The spiritual condition of America, politics, culture, and current events, analyzed through the lens of scripture. Welcome to the Alex McFarland Show. In 1975, the acclaimed historian Arnold J. Toynbee said this. Now keep in mind, this was 48 years ago.
Of the 22 civilizations that have appeared in history, 19 of them have collapsed when they reached the moral state the United States is in now. Hi, Alex McFarland. Welcome to the program. And I want to talk about youth and how so many young people are at risk today for a lot of reasons. And I know we've seen the rise of social media and gaming, and a lot of kids are like addicted to technology.
But then there has been the border crisis. Just as I record this program, I had the privilege this week of having breakfast with a number of law enforcement officers, and not only speaking to them, but listening to them. And they said if there's one thing that is on their mind as law enforcement professionals, it's the state of youth in America. And the Toynbee quote that I shared, he was a great thinker and scholar. It's interesting, when we were in Washington recently for the Pray Vote Stand event with Tony Perkins and FRC, and Os Guinness was there, a great apologist and a colleague and friend. And somebody, they said, you know, Toynbee said such and such, and this person asked him the question and said, well, do you know who Arnold J. Toynbee was?
And Os Guinness said, yes, he was my professor in college and a personal friend. And I was like, wow, he knew Toynbee. But Arnold Toynbee, who was not a minister, in fact, I'm not even for sure that he ever actually became a Christian, but he was gravely concerned nearly five decades ago, gravely concerned about the future of the West, the survival of America, because Toynbee, as an historian, was concerned about the state of young people and the state of morals, or really our abandonment of morals. And this should concern all of us. And what I want to do in the context of this program is talk about young people and then what God might do in all of our lives and through all of our lives to make a difference in the way that young people are brought up. Now, I want to share a verse, and this is from Deuteronomy 4, verse 9.
God was speaking, of course, to ancient Israel. God said this in Deuteronomy 4, 9, only be careful and watch yourselves closely. Do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.
Now, notice some of the assignments for God's followers. Be careful. Watch. Remember. In other words, do not forget the things your eyes have seen.
Do not let them fade from your heart. In other words, nurture and preserve these things. And then impart these things. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Deuteronomy 4, 9.
Okay, be careful. This is a thing to stay on point with God, to daily recommit yourself to truth and the one who is the foundation of truth, the Lord himself. To watch ourselves, really to police ourselves, and to put in our lives the boundaries, knowledge of God's truth, and sensitivity to the Spirit of God. Look, only you can do that. Only I can do that.
Nobody else can keep watch over my heart. Only I can do that. And then the practical things. Do not forget the things your eyes have seen.
And do you know what? In the New Testament, Jesus told his disciples in John 14 that if we would let him, the Holy Spirit would remind us of all the things Christ has taught. 1 John 2.27. The Spirit of God will bring these things to our remembrance. Okay, then we are careful, we watch ourselves, we re-remind ourselves of God's truth, right? But then we keep them in our heart, we teach them to our children, and we impart them to the upcoming generations. Deuteronomy 4, 9. Folks, I would urge you to meditate on this.
It could be just a blueprint for your life and your legacy. Do not let them fade from your heart as long as you live, or fail to teach them to your children and to their children after them. So these are five crucial assignments to God's followers in every generation. Now maybe you don't have children, or maybe your children are grown and gone, but look, every one of us, if you're a Christian, and I know we have children that listen to this program, so young people, number one, open your heart to Christ, be saved, but then build your life on the Word of God and the truth of God. And then, in just a moment, we're going to have a visit with a guidance counselor, a professional educator in the lives of youth daily, who's going to challenge us to make friends and to be involved in the lives of young people.
These are the crucial assignments from Deuteronomy 4, 9. Be careful. Watch. Remember. Nurture.
And impart. You know, a statistic that recently came out, it was very much in the news during the summer of 23, said Christianity is becoming a minority religion in the U.S., and by 2045 may just essentially be gone from the United States of America, according to a Pew Research Forum, a group of sociologists and trend watchers. Christianity diminishing in the U.S., and nowhere else is the erosion more prominent than in the lives of young people. Now the restoration of America depends on the preservation of the family, really, folks. And then sociologists by the droves have documented, and I quote the sociologists Bradford Wilcox and Mary Eberstadt quoted in their book, How the West Really Lost God.
See, there's the assumption that here's what happened. There was liberal teaching in the classroom, kids were drawn into secularism, and then the family broke down. But let me give a quote by Wilcox and Eberstadt in their book. Quote, the recent history of American religion illuminates what amounts to a sociological law. Quote, now listen, the fortune of American religion rises or falls with the state of the intact married family.
Here's what happened. First there was the breakdown of the family. Then there was the erosion and the embrace of liberal, secular, atheistic, Marxist thought. It wasn't that first came in liberal thought, then the breakdown of the family. First it was the breakdown of the family, and frankly not only divorce and fatherlessness, but minimizing church and spiritual discipline.
As the family unraveled, then came the beliefs and the behaviors that threatened to unravel our nation. So what do we do? Well, we've got to get it back. When we come back, I want you to listen. We're going to have a conversation with a high school guidance counselor who's going to talk about young people, and we'll summarize by giving realistic, measurable, fruitful behaviors and investments that we can all rise to.
So stay tuned. We're going to come back after this and talk about making a difference in the lives of young people. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert.
Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. In recent years, our nation has suffered greatly, and we seem to be on a rapid moral decline. We've rejected God, morality, and we've almost completely lost our sense of patriotism. It's no wonder that many are asking the question, is this the end of America? Hi, Alex McFarland here, and I want to make you aware of my book, The Assault on America, How to Defend Our Nation Before It's Too Late.
You know, our nation has seen politicians that are corrupted by greed, and they've got a vested interest in power, and many of our elected officials seem to care little about the country that they've been appointed to serve. Read my book, The Assault on America. We can stand up for our great nation and defend America before it's too late.
It's available everywhere. You can learn more on my own website, which is alexmcfarland.com. Read the book, The Assault on America, How to Defend Our Nation Before It's Too Late. He's been called trusted, truthful, and timely. Welcome back to The Alex McFarland Show. Welcome back to the program. I'm so honored as we're talking about youth issues and just the spiritual and cultural dynamics of youth today. I'm talking with Kimmy Rice, and she's the guidance counselor at truly one of the finest Christian schools that I've ever seen.
And I am, as you hear this, I'm on the road in Dillon, South Carolina, right off of Interstate 95. And I just had the privilege moments ago of speaking to the student body at Dillon Christian School. And, you know, I thank God for Christian schools everywhere, but this school, you ought to check it out. It is such a fine facility, such a great school, educationally, spiritually. I've never had a more respectful audience.
And I do want to get into youth issues. But first of all, Ms. Rice, thanks for being with us and thanks for the difference you're making in the lives of young people. Thank you so much. It's a pleasure and an honor to be able to talk with you today.
So the listeners might want to check it out. What's the website of the school? DillonChristianSchool.org. DillonChristianSchool.org. And you have the privilege of being the guidance counselor here.
What does a guidance counselor do? At a small Christian school, everyone knows that you wear many hats. So you kind of do whatever is necessary. But you set schedules for the kids, talk with teachers. We start our day every morning with a devotion as teachers. And it's kind of fitting that today was my day to lead devotions. And it just starts the day off and sets the tone so that when you have a student that has an issue or something that they bring to you, you've got something to pour back out because we've met together in the morning to kind of set the tone for the day. When you start with the Lord, things kind of fall into place.
And whatever he fills you with, you're able to pour back out into the kids. Emotionally and spiritually, what are the dynamics you're seeing in the lives of teenagers today? Our kids deal with so much pressure. Social media, there's just so much that they deal with on a regular basis.
It's not just academics and studying for your chemistry test or your algebra test. You've got so many other things that come at you. What's happening on television?
What's happening on TikTok? And our kids are just inundated with things that Satan uses. You know, you're not pretty enough. You're not tall enough.
You're not smart enough. There are just so many things that they deal with on a daily basis. And it just breaks my heart because when you have Christ in your life, you have God's Word to look to, to look for truth. And what we need to do as parents, as teachers, as guidance counselors, as any person that has influence in the life of a youth, teach them how to search the scriptures to apply that truth to their daily lives. It is so important because God tells them what they're worth. They're His.
They belong to Him. And they can find those truths in His Word if they dig for it. You know, Kimme, I was just at one of America's major Christian universities to speak.
It was a great honor. Thousands of young people, the vast majority of whom claim to know the Lord. And yet some of the faculty were explaining about the depression, suicide attempts, cutting, self-harm. And these are ostensibly Christian young people. The Bible says our identity is in Christ. The Bible says that in Christ we are complete and have need of nothing.
And yet really believing that and living that is hard, isn't it? What advice might you have for pastors, youth pastors, adults, you know, so many grown-ups that they do speak into the lives of young people, helping young people understand their identity in Christ. And they don't have to use drugs.
They don't have to harm themselves. They don't have to feel hopelessness if they can understand who they are in Christ. Do you have some advice for us on how to really speak into the lives of youth and try to help them get on that solid ground of stability in Jesus? I think the key is prayer first. Keep bringing them back before the Lord. Pray with them. Take the opportunity when they have a concern or they have a need. Pray with them.
Show them that God cares for all of it. His Word tells us that when our burden is too much to give it to Him because He can carry it. He cares for our burdens. He cares to hear the desires of our heart. And just keep pointing them back to His Word.
That is the key. Life is found in Christ. Their identity is found in Christ. And Ephesians, you can go through and there are so many things that tell you what you are in Christ.
They are His child, son, daughter, and in Him is where they'll find freedom to any concern that they have. You know, I was watching you as we were recently in chapel and hundreds of kids and so many came by to hug you and things like that. And I can tell that you are a trusted, valued friend in the lives of all these people. That's going to be very gratifying.
It is. I love them. I get to see them at their best and at their worst.
And it's okay because they know that I love them either way. And I remind them that no matter what their state is, Christ loves them more than I do. You know, obviously, as you and I know, the number one call in life is to trust Christ and be saved.
But I talk to a lot of grown-ups. They want to make a difference. They want to make a mark or leave a legacy. And very often people think about, oh, you know, I accomplished some great thing or this or that. But you know what dawned on me, Ms. Rice, what better legacy could any of us leave than to influence a young person and to try to build truth, the gospel of Jesus, to try to tell a young person, you matter and you have purpose and God made you. That's a legacy that any of us could aspire to, isn't it?
It really is. Psalm 139 just reiterates that. He knew us and formed us before time.
He is in control. He created everyone to be reflective of who he is. And if we can help just one, just one student, just one child realize that there's a legacy. One last question in this segment. How should we be praying for the youth of America?
Fervently. They are just faced and inundated with so much. We need to pray for them spiritually, physically, mentally, and continually leave them at the foot of the cross. We can't do it. We can't carry them. We can't take them anywhere. They've got to make that decision to follow Christ.
And if we can keep bringing them back before the cross and asking the Lord to infill them with his Holy Spirit, that's what makes a difference. Kimme Rice and your colleagues at Dillon Christian School, you're doing a great work and I thank you for your time. Folks, stay tuned. We're back after this.
Don't go away. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert. Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. In the mid 1980s, Jerry Cox was a public school history teacher in Arkansas with no political aspirations. That changed when he realized those who held a Christian worldview had no representation in the Arkansas State Capitol. Jerry founded Arkansas Family Council and for more than three decades, AFC has been the voice of biblical values in Arkansas. More Than Words is an inspirational story, one you should read and encourage others to read as well.
Visit afa.net slash the stand. Christian author and speaker Alex McFarland is an advocate for Christian apologetics, teaching in more than 2200 churches around the world, schools and college campuses. Alex is driven by a desire to help people grow in relationship with God. He arms his audiences with the tools they need to defend their faith while also empowering the unchurched to find out the truth for themselves. In the midst of a culture obsessed with relativism, Alex is a sound voice who speaks timeless truths of Christianity in a timely way.
With 18 published books to his name, it's no surprise that CNN, Fox, The Wall Street Journal and other media outlets have described Alex as a religion and culture expert. To learn more about Alex and to book him as a speaker at your next event, visit alexmcfarland.com or you can contact us directly by emailing booking at alexmcfarland.com He's been called trusted, truthful and timely. Welcome back to The Alex McFarland Show. Welcome back to the program. Alex McFarland here.
I give that quote again from Wilcox and Eberstadt. The history of American religion amounts to a sociological law that the state of Christianity and religion in America is directly contingent on the health and state of the family. Well, before we conclude, let me refer you, if I could, to my website alexmcfarland.com. It's been an amazing year with our youth camps and more than 300 young people that did make a decision for Christ at our camps this summer. But I'm on the road, even as you hear this broadcast, I'm traveling, I'm doing some pastors conferences in October of 23, I'm doing a lot of media and you can listen to a lot of what we're doing on alexmcfarland.com. Pray for me, please, our staff and all that we're doing, we're shipping out thousands of books a year.
And honestly, folks, the ability to broadcast, the ability to do events, the ability to write and publish and then give away thousands of books a year. We couldn't do it without you. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your financial support. And together, we're making a difference, and we must. Well, I want to give some final thoughts, like in the spirit of what Ms. Rice said about investing time. One thing I know, young people are lonely. Many, many young people are lonely.
It's interesting how social media has, in a way, made us anti-social. And so, you don't have to be a brilliant psychologist, you don't have to be a theologian, you don't have to feel like you know everything, but you can invest that thing that we've all got. T-I-M-E. Isn't that something? Time.
Now, I want to give some dynamics that you may not have thought of, but it's worth pointing out. The traits that young people look for in an adult that they'll confide in, or that they'll gravitate toward. I want to give you four life traits, really, that will have an impact on teens. And if you're a Christian, you're an adult Christian leader, volunteer in your church, and in your neighborhood. And I know there's things like teaching Sunday school, or getting involved in the youth ministry. You can do that, look, and you're not too old.
You know, some of the greatest youth helpers and volunteers that I have ever had were in their 70s and later. So look, to get in the life of a youth, you know what they're looking for? These things. Authenticity, consistency, maturity, and accessibility.
Now what am I saying? Authenticity. Is Jesus real in your life? And you're not trying to be cool, you're not putting on airs, but are you a genuine person? And your walk with God is real. And your interest in a young person is real.
And then not just authentic, but you're consistent. It's not up and down, hot and cold, on again off again. I mean, you're really living it. Then maturity.
I have found that a lot of young people, they look up to grown-ups, and they might not say this, but it's like a mentor or a coach who comes alongside. Maturity. You've got life. I mean, you've got skills. You know how to make it in life. Because this is a thing. Kids, I mean, they're not going to get this on YouTube.
They're not going to get this just in the drive-by, sound-bite media. Offer to teach kids how to change a tire. You know? That might sound rudimentary. Offer to teach kids how to operate a checking account. Offer to be a tutor.
So you were good at math. Kids need help with that. Chemistry.
Whatever. Maturity. Because kids, they needed some encouragement and some coaching.
But then accessibility. Look, mom and dad. Be that parent that you're not going to have a deer in the headlights look if your child brings a controversial subject to you. So here are the things that we want to see operative in the life of a teen. I want to give eight, with the time we've got left, eight qualities that we're trying to impart in the spirit of this Deuteronomy 4, verse 9. Okay, we want to see your teen to be, obviously, a born-again Christian. So they want to see that the commitment to Jesus is real in your own life.
But think about this, folks. Relational. Teach your kids how to talk to people. I meet kids today that are very non-communicative, and they've spent so much time on a screen, I mean, they can't really even have a conversation. Have your child say the blessing at a meal, and you say, well, we don't really have family meals together.
Oh, really? Well, that's part of why the values, not only Christianity, but morality itself is not getting passed on. Because one of the key indicators, and sociologists have looked at Jewish families, and Jewish families do pass on tradition, values, morals, culture. And they said, how is this happening? The breaking of bread together. You say, well, we don't have family meal time, because there's soccer, there's this, this, this, this.
Well, you need to put some of this away to carve out time to have meals at least three or four nights a week. Ask your child to say the blessing. Get them comfortable expressing themselves spiritually, publicly. Have family meal time unplugged. You say, oh, but if I take away the cell phone for a 30-minute meal, my child is going to panic. Repeat after me. I am the parent.
Come on, say it like you mean it. I am the parent. Look, you know the golden rule?
The one who has the goal makes the rules. Mom and dad have meal time, a 30-minute meal time. So teach your children to be relational, communicative, that you talk.
And communication is more than a grunt or a shrug, right? Then teach your children to be industrious, have chores, have expectations. Understand that within the family context we all have something to contribute, and we all are going to pull our weight. Teach your child to be creative. You know, let me say this, folks, and I realize I'm stepping on land mines here, but even more important in the psychological and character development of a child, very often more important than sports, are hobbies. That there is something your child enjoys that is a competency that they define themselves by.
You know, there's nothing wrong with, you know, hobbies as long as they're godly and productive. So make sure your child is creative, industrious, disciplined. They understand punishment and rewards.
If you do this, this, and this, you'll get to do that. Because setting goals, disciplining ourselves to reach those goals, we learn productive, positive, balanced habits. And then of course the greatest attribute of all is godliness and righteousness. But it might be, mom and dad, that before we can pass on faith, morality, discipline, productivity, it might mean that we have to cultivate these things in our own lives. Well, we're almost out of time, but let me say, the family as designed by God has great spiritual significance, and the restoration of America depends on the preservation of family. So let's commit, and again, for the young people listening, God loves you, Christ died for you.
But if you're a grown-up, invest in the life of a child. Because as David Kinnaman said, the great Christian writer, disciples cannot be mass-produced, quote, disciples are handmade, one life, one relationship at a time. We can do this, folks.
And for God's glory and the future of our country, we must. Alex McFarland Ministries are made possible through the prayers and financial support of partners like you. For over 20 years, this ministry has been bringing individuals into a personal relationship with Christ and has been equipping people to stand strong for truth. Learn more and donate securely online at alexmcfarland.com. You may also reach us at Alex McFarland, P.O. Box 10231, Greensboro, North Carolina 27404, or by calling 1-877-YES-GOD-1. Thanks for joining us. We'll see you again on the next edition of the Alex McFarland Show.
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