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We have a youth group in our church. You know what they do? They learn systematic theology.

Teaching the youth Biblical doctrine and theology. Now there's a novel idea!

And the kids love it.


 2011/9/26 15:50

Joined: 2009/2/20
Posts: 494
Celina, Texas

 Re: Divided

Tradition is often the iron fist of the church that ignorantly replaces the nail pierced hand. Once it takes root it is most difficult to rid. So many have cried tears for a lost generation, yet have no answer for its demise. God will always desire obedience over sacrifice, for the first is what makes the fruit of the second good.

There are many who were silenced in the past and still today, who have opposed the concept of age segregation in the church. They spoke the same concerns of Thomas Burns and prophesied the abdication of the Fathers and Mothers natural God designed and ordained responsibilities of teaching the fullness of God to their very own.

It is a wonderful and graceful work of the Spirit to wake men from the apnea of tradition and convict them that the good they seek to do is according to their own flesh and not what God desires.

Thanks for the link and may much good come from it.

 2011/9/26 16:15Profile

Joined: 2010/3/16
Posts: 14

 Re: Divided

I watched this months ago after being sent the link by a friend of mine. I was actually the one who shared with them about NCFIC who created the video. She asked me what I thought of it. I took a long time thinking about this movie. I read many, many comments on this movie. I must admit that I have not fully explored and studied this topic in Scripture but I FIRMLY agree that the parents should be the primary source of discipleship for the children and that families should not be segregated the way that it is commonly in most churches. I really embrace the primary message of this movie and NCFIC. I am struggling with the way the movie was made. I would stand behind Divided for the support of family integration but it was pretty evident that the movie also used some weak examples as noted my many commenters. By weak examples, I mean, on one side they interview young kids who were immature and/or very carnal and contrasted their comments with very mature and learned pastors/teachers/authors. It opens up arguments from those who oppose Divided's message [which is good]. They could argue that this makes for a 'straw man'fallacy. I think it would have been wiser to avoid those comparisons. I think that can be perceived as an insult to ones intellect because of the obvious weakness in that comparison. The other thing that I am still thinking about is the thought that everyone who uses the 'youth group' & 'sunday school' or 'children's church' model is out of God's will. The fact that we homeschool our six children and have recently decided to started worshipping and having 'church' at home instead of going to 'church' should say a lot about where we stand but I don't know what to say about those who follow the 'segregated' model. First, I can positively say that many if not most do so with a genuine and pure motive. And few are doing so without trying to turn to 'worldy' methods. My wife came back to God in a youth meeting. I came from Times Square Church where there was a strong being preached but they still have youth groups etc. I experienced God moving in those circles. I could not say that God hasn't blessed those efforts but I remember Denny Duron saying "instead of asking God to bless what we are doing, we need to do what God has blessed". Same type of issue I am faced with when being asked of my thought of the 'traditional/organized church' vs 'home churches'. I have many issues with the 'traditional' church model but I need to be careful of my criticisms about it. There are things we can draw out from Scripture and we can arrive at our interpretations which are not always conclusive. And those conclusions can differ even between two people whose heart are genuinely sincere and with right motives.

When I first saw the movie, I was tempted to send it out to many who practice 'segregation'. I was so moved by it but decided to meditate for some time and listen to others arguments and definitely pray about this for more revelation and a right heart.

Just sharing my thoughts,

Ricky Aguas

 2011/9/28 15:33Profile


I watched the video last week. It was a breath of fresh air on something that I have known for many years. This video brings it together in a very compelling way.

The pastor of our fellowship plans to watch it. Afetrwards I told him we need to have a serious convo about what this video puts forward.

Some may need to make a slow transition on this. But there must be a transition back to Biblical model.

 2011/9/28 17:38

Joined: 2009/2/20
Posts: 494
Celina, Texas


I appreciate what y'all are saying. There are probably many of us who have dealt with this subject only to find our concerns ignored or fallen upon deaf ears. I was teaching the high schoolers Sunday morning before my conversion. Even before being converted I knew something was not right about this system. If parents abandon their role as their children's teachers, are they not disobeying Gods directives to them as parents? At the time I was not worrying about the kids being taught because they got that at Sunday school and service. Or did they? God did not call parents to teach their children 2 to 3 times a week but rather every opportunity that could present itself and every opportunity that could be advantaged. How was a part time teacher (putting it lightly) going to teach through a child's life if he only worked with the child an hour or two a week? As well he did that in groups and not one on one, so where is the intimacy that is to be found in that? Why not just teach our own children instead of trading off? We have allowed a system that would see every parent teaching everybody else's children but their own. That is if they were all teachers. That is not the likely scenario. What happens is the parent relinquishes his role to a part timer who has absurd limitations. It's not God's design!

When I was saved my concern about this system went from concern to conviction. I felt it a sin to be party to the disobedience this produced. I took it to the Elders but we live in an age where tradition is not so much acknowledged as a problem amongst Protestants. While Catholicism remains the easy target and gross offender, we can easily point the finger, but we have made a grave mistake to think that we are not greatly influenced by the traditions of men as well. By not considering ourselves susceptible and not examining ourselves before the Lord, we have fallen easily into those works that are not led by the Spirit. With the greatest of intentions they are nonetheless born in self effort. They become man's traditions and given a little time to affirm their place in the church, they might as well be made of titanium because they are here to stay and they do not bend. It is amazing how many times people would talk about how so many youth are walking away from the church and not even consider looking in their own backyard for the cause.

Ricky, I agree they used easy targets for extreme examples to drive a point home but this is as much a danger for the level headed conservative straight laced youth as it is for the worldly one. The argument regardless of the exampled youth used is whether God will be taken for His word over mans cleaver device. As was brought out in the film, there is no support in scripture for the model of providing youth a teacher when children and youth have capable parent(s) as their caretaker(s). People will even grasp for the shortest of straws over seeing this tradition corrected.

Bless you for where God has brought you with your family and what He has in store for you in the future.

God be with your efforts thingsabove.

 2011/9/29 0:03Profile


OK... I finally got time to watch this. I agree with just about everything they say in this. It IS a breath of fresh air.

I do think that the overall conclusion may be a bit too much tho. We are blessed to be in a church where the dads ARE taking responsibility for raising their children in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord. It's an exceptional church and extremely rare, this I know.

We do not have a Sunday School. We do, however, have the youth meet on Wednesday evenings 3 weeks a month for doctrinal teaching. It's not fun and games, it's an hour long teaching. 2 men in the church share the teaching responsibilities. This teaching time is to be considered a supplement to whats happening in the home, not a replacement.

1 week a month the youth are in the Wednesday evening service with their parents for teaching and corporate prayer time.

I think this works out quite well (as we have 2 teens).

I also realize that this is an EXTREMELY unique situation because the vast majority of churches are not like this at all.

So I dont think we can completely throw everything out. But I do believe that there should not be a huge focus on "youth ministry", I think it should be a very miniscule part of the overall church. And in most churches, because they do not have the focus that our church is blessed with... they SHOULD stop youth ministry.


 2011/10/2 7:24

Joined: 2011/2/8
Posts: 4

 Re: Divided

Having grown up never attending youth groups, and having the excellent example and instruction of a dad who loves the Lord with all his heart soul mind and strength, and his wife as Christ loves the church, and who loves and instructed me and my 5 brothers and sisters as scriptures commands, I definitely do not believe that youth groups are a healthy component of the North American church. In fact I believe that it is detrimental. That said, I would not fully recommend the film because I believe that there is a deeper problem that the video unconsciously propounds instead of addressing. My Dad states it more eloquently than I, so I will share what he said about it.

While there are definitely problems with the way the whole situation is presented, it points out the real need of fathers to disciple their children. This is good.
However,I would argue that their analysis is selective and short sighted.
Age segregation per se is not the root of all evil. If you integrate the children into adult worship and encourage fathers to disciple their children, yet the "adult worship" is not biblically based and the father's are not themselves disciples you've accomplished nothing for Christ and his kingdom.
I'd recommend it, but I fear that all that will result will be the raising of the "Away with age integration" banner. Hopefully some fathers will get a wake up call.
A doctor must deal with the complications and effects of cancer but if he doesn't identify the root cause and take immediate radical action all of his efforts to control the effects will be in vain. The cancer in the evangelical church is worldly men. i.e Men who lack holiness, consecration, and simple yet unwavering trust in God's word. "Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be men of courage. Be strong. Do everything in love (1 Co 16:13)
Godly men produce godly offspring, period. Pr 14:26, Pr 20:7, Ps 112.

Lastly, it's interesting that the command in 1 Co 16:13 to "be men of courage" ανδριζεσθε verb - present middle or passive deponent imperative - second person
andrizomai an-drid'-zom-ahee: to act manly -- quit like men. Is translated in the new NIV "be courageous"
This is appalling and straight from the pit! In an effort to be gender inclusive, friendly etc. they've undercut the jolt that the men need.

 2011/10/6 15:15Profile

Joined: 2009/12/4
Posts: 1860


I enjoyed this documentary very much, coming from that kind of culture and then coming out of that culture it really makes me see. About a year ago the Lord was opening my heart up to scripture and what it is to be the church and I found the exact same thing as this documentary. As a former youth pastor I found the philosophy of the church was a tug of war on two generations. One side thought well if we got the youth in the church we would get their parents to come along eventually and if we got the parents to come along we would get the youth. This is so wrong because of my 15 member youth group not a single parent went to the church and of the 15 members of the youth group only 1 set of parents actually came to me to meet me so they knew who was teaching their kid.

We really have dropped the ball eh? I do like the conclusion of it though and the thought of youth pastor not being out of jobs but their focus of ministry changed to training and equiping parents. What I really felt I failed at as a youth pastor is at being a bridge between the youth and their parents but this documentary shows me that I was never to be a bridge for the two but Christ was to be the bridge.

Matthew Guldner

 2011/10/7 5:23Profile

Joined: 2011/8/16
Posts: 159


Thanks for sharing your thoughts, y'all!

 2011/10/7 8:02Profile

Joined: 2011/1/29
Posts: 149


Hey guys,

So I have watched the documentary since stumbling upon on this forum.

I just want to ask, was there anything unbiblical in this documentary? I have been sharing this with many of my friends over facebook and have been met with serious accusations that this is heretical.

I myself thought the core of the message was true and needed however maybe there were some parts that were unneeded or could be shortened and other parts that could be expanded on more.

In Christ

 2011/10/10 21:12Profile

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