Moral Relativism

Moral Relativists Don’t Walk Into Traffic

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Apologetics, Apologetics Speakers, Atheism, Christian Answers, Christian Apologetics, Youth Apologetics

Moral Relativism

By Brace E. Barber

Apologetics Speakers

August 3, 2016

Note: While editing this article I realized that the term Moral Relativism might not be well defined for some people. Moral Relativism simply means that there is no universal standard for right or wrong, good or evil. What is good for you might not be good for someone else, and no one can say that one way is better than the other. Now to start the article…

 

Moral relativism is certainly the result of being too smart by half. If you are just a normal person like me, you don’t walk into traffic because you will die. Somehow those cars look real, and you’ve seen the driver’s-ed videos. However, if you seek to be a secular intellectual then all of a sudden nothing is out of bounds. The cars speeding at you may not really be there. Scientist Donald Hoffman “believes that what we are seeing around us is simply a façade that guides our way around a far more complex and hidden matrix.”

The Daily Mail published the article Is reality an ILLUSION? under its Science section. Perhaps their Philosophy and Make-Believe sections were full. The truth is that no matter where they give such ideas credibility it’s dangerous.

The Danger of Moral Relativism

If reality is an illusion, then nothing is right or wrong, good or bad. It’s all electrons colliding and scurrying around some simulation, so take your pick of fantasy and have at it. It doesn’t even matter if your electrons violate the rights of another “person.” Even if that person happens to be a vulnerable child… or an unborn child. Thinking that this philosophy isn’t dangerous hasn’t considered its use to rationalize evil in this world. ACCORDING TO MORAL RELATIVIST THOUGHT (Yes, evolutionists and atheists are relativists, and agnostics are accomplices) Is human trafficking wrong? No. Is child pornography wrong? No. Is genital mutilation wrong? No. Was slavery wrong? No. Is it wrong for terrorists to blow up a market place full of women and children? No. Is it wrong for a Christian to say that there are transcendent objective moral values? No.

If we are illusionary, then the things we believe and experience about our physical and spiritual existence are false. You have no body let alone a soul. There is no earthly justice or eternal justice to worry about. If you want to do a thought exercise, consider that as a reality and what it would mean to the necessity of your self-control. It would vanish.

Secular Supernatural

When the evidence of design pushes secular scientists to the point of accepting supernatural causes, you don’t get God, you get computer simulations, multi-verses and aliens. So have your thought experiments, but please don’t present them as science or as a serious theory that others should adopt. These thought experiments lead to moral relativism and have already cost tens of millions of lives over the past 100 years and has kept countless millions from Salvation through Christ….(Oh. Was that wrong to say? No.)

If you think that this was a one-off ‘weird-news’ piece, think again. The ‘computer simulation’ theory has gained traction in the ‘scientific’ community lately and was even the subject of the 2016 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: Is the Universe a Simulation? You will see this come up more and more as secular scientists try to make sense of our world without God and as the evidence continues to mount up against natural causes. Rest assured, the emperor really is naked and one day even he will bow.

No Parental Relativism Allowed

As a Church and Parents, we cannot dismiss the popular culture’s acceptance of unrealistic theories as harmless. The theories you will hear repeated in the mainstream media and science documentaries will be 180 degrees away from God. The implications of no God is that there are no moral standards to which we are held accountable. That is moral relativism, and it is dangerous to your children and to our society.


Practical Help

Stay Tuned: I am completing two books to address the problem of Christian youth leaving the faith. They are due out in 2016. Sign up for my email updates to be the first to learn when they are released. Christian Apologetics Solution

  • The first book lays out the practical how-to steps for keeping Christian kids Christian for Churches and parents.
  • The second book covers 14 apologetic subjects. It will come with tools to make it as easy as possible for anyone to teach and learn.

Brace E. Barber is a Christian Apologetics Speaker teaching Churches how to immediately stop the loss of Christian kids from the Faith. See more at Christian Apologetics Speakers

Christian Truth

Christian Truth

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in Christian Answers, Christian Apologetics, Christian Revival, Youth Apologetics

Christian Truth

How Scientists Have Armed Christians with Evidence

By Brace E. Barber

Apologetics Speakers

July 28, 2016

Christianity’s Truth Mission

Christianity was sorely damaged by its own search for the truth starting in the Renaissance. It is as if Christian leaders commissioned the digging of a well and then drown in the flood that their work caused. This water that was the focus of their theology ended up nourishing everything that they detested. The Renaissance of the 15th through 17th centuries brought about a renewed focus on reason instead of faith. Scholars began to explore evidence for their beliefs and they put a premium on conclusions that were empirically provable. Over time, science played an ever increasing role in shaping the core beliefs of society. The Renaissance created the environment where it was a virtue to deny anything that was scientifically unprovable as false or unknowable. Though the church itself was a proponent of the search for truth it later became a victim of its secular focus.

Truth is the core value of Christianity. The Bible tells us to, “Buy the truth and do not sell it” (Proverbs 23:23 NIV) And Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32 NIV) and “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Digging the well of truth should have resulted in an overflowing of living water to bring salvation to the world, but that’s not what happened.

Christianity Damaged by Search for Truth

Christian Truth
Christian Truth and Science

Part of the damage to Christianity came at the hands of scientists discovering previously hidden truths. What happens when some of the truths of the Bible are contradicted by hard facts? If you go to Church and your pastor tells you that the world is flat, but Columbus says he’s been to the edge and it wasn’t there, what do you do? What happens when science tells you with clear calculations that the earth revolves around the sun instead of the other way around. Those who are disposed to following the conclusions of evidence rather than the fancies of faith begin to gain momentum. A clear and seemingly irreconcilable split between secular science and religious faith took place.

God of the Gaps

The Christian inclination to assign God to everything that they could not explain and which science could not prove was properly derided as weak minded and intellectually lazy. This practice, known as the “God of the Gaps,” became the go-to criticism applied to any assertion that God exists or that God was the cause. When bacteria were discovered to be the cause of illnesses, and when it was revealed that the rotation of the earth caused the sun to rise, the position of Christians began to narrow increasingly to the spiritual-subjective corner. Christianity became a theological preference that was as valid as any other religion. It became an opinion with no scientific authority or insights for modern society.

The God Cause Hysteria

Over time and with additional discoveries and theories destructive to the common understanding of Biblical truth, the split widened. Today, it would be unimaginable to hear a respected secular scientist proclaim God as the cause of anything. In January 2016, the PLOS One Journal printed a paper concerning the design of the hum

Christian Truth Taking Sides
Christian Truth Taking Sides

an hand. It caused outrage in the scientific community because the authors concluded that, “The connective architecture between muscles and articulations is the proper design by the Creator.” There were calls for the firing of the editors and retraction of the paper. PLOS One retracted the article and described the use of the word “Creator” as humiliating.  God is not even considered a possible choice as a conclusion for any scientific evidence. Scientists pre-suppose that God is impossible and unprovable and therefore not worthy of resting on him as a cause. It would be laziness to conclude God since that would mean that no further study was necessary.

How Can They Both be True?

The non-scientific evidence for God as the creator and Jesus as the Savior remained compelling in spite of the scientific evidence pointing away from God. God continued to be the best answer as to why there was something rather than nothing, and Jesus’ fulfillment of numerous, specific ancient prophecies did not diminish because of the progress of science. There were still very strong rational reasons to be a Christian. The situation created a tension in both camps. Secular Naturalists struggle with the implications of not having a God. How can creation and life have any purpose or meaning if it all happened by accident? Christians distanced themselves from science as it contradicted what the Bible says. They struggle with maintaining faith in something that seems to be false in light of the evidence.

The Apple Falls

Christian truth apple falling
Christian Truth Apple Falling

In modern western society, government and academia are squarely in the camp of the secularists and popular culture is shedding the constraints of Christianity at an ever increasing pace. Naturalism and relativism have taken the high-ground and is devouring the territory around it. There really doesn’t seem to be an escape for the supposed subjectivity of Christianity. And yet, from the flood of the reformation that nourished the tree of naturalism has today grown the fruit of truth which strengthens Christians and of which Secularists cannot eat. This tree in fact produces the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, and also the fruit of the evidence of a Creator.

Rational Christianity, Irrational Secularism

Where at first the discoveries of science seemed to lend support to conclusions in conflict with Christianity’s truth claims, the discoveries of the past 116 years have consistently produced evidence unmistakably pointing to Christianity.

  • Creation: During the Renaissance we discovered the spherical earth and the Sun as the true center of the Solar System. In the 1900’s we learned that time, space and matter all came into existence at the same time and that the Universe is expanding at an incredibly fine-tuned rate. The Universe had a beginning, which begs a beginner. Atheists are suggesting aliens as the creator, Christians are suggesting God as the creator.
  • Design: During the Renaissance we discovered that bacteria caused illnesses, destroying the supernatural causes. In the 1900’s we learned that the simplest bacteria are intricately designed, containing a coded program that forms every part of how it works. Though the probability that the bacteria was designed is much greater than 99.99999999999999999999%, scientists suggest the unprovable theory that it actually happened by chance. Christians suggest God as the designer.
  • Life: During the Renaissance we developed an understanding of gravity and the laws of physics. In the 1900’s we learned that if the force of gravity was changed just 1 part in 1060 not only could life not exist, but the Universe could not form solid matter. We learned that gravity was one of a hundred finely-tuned forces. Though the probability that these forces were purposely set is much greater than 99.99999999999999999999%, scientists suggest the unprovable theory that it actually happened by chance. Christians suggest God as the value setter.

Christianity’s Truth Claims Supported

Though extraordinarily painful, the search for truth has come full circle to supporting the very theology it once tore down. Christianity maintained its philosophical truths and added evidence for its historical accuracy through the centuries. Now it also has overwhelming scientific evidence supporting its claims of representing Christian truth. Unfortunately, the secular rejection of God is so thorough that in spite of the evidence, they are forced to seek non-god supernatural causes to explain the evidence they have produced.

There is no evidential support for secular conclusions in the fields of cosmology, mathematics and biology, the main areas of inspection from a scientific perspective. Secularists go to their pantry, once overflowing with hope and find it bare. They have abandoned the purpose that the movement once set out to accomplish in exchange for a secular agenda. They no longer feast on the conclusions that their evidence provided, but rather sit with empty plates imagining tea time. Sadly, the allies of naturalism, governments, popular culture and academia continue in their blind support unwilling to admit God.

We are at the beginning of a Christian Renaissance. We can create Christian Revival in our time, but not without a broad concerted effort to teach Christian youth the truths discovered in science. The time to arm Christian youth with the knowledge of the truth is now. There is no excuse for losing 75% of kids raised in Christian homes to the fantasies of secular society.


Practical Help

Stay Tuned: I am completing two books to address the problem of Christian youth leaving the faith. They are due out in 2016. Sign up for my email updates to be the first to learn when they are released. Christian Apologetics Solution

  • The first book lays out the practical how-to steps for keeping Christian kids Christian for Churches and parents.
  • The second book covers 14 apologetic subjects. It will come with tools to make it as easy as possible for anyone to teach and learn.

Brace E. Barber is a Christian Apologetics Speaker teaching Churches how to immediately stop the loss of Christian kids from the Faith. See more at Christian Apologetics Speakers

Christian Apologetics

Clawing at Our Doors for our Sons and Daughters

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Apologetics, Christian Apologetics, Christian Revival, Youth Apologetics

Clawing at Our Doors for our Sons and Daughters

How the Church is Following Lot’s Lead

By Brace E. Barber

Christian Apologetics Speaker

July 25, 2016

 

Do What You Like With Them

The story of Lot offering his virgin daughters to the sex-crazed crowd of men to “do what you like with them,” is highly disturbing to me. (Gen 19:8 NIV) As a father of three, including my little girl, I can’t imagine facing a situation where I would offer her to be ravaged in this way. I can only think of protecting her at my own expense, no matter the situation. What would it be like to have a mob of men wildly beating on your door in the middle of the night threatening you and your guests? This is one of the most dramatic illustrations of the situations that arise for God’s people who live in a fallen world. No Christian today has to be convinced that we are fighting back the evil world clawing at our door, but we are losing the battle.

The Rape of Christian Children 

Christians see the violent and prurient society all around us. We discuss it in our churches and read commentaries in our publications. We see the news of persecution of Christian-run businesses and the deterioration of the founding Christian values of our country. We cringe at the liberal-indoctrination going on in the public education system and plug our noses and turn our heads at the relativism encompassing every aspect of higher education. Like Lot, there are no authorities to come to the rescue. There are no police around who can say, “Back away! That’s not right.” We are trapped in our Christian homes with our children and guests and we feel that there is no alternative but to send our daughters into the crowd to have them raped and beaten. So that’s what we do.

When Hope is Actually Just Crossing Your Fingers          

We spend 18 years trying to get Christ into our kids’ hearts in the midst of the world. We bring them to church on Sunday and send them to school on Monday. They download the BibleGateway app and they put it next to their YouTube app. They spend a week at church camp and never miss an episode of Modern Family. We raise them for 18 years as part of a Christian home and then open and shut the door quickly as we release them to the mob of Sodom that is college hoping that the Holy Spirit will protect them. We hope that we have done enough. We hope that they have a relationship with Christ that will carry them through the struggles, temptations and battles that Satan has prepared for them. The Church sends its sons and daughters into the world and 75% of them never come back.

Naked and Bloodied

The morning sun finds three quarters of the sons and daughters of the Church naked and bloodied in an alley of Sodom. If you have more than one child, pick the one you would prefer to see in this situation. There are no police to call. No one cares. The men of the city are still sleeping. They wake up late and hurry to the bar to gloat about the exploits of the night before not even knowing the names of their victims and with no worries about the consequences. Is the imagery too dramatic? Should we instead say that the majority of kids raised in Christian homes will spend eternity weeping and gnashing their teeth? Is this acceptable to us or should we do whatever is necessary to stop it?

Is Salvation Really Our Top Priority?

We are losing the battle to the world despite the power of the Holy Spirit. We are losing despite the fact that some churches are teaching their youth the Biblical perspectives on the tough issues of the day like homosexuality, pornography, evangelism and tolerance. Yes, Christ was victorious at the cross and we with him, but if our kids leave the Church, will they be? I’m not willing to take the chance. The exodus of our children from the Church for life is a problem of the highest magnitude for the Body of Christ. It is probably the highest priority for each of us as parents who understand the fear of the Lord when we beg for the salvation of our children. Discovering how to keep our kids connected to Christ should be our top priority as the Church. They are the future of the Word of God and right now, despite our best efforts, they are abandoning the faith.

The World has Credible Arguments Against Christianity

God has given us the means to protect our youth, but it will not happen by accident. The Church must get serious about teaching our children the Truth for the Bible that refutes, with evidence, the claims of other world views. If we will get as serious about teaching the evidence for God and for Jesus’ life as we are about teaching about David and Goliath, then our children will be protected. Eighteen year olds are getting challenged with serious questions about the Bible and the Christian worldview. How could a loving God allow bad things to happen to good people, and why should I believe that Jesus was more than a wise teacher if he even existed at all? To believe the resurrection or any supernatural event is simply naïve. If you felt a twinge in your heart at these challenges, you are not alone. The fact is that the Church at large has no idea how to answer these questions so we can’t teach our children how to answer them. That is why we are losing them. Our kids are smart and they want things to make sense. When the experts of the world throw credible arguments at them and they have no counter argument, Sodom wins. When our children know not only truth in the Bible, but also why the truth is the truth, then they are able to defend themselves quite easily against the mob. The way we protect our kids is through the proper application of Christian apologetics.

How to Save Our Kids

Christian apologetics is a field of study bubbling with great minds and aggressive debate. Apologetics is the study of how to defend the faith. It is the study of evidence – all evidence – to discover the truth supporting our beliefs, including Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. The answers to all of the nagging and troublesome questions about our worldview are available and already well researched and documented. We have to do the work to learn the answers. But it is not good enough for one or two people from each church to become experts, we must have Christian apologetics intertwined with every part of our Biblical education, especially from middle school thru high school.

Purpose

My purpose is to encourage and empower parents and churches to incorporate Christian apologetics into their existing programs. Together we can prepare our youth to successfully defend their faith and to evangelize others. I am determined to work with parents and Church bodies to apply God’s resources to preserve the faith of their youth. May our children be standing in the morning, not only victorious in Christ, but leading others to salvation.


Practical Help

Stay Tuned: I am completing two books to address the problem of Christian youth leaving the faith. They are due out in 2016. Sign up for my email updates to be the first to learn when they are released. Christian Apologetics Solution

  • The first book lays out the practical how-to steps for keeping Christian kids Christian for Churches and parents.
  • The second book covers 14 apologetic subjects. It will come with tools to make it as easy as possible for anyone to teach and learn.

Brace E. Barber is a Christian Apologetics Speaker teaching Churches how to immediately stop the loss of Christian kids from the Faith. See more at Christian Apologetics Speaker

Christian Youth Leadership

2 Christian Youth-Leadership Imperatives

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Christian Apologetics, Christian Revival, Youth Apologetics

2 Christian Youth-Leadership Imperatives

Flourish or Flounder. Neither is Easy

By Brace E. Barber July 20, 2016 Christian Apologetics Speaker

There is one major content change and one major process change that will separate failing youth groups from flourishing youth groups over the next five years. The differences between the two will not even be close. Failing groups will lose members and atrophy while the others will grow in members and confidence. Those that grow will be lead by bold men and women who are confident in what they know and prepared to take on the world. Strong Christian Youth-Leadership is critical and it’s called for.

2 Timothy 1:6-7 (NIV) For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

The biggest battle you will have as a youth leader is in the next five minutes reading this article. The suggestions I’m making are not easy to accept. However, if you can come to grips with the scope of the changes that I’m suggesting, then you can take the first steps towards that flourishing. I’ll make it easier for you to stomach. Don’t agree with anything I’m saying, but for the next few minutes, just treat this as an intellectual exercise with no obligations.

The Two Current Measurements

Attendance: In most youth groups there is one concrete measurement – attendance. We make a number of assumptions based on attendance.

  • More kids means that we are doing something right, fewer means that we are doing something wrong.
  • The kids who are there
    • are internalizing the teaching
    • are strengthening their faith
    • will be able to evangelize effectively
    • have a better chance of remaining a Christian throughout their lives

Attrition: Approximately 75% of Kids raised in Christian homes leave the faith after high school.

See: T.C Pickney Remarks: Southern Baptist Convention

See: Josh McDowell and David H. Bellis book The Last Christian Generation

There Exists a Disconnect

The only way can we miss that three-quarters of our kids will leave the Church after high school is if we are not looking for the signs. You might think that the majority of those kids are the kids who do not attend youth group regularly. Take a look at the 2009 book, The Present Future: Six Tough Questions for the Church. “90% of youth active in high school church programs drop out of church by the time they are sophomores on college.”

Lack of Information

The disconnect is the lack of information we have about our youth and their progress as Christians. We aren’t looking at the right signs. We should not have attendance as our ultimate goal, but rather salvation. Measuring attendance and even baptisms don’t give us what we need to stop the loss of our kids from Christianity.

Attendance may tell us how many kids are creating strong relationships with Christ, but it may also be telling us about how many kids want to hang out with their friends, how many are forced to go, how many have a boyfriend or girlfriend that they get to see, and how many want to impress an adult. We do not know how close their relationship with Christ is and what they are retaining from what is being taught. To make things more irritating, presuming that the things being taught are spot on biblically and that the teaching is clear and meaningful we know that 75% of them are rejecting it. I covered the main reasons why kids are rejecting the message here: Will Your Child Leave Christianity?

Here’s what we know so far. Kids are rejecting the teaching of the Church and leaving in droves. These kids would not leave the Church if they truly believed what was being taught. If the kids believe that the Church is teaching the truth then they will stay.

Finally the Suggestions

Content:

We must ensure that youth understand why the Gospel is the truth. In order to do that, we must support the claims of Christianity with evidence that they find credible. That sounds a lot like defending the faith, or Apologetics. You may have seen that one coming. In my opinion, apologetics has the most empirical evidence backing it as the solution to the problem, but it isn’t the only solution.

We have credibility issues with our kids because they don’t see their parents and church members living out their faith. However, if the best we can do is buttress the claims of Christianity with massive amounts of rock-solid evidence, WHICH WE CAN, then we will reverse the statistic. 75% of kids will remain in the faith after high school. The youth group will demonstrate strength and vitality as a result of the confidence in Christ and it is that environment that will begin to grow the Church again.

Testing:

We must measure the knowledge of our kids. If we do not test them, then we cannot know if they have the intellectual foundation to understand that Christianity is the truth. We can’t even know if they understand what it means to be saved. As it is now we have no expectations from the kids. We spend 18 years with them expecting them to pick up Christianity through association rather than academics. Sure, we do bible studies and speak to them a lot, but what do they take away? No one can tell me because we don’t measure it. We don’t test it.

When you look at the “What We Believe” sections on church websites, we see their core beliefs and the goals that they have for their different ministries including youth. Unfortunately, the most depth we see is typically that the church wants to prepare kids with a strong foundation in Christ. There is never any depth to what that really means. We don’t see any deliverables. Those goals should be spelled out in detail, by age and subject. “The Church will teach and test your child so that they know…” It may seem like parents are off the hook. Not at all. Everything I’m saying about youth groups is really the responsibility of the parent first.

Testing doesn’t just have to be academic in nature. The specific questioning of our youth with regard to relationships, perceptions, challenges etc. can give us a great deal of information that will give us a warning when a child is at risk of leaving the Christian Church. Get the kids used to testing, and you can measure anything you want.

Objections

There are a lot of practical objections to engaging in the suggestions I’ve presented. Where do the expertise and materials come from? What about theological intricacies that apologetics might confuse? How do I get the rest of the youth staff on board? We are already doing a great study and we have materials for the next year. I’m sure that I’m missing a bunch of reasons why not to begin the process, but if you agree with the premises and potential returns, I strongly suggest you begin to take steps toward implementing the suggestions.

Leadership Solutions

Leaders are by definition, leading. They are out front. They have an objective, they plan the most strategic path to achieve their objective, and then they move. The best leaders don’t move without knowing where they are going and why. I am working on apologetic solutions intended to allow youth leaders to implement the suggestions above with a full understanding of how to accomplish their goals. My purpose is to save souls and in the process we will fill youth groups, evangelize among young adults and begin revival in the Church.


Practical Help

Stay Tuned: I am in the process of completing two books due out in 2016 to address this problem. Sign up for my email updates to be the first to learn when they are released. Christian Apologetics Solution

  • The first book will lay out the practical how-to steps for keeping Christian kids Christian for Churches and parents.
  • The second book is a book covering 14 apologetic subjects with tools to make it as easy as possible for anyone to teach and learn.

Brace E. Barber is a Christian Apologetics Speaker focusing on teaching Churches how to immediately stop the loss of Christian kids from the Faith. See more at Christian Apologetics Speaker

Will Your Child Leave Christianity

Will Your Child Leave Christianity?

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in Christian Answers, Christian Apologetics, Christian Revival, Youth Apologetics

Will Your Child Leave Christianity?

A Strategy to Solidify Their Faith

By Brace E. Barber
July 19, 2016
Christian Apologetics Speaker

 

The first Thanksgiving back home after leaving for college is really a special time. It rarely makes the front pages of life events, but when a young adult heads away from home to college, it is often the first time back home after being away. Mine was really a once-in-a-lifetime event. I left El Cajon, California outside of San Diego, on my way to the complete opposite corner of America at West Point, New York. As it happened, the Army-Navy Game was being played in Pasadena, California that year. It was the first and last time that the game was played there, and it required a huge movement of troops all the way across the country. For me, it meant that the Army was going to deliver me home for Thanksgiving.

I’m Not a Christian Anymore

Though most coming-home-for-Thanksgiving trips are less involved, they are still a wonderful time to be together. The family gets a chance to spend time with their child learning about their experiences and plans for the future. Parents want to know who their child is becoming on their own. It may not be during Thanksgiving, but it is during this separation process that kids reveal to their parents that they are no longer Christians. Sixty-five to 75% of kids raised in Christian homes leave the faith when they leave home. If you have three kids, pick the two that you are willing to give up for eternity. When your child tells you that they are no longer a Christian, it’s too late. The 18 years you had with them is over. The years that they spent in Sunday school are gone. You will never again have that level of involvement and authority to speak into their lives.

I Haven’t Been a Christian for a Long Time

Research tells us that most who leave are already mentally gone sometime in high school. What that means is that if you have a child in high school they have probably already closed their mind to Christianity, but are just waiting until they are out from underneath your roof before they say something. If you have a middle-schooler, they are headed that way too. Right when your newly independent, mature, intellectual child informs you that they are no longer a Christian it is not the most strategic time to begin pleading with them and pulling out all the stops to save them. Is it hopeless? No. However, on Monday when they drive back to school, they are under the influence of the world where you hold no credibility. Your influence over them will diminish as they become ‘smarter’ and you hold onto your ‘illogical’ faith. Getting those kids back to the faith is a different issue than what we are dealing with in youth groups.

The Good News

The good news is that if they are still in your home, you have time. If you use that time dealing with their skepticisms head on, you will eliminate the reasons that they were using to justify leaving the faith. The promise of this approach is that you will strengthen your child’s faith in God and create a closer relationship with each other. The issue of Salvation is so important that it is not something to put off until tomorrow. The challenge for parents has always been how to ensure your child is saved and that you will eventually spend eternity with them. There is no exact answer for success because every person’s path to a decision for Christ is different and they make that decision based on an incredible number of circumstances.

Here’s what we do know from the research contained in the book, The Last Christian Generation by Josh McDowell and David H. Bellis:

  • 63% of teenaged Christians don’t believe that Jesus is the Son of the one true God.
  • 51% don’t believe that Jesus rose from the dead.
  • 68% don’t believe that the Holy Spirit is a real entity.
  • Only 33% of churched youth have said that the church will play a part in their lives when they leave home.

Now We Can Solve the Problem

At a very high level, if we realize that we need to address our kids’ skepticism head on, then this list is a great place to start. Can you write down three pieces of evidence for each of the problems above? If not it’s time to start studying. You are running out of time! Furthermore, you have to realize that TELLING these kids that Jesus is the Son of the one true God, that he rose again and that the Holy Spirit is real is NOT going to work. How many times have you and the church already told them these things? The question you need to answer with them is, “Why should I believe that Jesus rose from dead?” If the thoughts you are having right now revolve around the impossibility of that task, then take a breath and listen. The evidence for Jesus Resurrection is incredibly strong and multi-faceted. When you take the time to look at it, you will be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt. Evidence can’t replace faith, but when you are satisfied that Jesus rose from the dead just as the Scriptures say, how much more confident are you in your faith. Now think about your kids.

Christian Apologetics

It’s time to get excited because the chance of your child leaving the faith has just dropped dramatically. However, you need to understand that the area of study you are going into, Christian Apologetics, is not widely practiced by most churches. Your church will certainly know about apologetics and they can recommend some books and maybe even a member who likes apologetics, but for the most part, it is an afterthought. Apologetics have mostly been an individual pursuit and sometimes the subject of a bible study. Apologetics, in common Christian terms, is simply the defense of the faith. It is an area of study that is incredibly powerful in improving the chances that your child will gain a faith of their own. It is not a cure-all, but it can help a lot.

The reason that churches shy away from apologetics is because it is predominantly academic and appeals to so few people. I may be one of three people at my church who would be thrilled to hear a sermon on the scientific evidence supporting the creation of the Universe. Everyone else would have to get up to go to the bathroom sometime during the lecture and wouldn’t come back. The academic nature of the field of study makes it less appealing than reading and contemplating the Bible or listening to a sermon, but it that aspect which also makes it so powerful. I am in the business of solving the problem of the loss of kids from the Christian Church so when I choose my tools I don’t choose based on the easiest to carry or the most stylish, I pick them based on what works the best. The apologetics tool may be a bit heavier, but it works – and it is fascinating.

The Glorious Process

In the process of learning the evidence supporting the Christian claims, apologetics will take you through scientific and historic subjects and engage you in philosophical logic. You will begin to connect the dots between what you see in the world around you and the mighty power of our God. You will be able to walk your children along the same path, which leads to making a real decision for Christ. The evidence reduces the gap between skepticism and faith. The bridge that they have to build from what they know to what we tell them is necessary for faith in the Christian worldview becomes shorter and shorter as they learn.

If I Don’t Know the Answers

Perhaps this article is finding you at the place I was when I was first convicted to begin my study. I engaged in the study of apologetics because I couldn’t answer the questions that I knew the world was going to throw at my children. And if I couldn’t answer those questions, then I knew my kids couldn’t answer those questions. And if my kids could not answer those questions then they were at risk of leaving the faith. Chances are your kids don’t know the following.

  • They don’t know why evil exists in this world how a loving and merciful God could allow suffering.
  • They don’t understand that there is no evidence for the theory of evolution in spite of it being taught as a fact in school.
  • They don’t know that there is great evidence that the Bible is the accurate eye-witness accounts of the events, and that it hasn’t changed since it was written.
  • They don’t know that the Universe, according to overwhelming scientific evidence had a beginning, and that a beginning demands a beginner, a Creator, a Cause.
  • Your kids don’t understand that it is possible to show beyond a reasonable doubt that Christ rose from the grave and appeared to the disciples and over 500 other witnesses.

Their Intellect Demands Answers

Your kids are going into high school without the answers that they need. They are going into the world without the answers to the questions that they need. Their intellect demands these answers, and they want them answered even though they don’t ask you. There is no time like today to begin your incredible journey into learning about the evidence for the Christian faith. Though the area requires study, is your child’s salvation worth overcoming any hesitancy about the work ahead? Your child is waiting to be saved.


Practical Help

Stay Tuned: I am in the process of completing two books due out in 2016 to address this problem. Sign up for my email updates to be the first to learn when they are released. Christian Apologetics Solution

  • The first book will lay out the practical how-to steps for keeping Christian kids Christian for Churches and parents.
  • The second book is a book covering 14 apologetic subjects with tools to make it as easy as possible for anyone to teach and learn.

Brace E. Barber is a Christian Apologetics Speaker focusing on teaching Churches how to immediately stop the loss of Christian kids from the Faith. See more at Christian Apologetics Speaker

 

Christian Apologetics Speaker

Poorly Painted Christians

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Christian Answers, Christian Apologetics, Christian Revival, Christianity, Youth Apologetics

Poorly Painted Christians
By Brace E. Barber
July 15, 2016

Christian Apologetics Speaker

Bringing our youth up in the Church is much like painting a wall. We apply layer after layer of beautiful Christian-theology paint onto the plain wall of our youth groups every week. We do big roller strokes on the younger ones and carefully applied edging to the older kids ready for more precise knowledge. As they grow, we admire the rich colors that are developing and attempt to cover some of the lighter areas with more coats. It is a lot of work conducted by countless teachers and lead by Pastors following the latest philosophies of becoming relevant to the new generation. And after 18 years of painting, we send the kids into the world. Unfortunately, when we look at that wall of youth-group kids within in one year of graduating high school, 75% of the paint has peeled off. The wall is a mostly bare, splotchy, peeling mess. Only a few small areas have the deep color we applied, while the few other places where color still exists, it’s faded or discolored. What in the world is happening?

Know it All

The resistance to theological paint starts young. This is easy to test. How much do you pay attention to the road or directions when you are the passenger in a car? We tend to zone out or pay attention to other things when we aren’t responsible for getting our passengers to the destination, and we are especially prone to wandering thoughts when we believe we know where we are going. The next time you are teaching Sunday school or just talking to your middle-school kids, ask them if they know the story of Adam and Eve. What about telling a high-schooler that you are going to cover the story of Noah’s Ark. The sighs and rolling of the eyes will tell you all that you need to know. These kids have heard these stories 1,000 times before. They think that they know where you are going, and so they tune out. Eyes wide open, heads nodding, tuned out.

As you are uncovering deeper lessons in the well-worn bible stories, the kids are in the passenger seat not paying attention. You discuss the nuance of Satan’s deception of Eve and how that relates to how Satan tempts each of us, and your students are still hearing the story they heard in elementary school: Adam – Eve – Apple – Sin – Bad. This is the first step in a damaging set of circumstances that is keeping our kids from fully embracing the word of God. You discuss the faith of David or Abraham and the kids picture Goliath and a burning bush. They are not picking up on the deeper theological points or life-application importance of the examples. Don’t get me wrong, we as painters are doing our best to paint that wall, and we are clever in how we use music and video and practical exercises, but because they believe that they already know it all, most of it drips to the floor.

Deeper Lessons Lost

The lessons we give to kids as they get older are perfectly reasonable lessons with additional facts and nuances appropriate for their increasing maturity. However, because they have already tuned out they are not getting the lessons. Then, as we layer different social guidelines on top of a child-level theology, kids have a hard time understanding. They are not reconciling their childish understanding of Adam and Eve and sin, and God’s judgment, and Jesus sacrifice with why they should think one way or another about homosexuality, pornography and monogamy. It is very sad to say, and I have tested this multiple times with older kids, that there is even a lack of understanding of what it means to be a Christian.

Christian?

Kids do not know the basic Christian standard for being a Christian. They do not understand, and they cannot summarize the key points of Christ’s sacrifice, what it means, or how we should respond to it. This premise is also easy to test. With your own kids or on Sunday morning when you speak to your youth group have each kid write down what they believe it means to be a Christian. We joke about getting the church answer to our questions while in church, but you will be surprised at how many kids answer, “I believe in God.” We spend all of our time painting, and we stand back to discover that we didn’t paint the center of the wall very well. Though we’ve tried, we are failing to secure the hearts of our kids.

Weak Foundation

This gap in the knowledge of the foundation of Christian theology starts at the youngest ages. As the kids grow older, they presume they have heard it all, and they also begin to engage their intellect and their critical thinking skills. Unfortunately, that aspect of their God-given being is not addressed in youth groups consistently. We don’t give them answers to their questions about the reliability of Scripture, why evil exists, could Jesus really have risen from the dead, and was there really a worldwide flood. The world is challenging them with tons of other questions that revolve around the truth of Christianity. The compounding of the problem means that they don’t understand theology and their intellect starts to tell them that it isn’t true anyway, so they don’t need to learn it. They are left without a foundation of both the heart and the head.

The Mild 25%

I am making a broad generalization, because certainly there are kids who get it. There are kids who have a genuine relationship with Christ, who govern their actions and their thoughts around scripture, and who are truly seeking spiritual growth. The problem is that as a Christian church we are losing 75% of kids raised in the church. After high school they no longer practice Christianity. As we look at our wall, it is critical to understand that the 25% that are left are Christians, but often without a strong enough to project that faith into the world. What intellectual underpinnings and what deep theological understandings do they have of our scripture and of our worldview unless they sought the information and retained it on their own? The 25% that is left, though they are strong Christians, are not as effective as they could be as they leave high school and venture into the world.

Christian Revival is Around the Corner

In strategy development and planning identifying the obstacles to reaching your objective is critically important. This identification of the obstacles isn’t a courteous massaging of the information until you kinda’ know what stands in your way, it is a brutal ripping away of assumptions and predispositions until you are left with the facts. In analyzing the problem of the exodus of Christian Kids from the Faith, I can tell you that we can reach our objective of Revival. Christian Revival through this group of kids is possible and likely when we answer their intellect in a way that encourages them to get back into the theology. See Apologetics: The Path to Christian Revival. When we begin to answer the tough questions that the world is throwing our way, it is like adding primer to the wall. We are properly preparing the surface to receive the beautiful coats of paint that God has provided us. Our approach to raising up kids in the Lord has to change to acknowledge the real obstacles and challenges that they are facing. As adults we have come through that battlefield in one way or another and now we need to help our children do the same.


Practical Help

Stay Tuned: I am in the process of completing two books due out in 2016 to address this problem. Sign up for my email updates to be the first to learn when they are released. Christian Apologetics Solution

  • The first book will lay out the practical how-to steps for keeping Christian kids Christian for Churches and parents.
  • The second book is a book covering 14 apologetic subjects with tools to make it as easy as possible for anyone to teach and learn.

Brace E. Barber is a Christian Apologetics Speaker focusing on teaching Churches how to immediately stop the loss of Christian kids from the Faith. See more at Christian Apologetics Speaker

Christian Youth Revival

Apologetics: The Path to Christian Revival

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in Apologetics, Christianity, Youth Apologetics

By Brace E. Barber, Christian Apologetics Speaker
July 12, 2016

Christian Churches today are suffering through the loss of approximately 75% of their youth after they leave high school. As hard as the church tries to be relevant to their lives they are failing to make the critical connection that keeps the kids in the faith. What is missing? If we can identify why our youth are abandoning Christianity, we can begin to solve the problem, and if we can solve the problem, we will begin to grow the Church again and eventually turn our country and the world around again.

The past generation of Church Youth education has focused on relationship and relevance. Churches have youth pastors on staff, music directors and worship leaders for that body of students. The worship is great, the videos are entertaining and professional and the message is Christ centered, so why do kids leave after 18 years in our hands?

The reason 75% of Christian Kids leave the faith after 18 years is because we have ignored their intellect.

We have their hearts, but not their heads. I believe that the gravity of this situation has not really been laid bare before. We have them for 18 years! If we can’t convince them that Christianity is the path that they should follow in 18 years of near exclusive access, a rational person would say that we must change what we are doing. The secular world looks at us and snickers believing that the youth are finally getting educated in the facts and leaving the Church. But that’s exactly the opposite of what has happened. The Church must address the intellect of our youth in an aggressive manner. When we satisfy their intellect, we will stop the exodus of kids from the Church. We will keep 75% instead of lose 75%. That is a big promise, and one that can be verified as reasonable just by asking yourself why you don’t smoke and why the percentage of people who smoke has dropped precipitously since the 1960s.

Truth…

When we know something is the truth because of the evidence supporting it, we act in accordance with the truth. Well most of us do. Our youth do not believe that Christianity is the truth, otherwise they would not leave. If you are reading this and your heart is racing trying to think of the evidence for Christ, be encouraged because though you might not have it on the tip of your tongue, all of the scientific and historic evidence points to God the Creator and Jesus the Savior. The goal of the Church is to impart the truth of the Gospel and Scriptures to our kids. But how is that done? The information can be very academic and complicated. How do we get people to teach information that they themselves don’t know?

See the Atheist’s Plea

Obstacles

Those are the problems that I have worked to solve by developing tools and processes that make the whole process palatable for most Churches. However, there is a bigger obstacle than acknowledgement of the problem that has to be overcome. Even if we had all of the proper tools and support, this solution will not work if the Church is not willing to elevate the intellectual education of their youth to equality or near equality with the Gospel. That’s a huge ask and one that catches most people off guard at first. Apologetics should not be an afterthought Sunday night bible study held once a year. Apologetics should be integrated into most teaching that the Church does, and it should be a concentration during the high-school years. …that’s the first big obstacle.

Path to Christian Revival

The second big, ugly obstacle is that you have to test the kids. “WHAT?! Test our voluntarily-attending youth? We’ll lose them all!” Let’s look at it this way. If you keep 25% of the kids and 75% leave, you are breaking even. But what will that 25% accomplish in the world? (By the way, kids are itching for this information. Don’t be surprised if your youth group grows.) These kids are ready to take on the world using the world’s scientific and historical evidence. They are ready to fulfill the Great Commission in ways that will grow the church and begin to turn losses into gains. The youth educated in this way is how Christian Revival will begin.


Practical Help

Stay Tuned: I am in the process of completing two books due out in 2016 to address this problem. Sign up for my email updates to be the first to learn when they are released. Christian Apologetics Solution

  • The first book will lay out the practical how-to steps for keeping Christian kids Christian for Churches and parents.
  • The second book is a book covering 14 apologetic subjects with tools to make it as easy as possible for anyone to teach and learn.

Brace E. Barber is a Christian Apologetics Speaker focusing on teaching Churches how to immediately stop the loss of Christian kids from the Faith. See more at Christian Apologetics Speaker