Each time it happens, we get less adept at incredulity, less inclined to outrage and distress. We’re not happy about it, of course, but we are, sadly, getting used to it. Then the backward troubleshooting begins, the diagnosing of sicknesses long after the deaths. Ministry post-mortems tell us so much, but it would be great if we could see the falls coming.
But can’t we?
Many people choose to relate to the Bible like a map that offers a route, but not theroute to their destination. They’ll follow it some of the way, but for at least part of the journey take what looks like an easier path. Many people choose to relate to the Bible like one item at a buffet. They’ll put a bit of Bible on their plate, then also a bit of this and a bit of that. But as time goes by and I continue to live out my little life in this world, I become more and more convinced that there’s nothing better than to go all-in with the Bible. I’ve come to realize I’m so all-in that if the Bible is wrong, I’m wrong. In fact, if the Bible is wrong, I’m so wrong, completely wrong, shamefully wrong, devastatingly wrong, and wrong about all that really matters in life and death.
Brian gives some helpful insights in this video.
Despite the fact that my generation is the least religious generation in US history, God is at work among my peers. He is using faithful churches, pastors, and parents to give us clarity in the midst of a blindingly confusing culture. All throughout history, some of the biggest explosions of conversions and gospel work have happened among students. That could happen again today.
How should we respond in that moment when a young person begins to turn away from the faith? Certainly, the fallen youth bears some responsibility. But can we say each prodigal is just a “bad seed”? That’s what the pastor in Smyrna thought.