BURDENED FOR THE YOUTH

Hi Everyone,

I am back to my room after preaching at the ECWA Anglo-Jos Church. I enjoyed myself and felt content when I had finished preaching. My host, Williams Burga, told me it was “right on” and “very clear.”

WHY WORSHIP?

Many Christians worship and serve God in hopes that it will pay off and God will give them more blessings because of it. My point was that we are to worship and serve God as a response for what He’s ALREADY done. Ephesians 4:1 says “walk worthy.” Chapters 1-2 explain the WHY. Chapters 4-5 explain the WHAT. Eph 5:18, Gal 5:16 (filling and walking) explain the HOW.

BURDENED FOR THE YOUTH

But as the service began there was an announcement about their youth fellowship. That caused me to reflect on my growing concern for the youth in America (and here in Africa).

NIGERIA IN 2060

At the beginning of my sermon I mentioned that by 2060, Nigeria is expected to have the third largest Christian population of an country in the world, following only the US and Brazil. I had the those who were members of the youth fellowship to stand and I exhorted them to stand firm, to say NO to cultural pressures. To say YES to Scripture and reminded them that they are soon going to be that church leaders and the church of 2060 will reflect what their leadership produces in the next 20-30 years.

GRIEVED AND BURDENED

I am becoming more and more burdened by the reports of the high percentage of American youth who grow up in the church only to leave the church when they are old enough to make their own decisions. It seems clear that our public educational system is one of the main reason.

STEP BY STEP

In 1963 prayer was pushed out of the classroom by the Supreme Court. In 1987 the Supreme Court said that the story of creation from Genesis 1-2 could not be offered as an alternative in the classroom leaving the theory of evolution as the only option for answering the question, “how did everything get here?” The “religion” of “Scientism” completely replaced “Theism.” Without God’s moral law to be considered in the public square, “free love” of the 60s and the availability of contraceptives led to free sex. Then since free sex led to unwanted pregnancy, in 1973 abortion was legalized, again by the Supreme Court.  Marriage grew less and less sacred and no-fault divorce opened the flood gates. Without God’s standards to consider, and equal rights for all becoming the mantra, in 2015 the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. Now the run away cultural-train is breaking down traditional barriers of gender identity.

PARENTS MUST PREPARE THEIR KIDS

My growing burden is to help parents prepare their kids by the ungodly, materialistic, inclusive/celebrate diversity/be tolerance of everything message they are hearing in the classroom and from the culture.

This growing burden has led me to start reading books on worldviews, ethics, dialoging with atheists and Darwinists.

TWO QUICK TIPS

I’ll share two things quickly as examples. Ravi Zacharias, a brilliant philosopher and apologist, says that atheistic philosophers have learned to deal with traditional (attempted) proofs for the existence of God. But he says there is one question they have yet to fevidenceind an answer for. “If there is no God, where does any absolute morality come from?” Either there are no absolutes, which can be shot down instantly, or the absolute morality came from an absolute moral law, which requires an absolute moral lawgiver.

The second insight I’ll share comes from “Defeating Darwinism” by Phil Johnson (law professor at Berkeley). He insight-fully points out that evolution is a philosophy (a materialistic worldview) not science. A true scientist will go wherever the  evidence takes them. In this case, the materialistic evolutionist has already made up his mind. He begins with the presuppositions: There is no God. There are no miracles. Everything comes from matter. Science will eventually answer every question.

When the materialistic scientist is confronted with any question science has no answer for, the stock answer is “I don’t know but science will discover the answer one day.” That’s a philosophy not scientific.

THE WEEK AHEAD

Tuesday we start our two-and-a-half day pastors conference. It will be only ECWA pastors. PRAY THAT IT HAS AN IMPACT ON HOW THE DENOMINATION PREPARES THEIR PASTORS. A disappointment of mine is that they give their pastors a theme (see the banner in the picture album) that they are expected to stick to all year, which makes Bible exposition more difficult.

A COOLING STORY ABOUT MY GOOD FRIEND

Let me end with a story about my good friend, Nathan Chiroma. I thought of this last night when I was trying to sleep with the power to the area cut off. Everything was blacked out. Quiet. AND NO AC to my room. The temp was 79 in my room. Not unbearable but close. I had a hard time sleeping.

That reminded me of a time, years ago, here in Jos, when I was staying in Nathan’s home. It was during the warmer time of the year. He and Jane provided me with a fan I my room to help me stay cool at night. But what do you do when the power goes off? He set up a generator right outside my room and connected it to the electrical grid of the house. In order to keep the generator running all night, which kept the fan in my room blowing, Nathan got up every couple of hours to re-fuel the generator. That demonstrates his heart. “THANKS BROTHER! I’VE NEVER FORGOTTEN THAT.”

By His grace,

Steve

I’ll be adding new pictures sometime Sunday.

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTO ALBUM

 



 

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