Sam Black offers some sound advice on protecting our children from the dangers of a sexualized culture. Here are ten practices:
Set clear rules for how the Internet and technology may be used in your home. That will vary based on the age of family members and the personal beliefs of parents. Remember the goal is to teach kids how to use the Internet wisely, not to simply put up barriers. Teaching them now will prepare them for when they are older.
Become knowledgeable. Parents need to put effort into learning about websites and how the Internet is used. Internet Accountability reports from Covenant Eyes can help parents keep up with their kids. After all, a new website is launched every second.
Many sites and social media require usernames and passwords. A parent should know all password information, including that for e-mail, social networking, chat, etc. And parents should log in and review these accounts on at least a weekly basis. Being your child’s friend on Facebook is not enough as social networking sites allow the user to hide interactions.
Many sites are interactive and allow kids to personalize the web content. Work with your child to create online nicknames that don’t give away personal information, such as a real name, date of birth, or address.
According to Meyers, it is not “culture” that is the problem, but the culture in the church that is our greatest challenge. Christians have failed to live out their faith in the midst of culture and thus the Gospel has been,
…reduced to an abstract message of salvation that can be believed without having any necessary consequences for how we live. In contrast, the redemption announced in the Bible is clearly understood as restoring human thriving in creation.
“Salvation,” the former NPR reporter observes,
…is about God’s restoring our whole life, not just one invisible aspect of our being (our soul), but our life as lived out in the world in ways that are in keeping with how God made us. The goal of salvation is blessedness for us as human beings. In other words, we are saved so that our way of life can be fully in keeping with God’s ordering of reality.
A post by Melinda Penner in 2005 reminded me of the great responsibility pastors have to project and express a biblical view of life and the world. According to a 2005 study:
Most religious youth couldn’t coherently express their beliefs and how it is different from other faiths. Their view of God is “something like a combination Divine Butler and Cosmic Therapist” who solves their problems. And the most troubling finding is that religious teens don’t believe there are theological objective truths; effectively they are pluralists.
What is the cause of such naivete? The Church has certainly failed to educate their youth when their youth were only little babes (Psalm 22:9). Undoubtedly there is a parental blame in the picture. Parents need to equip early on. They need to fulfill their duties (Ephesians 6). At the same time, what is the modern Church offering their youth? Pizza parties? Pep talks about modern movie trivia?
The Church is losing her youth, though her youth may still be attending the Church. It won’t be long before they become Church corpses–offering little to nothing to the life and sanctification of the Church body–or completely abandon the pews and run to Richard Dawkins for nurture.
Kirk Cameron was interviewed by Piers Morgan on a variety of topics. Among them was the issue of homosexuality and marriage. Cameron asserted that marriage was defined by God and was as “old as dirt.” Further, he stated emphatically that no one should re-define. When asked if homosexuality was a sin, Cameron did offered a strong case for standards. Everyone makes moral judgments based on their standards. The former Growing Pains star added, “…homosexuality is unnatural, detrimental, and ultimately destructive.”
Morgan pursued another hot social issue–abortion. “Is abortion wrong?” asked the British host. Again, Cameron was direct and unbending:
“Abortion is wrong under any circumstances…I think that someone who is ultimately willing to murder a child, even to fix another tragic and devastating situation like rape or incest or things like that, is not taking the moral high road,” Cameron said. “I think that we’re compounding the problem by also murdering a little child.”
Cameron has become a staunch defender of the family, and has continued to use his platform to influence both his Christian audience, as well as provide orthodox commentary in an ocean of political correctness. May God bless Cameron’s work and words in the years ahead; and may he befuddle hosts with biblical clarity at every chance.
Update: GLAAD has already spoken out against Cameron by stating:
“Cameron is out of step with a growing majority of Americans, particularly people of faith who believe that their gay and lesbian brothers and sisters should be loved and accepted based on their character and not condemned because of their sexual orientation.”
The argument for the “growing majority of Americans” is a common line from pundits in an age of vast immorality. The Christian faith is not dependent on the voice of the people. Our standards, as Cameron mentioned, are not subject to the consensus of the majority. As expected, biblical morality will be chastised and persecuted.
My friend Todd Leonard brought this to my attention last night. I am only familiar with Metaxas’ name through his Bonhoeffer biography, and a passing reference from Stephen Mansfield, but it will be hard to forget his name from now on. Mark Joseph summarizes the Metaxas’ speech on a piece at NRO. Metaxas’ phony religiosity speech is best summarized by this paragraph:
“When he was tempted in the desert, who was the one throwing Bible verses at him? Satan. That is a perfect picture of dead religion. Using the words of God to do the opposite of what God does. It’s grotesque when you think about it. It’s demonic.”
Tim Tebow is known for his vivacious expressions of the Christian faith. This has led to bizarre fury from sports figure like Charles Barkley to atheist commentator, Bill Maher. Maher’s anti-Christian obsession has made Tebow his prime target. Does any of this cause Tebow to diminish his Christian testimony in the field? The opposite is true. He seems more determined, and has proven that he can play with the big boys in the NFL.
While many criticize him for his bumper-sticker gospel and his 3:16 themes, there is plenty of room for a Tim Tebow in the public arena. In fact, the gospel is public. Tebow’s message is simple. Christians should encourage and pray for his testimony. The media is just waiting for that one moment to discredit his message. By God’s grace, Tebow’s time will cause many to consider the gospel, and John 3:16 may just be that good starting point.
Leithart defines culture as “a people organized and united by its language, rites, rules, and mechanisms of enforcement.” He goes on to apply this same definition to covenant and Church. The Church is a different, alternative culture within a culture.
Ann Coulter responds to the liberal accusation that Hume should not have spoken of faith in a political setting. She states why Christianity is so hard for liberals to accept:
Christianity is also the hardest religion in the world because, if you believe Christ died for your sins and rose from the dead, you have no choice but to give your life entirely over to Him. No more sexual promiscuity, no lying, no cheating, no stealing, no killing inconvenient old people or unborn babies — no doing what all the other kids do.
And no more caring what the world thinks of you — because, as Jesus warned in a prophecy constantly fulfilled by liberals: The world will hate you.
Where will blogging go in the 2010’s? I’m not sure. I suspect that the initial stage of the blog wave is over. What we are seeing now is the maturation of the blogosphere, as blogging continues to take on characteristics of traditional media, while leaving the door cracked open for newcomers to make their voices heard.