Reasons for giving up faith

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Gina B, Nov 24, 2011.

  1. Gina B

    Gina B
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    I've noticed something that makes me wonder about all the possible reasons and which one is most likely to be the main cause of what I'm seeing.

    What am I seeing?

    I'm seeing that in elementary schools, there are tons of Christian families.

    Fast forward to high school and the number of Christian families appears to take a steep plunge.

    I wonder how much of this has to do with parents letting little things sneak into their lives for the sake of trying to keep peace in the home as their children get older.

    Maybe they let some of the modesty rules slip a bit because the kid really wants to fit in with friends and wear the latest fashions, and fashions of late aren't exactly modest. Maybe because they get involved in sports at school too, where the outfits often may fail the standards test the parents previously held onto.

    Little by little, what used to be unacceptable creeps into the home. Teens are great at asking questions, pushing boundaries, and even blaming parents for their own sin because "the rules are too strict and if you'd loosen up, I'd not be so tempted to think about doing wrong so much." By the time the family realizes how far it has gone, it is usually because they started feeling some pressure from other people in their church congregation or suddenly, those lessons from the pulpit start causing a bit of pain because the parents start feeling convicted, but human nature says to protect your family and children, so they try to find ways around stuff instead and end up with hurt feelings and thinking their church must be the problem, so they leave. Then they find the same things happen elsewhere, so they find a church with standards that aren't quite right, but then they know it's a sham and start questioning their faith. Eventually, they give up on faith because "all those hypocrites, I'll learn on my own."

    Then they don't. We're told not to forsake assembling with other Christians, and I personally think that's because most of us are incapable of staying strong on our own. We need the love and support of other believers, just as we need love and support from people in other areas of our lives. A doctor wouldn't consider cutting themselves off from associating with other doctors and continuing education or he/she would end up no longer being a doctor.

    What do others think?

    I hear a lot about there not being a lot of young parents in church. Perhaps passion is a better gauge though. I find that those in their later 30's through 50's to have much less passion for Christ than the younger couples do. There's a pretty low number of people over 60, which I find extremely distressing, as they are the ones with the most knowledge and life experience to share with others and help them grow.

    Could being a parent make it less likely for a person to remain in the church when that child grows older?
     
  2. convicted1

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    Well Sister Gina, I see things like this. Please do not be offended at what I post, because this is what I think, and maybe not most on here will agree, but it is my observation. Churches nowadays seem to be so concerned with having large numbers, that they take in kids 5 and under, baptize them, put their name on the church book, and then that's it. Where, in regards to salvation, are these children's experience of repentence at? Did they feel guilty because the SS teacher told them what the penalty of sin is, or did this come from God? You can talk most kids into just about anything you want them to, because they easily trust people.

    What I am getting at is this. Too many times, they take children to the water who weren't ready to begin with. As they get older, if you asked them if they are saved, they will readily state they were baptized at such and such an age. That may be true, but where was their repentence at? W/O repentence, there is no salvation. These children are likened to the seed that was sown in the stony ground, and it spang up immediately, but in times of persecution, they wither away, because they weren't rooted in the soil. Also, notice in this parable that they which sprung up in the stony ground did not bear any fruit either.

    A friend of mine told me one time he and his wife went to Ohio to a church in their UB Association. They showed them their newest member that day, a five y/o. He said that that child was lying on the floor crying from playing outside all day. I could tell he did not approve(nor world I) of doing this. I am not saying that a 5 y/o can not be saved, but I think too many don't have what it takes at that age. Please do not be offended, because this is what I think causes the families to "diminish" as time goes on.
     
    #2 convicted1, Nov 24, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2011
  3. Mexdeaf

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    Some Christian families that I know of place their kids in public schools during their elementary years and perhaps Jr. High years then move to private Christian education. Perhaps that is what you are seeing OR perhaps your definition of "Christian family" is different than mine.
     
  4. HAMel

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    We have had our kids and grand kids in Christian Schools and when the money run out..., (which is a sin to FAL) the only other option was Public Schools. As a result, all of them went high and to the left. In fact, our youngest daughter spent 12 years in Christian School and graduated from PCC and wouldn't pour water in my ear if my brains were on fire.

    Not enough space here for my grand kids but anyway, our entire world is out of control to include Christian Schools. Way too many politics within said schools. An absolute travesty and injustice to the little ones we subject to this type of environment!

    When are Christians going to begin to rely upon the Leadership of our Lord when it comes to our everyday affairs to include our homes, jobs, families, careers, children, marriages, etc.? As humans, we don't do a very good job of it.

    I can just see our Lord looking over us each day to occasionally yell out, "Hey guys, you need to come see this...."
     
  5. annsni

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    Having gotten my oldest to 21 with her faith intact (and her 19 year old sister as well), I really think it's a lack of teaching solid theology to the kids. I don't think it's necessary to sit them down and teach them systematic theology at 10 but I think all through our parenting, we should be teaching them basic theology so that they know who God is and what His character is. We need to impart the truth of His holiness, His sovereignty and His love. When we do that, our kids will be better able to withstand the world's buffets and will solidly know in their hearts how the world fits into the theology of God.

    Additionally, I REALLY think that so many parents have a half hearted faith as well and naturally the kids see that. I think they see a bit of hypocrisy in their parents and as such, don't really trust their parents.

    Those are two things that I've observed in many church families that have caused children to stray, IMO.
     
  6. glfredrick

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    Let me offer another take on sister Gina's problem...

    The "gospel" is not about what kids wear, the loosening of morals, etc. It is about Christ.

    In that so many of us have made Christianity about legalisms and not about what Christ has done -- that we can ONLY access via regeneration, adoption, and justification -- so that eventually our salvation is only dependent on whether we are "nice people" who "follow rules."

    I see the dividing line between "religion" (what man says and does about God) and true Christian born-again-from-above "faith" in relationship with the living God of the universe as the prime reason that so many fall away.

    We live in an age where SO MANY are merely religious, and in a sort of sideways praise, walk zealously to the best of THEIR ability. They have learned the lingo, carry the right book, and know the name of the right God, but they have never become truly one of His. The more "religious" they are the less apt that they would surrender to so humbling an experience as to solely place their trust in Christ and beg that He cause them to become born anew. I see it every day in our churches and in the school where I work.

    At the end of the day, what does it matter if one is a Buddhist, a tree hugger, a pagan, a religious (so called) Christian, or whatever? Just having the right name, book, and a zeal does not make one a child of God, adopted into His family and made a joint heir with Christ. No, for that it takes a dying and a re-birth, something that only God can accomplish. Only God can say "yes" to us. We cannot compel Him by our actions. Yet, so many think otherwise, ultimately to their destruction.
     
  7. mcdirector

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    IMHO church has become more of a social event. When the kids are younger, that social event is more necessary. When the kids get older, they are into their own things and it's easier to drop off. There are lots of choices out there today that weren't available to even my generation.

    We have lost sight of what church is. As glfredrick mentioned - it is about Christ. I don't think faith is being given up. I think it was pseudo faith at it's best and was easily laid aside for other interests.
     
  8. Tater77

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    EXACTLY !!!!!! You see what these "kids" are wanting so desperately to leave is the legalism. The walk right, talk right, act right, if you so much as step out of line your going to hell and there is no such thing as redemption legalism.

    Teach them the Gospel and they might just stay.
     
  9. glfredrick

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    Until one is truly regenerated, there will be no external change worth noting, save for the attempts to be pleasing to the congregation (and by extension, God) by one's actions and those external actions are akin to "whitewashing tombs."

    Once one is regenerated, the change will come from "God with us" in the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit and NOTHING will ever stop it!
     
  10. preacher4truth

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    If they become truly regenerate they'll be doing the walk right, talk right, "act" right thing.
     
  11. Mexdeaf

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    :applause: :thumbsup:
     
  12. freeatlast

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    First there are not tons of Christian families in the elementary schools. There may be tons who claim to be Christians and play at church, but there is not tons based on what the bible says.

    I think what you are seeing is part of the post Christian time period on America where many have a form of godliness yet deny the power there of.

    So I do not believe that what we are seeing is many who are failing, as much as many who are not saved and it the lack of teaching of what it means to live a godly life cannot be passed on.

    A good tree cannot bear bad fruit and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. If the parents are not saved then their fruit will most likely not be either and it will be seen in how we live.
     
  13. freeatlast

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    That always sounds spiritual but it is greatly lacking. The gospel if obeyed produces morals so it is in fact about morals as a result of salvation.

    Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
     
  14. annsni

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    Right but we're talking cause and effect and saying the effect creates the cause - but that's not the way it is. :)
     
  15. glfredrick

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    So, then you will expect that the CULTURAL MANDATES supposed by so many in Christian circles these days will equal the gospel?

    I believe you are reading into the phrase "good works." I would also suggest that those "good works" are the works of discipleship, not the works of dressing according to a certain standard dictated by some pastor in some church, especially when that level of dress is only applicable to one particular culture in one particular time frame. Calling that a mandate equivalent (or fulfilling of) the gospel is where (and why!) I am at odds with some current church practice.

    So, it is now on you to prove via exegesis that the "good works" mandated by God are the way we dress. Have fun with that, and oh, make sure you don't blaspheme Jesus while you do it.
     
  16. abcgrad94

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    I think this sums it up exactly. This is so evident in my own community. People with little kids have told us over and over, that church is great because it gives their children "something to do." They want a safe environment for their little ones, someplace where they are taught to be good and behave. Once the kids grow up, it's more important to the parents to have little Johnny and Susie play sports and have all the electronic do-dads and stuff money can buy. Church falls by the wayside as parents work to produce all these wants for the kids. Once they are in high school, the kids realize their parents never were serious about God in the first place and they see no need for church when they have organized sports, etc. After all, mom and dad started missing church to take them to ball practice and such, so it's not really important.

    Another thing I've noticed is that people will be involved in church, teaching Sunday School even, but once their children grow up and leave home and don't come back to church, mom and dad no longer feel the need to stick around, either. They "put their time in" and want the younger generation to do all the work now.
     
  17. freeatlast

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    Although Cultural mandates are not the standards that determined what is or is not permissible for the believer in the area of modesty cultural mandates may in some cases be in agreement or close too His mandates.
    As to what determines modesty there are principles set forth in scripture so that the believer can set their minds on how to carry it out. One is not for us to clothe ourselves in a manner that normally temps the opposite sex.
    So while modesty is not the gospel in itself, modesty is the result of the gospel if the gospel is received.
    Consequently it is not possible to separate any part of the callings of God from the gospel even if they are not mentioned in the call or giving of the gospel.
    And thank you for the kind exhortation.
     
    #17 freeatlast, Nov 25, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2011
  18. Gina B

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    Wow, I am reluctant to admit it, but I think you nailed it. Despite the best of intentions, it doesn't mean a person is a Christian. True believers generally don't just fall right off the tree they're grafted onto.
     
  19. freeatlast

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    Yes and it is a sad thing to see people in the condition they are in. We have to warn them of the danger they are really in.
     
  20. CF1

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    We saw this as well in our former church. Too many attenders were attending out of duty, loyalty, politics, etc, rather than love for God.

    As our kids got into high school, we researched churches that would better support our kids' spiritual growth for 3-4 years.

    Now we attend a church that is full of children/young adults at all ages that are eagerly engaged in spiritual growth. There tend to be a lot of home schooled kids at our new church because parents seeking spiritual growth are not satisfied staying in luke-warm churches.

    The parents who are hungry for growing in their love for God, are attracted like magnets to churches who are hungry for God. As these people come together the dead churches become deader and the alive churches become more alive.

    We struggled with leaving our former church because if we left, then the decay would continue. Now close friends from our Bible Study there are looking at leaving and joining the church where we now attend, which will make the old church decay even faster.

    When the leadership of a church is elected based on the general beliefs of the population in the church, and the general population of the church is fine with being luke warm, it is hard to change the church from within.

    Sometimes if the Holy Spirit leads you to leave and go to a church that is more alive with better teaching and hunger to grow and learn theology, then that is the right thing to do. Our high schoolers are energized by the energy and excitement around learning practical theology in the new church.
     
    #20 CF1, Nov 25, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2011

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