Friday, August 27, 2010

Almost Christian?

One of the article's points is that many teenagers don't believe in the gospel but this:
....."a moralistic therapeutic deism." Translation: It's a watered-down faith that portrays God as a "divine therapist" whose chief goal is to boost people's self-esteem.

Unfortunately very accurate in my experience with youth. But also accurate was the author's challenge for parents to explain WHY they do certain things. Is it their faith which moves them to show love for others, or are things done out of moralism? Without explanation, because truth is best taught while it is being caught, we leave our children with nothing but "the gospel of niceness." I love that line.

The last very helpful point the author raises, which all centers around Kendra Chrissy Dean in her book Almost Christian, is the negative affect parents can have on their children's spirituality. Youth are now growing up noticing there is little difference between Christians and non-Christians. Here's but a small suburban example.

The parents next door don't claim to be Christian, and have no qualms about skipping church for sports or any other activity that pops up. But I wonder how many Christian parents even ask the question, "What is this teaching my child, and what will be the best for HIS or HER faith down the road?" Regardless of where you land with the church and sporting events, and what is acceptable or not acceptable in regards to participation in such Sunday activities, it's hard to argue against simply asking and honestly answering that question.
With Connar growing up loving anything to do with "balls," I'll soon be fighting this battle-but battles can be well worth it.  It is foolish to think that years of any behavior which ignores Jesus' daily Lordship will go unnoticed by our kids. Guess what commitment to the gospel and church they'll soon have if they don't see it in us. Will we continue to see kids grow up to be "Almost Christian?" I hope not, but this is a sobering reminder to parents, pastors, children and youth workers. 


Jeremy Bias said...

Great post Geoff. The article you link to should be "must read" material for any Christian parent. My favorite comment in the article is from Elisabeth Corrie who says, "We think they (teens) want cake, but they actually want steak and potatoes, and we keep giving them cake.". This is very true of many parents and churches. We like to provide them with a "Veggie-Tales gospel", because we're not sure they will understand (or accept) Christ's Gospel. The end result being what is referred to at the conclusion of the article; teens and young adults with no foundational truths about Christ to help when death, divorce, unemployment, etc come into their lives. Thanks again for a thought provoking entry.


Geoffsnook said...


Your welcome bro. Definitely helped me think through what we're trying to do at Redeemer. It's not to provide them popcorn, play-dough and pizza-which is what some folks I know want-but to prepare them to leave for college and deal those tragedies mentioned.

The trick is to provide them with the meat in an age appropriate fashion (considerate of the unique ways kids learn best) consistent with how God designed us to learn them.

Sometimes it can be hard and brain-racking, but I think worth it in the end.