Updated: Dec 29, 2022
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and
with all your soul and with all your mind.”
In Matthew chapter 22, the Pharisees questioned Jesus by asking Him what the greatest commandment in the Law was. Jesus responded in verses 37 and 38: “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the great and first commandment” (ESV).
I want to draw special attention to loving the Lord with all your mind as this has been frequently neglected in the Bible Belt. The Barna Group’s recent study from 2018 showed that 64% of those raised in the church leave the faith during their college years and during their 20’s with very few returning. If this is not alarming to each of us in the faith, it should be.
Some of the biggest reasons for those leaving the faith are quite simple:
1.) Evidence against the Christian faith and ignorance of the vast evidence for the Christian Faith.
2.) Failure of discipleship in the home which leads to finding the Christian faith irrelevant for our culture today.
Each of these reasons can be countered in our own homes by intentionally discipling our children as fathers, teaching them the evidence for the Christian faith, and teaching them the relevance of Christianity and particularly scripture to the challenges of our culture.
What Do You Believe?
Sadly, ignorance of the evidence we have “for the hope that is in you” plagues so many Christians. If you are not familiar with the evidence of the Christian faith (evidence for an intelligent designer, miracles, the resurrection of Jesus, and the reliability of scripture), it is time for you to add studying this important topic to your life plans.
I recommend starting with the evidence for the resurrection. The apostle Paul points out the futility of the Christian faith without this key event in history. He even goes so far as to say we are “most to be pitied” in 1 Corinthians 15:12-19. There is no need to feel intimidated by trying to learn Christian Apologetics. Start small and simple by reading any of the books by Lee Strobel or pick up I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek. Add two to three Christian Apologetics books a year to your reading list.
One thing MD5 should have taught you is the importance of reading and taking care of our mental fitness as well as your faith. Read A Practical Guide to Culture by John Stonestreet and Brett Kunkl to learn how to discuss the tough social issues of our day with our children or Tactics by Greg Koukl to learn how to better navigate conversations with non-believers.
Counter the Trend
In closing, we would expect to ask a brick mason with 30 years’ experience how best to lay bricks. If you have been a believer for decades, could others come to you with questions about the faith? As Voddie Baucham says “there is nothing more tolerable in American Christianity than mediocrity in Christian men.”
Let us counter that trend as well as the trend of our youth leaving the faith. It starts in the home with us as Christian men.