one unsaved person in the group.

      2) Use the Bible continually. God’s Word is what convicts. The church I attended after I trusted Christ (and my church after I finished Bible College and was ordained) used the Old Schofield KJV Bible.. We suggested everyone use the exact same Bible if possible. Those who did not have one were loaned one for the service (or we gave them to those who could not afford one). Then when the Pastor gave a Scripture reference he would also give a page number. That was invaluable for the new believers.. no embarrassment trying to find the verse.

      Our church was mostly young people on fire for the Lord.

      Thanks for asking,

      Jack

      Reply
    6. blessedbabe

      This is very good concern. ^_^

      I grew up in a Christian home and for a time (quite a long one) struggled in church, went through my bouts of atheism in college, rebelled, did the ‘cool’ stuff … and still I found my way back to Jesus.

      I now belong to a ministry in the young adults, and we wanted to reach out those younger than us too.

      It’s a great concern you presented here and it’s touching because it came with such a sincere heart. I guess the way you can bring people my age and younger, is to just BE YOURSELF — ya know, the one that Christ saved, the one that is not perfect but being changed from glory to glory and the one that God who began a good work on, will be faithful to complete.

      You know, a lot of ‘older’ than us people have such good intentions and try their best to attract us through countless words. But this just turns young people off. Often, people who go to us and try to speak words just because they think they’re more mature and have gone through a lot (which they rilly are anyway), wear us off because we didn’t need it at that time. So we won’t listen.

      One good pastor told me that our life is our best way to attract, influence and evangelize. That’s what Jesus did exactly.

      So just be yourself. If God is a father to the fatherless, then just be a father to a kid without a father. Just reach out. Just smile at them even when they don’t care.

      And pretty soon, like in Matt. 6:44, the Father will draw themselves to you. Your light will shine and they’ll just you ask you themselves. You’ll be surprised. ^_^

      Reply
    7. expreacherman

      BlessedBabe,

      I am one of those “older than us” people.. but I find young and old listen intently when I share Christ with them.

      BlessedBabe said,

      “One good pastor told me that our life is our best way to attract, influence and evangelize. That’s what Jesus did exactly.”

      I lived around people with “good” lives for 35 years. I was “evangelized” into false religions, atheism, etc. But none of them ever shared the simple message of Salvation by faith in Jesus Christ alone.

      I would disagree with the good pastor. There are too many “good,” religious (or irreligious) people who have never trusted Christ as Savior. Their “good” life may evangelize others, but not in the direction of Christ.

      The only Way of salvation is as stated in Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

      All the good living in the world will not evangelize or save anyone until they hear and believe the Gospel.

      Romans 10:14 ” ………..and how shall they believe in Him of Whom they have not heard? ………….”

      Yes, it is important to live the life but we must SPEAK the Gospel!

      ExP(Jack)

      Reply
    8. blessedbabe

      Dear ExP,

      Thank you for your words. They are important because the Great Commission is important.

      But umm… I didn’t say not to speak the gospel. ^_^

      That’s all ^_^

      Reply
    9. expreacherman

      BlessedBabe,

      You are right.. you didn’t say, “don’t…”

      But I am around folks too much who believe that somehow their “good” life will lead others to faith. My question is, “Faith in what?”

      A person’s life may encourage others to ask about their life but until they share Christ.. there is “no there, there.”

      Some of the finest people I know — with the finest lives (apparently) are Roman Catholic. Therefore, we who trust in Christ alone for our salvation must not only live and show the life but speak the words that will distinguish us from false religions. Words make the difference.

      ExP(Jack)

      Reply
    10. silentwings

      Dear David, and ExP:

      I am assuming this discussion was generated by the ABC debate on God’s existance and the Rational Response Squad’s agenda. 🙂 I watched this with great interest and I too was grieved for the athiests and for my generation and younger.

      Would it be o.k to share my own struggles after reading the followed posts? I stumbled on this website after googling “the simplicity of Christ”. That is what I am most curious about. Recently, after reading through the book of Romans, I was once again in awe of the power and simplicity of the good news. I also felt compelled to GO and share it with others. I feel strongly though that we are called to GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES…so my responsibility doesn’t end with just sharing the message of salvation through Jesus, but also sharing and demontrating Life in Jesus. My struggle is that I’m not sure what simplicity in Christ looks like once one is saved. In my own life I am presently having to undo much religion and legalsim. I am not sure how to disciple others into simplicity and I fear that right now I would cause others to stumble and make christianity harder than it is. I know mentally that we came into relationship with Jesus through grace and by faith and that we are to continue walking in that but what does that look like?

      Reply
    11. David Post author

      Welcome SilentWings.

      Please feel free to share. We all struggle and I always find it encouraging how much we have in common in our struggles.

      God’s peace,
      David.

      Reply

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