Ed.Note: This article distills material from Christian apologist Josh McDowell (you can listen to the Broadcast). McDowell provides objective evidence about the failure of Christian parents to transmit spiritual values to their kids. This failure in parental leadership laid a foundation for the recent rise of the Emergent Church. Unfortunately, McDowell’s conclusion that dads need to spend more time with their kids is plucked out of thin air. We feel it goes to the more pervasive issue of modern Laodicean Christianity.
If any faith is based on truth, it’s the Christian faith (Jn 8:32 – truth set you free…) When you let go of truth, we are gutted. Thus, the tragedy of the folowing statistics.
Surveys among young people in evangelical churches who have “Personally trusted JC as savior and Lord, know they’re going to heaven because saved me.”The following percentages of Christian youth rejected the biblical concept of Universal truth (truth exists which is universal for all pp, everywhere, at all times as external, objective truth): in 1991 52%, in 1996 62%, in 2000 78%, in 2004 91%.
Of all teenagers, only 6% agree that any truth exists apart from themselves. Of non-born again, it’s 4%, of born again it’s 9%.
This is critical – in 1995, of all xian young pp, when statement made, the bible is the infallible word of God and useful in every situation, only 10%. Now it is under 4%. Was 10%
Pyramid of the making of a child.
What drives a young person’s behavior? Values. What forms our values? Our beliefs. At the top of “the Pyramid” is behavior is driven by values which is driven by our beliefs which are formed by relationships. What engenders our beliefs? Relationships engender our beliefs which leads to value which comes out in behavior.
Teach me your ways so I can live according to your truth. Ps 86:11,13
Key point: “for your love for me is very great.” If David had not been aware of God’s love, he wouldn’t have been the man he was.
John 1:14 – full of unfailing love and truth. Then v.17, it “came through JC.”
In Ps 85, “unfailing love” and “truth” comes together thru Dad. IF a child doesn’t see it come thru Daddy, it will be hard to believe in truth.
Eph 4: teach the truth. Isn’t hat what we want to do? In a way child wil grasp and transform requires “truth thru love.”
Can be anything in life – great – in truth but if the heart of son or daughter doesn’t believe in daddy’s love, they’ll walk away from the truth.Truth wi/o relationship leads to rejection.Rules w/o relationships leads to rebellion.
Dartmouth medical school study – 200 scientific studies of young people. Did their own study – “Hard wire to connect” Subtitle = New scientific case for authoritative communities. Means – authoritative community 1 or 2 young people connected to an adult. All scientific research shows that from the moment a baby is born, his brain is literally is formed physically & biologically to form relationships. Not emotionally or spiritually, but physically. If you want to pass your values and truth on to your authoritative community, you need 2 ingredients.
- a loving, intimate connection to the young pp or they will walk away.
- Must model that very truth in the presence of that child
- It is truth in the context of relationship. Finally science is catching up to the Bible.
Columbia University after Columbine. How does family structure – Single parent mom VS 2 parent family affect involvement in alcohol, drugs, sex.
- A child raised in single parent home headed by mom is 30% more likely to be involved in alcohol and violence.
- A child raised in a 2 parent biological family with a fair to poor relationship with the father, is 68% more likely.
- IN a 2 parent family where relationship with dad is good to excellent, is 94% less likely to ever go into drugs, alcohol, & violence. Possible but improbable.
Here is the prob in the church – we have stressed the structure (2 parent) over the relationship.
Relationships engender young pp to want to believe.
After Columbine, the FBI commissioned a study to be done. Could they develop a profile to detect potential shooters. 3 major ingredients.
- all white
- middle class
- father is absent or distant in parenting process.
Out of 17 shooters – 3 of them were in evangelical youth groups the night before.
John Hopkins Medical School – wanted to study young pp to find a way to predict 5 things.
- mental illness
- hyper tension
- malignant tumor
- coronary heart disease
Study lasted 30 years – 1377 graduates of the medical school. The most significant predictor found was lack of closeness to one’s parents. Why? Stress. A child raised in a loving, intimate environment can handle stress so much better.
A young man 12-14 years old who does not have a loving relationship with their father are 300% more likely to attempt suicide. A 15-16 year old 400% more likely to attempt suicide. The most powerful platform to influence your kid is as a daddy.
- The Relaxed Parent
- One Dark Night