Here’s a sobering fact the Church must come to grips with: Even children who are “churched” are woefully unprepared to “contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” (Jude 1:3) This is a frontline issue, yet Church leaders and parents just don’t “get” how important it is to teach the younger generation to defend their faith.
The Apostle Paul faced this issue head on in the early church. In a letter to Timothy, he warned: “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Tim 4:3-4) All the Apostles dealt with false teaching, Gnosticism in particular, and for this reason they wanted to insure correct doctrine was taught.
What exactly is Church doctrine? Doctrine establishes a set of core principles that must be upheld by followers of Jesus Christ. Doctrine describes and teaches God’s will for His people.
You ask, “Why should anyone care if churches teach doctrine these days? I mean, this is the 21st Century contemporary Church!” Churches that fail to get the Word of God firmly implanted in the minds of youngsters are doing them a great disservice.
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Today many people claiming to be Christians out right reject the basic essentials of the faith. To the progressive mind agreeing with everything Jesus taught is unnecessary. They couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, taking this view is absolute nonsense. Those who reject Christ’s teaching do not belong to Him, they’re counterfeit Christians. In 1 John, the Apostle lays out what will naturally come about once a person is saved. He explains the fruit that should spring forth in the life of a Christian.
My point is that “Progressive Christianity “is to be rejected. Why? Because progressivism encourages freedom from all restraint in both speech and action while Christianity does just the opposite. First John makes that clear. What John teaches is that believers must show restraint in both speech and action. Liberalism’s self-centered worldview, its materialism, decadence, and moral depravity make it incompatible with historic, orthodox, biblical Christianity.
It is clear by what is going on in the visible Church that Christian parents are either ignorant of the Bible’s teaching on morality, or they know perfectly well what God says and they choose to allow their children to imitate ungodly behavior. So it isn’t surprising that unbelievers label Christians hypocrites. Christians cannot profess a belief in Jesus Christ and live like the devil. Jesus had no use for hypocrites and called them out publicly: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.” (Matthew 23:27) Ouch!
Our government is in shambles. The Church is a dead mess. Parents are living for themselves, not for their children — and children are suffering because they lack parental guidance. Many youngsters go it alone in their daily dealings with “the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life.” (1 John 2:16) Proverbs 22:6 offers this message for parents: “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”