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Christian leaders: Be examples for the next generation

Lauren Daigle performing her newest single, 'Hold On To Me', live from the season finale of 'The Voice,' Jun 2, 2021
Lauren Daigle performing her newest single, "Hold On To Me", live from the season finale of "The Voice," Jun 2, 2021 | Screenshot: YouTube

At the Dove Awards show, a few months ago, Lauren Daigle was asked by a reporter to share her encouragement to the younger generation. Lauren said she asked God for a backbone of boldness. Lauren went on to encourage teenagers to stand up to bullies knowing God is by their side. She said, "I would just say, 'Blessed are those who are persecuted.' That's what always comes to mind. I know that it's difficult and not everyone wants to be told about God, but I have found that people do love to hear that God is love and that He is kind.”

In my almost thirty years of pastoring, I can’t recall anyone who has ever bullied me or anyone else, for telling them God is love and kind. Maybe Lauren is aware of teenagers out there who are sharing the love and kindness of Jesus and being bullied for it. I am not aware of people who are being persecuted because they are telling others that God is love and kind.

However, I am very aware of teenagers who are standing up to the public school system and their peers and refusing to give in to the peer pressure of endorsing the new belief system that any form of sexuality is acceptable to God and that the number of genders is now infinitesimal.

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Sadly, “God is love” has become the mantra of the American Church at the expense of the Truth of what God’s Word fully teaches. The American Church has a love affair with God’s love at the expense of His Truth. Our need to be liked by society at the expense of God’s holiness has become a paramount expense that will level the effectiveness of the Gospel in the days ahead. Our teens need churches and Christian leaders like Lauren to address the matters that truly will bring persecution to our churches. We need leaders who are willing to make the following statements:

1. Jesus is the only way to eternal life. (John 14:6)

2. Homosexuality is not God’s design for humanity. (Romans 1:18-32)

3. God created only two genders, male and female. (Matthew 19:4-6)

These three comments have become known in our world’s circles as hate speech, and narrow-minded bigotry.

We have now entered a season in our nation where anyone who is willing to voice these three statements, not with hate, but with firm conviction, will be targeted as “hate language” and in the days ahead legislators have and will continue to try and pass laws that punish those who speak out. Every day we are seeing more and more young people who are standing up for these convictions lose their place in society and be scorned and shamed by their peers for holding to God’s biblical truth and declaring these as absolute truths to a world that refuses to listen.

Paul tells us in Romans that those in his day had “exchanged the truth for a lie.” We are there now as well.

It would be my hope that Lauren Daigle would use her platform to encourage young people to stand up for the truth of God’s Word. However, thus far when it comes to matters of the exclusivity of Christ as the only way to eternal life, a biblical view on homosexuality, and the issues surrounding the emerging discussion on gender, it would appear Lauren is either silent or in favor of how these matters are evolving in our modern society. Lauren has been asked about homosexuality and her response is she doesn’t know what she thinks of this.

Our children and teenagers are having the life and faith beat out of them right now by our society. Recently at our church in Colorado Springs, Vanguard Church (SBC), a family in our church shared with me, after a message on biblical sexuality, that they took their 3rd-grade child to their family doctor for a check-up.

The doctor began the visit with a question to their child, “Do you feel like a boy or a girl?” Wow! The parent said to the doctor, “Don’t ever ask my child that question again.”

Our society has exchanged the truth for a lie, and it is darkening their hearts.

The slippery slope of compromised views on sexuality was the downfall of the Roman Empire, and it will be the downfall of our nation as well. Our nation is choosing sexual depravity over truth, but what about us as the church and us as leaders of those who are looking to us for guidance and truth.

Our children and students need to hear the truth from those they look up to. There are few in our society who have the platform Lauren has to make a difference in their lives. She could be a modern-day Esther. Yes, I get the cost that would be exacted by standing up for these three truths. But I am praying God will give Lauren and other Christian leaders the courage to say, “Enough is enough!” Yes, God is love but apart from His truth, you can’t experience His eternal love.

The effectiveness of the Gospel hinges on our willingness as followers of Christ to stand for Truth. We must stand and preach with boldness and firmness. Yet we must never hate, we can’t be hateful, and we never have a right to be hateful about Truth. Paul tells us that without love we profit nothing, but on the flip side of this, if we have love without truth, it ain’t love. God’s love is always tandem with God’s Truth. Those who worship God must worship Him in Spirit and Truth. We can’t separate the two.

Lauren and other leaders, I beg you, to model for this generation what it looks like to boldly stand for truth and accept the potential of being persecuted for it. We need leaders like that for this next generation like never before. This is the persecution they are facing and they need role models to follow.

Kelly Williams is co-founder and senior pastor of Vanguard Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  His books include: The Mystery of 23, Friend of Sinners and Real Marriage. He also maintains a blog.  

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