I have a topic I would like to address in this blog. I am not really sure how to do so in a manner as to not offend somebody, so be gracious, dear reader. I have been in church my whole life and have seen some incredible things on that short journey but what I want to discuss here is by far the most interesting to me. There seems to be a rivalry between 2 groups of people, 1st generation Christians(those that were not brought up in the church), and 2nd,3rd, 4th etc Generation Christians(those of us raised in the church)
I have watched this rivalry, and have only said a few things on rare occasions on this issue.(Every time, it was to rebuke my peers for their stupidity) I have heard preachers rail on “Christian kids,” that they don’t appreciate anything in Christianity because we have had it all handed to us.(This is true on many occasions unfortunately). I have had people tell me that no matter how hard I try, I will never be as good of a Christian as those that were saved out of the world. I have been told that we have no idea how good we have it and because of that we are all ungrateful. I have been told that unless a man was saved out of the world, he really can’t preach the gospel in it’s entirety because he don’t understand sin. I have tried to be a good sport through all this, understanding that most of it is a result of Jealousy. Simple logic shows this to be true, because all these folks then try to shelter their kids and give them a christian upbringing.
I have also seen my peers take the opposite approach. I have seen kids raised in church who think they are the best thing to have every entered the church. I have watched people raised in church glory in their righteousness and claim that they can do so much more for God without that unnecessary baggage that the other crowd out in the world has. I have heard all sorts of silliness come from both parties and it is embarrassing at times to be around this stuff. Let me give my opinion on this issue.
First, the Bible says “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” and “There is none righteous, no not one.” This means everyone of us is on our way to hell if we do not trust in the forgiveness of sins offered by the blood of Christ. No group of people has avoided this condemnation based on upbringing. Some of us had a really hard time seeing ourselves as sinners, because the outside was clean, but the inside was filthy, and some of y’all had other issues to deal with, but at the end we all had to come the same way.
As a kid raised in church, I have been told quite often that I have been given an advantage, and that is very true. I have learned the bible from a child, I have been sheltered from sin. When I close my eyes to pray, I see no graphic images that distract me. Some would give everything they have to get that advantage, and I personally thank the Lord regularly for blessing me with such an upbringing. But let me share some things that I struggled with that others may not. Having heard the Bible since my birth, I somehow came to the conclusion that I knew all that there was to know, so searching the scriptures is not easy. Having grown up in church, it is hard to differentiate between Baptist tradition and true Bible doctrine. We also know what we believe, but don’t ask us to prove it, why should we have to, the things we believe are simply facts of life to us. This may not seem like a huge deal, but you take all that and mix it with the self righteousness and pride that we fight daily and it is hard.
Now I don’t know what everyone else battles, but I really don’t want to hear about how great you thought the world was and how much fun you had while you were there. You aren’t remembering right sir or ma’am. Don’t get up at church and tell everyone the details of your “wonderful” life in sin. If it so great, why are you here now? As a kid in church, when I heard the testimonies of folks who wanted to speak freely of sin, all it did was perk my curiosity. I believed them that the world was fun. When I was about 8 years old, my parents decided to not allow us to listen to the “Unshackled” radio program after I came to them and excitedly said ” I cant wait to grow up and get an awesome testimony so they will put it on the radio.” You may not agree that it was a good decision, but you are wrong. At 8 years old, I didn’t need to learn the details of drugs, drink, prostitution, or such like. One thing I really appreciate about my dad, is how he tells his testimony. He does not go into the details of sin before salvation, he spends more time talking about what Christ has done for him after conversion instead of all the specifics of his sin.(He does tell a little bit, but definitely includes tact) He has gotten slack for it from some of the brethren, but I appreciate it.
Now let me say plainly that if you are saved from the world and some to Christ from the steeps of sins you do not have an advantage over “Christian kids” and VICE VERSA. We are all members of the same body. Don’t rebuke us because we have had it so good, that was not our doing, don’t chide us for being sheltered and uneducated on the sins of the world, don’t mock us for being naive to wicked things, and we will try to heed your warnings about the world. I may be simple concerning evil and for that thank you mom and dad, and you may be very savvy on how sin works and with that warn others before they leave and go there. Neither side has to be a lesser or a better Christian, we can all serve the Lord with a whole heart. Thank God for folks like Apostle Paul, Simon the Sorcerer, the woman at the well, and others, and at the same time thank the Lord for folks like Phinehas, Samuel, David, Timothy and more. We all have our place to fill and job to do. Let’s get busy.