R C Sproul said, “ you don’t have to give up your intellect to trust the Bible. You have to give up your pride.”
I found this article, titled 7 challenges of generational Christianity, to be interesting and thought-provoking.
I think these are real and actual challenges that Christian parents need to be aware of.
It is my prayer that my children and grandchildren would be raised so that they may become, and grow, faithful Christians.
There are tendencies of our secular world and our own natural human tendency to sin can, and do, pull people away from God. Specific manifestations of these tendencies are given in the article.
John 10:10b states that Christ came to the earth so that man would have life and have it abundantly. Interestingly, John 10:10a is A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. This section of John 10 is about Jesus, the Good Shepherd.
Humans are like sheep, easily wandering astray. Jesus, the Good Shepherd (John 10:11), is the important foundation of faith (for children, teens, and adults). Also critically important are parents, acting as shepherds, here with boots on the ground. (Jesus rose from the dead and ascended back to heaven, leaving Christians as his representatives.)
Comment on Challenge 3: Unprepared for the secular world. Many parents want to bubble wrap their children, to protect them from society. However, children need to gradually learn about the realities of life in this world, and how to deal with them from a Christian perspective, and with gods grace.
Humans are naturally egocentric/self-centered. (This is the root cause of sin.) I think challenges #4-7 all point out how the self centeredness of our children can result in them falling away from the faith.
The spiritual disciplines are an antidote. Here’s a good article on the spiritual disciplines:
You think about that by Steve Brown. audio
Check out these wonderful lyrics and an explanation.
He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat:
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.
I had a colleague shared a poem with me I’d not seen before. Good one, by Marge Piercy in 1973, “To be of use.”
To be of use
The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half-submerged balls.
I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.
I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.
The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.
The Decline and Renewal of the American Church by Tim Keller
Tim Keller, who I respect very much, has written an extensive article on the decline of the American church. https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/tim-keller-decline-renewal-american-church/
It is, in fact, part of a yet larger work. Fuller article here.
I am one who does believe in the virgin birth, life, death, physical resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ, the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, ongoing need for our confession of our selfishness, and a trustworthy Bible. As one who has attended mainline protestant churches (born, in fact, in the 1950s) all my life, this article is like a punch in the stomach and makes me sad.
I’ve also recently attended churches that Keller, I believe, would label as conservative Protestant. They are growing. They are teaching about a biblical Jesus Christ, the trustworthiness of the Bible, and the compassion and service that Jesus taught (while trying not to succumb to modern secular thought).
I love my church and pray that there is hope.
Jesus, Saviour, by Joyful Noise. Lyrics are included.
Three questions one asks oneself to define their soul
- Who am I?
- Whose am I? Suggestions: Psalm 100:3 Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 1 John 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.
- Why am I here?
Seven Practices for Developing the Soul
- Praise God.
- Be contrite.
- Practice gratefulness.
- Leverage grace’s strength.
- Abide in Christ – guidance.
- Seek growth. Grow in Christ. Sanctifying grace.
- Develop humility.
The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires.
Online from a poem by Omar Khayyam (1048-1131) the very influential Persian mathematician, philosopher, & poet.
Follow this link for an insightful analysis of the poem.
He was certainly not Hebrew or Christian.