Friday, November 16, 2007

IT IS OUR FAULT!!

Romans 3.23 says "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God..." It is a verse that we as believers understand well. We also can look at our children and see that the sinful nature is quite active in them as well.

It humors me when I hear some comment as they look around at kids and their behavior and think how kids are "different" today than when they were growing up. "Things are different for them" is what we hear. "They have a lot more things to distract them" is another one that we hear.

I submit to you and everyone else that kids are no different than they used to be. Think about it. Is there really a degree of lostness? I have not noticed any scriptures that would lead me to believe that some have a greater proclivity to sin than others. I think we all would agree that there are some that are more wicked in their behavior than others but that does not mean that they have a stronger willingness to sin whereas others may not. If that be the case then we might as well say that some are born with no sin and others are born with loads of sin.

The problem comes from us as parents. Proverbs 13.24 says "He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently."

As a pastor, parent and a simple observer the problem is obvious. We want to be our child's buddy rather than his/her parent. We don't want them to be mad at us or to be hurt. So, we withhold punishment (specifically the "rod" but not exclusively) thinking that he/she will straighten up and "walk the line." This is foolish thinking. What motivation does a child have to straighten up if you condone (and that is what we are doing) their behavior? In actuality we are giving them mixed signals. We are showing them that there is no right and no wrong or in a word, relativism.

Writing this post made me think of a previous post. We are doing our children a colossal disservice by not disciplining our children. We have to face the facts.

IT IS OUR FAULT!!


28 comments:

dsstanfield said...

How about all the Christian parents who send their children to daycare at 6 weeks old or preschool at 4? The children's influence then is primarily the "world." Yet, these parents think that an hour of Sunday School and one of Children's Church on Sunday is enough to combat all the influences that they have subjected their children to throughout the week.

I don't see this much in the Reformed churches.
However, in the broad evangelical churches this type of "parenting" is epidemic. Many parents, without any remorse, even send their children out to Babylon (public school) to be indoctrinated, oops educated. After all, shouldn't their 5 year old be salt and light to a dying world (that argument always turns my stomach)?

Yes, parents are at fault. But so is the Church. A generation of weak, shallow preaching has produced weak, shallow Christians who think like humanists. Many churches split up the family, sending each person to their own "special" service, instead of promoting families to worship together. The Baptistic idea of individualism that sweeps through most main stream churches, is killing our families. Dad has his quiet time, Mom has hers, the children have their own functions to attend. There is no family worship promoted. Why should there be? Families don't even worship together on the Sabbath any more. Just drop your children off at the newest Kid Bop, Rock 'til You Drop Fun Zone each Sunday while you and your spouse attend the Contemporary Worship Service complete with the Praise Band led by a bald guy with a soul patch, bass guitar and rectangular glasses.

Yet, in all this, there is a glimmer of hope. There is a remnant of people who have made the necessary sacrifices to keep their children at home and to educate them. They are committed to the discipline and instruction of their children in the ways of the Lord. They worship together throughout the week and then again on the Lord's Day. They sing the Psalms and hymns together and our great Trinitarian God is discussed daily. May the Lord bless the efforts of such people.

"But the loving kindness of the Lord endureth forever and ever upon them that fear Him, and His righteousness upon children's children, unto them that keep His covenant, and think upon His commandments to do them."

Dead Theologians said...

dss,

You said...
"The Baptistic idea of individualism that sweeps through most main stream churches, is killing our families. Dad has his quiet time, Mom has hers, the children have their own functions to attend. There is no family worship promoted. Why should there be? Families don't even worship together on the Sabbath any more. Just drop your children off at the newest Kid Bop, Rock 'til You Drop Fun Zone each Sunday while you and your spouse attend the Contemporary Worship Service complete with the Praise Band led by a bald guy with a soul patch, bass guitar and rectangular glasses."

I would not be too quick in always assuming that this is the "Baptistic" way. Off the top of my head I do not know even one Presbyterian church that has not succumbed to the above mentioned style. The only group that seems to embrace what you mentioned as worthy are "Family Integrated Churches" which, as I have seen, are mostly reformed Baptist.

Careful about grouping everyone in the same pot.

DT

dsstanfield said...

Dear DT,

First of all, let me say that most Presbyterian churches today are really Southern Baptist at heart. The only difference is that they baptize infants, (although most of their congregants could not articulate why they do so, let alone defend it from the Scriptures).

There is a Reformed Baptist church in our town who does not hold to the individualistic Christianity plaguing the modern evangelical church. They are a wonderful congregation full of Godly adults and children. So, I do stand corrected. When I said Baptistic, I meant your average mainstream, Purpose Driven, Southern Baptist church. And yes, I would also lump in most of your PCA and USA Presbyterian churches too.

Had I phrased it that way, would you have agreed with my overall assessment?

Deborah

Dead Theologians said...

Deborah,

I would then most definitely agree with you. Your overall assessment is correct.

DT

lturner said...

In the town where I live it happens to be the mainline large (not quite mega) Baptist church that built a million plus dollar "sanctuary" for the children to "worship" (which amounts to screaming songs and jumping all over the place)separate from their parents. How can fools walking with fools learn anything about the most holy, wise, and powerful God?

I agree that it is our fault. I heard this morning on our local radio station an "expert" on children (who happened to not have any of his own) say how spanking is violent and children who are spoken to and reasoned with "do better." He also claimed children who are around other children adjust better than homeschoolers who are locked away in their homes do. It was infuriating to hear such garbage being broadcast to our entire community.

Just as we aren't our children's friend we are not to be a buddy to God. He is our creator. Our purpose is to glorify Him not befriend Him.

We need to be consistent with every area of our life and not compartmentalize it, thinking one has nothing to do with the other when in fact if we serve the Living and True God, we must apply His law over every of our lives.

dsstanfield said...

Hey lturner,

You made some great points. I loved this paragraph:

"We need to be consistent with every area of our life and not compartmentalize it, thinking one has nothing to do with the other when in fact if we serve the Living and True God, we must apply His law over every of our lives."

Here is where many of the main line churches are lacking. All they want to preach is grace, and there is never any mention of the Law. They don't understand that grace and law perfectly comport. We are saved by grace which enables us to keep God's most perfect Law. Not for salvific purposes, but for sanctification and to bring our blessed Lord glory, which is His will.

If these churches truly understood the Regulative Principle of Worship, do you think they would be having a kid-style, free for all worship service where anything goes??? Is that how we the creatures should approach our holy Creator ? Does it glorify Him? What does it teach our children about Him?

I think you summed it up very accurately when you stated:

"Just as we aren't our children's friend we are not to be a buddy to God."

Amen! So many people today have forgotten that Jesus is King who will one day return to judge the earth.

"Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called the Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:

KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS."


Even so Lord Jesus, come.

dss

Dead Theologians said...

lturner,

That will preach! My heart rejoices that some out there "get it."

I preached last night that we exist for the Glory of God, we are saved for the Glory of God, we come to church for the Glory of God. Everything we do is for the Glory of God.

Please post again.

DT

lturner said...

Hello DT,
I've enjoyed reading your blog for some time. I can't tell you how many times I sat here and talked to the computer in response to your posts or another commenter. I was not computer savvy enough to know how to sign on to post, but a kind friend helped me out. Now may be I'll be able to post something now and then.

By the way, you might check out a post over on Slice of Laodicea about the little girls "growing up" too quickly. It truly is a tragedy that parents aren't more aware of the consequences of their decisions in raising their children!

dsstanfield said...

Hello lturner,

I read the article over on Slice of Laodicea. Wow! That was well written and right-on!

One indicator of a church's spirituality is the youth group. Our church does not have one because frankly we expect our "youth" to participate as young adults in the adult studies. Until I became involved in the Reformed faith, I had never seen Godly teenagers who enjoyed spending time with their families.

However, if you visit a church that does have a youth group, and you see heavy make-up, low riding pants, short skirts and mid-drifts in full view, RUN! If the youth "minister" refers to things as "awesome" and "cool," and if he promises to shave his head if a certain amount of youth turn up for a function, find the nearest exit, dragging your children behind you, and depart.

I grew up in a Methodist church and enjoyed attending the youth functions. Sadly, I can't think of one youth who was spiritual or ever spoke of spiritual things, myself included. Most church mission trips usually involved who was going to "hook up" with whom. This usually resulted in a lot of making out in the back of the church van on the road trip home.

This was 20 years ago. Have things improved???

What was it you said lturner:

Fools walking with fools....

dss

dk said...

Will anybody agree with me if I said the fundamental problem lies in the way of life in the "western society"? If it is ok for young people to kiss and "feel" each other (even in public!!) before marriage, how can you stop this happening when they are in the youth camp? If it is upon individuals to impress upon and attract opposite sex, how can you blame them for not dressing up properly?

There is no easy solution and I think the problem is deeply ingrained in your society. I am not saying such things do not happen in other societies but it is generally considered wrong and the majority don't do that. BTW, I was born and brought up in India.

Regards,

dk

dk said...

In addition to the above, I have another question to those who blame the youth. Do you oppose to women wearing bikinis on beaches? If not what is the difference between exposing undies in a beach as opposed to a youth camp?

dk

Dead Theologians said...

dk,

I don't think anyone blames the your per se. This article is about it being the parent's fault.
The problem is not really the culture. The culture is going to act out what it is; sinful and unsaved. I do not expect an unsaved culture to exhibit godly characteristics. I DO expect godly (or supposed godly) parents to train or rear up their little ones with some virtue and integrity.

DT

dk said...

dt,

When there are problems with the culture, as a saved parent and especially as a pastor, do you instruct your children or the youth in your church to stay away from such practices? For example, do you preach against going to beaches where there is a good possibility to lust? (A proper statement might be, if someone goes to a beach where there are people swimming and does not sin might actually have an abnormal medical condition). I am being a hypochrite here, as I do go to beach with my children because it is a lot of fun and occassionally my eyes do loose control. Probably I should stop going. What do you say?

dk

Dead Theologians said...

udk,

If you eye causes you to sin, pluck it out or yes, stop going. You are stepping into tempation knowing that it is a weakness for you.

I don't necessarily tell the youth or parents to stop going to the beach. But parents need to consider the fact that Jezebel's are going to be walking around in loin-clothes and your son might look a little longer than normal which is not good.

We have to be in the world but not of it. We have to pick and choose what activities what allow our families to engage in.

DT

dk said...

Thanks DT. It was really helpful.

Regards

dk

dsstanfield said...

For the record, I have three daughters, one who is only a few months away from becoming a teen. I have a terrible time finding modest clothing for her. I can't tell you how it thrills my heart to hear her asking if what she has on is "modest."

We do go to the beach each year. We are blessed to know some people who own a beach house on a very remote beach. Would I take my children to say Panama City or Daytona...NO WAY. I would not want to expose them to what in my opinion equates to Sodom and Gomorrah for heterosexuals.

I do not agree with wearing bikinis or any other type of immodest bathing suits. I have found some very modest bathing suits that include either shorts or skirts. There are options for Godly families. Christian families should look DIFFERENT than the world.

DT, you said:

"I DO expect godly (or supposed godly) parents to train or rear up their little ones with some virtue and integrity."

AMEN! I have a feeling that you are the type of pastor who would boldly proclaim this from the pulpit as well as on your blog. Thank you!

dss

lturner said...

dsstanfield,
I have enjoyed reading your comments on this blog for a while. I'm looking forward to being able to dialogue with you.

dk said...

dss,

You seem to be very clear on what to do and what not to on these matters. May God bless you and your family.

Often people don't make such frank opinions for fear of hurting those who don't agree with them. But bringing these issues into the open make others aware of the problems and help make adjustments in their lives.


dk

dsstanfield said...

dk,

It is much easier to be bold while sitting behind my computer screen and the anonymity it provides than it is in every day personal relationships. It is only through God's grace that I am where I am today, and I still have such a long way to go in my sanctification. Thank you so much for your kind words.

Pray for me tomorrow as I interact with family members who do not hold to the Reformed faith. They profess Christianity, but it is little evident in their lives. I am extremely mild when it comes to dealing with family so as not to offend. May I stand true to the Lord tomorrow in a loving way, humbly and without any pride or arrogance evident.

lturner,

I am looking forward to dialoguing with you as well.

Happy Thanksgiving!

dss

dk said...

dss,
Will most certainly pray for you.

dk

Dead Theologians said...

I pray that everyone reading this will have a wonderful day tomorrow with family and friends. I pray that you will be reminded that you have done nothing to earn, gain, or keep your salvation and that it is our Great King who has chosen us, pursued us, convicted us, saved us and keeps us.

DT

dsstanfield said...

Hello All...

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We only had a few tense moments, one of which centered around the following comment:

"Oprah Winfrey is such a wonderful person and does so much good for everyone."

(I tried to bite my tongue on that one. Had I been eating pumpkin pie at that time, I might have choked.)

The other comment was concerning George W. Bush. I won't even go there.

Today is round two for me as I go to my sibling's house. If the conversation stays on football and golf, with an occasional comment about the weather, we should be o.k. Pray that I may be a light, and not such a chicken.

dss

lturner said...

Hey dsstanfield,

I hope round two went well yesterday. Just wanted you to know I was thinking about and praying for you and your family.

Looking forward to commenting with you on another post by DT. Until then...

Dead Theologians said...

dss,

I agree with lturner. I do hope the next round went ok. I did pray for you.

DT

Mr. & Mrs. L said...

"Things are different for them" and "They have a lot more things to distract them" are both comments that move the responsibility from the parent to the ‘things’ and the ‘distractions’.

They are my children. If they are blessings, it’s the Lord’s blessing on my work. If they are obnoxious beasts, it’s the Lord’s feedback on my laziness and lack of responsibility.

dsstanfield said...

lturner, and DT,

Thanks for your prayers. Round two was uneventful. I did walk away from the holidays very convicted that I don't spend enough time in prayer for my extended family.

dss

dk said...

dss,

I also prayed for you. I am sure your presence was a blessing for your extending family during the holidays and that God has started His work amoung them.

dk

Dead Theologians said...

Mr. & Mrs. L.,

Thanks for the post. The prices that we pay for our slackness in raising our blessings are huge.

DT

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