Episode 477: Rethinking the Lord’s Prayer

Below is my summary and thoughts on Episode 477 of the Holy Post podcast. The topics covered in this episode included:

  • Credibility-enhancing behaviors
  • Sodom and Gomorrah 
  • Children’s ministries
  • Younger generation vs. older generation

Summary

This episode highlighted how “credibility enhancing behaviors” are modeled, and how they affect young people’s adult views on the religion/spirituality of their parents. These behaviors are essentially the actions behind the proclaimed belief. For example, if a parent says they are Christian but continually commits acts that are distinctly un-Christian, this will shape the young person’s adult views on what “Christians” are actually like.

Examples given of “credibility-enhancing behaviors”:

  • Having a relationship with someone and finding a way to meet their need secretly. Ex. parent dropping off a gift for a fellow church member in the middle of the night because they knew the person was struggling
  • Something that manifests the fruits of the spirit
  • Sticking in a marriage even when it’s hard
    • This is similar to not seeking certain things because you believe there is life beyond this. Ex. getting a divorce simply because you are no longer ‘happy’
    • This also demonstrates the ability to stick with commitments made

They also questioned the role of children’s ministries. Some ministries of past and present have simply offered incentives like pizza in order to just get kids in the door. They focused more on attendance than depth of programming, also shown when they focus more on memorizing Bible verses or stories when the content isn’t really being taught. This is becoming more complex in the modern day because young people want to talk about race and other engaging topics and have modeled for them or understand the Biblical way to go about these topics.

One of the headline articles claimed that young people in the UK are far more likely (I think they said 50% more) to pray than the older generation. When digging further into this, they discovered that it is because the UK is becoming less white, and immigrants and non-white young people have large Islamic populations. Also, the younger generation in general is exploring spirituality, and looking into untraditional religions for that country such as Islam. 

The hosts ironically asked: if secularization brings non-Christian religions, should immigrants be feared/not allowed in the country? The obvious reply was ‘no’, and they cited the effects mistreating the poor and immigrant populations had on Sodom and Gomorrah. On the same thread, they discussed the increasing division between the older and younger generations. They pondered if today’s older generation are heading into the same trend of materialism that the young people of the 60s rebelled against. Perhaps this is leading young people to call out the hypocrisy of older peoples religion, rather than not believe it for a lack of evidence since they are spiritual already. This relates to the church by actually acting as your proclaimed faith says to do.

My thoughts

This episode gave very good, concrete reasons for why certain things are the way they are. For example, how the division of young people and older people relates to the 60s, and how that division is also being seen in the church. I am becoming increasingly more interested in how larger-scale societal trends affect the Christian church, and this podcast does a great job of illuminating those overlaps. I also agree about the uselessness of some children’s ministries. The emptiness seen in some instances could be another opportunity for “credibility-enhancing behavior” that is being demonstrated poorly. Overall, great episode, definitely worth a listen.

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