Two or Three (.net)

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. - Jesus


Fear is a great motivator

by Aaron Earls [+/-] show/hide

A new study finds that Mormon teenagers are better behaved across the board than other religious teens.

A higher percentage of Mormons followed their religion's teachings on sex, alcohol, drugs, etc than other religious teens. Conservative Protestant Christians were second in most categories.

As I said in the title, fear is a great motivator. If your religion teaches that you have to work your way into heaven, then you are going to work extra hard at being as good as possible.

One surprising stat was that conservative Christians and black Protestant bestes Mormons in belief in God. The numbers: 94% of conservative Protestant and 97% of black Protestant teens said they believed in God, compared with 84% of Mormon youths.

I think both those stats are a consequence of the teachings of the Mormon church. As I said, if salvation is related to works in anyway then you have a very large motivating factor. Also, if you teach some of the things that the Mormon church does, then some will begin to doubt the existence of God because of the contridictory and strange nature of the god of Mormonism.

That still does not excuse Christian young people who have Truth from living a live that is "worthy of the calling" they have been given.

One thing the article mentions is the high expectations that Mormon parents and churches have for their teenagers. Too often that is lacking in Christian churches and among Christian parents. We just expect our teenagers to be worldly and have no desire to live a life set apart for Christ. I think if we called our teenagers to a more holy life, they would take up the challenge and, as Paul told Timothy, "be an example for the church."

Hat Tip: World Mag Blog


  • Fear and AbstinenceI think in the area of sexuality, fear of temporal consequences is a better motivator than fear of eternal. For example, a lot of teen sexuality programs today have the students care for an electronic baby for a few weeks to show them what parenthood is really like. This really helps reduce parenthood in teens.

    We could also have our teens see and talk to people with STDs to warn them.

    High Religious Expectations and TeensAs a student of both the bible and developmental psychology, I have wrestled with how I should school my children in the values I hold dear (including religious ideas), while teaching them how to make up their own minds. The teen years are the first, but not the last time that a person forms their identity by asking "who am I? What do I believe? What should I do with the rest of my life? What is meaningful? What will be satisfying?"

    If you are too heavy handed, your kids will rebel. If you have no expectations, they may wander and get lost.

    Teens are very idealistic, and a radical call to serving God can be very appealing - but time spent in an evanlistic "machine" can damage them for life.

    For my daughter, I want to
    - model my values and faith
    - teach her how to make decisions for herself, and tell her it's ok to ask hard questions and even disagree with the right attitude
    - expose her to vibrant, radical christianity, but allow her to choose her involvement

    I guess I'm thinking lead with a soft hand, and allow her to own her own soul. Only logical loving limits, but as few limits as possible. Guess my hippy heritage is showing.

    By Blogger papa, at 3/17/2005 12:53 PM  

  • The question or issue of raising a child "in the fear and admonition of the Lord" is indeed a tough one. I pray over my two-year-old every night - that I will be the father for him that God wants me to be, that he will see my Father in me, that he will accept Jesus at an early age and live passionately for Him.

    I have found with the youth at my church that they have responded to a call to live radical lives. They were tired of mundane boring Christianity. We have challenged them and most have responded better than I ever dreamed.

    I guess it has to be a situation-by-situation determination that requires much prayer and much listening.

    As a dad and a youth leader, I have no such hippie-influence, so I am hardcore! :)

    By Blogger Aaron, at 3/17/2005 1:41 PM  

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