Two posts ago I began commenting on this article http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/08/27/almost.christian/ and there is more here than one post or even 10 posts could discuss. But I want to continue with another couple of quotes and they are lengthy:
Others practice a "gospel of niceness," where faith is simply doing good and not ruffling feathers. The Christian call to take risks, witness and sacrifice for others is muted, she says.
"If teenagers lack an articulate faith, it may be because the faith we show them is too spineless to merit much in the way of conversation," wrote Dean, a professor of youth and church culture at Princeton Theological Seminary.
Corrie says she sees no shortage of teenagers who want to be inspired and make the world better. But the Christianity some are taught doesn't inspire them "to change anything that's broken in the world."
Teens want to be challenged; they want their tough questions taken on, she says.
"We think that they want cake, but they actually want steak and potatoes, and we keep giving them cake," Corrie says.
Churches, not just parents, share some of the blame for teens' religious apathy as well, says Corrie, the Emory professor.
She says pastors often preach a safe message that can bring in the largest number of congregants. The result: more people and yawning in the pews.
"If your church can't survive without a certain number of members pledging, you might not want to preach a message that might make people mad," Corrie says. "We can all agree that we should all be good and that God rewards those who are nice."
Let me see if I get this right:
-Our students watch their parents teach them to be nice and don’t do drugs or have sex, but there is internal conflict in them that believes that Christianity must be something more than a moral list.
-Then they see a Pastor stand up to preach – but he yields to the whims of shallow believers and some wolves…and that is not the God they want to serve.
You mean to tell me that there is something in them that wants to hear the cost of discipleship, they want to see parents live it out, they want to see a man in the pulpit preach the Word of God and not be consumed with demands of the anemic? Why can’t they buy into our Bible-belt culture and just show up at church, pray prayers, smile and sing and go home the way so many others do? Why are they looking for people who refuse to live under the fear of man? Surely they aren’t so naïve as to think that this Christ who went to the cross and who, in His Word demands us to do the same if we want to be His, really expects us to do so. I mean how stupid would it be for us to tell them that if you follow Christ you will be hated, rejected, slandered, cussed, lied about, torn apart, and maybe killed. There is no way we will pack a building with that teaching!
Problem… God hasn’t called us to pack a building - but teach and preach the Word, to articulate the Gospel correctly and live it out before them and the world. Counting the praise of man as nothing…but living for THAT DAY! I know, only a fool would teach this…1st Corinthians 3:18-19 “Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God….” The Christian life is not a call to be loved by the world, and the most vile of the group will be the religious. But do hard things for Christ and challenge the generation behind us and before us to do the same. Tell them about men like Charles Spurgeon who said:
“The more prominent you are in Christ’s service, the more certain you are to be the butt of calumny. I have long ago said farewell to my character. I lost it in the early days of my ministry by being a little more zealous than suited a slumbering age. And I have never been able to regain it except in the sight of Him who judges all the earth, and in the hearts of those who love me for my work’s sake.”
Let us show them that we are living for that day, that the World my hate us, the religious will slander us, but we are not called to be men pleasers! This is what the true believer longs for, this is what our “Church filled - Christless generation” is missing. This call, along with doctrinal teaching is the steak and potatoes of the believer’s walk! Eat spiritual steak, not cake!