Well, it all began with this article http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/08/27/almost.christian/
I wasn’t sure how many times I would post about it, but this will be my final post on this subject. It has been a blessing to think through this article and the simple truths set forth on this blog…but, in all honesty, there have been some “hit dogs” hollering. The Gospel tends to have that impact upon man, to say the least. I want to close with this quote:
…the gospel of niceness can't teach teens how to confront tragedy.
"It can't bear the weight of deeper questions: Why are my parents getting a divorce? Why did my best friend commit suicide? Why, in this economy, can't I get the good job I was promised if I was a good kid?"
What can a parent do then?
She says parents who perform one act of radical faith in front of their children convey more than a multitude of sermons and mission trips.
A parent's radical act of faith could involve something as simple as spending a summer in Bolivia working on an agricultural renewal project or turning down a more lucrative job offer to stay at a struggling church, Dean says.
But it's not enough to be radical -- parents must explain "this is how Christians live," she says.
So how will students get it? Well, first churches and parents have to “get it.” If we don’t “get it” we can’t “give it.” There are at least three ways that our students will be able to handle the hard questions - at least three ways that they will learn doctrine that will ground them in such a way that when the hard questions come, or when bad things happen they will be rocked emotionally (as we all would be), but they will not be rocked spiritually. Let me just highlight the three ways:
1. The Grace of God: They will never come to a spiritual understanding unless the grace of God moves in their life. They will never hunger for the right things unless the grace of God acts upon their life. It is grace that saves us, it is grace that grows us and sustains us. This is not something I can work up in my own power, and this is something that we should pray for in our lives and in the lives of our students.
2. Parents: We need dads who will be more concerned that their son learns the truth of God’s Word, than learning to throw a curveball. We need dads who are more consumed with teaching their little girl doctrinal truths than they are in cheering or sports. We need dads who lead their families in worship at home, who understand the necessity of teaching Biblical manhood and Biblical femininity. We need dads who will teach truths in such a way that it shows Christ in every day life, but displays Him in such a way that the entire family is blown away by the power and glory and grace of God. We need moms who, in the day to day moments as they are walking and talking with their children, they speak the truths of God’s Word with them. Moms who will be as diligent in taking them through a sound catechism, as they are in teaching them nursery rhymes. If parents don’t teach it, and then do it and explain their motivation for doing it, our faith will ring hollow.
3. Church: Lastly, we need to be surrounded by other believers. Believers who take their walk and their commitment to their church seriously. Not religious people, but godly people. Not people who would rather gripe about the air condition or types of music or sound system (by all means keep your kids away from these people), but people who realize we are in a war, people who take the Word seriously. Little boys need their dad to “Man Up” and lead with the love of Christ and point out heroes in the body of Christ. Little girls need ladies around them teaching them what the Word of God says to them about what real beauty is. We are not called to run this race alone!
We don’t have to reject the notion of the article we have looked at—we have to say “We don’t want fake Christians” - they are all over the place. We have enough of them! Let’s not push them towards godliness, let’s lead them into it. Let them see it, let them hear it, and let’s all live it! Then…when they see it is real in us…it will mean something to them!