What crisis of faith developed in Israel after Joshua and his peers died? Judg. 2:7-13.
Studies of how values and beliefs in organizations such as churches are transmitted to subsequent generations show that the founders have very high levels of commitment to the beliefs. They were the ones who first championed them. Within a generation or two, many lose sight of the principles behind the values. They may go along with the organization, but often from habit. In subsequent generations, habits tend to crystallize into traditions. The founders’ passion is no longer present.
It has been said that God has no grandchildren, only children. What do you think that means? See also John 1:12-13; John 3:7; 1 John 5:1.
A common approach to transmitting values through long generations of Christianity has been for older ones simply to tell the youth what they believe. Learning what one’s parents believe or what the church believes is not personal faith however. Being a Christian is more than belonging to an organization with a history and a dogma. True faith isn’t something genetic, isn’t something that is passed on naturally from one generation to another. Each one needs to know Christ for himself or herself. Parents can do only so much. The church as a whole, and parents in particular, need to do all they can to create an environment that will make young people want to make that right choice, but, in the end, a generation is saved or lost for the gospel one person at a time.
|Joe, coming out of atheism, joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church as an adult after a powerful conversion experience. He married an Adventist woman and had a few children, whom they, of course, raised in the faith. One day, thinking about the spiritual condition of his children, he said, “Oh, if only my children would have the experience that I had!” If you had been there, what would you have said to him?|