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Does the Next Generation Really Believe the Bible is Inspired?

I was having lunch with a friend the other day who shared about a mutual friend who has “wandered” away from God, Biblical principles and the local church.  I know this “wanderer”, so it was difficult to swallow.  This person is in their twenties and had a wonderful Christian upbringing.  I know the person’s parents well.  They love the Lord.  I was just shocked, upset, discouraged and wondered many things.  What caused this “wanderer” to stray away from a loving and compassionate God?  They are choosing to live in the world away from Christian community and the foundational Truths from the Bible which were handed to them as a child.

Why? How?

There are many in their twenties who have a natural tendency to question everything.  On one hand, I like questions.  I ask lots of questions.  If questions are a pursuit for the Truth, God, holiness, godliness, wisdom and answers to principles of life with the purpose of living for God, they are good questions, but I am afraid many of the questions from the next generation are out of anger, mistrust, immaturity, a sinful and rebellious heart and not a pure pursuit after the God of the Biblical Scriptures.

But, I have heard this story many times before.

There are many factors to why this is happening, but I see one issue rising to the top over the rest.  The top factor (as I see it) is the negative influence of many “popular” authors that are writing to a frustrated, selfish, disillusioned and angry group of churched young people.  I will not name names here, but many of these “speakers” and “authors” have been hurt by the church in one form or another in their past and decided to deconstruct and re-write the Christian story by adjusting God’s Words to say what feels better to them.  The felt need of hurt and disillusionment connects with this 20-something audience who grew up in church, but don’t feel like they connect today.  Yes, this is partly the local church’s fault and we need to do a better job surrounding the next generation with love and support, but 20-somethings need to pursue the Biblical Scriptures with more desire to know the One True God and obey what they find.

These authors and speakers throw up for grabs Biblical doctrines handed down from Biblical Scripture, the church father’s writings, creeds, confessions, church counsels and modern-day Evangelical organizations who hold to these principles from the Bible.

One of those doctrines tossed out is the Revelation given to us from God Himself.  Is the Bible really inspired?  Is it really without errors?  If the answer is “yes”, and we believe it, our lives would be radically committed to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit we discover in the Biblical Scriptures.  But, if we begin to question this foundational Truth which has been firmly established forever, our lives begin to unravel, heading down a path that makes us little gods in control of our own lives.  We drift away.

I am afraid this is where my “wandering” friend is…

God has in His grace revealed Himself to us with love and compassion.  Jesus Christ came to earth in the same form we are in, as a human.  His mission was to died on a cross to provide the way of salvation for all who believe in Him.  This is the center of the Revelation given to us.  Look at Jesus’ life and you see what God is like.  God did not stop there.  He gave us the sixty-six books of the Biblical Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation to reveal Himself and His plan to the world.  These are written words, inspired by God and thus without contradiction or error.  This is not a dead book, but a living and active book that works in and through us.  It gives us definitions of important words like “Jesus”, “love”, “sin”, “church”, “baptism”, “holiness” and many more.  Many verses from the Bible speak to this book being inspired and without error (2 Timothy 3:16; Psalm 33:6; Romans 3:2; 2 Peter 1:17-21; John 10:35; 1 Corinthians 2:13; Matthew 5:17 and Luke 24:44 for starters).

If we, my “wandering” friend, the next generation, the whole world and I would embrace the Words of God as just that.  They are the holy and loving words from the God of the Universe, we would not wander away (even though we are tempted to do so) because we would know that the One who created us, also loves us, has our best interest in mind and has given us all we need through his Holy Spirit and Written Word (the Bible) to live a life full of joy in glorifying His Name!

If you are “wandering”, come back to the real God.  Seek Him with all of your heart today.

May all of us embrace this revealed God with the whole of our lives.

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Jeff Baxter's passion for helping the next generation know and love Jesus led him to pursue his Doctorate in Youth and Family Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary. Jeff has been a frequent speaker in various settings including the National Youth Workers Convention. Jeff lives in Littleton, Colorado, with his wife, Laurie, and their three children where he is an associate pastor at Foothills Bible Church. His most recent book is Together: Adults and Teenagers Transforming the Church (Zondervan). Jeff blogs at sacredoutfitter.blogspot.com.