Tonight (7/25/16), we revisited our first lesson from the Christian Foundations series. Here are some highlights from our study guide (mostly paraphrased, but some verbatim).
We are seeing the decline of the Christian church in western society. It was not that long ago that our society was based on Christian absolutes. We knew what right and wrong was, and there were consequences for behaving in ways that we all knew/know to be wrong. Value based judgements were built upon biblical principals like the 10 Commandments. And most people accepted or respected a belief in God.
But more and more, people are rejecting the God of the Bible. And as belief in God diminished, people question the basis of the society they live in. Christian absolutes – the truths and standards of Scripture which cannot be altered – are becoming less and less tolerated in society.
So we’re seeing a fundamental shift occurring in the western world, where society is based on a relative morality: that is, a person can do what he likes and is answerable to no one but himself as long as the majority of people can be persuaded that their interests are not being threatened. This of course results in society being told that no one can say anything against those who chose to be sexual deviants, go naked publicly, or do whatever they want (within the limits of the law, which is also changing to become more “tolerant” of people’s deviant behavior).
Ken Ham contends that this spiritual conflict is rooted in the issue of origins (creation/evolution). Although the thought may sound strange or new to you, biblically and logically this issue is central in the battle for men’s souls.
From the video, we looked at 4 verses about being prepared to answer/defend our faith:
1 Chronicles 12:32
1 Peter 3:15
This isn’t an “American” problem either. It’s happening in all Western societies. In fact, it seems to have started in England first. In England, on study showed 2/3’s of teenagers don’t believe in God. The number of churchgoers in Australia is at 9% and dwindling. And in Canada, weekly church attendance dropped to just over 30% in 1975, to around 20% back at the turn of the century (2000). In western Europe, church attendance is lower than 10% in most countries.
In 2002, and 2006, Barna research did a study that showed 2/3’s of young people are walking away from the church by college age. A study cited in “Already Gone” stated that the reason college students are walking away from the church because of real and perceived hypocrisy within the church.
The bible tells us to always be ready to give an answer, to defend our faith. But we’re finding more and more young christians not being equipped with the biblical answers to the skeptical questions of the age. This series will address that directly, and it is our prayer that the students in INspire! will become even better equipped as we go through this series.
Students should read the following passages this week, before our meeting next Monday. They are great to use as daily devotions:
2 Peter 1:19-21
2 Timothy 3:14-17
For further study, you may find the following resources interesting: