Posts Tagged ‘College’
Statistics tell us that many of the young people now attending church while in high school will drop out of attending church when they head off to college. You can read various approaches to why this is the case. For the seeker churches, it’s because church is boring. For the emergents, it’s because church is too doctrinal. For the fundamentalist churches, it’s because the church was too liberal. For the charismatics, the church lacked the presence of God. For the reformed churches, the young people failed to be taught the doctrines of grace. For the Arminian churches, the young people fell away from the faith.
On and on the analysis could go. Let me give my two cents worth here at my lowly blog.
I read this morning from a liberal “Christian” blog about why the blogger feels young people are leaving the church. He felt that the reason is hypocrisy. Of course while saying that he was not “into politics,” he took aim at conservatives making church all about the Republican party and about how conservatives don’t care for the poor (which is a lie) and how the Church has made the enemy the world and thus turned the battle into an us versus them mentality. But the blogger lacked much in his post.
The liberal blogger never mentions Satan. I don’t expect him too. He probably doesn’t believe in Satan. Satan would love that. Satan is real. Satan is called the “tempter” in Matthew 4:3. In 2 Corinthians 4:4 we read that the god of this world (Satan according to John 12:31) blinds the minds of unbelievers. Satan does this to many people whether young people heading off to college or old people in their idolatry.
In Matthew 13:19 we read that the evil one comes and snatches away the seed of the Word. I believe that Satan does this all the time. He wants to destroy the Word of God that is in people’s hearts. I have seen him do this many times to friends of mine who appeared to be walking with God and then Satan comes and snatches away the Word in their hearts. They quickly fall away.
2. False Conversions
How many people are sitting in evangelical churches week after week but are not true disciples of Jesus? So many people are false converts. They are lost. They are dead in their sins (Ephesians 2:1-3). They do not love the truth of God (2 Thessalonians 2:10-11). They do not abide in Christ’s teachings (John 8:31-32; 2 John 9). They are those in Matthew 7:21-23 or 13:20-21 who are not truly following Jesus.
So many young people have been raised on a Christless Christianity. They have not heard the true gospel. They have heard that God loves them and has a wonderful plan for their lives. They accept this and head off to a secular university full of false teachings and sin. Because they have not heard the true gospel of God’s Law, His judgment, and His grace, they take their “positive and encouraging” Christianity into a university where they are hit with false ideology, temptation, and Christianity is mocked. Like those in Matthew 13:21, they have no root in Christ (Colossians 2:6-7) and their “best life now” Christianity fails to keep them during the hour of temptation. They succumb to their flesh and abide in sin (1 John 3:6-9). They were raised on a false gospel that never preached the truth of God’s righteousness nor did they understand the truth of the cross.
3. No Accountability
One of the drawbacks of the traditional church is that so many people gather together in edifices but never know each other by name, never interact with one another, and never truly apply the “one another” passages. Because the traditional church has become a “show” instead of the Body of Christ, relationships are lacking. When a young person heads off to college, they don’t come back to church because the show is old. They are not truly saved because they never heard the true gospel and those who did were never held accountable through discipleship. Yes they attended Sunday School but one on one discipleship was missing.
In the house church movement we strongly believe in accountability. We are not a cult. We will not be in all your business but we don’t want to help people maintain a real faith in Jesus that is always growing. When we put our hands to the plow, we must not look back (Luke 9:57-62). We want to help people fight to keep their faith in Christ (Hebrews 3:12-13). We all face temptation at various levels but we all need to help each other overcome sin (1 Corinthians 10:12-13). When was the last time you saw James 5:16 applied? When was the last time you saw church discipline in operation at all? People fall through the cracks in the traditional church all the time (unless they are big givers to the church and then they are missed) but in the house churches, we should care for one another deeply and pray for one another to overcome sin and temptation. A young person should feel comfortable confessing their struggles with their brothers and sisters in Christ who understand the temptations of our flesh.
Lastly, the seeker church has set itself up for many to fall away because what you win them with is what you win them to. In this case, teenagers come to your kicking church to jam to the latest worship fad songs but they never hear the hard gospel (Luke 14:25-35). They never repent of their sins (Acts 2:38). They come because a girl or guy is there they like. They come because the young pastor is cool. They come because it’s much better than the small church they came from. Soon they are there not because of Jesus or His grace or the Word but because they are being entertained.
That gets old fast. The bars near the college campuses are competing for the souls of teenagers too. They offer what the seeker church offers and more. Cool music. Cool atmosphere. Pretty girls. And oh yes, beer. The seeker church offers all these too but they try to disguise in religious tones and soon the young people are bored with your games. It’s far easier to hit the bar scene, have some drinks, meet some guys or girls and fool around. They find church boring.
The answer to this is not to become like the bars. The answer to this is to preach true salvation and allow the Holy Spirit to convict of sin. If we will stay faithful, preach the truth, He will save sinners. The life above in the bars is empty. The life above is defeating and hopeless. We must preach the Law of God and show these young people their sins (Romans 7:7). The answer is not to become a “bar church” but to preach the gospel. The gospel will save sinners (Romans 1:16-17). The gospel will deliver people from sin. The gospel will draw sinners to the Savior (John 6:44). Sin is fun for a season but we all fear death but praise God that we disciples of Jesus have the answer for that (Hebrews 2:14-15). Jesus bore our sins (2 Corinthians 5:21) and we need to preach that truth on the rooftops of every building we can find.