When I read the following excerpt from Mr. Little’s book, a possible answer to a troubling thought began to take form.
“Doubt is a word that strikes terror to the soul and often it is suppressed in a way that is very unhealthy. This is a particularly acute problem for those who have been reared in Christian homes and in the Christian Church. From their earliest years they have accepted the facts of Christianity solely on the basis of confidence and trust in parents, friends, and minister. As the educational process develops, a re-examination of their position takes place. This is a healthy and necessary experience to bring virile faith into being.”
Know Why You Believe, Little, Paul E. Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, @1968; Downers Grove, Illinois, p. 5
While I totally agree with Mr. Little’s words, the closing sentence begs the question, “What if this re-examination doesn’t take place?”
I am deeply troubled by the choices of young adults today who have been raised in a Christian home or at least regular attenders of a Christian church. During their youth, while under the Christian influence of their home or church. their choices generally reflected an acceptance of those Christian beliefs. Yet, after finishing high school, influences from a different source were encountered. And after a time, the eroding of their beliefs has left them unrecognizable as a Christian.
So, what happened?
Let’s take a look at what may NOT have happened when these young adults were youth by considering these questions. Were they ever challenged to ask questions about their beliefs? Or did they just go along with what they were being taught? Perhaps no one encouraged them to study their Bibles and find out for themselves what it had to say. And perhaps, they never claimed their parent’s faith or what they had been taught in their church as their own.
Without a personal conviction of the truths of Scripture, there is no anchor securing them to the abundant life God promised them. This leaves them at Satan’s mercy to deceive and destroy their lives.
Living life without a solid realization of who God is and who they are in Him, according to Satan’s plan, they will rationalize every contrary choice as acceptable. For it is evident that without a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ and confirmed by the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives, their faith is fake. A fake faith will not have the capacity to discern when they are being tempted to compromise. Their aim will be to please their sinful nature not God.