So I have to vent today… you are welcome to skip this post if you want, but I needed an outlet for some recent thoughts and guess what… this is it!
I am concerned…and not just concerned…I am terrified for the next generation. For our sons and daughters that we are currently raising in a society of “anything goes”. I had a 10 minute conversation today with an older man who remembers the days when you could bring water guns and pocket knives to school…the days where cowboys and indians were the favorite child game…the days where the good guys and bad guys were so far apart in their character that you would never, ever mistake them for each other.
Today is a different day. Truth is elusive and has been redefined as “whatever floats your boat”. Children are being inundated with this philosophy. My sister is a counselor in the public school system that they are actually taught never to tell the children “no”…it is negative and damaging. As a matter of fact, they are not given any leeway to counsel the children in a direction that would actually help them, only to reinforce their “self esteem” and their “individual” way of dealing with the world around them. It is now “damaging” and “brainwashing” to our children to teach them the right way of doing things… instead we should give them choices and light suggestions for life, but let them form their own opinions. We are suffering heavily for this “hands off” approach to teaching and parenting our children. You see it in the bullying, in the drugs, in the suicides, in the gangs, in the murders, in the cutting, in the sexual promiscuity…how many of you don’t know someone who has been affected by this new philosophy. Our children are lost…they are wandering…they are searching for truth and they are suffering, and I am afraid this next generation of adults will easily be like the people of Germany when Hitler came on the scene… people looking for a leader, any leader, who sounds like he has a plan to make life good again…anyone who will promise to love them and make them feel like they are worth something. The next generation will be ripe for deception. They don’t realize that the problem lies, not in lack of a great world leader, but in their very soul.
It would be bad enough to watch all of this go on in the world of unbelievers, but this philosophy has seeped into the church as well. Grace is the word of our culture today. It is almost difficult to say anything is “wrong” without being looked on as a judgemental legalist. You can even back it up with Scripture and Christians will still be angered that you are not being understanding and accepting. How far are we going to take this? How many portions of Scripture are we going to throw out to fit our image of the Jesus who went around “understanding” everyone? I wish I had a quarter for every time someone says “Well, God understands me. He knows how I am.” This is just another way of saying, “I’m not changing even if God did say it, so He better just understand.” Did we miss the part of the woman caught in adultery when He says “Go and sin no more.”? Did we overlook the story of the rich young ruler who chose his material possessions over the Saviour and how Jesus compares him to a camel trying to go through the eye of a needle? He didn’t run after him and say “I’m sorry I offended you…never mind, keep all your stuff, just come follow me”. He was pretty cut and dry about what it required to be His followers. When are we going to give up the “understanding”, “acceptance”, and “tolerance” bit and finally stand for truth? Not in a hard, heartless way, but in a way that draws a line in the sand and says “we love you, but we’re not crossing it”. I know it is hard for people to believe, but they kicked people out of the church in Paul’s day…people that chose to consistently live in sin after they were corrected. And YES, the church corrected people. The leaders were all up in your business, not because they were nosy and like to spread gossip, but because they were SHEPHERDS watching out for their sheep. Today’s American church has started to bring up whiney, comfortable, self-serving hypocrites who just “aren’t going to take it”. If we don’t like something, we leave and find somewhere we do like. Shepherds can no longer correct sheep because they might leave and take their wool with them. When is the last time you have heard about or seen a pastor correct one of his church members for blatant and obvious sin that was seeping into the congregation (By no means am I saying that every pastor fails in this capacity, there are some really good pastors out there… just few and far between these days it seems)? When is the last time you, yourself, have been approached by a pastor or godly friend when you were in danger of making a sinful decision? No, today we are told that if we love that person enough they will change their behavior…the godly thing to do is to just ignore it, mind our own business, let them live their life, and leave it to God, after all only He is the judge. I’m not saying that church members should be in the business of correcting every one’s sin…for one thing, most of us already have huge planks of our own sin in our eyes and for another thing, in today’s culture certain church members would relish the opportunity to put someone in their place… but I do think there is Scriptural advice and even command to correct someone when they are going astray (with love as the only motive, of course). The example our children are seeing in the church is worse than in the world, because we are supposed to be the light…but if even your light is dark, how great is that darkness. We are being taught even as children these days that correction in itself is wrong and has no place in a society full of grace.
I could probably vent about this for days, but I have probably already been offensive enough (I have no doubt there have been thoughts at this point that I have been judgemental), so I will just sum up my point. There IS truth. Truth and grace and discipline all go hand in hand. As a matter of fact, most often in the Bible, “grace” is referring to the ability to walk in the truth, NOT a free pass to get around it. God created the world and then He offered us a “how to” manual…directions on the best way to live in it. If we don’t follow the directions, we should not be surprised when our lives are in shambles and we can’t find peace or joy. God was adamant about teaching His Word to our children and giving them a strong foundation on which to build their lives on. If we don’t start to teach our children truth right now, they will never be able to navigate this next generation. If we don’t teach them that truth is not moveable, it is steadfast…it is not relative, it is absolute… it is not optional, it is mandatory…that some things are absolutely right and some are absolutely wrong…we will see them swept away into the sea of restlessness and abandon. We are starting to see the results of a world where truth is what we make it… I don’t know about you, but it is no world that I want to live in. There is HOPE, of course in Jesus, but also in the hands of those who will not conform, but instead will fight to transform the next generation with truth.
Why don’t I just mind my own business, you ask? Well, because right now I am raising 3 beautiful, innocent, priceless little humans and it breaks my heart to think of turning them loose in a world such as ours. I can only pray every day that the Holy Spirit will invade their hearts and give them the strength, courage, and grace to live the Truth, and that He will surround them with others who have been raised to value it.