The Battle For Young People

The Battle For Young People

Psalm 119:9-12 (NASB) “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word. With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments. Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You. Blessed are You, O LORD; Teach me Your statutes.”

As the fight against Critical Theory rages, my concern is that we have forgotten a battlefront that, if ignored, will lead to a short-lived victory.  That is the front for the hearts and minds of our young people.  My father used to tell me that high school was for learning facts, but college is where you learn how to think.  Now, Critical thinking skills have been replaced by Critical Theory mandates.  Free thought, according to North Korean defector and Columbia University graduate Yeonmi Park, has been replaced by a conglomeration of sinister, ideological, monoliths whose oppression of free thought rivals and even exceeds that of North Korea…sounds like a lovely place to send our children.  Sadly, this is not limited to the secular institutions of higher learning, as even those institutions that were once a bulwark of Godly values are now becoming closer to Athens than Jerusalem.

Psalm 119:9 starts with a very important question for us to consider. How do we assist our young adults in keeping Biblical fidelity as they venture through some of their most formidable years?  How do we keep Critical Theory from robbing our young people of Gospel hope, joy and freedom and replacing it with anger, chaos and oppression?  In short, I propose that we need to learn to treasure our young people enough to teach them how to treasure God’s Word.

Treasuring Our Young People

Insanity has been defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  An accurate description of how we’ve been preparing our youth in the church.  Too often children’s and youth ministries are led by people who are untrained and under equipped. When our youth get to college they have had little discussion as to truth, Christian identity or purpose.  They have been given absolutely no Biblical skill set to deal with the subjects of justice, identity, or gender roles, even though they most definitely will deal with those in college, and yet we still wonder why they get blindsided when they get on campus.

Psalm 119 echoes the rest of Scripture in the importance of training our youth to have a love for God and His commands (Deut 6:4-7; Prov 22:6).  Young people at this age are full of potential and very pliable as they decide who they are and what their guiding principles will be going forward. The world has recognized this for years, and thus, consistently start their revolutions at the institutional level.  This is true whether it be the sexual revolution of the 1970’s or the current Critical Theory revolution of today.  The ideas they set forth are like explosives placed in the minds of our youth who are then sent back to our churches to detonate and destroy.  This is the importance of keeping a young man’s way pure.  This section of Psalm 119 shows the value in getting to our children early and to show them how to keep a life that is pure and faithful to God before bad habits or bad ideologies are able to get a foothold.

Treasuring God’s Word becomes priceless in learning how to please our Creator and have a relationship with our Father.

Treasuring God’s Word

Approximately 172 of the 176 verses in Psalm 119 make reference either to God’s Word directly or as a synonym of God’s Word.  God’s Word is imperative, as all knowledge of life and Godliness must be revealed from God to us.  When man rebelled in the garden in Genesis 3 thinking he could be like God, God could have left us to find our own way.  But in His infinite grace and mercy, He instead chose to reveal Himself to us in His Word. The very Gospel itself is only known through God’s Word which is why treasuring God’s Word becomes priceless in learning how to please our Creator and have a relationship with our Father.  Hiding it in our hearts may begin with memorization, but it goes beyond the mind and instead resides in our hearts where it changes us. It becomes the standard of defining who we are and how we view the world.  Hiding it in our hearts puts it in a place where we can access it at any time, in any circumstance, and cherish it.  In this place we learn to value, appreciate, and use God’s Word as the standard by which all else is measured. Obviously, this ultimately is through the work of the Holy Spirit, but I can think of no greater goal than to get our youth to truly treasure the Word of God, because in doing so, they treasure God Himself.

Put It Together

It’s time we bring this fight to where the heat is and to where long lasting change will take place.  Our young people need to be taught to treasure God’s Word.  They need to be ready to give an answer for the hope that is within them.  They need to be in churches where Gods Word is taught to them skillfully, accurately and ultimately treasured preeminently.  Our young people need to be in churches where they are treasured enough to be taught Gods Word and prepared for the coming battles.

Paul Grenelle is an elder at Riverbend Community Church in Ormond Beach, Florida where he also co-leads the CrossRoads Young Adult Ministry. Paul has been married to his beautiful bride Kristin since 2009, and they have two children together, Kiana and Kaiden.
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