Last post I started a three part series on Six (Modern-Day) Traditions That Are Killing the Church. These traditions have nothing to do with style of music, whether the pastor uses a pulpit or round table, or whether the people come dressed in suits or blue jeans. There are great churches on both sides of those divides. These traditions are a little more insidious, a little more difficult to unearth. Here are traditions three and four:
3. Expecting the church to disciple your kids. This used to frustrate me to no end as a youth pastor. A parent would come up, concerned about the lack of spirituality in their child. They didn’t feel confident talking to their kid about the Bible. So they were going to use their 167 hours per week and let their child fill their head with as much worldly influence as possible, then give that child to me for an hour a week and hope that I could completely disciple them. Not gonna happen. In Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says this, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” The role of discipling your children ultimately belongs to the parents, not the church. Interestingly enough, the epidemic of college students leaving the home and leaving the faith began to track at the same time that parents abdicated their role in the spiritual formation of their children. Coincidence? I think not.
4. Robbing God by not trusting God with God’s money. It took me years to get this right. I’ve been a Christian a majority of my life, yet it took years and years and years to finally trust God enough to begin to tithe faithfully. In Malachi 3:8, God tells Israel, “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings.” Let’s be honest. Most Christians don’t tithe. That may very well include you.
Here’s what I learned after I began to tithe: I don’t tithe because God needs it. God’s not broke. It’s actually all his money anyways. I tithe because I need it. I need to break the power of money in my life. I need to experience the blessings of trusting God with that which is closest to my heart: my pocketbook. This tradition, of Christians thinking it’s okay to rob God, is killing the church today.
QUESTION: What traditions would you add to this list?