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Gamaliel's Desk
Friday, June 21, 2002
Pandering to Youth
I am gravely disturbed by an alarming trend I am seeing in our churches. It is spreading its contagion at a staggering rate. It is one of the most dangerous and divisive practices I have ever seen because it has the potential to destroy everything that we as Pharisees stand for.

That vicious trend capturing our churches is the practice of creating a climate that appeals to youth. Some churches have even dedicated whole services to what they call “Contemporary” worship in a misguided attempt to supposedly reach young people with the gospel. I believe this blatant pandering to youth will only lead to the ruin of our churches.

I am convinced that this sends a wrong message to young people today. By pandering to their “culture” we are stamping our approval on it and making it look like the gospel is a universal message intended for anybody regardless of their outward appearance. In essence we are saying that God is pleased with modern music, modern translations, young people’s clothing styles, tattoos and all the rest.

Instead of trying to make worship services that conform to the youth culture of today, we should make young people conform to the traditions that we have worked so hard to maintain over the years. If they truly want to be spiritual, then they should seek to be more like us instead of us trying to be more like them.

Some argue that young people have special needs and that our churches should accommodate our worship to meet those needs. I maintain that their needs are no different than anyone else’s. It is just as important for them to live an outwardly holy separated life as it is for any of us. They certainly can’t do that with:

· Tattoos
· Body piercing or extra holes in their ears and noses
· Wild spiky hair styles with garish colors
· Outlandish clothing styles
· Modern music

We should put our best efforts forward to make young people more like us rather than us being more like them. Otherwise they will never learn to develop the same attitudes and standards that we have worked so hard to establish regarding personal holiness.

As for those who refuse to conform to our high standards of purity and spirituality, we may safely say that they went out from us because they were not of us for if they had been of us they would have continued with us. In other words, if they were really and truly spiritual Christians, then they would want to be just like us.

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

I Timothy 4:12 (NIV)

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