May 28, 2007, Enterprise Dispatch
Pastor's Column

Christian values start at home

Pastor Wally Glucklich, Elim Mission Church, Cokato

The average church attendee believes in the myth that if a child is brought to church, the child will become a faithful follower of Jesus.

That’s not what the studies reflect.

Josephson Institute on Ethics stated in their “Ethics of American Youth” report that there is only a 4 percent difference in ethics between church-going and non-church-going youth. In other words, church seems to have had little influence on our young people.

In the Barna Research Group, in the “third millennium teens” study, it was discovered that Christian teens are believing differently from their parents’ orthodox faith. For example:

• Sixty-three percent don’t believe Jesus is the Son of the one true God.

• Fifty-eight percent believe all faiths teach equally valid truths.

• Fifty-one percent don’t believe Jesus rose from the dead.

• Sixty-five percent don’t believe Satan is a real entity

• Sixty-eight percent don’t believe the Holy Spirit is a real entity.

Where do these distorted concepts come from?

Yet another interesting fact is brought out by Josh McDowell, in his book, “The Last Christian Generation,” asking teens, “Who or what is molding and shaping your attitudes and actions?”

Seventy-eight percent of teens surveyed answered that it was their parents who mold and shape their attitudes and actions. McDowell states that parents have three times greater influence on their children than their pastor or youth director. In fact, church is seventh on the list, and friends have twice as much influence as their youth director.

What do we conclude from this study? Parents have the greatest influence and opportunity to instill their Christian values and faith within their children. Therefore, the greatest spiritual training and foundation in a child comes from the home, more than the church.

These statistics reinforce the truths of Dueteronomy 6:6, 7. “These commandments that I give you (parents) today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk with them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

The spiritual investment we make in our children is a powerful responsibility that has eternal results.

How’s our influence?

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