Round 2 with another Fort McMurray Church kid

I recently found myself involved in a conversation with another Fort McMurray Church kid. It came up quite naturally while I was out and about. This time it was guy in his late teens. He mentioned something about youth group and not God creating the world, and  I asked him what Church he went to. He told me he attended…. [name of Church withheld as per my own convictions. If you are a local McMurray pastor and want to know if it was yours, send me a message and I will tell you. Incidentally, your youth group is two for two, because he attends the same group as this kid]

At no point in this conversation did I talk about ior reveal my own personal beliefs. This was a case of a teen who found himself smack-dab in the middle of a bodafide witnessing encounter- let’s see how he did. What follows is a very close approximation to our conversation.

“So how long have you been a Christian for? How long have you attended youth group or gone to Church?”

“6 years”

“So you don’t believe in evolution because you’re a Christian?”

“Exactly”

“Why not?”

“Because the Bible says that God created the world”

“So as a Christian, do you take the Bible seriously?”

“I do”

“So I’m guessing that you believe that abortion, premarital sex and homosexuality are wrong?”

“Well… kinda.”

“Kinda? I thought the Bible says that all those things were wrong”

“It does, but I don’t thnk being gay is wrong. I have friends who are gay”

“So then the Bible is wrong when it comes to the whole gay marriage thing?”

“Ugh…I guess so”

“So what do Christians believe anyway?  What’s Christianity all about?”

“Christians believe that you need to follow the 10 commandments”

“So like thou shall not steal?”

“Yeah”

“Anything else?”

“Yeah, you have to follow the rules of the New Testament. Like love others and don’t judge and things like that. If you do that you’ll have a way better life”

“But if the Bible is wrong about homosexuality, how can I trust it on other things, like these rules?”

“I don’t know”

“One more question- I have a Christian friend who always talks about the gospel. What is the gospel? Like…. what’s that all about?”

“I’ don’t know”

“Have you heard of that term before? I think it has something to do with Jesus dying…?”

“Well most of the rules in the New Testament are from Jesus, so I think it has something to do with that. I’ll have to ask my Youth Pastor and get back to you on that.”

“Cool. Sounds good. Like I said, I was just wondering.”

Again the questions is this; do you feel confident that the kids in your Churches youth group could do better? If not, does it really make sense that they’re having pizza and games night once a month, and then the other three are spent  listening to sermonettes on peer pressure, relationship issues, dreaming big dreams and doing radical things for God, when they can’t articulate the basics tenants of the faith?

11 thoughts on “Round 2 with another Fort McMurray Church kid

    • This is an interesting question which has nothing to do with the one I asked. I am far more interested in having my question answered than trying to defelct the question back on me. But if you are asking for purely unrelated reasons, I am currently not helping out a youth group. There are a few reasons why this is, ones I would be open to talking about in a different post.

    • I find this also to be a very typical response from most Institutional Clergy-men. If you ever try, even in love to point out a flaw in the ecclesiology or theology of a church you get this kind of response.

      Then try and deal with the Laity of any Institutional church and you will hear things like “touch not god’s anointed or better yet “judge not or you be judgeddddd”…….

      Its what were calling “CHURCH” that’s the real problem. These young people need real Mother’s and Father’s in the faith to lay down there lives and teach these YOUTH what the real Faith is. Try to preach that on any typical Sunday morning worship service.

      “YES, MY BELOVED GOATS, ID LIKE YOU TO OPEN UP YOUR HOMES AND LIVES TO THE YOUTH OF FORT MCMURRAY”!!!!

      We need a reformation about what true community is all about.

      Acts:2:42 And they steadfastly persevered, devoting themselves constantly to the instruction and fellowship of the apostles, to the breaking of bread [including the Lord’s Supper] and prayers.

  1. I suppose you could look at this situation and say this kid missed his opportunity to witness to you. I guess another way to look at would be you missed your opportunity to witness to him.

    • The issue isn’t really that this kid missed a chance to witness to me,. That’s besides the point, The issue is that this church has utterly and devastatingly FAILED its mission and purpose to teach this kid what the gospel is, and ensure that they know it. That’s why in both instances I was given some law-based, therapeutic moralistic deism in which the gospel itself was completely foreign.

      That being said, as a side note, the nature and timing of the situation made it so that I could not offer a response back to this kid, otherwise I would have.

  2. Interesting observation, especially how adults hide it better. In my experience its just not really taught at all to teens, which I just don’t get. Justification by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ’s work alone is the most important thing you can teach anyone, especially teens. Without this nothing else really matters, does it? If I were a pastor or a youth pastor, I would make sure my kids understand this before I do anything else or teach them anything else. It seems like such an awful, terrible burden/responsibility to have as a teacher, that I don’t know how I could live with myself knowing that I’m doing a two-week sermon series on sex and relationships, or on peer pressure, or on some “principle-based topic” or on tithing and money management, all the while my kids don’t know what the gospel is or how to have a gospel-centred approach to those things.

    Here’s a crazy idea. Why not have a month long sermon series on the gospel and what it is and how it touches everything in one’s Christian life. Then after the month is over, the pastor, youth pastor, and the elders can meet individually with each teen and ask them about it and talk to them about it to see if they really get it. And if not they can do some one-on-one teaching, and then touch bases with them in a month or two after that to see if they get it, and if not have another one on one again, and rinse, wash and repeat.

    Instead we are inoculating our kids from the gospel by minimizing its importance and impact, while focusing on behaviour modification and other silly lessons which are devoid of the gospel and which ultimately are in conflict and are at war with the gospel.
    Its deep, heady stuff, and at the same time its not deep at all.

  3. By difficult to teach, I mean that in my experience everyone is a born legalist and even though they might nod their head and say they conceptually understand justification by faith, they go on trying to impress God (or themselves or others) by their good works. Kids are just more honest about it.

    In my preaching, I attempt with varying degrees of success to include the gospel in every sermon. I also preach explicitly on the doctrine of justification by faith at least once a year, usually much more than that. It comes up regularly in our church’s study classes for adults and children. It is the foundation of baptism preparation. But still I find people don’t get it. God have mercy on us if we have somehow neglected it, but sometimes I just have I say, You can lead a horse to water …

  4. These are the type of questions that fathers should be teaching their children, preparing them to give sound, Scripturally-solid answers…

  5. Pingback: Wednesday Link List | Thinking Out Loud

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