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Mar 14

Written by: Diana West
Saturday, March 14, 2009 12:45 PM 

A reader aptly, perceptively applies the themes of The Death of the Grown-Up to his church:

I just finished reading your book a couple of weeks ago and I  wanted to thank you for the material you have made available. It  was an eye opener for me. I teach a small Bible study every couple  of weeks and we spent an evening reviewing your book and discussing  the implications of what you are saying for us personally and the  future of our country.

It occurs to me that what you are saying about the death of the  grown-up in our culture may apply across the board and not simply  in the area of the West confronting the onslaugt of Islamification. I speak here as an evangelical. I cannot believe the changes I have seen in the last 25 years in our churches. All of these are  related, I believe, to the rise of what is known as the "Church Growth Movement." This movement has many characteristics, but its  greatest hallmark is the desire to be "relevant" to the culture. In a culture that is stuck in a state of perpetual pubescence, being relevant means embracing those aspects of the culture that enable you to reach it. If the culture is immature then the attempt to  reach it will be immature. This has led to a radical restructuring  of all aspects of the life of our churches. Music is one example. Gone are the hymns that reminded us of the glory and working of God. In their place are contemporary "praise and worship" songs  that are devoid of the great truths that formed the life and  thought of the churches for many years. This is all justified  because the old hymns are no longer meaningful and "traditional"  worship no longer speaks to the 21st century American.

The teaching and preaching ministry of the churches has also been affected. Gone are the sermons and teaching that expounded the  Bible. Preaching is no longer relevant. In its place are cute little ditties that are called "talks." These talks can can be  based on the the latest hit tv series, movie or whatever theme is  considered relevant. Lessons are drawn, video clips are usually  shown to illustrate the points being made and a few Bible verses  are tossed in to make it "biblical." In the end, though, it amounts  to nothing more than self-help psychology designed to equip us to  live better. We hear about how to manage our finances, raise our  children, have a happy sex life, among other things, but churches  no longer expound the great doctrines of God, Christ, the Bible,  etc., that were once the mainstay of the faith. Nor is there any dealing with sin and its consequences in a way that builds moral character or develops lifestyles that engender strong families and law- abiding citizens. As you have pointed out, the death of the  grown-up will not equip us to deal with the Islamification of our  society. I would also argue that, from a religious point, neither  will it equip us to stem the tide of the moral decay that is  undermining western civilization today.

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