Thursday, August 18, 2011

Coming to a town near you? British youth riots and why "good without God" isn't good

I’ve heard countless times how the church in America was one generation from extinction; how, in my denomination, 90 percent of children walk away from the faith by the time they leave college. I’ve wondered about these statements in light of the riots in Britain. Articles I’ve read have pointed out the lack of a moral foundation among British youths, how the attempt to be good without God has come crashing down. Are the same things coming here, with American youth also lacking the moral compass of God’s Word?

The church in Britain should have seen this coming decades ago. Back in 1966, John Lennon was raked over the coals in the U.S., after being quoted as saying in a British paper that the Beatles were bigger than Jesus. Ironically, in the context of the British youth at the time, he was right: the Beatles WERE more influential among youth than Jesus (and the blame for that can be laid at the door of the church). It’s even more true today among youth here: many teens who couldn’t name a book in the Bible can probably sing every lyric of a Lady Gaga song. And music isn’t the only influence over youth: even TV shows on "children’s" networks can greatly influence their thinking more than we realize.

This should give Christians an urgency to teach our children the Ten Commandments, as well as the other foundations of the Christian faith. We can’t just leave it to the church, and many years ago, it WASN’T. Sunday School was first developed in England in the 1800s for poor children whose parents weren’t teaching them the Bible. No self-respecting Christian parent would DARE send their children there, for it was an admission that they weren’t instructing their children in the Bible at home. Over time, however, fathers got lazy about teaching the Bible at home--when the Bible seems to put the instruction of children in the faith squarely on the parents (Deuteronomy 6:7; Ephesians 6:4).

We can’t expect our children to respect us as parents if we don’t take the time to pray with them and instruct them on God’s Word. Help us Jesus never to shirk from this great responsibility! I pray more Christian parents take the time to teach their children God’s Word, so that our youth can once again have a moral compass.

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