Thursday, May 22, 2008

Westminster Shorter Catechism Q2

I failed in my last post to explain what a catechism is. A catechism is what Christians for centuries have used to train up their children in the faith. It seems to have mostly gone by the wayside in the modern evangelical church. It seems pastors today, and more specifically youth pastors, seem to have a better way of teaching youth. The way of the catechism has given way to attending rock concerts, playing broomball and seeing how much stuff can be crammed into a blender, drank and kept down. Now these things certainly will attract more kids to your youth events but they do nothing to teach the sacred doctrines of the Bible.

Q:What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him?
A:The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, (2 Tim. 3:16, Eph. 2:20) is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him. (1 John 1:3–4)

The Westminster Shorter Catechism : With Scripture Proofs., 3rd edition., Question 2 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996).

16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

New American Standard Bible : 1995 Update, 2 Ti 3:16 (LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995).

20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,

New American Standard Bible : 1995 Update, Eph 2:20 (LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995).

3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.
4 These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.

New American Standard Bible : 1995 Update, 1 Jn 1:3-4 (LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995).


Mark said...

Alan, as always you are absolutely right. There should be no room in the youth event schedule for having fun! Youth pastors who are already teaching the Word of God in their Bible studies are completely negating that teaching by allowing any sort of games and other social activities.

P.S. I agree that a catechism is an excellent way to teach the doctrines of the faith. However you've set up a false dichotomy: having fun and learning are not mutually exclusive.

Alan said...

I did not mean to give the impression I am against having fun, I am not. The problem today in many churches is that they do all the fun things and never get around to teaching the doctrines. I was not setting up a false dichotomy, neither was I directing this at Chatham, The examples I sight are from things I know have been done at Chatham but that is where my experience is. There are many churches who do no teaching of the young whatsoever, that is the problem. I never said or implied that if you catechize the young you can't go and do the other things. I am sorry if I gave you that impression. I was not picking on Al either I had in mind churches like Lakewood and other seeker sensitive/emergent churches.

RHEA said...

Growing up, I went a to a more "liturgical" church, and we would recite the Lord's Prayer together every Sunday, and the Apostle's Creed, and I think a few other things (what they're called, I can't recall off the top of my head).

At the time when I was hearing all of this, I wasn't a Christian, but I definitely think that it planted a seed ("seeds" I think is probably better) in my life. It gave me a sort of "foundation" of what Christianity was/is. If I were to be somehow stranded on a desert island without a Bible, I would still have those creeds memorized that I could recite to myself. It seem to me that these catechism questions are similar in that they're short and concise and easy for someone to memorize.