The disconnect between belief and lifestyle seems to be growing. Barna studies tell us that despite claiming faith in Jesus Christ many Christians are bending the rules of the Bible to suit their circumstances (http://www.barna.org/culture-articles/144-a-new-generation-of-adults-bends-moral-and-sexual-rules-to-their-liking). This would really come as no surprise, but adults are reinforcing the ambiguity and contradiction in the lives of their children. There are parents who say that church is important, but who rarely attend. The Barna group also found that parents are concerned about the values in today’s media but purchase questionable media for their children anyway. The Bible is clear that a clear understanding of the gospel leads to a holy life. Why are we not seeing more change?
1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.[a] 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7Therefore do not be partners with them.
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- What is God’s way?
- What actions show God’s way of living?
- Why do people try to live life as close to the ‘dark side’ as possible?
- What is missing from Christians’ understanding and motivation that they livemorally inconsistent lives?
- How could you improve your holy living?
Barna has reports on trends in many things (a good example is technology). Check out the child and family section and also take a look at teens. http://www.barna.org/topics/family-kids