24 January 2007 ~ 1 Comment

Stop the spread of MTD’s!

If a sexually transmitted disease were spreading through our community, we would sound the alarm and attack it with education, dollars, and research.

According to the National Study of Youth and Religion, the problem is not STD’s, but MTD’s. This is, according to Christian Smith, researcher for the study conducted from 2001-2005, a belief among Christian Teens that is not historic Christianity, but Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. He says MTD’s believe in “a belief system that embraces the existence of a God who demands little more than to be “nice,” with the central goal of life to be happy and feel good about oneself.” He goes on to describe teen beliefs about God as being more of a “divine butler” or “cosmic therapist.” The conclusion is that all good people go to heaven when they die.

The guys of unpackthis.com want to combat this in our own youth groups. But how? In his book A Mind for God, James Emery White says that we have to change the way that students think. In combating MTD’s, he says we start with three basic teachings:

1. There is a God
2. God is alive
3. God is not silent

The cure for MTD’s is to start with a proper understanding of God, and dealing with God on His terms, not ours. We attack this with research such as Smith has done, and the Exemplary Youth Ministry Study, and with a refusal to let anyone but God define who He is, and how we are to approach Him.

One Response to “Stop the spread of MTD’s!”

  1. Kevin Mabry 14 February 2007 at 9:30 pm Permalink

    I’m wondering if youth are expressing how faith has become for adults in “mainline churches”. I say mainline because that is what I am more familiar with. Is there any expression of youth reflecting their parent’s faith? I think back to my kindergarten days and a teacher in front of the blackboard telling kindergarteners what they should know. Then I think about my daughter’s kindergarten experience in which they have “centers” in which they interact with the material and become active self and group learners. How has the church functioned? There is a thought that 70% of the jobs will change by the time that kids will grow up. So the school principle says that we need to teach the children how to be good at learning on their own. So how has the church expressed the Gospel? In my old way of Kindergarten or in my daughter’s Kindergarten with centers for experiential learning? I think to help youth and adults with MTD’s sickness the church needs to help adults and youth become committed to the task of self and group learning rather than be passive listeners to a sermon. We need to get over the passive nature of church. Only through ownership of faith and experiential learning can God be involved in their lives in a real and heart connected way. Amen? Amen!!
    Thanks for listening,
    Peace in Christ,
    Kevin Mabry


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