There is an interesting article over @ CNN.com entitled “More teens becoming ‘fake’ Christians”. Not only does it accurately describe today’s youth but their young adult counter-partners as well.
If you’re the parent of a Christian teenager, Kenda Creasy Dean has this warning:
Your child is following a “mutant” form of Christianity, and you may be responsible.
Dean says more American teenagers are embracing what she calls “moralistic therapeutic deism.” Translation: It’s a watered-down faith that portrays God as a “divine therapist” whose chief goal is to boost people’s self-esteem.
Dean is a minister, a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary and the author of “Almost Christian,” a new book that argues that many parents and pastors are unwittingly passing on this self-serving strain of Christianity.
Read the article.
This is a really interesting article to me because of what happens in a lot of churches today. People are preaching behavior modification without preaching heart change. The reason we have sin in our life is not because we don’t know how to “live” right, it’s because we don’t want to. Without Christ we’re not able to be good, because we’re not capable of being good on our own. We are fallen creatures in need of a righteous God to take control of our heart, and open our eyes to His goodness and Grace.
Preaching behavior only changes us until we find something else. Heart change means that we no longer seek what makes us feel good about ourselves but what pleases our Father through our obedience to Him.
Mutant Christianity is nothing new. We’re all guilty of this to some degree.
My hope is that we (churches, pastors, youth leaders, lay people…) can turn from this idea of “moral deism” and preach the truth of God’s word. It has the ability to change men’s hearts even when we can’t.