* For the sake of clarity, please note the following blog was posted June 4, 2015; one day prior to the sudden announcement of Clearwater Christian College’s closing on Friday, June 5, 2015.
For those board members, administrators, faculty members and pastors who will take some time for honest soul-searching, I would suggest you consider the propensity for generational decay in our fundamental churches and institutions.
The majority of my generation have been the heirs and benefactors of the sacrifices of the men and women who emerged victorious from the European and Asian battlefields of World War II. I have witnessed that generation’s dedication, fortitude, disciplines and spiritual character. Many of them returned from the battlefield with their souls dominated by the reality of the eternal and their affections set upon Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. They would become a generation exercised by a passion for holiness and separation from the world. They dreamed big and their vision for seeing lost souls come to Christ founded churches, built colleges, seminaries, schools and mission boards.
A second generation followed and became the successors and benefactors of the first generation’s sacrifices. They were familiar with the sacrifices of their predecessors and committed themselves to preserving the vision and passion of their forbearers. They followed in their footsteps and continued to build on the foundation laid by those who had gone before them.
It is the third generation that is now in positions of leadership in our churches and institutions. History evidences the propensity of the third generation to set upon a path of spiritual apathy and decline. This generation lacks a sense of identity with the faith and vision of the first generation. They often become critics of those who went before them and, if they are honest, wrestle with spiritual uncertainties questioning who they are, what they believe and what they should practice. The sad reality is that a spiritual apathy often dominates this generation leading to dead orthodoxy [doctrine; beliefs] and inevitably a rejection of the convictions of the generations that went before them. Lifted up by pride, they tend to be obstinate and independent of God and man. They have fought few battles, are benefactors of the sacrifices of others and few are willing to confess they have themselves built nothing. They have, in the words of Martyn Lloyd Jones, “spent yesterday’s capital until [they] have nothing left.”
Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith