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God, Forgive Our Youthful Arrogance

I love church planters and I love cutting edge, innovative ministry. I’m encouraged by the growth of a kind of Christianity that calls us back to the New Testament model of worship and ministry as we head into the turbulent waters of this next decade. But I’m concerned with what I perceive sometimes to be youthful arrogance, and this concern includes myself.

I read a lot of books and blogs about how to do church today. Of course there will always be things with which we agree and disagree, but one trend that bothers me is the idea that there is an emerging movement within Christianity of leaders who have finally figured out how to do church biblically, and asserts that this has been lost by other recent generations of Christian leaders.

In other words, I think a lot of young leaders assume that the “old guys” missed the mark and we’re finally figuring out how to reach our culture. The fallacy here is that we are perhaps the most spoiled generation that western culture has ever seen. So we want our cake but don’t want to recognize the work of those who baked it. We want our freedom and liberties but don’t want to recognize the blood spilled for it. We want our missional Christianity, but don’t want to recognize the hard work of previous generations who laid the foundation for where we are today.

I think we should continue to nurture a more missional Christianity that resembles the church of the New Testament era, but we can’t ignore the contributions of Spurgeon and Moody, Graham and Swindoll, Criswell and Montgomery Boice and so many others.

Hey twenty-something (or 32ish like me), you didn’t invent the wheel and neither did I. It was handed down to us by calloused hands. Maybe we should pause long enough to recognize the great work of God in history to redeem mankind to Himself before we were ever thought about.

Perhaps, in place of our youthful arrogance, a little humility before the awe-inspiring God of all generations is in order.

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  • http://www.integralwebsolutions.co.za/blog.aspx Robert Bravery

    There is only one way to do Church. The way God layed it out in the Bible via Christ and the Apostles.

    Especially the writings of Paul.

    Too many times we think we need to give God a hand and improve the way we worship, or play church. Forgetting who's church it actually is. Forgetting that God can transcend time and would have seen how man and society would have changed. Forgetting that if God can know the future surely He would have given us a sure method of worship even back then.

    I have great respect for the old church fathers and other great preachers. But what makes them different and long standing is their commitment to the Bible way of doing things and not allowing the world to influence their Christianity and Worship.

    Lets not think we have to change the Bible and Christianity because the world and society and our culture changes. The opposite should be true. The world, society and cultures should change to fit in with the bible
    .-= Robert Bravery´s last blog ..Web Developers – January 11, 2010 =-.

    • Brandon

      Robert, I agree and you're preaching to the choir, bro. I'm in 1 Samuel right now, preaching my way through the entire Bible a book at a time – its' the only foundation that works.

  • http://www.jonathaniguina.wordpress.com Jonathan Iguina

    Had it not been for the one's before us, we would not be where we are right now. In my prayers daily I pray for those who God used in years past to influence my life. A good resource for people to read on where we came from aside from the bible of course, is the God's Generals collection by Roberts Liardon.

    Ecclesiastes 1:9-11 says:

    9 What has been will be again,

    what has been done will be done again;

    there is nothing new under the sun.

    10 Is there anything of which one can say,

    "Look! This is something new"?

    It was here already, long ago;

    it was here before our time.

    11 There is no remembrance of men of old,

    and even those who are yet to come

    will not be remembered

    by those who follow.

    • Brandon

      Very true, Jonathan!!

  • http://www.best-norman-rockwell-art.com Keith@Norman Rockwell Art

    Well, I am not a preacher, but I have found that when I stick to the word and have my heart in the right place, I find blessings in most everything I do. I am not sure whether I am just more thankful or observant or truly blessed.

    Anyway, if staying true to the Word will bring blessings when dealing with the world, it will surely do the same when tending the Flock.
    .-= Keith@Norman Rockwell Art´s last blog ..Jan 17, Puppy Love, Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post Cover 1926 =-.

    • Brandon

      Well said, Keith!