Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Gimmicks, Fads, and Mind Games

Chapter 2 of Spiritual Junk Food: The Dumbing Down of Christian Youth

What caught my attention the most about this chapter was the notion of group think. In youth groups there is a lot of attention placed on the "group" with special emphasis on trust and sharing and group agreement. Thom Schultz of Group Publishing "recommends that an individual should be assigned the job of making 'sure that everyone understands and agrees with the answers arrived at by the group.'" (38) What is shocking is how closely this is in harmony with humanist John Dewey's statement that "children who know how to think for themselves spoil the collective society..., where everyone is independent." (38) Denny Rydberg, leader of Young Life, admits that "children will indeed lose their individuality to the group." (38)

Can you imagine a youth group that believes that the group is the ultimate authority on real life issues your teen is facing rather than God???? What makes this all so sickening to me is that no answer given in the group is allowed to be seen as invalid, wrong, or in contradiction with Scripture. This is intended to give teens a sense of security, knowing that their ideas will not be rejected by the group. This, instead, calls into question the absolutes laid down by the teen's parents and God Himself and sets the group up as the ultimate authority.

"Guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing argument of what is falsely called 'knowledge' - which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith." I Timothy 6:20-21

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