Youth Disconnect

Dale Buss has a must read WSJ piece today on the large number of Christian teens who profess orthodox beliefs, yet in reality believe something different. The results of this trend should give us all pause:

Indeed, the consequences of this theological implosion now pervade the thoughts and actions of believing teenagers, following the moral breakdown of the broader American culture. Here’s one practical example: Only 10% of Christian teens believe that music piracy is morally wrong, according to a recent Barna survey, not all that different from the 6% of their non-Christian peers who feel the same way.

Then extrapolate the situation to other possible big-picture results. Nearly 60% of evangelical Christian teenagers now say that all religious faiths teach equally valid truths, according to Mr. McDowell. It’s bad enough that they seem to have been co-opted by relativism from within our culture and even from within the church and family. But it’s even more disconcerting to realize that we’re relying on this generation for the future defense of Judeo-Christian civilization against the highly motivated forces of militant Islam.

This drives home the importance of teaching repetitively the whole counsel of Scripture, no matter how antiquated it may seem, to our younger generation. Here is where Sunday school teachers of children and youth need to buck the trend that many youth-oriented teaching materials employ, making relevance the highest value. This leaves teachers with material that is “hip” and “cool,” but often devoid of substance.

Such a capitulation to “relevance” is indicative that we have forgotten that the gospel is, after all, not relevant to us. Prior to conversion (and all youngsters begin life in a “conversion-prior state”), the gospel is completely foreign to us. It is only through a righteousness that is alien to our own sinful nature that we are made righteous.

Granted, we do need to communicate effectively, but youth oriented products like the Revlove and Refuel New Testaments remove all sense of otherworldliness from the gospel. Steeped in training with materials like this, it’s no surprise that our kids beliefs are closer to those of the world than to orthodoxy.

Perhaps we need more teachers to rebel from anemic Sunday school and Bible study curricula and teach the “unhip” truths of the faith. It may mean more preparation and study on the teacher’s part, but it is well worth it if it keeps our younger generation from seeing faiths like Islam as compatible with Christian belief.

1 thought on “Youth Disconnect”

  1. You mean there are people out there who actually use those sunday school aids ? They aren’t even relevant, let alone related to sound doctrine.

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