TEENAGERS

Screaming and crying they were brought to the church, they had no choice in the matter.  A parent's religion became the child's religion.  But things have changed.

During the sixties some psychologists declared that forcing religion on children was wrong, and that children should be allowed to choose their religion.

Unfortunately many people paid heed to these ideas.  Within a few years these children grew up.  The result was: A mushrooming of juvenile delinquency and a wholesale rejection of Christianity.

But the sixties were only the beginning.  Today the harvest is coming in and it's not pretty.

In 1993 there were over 2,237,000 juvenile arrests 3,473 for murder.

Today's teenagers can kill a person then go out for pizza.  Having no fear of God, they have little regard for life.  Even career criminals are fearful of these religion-less thugs.  It's ironic, but in many cities, full grown men are afraid of children, children who kill.

Teens taking drugs, alcohol, raping women, robbing homes, beating the elderly, and the list goes on and on.  Can this be changed?  The answer is yes.

But the solution is not more jails, police action, community involvement, or more education.  No, the answer to this problem is the gospel.

Only by aggressively introducing the gospel into the youth culture, can we reverse this wave of destruction.

Taking the gospel to the youth will prove a challenge.  We might have to discard old methods and develop new approaches, but without compromising the message.

Teenagers who commit crimes must be punished, but their punishment has to be equitable to the offense.  This means not glossing over the offense, but neither throwing the book at them.

It is totally wrong to lock up teenagers and throw away the key. This is a sign that society has given up in attempting to redeem these youngsters, but God can, and he has redeemed people from gangs, and prison life.

However we must not forget the God-fearing, church-going teenager.  These face many temptations and the devil would like to destroy them.  We must build moral walls of protection around our children, while also providing outlets for their energy.

Teenagers are immature and in a learning stage.  So it is important for parents to know who their friends are, and what activities they are involved in.

Unless they have a strong moral base their friends could lead them into the wrong path, by using peer pressure.

Another danger is the wicked; who prey on the young.  These pretend to show them motherly or fatherly love in order to earn their trust.

We have an obligation to stop and put away wicked people who prey on the teenagers, and corrupt them, or take advantage of them.

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