Where Is Today’s Culture Leading Our Children?

Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth…. We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. For he established testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children [grandchildren]: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God. (Psalm 78:1, 4-8)

Wherefore I will yet plead [contend] with you, saith the LORD, and with your children’s children [grandchildren] will I plead… Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit… For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. (Jeremiah 2:9, 11, 13)

As these verses show, the Lord reminds parents that if they do not follow Him, the consequences will reach not only their children but also their grandchildren. The current generation of younger people is composed of the Hippies’ grandchildren. The Hippies were of the generation that began eliminating God from education, movies, radio, television? Even churches and seminaries? And then assumed the attitudes and actions that man, not God, determines truth. Fifty years later the culture is now into postmodern thinking, narcissism, and an attitude of entitlement, which is ultimately moving into Socialism.

The culture is changing from the roots upward. Tomorrow’s leaders are the young people who are in their early twenties and younger, a generation named “Mosaics” by the Barna Research Group. These young people reject Christ long before they reach college. Eclectic lifestyles, nonlinear thinking, fluid relationships, cut-and-paste values, “personalized spirituality,” open-minded attitudes, tolerance in everything, and technology-fueled expectations characterize these young people. The Mosaics spend on average eight and a half hours per day with various media sources, isolating themselves from fellowship and relationships with real people, as they become absorbed in the cold communication of one-on-one “fun” with uncaring, electronic devices. Seventy-six percent of the Mosaics embrace the idea that anything is okay if it works (the end justifies the means).[1] Extrapolated out to its extreme, this mentality could lead to the acceptance of the belief that if there are too many people, it is fine to kill them, whether through abortion, euthanasia, genocide, or outright murder. If everyone is just another cog on the evolutionary wheel, then the culture sees death as something that should be embraced because “it purifies the race.” Humans, then, are no longer seen as created in the image of God, with eternal worth and value. (Genesis 2)

We believe that young people must be taught how belief in creationism affects every aspect of their lives. Studying creation should not be compartmentalized into only Sunday school classes or science classes in a Christian or home school.[2] To influence today’s society, it is essential that Christian students know the Word of God and are taught how to think biblically when defending their Christian faith. This is part of their necessary survival equipment. Christian students need to be taught the extreme importance of filtering every part of their culture through the Christian worldview, asking themselves what the Bible says instead of, “How do I feel about it?”

Today’s popular culture is designed to cause a disconnect between what the Bible says is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report (Phil. 4:8) and how we actually live our lives in the arena of daily life. We are being destroyed for lack of knowledge. (Hos. 4:6)

An interesting fact recently published in a Barna report states that of the current generation of older adults in America, one in nine still holds to a biblical worldview, but of those in the Mosaic generation only one-half of one percent embrace a biblical worldview.[3] Ken Ham and Britt Beemer’s book, Already Gone, addresses how the current generation of young people is thinking. Already Gone is the result of a national scientific survey of twenty to twenty-nine year olds who grew up in church but no longer attend. The survey sought to find out why this massive dropout has occurred. The single biggest reason was that the church did not provide answers for them with which to defend their faith. (I Pet. 3:15)  Already Gone also shows that we are not losing most young people in college but in middle school and high school. Most teenagers have abandoned the faith mentally, even if they are still attending church. This is the reason it is crucial for family discipleship to occur daily in each home. Apologetics for Christianity and the truth of the Bible need to be taught and modeled to children from infancy so that they become a foundational reality in teenagers’ thinking.

Approximately forty percent of middle school students and another forty-four percent more of high school students are rejecting Christianity. At college graduation only eleven percent remains who have not fallen away from their spiritual moorings! Ham and Beemer’s study also showed that young people who never attended Sunday school test stronger on Bible questions than those who have grown up attending Sunday school. What is the reason? The Bible is no longer taught as the authoritative Word of God, and students are not given evidences for its authority and accuracy. They are taught that the Bible is full of “stories”! Conclusions and applications are not formulated and taught as life-changing TRUTH! These children, in essence, are being inoculated against the truth of God’s Word instead of becoming equipped to go out into the evolution-based, secular, humanistic battle that is facing them on every front.

Another survey group, the Nehemiah Institute, is finding this same trend. The Nehemiah Institute conducts worldview testing across different kinds of schools and has statistics from 1988-2008 demonstrating that Christian students in both public and traditional Christian schools are following the same downward trend in worldviews. The students in most Christian schools are currently only able to correctly answer a meager fifteen percent of the questions relating to the Christian worldview, while barely about five percent of those in the public schools can answer questions on a test showing that they understand or hold to the Christian worldview.[4] Christian home schooled students and students specifically taught biblical worldview thinking are the only ones who place in the “Biblical Christian” category of this survey.

Our challenge to families is that parents “seize the moment” and use every opportunity to saturate their children with the truth of God’s Word, teaching them apologetics for their Christian faith during their family devotions, thus incorporating them into daily life. Preparing our children in such a way that they will not become a negative statistic must start in the home, with parents dedicated to supporting, teaching, and modeling the truth of God’s Word from “In the beginning God created…” Practicing truth in the home is essential! (John 3:21)

And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (Deuteronomy 6:7)

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[1] For more research on this generation to whom we need to minister read The Enrichment Journal.

[2] If one does not believe in creation, then he has to turn to evolution for answers. Disbelief in the six twenty-four-hour-day creation account in Genesis breeds distrust in the power and authority of God’s Word. If one part of Scripture cannot be trusted, then who is to say what other parts are accurate? Moral and ethical laws founded on the Ten Commandments become outdated while belief in the alternative to creation—evolution—breeds a lack of respect for human life because each person is seen as another life-form in the evolutionary process instead of a specially created being made in God’s own image.

[3] Barna defines a biblical worldview as follows: “For the purposes of the survey, a ‘biblical worldview’ was defined as believing that absolute moral truth exists; the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches; Satan is considered to be a real being or force, not merely symbolic; a person cannot earn their way into Heaven by trying to be good or do good works; Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; and God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the universe today. In the research, anyone who held all of those beliefs was said to have a biblical worldview.” Research this subject further.

[4] This information can be obtained from Nehemiah Institute.