The Christian Post recently reported on a message from Scott T. Brown of the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches (NCFIC.org) in which he bravely went where few church leaders will go and criticized the sacred golden calf of youth ministry calling it “indisputably unbiblical.”
Brown gave this speech at the Sufficiency of Scripture Conference in Kentucky earlier this month which also featured Paul Washer, Voddie Baucham, Ken Ham, Doug Phillips, and others. Brown was optimistic though, hoping that “we are now at the end of this 50-year failed experiment.”
Ingrid Schlueter also weighed in on Brown’s lecture in this post when she said the following:
Youth groups that follow the fun and foolishness model of ministry have been an outstanding success—if by success you mean creating at least two generations of biblically illiterate, immature, and conscience-free consumers of American pop culture. As for training up disciplined, mature soldiers of Jesus Christ who possess a comprehensive knowledge of the Scriptures, most evangelical youth groups get an F.
Laodicean parents are concerned that their children will turn out badly. Turning out badly to Christians now means things like doing drugs, getting drunk or holding up the local QuickTrip. In terms of encouraging teens to avoid sex, drugs, booze and armed robbery, youth groups at evangelical churches probably get a few points. But when did avoiding procreation and police contact become the measure of success among Christian youth? Shouldn’t we be aiming a little higher than that? A working knowledge of sound Christian doctrine, knowledge of the Scriptures and the history of Christianity are now considered the arcane specialties of theologians, not tweens and teens.
The real issue is that evangelical parents are too busy servicing their debt providing iPhones and iPods and laptops for their offspring to worry about the biblical training of their children. Fathers are too involved watching the NFL on their large television screens to lead family worship. Mothers are too busy working out to achieve age-defying abs to teach children Scriptures when they rise up and when they lie down. That’s what youth group is for, they think. Except youth groups aren’t doing these things either. Youth pastors, even those well into middle-age, are bent on proving their coolness to the students in their care. They got krunk, see? They like dance-offs and air guitar competitions and having food items lobbed at their heads for entertainment purposes. Biblical training? Catechesis? Ha Ha Ha. Right.
Scott Brown is right. The neglect of biblical training of young people by their own fathers, in their own homes, is seen everywhere. Most frighteningly, we are seeing the increasing acceptance of things God clearly condemns in His Word. Kids today don’t know the Word. That’s why homosexuality is now seen as just another lifestyle option in a growing number of evangelical churches and colleges. Young people don’t know the Word because their fathers have failed them. Next, their “youth leaders” have failed them by perpetuating foolishness and buffoonery in the name of ministry.
Fathers, mothers, take back your roles as the primary disciplers of your children. Stop delegating the job to fools who are leading your children off a cliff spiritually. The times are dark and getting darker all the time, but the evangelicals party on, seemingly oblivious. The enemy is walking boldly into the church and subverting entire congregations with error of every description, not the least of which is an endemic spirit of frivolity and fun at the expense of teaching Biblical truth. But if evangelicals would look up from their revels, they would see the finger of God writing clearly on the walls of their churches.
“You have been tried in the balances and found wanting.”