When my parents left the European shores for the Americas, they also left behind a copy of the magazine Gospel Advocate (GA). So I picked it up and read it. Just for the record, this was the first GA I've ever really perused, and I have discovered that I do not agree 100% with what the magazine presented in this particular issue (see issue # below). Or perhaps it's better to say that I don't agree 100% with the methods and the attitudes reflected in some of the authors' writings.
That said, however, I found the following to be accurate, illuminating, and disturbing. The trends which Renfroe (see below) presents in his article are realities of which the church today needs to take note. If we don't, we're in for some rather nasty surprises in the very near future.
"...I can't help wondering, in the midst of the current [technological] craze, if any room is left for God. Do the movers and shakers of the technological revolution have any place for a 2,000-year-old book? Indeed, does anyone even read anymore? In our quest to gain academic prowess through tech savvy, have we failed to instruct regarding the most important knowledge our children will ever need to acquire--the knowledge they need to save their souls (John 8:32; 1. Timothy 2:4)?"
"Parents naturally want their children to succeed, obtain advanced degrees, and secure high-paying jobs believed to ensure not only financial security but also the ever-elusive happiness that evades so many...
"During Old Testament days, parents were to teach their children about God and His marvelous works at every available opportunity (Deuteronomy 6:7; 11:19). Today, some parents are asleep at the proverbial wheel. We clamor for our kids to be in the best schools and taught by highly qualifed professionals. We expect them to play sports--the big three, at least--and would not think of their missing practice. (They might get a scholarship, you know.) But are we failing them where they need us most?
"If we could muster the same enthusiasm toward our children's spiritual education that we do for their secular activities, it would be far less likelly we would see a generation that, in many quarters, is 'destroyed for lack of knowledge' (Hosea 4:6 ASV)..."
"21st Century Kids Are Wired"
Gospel Advocate, June 2007, Vol CXLIX, No. 6
Some of my thoughts as I read this:
Why is it so important to us that our children Get A Good Education?
Do we really believe that it's more important for our children to become Christians than it is for them to Get A Good Education?
Are we teaching our children to spend at least as much time studying the holy words of God as they spend studying textbooks written by humans?
We hear kids say, "When I grow up, I wanna be a teacher/rock star/fireman/astronaut/vet/police officer/etc."
We encourage them in these dreams. And rightfully so.
But how much encouragement do we give them in developing a dream that when they grow up, they "wanna be a faithful servant of God"?
I've never heard a kid say, "When I grow up, I wanna be what God wants me to be."
Why is that?
Are we studying the Bible with our kids and worshiping God with them at home? Every day?
Or are we leaving that part up to the "Sunday school teachers"?
When did Sunday morning Bible Class replace parental responsibility?
Renfroe says that we make sure our kids never miss sports practice.
Are we making sure they are present every time the church assembles to worship God?
Are we ourselves present every time our Christian family is together for worship?
Or are we ourselves skipping worship because this or that activity "is only this one time," which just "happens to be" during worship time?
Are we ourselves skipping worship in favor of attending secular activities?
Are we teaching our children to "go to church" because that means they're being good?
Or are we teaching them to be the church because being the church is the only scriptural concept? (After all, where in the Bible do you find the concept of "going to" church?)
Where are our own priorities? Yours and mine?
Is God truly the center of our lives?
The only constant reality?
Or are we lying to ourselves?
And are we raising our children on a diet of these holy-seeming lies?
Are we teaching our kids, by our example, that God's word, the Bible, is not binding?
What do you think?