Summary: Many second generation Christians fall into the trap of taking their parent’s faith for granted. Throughout the book of Judges the Israelites suffered greatly from the problems of second generation apathy.
The Problems and Solutions of Second Generation Christians
Illustration:The penalty that good men pay for not being interested in politics is to be governed by men worse than themselves.
Many second generation Christians fall into the trap of taking their parent’s faith for granted. Throughout the book of Judges the Israelites suffered greatly from the problems of second generation apathy.
Illustration; When Rosina Hernandez was in college, she once attended a rock concert at which one young man was brutally beaten by another. No one made an attempt to stop the beating. The next day she was struck dumb to learn that the youth had died as a result of the pounding. Yet neither she nor anyone else had raised a hand to help him. She could never forget the incident or her responsibility as an inactive bystander.
Some years later, Rosina saw another catastrophe. A car driving in the rain ahead of her suddenly skidded and plunged into Biscayne Bay. The car landed head down in the water with only the tail end showing. In a moment a woman appeared on the surface, shouting for help and saying her husband was stuck inside.
This time Rosina waited for no one. She plunged into the water, tried unsuccessfully to open the car door, then pounded on the back window as other bystanders stood on the causeway and watched. First she screamed at them, begging for help, then cursed them, telling them there was a man dying in the car.
First one man, then another, finally came to help. Together they broke the safety glass and dragged the man out. They were just in time -- a few minutes later it would have been all over.
The woman thanked Rosina for saving her husband, and Rosina was elated, riding an emotional high that lasted for weeks. She had promised herself that she would never again fail to do anything she could to save a human live. She had made good on her promise.
Bits & Pieces, June 24, 1993, pp. 20-21.
Quote: The nice thing about apathy is you don’t have to exert yourself to show you’re sincere about it. But, it exacts a terrible price.
Following the great faith of Joshua it was said of the next generation of Jews,
"After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the Lord or what He had done for Israel." Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served Baal." (Judges 2:10,11) Let us look at the problems and solutions for second generation indifference to the precious faith of their parents.
1. All parents have a responsibility to teach their children to love and fear the Lord. Failure to nurture children in the faith is a recipe for community decay. The Israelites fell short of fulfilling their responsibilities to involve their children in serving God. Somehow, the parents believed that their examples were enough. (Judges 2:8,9)
2. The children of great men and women of faith only knew the Lord superficially, but not in a deeply personal way as their parents. Without an intimate knowledge and relationship with the Lord all people are apt to go astray. Every individual must learn to cultivate their relationship with the Lord through personally worshipping, consecrating, and obeying the Lord with all their heart, soul, strength and mind.
3. The children of great Christian parents are often neglected because the parents are so busy doing the will of God that they tend to neglect their family responsibilities. It is easy to be so thrilled about the ministry outside the home that one can overlook the importance of serving the Lord inside the home.
4. The children of committed Christian parents often learn just enough about Christianity to put on a front of religiosity. Jesus warned people of honoring God with one’s lips while their hearts are far away.
5. The children of Godly parents often only know the Lord intellectually, historically, and culturally, but not in a deeply spiritual sense. It is not enough to know the Lord with head knowledge – God wants our hearts. Second generation Christians are often connected to the Lord only through traditions rather than through a personal-abiding relationship that is cultivated from a hungry heart for God’s love and power.
6. The children of mature Christian parents easily fall into a routine of attending church out of a sense of obligation rather than from a pure heart. Jesus warned the Pharisees about this "check list" mentality when He said, "You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men. But, God knows yours hearts. For that which is highly esteemed among men, is detestable in the sight of God." (Luke 15)
7. Many Christian youth feel that the church has become irrelevant for their generation. This may be a sad commentary to the unwillingness of Godly Christian leaders to allow young people to exercise their own style of worship services with English sections that are separate from vernacular services. Failure to hand over power and responsibility to the youth often results in a second generation of back-sliders.