My heart dropped.  I was shocked at the words coming out of the young ladies mouth.  Just when I think I have heard everything God reminds me that sin is deeper then I ever thought and His grace is a lot larger then I can imagine.  I have known the young lady since she was knee high to a grass hopper.  She was raised in the church.  Something went way wrong.  Her view of Jesus and the Bible was highly skewed.  I’m finding out that this is not an uncommon, isolated incident.  For our own kids, something got lost in translation.

I get asked my opinion about the failure of the gospel to translate to the next generation on a regular basis.  There is no one reason.  It’s a complicated issue.  We want a simple answer.  We want to blame everything under the sun.  That’s one of the odd things about Christianity.  We tend to waste too much time trying to affix blame.  By the time we figure something out, it is no longer an issue.  Then we spend more time trying to fix blame on the most recent trend only to waste more time.

It is all a distraction.  If we can find someone or something else to blame we don’t have to look inward.  The only problem we have is us.  The Bible is not written for the world.  It’s written for those who are the children of God.  Only with the Holy Spirit can one understand it is alive and sharper then a two edged sword.  So, if believers are the only ones that understand then it is believers that it is written for.  Instead of trying to find reasons we are losing our own is our issue and not the culture, world, technology, friends and the internet’s fault.

Working with people the church tends to miss I have found that honesty is the foundation of change.  We want Jesus to bring change.  The only problem is we want change for everybody except for ourselves.  Honesty goes out the window.  That includes honesty before God and honesty before what are our brothers and sisters.  I can prove the point real easy.  At the next Bible study ask for prayer requests.  One will hear requests for sick people, job issues, and a few relationship issues as long as the other person is not present.  One will not hear heart issues, personal temptation issues, fears and idols of the heart.

Guess who knows those issues as we play games?  Our children.  Add in the mix our generation (I’m a baby boomer) has fallen from grace in many areas (divorce, consumerism, greed, and more) with a lack of honesty. We have a recipe that leaves the next generation with a skewed view of the Lord Jesus.

That in itself is the skewed version.  We bought  Jesus for hell insurance and then taught a form of legalism that would make a Pharisee blush.  We also sold Jesus like he was a guaranteed insurance policy to keep the flames of hell away.  Jesus as Lord and King is a different story. Jesus gets us into heaven but how he is present in our daily lives is a different story.

We taught that Jesus was in our lives by something called a morning devotional, a time of prayer, church attendance and youth group.  We packaged Jesus into a nice comfortable box.  Meanwhile my generation struggled with spendable income (thought it was God’s not ours), loving others of a different color, consumerism, social justice, and plenty of other issues that we refused any sense of honesty.

We finally hit generations that do not accept the Baby Boomer expression of the Christian faith.  In our generation the family unit collapsed.  It did not collapse with the Millenials.  It as already on life support in our time.  As the family unit collapsed in our culture it collapsed in our churches.  With it went any viable interpretation of love including the love of God who gave his son in our place.  We invited our kids to Jesus but never defined His Kingdom.  It isn’t coming as I was taught.  It’s already here.  Jesus rose form the dead and sent his Holy Spirit to provide his presence 24/7.  Meanwhile we kept him boxed in a nice convenient form.

As we enter the final week of October we celebrate 500 years of the Reformation.  Martin Luther got things going by posting 95 thesis on a church door calling those who are called Christians back to Biblical truth and Jesus, the Lord.  His first thesis was powerful.  Luther called believers to live a life of constant, daily repentance.  For that to happen we have to be honest.  Honest of who we are and where we are wrong.  Honest with our failures and sin.  Once we are honest before God then we are to be honest with our children regardless of their age.  We follow Jesus’ instruction and ask for their forgiveness.

In the 1500’s the church needed reforming.  We need it in 2017.  Reformation begins with us.  Our hope is in the Lord.  It cost Martin Luther a lot.  I hope we are ready to pay the price.  By the way…the young lady in my office this week.  Her interpretation of Jesus is based on what she saw from her father in relation to the Scripture.  It didn’t match.  It’s time for the evangelical church to reform.

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