Saturday, June 14, 2014

Fluctuations Can't Bring Stability

On a pleasant spring morning in 2001, I met several friends (with whom I served in a multi-church Youth Group) to caravan from San Rafael to Sacremento for a one-day Youth Specialties seminar. Sitting though a day of learning crazy games meant to somehow engage kids so that we could then speak to them about Christ slightly disturbed me, but I managed to convince myself that I was just middle-aged and needed to update my thinking.

The afternoon lecture, however, troubled me more  seriously. The speaker referred to the standard model of "Facts, Faith,  Feeling," in which youth workers used to present the facts about the Gospel, encourage the kids to respond with faith and assure them that feelings would follow. In post-modern America, the speaker argued, that model no longer works. Post-modern kids rely on experience. Therefore, they need to feel God first. Remember Romans 5:17, which says that faith comes by hearing the Word of Christ. Feelings, judging from what I've seen in reading Scripture almost daily for 43 years, only appear now and then, with Christian joy and peace  abiding in each believer regardless of emotional fluctuations.

Leading young people (or anyone, for that matter) to use mere feelings rather than the historical facts taught in Scripture and verified by other sources does them an enormous disservice. Emotions that embrace Christ one moment may shun Him the next. Hormone-driven teens struggle even more to evaluate life without feelings affecting their judgement. Contrary to the teaching at the Youth Specialties seminar, kids must build their faith on the bedrock of biblical truth, not the shifting sands of how they  feel. So must adults, actually.


  1. Amen! Not to mention the fact that if you just rely on feeling and experience, all you have done is successfully teach a spiritually dead person to think they have felt or experienced something thereby creating a psuedo-Christian zombie. They are still dead but now think they are not. Kind of makes their situation worse and then one day you will have to answer for that frankenstein-esque mess. Let us trust God's clearly defined way!

  2. So true DebbieLynne, the rollercoaster and shifting sand of feelings cannot be a good foundation for anything let alone something as important as our spiritual connection to Christ. It is based on Him, His work, His Truth, His goodness, His power, or it (salvation) isn't there at all when based on anything other than Him alone.


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