I love listening to podcasts, one of my favorites is from The Village Church. Matt Chandler has been on quite a journey over the last year and because of this I respect his teaching. Below you can read part of the podcast that I heard this morning from The Great Cause Part Two ~ The Reason (April 9, 2009)
The reason I wanted to include this portion is because in my years of working with teens and young adults I have had many discussions with parents about the subject Matt Chandler speaks about below. He has answered it better than I can, so please take the time to read it or if you want to hear it in entirety you can check out their website at: http://fm.thevillagechurch.net/sermons
This series has been kicking me in the butt, I am so thankful that I have taken the time to listen and search the scriptures.
When we’re alienated from our primary relationship, the one that we were created for, we’ll take our secondary relationships and try to roll them up to primary, and that makes things go really bad. Like women make horrible gods. Men make horrible gods. Children make even worse gods. And when you make your children your god, you get what I like to lovingly call the suburbs.
I’m going to say this, and it’s really hard. I’ve debated whether or not to say this, but I’m just going to say it. One of the things that we’ve picked up on in the last year is we’ve had several parents come to us and go, “Oh, I just don’t know what happened to my kid. We raised him right, and now he’s off in college, he doesn’t want anything to do with God, he’s not going to church, he’s hitting the party scene.”
And then here’s the thing that’s just baffling to me. You trained him that way. You showed him by your life and by your decisions that church and the pursuit of holy things are secondary to his ability to play whatever sport you drove him all over God’s green earth to play, whatever talent you tried to cultivate in him.
I’ll give you another example. When you elevate your family and make your family primary, then you are forced to judge your family by other families. So you have to be further along or at least equal to them. If your family is ultimate, then you’ve got to protect that. That way, you’re in a competition with Billy down the street. God knows he can hit a curve ball and your kid can’t walk and chew gum. So you’ve got to sign him up for a thousand different camps and drive him all over. And all of a sudden, raising kids becomes some sort of competitive sport, not for their good but for your good.
Now listen, I don’t have a problem with soccer. Soccer’s a great game. I’m just saying you’re a fool if you think the words out of your mouth are more powerful than the precedent you’re setting with your life. My three year old already spots my hypocrisy. So do you really believe that because you tell them with your mouth how important God and the community of faith is but with your life you can live contrary to that, they’re going to do what you say and not what you do? They’re going to pick up your idolatry. This is what happens. This is what sin does. And then it rolls out. Like if my nation is ultimate. If the USA is ultimate, does that not force me to look down upon other nations, nationalities and cultures? It absolutely does. If we’re the best, if we’re ultimate, then that means that everyone else is secondary. And that’s not too far away from racism. If you put anything else as ultimate, things start to break down. War happens because of sin, genocide happens because of sin, the problem in the Middle East is sin, the problem in the West, what happened to the economy was sin, what happened in a failed marriage is sin. Why everything is breaking down is sin. Greed blew up the economy. It was unabashed, unashamed, wicked greed. And some of you keep waiting for the day of enlightenment. It’s not coming.
Do you know how many Africans die diarrhea? Hundreds of thousands. I can go to the 7-11 and pay $1.50 for the medicine that would save them. So why can’t we get it to them? Because there’s no money involved. Because if we can’t figure out how to make money off of it, we don’t do it. So with all of our progression in education, in technology, in research, in medicine, in funding, sin still pervades and wrecks it all. And the sin predominant in all of us is just absolute indifference. “That’s not my problem. I can go to the store.”
So this is the bad news – you’re broken, I’m broken, everyone’s broken, and this infects every relationship, every interaction and every domain of society. And then here’s the bad news on top of the bad news. We can’t do anything to fix it. Even if you try to be a better person, you’re just perpetuating the actual problem. “So what are you saying, Chandler? That we’re all doomed to hell?” That’s exactly what I’m saying. . .unless God somehow intervenes. But it’s complicated, because He can’t just forgive us because
then He wouldn’t be just. So look here back in Ephesians 2. We’ll pick it up in verse 3 “...among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
© 2009 The Village Church