Innocent By Standers

In the beginning of August, I wrote a blogpost about the possibility of Another Great Revival in America? In that post, I talked bout the concern for the Body of Christ as a whole and the need for a spiritual awakening! Also, that post talked about the struggles of compromise and shrinking back in the face of persecution and the pressures of the world.

As I continue with that thought but go a little bit deeper, I want to expose a real concern that many either already see and chose to ignore or most likely due to the noise and distraction of the mess that this society has become about cannot see it.

It was a few weeks ago as I was scrolling through social media, I came across a meme that simply stated, “When church is optional for parents it will usually be absent in the lives of the next generation.”

The person who share the meme is a good friend and brother in Christ, Kurt Honican. He not only is a preacher in the local church in Eastern North Carolina, but a man of God who is loved by many. When he posted this meme, he also wrote these words.

“Saw this on a friend’s page and it brought to mind one of my major concerns over the Covid pandemic… will folks become comfortable staying away from the Body of Christ and as a result, negatively alter future generations of the Church?”

Kurt and I have talked a few times about the condition of our congregations since the arrival of this virus. We have each had to make some tough decisions along with our respective church leaders. This is true for every congregation of believers in the world.

In an effort to expand on Kurt’s thoughts and concerns, which are mine as well, I would like to present a reminder to all of us who belong to the body of Christ. A reminder of some responsibilities that we have as disciples of Jesus.

  1. We are charged with the work of making disciples. Not only that, but to “go into all the world” as we find in Mark 16:15. It seems that there is no exception found that would apply to this command.
  2. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world.” As is found in Romans 12:2. The world is telling everyone be fearful and feel guilty. We are being told that being a disciple of Christ is wrong and not allowed. Our identity in Christ is being challenged and we are not to conform to this pattern. We are to be the salt of the Earth. We are to be different! We are to be the light in this darkness!
  3. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Found in Proverbs 22:6. Many times this part of the scripture is taken and applied falsely. Too many believe that if you just take you children to church that they will always turn to God or that they will always be considered saved.

This is just simply not true. This text is part of a bigger statement about what it means to be a godly person. A godly person is one who has a genuine relationship with God through the grace offered by the blood of Christ! A godly person is one who is totally submitted to the Lordship of Jesus and the Kingdom of God is first in all things. Including our children.

It was that same brother in Christ, Kurt Honican, who years ago was my son’s youth minister, taught that our children are not really our children. “They are God’s children and we are just babysitting”.

I think that he made a great point from a great perspective for all of us who are parents. If we are going to be godly people, godly parents, then we need to make it a priority to bring these children up in the ways of our Lord! After all, we all will give an account for how we raised God’s children in this world!

Those are just three reminders of many about the responsibility we have as disciples of Christ to honor God with every part of our lives. Including how we live in this world while dealing with Covid 19, social unrest, and political strife. Not to mention the life itself which comes with its own dose of stress.

It seems to me that we spend a lot of energy praying about, speaking out about, and even acting when possible against the horrific act of abortion. We do this because we care about the unborn lives that cannot speak for themselves. I pray that we will continue in that effort and that God will have His way in that matter. However, I cannot help but think about our children who have been born into this world.

You know, the ones who live in our homes and eat all our food and spend all our money. Yeah, those children. Well, when it comes to their spiritual lives, they too in a way do not have a voice. They are subject to whatever influence they are born into and continue to be exposed to. They watch the adults in their life intently and begin to imitate.

That means that if there are parents who are not godly parents or even parents who claim Christianity yet never display the life of a disciple before these children. The option is never presented to them and therefore as they reach an age of accountability will have limited to no chance to even consider being a disciple before being sucked into the ways of the world!

I believe that just as taking the physical life of an unborn baby is wrong, so too is robbing any child of the opportunity to choose for themselves everlasting spiritual life! If our children never get to see the life of a genuine disciple of Christ through their parents or grandparents, the likelihood of them genuinely meeting Jesus in a life changing way is diminished at best.

Final thought. I have been involved with and interacted with many congregations. Most of them “smaller” congregations. It seems to me that the concern for all of the smaller churches is that they do not have any young people. The young people either moved away or are going where all the other young people are going which many times is nowhere.

I have often wondered if the reason that some of these churches are in this condition because the older folks failed to do the work over the last generation or two. I am not really trying to point fingers, but I cannot help but think that my generation and older must be responsible for the younger generations not having the desire to know Christ.

This is not a church attendance issue. It is not about going to church every Sunday. It is about knowing Christ in a way that changes lives and saves souls. It is about our children being led into the presence of God and having opportunity to receive His grace! Going to church on Sunday morning is simply evidence of a person’s spiritual health!

I encourage you all, do not allow your children to be innocent by-standers who become victim to the wickedness of this world! Show them the way, the truth, and the life by being genuine disciples of Christ who stay committed no matter what is happening in this world!

Blessings to you all.

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