The issues gripping our world today, inside and outside of the church, have a lot to do with how people think, don’t think, or how thinking has changed. We have a problem, and it’s a gaining ground at an alarming rate.
Here are some alarming statistics that bring the problem into focus:
- Every day 1,000 unwed teens become pregnant
- 500 adolescents will begin using drugs
- 135,000 teenagers will kill or carry a weapon to school
- 6 youths will commit suicide
These things happen in our country every 24 hours. Talk about a widespread problem – this isn’t every YEAR or every month or even every week – it’s every DAY.
Some may see this as a problem with youth but it’s not. These symptoms emerge in our youth but are a function of a much deeper, insidious problem that’s undermining the moral foundation of our country. The issues are based in ethics and values. Values are core beliefs or desires that motivate actions.
The question is this: what do you really believe? It’s a question that’s become more difficult to answer as our society rejects the existence of right and wrong and replaces the concept with relative truth and subjective morality, i.e. tolerance.
The prevailing attitude of tolerance is reshaping the makeup of the body of Christ.
I’d argue that in the last ten years a key driver of the decline of the church in the United States correlates with a decline in the ability (or willingness) of Christians to speak and live the truth about tough – and often controversial – issues. I’m talking about more than the friendly, “comfortable” parts of Christianity. What I’m talking about is our ability to respond Biblically to some of the most challenging issues out there. Issues like abortion, sex, evolution, politics, feminism, homosexuality and the environment.
As foundational Christian values lose their voice in our society, two very real consequences emerge:
1. The evil one is gaining ground at a dangerous rate. Even worse, a Godly perspective is frequently misconstrued and vilified to the point that it creates a very real barrier that keeps people from seeking the Lord.
2. The next generation of believers aren’t able articulate a Biblical response to difficult issues because they’ve never learned how. There are two components to this – actually understanding God’s will about these issues and learning how to respond truthfully in a simple, yet direct way.
Our current radio series “Think (formerly known as Let My People Think)” is designed to encourage every day Christians to take a deeper look at the Biblical response to these issues in a way that focuses on bringing light and clear thinking, not emotional heat and hate to controversial issues. In the process, you’ll gain confidence as you understand God’s perspective and learn how to respond in a way that accurately (and lovingly) communicates your values as a follower of Jesus.
Keep Pressin’ On,
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip