The 5 Worst Beliefs a Christian Parent Can Have in an Imploding Society

The 5 Worst Beliefs a Christian Parent Can Have in an Imploding Society

America is changing fast, and not in the direction we’d like.

In light of recent events, I don’t think I need to detail all the signs that point to an imploding society. We see it. We feel it. We fear it.

Instead, I want to focus on our role as Christian parents within a society at such a point as this. In particular, I’m concerned about some very harmful beliefs—both conscious and subconscious—that I’ve noticed some Christian parents have.

Today I want to highlight five of the worst beliefs we can have when our society is spiraling downward.

1. I’m doing my part to make society a better place by raising kids with good values.

I’ve heard some variation on this way too many times. Let me make this very clear: Raising kids with good values is not the same as raising kids who love Jesus. And there are two important reasons why focusing on good values rather than on Jesus will never fundamentally alter society.

First, without universal acceptance of an objective moral standard (God), society will always disagree about which values are good. Without God as the standard, the goodness of a value system is simply a matter of opinion. One person can claim abortion is morally acceptable and another person can claim it’s murder. “Good” values can’t rescue a society when there will never be fundamental agreement on how to define what’s good in the first place.

Second, the fundamental problem in a troubled society isn’t a lack of values. It’s sinful human nature. Even if everyone agreed on the same set of objective moral values, they would still sin and act contrary to those values. Society’s deepest need for healing, therefore, isn’t more people with good values (however those values are defined)—it’s more people who know and love Jesus, who acknowledge the ever-present reality of sin as the world’s ultimate problem, and who accept Jesus’ sacrifice as the solution to that problem.

There will never be complete peace on Earth. But when we, as Christian parents, stay focused on raising kids who love Jesus—not just raising kids with good values—we are raising a generation who can impact society in an eternally significant way: by raising more witnesses for Christ.

2. I don’t need to waste my time teaching my kids the falsities of others’ beliefs when they’re better served learning the truth of Jesus Christ.

This is what someone said in response to one of my blog posts about the importance of helping our kids understand the secular worldview. And it absolutely belongs on this list of the 5 worst beliefs a Christian parent can have in an imploding society.

It’s well known, based on multiple independent research studies over more than a decade, that at least 60% of kids who grow up in Christian homes turn away from faith as young adults. These kids learned the truth of Jesus Christ…but when they encountered false claims to the contrary, they were led astray.

In a society that’s quickly turning away from God, kids will be exposed to claims against Christianity at exponentially increasing rates. When they start to see their beliefs in the context of such claims, they have to know how to evaluate those competing views. Think of it this way: Just because a football team knows what to do when they have a ball at practice with no opponents around doesn’t mean they’ll know what to do when thousands of pounds of force come at them in a real game. If they don’t know what the other team will do, and how to respond, they’ll fumble…they’ll make poor plays…they’ll be pushed back. Similarly, our kids won’t be living in a Christian vacuum. Thousands of pounds of force will be coming at their beliefs. You can ignore it, but statistics show your kids’ faith will likely not stand up again after it’s been tackled by today’s opponents. Why wouldn’t you prepare them for that?

(If you need help learning about the specific faith challenges of today’s secular world, how to explain those challenges to your kids, and figuring out what all that means for you as a Christian parent, check out my books here.)

3. God is in control, so whatever happens in our society is meant to happen. I’m not going to be concerned about it.

Allow me to be blunt: This is just plain laziness, whether a person wants to admit it or not.

Of course God is sovereign. But it’s not biblical to sit back and watch the world unfold because God is ultimately in control.

Did God tell the Israelites, “Just chill out. Don’t be concerned about Canaanite society. I’m in control and this ship is sailing regardless of what you do”? NO! He commanded the Israelites to wage war against Canaanite society. The Israelites were used by God to execute judgment against them.

Did Jesus tell the disciples, “Just hang out here in Jerusalem after I’m gone and I’ll make sure the rest of the world hears the good news about me on my own?” NO! He commissioned the witnesses of his life, death, and resurrection to go out and tell the world about him…and to be willing to suffer and die in the process.

The fact of God’s sovereignty has never meant that we should relegate our faith to whatever status society wants to place on it. If we care about the world our kids are growing into, we must be concerned about society’s changing moral and legal landscape and be willing to act on that concern accordingly.

4. My kids will learn what they need to know about the Bible at church.

If we’re going to raise kids who will represent Jesus in a society spiraling downward, they better be prepared to speak to the truth of the Bible—God’s Word to people in all societies. The Bible tells us where we came from (God), why we’re here (to have a relationship with God), the most significant problem we face (sin, leading to separation from God), the history of God bringing a solution to that problem (Jesus), how we should live our lives in response (putting Jesus first), and where we’re going (a final judgment of the whole world). I’m going to go out on a limb and say that’s pretty relevant stuff for today…and always.

Meanwhile, research shows that fewer than 1 in 10 Christian families read the Bible together in a given week.

As Christian parents, we should collectively feel that like a punch in the gut.

The belief that kids will learn what they need to know about the Bible at church is not conscious for most parents. But when we don’t study the Bible with our kids, our lack of action speaks to that subconscious belief. And it’s an undeniably wrong belief that will ultimately limit our kids’ effectiveness in engaging with a secular society.

As I wrote in my post, Why Your Kids Can Spend 600-Plus Hours in Church and Not Get Much Out of It, we have to remember that over the years a child attends Sunday school, teachers vary, curricula vary, and churches vary (as families move). Kids are handed various pieces of Christianity during that time, which they collect and store internally. But unless there is a consistent, focused, goal-oriented spiritual trainer in their life—a parent—those pieces will almost certainly lie around unconnected. This is especially true when it comes to their understanding of the Bible.

Furthermore, there are many things kids need to learn about the Bible that are never covered in most Sunday schools: How were the books in the Bible selected? Why were books left out of the Bible? How do we know we can trust the Bible’s authors? How do we know the Bible we have today says what the authors originally wrote? What about the supposed errors and contradictions in the Bible?

All of these questions are favorites for skeptics to weigh in on. But your kids won’t know what to make of their claims if you’ve assumed they’ll learn all this at church. They almost certainly won’t.

5. I’m sure things won’t get that bad.

I have been guilty of believing this until pretty recently.

But what a giant, dangerous deception it is.

To be sure, there are places in the world where Christians face persecution of a nature we may never see in America. If that’s your standard of bad, it may be true that things won’t get that bad.

But there are other kinds of bad that would represent an enormous change in the way of life for Christians in America…kinds of bad that are quickly becoming a reality, faster than most of us would have imagined. Every week (dare I say every day) there is a new headline that has negative implications for religious liberty in our country. Those headlines will keep rolling in.

We can ignore them, assuming things can’t get too bad. After all, this is America! Or we can look at such headlines like canaries in a coalmine—advanced warning signals of a precarious future for Christians in this country—and start taking more action in the public square on behalf of the next generation:

  • Stay up-to-date on the latest news affecting Christians (The Stream is a great place to do so).
  • Share articles representing Christian viewpoints on your social media.
  • Actively discuss these issues with your friends–online and in person.
  • Write politicians regarding key issues.
  • Gain an active knowledge of what public schools in your area are teaching that may be of concern and act accordingly.

Rather than assuming things won’t get that bad, let’s work together to make sure they don’t.

27 thoughts on “The 5 Worst Beliefs a Christian Parent Can Have in an Imploding Society”

  1. Pingback: The 5 Worst Beliefs a Christian Parent Can Have in an Imploding Society | 4th Quarter Musings

    1. I agree. When there are over 44 million parents/grandparents thrown out of their adult children’s lives – something is wrong. The churches do not address anything to do with respecting/honoring parents – honoring those in authority. Most churches do not pray for our country, our leaders.
      We are two parents in our mid 70’s whose daughter told us she didn’t want us in her life. Like that’s a choice? Apparently it is now and, try as we might, to get a pastor involved in talking to our daughter or even saying he will pray for us —- think again. Our friends – think again. Anyone – think again. Our daughter should be admonished for believing she can judge us so harshly and not expect God to judge her accordingly. Her husband is behind a lot of this we are told. So we’ve lost our only granddaughter. When we might need help as we get older, we no longer have our daughter there for us. We were there for our daughter for 43 years of her life and our granddaughter’s 17 years. No, hey, they’re just annoying old people. The old man has a hearing loss (so annoying); he’s got cancer (so annoying). We don’t want to be bothered. It might curtail our lives and be a bother. These are Christians that attend a Calvary Baptist church in Ogden UT. I even wrote to the hierarchy of the church? Any response? Any concern – heck no. Just keep raking in the money – keep us in our big houses. The heck with that couple that were just kicked to the side of the road dying w/o anyone to care. So we’re still looking for a Good Samaritin. We know our God is a good God and no actions by humans will ever cause us to leave our walk with Him. Our society is in such a sad state. But, hey, nobody cares.

      1. Sounds like you are doubting your walk with him. And setting expectations that may not be answered from a human standpoint. I’m so guilty of this all the time! I need constant reminding that everyone will let me down if I hold them up too high. But God never will. ????
        And I agree with most of what you’ve written except that last part “nobody cares.” Just thought I’d offer you my point of view if you’re willing to read it. Everything you’ve said, I’ve been familiar with in some way and even came ch myself feeling those similar emotions I sense in your words. I’m smack, dab in the middle. With aging parents & young adult children of my own. My heart aches often for things I feel are uncontrollable or my inability to see a real difference any of my actions in faith are making. The more advanced our forward seeking society & the coming generations get, only seems to add to the many devious, sneaky new ways & avenues of attack, our one, true, enemy (Satan) has. pulling us harder & further apart from our Father, pulling on our own “literal” children harder & further apart from us, THEIR fathers’ (& mothers’) and so on and so forth. There’s so much contrary bombarding of “Find YOUR Happiness”, “Chase YOUR Dreams”, “Don’t Feel Guilty”, “Just Do It” narcissism and it seems to be out of control! Or is it? But just like the mysterious God we try so hard to figure out…….we simply can’t and won’t…….at least not now. And things are not always what they seem. I could go on & on but I’ll only say a few things here. I agree with you 100% that the majority of our modern American society seems to accept a current culture of de-valueing the hard-earned wisdom, sacrifices and overall human worth of it’s Elders & the aging populations less and less. But I know a lot of people who are actively seeking to put that value back & change the culture. I’ve seen both sides first hand, working in nursing homes and retirement communities. Doing volunteer work & counseling with both young & old. Please DO keep your faith & don’t allow your heart to be hardened. Remember the promises our Gracious and Loving father gave us through the gospel of his Word. Cling to it like a life preserver……..that’s what it is.
        And remember we ALL break his commandments, his written law. We ALL have sinned and fall short of his Glory (Ephesians 6:1-24) ”
        Honor thy mother and father (this is the first commandment.) But why did he put this one first? My opinion or belief rather, is that, if we learn how to honor our earthly Fathers & Mothers and continually strive to actively show that in our lives, isn’t that good training & perspective for how we should honor our Father in Heaven.
        We don’t always understand their ways (our parents) but we still love them (unconditional love), we seek their wisdom & guidance in our confusion (like when we pray to God), we want to make them proud (by making good choices or being excellent in some way), we wrestle with guilt & fear at the thought of them ever finding out our secrets & being disappointed) We trust them to teach us how and prepare us to navigate the seemingly big world (then we push them away when we feel over confident “I can do it on my own”. Don’t we all act this way to our Heavenly Father at times also? Yet we want to be forgiven & accepted regardless of our shortcomings or stubborn disobedience. We too, as children, want unconditional love & forgiveness from our parents but are we able, as a parent, to always forgive the missteps, stubbornness & sometimes bad choices of our own children? Do we struggle with modeling this type of unconditional love, even when they push us away to do it “their own way” “on their terms” & without our help. It hurts & I know this painful truth. It pains & grieves us and I’m sure it pains & grieves our Father, God.
        I hope you will thoroughly read through the scriptures I’ve written below, to the end…. They bring me comfort & some strength. I hope the same for you. “Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ with a love incorruptible.”
        Take His word to heart. It is a healing salve to our painful wounds. If the “Church” which are ANY and ALL believers and followers of Christ Jesus…….blaspheme in His name, it will not be tolerated. He will spot them out.
        James 1: 19-26 & James 2 :12-13 “because judgement without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgement.

        “We will ALL be called to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.”

        And finally ANYONE reading this I ask that you please also read Isaiah 1:1-31 Concerning A Rebellious Nation.

        I pray continually for all our stumblings, sinful nature & rebellions against our Creator and his good & perfect law, myself included! I pray and long for the day when our broken hearts, bruised & beaten bodies & weary souls stand to persevere & receive our promised rest and ALL that is promised to those who love the Lord. Then all things will be made anew. Amen!

      2. Karen- Your words and testimony are so full of despair. I’m sorry that your daughter has such influences on her life to blind her from God’s best for us all. This is not a battle of flesh but of spiritual warfare. The enemy is at work in your family (and Biblically, this is where he does his most damage ie Cain/Able etc etc) and he is using your daughter sadly to poke holes in your own foundation of Faith in the Living God whom he hates. Stirring up discontent and bitterness is one of the enemy’s easiest tactics see Hebrews 12:15. Don’t let him have a foothold on your walk with our Saviour. Pray in Spirit for this prodigal child and all those influencing her life. I speak from the other side as the prodigal child who left home a humanist and returned to God in my thirties. My 17 yr old daughter is now a budding apologist and seeks after God and family, recently choosing to attend a college program in my hometown so she can live with her great grandmother. This same great grandmother is 89 and has prayed for us in faith and In spirit every single day. She knew she couldn’t “fix” us by striving on her own (and so becoming poor in spirit) and sought God grace and power. Please keep Faith in our Amazing God and on your daughter and grand child. They don’t see things thru the lens of a loving Father yet but intercede for them. Pray in spirit with out ceasing and the enemy will flee along with his discontent and bitterness. Praying for your family, Karen
        Walking in His grace, s

  2. Patrick Edison

    Great post, Mrs. Crain!
    I have found more and more that you think the same way I do.
    Keep it up!

  3. Love these, and I think they’re good. I would add one:

    “That the public schools are neutral when it comes to religion and values”

    Very deadly belief right there.

    We are losing 80 percent of our children to this world and its way of thinking–or perhaps “feeling would be more appropriate– if polls are to be believed. It would behoove us to start asking the question, why?

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  5. Lorelei Salisbury

    Thanks for this article. Timely reminder to us all. I’m definitely guilty of thinking some of these things from time to time so thanks for giving some impetus to take it more seriously. Thinking of the ‘values’ teaching in our schools, I was quite struck by your thoughts that good values are not the same as having God’s values and being part of His family.

  6. Great article, and one that needs to be shared.
    Various orgs like do a good job of addressing the Christian worldview and challenging people to get knowledge so that they become and remain ‘salt and light’ to this world. But it all starts at home and is ultimately the responsibility of each parent to ensure their children grow up not only believing but being able to counteract the lies within the prevailing culture and also being moblised within that culture.

    Know the Word, live the Word, share the Word – and teach your children to do the same.

  7. Outstanding post. I particularly love #3- yes, God IS in control, but that does not mean He has not put someone in your path to witness to, a cause to stand up for, a lie to correct. As saints, it is incumbent upon us to be the salt and the light for we will be held accountable for the wisdom & opportunities we were given and what we did with them.

  8. I just gave a copy of your book, Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side, to my daughter to read with our grandchildren. Thanks for the book and this article.

  9. Pingback: The 5 Worst Beliefs a Christian Parent Can Hold in an Imploding World – Stand For Faith

  10. I praise the Lord for my parents always being open with the Bible. My father had a PhD in Theology, and was my mentor in understanding everything you mentioned. My sister was my parenting rock whom I emulated to keep Christ continually in court home. I do believe things will get worse because we live in as fallen world, but I have witnessed hundreds of young men and women, teens, college students and graduates who are truly forming a huge revival for Christ in our city. I have faith through these young minds that they can ultimately affect some changes for our future. God bless!

  11. May I add a great book to give you a good dose of reality is John S. Dickerson’s “The Great Evangelical Recession.” It clearly demonstrates where evangelicals stand today and tells us what we need to do about it.

  12. Pauline Strickland

    Parents have lost the importance of teaching their kids. They let them get so involved in activities that they have no time left for the important thing. If it isn’t important to the parent, it will never be important to the child.
    I teach third and fourth grade Bible class on Wednesday nite and can hardly keep from crying seeing what is happening to the kids.
    God bless our little ones.

  13. I would suggest adding the comment in the public schools that was mentioned and then Post this on every church house in America. Post it in every paper and anywhere we can.

    Very well done

  14. Pingback: mid-week apologetics booster (9-1-2016) – 1 Peter 4:12-16

  15. Item 5 really hits home. Back in the mid to late 1980’s I would listen to Dr James Dobson every day as I drove to or from work. I heard him continually raise an alarm about what was being taught (and not taught) in public schools, the rewriting of history, liberal views, athiest views the homosexual agenda. Etc. And I would think, “he is over the top on this one. Those in charge will never let all this come to pass” “and besides, my kids are in Christian schools” oh how I wish I could turn back the clock and heed his warning. Everything he foretold of is upon us. Thank you for your insights. I pray your readers take to heart your writings. Instilling our beliefs back into society is not impossible, but it will take work. Faith without action is dead. Get involved.

  16. Pingback: The 5 Worst Beliefs a Christian Parent Can Have in an Imploding Society | Faith Ascent Ministries

  17. Pingback: mid-week apologetics booster (10-19-2017) – 1 Peter 4:12-16

  18. Pingback: 12 Apologetics Quotes: Christianity, Critical Thinking, and the Life of the Mind – The Poached Egg Apologetics Blog

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