Wednesday, February 4, 2009

"This Ruins Everything!"

Last week's poll question was perhaps the surprise of the questionnaire to me. There were many thought provoking results, of which many I was suprised; but this question's results I thought I knew. I did not. In many ways this brought me to say, "This Ruins Everything!" The question given to independent Baptist Teens was:
My parents as teen agers were:
A: Separated and sold out for the Lord
B: Lost
C: Saved but worldly
D: Don't Know

My assumption was that the results would look something like: A: 50% B: 15% C: 30% D: 15%. It would be from that result that I would build my case that "the line of Seth" was being stopped; or as a certain man dressed in black would have put it, "The Circle was being broken." To my surprise the results were as follows:
A) Separated and Sold out for the Lord: 14%
B) Lost: 40%
C) Saved but worldly: 15%
D) Don't Know: 31%

Do you see that? The Godly line is not being broken, it was broken already. Of our young people today, 71% of their parents were either lost or have not shared their spiritual history with their children. Then it hit me...this is not just this generation's dilema, it has been a problem for all generations. Where is the answer? Come know the answer....where is the solution to our problem?....YES! I knew that you knew it...GOD'S WORD!
I believe the Lord warned His people of the potential to lose their young people from the very beginning...
In the garden of Eden in Genesis 2:16, "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou maest freely eat: but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it:" As we all know, it was Eve whom the Devil tempted and it was Eve who "ate them out of house and home." But the Lord commanded Adam. Eve, according to Genesis 3:2&3, knew this command of God. She had been instructed by Adam. In Genesis 4 we have Cain and Abel. Cain "brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord." Abel "brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering." We read in Hebrews 11:4, "By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous..." Notice, Abel offered his offering by faith. Romans 10:17 reads, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Abel offered to God the correct offering, not by chance, but by faith. He had heard the Word of God. Where did he hear it? From his parents, Adam and Eve. Cain's offering was not accepted, because it was not of faith. He rejected the Word of the Lord which he had received from his parents. From the beginning, parents were to teach their young people of their spiritual heritage. Other verses:
Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.
Deuteronomy 4:10

And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Deuteronomy 6:7

And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Deuteronomy 11:19

Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. Psalm 34:11

If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore
Psalm 132:12

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children
Titus 2:3-4

Repeatedly in Scripture there were memorials left by one generation to be a reminder of the next generation of their spiritual heritage such as when Israel crossed the Jordan river into the promised land in Joshua 4:
21And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones?
Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over: That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.

It is evident that it is God's plan that we live our lives in the center of God's will and in accordance to the Word of God, and that we teach these things to our children. According to our survey, the typical independent Baptist teen ager's parents were either lost or have not shared anything spiritually speaking of their past. Now, I get a bad taste in my mouth everytime I hear someone glorify the "30 years I lived in sin, doping, drinking, and doing whatever I pleased" to our young people. I am glad God saved you from that..Amen!!! But don't glorify it to our young people. We too many times teach them the lesson that "You can go and do what you want and please your flesh and everything end up 'hunky dorey.'" If the Lord does lead you to share a testimony to them in this manner, please also share the scars you carry to this day because of those choices.
So if that is the reason for not sharing the past, then I agree for the most part, but still share with them that they can have a Goodly heritage.
I could go on much how we as parents should teach, live, and build Godly lives...perhaps Pastor Carr can do that.
My synopsis is this: Good news is that we weren't necessarily the generation to drop the ball; it's been going on for sometime now. Bad news is, it is still a major problem for us as parents today, if not worse. Imperative news is, we must start now not just instructing our teen, but also living in front of them how great and wonderful a life surrendered to the Lord is. May it be our challenge that our young people can stand and say to their children:
The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.
Psalm 16:6

The poll question this week is not found on the questionnaire, but is a question for you...the adult reader to help in research and thought in this matter. Thanks for your help.


lisa smithers said...

I really enjoyed reading your blog and it made me think a lot about our witness with my neices and nephews.

Travis Burke said...

Mrs. Lisa,
Thank you so much for the comments, I am glad you enjoyed reading the blog. I know the Lord has taught me so much these past 5 years; and it humbles me to know how much more I have yet to learn. I hope all is well with you and your family.

Rebecca said...

Bro. Travis,
It is so hard for me not to give my opinion when I am so burdered by this same issue.
My life before Christ was a life that was wrecked by sin. I have so many scars today that people just do not even know. But one thing I have always tried to be is honest with my children about where I have been and what scars were left behind. NO WAY do I ever want to glorify sin!!!!!!!!!!
I want to be that road block in the road that is screaming DO NOT GO THAT WAY!!!!!
If you are real with your children and just bear your heart with them I believe that goes along way.
They need to know we are human and that we mess up just like they do but at the same time they need to see us get up and dust ourselves off and keep walking toward the Lord. You cannot use that as an excuse not to do right, but it helps them to know that even though you mess up, God can still use you.
I was reading in Matthew 23: 3,4 and 5 this morning.
3) All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do: but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
4) For they bind heavy burdens and grievious to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders: but they themselves will not move them on of their fingers.
5)But all theri works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their hylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,
verses 6 and 7 are good to, but my point with these verses is this.
We cannot expect more out of our children than we do our own lives, We must walk out in front of them and be real, not play church and put on heirs at church.
We cannot be pharisees, go to church and put on our best clothes and put on our best speech and then go home and live like the devil and it not be real in our hearts.
If it is real in our lives, I believe it will be real in the lives our of children.
If we start with the parents, the children will follow right behind because children do as children see, that is why when our children become adults, those things we chose to put on the back burner thinking no one notices and we think one day Lord I will deal with that in my life become a reality in the lives of our adult children and now it becomes their battle because we chose not to fight that battle for them.
Mrs. E.

Travis Burke said...

Mrs. Estep,
You are a good example of how handling the situation should be. Never bragging on where you came from, but rather honestly dealing with it.
And, that is the point I believe Bro. Carr and I are trying to get starts with us as parents. We must share our faith with our children, or at least how we came to our faith. Our children need to know God is not a hobby or pasttime, but He is our life, and the Changer of it.
Thanks for checking in!

coreyestep88 said...

Hey, Bro Burke!
Just wanted to say hey and let you know that I am keeping up on your blogs now.
I am in a class called Applied Biblical Psychology. In this class we are learning how surroundings and social environments can vastly effect a person. One who is raised in the city differs very much in lifestyle than one who is raised in the country.
There are even documented cases of children being neglected by humans due to a mental illness or a contageous deadly disease and banished from all human contact to be raised with sheep under a shepherd or even by wolves. These are called feral children. Not all of the documentation may be true, but for sake of analogy, Ill just say that a man raised by wolves will display a completely inverted nature than that of a civilized human being.
So, yes I do agree with you on the idea that parents do in fact provide a large part of how a child will turn out. But between everything from public schools to 3rd grade psychologists to even some church leaders, the world and its humanistic teaching acts as the fuel that feeds the fleshly fire.
The world can pull away from parents teaching. I believe that the world itself is the cause of teenagers going out into the world. The world pulls at the teenager while the parents try to pull the other way. One has to be the enemy. The flesh is so weak during the teenage years that whatever can fulfill that desire, even temporarily, will not be an enemy. Therefore, the parents are made the enemy.
In alot of cases, the parents take the side of the world but still give limits. Talk about confusing...
There must be a day and night difference in the parents and the world. They must see God as REAL. Not as a thing we do to feel morally secure.
Humanism teaches that one must be all about self. If you feel good, then you must be doing the right thing. Public schools teach this. 90% of psychologists teach this. If any sacrifice you make does not benefit another man, then it is in vain. Therefore, sacrificing time, money, and LIFE into God, an "unprovable religious icon" seems in vain.
This is what is being fed into the minds of teenagers today. Self, self, and more self. Eccumenicalism in churches has hit an all time high, because it makes YOU feel good about YOURSELF! Media supports it, therefore teenagers have to agree.
Ever since World War II, teenagers have been given choice and all producers have succumbed to every whim of the consumers called teenagers. Advertisement brings them in by the millions to have that next BIG thing.
We should, in our Christian walk, advertise Christ. After all, He is more powerful than the one who is behind this deceptive allurement of a dangerous world. No credit to Satan, because I know the outcome, and I also know the capabilities of a sold out group of people who win battles by fighting on their knees. I am so glad to be a part of the proud few. "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." MATTHEW 18:20 He is there... Thats enough... "...If God be for us, who can be against us?"

-Corey Estep

Travis Burke said...

It is so awesome to hear from you! I get humbled by all the people that take the time to read these posts.
I so appreciate your comments and agree with most everything.
The only differ I would have is that we can't blame the world for losing our children. The world is powerful, but we are to be more than conquerors through Him. 1 John 5:4 reads "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." As parents, we should have our young people prepared to overcome. I will say that if a parent waits until their children are teens to prepare them, it is probably too late, beg for the mercy and grace of God.
I go back to a point made in my latest post...if it all comes down to chance and a tug of war game, we will lose; but God gave us a promise we can claim and I believe to doubt that is to doubt God.
I so appreciate you commenting...keep them coming! I love you man and am proud of you and Zach! (and your other siblings of course)