Who’s Discipling Our Youth?

(Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:4)

Who’s discipling us and our youth?  The greatest attack on Biblical foundations and our youth today is pornography or porneia (Greek word for sexual immorality of any and all kinds). We like to think that our churches are discipling our youth but the results show something quite different…

Whoever is training our children up in the way they want them to go will have their hearts and minds. We are called to do this as Christian parents, first and foremost, and then with Godly ministers, teachers, and servant-leaders to reinforce. Remember we are commanded to be diligent in training up our children in what we provide for them and what we protect them from.

The overwhelming fruit coming from the roots and teachings in our schools, media and government programs are promiscuity, porn, depression, cohabitation, abortion, STDs, teen/unwed pregnancies, divorce, broken homes, and much more. All of these are a direct affront and attack on God’s foundations and order.

For the most part, how has the modern day church countered these and how well is it working?  

The current paradigm as peddled by our culture through education, government programs and media by Planned Parenthood, SIECUS (Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States) and AFY (Advocates for Youth) leads to broken relationships, marriages and families and to sexual immorality of all kinds.

These groups set themselves up with compassionate and expert sounding names to draw people into their lies and deceptions while preaching and teaching their brand of relationships and sexuality apart from God’s Word. The message is rooted in “free sex” and promoted and encouraged through condom promotion, porn disguised as “sex education,” and abortion, with devastation and death left in the wake.

We have conformed to the world in subtle and not-so-subtle ways and are reaping what we’ve sown… (Romans 12:1-2; Galatians 6:7-8)

The proof is in the pudding and we as Christ’s followers and as His Church need to graciously and firmly stand for His Truth and against anything that tries to compromise and/or blatantly or subtly counter that Truth. Here’s the fruit of today’s teachings and our lack of resolve to stand against it…promiscuity, porn, depression, cohabitation, abortion, STDs, teen/unwed pregnancies, homosexuality, gender dysphoria, divorce, broken homes, and much more, all a direct affront and attack on God’s foundations and order.

We learned in previous posts that in Proverbs 22:6 the Hebrew word for “train up” means to “bend or shape” and it applies to whoever is doing the “discipling or teaching.” Those sowing the “seeds of destruction” here in US are “discipling” our children with this message in our schools and media, and internationally through USAIDS dollars and the free sex agenda. BEWARE!

Again, I ask the question, “Who’s discipling our youth?” Let’s BE STRONG in standing in God’s Truth and sharing His Word to remind others that God alone can take what’s wrong and make it right. (Joel 2:25)  Oswald Chambers states this as…

“Do I believe that God can deal with my ‘yesterday,’ and make it as though It had never been? I either do not believe he can, or I do not want Him to. Forgiveness, which is so easy for us to accept, cost God the agony of Calvary. When Jesus Christ says, ‘Sin no more,’ He conveys the power that enables a man not to sin any more, and that power comes by right of what He did on the Cross.”

Current Church Paradigm: Symptomatic Response – Conformed to the World/Reaping What Is Sown

Romans 12:2 states that we are not to conform to the world and Galatians 6:7-8 remind us that the outcome of doing so is that we will reap what we sow.

There have been some attempts in today’s churches, but for the most part they have followed the knowledge-based teaching and a symptomatic response with little positive impact. These efforts and the fruit from the programs the modern church has implemented show clearly that the culture is having a much greater impact in discipling our youth and people in general than our churches.

Many who sit in our churches today are perfectly comfortable attending while entrenched in porneia or other sin(s) and often living hidden lives with very little pushback in discipleship or accountability…”just keep coming to church, giving your money and serving and we’ll all be fine?!?”

They’re at “peace”…until they are not because each will reap what is sown even when sown in the dark. God must be faithful to expose our sins so we will hopefully come to Christ for salvation and maturity in a discipleship walk with Him.

“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.” (Matthew 12:33)

Churches usually engage with a symptomatic response of some great programs – marriage prep, enrichment, mentoring, reconciliation, divorce recovery, possibly Sexual Risk Avoidance programs that teach and encourage abstinence and building healthy relationships. This results in some saved marriages and restored families, which is wonderful, but far too many are still exposed to the filth and immorality of the “free sex” programs and mandates from education, media and government and reap the consequences.

How often have our classes, programs and ministries, again even with the greatest of hearts and intentions, fallen flat because we have either ignored His priorities and order or we have been blinded to them and based our success on numbers that nearly always ebb and flow. When this happens we have to come up with a new class, ministry, or program to keep the excitement rather than encourage, test, and hold accountable in loving relationships built on His Truths.

The fruit in the current paradigm remains overwhelmingly bad because of the seeds sown and ultimately the roots are bad; therefore, Scripturally, we must reap destruction as we pluck a few out of it. (Jude 1:17-23)

The roots and foundations of the horrific programs, media and messages remain the same with several hours weekly or even daily in schools and this is exponentially multiplied as they direct youth and children to their Internet presence. Contrast that with our churches combating the message with symptomatic programs that may add up to a few hours annually in youth group or a sermon or two.

Knowledge based information, evident in the programs and outcomes currently, is not discipleship. Unless we change the paradigm to obedience-based discipleship in loving relationships we will continue to win a few hearts but lose many, many more.

As stated earlier, I believe these are done with great hearts and intent, but the real question is, “Are they working?” We may “rescue” a few from the dangers and consequences of immoral relationships and sexuality, many that last a lifetime, but the enemy’s message continues to reach thousands through schools, Internet, and social media.  The destruction left in the wake is horrific and in many cases, eternal.

We must stand more strongly and faithfully on His Truth and build the relationships in loving obedience and discipleship with the expectation of living and encouraging one another to live in integrity and purity of heart, body, mind and soul to His Glory!

Proclaiming and standing boldly in God’s Truth against the corrupting and destructive tides of culture requires diligence, but it will be worth it as we see healthy marriages, homes, and families that are the building blocks of His Bride and Family, the Church. The life-infusing examples of marriages and loving, Godly relationships, others will clamor for this kind of love that they obviously are not seeing presently! This doesn’t mean there aren’t good examples and some wonderful relationships out there, but the reality is that in our churches and certainly in the larger culture there is a glaring absence of this.  (2 Peter 3:11-14)

I do not think at all that it’s because we don’t care. I think it’s because, in our desire to see people saved, we’ve “redesigned” His order to draw people in to hear the Gospel message, which is so important. However, the enemy has taken full advantage of our heartfelt but misplaced priorities when it comes to building loving relationships, making disciples and expecting obedience by the indwelling power of His Holy Spirit. (John 14:15, 21; 1 Peter 1:22; 1 John 2:5; 5:2).

“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has rejected you as king.” (1 Samuel 15:22–23)

According to God’s Word there’s a better way. Obedience-based discipleship under Christ’s teaching in our families with churches stepping up to reinforce the messages and help encourage loving relationships, obedience and accountability with grace and Truth! Strengthen the family and we all win!

The “New” Old Paradigm – His Loving Discipleship in Relationships

We’ve looked at the world’s destructive messages and schemes. We’ve looked at the churches’ symptomatic responses. Now let’s look at God’s plan in line with His Covenant Order…

The solution, in line with God’s Word, is obedience-based discipleship rooted in the love of marriage and family extended to all relationships. The Church partners with parents and families as well as good programs that promote Scriptural principles and prioritizes marriage and family to work at the root cause and lay a firm foundation for Kingdom fruit.

In the current paradigm 70+% are receiving an immoral and rotten seed and foundation through our schools, media and government…and even in many churches. What kind of impact would obedience-based discipleship in this and all areas of teaching and character have in your home? In your church? What impact would your church have in your community? (Colossians 2:4-8; Hebrews 5:12-14)

Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – As churches prioritize Biblical marriage and family we will see the healthy fruit of loving relationships built on His Love and Lordship and obedient discipleship. What a difference it would make if people, couples and families were built on this solid foundation…in our homes and His Church!

Love and Lordship…Action Item(s)

  1. Read the Scriptures in this article and ask The Holy Spirit to teach you.
  2. Determine who/what is having the greatest impact on your children and family.  If it is not you as married parents, make the changes needed to do so.
  3. How are you placing your marriage and parenting as priorities in your family?  Is your church helping or hindering?  What will you do about it?
  4. Seek out a mature couple to help you in your marriage and training up your children in The Lord and ask them to mentor you.