Rejoice! I have finally downloaded Michael Horton's The Gospel Commission onto my Kobo. I've only read the introduction and part of the first chapter so far, but I know it will be very good and helpful in my ministry.
"Discipleship cannot mean going with the flow; it requires swimming against the current not only of contemporary culture but often of contemporary church life and experience." This is my facebook status at the moment. All too often if teenagers don't drop out of church when they go to college, then they find some mega-church that may or may not teach the true Gospel. And if you live in Conyers, GA, then you may have attended such a church your whole life, though it may or may not be a mega-church. I was part of this culture in high school at my PCUSA home church.
It was like my church was two churches. There was the old crowd that stuck to tradition and hated the idea of anything other than piano and organ in church, much less drums. And there was the new crowd that wanted contemporary music and other instruments. I'm still part of the latter crowd though I have a foot in both worlds. Now, Smyrna has a sprawling youth group with many programs, but I don't think any of them truly knows what it means to live as a Christian. I can't tell many of them apart from non-Christians I know of. In fact, most unbelievers are better behaved.
It's the problem with implicit faith. American churches take for granted that if they do know the true Gospel, then the children automatically know it. This is a fatal error. You have kids that don't even know that Jesus is God in the flesh or that he rose from the dead. They grow up hearing, "Jesus did this," as if Jesus is our great moral example, but they can't live up to that, nor do they want to because they think Jesus is just some weak guy who cries all the time.
Few people in Rockdale County know that Jesus is to be the supreme ruler of their lives. We have Christians that sleep around, live with their significant others, look at horoscopes, and support homosexuality. They even go green. They say they believe in Christianity, but they have no idea what that means, and we have failed as society to teach the next generation the ABCs of the Gospel. Their faith is implied, though they don't know what we believe.
And lastly, there is a growing confusion of people who don't think church is necessary for spiritual growth. I was at Borders today and saw a guy I had met last year at a friend's house. The friend had said he's a Christian, but he doesn't go to church. That's not possible. Although there are plenty in churches who aren't Christians, if you are a Christian, you will go to church.
And lastly, there is this one church on Conyers I visited for a special program. The kids are out of control. Not only do they run wild, they shout profanities at the age of 6. The people light up cigarettes, forgetting that people would like to not get cancer and live past 50. And for the summer, they are basing their sermons off of movies. They have the cool lights and music, but they don't have true Bible teaching. At best, they have moral teaching from characters in the Bible. Morals do not help if Jesus is the one ruling them. I seriously don't see that church producing godly fruit, just people who want their golden ticket to heaven and live the rest of their lives as they please.
Let Jesus be the Lord of your life, and find out what he really says and who he really is in the Bible. The Bible has the Words that can awaken you to eternal life, not some movie or electric guitar.