Tag Archive | Modern Churches

‘Fake’ Christians

More studies are backing up the facts that we are losing a generation of teens in the church.

Author: More teens becoming ‘fake’ Christians

If you’re the parent of a Christian teenager, Kenda Creasy Dean has this warning:

Your child is following a “mutant” form of Christianity, and you may be responsible.

Dean says more American teenagers are embracing what she calls “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.

Dean drew her conclusions from what she calls one of the most depressing summers of her life. She interviewed teens about their faith after helping conduct research for a controversial study called the National Study of Youth and Religion.

The study, which included in-depth interviews with at least 3,300 American teenagers between 13 and 17, found that most American teens who called themselves Christian were indifferent and inarticulate about their faith.

The study included Christians of all stripes — from Catholics to Protestants of both conservative and liberal denominations. Though three out of four American teenagers claim to be Christian, fewer than half practice their faith, only half deem it important, and most can’t talk coherently about their beliefs, the study found.

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.



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Churches and Families

This whole article is worth reading whether or not you have children.  Here is just a portion of the article.

View church ministry through ‘family lens,’ conference speakers urge

…  Lance Crowell, an SBTC church ministries associate, shares Ross’s conviction that at least a generation has grown up largely seeing the church ministers as the experts. Crowell said, “One thing has to happen. We have to answer the questions, ‘Are people really growing in the Word, and is that happening in the home? Are students growing up in the Word? Or are parents lost as to what to do to help that?” 

Three resulting ‘disconnects’

More and more vocational staffers and ministry specialists have in many churches led to one type of disconnect—extensive segregation, according to Waylan Owens, dean of the Terry School of Church and Family Ministries at Southwestern Seminary. While Owens agrees that some segregation is useful, he also cautions that dividing all ministries according to age or life situation or preference serves to dishonor parents, dishonor the senior citizens, and dishonor the children and what they can add to the faith experience of adults. 

Speaking to the conference, Owens said, “Many times I go to churches and it seems there is always someone who wants to take my children from me. They take them to Sunday School, then to children’s church. The youth have their own Sunday School, their own worship, and their own Sunday night thing. I have gotten in trouble for wanting to keep my children with me.”

In a breakout session on home-based student ministry, Ken Lasater, Crowell’s colleague at the SBTC whose job title includes student ministry, noted a second disconnect: “Our students are not developing lifelong connections to the church.”

In recent years, research has indicated that between 70-90 percent of churched students leave the church after high school. While LifeWay Research numbers from 2007 indicated a minority of young adults who leave the church eventually return to their faith roots, Lasater said that the most recent statistics indicate that about 90 percent are leaving, not to return.

According to Lasater, their reasons for leaving vary and they seldom go away in anger. Without responsibilities to fulfill at their church or someone expecting them to be there, they stay away, and eventually fade away lacking any deep connection. Lasater said it’s important to note that most of these students are good kids from all socio-economic levels, achieving great things academically, and that their absence is not due to some great rebellion.

“Some have suggested that churches fail to do little more than entertain them, until they are tired of the entertainment. Others suggest that the current church model is entirely wrong, due to not having parents as the singular leadership role for students, and that this has been the sole cause of the falling away of the student population,” Lasater explained.

Another disconnect comes as parents of each successive generation generally become less and less grounded in their beliefs, thus lacking in passion and devotion as well.

Crowell encourages churches to think about how their families would answer these questions: “How equipped do you feel? Do you feel that you can go home and have spiritual conversations? Would your children ask questions that you don’t feel comfortable answering? Parents, are you growing in maturity at home and becoming more like Christ?”

“Muscles that are not used quickly atrophy,” Ross told the TEXAN.

He added, “Parents who depend on the church for the spiritual development of their children tend to atrophy as well. Our churches are packed with parents who are just ‘good ol’ Baptists,’ but are not deeply in love with Christ, do not adore him at the beginning of the day, and who think little about his kingdom purposes as they move through life. That never was God’s plan. When one generation always is focused on spiritually leading the next, both stay more spiritually alive.”  …

Here are a few ways my church is trying to address this issue.

1)  Families worship together.

2)  Children and youth are active participants in the church.  This is not the typical occasional participation in a special service or in a youth group, but every Sunday with the congregation.  Children and youth are encouraged to use their talents by playing hymns or special music.  The young men are encouraged to help with tables and garbage.  The young ladies are encouraged to help with the meal preparation, serving and cleaning.  Sound, projection, website design, bulletins, videoing, etc. can be delegated to the young men.  When they don’t know how to do these things we can be willing to teach them and not worry about perfect services.

3)  The bulletin includes some Baptist Catechism questions and a hymn of the month for families to work thorough with their children at home.  Who knows, parents may learn a thing or two, also, as they help their children.


Is your church losing their youth once they begin to drive or else when they graduate? 

Do the adults stop coming as often once the children are grown?

Do you even notice the trends in your church or denomination?



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SBC Convention: Five Motions Involve Mark Driscoll

Motions: Messengers endorse GCR task force, criticize Driscoll’s entity influence

Two motions were referred to all SBC entities:

— that “all SBC entities should monitor” funds spent in “activities related to or cooperative efforts with Mark Driscoll and/or the Acts 29 organization” and entity heads should submit a report of expenditures to appear in the 2010 Book of Reports, submitted by Kent Cochran, a messenger from Calvary Baptist Church in Republic, Mo.

— that SBC entities avoid “inviting event speakers” who “are known for publicly exhibiting unregenerate behavior … such as cursing and sexual vulgarity, immorality, or who publicly state their support for the consumption or production of alcohol,” submitted by Ida South, a messenger from First Baptist Church in Mathiston, Miss.

On the recommendation of the Committee on Order of Business, Hunt ruled several motions “not in order.”

The committee chairman’s, Render, said three resolutions were not in order because of reflecting harshly on particular individuals.

— that author Mark Driscoll’s books be removed from LifeWay Christian Bookstores because of his “reputation for abusive and ungodly language and … promotions of sex toys on his church web site,” submitted by Jim Wilson, pastor, First Baptist Church in Seneca, Mo.”We need to live holy lives and bringing this man to our college campuses and promoting his books in the bookstore … I believe is a violation of Scripture.”

— that messengers encourage all SBC entities “to refrain from inviting event speakers” who engage in “cursing and sexual vulgarity, or who publicly state their support for the consumption or production of alcohol,” submitted by Larry Reagan, pastor, Adams Chapel Baptist Church in Dresden, Tenn.

A motion by Brian LeStourgeon, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Camp Verde, Ariz., sought to have Mark Driscoll “address the concerns of his accusers” at the 2010 annual meeting. Render said the committee declined LeStourgeon’s motion since it could have put the Convention in the role of exercising church discipline.

At least some are seriously questioning Mark Driscoll and his language in the pulpit. It is a shame though that nothing will be done until next year. What is there to think about?  Hopefully this will serve as a wake up call to Mark Driscoll and his church.

Where are the men like this taking a stand for their Lord and their families I’ve had it with Mark Driscoll and his mouth. Now it’s personal!

If only the SBC would take a stand.

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Input Equals Output – AKA Garbage In, Garbage Out

A certain young boy grew up in the church. When he was a baby, they gave him juice and crackers in the nursery. When he got older, they gave him cookies and punch in the children’s program. Then, he finally got to the youth group and graduated to pizza and cokes (or I guess Krystal and cokes now). See Can You Believe This? Youth Pastor

This boy grew into a fine young man and went away to the finest college in the State. During his first day in his first class, the professor began to deride the Christian faith as a crutch and defied any student to defend their faith to the class.

Our young man, having been in church, rose up and said “I’m a Christian, and nothing you could ask could shake my faith.” So the professor asked him one of the pointed questions so common to skeptics, agnostics and atheists. You know the kind: “If God is a good, kind, and loving God, and if God is indeed all powerful, then why are there little helpless children suffering in the world?”

The young man opened his mouth to try to answer this question which he had never even heard of before. And do you know what came out of his mouth? Crackers and juice, cookies and punch, pizza and cokes.

Seriously, I think the worst advice we give anyone in regards to being able to witness for their faith is the old line “But no one can argue with your own personal experience.” Oh yes they can. And they will. The church needs to be a place for equipping the saints to be able to cogently defend the faith. And the church should have a goal in this equipping of the saints – help them reach maturity.

Ephesians 4:11-14

11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,
12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,
14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
(ESV)

Berean Husband


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Try Jesus !?!

Rick Warren – “I dare you to try trusting Jesus for 60 days. Or your money guaranteed back.”

You cannot try Jesus! Jesus is not a product to be sold with a money back guarantee! Our churches are full of people trying out Jesus to see if He works. Then they leave to try the next thing down the road.


 

RICK WARREN ON HANNITY AND COLMES”…I dare you to try trusting Jesus for 60 days. or your money guaranteed back.”

What Pastor Warren responded with to some of host’s Allan Colmes simple yet important questions was not the biblical gospel of salvation or even a reasonable defense of the gospel.

One of his responses? “Try Jesus…?” As Colmes sarcastically quipped in response: “Like the book of the month club…”

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How Does Your Church Treat the Elderly?

Our family has spent a very busy, weekend visiting nursing homes with violin Christmas music and handing out Candy Canes. But it makes you think, what are the churches really doing for the elderly?

Many of those who are still in the churches feel their church has been stolen from them. It isn’t anything like it used to be. The music is too loud. They don’t know the songs anymore. What happened to dressing in your “Sunday Best”? When did play clothes and beach attire become acceptable for church?

What about those who are in the nursing homes and assisted living? What is the church doing for them? They don’t get the same attention as other groups who aren’t in church? Many churches will have bus ministries to pick up children but fewer have bus ministries for the elderly who are unable to drive.

My family gets alot of attention when we visit churches. We have a child in every age group from teen/college to preschoolers. We just lack a baby. So many of the churches are eager to share their ministries with us.

“We have great nurseries.”
“Fabulous children’s programs.”
“Children’s church until grade 5.”
“Rockin’ youth groups.”
“Youth camps.”
“Youth Church.”

Everyone is so eager to “sell” us their ways to be relevant to our family. The only thing is that if they really looked at us they would see that we don’t look like their typical family. The girls are modestly dressed and the boys aren’t in jeans and T-shirts. We also have more than the typical two children. A good “selling” point would be:

“We have family integrated Sunday Schools.”
“Our youth leader is the parents.”
“We aren’t offended by children in the worship service.”
“If you need to step out we have a Cry Room in back so you won’t miss the service.”

Who’s Emerging for the Widows? Thoughts on Missional Partiality

…who’s emerging for the elderly? What about emerging toward the culture of the convalescent home? What about analyzing the windowless worldview of the shut-in? What about making your life and the life of your church relevant to the local widows? What about becoming all things to those with Parkinson’s, artificial hips, cataracts, failed retirement plans, and no family?

Many today are eager to get tattoos and dress hip and overemphasize technology to “relate” to the surrounding culture, to “connect,” and to “open doors.” But if the majority of these people are truly motivated by a compassionate heart, why aren’t any of our youth dressing like the precious elderly folks in the nursing home? Who’s learning to play bridge and chess? Who’s playing vinyl records and eating at the HomeTown Buffet for no other reason than to open doors?

Shame

Shame on you
for proclaiming to the woman
seasoned with white silver hair
“we’re all about young families now”
and letting her miss church
the place where
she first believed
where she prayed at the altar
and repented once for all …

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Torn Jeans for Worship

Months ago I had a survey on my website. The question was:

Are torn jeans appropriate for worship attire in a church service?

The answers given where:

1 – yes

20 – no

1 – depends on age group

10 – God doesn’t care

This was due to a post of mine about Torn Jeans for a King?

“I did not feel that torn jeans were a sin, but a matter of the heart. I felt it was disrespectful towards the Lord.”

What really surprised me was the number who felt that the Lord would not care about what is worn to worship Him. The post Modesty – Nakedness in the Bible covers the verse Ex 28:42-43.

Ex 28:42-43

42 And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach:

43 And they shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons, when they come in unto the tabernacle of the congregation, or when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy place; that they bear not iniquity, and die: it shall be a statute for ever unto him and his seed after him. KJV

If the Lord is concerned about the under clothes of the priests do you not think that He is concerned about our clothing? Especially since, we are a royal priesthood chosen from the foundation of the World.

1 Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. KJV

1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: KJV

Nancy Leigh DeMoss has covered this in a radio broadcast of hers Reflecting God’s Glory.

It is fashionable today for women to wear clothing that, and not just women, guys as well, the more beat up, the more torn up, the more ragged looking, the more sloppy looking, the better.

And I think that says something about our culture that’s not a compliment. Now, does that mean that we always have to go out looking “fit to kill” and just, you know, looking like the picture of elegance and loveliness? No. There are times when it’s appropriate to be more casual.

So, that’s what the apostle is saying here. “Clothe yourselves in a way that is becoming, fitting for your profession of godliness.” What is godliness? Being like God. You see, we’re giving the world an impression of God. And what are we saying by our physical outward appearance to people who can’t see God. And they’re getting their image from us.

So, the apostle has said, “It should be respectable apparel and the heart attitude with which you adorn yourself should be one of modesty and self-control.”




So, in our appearance, in our attitudes and in our actions, everything about us, nothing is insignificant. It all matters: the way you dress matters, the way you think matters, the way you talk matters.


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Don’t Let Your Daughter Send an Invitation to Her Party – Revive Our Hearts

By Trent Griffith

If I remember right, the year was 1985. As a pimple-faced high-school senior, I attended a Christian youth convention along with 7,000 other bundles of exploding hormones (otherwise known as teenagers). The keynote speaker was a young and impressive black preacher who held us on the edge of our seats with his high energy, constant motion, and vivid word pictures. His assignment that day was to call us to a life of moral purity. His passion for the subject was evidenced by the fact that with each point, his voice would raise an octave. At the climax of his message, he turned his attention toward the girls among us. Unhindered by what seemed like gravel on his vocal chords and sweat beads on his forehead, his voice crescendoed with a plea I will never forget: “IF YOU DON’T WANT ME TO COME TO YOUR PARTY, THEN DON’T SEND ME AN INVITATION!”

The phenomenon produced by that statement was amazing. Hundreds of young ladies began crossing their arms and tugging at their skirts to try to conceal something that was exposed by immodest clothing.

Proverbs 7 introduces us to what the King James Version calls a “strange woman.” The first characteristic identified in her is that she was “dressed as a harlot.” Whatever that means, it is certainly something no parent wants his daughter to be characterized by. So why are parents so reluctant to prevent their daughters from “dressing as harlots”?

1. Many parents are using the wrong standard of comparison. Paul warns us of this when he says, “When they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding” (2 Corinthians 10:12b, ESV). Some parents honestly feel that their daughters are modest compared to what they see in the world. And compared to the immorality they could be involved in, the way they dress seems pretty innocuous. What they fail to understand is that immodest apparel now could be the door to immoral behavior down the road.

2. Moms may have seen their daughters wrongly in competition with other girls, and they may actually be encouraging their daughters not to be outdone by the external appearance of their peers. They may have fallen for the lie that external beauty is of supreme value. They have mistakenly communicated to their daughters, “Pursue all the attention you can get through the way you dress.” Proverbs contrasts the value that God places on internal beauty versus external beauty: “As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion” (11:22, NASB).

3. Dads are usually depending on their wives to regulate their daughters’ apparel. However, as sincere as a mom may be in helping her daughter dress appropriately, she simply cannot see through the eyes of a man. Dads understand in a way moms can’t how the slightest indiscretion in a woman’s dress can place impure thoughts in a man’s mind. Therefore, Dad must get involved.

4. Some dads have such a fragile relationship with their daughters that they are afraid to risk a confrontation that may widen the gap in their relationship. They don’t want to be accused of being the “fashion police” or be viewed as the “bad guy.” Many dads have neglected to invest “parental capital” they can spend when they need to speak the truth in love to their daughters. Girls whose dads who have not given them proper amounts of attention may try to seek the attention of other guys through the way they dress. Dads must recognize how this can set up a young lady for moral impurity.

5. Other dads tragically have been desensitized to the way their daughters dress because of a stronghold of pornography in their life. They simply fail to notice seductive clothing on their daughters because they have so often let their eyes feast on impure images.

Now, as the father of three pre-adolescent girls, I have been convicted by God of my responsibility to prevent the invitations from going out with my return address on them. So I’m starting early! I have established the Daddy-Gets-To-See-It-First policy. Every time one of my girls gets a new outfit, we have a little fashion show. You should see how they gleefully eat up the attention of their daddy as I tell them how elegant and beautiful they are, strolling down the runway. But my purpose is not to see if they are in fashion. That’s Mom’s expertise. I am looking to see if they are wearing anything in a way that would cause rounds of hormones to explode in a guy as he looks at my daughters. I ask myself, “Is it too low, too high, too tight, or otherwise too revealing? Would what they are wearing cause the eye of a man to be drawn to any part of their body he has no business dwelling on, thereby sending an invitation to a guy I don’t want at their party?” If an article of clothing doesn’t pass the test, it finds a new home.

The “Why, Daddy?” questions are answered with a simple, “It’s just not best,” usually followed by an, “Okay, Daddy.” Frankly, I have found little that would fall into the “not best” category on my one, four, and eight year olds, but I realize that if I try to implement my policy when they are eleven, fourteen, or eighteen, I will probably have difficulty coaxing them down the runway. I figure starting now will ensure they still value my input when “Okay, Daddy” is harder to get!

Recently I was asked to address the issue of modesty at a local Christian school board meeting. Several parents had been pressing the school to enforce its dress code. In the midst of the meeting, one man threw up his hands in frustration that the local churches had not addressed the issue in their youth groups. That same week I had a discussion with pastors who were appalled at how parents could allow their children to dress so immodestly when they came to church. It was a cycle of irresponsibility. The parents pointed their finger at the school; the school blamed the church; the church leadership pointed their finger (and rightly so) at the parents.

Let’s break the cycle! Otherwise, Dads, don’t be surprise when unwanted guys start showing up at your daughter’s party!

© Revive Our Hearts. Used with permission. www.ReviveOurHearts.com [email protected]



Modesty Posts:

Maidens of Virtue – Stacy McDonald

The Style Quiz by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Paul Washer on Modesty in the Church

“Modesty Heart Check” by Carolyn Mahaney

Calvin Klein vs John Calvin’s Opinions on Clothing

Modesty Quote

Attire of a Harlot !?!

A Church In Need of Prayer – (Part 2) Specifically the comments

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Paul Washer on Modesty in the Church

“I do not so much have to pray up when I’m preaching under a tent in inner-city San Anton[io], but I have to pray up and know that I am walking with the Lord when I walk into an average Baptist church because of the way most people dress. And you say, “It’s legalism.” No it’s not. They’re commands in the Bible. It doesn’t say we’re all supposed to dress like a Puritan, but it does say we’re supposed to be decent and cause no offense or stumbling. “Well you can’t judge a book by its cover.” Yes you can! Jesus said you can; by their fruits you will know them.”
~~~~~~

Paul Washer

Quote from Defending.Contending.

Modesty Posts:

Maidens of Virtue – Stacy McDonald

The Style Quiz by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Paul Washer on Modesty in the Church

“Modesty Heart Check” by Carolyn Mahaney

Calvin Klein vs John Calvin’s Opinions on Clothing

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