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Teach and Help Them

               Why do people leave the Lord? There are a number of reasons; let me identify some. First, parents talk better than they live; when the child grows up, since the Lord’s way made little to no difference to the parents in the way life was lived, it must not be all that important for the child in his or her own life. Second, what I learn in my science classrooms (through the years), the preacher and the elders can’t or won’t refute (such as evolution). It must be the preacher and the elders are not all that certain about what they believe. Perhaps the preacher and elders have no depth of knowledge to help me as I try to understand the difficulties of life. If they can’t help when science challenges, why should I think they can help in other areas. Third, there is too much confusion in the religious world; I can hardly make sense of it all. All these people who say they believe in God hardly agree on much of anything! Even though I have heard God is not a god of confusion, it seems exactly the opposite is the case. Fourth, I see all these people come to the church building and pretend they are religiously devoted, but then I hear them as they go out the door speak badly about someone or something; I wonder if there is any good that comes from their mouths. Fifth, I have had bad experiences with those who call themselves Christians.                The list could go on, but you get the point. I received an email the other day from The Worldview Bulletin Newsletter that spoke of a research project about people leaving the church (this research was conducted by UCLA; they have a broader understanding of the word church than what the New Testament teaches). The reasons were multiple; the paragraph above reflects some of those reasons. What can we do to give attention to this? First, live what you believe! If you call yourself a Christian, live as Christ did. Don’t be a “fake” Christian. Second, do not have a superficial knowledge of the Bible, but have substantive knowledge, knowledge that can be instilled in the youth because you not only know what the Bible teaches, where it teaches it, but also why it is taught and the importance in living that way. This entails effort on your part, much effort. Put what you learned to good use. Third, don’t make “church going” a matter of convenience or duty, but because you are devoted to the Lord and would rather be no other place. You’ll help yourself by not having too many activities going on. The Lord is your priority, and His saving institution (the church) is your priority also. If you say that you do, and show up infrequently, your children have already learned your priority. Fourth, if problems arise in the church be sure you contribute to a solution rather than the problem. Too many run away. This teaches volumes! Some will turn away regardless, but don’t let that be you. Do what you can to teach them and help them to stay. RT