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Baltimore, Kids, and Culture

April 14, 2010

Since my already crazy life has been even more full lately, I have become an even worse blogger than I was before . . .

But, I still like having this space to share my thoughts when I can.

One way I can do it efficiently is to react to other blogs I read . . .

Read this post from my good friend, Jeff, before reading on . . .

I have a lot to agree with in his post, and very little to disagree with. I also agree with the editorial Jeff references in his post.

One commenter on Jeff’s post said that the responsibility should be with the parents and not to blame the church.

As with Jeff’s response, I agree that parents SHOULD be the primary ones responsible . . . But FAR too often in our cities, the parents are either absent altogether, or are equally a product of the culture as the kids they are raising.

One of the biggest problems I see in the Church today is an expectancy for people to “get right” before they get sold out to Jesus. There’s widespread effort to change peoples’ perspective about “issues” and “morality,” as if they should “just know better.”

I’m sorry . . . people who do not know Jesus don’t “know better.” I believe whole-heartedly that everyone, left to their own devices, will choose to be sinful in some way. They will choose what is contrary to what is right. That’s Bible. That doesn’t mean that everything they do is sinful, it just means that there will indeed be something sinful about them. If someone (like the Church or a Christian friend) or something (like the Bible) is not there to point them in a different direction, they never will. Additionally, and more importantly, apart from the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit mysteriously working within them, they will never be able to fully “know better.”

What has happened in Baltimore (and most of our country), is that one generation has failed to pass on the truth of the Gospel (both individuals and the Church as a whole). Following the pattern of Romans 1, succeeding generations have each taken steps farther and farther away from the truth.

So, at this point, it IS the Church’s responsibility to put an end to the chaos.

First and foremost, the Church needs to own up to who we claim to be and believe. We need to live out AND teach the Gospel of LIFE found in Jesus Christ.

Second, we need to (as a corollary to #1) teach and demonstrate what it means to be a parent.

Third, also a corollary to #1, we need to teach and demonstrate what it means to honor each other. This is more than respect. Honor involves humbling yourself and lifting up the other. Respect does not require the same level of personal humility.

I firmly believe that if the Church is who we are supposed to be and are doing what we are supposed to be doing, the culture will be radically changed. The true Church is a miraculously Transforming entity . . . not just in the lives of individual people, but in neighborhoods, communities, nations, and the world. If we don’t see it in that supernatural light, we aren’t really the Church.

As we continue to meet in our home a couple times a month as an embryo of a future church . . . one of the things I’m finding myself struggling to communicate to our folks is that we don’t want to focus on people who want to go to church. We need to be focusing our prayers and efforts on those who would never enter the doors of any other church in town. Jesus didn’t come for the spiritually healthy, because healthy people don’t need a doctor. Jesus came for the spiritually sick. We need to be doing the same.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. jeffandwendy permalink
    April 14, 2010 8:34 pm

    Great post bro. Acceptance preceeds repentance.

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