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September 28, 2011


I did a series with the youth at our church last year, using an episode of Glee (that focused on religion) and used it as a starting point for several teachings.

I would take a claim that someone made on the show that all the characters just assumed was true (the church hates women and gay people,faith is something that is just there for you in crisis, we shouldn't impose our beliefs on others), and then address those ideas from a biblical viewpoint.

My main goal was to show our students how they absorb their worldview from tv, music, movies, friends, etc. and not from from the Bible (even though they go to church regularly). A non-Christian worldview is smuggled in to us, and we have to be discerning enough to see it.

I think what is proposed above sounds different from the approach I took. Some of the sample questions from the first lesson hit on just what Amy said, the focus is too much on us and our self esteem. Whomever put those lessons together I'm sure has the right heart and wants to see young people become disciples, but it certainly seems to fit in with easily digestible stuff that is already so popular.

The sad thing is that many sermons on a Sunday are exactly that way.

It's been through STR and a few other places that I have come to realize that most people - even long-time Christians - have no idea what the big story of the Bible even is.

This was a rude awakening for me. It never occurred to me that this was the case. I have even heard of Christians who have been followers of Jesus for years, maybe even leading Bible studies or other ministries, who themselves have never read the Bible all the way through.

Learning this has left me stunned. When I got saved at the age of 18, one of the first things I did was read the Bible - the whole thing! It never occurred to me to read just verses here and there. I'd read the whole book. And especially in the NT, this is not difficult to do. The gospels read like a novel and the letters are so short that you can easily read them in a sitting. Now I look around and wonder how many Christians that I know even have the same frame of reference that I do. And then we wonder why our churches and our lives are so powerless.

As much as I love my church and have a commitment there, it's getting harder and harder to sit through small groups that offer studies like the one described above. I "feed" myself on my own, but I am desperate for something more.

I think that the reason for this kind of thing creeping into the church is something else opening the door for it to. That something is the "What is in it for me" mentality that so pervades our culture. This attitude does not identify _needs_, but it identifies _wants_ as the thing that is desirable to have met. Like muddy boots, we drag this attitude into the church and make a mess of things.

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