Asher Witmer

rediscovering Jesus

What This Generation of Anabaptists Really Want why many walk away without saying a word

There is a lot of uncertainty in Christianity today, especially among the younger generation. Church is frustrating, whether you come from a more traditional background or a progressive one. Either it’s full of ritual and stringent practice or obsessed with growth and modern advances.

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linux1987/Depositphotos.com

People want more; but they’re scared.

You see, the church has a pretty messy history. Every so often unique groups arise with the goal of changing the status quo to what they feel is more right. However, they tend to make devastating mistakes and cause more problems than they solve.

Groups desperate for community become cultish when people begin to feel pressured to stay and never leave. Churches longing to see spiritual life become heretical when they develop formulas for calling down the Spirit of God upon people.

In their ambitious attempt to change they either add or subtract from God’s Word. They change their understanding of scripture to fit their perspective of life around them instead of changing their perspective of life to fit scripture. Because of this, when a new group arises the question is whether or not they value God’s Word. Therefore, unless you’re willing to come under suspicion, it’s best to keep your questions and desire for change secret.

So what do you do when things feel remarkably out-of-order? How are you supposed to handle it when church is not as you are studying about in the Bible? Do you sit passively by and accept the things as they are? Do you campaign for reform, start a radical movement, and subject yourself to critical suspicion? Or do you simply walk away?

This generation is walking away. Quietly.

Whenever someone in this generations verbalizes their frustrations, those old enough to remember former movements quickly assume we are headed the same direction, that we too don’t value God’s Word. Unfortunately, for many us that’s not the case. It is precisely our appreciation of scripture leading us to question whether church is really being done right—whether or not the church as we know it today is even as Christ intended.

What this generation wants most is the confidence that others won’t write us off as soon as we express what we’re feeling.

We don’t have to be right. We know we’re young. We know there are things from the past we’re missing. We just also know something is wrong, now. We need gently mentored; not viciously ostracized.

And many viciously ostracize. Few truly mentor. Most assume they know what we want. Few pause to hear our concerns. So, many of us simply leave.

What else are we supposed to do when it feels like people in the church are only going through motions, that there’s no life or authenticity in their worship? Where do we go when we feel uncertain about faith, but to verbalize such would bring about stronger preaching and less sympathy?

When doctrine is overemphasized and relationships nearly neglected, who can help us sort through the maddening tension we feel?

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We don’t want to be written off, discredited or ignored. We want to know it’s safe to express our disappointments in the church and the frustrations we feel. We want assurance that our hopes and dreams are valid and not rebellious because what we deeply want (and need!) is life as God intended. We want men to love each other instead of vie for position and influence. We want leaders who truly care about hearts and not the opinion of the multitude.

Ultimately, we want someone who cares enough to walk us through change that brings the church closer to God’s design so we don’t make the devastating mistakes of those who’ve gone before us.

Question: Am I right? Is this what we want? What is it you want? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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About Asher Witmer

I am a son of God, husband, father, and difference maker. I love helping people sort through hard questions they face and rediscover Jesus. I have written three eBooks dealing with church frustrations, and send out daily posts addressing faith, church and relationships.

  • Kevin Brendler

    Jeremy wrote:

    >>There was arguing and fighting, people that said everyone needed to
    >>obey the old testament law and even a guy that was sleeping with his
    >>dad’s wife. Maybe it was not having it together that made them thrive.

    My friend, may I exhort you to be more careful in handling God’s Word. It is true that Paul faced people who persisted in binding the church with the Old Testament Law, but consider what the apostle wrote about them:

    “This matter arose because some false believers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves (Gal 2:4).”

    Jeremy, the apostle identified them as false believers! He saw absolutely no possibility of a thriving relationship with these people. He represents them as spies and outsiders, as opponents of the Gospel.

    And yes, there was a man in the Corinthian church practicing gross immorality, but consider what the apostle wrote with respect to that individual:

    “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you (1 Cor 5:1-2).

    Does that sound like “not having it together,” as you describe it, makes for a thriving relationship? Oh my friend, I implore you, think more carefully and thoroughly about the testimony of Scripture.

    >>Maybe it was just that they chose to follow Jesus together.

    To the contrary, Paul refused to follow Jesus together with them. Paul did not stay in relationship with unrepentant believers. He ex-communicated them.

    I hope you will reconsider your view of what constitutes authentic Christianity, Jeremy. The apostle drew hard and bold lines of demarcation in regard to the church. His attitude was not, “Well, we’re all messy, stumbling, compromising Christians here so let’s just get on with it the best we can.” No. Not at all. In the instances that you raised, the apostle was quite ready to rule the people out of the church, people who professed faith in Christ but refused to repent of their errors and sins. That’s the hard reality of it. That’s the testimony of the Word of God.

    • Kevin, I don’t know you and so I could be misreading your comments here, but I have some concerns of your perspective of Paul and church. First of all, it is true that most of the NT churches had serious issues they were working through. Jeremy’s point is not to negate the need for repentance, but to help release us of a self-imposed expectation that we are to be perfect right out of the shoot. The disciples weren’t perfect. Why do we expect our brothers and sisters to be (or ourselves)?

      Yes, Paul sought to bring repentance and holiness to the churches he fathered, but he was full of grace. As we read through his letters to other leaders and how to handle struggling people we see he wants us to be full of grace. Teaching truth while walking with them. Standing firm, yet full of love. I have yet to hear or see excommunication happen in a church the way church discipline happened in the NT as ordered by Paul. It came from a heart of love desiring restoration. Most excommunications come from hearts of disgust desiring disassociation.

      Anyway, thanks for weighing in on the discussion–I just had a few cautions about the perspective coming through.

      Blessings!

  • Kevin Brendler

    >>I get what you are saying and sometimes I have felt
    >>the same way. “What if authentic NT churches don’t
    >>exist?” Then I stop and think; what was actually written
    >>about the churches in the new testament? It was not pretty.

    Hi Jeremy. My complaint is not that the churches are full of sinful people. Alas, no believer, least of all myself, is able to completely mortify the old nature, even though he seek it with tears. So it is a given, a presupposition, that life in the church will be, as you say, “not pretty.” That’s the way it has always been and the way it will always be under the sun. I accept that.

    I have to accept that, in the first place, because even after decades of wrestling with God for holiness and praying for godliness it remains a discouraging rule that sin still lives within me. I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit. But I accept it to this extent…I am not going to experience a complete holiness in this life. It’s not going to happen. And therefore, as I find myself deficient in holiness and love, I expect that other professing believers will suffer under the same sort of weaknesses. Life together in Christ will never be as “pretty” as we want it to be, until that which is mortal puts on immortality.

    But…but…here is what we cannot accept. We cannot accept sin in one another that is met with unrepentance. We cannot accept sin in each other that is met with denial and excuses. No, we cannot accept that. We can never accept that. We cannot accept a church fellowship where compromise and error not only go unacknowledged but are defended and justified. No. Absolutely not. Such cannot be tolerated without the loss of Christianity itself. Wherever sin is found, in me, in you, in the church, it must be met by the Word of God insisting upon repentance. That is the law of the Kingdom. Let sin go, in me, in you, in the church, and you have let go of Christ and His Kingdom. Cease correcting and you have ceased with Christianity. He who tolerates error and sin, in himself, in others, in the church, has abandoned Christian discipleship and forsaken the Way.

    I can accept that as we travel down the King’s highway together there will be some fighting and falling among the comrades, and our leaders may even make some bad decisions that land us in the woods. Ok, the flesh is weak. We understand that. But what I do not accept (and God help me never to accept it) are leaders who refuse to correct course when the Word of God plainly exposes their errors. I will not accept leaders who have more invested in their traditions and preferences than they do the New Testament, and who usurp the authority of the Word of God for the sake of pragmatism and holding things together. No. I will walk away from that and I have walked away from that…more than once.

    Weakness is one thing. I know it too well. Stubborn dishonesty and refusal to repent is quite another.

    So how do you tell whether you are in the midst of authentic, messy Christianity or whether you are mixed up in something false that only has the appearance of real Christianity??? Answer: when deviations from the Word of God are disclosed or when additions to that same Word are exposed…is there repentance?
    Is there repentance? That is the question. That is the issue. So let us start with ourselves and insist upon repentance. But we are not disciples of Christ if we stop there and leave the church to rot in sin and tradition.

    And if the church refuses to repent? Then seek a new one

    Neither conformity nor complacency!

  • Darlene

    Asher,

    What this generation wants most is the confidence that others won’t write us off as soon as we express what we’re feeling. or conviction God place on our heart. This statement is the key to the problem with so many assemblies today. So many are stuck with how people look on the outside and not spiritual growth. The leaders say the outward appearance shows the heart, which is so wrong.

    • It’s easy to get stuck on the outward because the heart does flow outward. But I can change the outward while leaving the heart untouched, and that is dangerous.

      Thanks for commenting, Darlene.

    • Wesley Stoltzfus

      I would say it is correct to say the outward appearance reveals the inward heart, but when people are regulated about their outward appearance it actually is deceptive of what is actually in their heart. If people express freely what is in their heart by how they look on the outside, it is easier to read into their heart. The problem arises from associations of certain values with a specific look.

  • Dennis

    I’ve been struggling with this very thing for years. I’ve often said that our Bibles are dusty, except for that spot where the “standards booklet” sits on top of it. I’ve recently joined a non denominational church that practices several Anabaptists teachings. In doing this I’ve seen many people doing things that God has asked me to do differently. I was sitting in church one morning, and doing the classic Mennonite thing… Judging. “How can she wear that? What is he thinking? Etc. Etc.” the thought hit me as if God spoke it aloud… “You’ve been doing this wrong, Dennis. You think church is supposed to fulfill you. You’re counting on church for your relationship with me. You’re wrong. Our relationship is personal, it’s between you and Me. Those people you’re judging, they’re on a different journey. When I ask them to change, they will, or they won’t, but it’s not for you to worry about right now. What I want is for you to come to this house of worship to worship me with a group of believers. That’s all. As for everyone else, I’ll take care of them.” That thought is what keeps me going back every Sunday. I needed that. I needed to realize that the studying I was doing, and the leading I was feeling from God, wasn’t God talking to everyone in shouting distance of me. He. Was. Talking. To. Me. Period. I could go on for many hours about my opinions of what is wrong in our churches, but it’s not in my place. I’m on a journey with God, to truly discover where I stand, based on Scripture, not on a book of standards. I’m leaning on Him, not on Pastor Vern, or my friends, or the church I attend to give me a meaningful relationship with God. It’s helping, and for the first time in my thirty years of existence, I feel like I’m learning to know God on an intimate level.

    • Thanks, Dennis, for challenging us to evaluate ourselves and our own journeys. We are all at a different place and that’s part of what makes discussions like this so complex. We need Jesus.

  • Kevin Brendler

    >>Edward Wagner wrote:

    >>Where are the churches doing it right? That’s who I want to talk to. >>Congregations with 1-2 generations of faithfulness through culture shifts and >>leadership changes. They’ve got to be out there. Somewhere.

    What if they are not out there? What then? What if the churches “doing it right” are not to be found? What if the churches that Edward wants to talk to just don’t exist? Ed assumes that they have to be out there somewhere, but what if they aren’t? What then?

    What is the appropriate response if authentic NT churches just don’t exist in America???

    • Jeremy Hershberger

      Kevin,
      I get what you are saying and sometimes I have felt the same way. “What if authentic NT churches don’t exist?” Then I stop and think; what was actually written about the churches in the new testament? It was not pretty. There was arguing and fighting, people that said everyone needed to obey the old testament law and even a guy that was sleeping with his dad’s wife. Maybe it was not having it together that made them thrive. Maybe it was just that they chose to follow Jesus together. Maybe we can be authentic and messy, I think it is worth a try.

      • Amen, Jeremy! I completely agree! The NT churches were far from perfect. We see the scope of them all and expect our churches to emulate all the characteristics. But when you actually look at individual churches, they had serious issues.

    • Provoking question, but I know they are out there. Far and few between, in comparison to all those available. But they’re there.

  • Stephen Hege

    “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” I Peter 4:17
    “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
    24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:
    25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
    26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
    27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
    28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:” Colossians 1:23-28
    “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” II Corinthians 5:17

    • Great passages, Stephen! Thanks for sharing!

  • Danielle

    Yes, mentorship is some one of my bigger desires. I love when adults speak into my life. I never want them to feel bad for asking me questions, or challenging me, or encouraging me.

    • Me too, Danielle! Thanks for the comment!

  • Trevor Mullet

    Your spot on Asher. The question i have though is are most ppl in church to scared to talk? Like someone else on here said : “till ppl talk real they can’t get right “. Or are alot of ppl just indifferent( skeptical ) to the idea of a church like Jesus wants

    • Trevor, thanks for commenting! There are many reasons people leave a church. And there are always those who simply want to do what they want to do whether that be Left-Wing liberalism or Right-Wing liberalism. But I would say, for the most part, many are indifferent to even trying because they know what will happen. Rather than trying to influence change, they’ll just go find another church to worship at because they know they’d be written off anyway.

  • I’ve got to come back here and reread your post. Meanwhile, what I absorbed in my first quick scan will have sit on a back burner and germinate. (Yeah, I’ll try to leave that burner off, so the life in the seed won’t be cooked away.)

    For now, I have a few words to write to my grandson for his birthday. And more thoughts to think in preparation for my speaking assignment at church tonight: Why I Am Nonresistant.

    I’ll just say this for now regarding your last question: I want Jesus to live His life in me (Galatians 2:20). And in my home congregation. And in you and yours. And you and yours. And so forth. 🙂

    Thanks and blessings.

  • Gina

    You’ve said it exactly as it is. Thank you for voicing this!

  • Joshua Marner

    While I generally agree with your sentiments and have a similar heart for change in the right direction, I cannot help but draw a comparison of your article with the Millenial’s cry for “safe spaces” on their campuses. Look at the lives of our forefathers; they didn’t have “safe spaces” at their churches to voice their concerns about the Church’s wellbeing. No, they were run out of town, chased, persecuted, and often murdered for their ideas. These men and women were willing to die for what they believed. Which of course begs the question: if we’re not willing to risk sticking our necks out and be passionate about what we believe, and instead feel the need to beg our leaders to take us seriously and not criticize or rebuke us, do we really deserve to have our opinions come to fruition? Do we even really believe in them if we’re not willing to question and debate the elders in our church, and at the same time show them enough respect and vision that they can trust us to not just be wandering about aimlessly swatting at issues as they fly in front of our faces without realizing that our actions are only attracting more bugs?

    • David

      Excellent point, Joshua! If we are going to be the ones guiding the church, and we don’t feel things are right, let’s stick our necks out and be the voice for change instead of walking away like wimps! Maybe our generation is a bunch of wimps.

      And by the way, Asher, thanks for voicing what many people – even those a little bit older- feel. Maybe more of us should speak up.

      • You’re welcome, David. Thanks for commenting!

    • Great questions, Joshua! I especially liked when you said, “Do we even really believe in them if we’re not willing to question and debate the elders in our church, and at the same time show them enough respect and vision that they can trust us to not just be wandering about aimlessly swatting at issues as they fly in front of our faces without realizing that our actions are only attracting more bugs?”

      I hope through discussions like this we can initiate respectful engagement.

  • I’ve wondered, too, if this is also because the generation we came from was one where “children were to be seen and not heard”. Serious, risky topics were shushed and many parents took the view of taking one step more strict so that their kids would maybe turn out halfway conservative. I personally came from a home where the Lord blessed me with folks who were willing to answer my questions from the Bible. Sometimes they were too busy and I understand that, but even to this day they will take the time for dynamic, spiritual conversations where we go back to the Word. I’ve always been a “why” kid – had to know the answer to why! 🙂 And this helped to found my faith on unshakeable ground.

    I would love to see more parents, pastors, and Sunday school teachers take the youth in our churches and tell them it’s okay to ask why. Then walk with them through the hard things of Scripture, struggle with them in their personal journey of faith . . . but ALWAYS take them back to the one thing that is constant in our world – the Word of God.

    If they come to us and ask why we believe the head veiling is important or whether we believe a person can fall away from the faith, our lack of answer is our fault – not theirs. I think those of us in the middle/older generation need to completely immerse ourselves in studying the Scriptures – if we haven’t done so up to now. And get down on our knees and pray as we hold the hands of these struggling youth.

    Anyway, just my $.02. You did great, Asher!

    • Thanks for sharing, Kendra. I agree we need to prayerfully study scripture and understand why behind what we do. If there isn’t a “why”. . . if there isn’t a reason. Maybe we’re free to quit doing it. And maybe there are things we should start doing but have been ignoring the “why’s.”

  • Wyman Miller

    Until men get real they can’t get right. How many men can you get real with? So we grew in an enviroment of condemnation trying to achieve “living right”. We can’t! That is what the law was all about, to show us we can’t do. When I heard the true message of grace I was set free from all that bondage! Living from the desires of my heart which has been turned toward the Father instead of my own flesh. Until you feel free to sin (= missing the mark) you are not free to live. Great article.

    • Thanks for sharing, Wyman. I agree: until we get real, we can’t get right.

  • Ryan

    Is there a culturally deep seeded fear of disappointing someone that keeps us from willingly embracing change? That because someone in the 1500’s gave their LIFE for a belief, is there pressure to conform to practice a lifestyle, missing the point altogether?

    • Hmm. . . good question. What do you think?

  • Tony

    Thanks Asher for the post. Really helped me under stand the things better. God bless you for writing this.

  • Ruth

    And as an older person who is watching as more walk away, I am saddened. I had many of those same questions when I was younger and felt many went unanswered. I have “stuck it out” but it can be rather deadening to the life of the church if many of us are doing that instead of living full, rich lives in an active and caring congregation. Where do we go from here when our leaders take stands on little islands of “correctness” that really don’t matter in a world where people are starving for food and hope and we don’t have any to give?

    • Great question, Ruth! Do you have an answer/input on it?

  • Thanks Asher, not only for being a voice for your generation, but a good example of it and for it. I like what you said:

    “What this generation wants most is the confidence that others won’t write us off as soon as we express what we’re feeling.We don’t have to be right. We know we’re young. We know there are things from the past we’re missing. We just also know something is wrong, now. We need gently mentored; not viciously ostracized.”

    • Thanks for your encouragement, Dad!

  • I have seen many walk away. There was a time I could not understand why. I could not blame it on “lukewarmness” or turning their backs on God because it was often the ones that seemed most on fire in their fervor for serving God. I watched them continue to grow and thrive in their walk with Him even after leaving. Honestly, it confused me.

    However, when I found myself questioning some of our practices that were not lined up with Scripture and began to voice my those questions, I understood why people leave. It is exactly what you have written about here.

    Thanks for writing this so clearly and honestly. May it help us all to rethink our response when others question why we do what we do. It is easy to think of times when my questions were shoved aside, but each of us need to be careful not to do the same thing when our own beliefs/practices are questioned. How do I respond?

    • Thanks, Simon, for weighing in. Yes, the danger is in getting focused on how people handled my questions when in fact I have equal responsibility for handling other people’s questions. Great challenge!

  • Trent

    Thanks Asher. This is well stated in a way that’s not reactionary. Many of us would like to see our churches be more like the early church without loosing the doctrine we hold dear! It is unfortunate that as soon as certai subjects or inconsistencies arise, the conversation stops. Just recently I was talking to a younger couple about some church standards that we are working through. The questions wouldn’t stop about why these things were important. They feel like they’ve been written off because they’re young. The churches concerns for the direction of the church are legit and the young people’s questions are legit. There’s seems to be a lack of an ability to communicate between the two. I believe the leaders care, but some of them have lost touch with the hearts of their young people. How can we restart that communication!? Our young people are walking away – our church won’t last if we don’t start a conversation.

    • Thanks, Trent, for sharing. I think questions often feel threatening. What if the questions were pursued. Not that things would have to change in the way those asking questions think they should, but that they would be sought out and heard without any kind of comeback? The response could be down the road. But immediate comebacks makes people feel like the inquiry of the question was just so they could make their point. It doesn’t feel safe. I think seeking to understand without trying to be understood (this goes for anyone–young, old, male, female) would radically change the tone and ability to sort through issues together.

  • Edward Wagner

    So…what is the answer? What does good mentoring look like? I’m not real interested in all the groups doing stuff wrong and how wrong they’re doing it. Where are the churches doing it right? That’s who I want to talk to. Congregations with 1-2 generations of faithfulness through culture shifts and leadership changes. They’ve got to be out there. Somewhere.

    • Teresa Beachy

      They are. And you’re right, it’s better to find a church that values what you value most and let go of the other things instead of living your life trying not to feel critical or dissatisfied, always wondering what it would be like to be mentored and there be no generational dissonance.

    • Yes, they are out there. But they probably look different than we idealize. The reality is church is messy. . . there will always be issues to sort through. I am blessed to be a part of a church actively involved and focused on making disciples, and we’re not the only ones I know of.

      I believe part of the answer is found in my follow up post, What This Generation of Anabaptists Really Needs. Do you have thoughts on it?

  • Marlin Beachy

    I’ve been a pastor for in the Mennonite church for 22 years and I hear your heart. I agree wholeheartedly with your perspective. I was part of leadership teams that functioned in the ritualistic way and frankly, I realized I couldn’t continue functioning that way if I was going to be obedient to God. Solomon wrote that without a vision (a word from the Lord) people perish (means scatter). We are seeing this more and more in anabaptist churches today as a result of the approach of doing things because it’s always been done that way. What about the word from the Lord? As a leader, I appreciate the concerns, questions from younger people, and in my experience it’s not just the younger generation that is wanting to search these things out, it’s middle age and older as well. Often when there are issues with opposing views, it’s made an ambiguous issue. That’s not helpful nor profitable to anyone. Jesus answered His disciples questions no matter how simple minded or ill advised they were. It’s how He taught them and how they learned. It’s often viewed as inappropriate to discuss, but isn’t that what scripture is for, to teach and correct. I believe if one’s heart is seeking God in obedience, there is nothing wrong in listening to how the Holy Spirit is speaking into them. In all respect, maybe those who continue to do as they’ve always done simply because that’s the way they’ve always done it, should be challenged to become more spiritual to enable them to hear from the Lord. This doesn’t mean tossing aside Biblical doctrine, as it is so often viewed by some, but exercising flexibility in it’s application.

    • Thank you, Marlin, for giving us insight as a pastor. It seems that many of our churches lack vision, at least a clear vision–we all know we’re to make disciples, but how our church specifically is going about making them is unclear so church becomes more about something less.

      As a pastor/leader, what should we be focusing on as a younger generation?

  • Dean Martin

    I agree with your post Asher. What is so frustrating is that it is taboo to talk about so many subjects. In this age of easy access to information, the older folks should be more willing to talk about why things are done or not done the way they are and why they should stay or not stay that way. I have brought up many subjects when teaching the adult Sunday school class, but few if any will engage in meaningful truth seeking conversation. The “way we have always done it ” seems to be the single most important compelling reason and the “fact” that it’s “worked for me and my family” is proof that it works. Unlike some who feel plain/conservative lifestyle has no place, I simply feel it needs to be properly taught and understood. Few seem to care that in the last decades the conservative churches have lost many times more to the world than what has been saved out of the world. Additionally too many churches have parent/child relationships between leadership and laity instead of husband/wife consulting/working relationships. It’s become more about control, than desire to see all souls saved. We’re all in this together, but sometimes you would never know it based on how adversarial folks can become when you dare to question or raise a different point of view. Disagreement does not always equal rebellion or disrespect.

    • Dean, thanks for the comment. Yes, we need more open discussion. More honest teaching from God’s Word centered around His Good News and Glory and our part in bringing others to experience salvation. Thanks again!

  • This. This is spot on! Bless you for sharing this.

  • Matt

    You have ABSOLUTELY nailed it this time!! There are so many of my family and friends who are walking away, silently. For years, I asked myself the question “Why are these people doing this?” This led me to try to gently ask the individuals who walked away “Why” (in order to help me better understand their position, in case I’m missing an obvious issue) but they often have no explanation! I guess after going through the experience of getting so much flak, being igored,etc. they are not about to be vulnerable again. Thank God I had an older mentor, who did not “know what I wanted” but lovingly helped me work through the struggle of this, according to Scripture. We need more Men mentors like this! God’s Men!! This is the only way God’s Church can be cured of this horrible disease.

    • Thanks for sharing, Matt. You’re right! We need mentors to help us sort things through. They’re out there.