Guest Post — Sean Smith on LYF Youth Poll

Posted by Sean Smith on Facbook, an article pointing to


48.3 percent responded that pre-marital sex is always wrong, 16.1 percent that it is OK if both people love each other and 14.3 percent that it is ok if both persons consent.

46.6 percent of youth said that homosexual acts are always wrong, 20.3 percent responded it is OK if both people love each other and 11.2 responded that it is OK if both people consent.

Translation: Less than 50% of LCMS youth believe that God’s Holy Word is true and formative for our beliefs.

Holy Scripture says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6).

It is time for us to take an objective look at what we are doing with our children and ask ourselves what may be uncomfortable, but necessary questions:

Have we REALLY trained our children in the way they SHOULD go? What has been the content of that training?
Have devotions and study of God’s word been more prevalent in our homes than the various forms of entertainment (tv, video games, sports, etc)?
Have the Scriptures and the Catechism dominated that teaching and formation of our children or have we surrendered these things to worldly doctrines?
The verse immediately preceding the well know Proverbs 22:6 says, “Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked; whoever guards his soul will keep far from them.” (Prov. 22:5) So we must also ask, have we truly guarded our children from the thorns and snares of the corrupt world and thus truly trained-up our children in the way they ought to go?

Make no mistake, your children will be indoctrinated. The question is, are the doctrines they are being taught worldly and corrupt, or are they the doctrines of God? One is beneficial only in this life. The other is beneficial in this life (even if uncomfortable) and yet also beneficial in the life to come (1 Tim. 4:7-8).

As we ask ourselves these (and many other) difficult questions and take an objective look at them we may arrive at the conclusion that we have sowed the good seed of God’s pure and Holy Word and unfortunately the seed has just fallen along the path, the rocky ground or the thorns (Matthew 13:18-22).

However, in my personal and professional experience, as I have asked these difficult questions and objectively evaluated what I see going on, more often than not I see worldly doctrines dominating the formation of our christian children and then we are somehow surprised that our children turn away from the church and have become so “worldly” and not holding the faith and values we tell ourselves they were raised in. The problem is, they have not actually been raised in that teaching!

If in objective evaluation of the situation in your family leads you to this conclusion, then it should lead to repentance. Literally a “change of direction” towards the more faithful way of God.

It is difficult and uncomfortable to ask ourselves these questions. The devil will seek to tempt you and make you feel like “a failure” or “a bad parent” or any other sort of thing that will lead to inaction. Forget the devil!

Yet, at the same time if we observe that we have failed– in other words, if the Law accuses, that is simply what it does! Let it kill and crush you. Because in repentance we die to self, that we may be raised-up by the Gospel to live to God and walk in the faithful ways of righteousness!

In other words, I think the results of such polls are a call to repentance. We must do better! Time to stop being friendly with the world. Die to it. That we may live to God.

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