Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Know your Bible, your eternal destinity depends on it

There was a national study done on the religious health of teenagers' in the United States by Christian Smith, a sociologist. This study gives us some interesting things to think about.

Smith's summary of data from teens about their understanding of God is as follows:

 1. "A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth."

 2. "God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions."

 3. "The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself."

4. "God does not need to be particularly involved in one's life except when God is needed to resolve a problem."

 5. "Good people go to heaven when they die."

This seems to be the Creed of most of American teens concerning religion. After conducting more than 3,000 interviews with American adolescents, the researchers reported that, when it came to the most crucial questions of faith and beliefs, many adolescents responded with a shrug and "whatever."

The thought of cultural Christianity or cafeteria style Christianity has always been the bane of the Church, it is the natural inclination of sinful man; to be conformed to religion on the outside, while there is no change on the inside.

However, it does seem that Smith's research shows an even more deeper problem than mere formality, it suggests that American teens are totally theologically ignorant, Albert Mohler Jr puts it like this:

The casual "whatever" that marks so much of the American moral and theological landscapes--adolescent and otherwise--is a substitute for serious and responsible thinking. More importantly, it is a verbal cover for an embrace of relativism. Accordingly, "most religious teenager's opinions and views--one can hardly call them worldviews--are vague, limited, and often quite at variance with the actual teachings of their own religion."

Remember the words of the prophet Hosea "my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge" (4:6). The pathos (relativism) of our culture has permeated not only our homes, but even our churches. Mohler tells us "We now face the challenge of evangelizing a nation that largely considers itself Christian, overwhelmingly believes in some deity, considers itself fervently religious, but has virtually no connection to historic Christianity. Christian Smith and his colleagues have performed an enormous service for the church of the Lord Jesus Christ in identifying Moralistic Therapeutic Deism as the dominant religion of this American age.

My call to the Church, the home, and the individual believer is to understand the theology of salvation---our eternal destiny depends on it. 

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