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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Are Our Youth Ministries Failing Our Families And The Church?

There are a growing number of people who suggest that today’s youth ministries should be disbanded. They believe the common practice of separating congregations by age for worship and Bible study is “unbiblical.” The National Center for Family Integrated Churches in association with LeClerc Brothers Motion Pictures is now stating their case in the documentary film, “Divided: Is Age-Segregated Ministry Multiplying or Dividing the Church?” See the following trailer:

The documentary follows a young Christian filmmaker on a quest to find answers to why his generation is increasingly turning away from attending church. Recent surveys have shown that as many as 85 percent of young people will leave the church and many never return. In the film, Dr. Voddie Baucham, Jr. of Grace Family Church is interviewed:

Many feel that dividing children from adults at church is an unbiblical concept borrowed from humanistic philosophies. They believe that the adults should gather with the children for worship, which includes preaching. A Biblical example may be found in Deuteronomy 12 where Moses commands the parents to bring whole families to come and worship and sacrifice. Doug Phillips of Vision Forum is also interviewed:

“Divided” will be an uncomfortable eye-opening experience for many. Most youth ministries seek to “entertain” in order to attract youth to their ministry, so that they may teach them the Gospel. However, instead of “training them in the Gospel” they continue to be “entertained” in order to keep up attendance! The result of this strategy is evident when the children turn into adults. The adults want a preacher who entertains them.

The movie “Divided: Is Age-Segregated Ministry Multiplying or Dividing the Church?” may be seen for free at the following link until September 15th, 2011. This movie is a call to repentance and faithfulness. I encourage you to watch it and share it with your friends.

Watch “Divided” here for free until September 15th. . . .

Follow Christ And Waiver Not!

As a Christian, it is easy to become discouraged in a culture where the media treats Christ as a myth; portrays Christians as bigots; and preachers as hypocrites (which is sometimes deserved). We are constantly bombarded by new theories of how to interpret the Bible; just like politicians declare that the Constitution does not really say what it actually says. There are those who believe that the great doctrines of Christianity should be more flexible according to time and place. Yet, the Bible teaches us that we are supposed to change the world – not be changed by the world. Charles Spurgeon discusses how to overcome this discouragement:

Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, declares the Lord. Be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the Lord. Work, for I am with you, declares the Lord of hosts, according to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not. (Haggai 2:4-5)

Discouragement not only weakens men, but it takes them off from the service of God. It is significant that the prophet said to them, “Be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the Lord, and work.” They had ceased to build: they had begun to talk and argue, but they had laid down the trowel. . . . May the Lord take away discouragement from any of you who now suffer from it! I suppose some of you do feel it, for at times it creeps over my heart and makes me go with heaviness to my work. I believe that God’s truth will come to the front yet, but it hath many adversaries to-day. All sorts of unbeliefs are being hatched out from under the wings of “modern thought.” The gospel seems to be regarded as a nose of wax, to be altered and shaped by every man who wishes to show his superior skill. Nor is it in doctrine alone, but in practice also, that the times are out of joint. . . . To follow Christ fully has gone out of fashion with many of those from whom we once hoped better things. Yet are there some who waver not, some who are willing to be in the right with two or three. For my own part, even should I find none around me of the same mind, I shall not budge an inch from the old truth, nor sweat a hair of fear of its overthrow; but I shall abide confident that the eternal God, whose truth we know and hold, will vindicate Himself ere long, and turn the wisdom of the world into babble, and its boasting into confusion. Blessed is the man who shall be able to stand fast by his God in these evil days. Let us not in any wise be discouraged. “Be strong; be strong; be strong,” sounds as a threefold voice from the Triune God. “Fear not” comes as a sweet cordial to the faint: therefore let no man’s heart fail him.

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