Friday, March 10, 2006

The Appalling State of Youth Testimonies

I am appalled. In the words of Waldo from the old show Family Matters, "I am shocked and dismayed." Our youth don't even testify of being saved by Christ anymore. Instead, they testify of being on "thrill rides" for Jesus (see Stephen Underkofler for more details) or of growing up church-hopping; or of joining churches just to save $5000 on college tuition; or of great church dinners and growing to like beer; or of following WWJD all their life; or of their parents being church leaders; and so on and so forth, ad nauseam. Where are the testimonies of being saved by Christ? Maybe I'm just old school, but I just don't get it. It used to be a testimony was about coming to Christ. Nowadays people don't even know what it means to come to Christ; all they can testify of is "becoming emergent" or of how they've "lived a moral life" or of how they "seek to follow the teachings of Jesus." I am throwing down the gauntlet. I don't care who this offends. In fact, people with testimonies like that NEED to be offended by this: I utterly and totally reject the authenticity of any testimony that does not proclaim Christ and Him crucified as the source of one's salvation. That's right, I'm questioning your salvation. Be offended all you like. Until you tell me that you believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and that you accepted His work by faith, and that you have evidenced the fruit of regeneration since, I'm going to take any testimony of yours with a grain of salt. I won't even consider you for leadership until you do so, much less church membership. And I'm appalled that some people like this have gotten into our seminaries. And I'm even more appalled that this generation of youth are being taught that this is okay. It is far, far, far from okay. What we need in our churches are members with a testimony that is of Christ alone, not of how one is trying to live a moral life following the teaching of Jesus in a variety of churches even though we disagree with some of those churches and whatever else you can think of to add to this ridiculous run-on sentence. No wonder some are predicting the decline of the evangelical church - we can't even get our young people to understand where their salvation comes from. Now, this post was merely to let off steam. Be warned--I'm just getting started. In between my Doctrines of Grace posts I'm going to start a mini-series on what a true testimony is. And I will pull no punches.


Blogger Gweeters said...

Maybe you should give youth more credit then you do. Have you ever considered the ways of the world always pounding at our backs telling us one thing, while our parents say another, while the church says another, or even while our hearts say another? Maybe you shouldn’t jump to conclusions just like that with out knowing everything.... I do believe that in Matthew 7:1-5----- 1) JUDGE• not, that ye be not judged.
2) For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure• ye mete, it shall be measured• to you again.
3) And• why beholdest thou the mote• that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam• that is in thine own eye?
4) Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5) Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.------Say NOT to judge, and what are u doing?? JUDGING. And what does it say in the verses that I just wrote for u? For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged. You might want to rethink what you are doing.

3/11/2006 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger Stephen Newell said...

One comment was removed for being nothing more than a blatant personal attack. That's to be expected; this post was a shot across the bow, so to speak.

3/11/2006 04:13:00 PM  
Blogger Stephen Newell said...

By the way, my testimony is about Christ and how He saved me, so I don't quite think there's a violation of Matthew 7 here in critiquing testimonies of others who don't say so.

So people are getting riled up. Good. Hopefully now you're ready to hear what I'm actually saying instead of frothing at the mouth or sitting in our easy chairs yelling "Amen, brother" at a TBN show.

3/11/2006 04:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps some express their theological position of being "saved" differently than you. Many traditions do not use the term outside of its practical use (eg, The fireperson saved me from the flames.) I will be the first to agree, Americas spiritual state is pathetic. But by elevating yourself above it and shooting down others who seek to bring glory to God in a manner different from you, that is not correct or good.

I await your next posts.

Peace and Grace

3/11/2006 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger Stephen Newell said...

One more post removed for continuing to be nothing more than a personal attack.

Thanks for chiming in, Mike. Hope to hear more from you soon!

3/11/2006 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger Brandt said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/11/2006 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger Stephen Newell said...

Brandt, I have talked with Mr. Noakes, and he understands that this was not directed at him personally. Step off or further comments by you will be deleted on sight.

3/11/2006 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger Brandt said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/11/2006 06:00:00 PM  
Blogger Stephen Newell said...

Oh, I'm not angry. I have not once gotten angry in this entire exchange. But trolls don't get free speech around here. I imagine you'd do the same thing if someone mouthed off half-cocked in your comments section.

Let that be the end of that.

3/11/2006 06:12:00 PM  
Blogger Brandt said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/11/2006 06:24:00 PM  
Blogger Stephen Newell said...

Sorry, Brandt, this is not about language or tearing down the body. This is about the source of one's testimony. Is it or is it not in Christ? That's what this post is about.

Nowhere in the two removal notices have I made you look as if you cursed me. Get your facts straight.

A troll, for future reference, is someone who does exactly what you did in the comments I removed--flaming, attempting to provoke, name calling, etc. And that in essence is what I was nice enough to say was "mouthing off." I could have been more brusque but then that would have been playing into the hands of those comments. That sort of stuff won't be tolerated on this blog.

Now, let's get down to the real issue behind this post.

3/11/2006 11:32:00 PM  
Blogger Brandt said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/12/2006 12:43:00 AM  
Blogger mike said... complain about personal attacks and call somebody a troll? That's quite hypocritical and moronic if I do say so.

3/12/2006 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger Stephen Newell said...

I'll put it this way. The things that Brandt said about me that prompted deletion, I wouldn't wish on anyone. I didn't approach and haven't approached the level of venom he used. This isn't about who can have the bigger hissy fit, and as such I deleted his explosions.

3/12/2006 10:26:00 PM  
Blogger Brandt said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/12/2006 11:03:00 PM  
Blogger Stephen Newell said...

Thank you. I'm not here to see which of us can be louder.

3/12/2006 11:19:00 PM  
Blogger Brandt said...

I am the loudest. Trust me ;)

3/14/2006 01:05:00 AM  
Blogger Stephen Newell said...

Then obviously you've never seen an angry Deaf person yell before. Take my word for it, it ain't pretty. Puts our puny human vocal cords to shame. It's my prayer I never make a Deaf person (specifically my fiancee) mad enough to yell.

3/14/2006 03:26:00 PM  

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