Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Small Cat

I once asked my daughter, who worships in a Pentecostal church, if her friends in church heard, or could recite or just plain speak of the Apostles Creed. She said - "Well I would know about it since you spoke of it, but I doubt if my friends ever heard the thing".

The more I observe young Christians in evangelical churches, the more I am convinced that many (quite many) are not taught or catechized well. I wonder what would they say if I asked them - "what is justification, regeneration, or name one commandment in the 10 commandments"? They probably would give me a shocked looked, eyes wide open and rolling. People today are not into those might big words, they would probably say "I am not into that sort of thing, all I want is to know Jesus". (To be interpreted) "I want to know how to make it in this life".

Mighty big words? I don't think so - those words like justification, atonememt etc are in Scripture or used as terms in Scripture. You can not ignore them if you read the Bible - they are there.

But really it is not the fault of young people why they are like that. It is the church that is representing Christianity to them and what they see done and talked about in church gives them the impression that, that is what Christianity is all about - how to make it in life. So long as the church is giving people what they want and not what they need, Biblical ignorance will not decline, it will even increase. If the church caters to what people want and not to what Scripture says people need, then trouble is just in the corner, the church will be following where they lead, not tell them where they should go.

Oh, don't be impressed that some could even quote the Small Catechism verbatim. I discovered that there are those who can quote what Luther said there and still manage to believe that Christianity is about good works, and that one is saved by doing good. In fact that could be the reason why they go to church religiously. When we see this - we should not just sad about the young, we should get sad about the old too.


Steve said...

The first time I read Luther's Small Catechism was in college. At the time, I was dating my wife (she is Lutheran and I was Southern Baptist) and attending both the campus Lutheran and Baptist Churches. A friend, who as Free Methodist gave me a copy which she had received from her ex-boyfriend was as studying to be a pastor after being raised Methodist. I found this a great clear teaching of the most important aspects of the Christian faith. This helped in my move to Lutheranism since the Lutherans are willing to put into writing what they believe and try to teach and practice what they way they believe. There is a refusal to put on paper what a church believes or a refusal to remain faithful to their statement of doctrine.

When I compare what churches teach their members and compare it to the SC, many fall short since they are not teaching faith orthodox Christianity. They focus on the Christian and not on the Chirst.

L P Cruz said...


I spoke to some young people and they have never heard of the word catechism, but these young people are going to a very large Penty church! They are high on feeling but low on doctrine. I am not even talking about Luther's Small Cat, let us just talk about their own Cat - they don't have one. They do have - how to live the abundant life, though.

On the one hand, there are those who know what the Small Cat teaches and still wind up banking on their own merits(hopefully you do not encounter so much of this in LCMS).

No wonder Luther even studied his own catechism even though he wrote them - it is a life time study because the Gospel is not intuitive.