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How do I explain abortion to my children?

By Michael C. Sherrard

These kinds of questions keep you awake at night. Knowing how and when to talk to your children about sensitive issues isn’t an exact science. But we better figure it out quick. While we contemplate the best way to do it, our little ones are being taught by someone else. The internet, social media, and public education have changed the rules of the game. With that in mind, here are four practical suggestions for parents and church leaders on how to get ahead of the issue and teach your children about abortion.

explain abortion children

1. START EARLY. 

Parents always struggle with “how soon do I allow my children to see the brokenness in the world?” My wife, Terri, and I err on the side of sooner than later. I want the first time my children to be horrified by the brokenness of our world to be in the safety of our company and in the context of the gospel. Besides, in the tech age, I’d be foolish to think I can keep the filth away. It will find them. My children need to be ready for when they encounter the darkness.

We need to be proactive in teaching our children. This doesn’t mean that we the force the issue, though. A good way to be proactive but not overbearing is to use questions to gently bring up sensitive subjects. They way I broached abortion with my oldest daughter (age 7) was by asking her if she knew why I went on a recent trip to England. She said, “to speak.” I said, “Yep. I went to speak about abortion. Have you heard that word before?” She shook her head no. I left it there. One minute later she asked what it meant, and we had an amazing conversation.

Good teaching requires knowing your children’s knowledge and assumptions. Bad teachers simply lecture and then patronizingly ask, “Does that make sense?” Don’t do this with your children. Instead, ask your children questions to find out where they are on abortion. Are they oblivious, disinterested, or already educated? Find out. Asking questions also allows for self discovery. You’d be amazed at the insight of seven year olds. They are already making sense of the world. They are forming their moral framework. When simply asked a question and introduced to abortion, children often know what to think if it.(1)

 

2. SIMPLIFY THE ISSUE.

Children, and adults for that matter, are confused about the pro-life position. We must simplify it. People need to know that we are pro-life because we believe it is wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being. Abortion is the killing of an innocent human being. Therefore, we believe abortion is wrong.

Children also need to know the reasons that support this belief. They need to know that along with scripture we are pro-life because science and philosophy direct us to be. Science informs us that from the earliest stages of development the unborn are distinct, living, and whole human beings. And philosophically, we understand that there is nothing morally significant in the difference between an embryo and adult that would justify killing the unborn. Differences of size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency are not good reasons to kill the unborn.(2) 

The case for life is reasonable, rationale, and remarkably simple. Children easily grasp it. Use questions to simplify the issue, teach the pro-life syllogism, and explain the science and philosophy that support our conclusion.(3) Here are some questions you can use.

  • “Is it okay to kill humans?”
  • “Are the unborn human, and if not what are they?”
  • “Would it be okay to kill unborn humans because they are smaller, not aware of themselves, dependent on their mom for survival, and living in her womb?”
  • “Are humans valuable because of what they can do like be self-aware and able to care for themselves? Or are they valuable because of what they are, a human being?”
  • “If the unborn are valuable because they are human, what should we do with them?”

There you go. It’s that simple. You can teach your children the scientific and philosophical case for life by having a conversation directed by the right questions.

 

3. TALK ABOUT IT FROM THE PULPIT.

I understand that many pastors don’t want the controversy that might accompany speaking on a social issue, but neutrally isn’t an option when it comes to abortion. Children are very observant. When the church is silent on abortion one of two things is communicated to them: either that abortion is tolerable or that it is unforgivable. Both positions are false.

The sin of abortion is a horrific sin for which the blood of Jesus Christ is sufficient. People in our congregation need to hear that abortion is wrong and that there is mercy, forgiveness, and healing for those who have participated in one. When the pulpit addresses abortion, it shows the relevancy of Christianity to our children. It shows that it speaks to all of life. Speaking on it also allows sin to be seen in a concrete rather than abstract manner which makes the gospel more tangible. If you want to faithfully teach your children about abortion, the pulpit must be involved. When it is not, the church undermines the work in the home. (4)

 

4. CARE FOR THOSE AFFECTED BY ABORTION.

Training our children to be pro-life doesn’t mean that we just make then apologists. We want them to serve and love those affected by abortion. Whether this means that they serve in a local pregnancy resource center, or simply show compassion to their friends who have had an abortion, actively loving those affected by abortion must be stressed.

Do this as a family or a church family. Our youth group went and served our local pregnancy resource center by doing odd jobs for them. Our youth painted, cleaned up the grounds, folded clothes, and many other things. They also were given a short presentation by the director educating them on what the resource center did for woman. Many of our kids had no idea what the resource center was doing. This experience opened their eyes to the compassion in the pro-life movement and the reality of abortion in a way that words never could.

 

Parents, church leaders, we must be motivated. Children are almost always ready for more than we give them. Knowing when they are ready for something isn’t always clear. But I would rather make a mistake a time or two of addressing something too early rather than too late. So start early and teach the simple pro-life message in the home and the church, and may we all show the compassion that springs from the love of our Lord.

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(1) Check out “Children asked about Abortion” by my friends at the Human Coalition..

(2) See “How to Defend Your Pro-Life Views in 5 Minutes or Less” by Scott Klusendorf for an excellent, concise summary of the pro-life position.

(3) A syllogism is simply a conclusion that is supported by reasons. This is the pro-life syllogism in case you missed it.

  •  Premise/Reason 1: It is wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being.
  •  Premise/Reason 2: Abortion is the killing of an innocent human being.
  •  Conclusion: Therefore, abortion is wrong.

(4) I am a pastor, and I’ve experienced the fruit of speaking an equipping, gospel centered message on abortion. Pastors, you can win on this issue. You don’t need to fear taking it on. For our story and some resources on how to do this is your church, visit the Pro-Life Pastors Initiative at plpi.info.

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Michael C. Sherrard is a pastor, the director of Ratio Christi College Prep, and the author of Relational Apologetics. Booking info and such can be found at michaelcsherrard.com.

 


 

4 Ways to become a better listener and a better Apologist

By Michael Sherrard

Step one in apologetics is to understand someone’s position. Many skip this step and merely vomit rehearsed arguments as soon as they hear a trigger word like “evolution” or “unreliable”. We like to give textbook answers, but people don’t hold textbook beliefs. Answers are only meaningful when given to relevant questions. So you must know the beliefs of the person across from you as they hold them before you start quoting J. Warner Wallace, Frank Turek, or Ravi. And you will only know their beliefs by listening.

Many things work against us when we defend our faith. We do not need misunderstanding to be one of them. If you want to defend your faith well, become a good listener. Be patient and hear what others are saying so that you can respond appropriately. Do not dominate conversations. This is not easy. It takes practice. But you need to do it. Let me offer four practical ways to improve your listening.

1. Focus on their words and not your response. Nearly everyone devises clever retorts or responses while the other person is talking, and it is no different in conversations of faith. This isn’t actually a conversation. It’s two people lecturing an audience that isn’t paying attention, and it’s not effective.

You need to practice not thinking about your response when someone else is talking. This is hard. It is a discipline that you can learn, though. When you notice you’re forming a response before they are done speaking, stop and refocus. Witnessing to skeptics is usually a marathon. You must pace yourself. Don’t try to sprint to the end. Don’t worry about jumping in and rebutting everything they say as soon as they say it. Rather, slow down, trust in the power of the Holy Spirit to remind you of the truth, and do not worry about winning.

2. Ask questions. If the person you are talking with is long-winded and hard to follow, ask them to restate their belief or position slowly and concisely. Remember, it is vital that you understand what they believe before you respond, so ask a question if you didn’t catch it the first time.

You can do this by asking them to summarize what they just said. What I find effective is to summarize what I think they just said and say it back to them. Typically when someone has finished talking I will say something like, “So let me make sure I understood you. You believe that…” This is effective because it ensures that I understand them. I often find that when I do these people see how their position is flawed, which is just a bonus.

better Apologist

3. Write down their points. Stopping conversations to jot down others’ points of contention is so simple and practical and will revolutionize your apologetic efforts. This practice is valuable in several ways. It keeps conversations calm and focused. It gives you time to think. It ensures that you heard correctly. It gives you their points to study later without relying on your memory. And it lets others see their position laid out neatly for perhaps the first time.

You will find many people have not thought through their beliefs; it isn’t only Christians who have not contemplated their religion. The goal of listening is hearing, and by hearing, I mean comprehending. Seeing beliefs ordered on paper allows everyone to clearly understand the position. Many times, this process does the work for the apologist by showing skeptics the inconsistency or inherent contradictions in their beliefs.

4. Pray. One of the things I do when talking with a skeptic is to pray short prayers throughout the conversation. In just a couple of words I ask God for wisdom, control of my emotions, and the ability to hear what the other person is saying. I also ask God to help me understand why they think like they do. It is good to ask God to give you eyes that can see past arguments into motives. Clever words are often a smoke screen for a deeper issue. Arguments that appear logical may be covering some emotional or volitional problem. People’s default position is to believe in God (Rom. 1:19–32). In their attempt to hide from Him, people devise wise-sounding arguments to convince themselves that they are right in their rebellion. Ask God for wisdom to see why they are rebelling.

Praying throughout the conversation is an act of faith whereby you understand that it is the Lord who draws people to Himself, and you are but a tool in the process. It will keep you humble and calm. It will keep you focused on the well-being of the other person and keep you from becoming consumed with winning. All of this helps you listen. And beyond the benefit of listening, it keeps you relying on the Lord and not your wisdom, and this is right where you want to be in dealing with a skeptic. So pray, pray, pray.

(This article is adapted from chapter 5 in my book “Relational Apologetics”. Order it here)

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Michael C. Sherrard is a pastor, the director of Ratio Christi College Prep, and the author of Relational Apologetics. Booking info and such can be found at michaelcsherrard.com.


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DEFENDING THE FAITH ON CAMPUS

Where Are The Watchmen?

By Michael C. Sherrard

Why is it that the church is always playing catch up? Things keep sneaking up on us. We hear the talk of same-sex marriage, and the next thing we know it is law in our land and supported in our churches. If it isn’t supported, many at the very least have a difficult time articulating from a christian worldview why marriage ought to be between a man and a woman. Have we all been napping? How did we get here? How is it that the children of light seem always to be in the dark, blind to what is happening in culture and in our congregations?

The answer to that question is certainly multifaceted. But part (perhaps most) of the blame is to fall upon pastors. The life of the pastor certainly is not easy. It is a calling that one shouldn’t step into lightly without counting the cost. And here is one of those costs. If we do not warn others of the dangers they are facing, their blood will be on our hands.

Pastors are watchmen. We are to declare the full council of God warning people of the impending danger. Paul recognized that the charge given to Ezekiel falls upon the entrusted stewards of God’s word today (Acts 18:6; 20:26; Ezk. 3:16-18). That is us pastors.

I must ask. Have we been faithful? Have we been alert? Or have we been too busy building our church networks, expanding speaking platforms, selling books, and planning new stage designs that we have missed the threats to our people. Or worse, have we ignored God’s voice because it threatened our comfort and our customers. Let’s just call it as it is. Pastors today seem more like salesman than watchmen. And I’d like to say “may God have mercy on us,” but I already know what he will require of those who hold back God’s word from those that need to hear it (Ezk. 3:18).

Pastors, it is time to step up. Let us fear God more than empty pews. Let us understand the times, the obstacles to belief in the gospel, and the threats to our people. Then, let us preach the fullness of God’s council trusting that many will turn to the Lord and follow His ways. Let’s equip our people and not merely entertain them (Eph. 4:11-16).

And church, support your pastor in preaching hard messages and addressing difficult topics. I know many pastors that will not preach on abortion, or any social issue, for fear of your retaliation. If you desire your pastor to speak difficult words, let him know he has your support. Do not be quick to condemn him (1 Tim. 5:19). Rather, encourage him, and spur him onto good works.

Let us all remember that truth sets us free. This world desperately needs freedom. Many are fashioning cages constructed by the principles of empty philosophies. Let us bring them truth. And let it not merely be the truth that is convenient, but the truth that addresses their condition. Pastors, let us become students of culture and truly know the people to whom God would have us speak. Then, let us boldly and persuasively proclaim the good news with gentleness and respect. And may God have mercy on those that hear the words of life.

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Michael C. Sherrard is a pastor, the director of Ratio Christi College Prep, and the author of Relational Apologetics. Booking info and such can be found at michaelcsherrard.com.

What The Fighting Over Gender Issues Is Really About

By Michael Sherrard

Do you have a hard time understanding how rational people can really think that genderless bathrooms are a good idea? Are you confused about what is happening culturally? Does it make any sense to you that corporations are applying political and economic pressure to reform our social sexuality? Well, here’s what’s going on.

The cultural battle over sexuality and gender comes down to one thing: a meaningful life. That is what all of the fighting is about, and it is why the battle contains such fury and vitriol. Each fight is part of a larger fight: How does one have a meaningful life? And this is what you must understand, the answer to the previous question is determined by your worldview.

A worldview is a set of beliefs that cause you to view life a certain way. We all have one. You cannot escape it. We each have beliefs that affect how we see life, form conclusions, and interpret our experiences.

I have a Christian worldview. I possess beliefs about reality. Among other things, I believe that God exists, the world is rational (i.e. knowable), and life has objective meaning and inherent value. My existence is the source of my meaning and value. Because I am made in God’s image, I have inestimable worth.

I live in a society, though, where nearly everyone else has a naturalistic worldview. Naturalism is a set of beliefs about reality. Naturalism holds, among other things, that God does not exist, the world is rational (though they cannot justify its rationality), and life has no inherent meaning or value. And that is a big deal. Did you catch it? Life has no inherent meaning or value. So what makes you and your life worth anything? That’s the big problem for the naturalist.

Naturalists have long recognized the consequences and problems that stem from their worldview. George Orwell noted this some time ago in his essay Notes on the Way. In it he writes about the necessity of cutting away the soul. You see according to naturalism, the self or soul does not exist. Put simply, you do not exist. “Man is not an individual, he is only a cell in an everlasting body” as Orwell says. The problem, though, is when you cut away the soul you find yourself in a very desolate world: existence void of meaning and value. Orwell saw this.

“For two hundred years we had sawed and sawed and sawed at the branch we were sitting on. And in the end, much more suddenly than anyone had foreseen, our efforts were rewarded, and down we came. But unfortunately there had been a little mistake. The thing at the bottom was not a bed of roses after all, it was a cesspool full of barbed wire.”

So how do Naturalists rescue themselves from this bleak dystopia? How do they find meaning in life? They manufacture it. French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre was a pioneer in helping the naturalist out of their predicament. He espoused that existence preceded essence. This basically means that you are a blank slate, so make your life whatever you want. Because your existence has no inherent meaning or value, you can do whatever you want with it. Be a dragon. Become a woman. Marry your mother or computer. Define your life as you see fit. Your autonomous will is what gives your existence value and meaning. It is your dignity.

This is what the fight is over. In order to have a meaningful existence, you must have the complete freedom to form yourself according to your will and your will alone. So a threat to, say, the freedom of choosing your gender is a threat to the society that has embraced naturalism and needs to manufacture meaning and value through unfettered freedom of choice. For if you remove the ability to form your essence through choice, you remove any hope of a meaningful life.

Lets be clear about what is taking place here. Our society is collectively acting on the assumption that God does not exist and naturalism is true. They are fighting to form a society that reflects this belief. This is again why the fighting is so intense. It is a radical shift in our society. But I wonder if people are really aware of this. I wonder if we are prepared to declare in such a fashion that God is dead. Are we ready to officially replace the Christian worldview with a naturalistic one?

Well, here’s the thing, and this may shock you, we should be ready. We should abandon the Christian worldview if naturalism is true. But it’s not. Naturalism is a very weak worldview in terms of its explanatory power for reality, and it actually doesn’t offer a rational justification for believing in it. But that’s an article all by itself. Even so, I think we can examine just one aspect of the naturalist’s position and see why it’s something we can’t embrace.

According to naturalism, God does not exist. Therefore, form your own essence to give your existence meaning and value. But because God does not exist, the self cannot exist as the naturalist would readily concede. But if the self doesn’t exist, free will can’t exist. According to naturalists, I am a “cell in an everlasting body.” I am merely molecules in motion. Chemistry and physics dictate how I act, feel, and respond to this world. I am nothing more than a machine. Worse, I am a slave to my nature. Free moral agency is a huge problem for the naturalist. It is the very thing needed to have a meaningful existence, but it is the very thing that cannot exist if naturalism is true.

How anyone can hold to naturalism and a belief in free will is beyond me. It is the pinnacle of intellectual dishonesty. And for that, I cannot imagine how anyone can be a Naturalist. The most important thing about their worldview is not possible according to their worldview. And isn’t this the greatest form of irony. Because of their worldview, Naturalists must go to great lengths to manufacture freedom so that they can give meaning to their existence instead of embracing the Christian worldview that naturally contains both freedom and meaning.

To be clear, naturalism is the worldview that has brought us this battle. From it follows the fight we are currently in. Because God does not exist, life has no meaning other than what you manufacture through your autonomous will. A meaningful life is what hangs in the balance here. It is why the battle rages.

So what does this mean for us? Foremost, it means we must engage the root issue. We cannot merely address symptoms. We easily get sucked into arguments over bathroom policies and what not. And that is fine. We should engage in those conversations. But our efforts will not be fruitful if we are not addressing the heart of the issue. Genderless bathrooms flow from the naturalistic worldview.

Unfortunately, most people haven’t really thought about gender issues and such in a meaningful way. They haven’t recognized how naturalism is the worldview behind the fighting. They haven’t connected the dots. They’ve merely connected with sound bites.

You can help, though. You can help people think meaningfully about this important issue as you engage them in respectful conversation. As I’ve written in my book Relational Apologetics, I believe the best approach in most cases is to ask questions, listen, learn how to stay on topic, practice humility and point people at the right time toward a true understanding. Be gentle and respectful in your conversations, and many will come to see that Christianity still speaks reason in an age of naturalistic nonsense.

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Michael C. Sherrard is a pastor, the director of Ratio Christi College Prep, and the author of Relational Apologetics. Booking info and such can be found at michaelcsherrard.com.

Why 99 out of 10 Millennials Leave The Church?

By Michael Sherrard

As the scintillating Richard G. Howe says, “three out of two people are bad at fractions.” Fewer, I imagine, are good at statistics. Statistics are useful and powerful in telling a story but are often misleading. In fact, statistics can be used to tell any story you want depending on how the questions are asked and the findings presented. And so goes it with the mass exodus of young adults leaving the church. We want to know why. Polls then are taken, findings are presented, and the blogopshere runs wild with them. Thus we find our social media filled with articles telling us the five reasons millennials have forsaken God. And this is fine. Do not misunderstand my point here. I only want to add one thought to this discussion, and it is this. People never give you the real reason they leave church.

When people leave the church, the reasons they offer either make themselves look good or the church look bad. Sometimes this is accomplished in the same reason. No one, though, ever offers their affair with fantasy football and their Sunday morning sport shows as a reason. No one ever tells you how they were not invited to a baby shower and let bitterness harbor in their heart for two years as they slowly removed themselves from the fellowship. And no one ever offers their lifestyle of sinful indulgence as the reason for abandoning the bride of Christ.

Excuse my boldness, but I think the leading factor in why millennials are leaving the church is sexual sin. This will never show up on a poll. I will be glad to find myself wrong about this. But I hear all too often the same story from youth ministers. The norm for youth groups across the country is to have all of their upperclassmen actively engaged in sex, or pornography, or both. It is rare, youth ministers tell me, to find a male high school student that has not had sex or been exposed to pornography. And it is nearly as rare to find a female upperclassmen that is still a virgin or abstaining from “not all the way” sexual activity. The message youth ministers want parents to hear is that they need to assume that their sons and daughters are playing with sex because they all are. In a culture that praises the self and is drowning in sexual sin, it is easy to see why millennials have lost the wonder of God and grown tired of His church.

Intellect is not driving teenagers out of the church. Their hearts are abandoning God long before their minds. It is right to equip teenagers with the reasons for Christian faith. But there is something that ought come before the cosmological argument. The greatest lesson the church needs in apologetics is holiness. Seeking to dispel blind faith is a waste of time if we are going to turn a blind eye to sin. Our response to sociological research will not result in our desired end without an acknowledgment of the problem of sexual sin in the church. For there is no way to make church relevant to people who have no interest in surrendering their lives. Or, I suppose there is a way, but it is not biblical. We could to contort our churches to affirm and facilitate self-centered and lustful desires of rebellious hypocritical pseudo-believers. But I don’t think that would be a good idea.

Holiness is the relevance of Christianity. For in it comes rest and peace and freedom, what we are seeking in sexual rebellion. Sin cannot be ignored. It always robs. It always kills. It always destroys. Two years of “harmless” sexual exploring will result in fifteen years of consequences. Sin’s darkness cannot withstand God’s light, but the ramifications of sin are long felt after forgiveness is embraced. Let us, therefore, lead our youngsters into greener pastures. Let us cause them to lie down in the freedom of God’s ways. Let us not look at the pretense of their rebellion. Rather, let us pray and preach and teach and allow God’s light to shine into their darkening hearts and show them what they actually need. Let us stitch their wounds and not just cover them.

Healing comes by recognizing the need for a doctor. It comes by recognizing you are sick. Many millennials have been sold the lie that sickness does not come from sexual sin. And truth be told, they are being sold the exact opposite, that health comes from the surrounding of your will to your sexuality. This lie has caused many teenagers to lay down their arms and sleep with the enemy. But actions do not merely remain actions. They condition the way we think. Thus marks sin’s slippery slope. Once sin enters your life, it spreads. It distorts the way we think and feel. And so, many teenagers now find the church to be not merely irrelevant, but immoral. They have embraced the lie that freedom comes in sex thereby making the church an oppressor. An exodus is only natural at this point. We must confront this.

We confront sin’s ruin, first, by surrendering our lives to God’s ways. Our lives must be marked by holiness if we are to lead others into it. “Neither coercion nor reward shape human behavior as much as a motivated attempt to resemble a specific person” (Ogden, Discipleship Essentials, p. 11). When teenagers see in us the value of surrendering to God’s ways, they will desire it as well. I wonder, how many teenagers have tasted the goodness of God through the holy lifetyle of an adult? I imagine it is a more common experience for teenagers to develop a distaste for church because of rampant hypocrisy than it is for them to crave the fruit seen falling from the tree of the righteous.

Second, we love teenagers. We take an interest in their lives. We build bridges of communication with them. We do not stand on a street corner and scream for their repentance. They are an abandoned generation. They have been left on their own to navigate a vast seas of choices. We thought google would be enough and accordingly withdrew our leadership from them. But we cannot isolate them. We cannot create a greater chasm by yelling at their sin. We must embrace them. They must feel our warmth and closeness.

In humility being armed with knowledge of God and his will, let us seek to restore an abandoned generation ravaged by sin’s folly. Let us gently invade their lives. They are a passionate army ready to change the world. They are not apathetic as many were in the previous generation. They desire truth, truth that will make this world better. They will go if we send them. But sexual sin is blocking the road of many. Therefore, let us help them remove the greatest obstacle in their path, and in so doing, see life abound in their midst and spread to every corner of this world.

*Ogden, Greg. Discipleship Essentials: A Guide to Building Your Life in Christ. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2007. Print.


Michael C. Sherrard is a pastor, author of Relational Apologetics, and the Director of Ratio Christi College Prep. RCCP is an organization that seeks to equip the church for effective evangelism by teaching high school students apologetics, fundamental Christian doctrine, and biblical evangelism.

For more articles like Why 99 out of 10 Millennials Leave The Church? visit Michael’s website at MichaelCSherrard.com

How The Church’s Anti-Intellectualism Will Be Her Jailor

By Michael Sherrard

Religious freedom is on the decline. There is no doubt about this. Social sexual issues will slam the prison’s door on religious freedom. And the lack of desire for wisdom and knowledge within the church is the jailor.

Solomon pleaded with his son to not scorn wisdom. Wisdom ought to be sought, and when it is sought it is found, and when it is found it pours out its treasure to its seeker. But when wisdom is ignored, it laughs at our calamity and mocks us when terror strikes. I fear we are nearing the sound of wisdom’s mocking laughter. We have not sought wisdom as we should.

Prosperity breeds contempt for wisdom. And we live in a prosperous time. It is even a prosperous time for Christianity. In this prosperity, Christian ranks are filled with those who desire an institution that can meet their needs more than a body where they can learn and grow and serve. We have become gluttons for the work of others. We would not know what to do if someone was not “pouring” into us.

The pursuit of the knowledge of God is replaced in many with a pursuit of something that merely works. And by works, often what is pursued is a version of Christianity that brings forth the American dream rather than the Kingdom of God. This prosperity and selfish attitude has caused a slumber, a slumber in the proverbial classroom, and the church is now awakening to an exam for which it is not prepared.

The culture war is nearly lost. Secular morals are winning the day, and Christianity is fading into obscurity in the market place of ideas. Scientists own the platform, celebrities have an audience, but religious folk are being relegated to the kids table. The entire world, it seems, has subscribed to the notion that people of faith have nothing valuable to say when it comes to the important things in life. Just sit in the corner, they tell us, and try to make milk come out of each other’s nose (that is what we did at the kids table growing up) and do not bother us while we talk about grown up things.

There was a time in American history where the pastor and the politician were on a level playing field. There was a time when clergy were thought to have answers. And it was not just because people didn’t know any better back then. It was because many men and women of faith were intellectuals. They knew their bible and their history. They could speak about theology and chemistry. Now many believers are ill equipped to speak about anything that does not have a mascot in a meaningful way. And in that regard, society should place us at the kids table. If we don’t have anything meaningful to say, we ought not say anything at all. This is true.

But Christians are not in principle supposed to be excluded from the public exchanging of ideas. We are not a people of a failed epistemology and therefore a people of unreliable and dangerous beliefs. We are the heirs of truth. Our father is the initiator and founder of all things. In Him is true wisdom and knowledge.

We must, though, recapture and instill a desire for knowledge within our body. We need pastors and businessmen and doctors and mathematicians and historians and mechanics that are at the top of their field and theologians at the same time. It is high time we leave the dark ages of blind faith and enter the era of the scientist, or nurse, or school teacher theologian. Faith and reason need not be separated. And the sanctified and the secular job can be one. Meaning, the Christian doctor who pursues his field to it’s fullest will understand that a segregation of his faith from his vocation is not in order. And to the measure that he has studied medicine, he ought study his religion. In doing so, he will find how the latter is relevant to his field and can be useful for all.

This is how we rightly and fairly reclaim our position in shaping society.

We pursue this place in society not for ourselves but for the good of others and ultimately for the spreading of the gospel. We do not seek knowledge for knowledge’s sake but so that we faithfully love our God fully, with heart, with soul, and with mind. We seek knowledge so that in a democratic society, we are looked upon to provide answers, answers that will reflect the glory of God and result in the wellbeing of others. We do this so that upon seeing our good works, others will praise our father in heaven, and perhaps run to Him. We can have this platform if we are worthy of it. We can seek the good of others and the proclamation of the gospel through our government. It is allowed. But we must ready ourselves for the task. If we do not, we can expect a time of slavery and persecution, an un-needed time of captivity. And worst of all, it will be a suffering brought forth by our own laziness and contempt for knowledge.

Visit Michael’s Website at: michaelcsherrard.com


 

Michael C. Sherrard is a pastor, the director of Ratio Christi College Prep, and the author of Relational Apologetics. Booking info and such can be found at michaelcsherrard.com.