For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.
For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.
But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. Romans 7:18-20
Our adult kids are certainly not rotten. They only reacted to the very strict/legalistic teachings. Being caught in sexual sin, sitting through long meetings with the pastor, perhaps multiple meetings, getting spanked by parents (yes, high school students were spanked) and having more meetings with parents, and then hearing weeks-long series on Wednesday nights on the dangers of sexual immorality does not give one hope, but despair.
There was no way to measure up. They felt there was no way to be a Christian. If they felt they were Christian before, they became confused and thought they were on their way to hell because of their sin. It was too difficult. They couldn't stop sinning. Why bother? They convinced themselves they must never have been a Christian to begin with - that it must have all been fake and now that they know what a Christian is "supposed" to be, they know it is impossible to maintain that lifestyle - especially because they are so easily tempted by sin. Do you see the thought patterns?
Evidently, I said something that highly disturbed someone during our last days. I said that the spark of joy was absent from the eyes of our teens. That didn't go over very well. It was a very obvious sign of despondency to me.
The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! Matthew 6: 22-23
Legalism does not produce good fruit. It produces complacency and an idea that it doesn't matter what I do, I cannot achieve Christianity. This is the message I have heard from young adults (including my own). This is not what the Bible teaches. Christianity is not based on what you do or do not do. It was a false message bringing despair and condemnation, not hope.
. . . . . to be continued