See You at the Pole…Hypocrite


It’s that time of the year again. School is in session and youth pastors all around the country are teaching their students how to be the biggest hypocrites and Pharisees in town.

See You at the Pole was first started in 1990 and since then hundreds of thousands of students have gathered on this one day in front of their school at the flag pole to pray. They are instructed to pray for their school, their fellow students and their country. It all sounds like a noble and harmless cause, but what are we truly communicating to our kids?

I think SYATP is dangerous for the message it sends to students, those inside and outside the prayer circle. Before I go on, let me say that I do not have a problem with the students who are involved with SYATP. My beef is with the adult organizers and youth pastors that support SYATP. I know first-hand how manipulative these type of events can be and the subtle messages that they send to students.

See You at the Pole is all about being “seen”. For everyone keeping score at home, there is nothing that could be more unbiblical.

And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:5-6

Jesus is pretty clear about where we are to pray. He tells us to keep our prayers private. We shouldn’t be praying to draw attention to ourselves…that isn’t the purpose of prayer. The very act of praying is for the exact opposite purpose of creating a scene or a making a spectacle of ourselves. Praying in front of your school with one hundred of your closest friends is not quite the same as praying in your room with the door closed. This is pretty simple people.

According to the SYATP website, here are some reasons your students should be involved with See You at the Pole.

Do you really want to see and experience an unbelievable wave of awakening on your campus? What is going on at your school that can only be explained by the power of God? How desperately do you desire for God to come in power? Is your heart truly broken for your non-Christian friends and the sin on your campus? When you are seriously sold out and passionate about God He will honor your humble, broken, desperate cry. He wants to hear from you!

Oh my! Where do we begin? Do people really talk like this? Is it just me, or does anyone else out there have a problem with this? Are youth pastors nuts? Seems like all of the problems in your local school is because your kid just doesn’t pray enough. Shame on them. Get on your knees Billy and Betty, forget your homework, you’ve got some praying to do!

The more I think about what to write next, the more filled with disgust and outrage at the “stupid church people” that think SYATP is a great idea. This event is so myopic, hyopcritical and obnoxious that I don’t know what to say…for once I may be speechless. Or just tired of it all. You know, I think that’s it. I am just really tired of the stupid things we Christians plan and do and then believe that God is behind, or involved with, or supporting, or “moving through” or whatever. Ugh…I gotta go to bed.

P.S. Listen to our podcast on See You at the Pole here.

71 thoughts on “See You at the Pole…Hypocrite”

  1. Zecryphon, thank you for your answer. I really appreciate the fact that we could have this conversation without (seemingly) jumping down each other’s throats.I would encourage you to continue thinking, researching, and talking with other Christians about this; don’t think you have to come to a “definitive” answer about anything–our love, along with our spirituality and even our viewpoints–are never to become stagnant or fixed to the point where we think we have all the answers. No one here has all the answers; we’re here to learn from each other. πŸ™‚Peace and blessings.

  2. <>Here’s how I think we can fix it. You get people fired up for Jesus and His teachings. You introduce them to Him, teach them to be like Him and teach them to go serve Him. If it takes war rhetoric to get them together so we can do that, so be it.<>I don’t think getting people “fired up” about Jesus is the way to go. This plays off their emotions, not their reason, intellect, and especially not the Spirit.<>You wanted some scriptures that justify the war on culture?“Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.”Psalm 144:1<>You do realize David was an ACTUAL soldier, right? That he was the King and commander of an ACTUAL army? It wasn’t a “cultural” war he was fighting, but an actual war.<>“Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.”2 Timothy 2:3<> This talks about enduring hardship, not fighting a battle. Paul also uses the illustration of an athlete, hard-working farmer, and prisoner. The point of this passage is enduring hardship and not cutting corners or giving up; not fighting a war.<>“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Ephesians 6:11<>The <>devil’s<> schemes, yo. Plus, we are exhorted to put on the full armor of God not to battle “secular humanists” or “evil liberals” or even “other religions” but Paul said, <>“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the powers, against the world forces of darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” -Eph. 6:12<>Later, Paul goes on to say the only way to do this is by praying; trusting in the Lord. It’s not a literal battle, or a cultural battle, but a spiritual battle. And the enemy are the rulers, principalities, and powers that stand opposed to the Kingdom of God. Gah, I could write a book on that topic alone and how people have ignored it or skewed it to mean “people and institutions that are secular.”I’m going to skip over your 2 Cor. reference for the same reason.<>“From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.” Matthew 11:12<>Hmm, my translation (NASB, a more literal translation) says, <>“And from teh days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven [God] suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.”<> Even in Jesus’ day, they wanted to make Him their earthly king, and hoped the Messiah would re-establish Israel to power, but Jesus said His Kingdom was not of this earth. So trying to establish some sort of “Christian government” and society cannot be done by force (i.e., laws enforced by the power of earthly kingdoms and governments).So yes, I think you’ve taken this passages out of context to justify whipping youth into a frenzy and getting them “passionate about Jesus” (playing off emotions and using “war” language to do so). How ’bout this scripture (as is stated in the pod cast–have you listened to it, Zecryphon?): <>“But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.”-Matt. 6:6<>Or how ’bout this one: <>“Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doingwrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”-1 Peter 2:12<>These have more to do with living holy lives, and praying in secret, and trusting GOD to do the work, not thinking we, by our own power and public displays can change the world. No one can come to the Son unless the FATHER draws them.

  3. Steve: Why do you and others (especially the Ron Luce types) insist on building up war rhetoric?Because people respond to it. It’s just rhetoric, just empty words, unless there is a plan of action behind them. I never said anything about killing those who disagree with Christ’s message. But the Muslim extremists are killing people who disagree wtih their message. I don’t think you or anyone else is naive. I think you’re fed up with the world, and don’t know what to do anymore. Which is perfectly understandable. However, you constantly ask the question “how do we fix the church?”Here’s how I think we can fix it. You get people fired up for Jesus and His teachings. You introduce them to Him, teach them to be like Him and teach them to go serve Him. If it takes war rhetoric to get them together so we can do that, so be it. You wanted some scriptures that justify the war on culture?“Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.” Psalm 144:1“Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 2:3“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Ephesians 6:11“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” 2 Corinthians 10:4“From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.” Matthew 11:12Have I taken these out of context? You have more training in the scriptures than I do, you tell me. I’m always willing to learn something new.As for the middle east hating our immorality? I think they’re just jealous because we’ve accomplished more in 300 years than they have in 5,000.I’m not going to apologize if I came on too strongly with my ideas or what I believe we need to do. I feel very passionately about them.

  4. Now that you all have had your say, the Zekester will settle the debate.Here it is:<>It takes a lot more energy to fight than it does to love, and that’s what we’re supposed to do anyway. So be a lover not a fighter.<>No applause necessary. You may now return to your normally scheduled activities. Thank you for playing.

  5. Eddie said:christians like you love to talk big about love but then turn around and wage wars against people like me.Zecryphon:Eddie I have yet to see anything come from you that could be called love, or have a loving attitude behind it. As for wanting to burn in hell, the only way you’re going to burn in hell, is if you haven’t accepted Jesus Christ as your savior. You’re not gonna burn in hell, because you and I disagree on how we can best live our lives in the service of God. I never said the war was against you. I said there was a war on for the hearts and souls of America’s youth. From a previous post you said that you were a dumb and ignorant parent. So the war for the souls of America’s youth has nothing to do with you. You’re not a youth or someone interested in corrupting our youth. Also, I didn’t wake up one morning and say “hey I think I’m gonna wage a culture war today. Won’t that be fun? I’m reading a book about how bad it is today for the kids of America, and it got to me. So much so, that I feel compelled to do something about it, to get involved. I really don’t see what’s so bad about that.As far as me thinking I’m somehow special, I don’t. I’m just trying to fulfill the great commission the best way I can. Everyone is wrapped up in the war rhetoric I used, and I can understand why, but what you’re missing is that the end result is the same. As Christians we want to see as many come to Christ as possible. Or am I wrong about this too?Ninjanun, I don’t know how anyone can claim to live a “holy” life, when we have all sinned. There is only one person who ever led a holy life and that is Jesus. I can do my best to try and live up to that standard, but I fail everyday. When I fail, I pray for strength not to fail in the same way again, and for the Holy Spirit to lead me to where God wants me to be.You seem to think that my wanting to get involved in teen ministry and taking a more hands on approach is somehow wanting to be seen by men. The feeling I get is that if you’re an evangelist, going out into the world and sharing the gospel of Christ with others, you’re motivation is to be seen by men. My motivation is to fulfill the great commission, before Jesus returns for His church. That’s it.

  6. I think an important point has been made (whether intended or not). SYATP lasts for maybe an hour, one day every school year, right? At least that’s what I knew when I was in highschool. So what of the rest of the time? What about these daily struggles and confused students who need that support and teaching?I have trouble submitting that God hears the prayers of the people who put on that show for a couple minutes. How hypocritical is that? The word hypocritical means actor and what a show we like to put on! I remember feeling obligated to go to SYATP so other ‘believers’ wouldn’t think I didn’t care or something to that effect.So, I think something more needs to be done on a day-to-day basis. Have more for kids to grab on to and call their own than this. I know I would’ve appreciated an engaging youth ministry in my school. Youth want to belong to something, we need to help them belong to Christ, all day/everyday.

  7. No you’re not my enemy. It sounds to me like you’re an atheist. But certainly not my enemy.I guess I just respond better to people like Steve and Ninjanun, while they might not agree with what got me motivated to get off involved in teen ministry; Their approach was alot better than yours. I felt love and genuine concern from them.So now that we all know what you don’t want, why don’t you enlighten us as to what you do want.Is it just Christian icons and monuments you have a problem with? Or is it any religous monument? Is it my idea of the great commission you have a problem with or Jesus’? He’s the one that gave the order to spread the gospel to all the nations of the world. I didn’t come up with that? You’re problem is obviously with Jesus, not with me or any other Christians.

  8. It’s late. Not that everyone doesn’t want us to be Christians, they just don’t want us to throw it in their faces. We want to express our beliefs but damned if anyone else can express theirs. Can you imagine if a bunch of Muslim students started doing the same thing, at the flagpole bowing towards Mecca and chanting to Allah? The SCP would be up in arms, offended and hurt, saying that their children should not be exposed to that and why is the school supporting it? “Waaaah! I’m so persecuted! Me Me Me! Waaaah!”

  9. oooo, scandal…i’m gonna listen now and weigh in with my rhetoric later. oh, and jeff talks like a human being, i like it.

  10. Okay… I just listened to the podcast.Steve’s right. Disregard my previous comments. I caved.(he used my own blog against me!! Not fair!!)

  11. Ricky, how do you think Jesus’ <>public<> (your interpretation–I think it would be pretty hard for him to get down off the cross to pray in “private”, but that’s just me–there are circumstances in which you CAN’T pray in secret) prayers jive with what he commanded us to do in Matthew 6:5-6?I think Jesus’ point about prayer, giving, even “good works” is not to do it for show–and it’s pretty hard to say ‘we’re going to gather publicly and pray (so that we can be SEEN by our fellow students–y’know, as a WITNESS)’ without having those who will, inevitably, be doing it for show. It’s hard to have absolutely pure motives in ANY action when you know you’re on public display, and there is a great temptation to alter your actions (or prayers, or praise, or repentance, or giving) when you know unbelievers (or even believers, for that matter) are watching.does that mean we don’t pray?does that mean we don’t give?does that mean we don’t do good deeds?NO! But there’s a reason Jesus says not to let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Jesus is just as concerned about our motives as He is about our actions. That’s why he called the Pharisees, scribes, and teachers of the law hypcrites; he knew they were doing their “righteous deeds before men” in order to be seen and esteemed by men.

  12. speechless… far too many of us are. God gave us a tongue to use it. I am not speechless, and am repulsed by the idea that a fellow believer would take such a devisive stance against fellow believers. grow up in the faith. what are you doing to impact your area of the world for the Lord? We are called to be a light. Well, a light can’t be hidden now can it?

  13. zecryphon “There is a war on… for the souls of the next generation.”war?“What the enemy doesn’t understand…” enemy??eddieOYes, there is a war going on between secular society and Christians. Take a look round. Does the world today seem like a place where the teachings of Christ are running rampant? It seems to me that just the opposite is true. Go to http://www.battlecry.com and do some research. The findings should be a real eye opener.It’s true that alot of people who call themselves Christians really aren’t. They are known as back-slidden Christians. When Jesus returns for the rapture He will separate the wheat from the chaff.I agree that Jesus should be the driving force in our lives, but alot of our kids don’t know that. You’ve all seen evidence of it. To them SYATP would be a good way to get involved, but they don’t see the bigger picture. It’s time we pass our values on to them. After all, our kids are a reflection of us.

  14. We don’t have SYATP here in Australia (thank God).I think it’s time to make the move down under Steve.We don’t have nearly half the insanity the American church has.Plus, no religious right.πŸ™‚The only problem is ..it’s usually 40 degrees C on Christmas Day.Lance.

  15. <>zecryphon <><><>“There is a war on… for the souls of the next generation.”<><>war?<><>“What the enemy doesn’t understand…” <><>enemy??eddieO

  16. Ricky…What would “kids gathering for the purpose of genuine, public repentance” look like? What does that mean??Zecryphon…Did you happen to see my comments posted at 12:23 PM? I think we may have cross posted and that you may have overlooked my response to you and I wanted to make sure you saw it.

  17. Zecryphon, I think you may be upholding a false dichotomy about “secular” society and christianity. Secular means “non-religious,” not anti-God.I HAVE been personally involved with four SYATP as a student. I was co-president of my FCA. A handful of students were involved at SYATP because they were committed Christians who thought we were “taking a stand” for Christ and “showing our school we’re not afraid or ashamed of our beliefs.” But we usually had over 100 kids (this was in a very small high school) show up, most of whom I interacted with on a daily basis and who definitely did NOT act like Christians the rest of the time. I can’t judge whether they really were or not, but they certainly didn’t act like it: cheating, drinking, partying, bullying, pre-marital sex, and worse. SYATP, even when I was in High school over 10 years ago, had turned into the “cool thing” to do. Like others have said, I think the best way to impact your school for Christ is to do EVERYTHING unto the Lord, so that unbelievers may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. It’s like we’re not trusting God to work through us and make an impact in our “ordinary” lives and our “ordinary” prayers. We have to “make a stand!” Did you know what those SYATP’s accomplished? Well, I don’t know what went on in the minds and hearts of the unbelievers who traipsed past us on their way into the school building, but I can say that nobody “got saved,” at a SYATP, nobody that I’m aware of “got saved” as a result of it, and “sin and immorality” did not go down in our school. Nobody new even joined the FCA or the prayer group afterwards. It seemed more like a big show for a lot of teens to pat themselves on the back for “being bold” and “taking a stand for Christ” without actually changing their lives. Oh, and I’m sure it stroked the egos of the youth pastors, FCA sponsors, etc., who organized and promoted it (myself included).Oh, and sorry this post is so long, guys.

  18. I know I’m jumping in late but..My only experience at SYATP is as a High School teacher. I love the idea of kids meeting to pray together. I wish they’d do it every day. What I have trouble with is the Christian kids coming late to first hour, chewing on a donut, with SYATP as their excuse.Why is Potsie late to class? Can I get a donut? Can I go pray for a donut?sigh

  19. <><>“Because it’s a place to start.<><>fair enough. i guess my problem is that i just don’t believe in the purpose of the church.<><>I shared what I’m doing to spread the message of Christ to others. Perhaps you can tell me where you’re involved and give me some more ideas. My desire is to see as many come to know the Lord as possible.”<><>i have been inspired to get involved with the people around me or that i come into contact with and to serve them in anyway i can.<><>“Maybe proclaim is the wrong word to use. How about “when you say you’re a Christian”.<><>why is it so important to annouce what you are at all?<><>“Dude, do you have anything helpful to contribute or are you more interested in a flame war?”<><>dude, i’m just calling it like i see it. just because you don’t like the shoe doesn’t mean you’re not wearing it.eddieO

  20. Thanks Zecryphon for your response.I am not fed up with the world. The world is a minor annoyance to me. What I receive from the world (deceit, lust for power, greed, judgmental attitude, all those things) I expect from the world. What I receive from the church (deceit, lust for power, greed, judgmental attitude, all those things) is what causes me to be fed up and disgusted.And you nailed it…war rhetoric (and all rhetoric) is EMPTY. And empty, shallow people follow that type of motivation. Rhetoric motivates people extrinsically to action. Anyone motivated extrinisically eventually grows tired of the rhetoric that got them there and will give up, burn out and grow weary. War rhetoric is foundationally built on a hate mentality…and hate was not the message of Jesus.I never said that you said anything about killing people. I think you miss the point. If you are in a war, how do you handle the opposition? You have to either kill them or capture them to win. Do you agree? Once you enter into war, all non-military options are gone. You have to be committed to destroying your enemy.Did Jesus come into the world to condemn the world or to save the world? Was his message of peace or war? Was Jesus’ message of love or hate? Was Jesus about building bridges or blowing them up? When Jesus was brought the woman caught in adultery, what was his response to her condition? Was it to condemn her actions, cause justice (which was death according to the law) to reign down on her? Did he use it as a chance to preach about the immoral culture and how this woman exemplfied the sin of the day? Or did he address those of the religious establishment and confront them with their own sin? Didn’t he also tell the woman that he didn’t condemn her and encourage her (not threaten) her to go and sin no more?I can see you have a heart for God. You obviously love Jesus. And I am not asking you to apologize for what you have written. I am asking that you consider your position and examine it in light of Jesus’ teachings. Consider the possibility that there may be another way to counter the culture rather than declaring war on it. I have considered your options and found them to lack the power of Christ which is love and service. The “war on culture” crowd is full of the power of men and their empty words.

  21. Well said, eddieO.I think Zecryphon, that you got hung up on my term “living a holy life” and took that to mean I think I can accomplish perfection.Like eddieO said, I think we have a far different interpretation of what “spreading the Gospel” looks like. And the “great commission” (man’s interpretation of this particular command of Jesus’) didn’t say go and “spead the gospel”, it said go and make disciples. Gospel means “good news.” And I think you and I would have a different interpretation of what the “good news” of Jesus Christ is about, and how we would go about making disciples. You seem to want to focus on the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus as the savior of our sins, and I want to focus more on the fact that Jesus came to establish the Kingdom of God, and his death, burial, and resurrection were a result of Him establishing a new covenent that stands opposed to the powers of this world. I don’t think you’ll be able to accurately interpret what I’m trying to convey to you, though, because so much of the focus of evangelical Christianity is <>only<> focused on Jesus as savior of our individual sins, and it’s hard to move beyond that to more of a Whole Gospel approach. I can give you some scriptures to ponder, and some books to read, if you’re interested in learning more.I still contend that actions speak louder than words, and the prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Teaching these things to kids would be a better use of our time than encouraging them to participate in a once-a-year event around their school’s flag pole. I don’t recall ever condemning you for wanting to get involved in youth ministry, Zecryphon, or saying you were doing it to be seen by men. I was still making the point about SYATP, which is what we were supposed to be focusing on.

  22. <>So the question I pose is, how do we fulfill the great commission? I have a few ways that I do it. I’d be more than happy to share them with you, if you’re interested. I’m also interested in hearing the ways that people on this board do it.<>I have a few ways that i do it, but since you said this….<> The feeling I get in talking to some on here, is that they’re perfectly happy being closet Christians. Pray in private, don’t admit or say you’re a Christian, and just help out whenever you can. Something about that approach just doesn’t sit right with me.<>I doubt you’d like my answer. If I’m praying, and living a holy life, not to be “seen” by men, but to honor God (and I do think we’d have a difference of opinion on what “living a holy life” looks like, too) and you think that’s “not enough” than either you don’t have faith in me or you don’t have faith in God. Just ‘cuz I don’t go around saying “Hey! I’m a CHRISTIAN! I can’t work on Sundays ‘cuz I’m a CHRISTIAN!”I don’t wear shirts with cute spiritual slogans on them or have a fish on the back of my car, but that doesn’t mean I hide my light under a rock. If people ask me what I believe, I’m gonna tell them. If the Spirit is there, she’s gonna do the work in that person’s heart, not me. It’s not my job to “save people.” Only God can do that.

  23. Matthew 5: 14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”Being seen as being a Christian who prays does not make you a hypocrite. The Pharisees were unrighteous, but were attempting to be seen as righteous. There is a big difference between teens making their faith obvious and Pharisees wanting kudos for how good they pray. I don’t know if you have ever been at SYATP, but I have and it isn’t about how good you pray. It is about making a public statement that you are a Christian in a hostile environment. It is about garnering encouragement from other Christians in your peer group. It takes guts to stand up for Jesus and these kids need to be commended, not condemned.

  24. Steve, you said:<>And you nailed it…war rhetoric (and all rhetoric) is EMPTY. And empty, shallow people follow that type of motivation. <>I couldn’t agree more. I’ve grown sick of this “speak to the north” trash, as if that’s all it takes.However, would you be opposed to kids gathering for the purpose of genuine, public repentance?

  25. I don’t know, Steve.I’m not saying that they should encircle a flagpole, which speaks more about America than it does God, but maybe simply gather in a room and ask God for forgiveness of <>their<> sin?I really appreciate your post and do agree with your assessment of how “churches” utilize these types of events simply to promote themselves, but I’m not convinced that SYATP is as “evil” as you seem to imply.

  26. Jaden, our Christian ancestors lived in <>real<> pagan societies under <>real<> oppression, not the elitist P.C. baloney that just makes it inconvenient and unpopular to be a believer–as opposed to life-threatening.I still believe that our best defense is to return their anti-believing rhetoric and intolerant policies with love. If Christians were the best scholars and athletes, the most giving among their fellow students, the ones who stood up for the little guy, who paid attention in class and worked extra hard (as unto the Lord!), I believe that would accomplish all you desire and more.

  27. Jeff, I wouldn’t accuse you of anything. Beliving minds can disagree on this issue. Better to use this as a check-in point: did Steve have anything to say <>to me<> about <>my own<> sincerity around public prayer?For myself, one issue I am dealing with heavily is in true sincere action. Am I the kind of sheep that is serving Jesus by actually <>serving<> my fellow man, or a goat that is just doing “spiritual” good deeds like praying at poles in his name, casting out demons in his name, prophesying in his name, etc.Is there a cultural war on? Sure… but we need to fight it by being model citizens and loving our neighbors. I’m not sure the whole Pole thing really falls in line with that but like I said, believing minds can disagree.

  28. My church helped to build another church in China a few years ago. The local communist authorities came out to watch the church going up… not because the town’s Christians demonstrated, or gathered at the pole, or had boycotts or because Focus on the Chinese Family had angry broadcasts from Dr. Jing Dob-san. They came out to bless the ceremony because the town’s Christians were <>model citizens<>. He said that he wished all his citizens were like these Christians: kind, polite, caring of their neighbors, and they kept their noses clean.<>Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. – 1 Peter 2:12<>

  29. <><>“Eddie I have yet to see anything come from you that could be called love, or have a loving attitude behind it.”<><>i ask a few tough questions and i’m flaming you. i make a few observations and i’m calling you names. you don’t like my attitude and i am not loving.<><>“I never said the war was against you.”<><>really? but i don’t want the 10 commandments or any other christian icon displayed in public spaces. i don’t want our government institutions to openly support prayer or christianity. i think the pledge of allegiance should be reverted back to its pre 1954 form. i really don’t want “intellegent design” being taught as science. i don’t want any of your religious crap in my face or my sons face and, i don’t believe in your idea of the great commission.am i still not your enemy?eddieOoh, and i don’t accept your idea of jesus as my savior or anything.

  30. As with any argument, there’s something to be said for both sides. I’m a youth pastor, but I have nothing to do with SYATP. Why? Because as a student I remember how pointless it was. It’s a chance for people to be seen and that’s a clear violation of Jesus’ teaching Matthew (which you were right to note). The absence of things like SYATP is why I’m a reformed Christian (in the classic sense, i.e., Calvin, Westminster, Spurgeon, Whitfield). On the other hand, I think we have to be careful when we criticize our brethren in Christ, even if we think them weak (see I Corinthians 8). Even misguided Christians (like those who partook in the Crusades) are still our united to us in a way more intimate than even our own siblings or parents. We want to show the same gentleness and kindness to them as we would to our own mother. That doesn’t mean you can’t call someone out for being hypocritical. It just means that you do so only in love.

  31. Wow. I suppose that I’ll join the choruses of those who see nothing wrong with SYATP.What comes to mind is Paul’s words in Philippians:<>“Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will; the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,” (1:15 – 18)<>While I am as suspicious of “church” leaders and gimmicks of self-promotion, I can’t find much wrong with SYATP because, at the very least, it affords some kids the opportunity to pray.Should they pray more? Sure. Should youth pastors get real with kids about the Christian life and the hell that comes with it? You bet. But do we really know what these types of events can do in the hearts of those kids who actually do pray? Absolutely…not.I’m all for bashing “church” leaders when they deserve it, which is most of the time, but at the very least SYATP does put prayer and, most importantly, Jesus in the forefront, however limited it may be.A little is better than none.

  32. ninjanun said:I don’t know if you just decided to side-step my other points and parsing of the scripture passages you quoted, or if you agree with me on my other points, but to get back to the main point: why do America’s youth have to gather around a pole to pray in order to make an “impact for Christ?”I’m not side-stepping anything. You make valid and sound arguments. I will definitely think about them. You raise some good questions too about the true purpose of a movement like Battlecry. I think I’ll send them off to Ron and get his response. Then I should weigh all the positions and pray about them before making my decisions about whether or not to get further involved.As for students gathering around a pole, the fact that they gather together for Christ at all is a huge accomplishment. Could the See You at the Pole movement use some tweaking? Sure.It’s alot like what Josh was talking about in an earlier podcast, when he was handing out free water and soda to college kids as a way of demonstrating God’s love. The same type of thing happened, the youth minister at the local church got wind of it, got involved and hijacked it for his own greedy ends, and took full credit for the idea! It seems to me that all church leadership people want is to get more people into the church, rather than showing people the love of Christ.I think that the adult leadership of the church should be completely removed from SYATP. However, how does it look to the administration of a school if a bunch of Christians wanna get together and pray and they don’t have the “support” or involvement of the local church. The kids could be seen as a bunch of renegades operating on their own. What assurance does the administration have that they’re on the level? I can’t think of any adults who would be too cool with that.

  33. Ninjanun, I said it before, I’m not here to fight or piss anyone off. The question I hear most on SCP is “what can we do or how can we serve?” I haven’t seen any clear examples given of how to serve. If you volunteer at church, you’re just closing yourself off from the world. If you serve in the world by passing out water at a Gay Pride parade or free soda on a college campus, the “church” comes along and hijacks your idea.So the question I pose is, how do we fulfill the great commission? I have a few ways that I do it. I’d be more than happy to share them with you, if you’re interested. I’m also interested in hearing the ways that people on this board do it. The feeling I get in talking to some on here, is that they’re perfectly happy being closet Christians. Pray in private, don’t admit or say you’re a Christian, and just help out whenever you can. Something about that approach just doesn’t sit right with me.Steve, I think we did cross-post. I have read the comments you referred to and I can see how there is a clash between what Jesus said and the war rhetoric that Ron Luce is using. As I stated above I have alot of praying and thinking to do about this issue. It could also be that I misinterpreted the message of the book too. Maybe it’s not as in your face as I took it to be. It wouldn’t be the first time I was wrong LOL.I love it when people have different ideas about how to accomplish the same task. It makes me think, “hey ya know, maybe they’re onto something here. Maybe their way is a better way. It gives me options I never would have had before. I carry no anger towards anyone, and I don’t call anyone names or compare them with Pharisees. We’re all servants and we’re all students. We’re gonna spend our whole lives in service to God, and still not get it 100% right. But that’s okay, we have the rest of eternity for that.

  34. Zecryphon“I’m not going to apologize if I came on too strongly with my ideas or what I believe we need to do. I feel very passionately about them.EddieOthe pharisees knew the scriptures well and were also very passionate about their beliefs.Dude, do you have anything helpful to contribute or are you more interested in a flame war?

  35. By the way, we are all hypocrites. Like the singer Eli once wrote: <>“…I thank God that there’s a heaven full of hypocrites like me…”<>

  36. “Can’t wait to get “down under”! Always have wanted to visit. Do I have a place to stay when I stop by?”Yes, it’s called a Holiday Inn you cheapskate. πŸ™‚

  37. Zecryphon“I’m getting involved in with them at my church.”EddieOwhy only at church?Because it’s a place to start. I shared what I’m doing to spread the message of Christ to others. Perhaps you can tell me where you’re involved and give me some more ideas. My desire is to see as many come to know the Lord as possible.I’m not a teacher, I’m not a parent, so my interaction with kids is limited to church. It’d be kinda creepy if a guy in his mid-thirties started hanging around places where the kids go, don’t you think? Didn’t Michael Jackson teach us anything? LOLZecryphonWe have to interact with society, not avoid them. We have to lift them up in prayer and support, not bury them with scripture and doomsday prophecies. We have to love them, just like Jesus loves us.”EddieOagain, i agree…. but what does any of this have to do with praying in front of a flag pole?My problem isn’t with the location. It’s with the infrequency of the prayers. One day a year? With that type of infrequency it is nothing more than a show. I say make it everyday so it’s less of a show and more about fellowship with students and your personal walk with Jesus. EddieOpeople who feel the need to “publically proclaim” anything usually do so to hide the fact they really do nothing at all.Maybe proclaim is the wrong word to use. How about “when you say you’re a Christian”.Zecryphon“Yes, my heart is filled with His teachings.”EddieOreally? you had me fooled.That’s the problem with message boards, you can’t see any actions, you can only read what others tell you, and either take their word for it or dismiss what they say as lies and nonsense.To Steve and everyone else, I’m not looking for a fight or to piss anyone off. My goal is the fulfillment of the great commission. I’ll grant you that the war rhetoric and Battlecry are a real in your face approach. But I welcome all input as to what would work better.

  38. <>Zecryphon…<>Out of all the things you have written, what surprises me most is that you imply that at some point you have ever agreed with me in the past. That is hard to imagine!I will start with a question for you Zecryphon. Based on what teaching of Jesus do you find support for declaring your war on culture? You sound so militant. So abrasive. So threatened. So scared. Your responses are full of this “war rhetoric”…and I just don’t see it in the teachings of Christ.Jesus actually said the opposite. He said his “kingdom is not of this world.” He said if it was, certainly he and the disciples would have put up a fight (John 18:36). Jesus taught us that what we needed to be on guard against was the Pharisees (Luke 12:1). Why do you and others (especially the Ron Luce types) insist on building up war rhetoric? Don’t you see that this is the exact type of rhetoric that is used by militant Muslims in the Middle East to justify hating Americans because of our immorality? How is this any different?We get it OK? America is immoral. The world is going to hell. I don’t have to go to any website to read statistics about how bad the world is…do you think any of us are really that naive?In Donald Millar’s book “Searching for God Knows What” he writes, <>If you declare war on somebody, you either have to handcuff them or kill them. That’s the only way to win.”<>So which will it be?<>ninjanun…<>I loved what you shared about your experiences with SYATP. Thanks for opening up. You hit the nail on the head.<>ruinedforlife…<>I agree as well. The language on the SYATP underscores the true agenda and the “religiousity” involved. <>lance…<>Can’t wait to get “down under”! Always have wanted to visit. Do I have a place to stay when I stop by?<>everyone else…<>Lots of good stuff and discussion!

  39. “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Ephesians 6:11The devil’s schemes, yo. Plus, we are exhorted to put on the full armor of God not to battle “secular humanists” or “evil liberals” or even “other religions” but Paul said, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the powers, against the world forces of darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” -Eph. 6:12My understanding of the devil’s mission is to separate as many people from God as possible. I believe that it’s not a physical war, but a spiritual one. If we as Christians can be led by the Holy Spirit to do what is good, why can’t another person, doesn’t matter who, be led by Satan and his minions, or followers, to do what is evil?I’m not suggesting that all evil in the world is the work of the devil, that’s just too naive, and a complete cop out. All works whether good or bad are made by choices. By the power of Christ we have the tools we need to resist the devil and his temptations. Why shouldn’t all people have the opportunity to have the same kind of protection?

  40. oh zecryphon, did i step on your poor little christian toes with my pharisees comment? you know, it okay to call me out by name… unlike you, i have thick skin.by the way, i never said i was a christian and people like you…. well, quite frankly, you scare the shit out of people like me.the enemy you are waging a war against,eddieO

  41. I’ve read a few of the comments on this blog, but not all. My first impression was, ‘not another religious event in the name of God’, rather than an act of service to the Lord Jesus Christ IN OBEDIENCE TO THE HOLY SPIRIT’S PROMPTING. I’m not against prayer meetings, I’m against spiritual militancy just because we’re in a ‘war’. If Christians aren’t careful they’ll end up being just like Islamic fundamentalists, but with a different belief. Religious fervour is very dangerous. Being truly led by the Holy Ghost is the only way to be effective. That’s what genuine bible faith is made of.

  42. Before we go any further…my comments on SYATP has nothing at all to do with the students involved. I stated this pretty clearly in the original post. Just to make it clear.

  43. Eddie said “so, why is it that christians always want to wage war on people who don’t belive in what they believe?”Do you think that non-religious aka secular society doesn’t do the same thing? Who’s trying to get all mention of God taken out of public places? I guarantee that if you put a statue of Buddha or Mohammed in a public place, there wouldn’t be any outcry, but post the ten commandments and all hell breaks loose. Why do you think that is?Eddie said: the real question you need to ask yourself is what did jesus teach you? is your heart a place where the teachings of christ are running rampant?Yes, my heart is filled with His teachings. I don’t have any kids myself yet, and I’m deeply troubled by what I see happening to them. So I want to do something more than just post messages about who believes what on a podcast message board. I’m trying to get the word out that there’s a problem and we all need to help our kids in crisis, not just our Christian kids in crisis. We have to let them know that there IS a choice. But it’s still their choice to make. They don’t have to follow Jesus.Eddie said “if you really “agree that jesus should be the driving force in your life,” than live like it.”I am living like it. I’m getting the message out that the current generation of teens and kids is under attack. I”m getting involved in with them at my church. I post a message on here about kids in trouble and how there is a real battle going on for them, one that you’re apparently ignorant of. I give you links so that you can find out for yourself just how high the stakes are. And what do you do? You have the audacity to get on here on tell me how to live my life. What do you do? How do you serve?

  44. Steve, I love you, man. You know I do. But, you’re way off on this one.How on earth can you discern the hearts of those involved? You’re judging something you cannot see.I know I’ll probably get annihilated for even taking this stand, but don’t you think God will judge those who’s hearts are wrong? How can you?Maybe EVERY youth leader pushing this IS evil and corrupt. Maybe it’s all about numbers to them. But I happen to personally know a Youth Pastor who is encouraging his youth to participate… not because it makes his ministry more successful, but because he’s surrouonded by hoodlum-kids who love God, but don’t know how to take a stand for what they believe, in the face of peer-pressure and the like… and this is a fairly safe opportunity to do just that.He’s praying that God will change the hearts of the kids as they pray… and maybe, just maybe, God can use those kids to have a positive effect on the school (which, I must say, could use it).I’m sorry it’s left you speechless. Personally, I didn’t have the kind of guts this display takes when I was growing up. I’m left speechless by the boldness of kids who’ll put their reputations on the line for God.I know… I know… my post is too long and everyone disagrees. I don’t care. Sometimes you have to be bold enough to stand up for what you believe.sincerely (and soon to be accused of self-righteousness, close-mindedness and churchianity, jeff

  45. I’m glad someone sees my point. I’ve never been involved in SYATP, so I don’t know all about it. As far as I’m concerned it’s a way for students to say “I’m a Christian, regardless of how much society doesn’t want me to be.”We need to step up as concerned adults, youth workers, ministers etc. and tell them that “Yes there is a way you can do way more than being seen at a pole one day a year. You can belong to something big, something that will make a difference in your lives.I see these kids not as hypocrites, but as soldiers willing to put on the armor of God and take what is being taken from them. Go to http://www.battlecry.com to find out more. I have, and I look forward to helping all kids take back their own generation, and maybe just maybe regaining some of the innocence that they’re supposed to have as a child.

  46. Everyone…this could be an engaging discussion. I anticipate many will have much to say…. So, let’s make sure we keep our comments short to encourage participation and not bog down the blog. Thanks. Just a friendly reminder.

  47. Sure send any resources you have my way, I’d be more than happy to look at them.I have the same problem with SYATP that everyone else does, that keeps getting overlooked. Go back to my previous posts. I offer some ways that SYATP can be improved. My big problem with it is not so much the public display of the kids faith, but the infrequency in which the event happens.Lance,I was at the SYATP website and I did notice Australia listed as an international affiliate. So, it looks like you do have it there. As for no religious-right, well no country is perfect LOL

  48. Okay, this is the rhetorical scholar in me but phrases like this encourage discussion:<>Steve, I’m going to have to disagree with you in this one. While I agree with you that SYATP could be viewed as a violation of Matthew 6:5-6, I see it differently.<>Phrases like this don’t:<>Steve, I love you, man. You know I do. But, you’re way off on this one.<>Same words (essentially), different package, different meaning. Jeff, it’s not your opinions that catch you flack around here. It’s the way they’re packaged. People would be much more open to hearing you out if you didn’t come off so beligerently.Okay, now that that’s off my chest, a brief thought.I agree with Steve. I think SYATP is all about Christians convincing themselves they’re the victims and getting pissy about it. Because they’re pissy, they do the closest thing to ‘flipping off’ secular society that they can. They go find the nearest public monument and they pray at it. I don’t get it. It’s a big show.It’s not that showing our Christianity is bad, it’s not. That’s good, but why couldn’t we show it by serving others? Why pray in public? Closest I can figure, it’s all about appearances. I’m not down with that.I’m fine with kids taking a stand for what they believe, but I’m not sure they are doing that. Instead, I’m afraid they’re making a spectacle out of what they believe.

  49. <><>“Yes, there is a war going on between secular society and Christians.”<><>so, why is it that christians always want to wage war on people who don’t belive in what they believe?<><>“Take a look round. Does the world today seem like a place where the teachings of Christ are running rampant?”<><>i suppose the world today looks a lot like what i would imagine it did when jesus himself was doing the teaching… a world filled with the rich, the poor, the powerful, the helpless, the self-righteous and the scum of the earth. the real question you need to ask yourself is what did jesus teach you? is your heart a place where the teachings of christ are running rampant?<><>“I agree that Jesus should be the driving force in our lives, but….”<><>but nothing. if you really “agree that jesus should be the driving force in your life,” than live like it.<><>After all, our kids are a reflection of us.<><>your absolutely right! your kids are a reflection of <>YOU<>. you are responsible for <>their<> growth and the people <>they<> will become.eddieO

  50. Steve,You are absolutely right on with this. This is also why I don’t agree with ‘prayer in schools.’ Christians can always pray; we don’t need an official OK to do so.As St. Francis is reported to have said, “Preach the gospel constantly. Speak if you must.” That’s what we must strive for, not these public displays.

  51. ninjanun:<>I agree, we need more prayers being lifted up on behalf of our kids, schools, and nations, but I don’t think it’s necessary or even beneficial to do this in public. Jesus certainly didn’t seem to think so. <>“Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”“My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?”“Father, into Your hands, I commit My spirit.”— <>Jesus Christ<>, while <>publicly<> being crucified.

  52. <><>“I really don’t understand what all the fuss is about. So some Christian kids make a public declaration of their faith by praying in public.”<><>you’re right, what is the big fuss? the only thing most christian like these ever do is make public declarations of what they believe. imagine what they could accomplish if they just spent more of their time living their lives because of their faith and spent less time flapping their jaws and worring about making public displays about it.but hey, what do i know…eddieO

  53. I was just at the See You at the Pole website. On the surface it sounds like a good idea. The problem is, it’s a once-a-year idea.If this program is to be truly successful, it should happen 5 days a week. Every morning before instruction at the school starts there should be a time of fellowship and prayer. This would remind them that you can turn to God on a daily basis, instead of just once a year.There should be an accountability factor. You are accountable for your actions away from the pole as Christians. There should also be a support network. If you see a brother or sister in Christ falling, lift them up. If you see a classmate in trouble, reach out to them. Invite them to join you at the pole, so you can pray for them and their problems. Don’t preach at them about how what they’re doing is wrong and they’re going straight to Hell. Respect them and listen to them. Why should anyone want to belong to a faith that treats other people like crap? Let’s face it, our faith has a history of treating people like garbage. We get saved, act all holier-than-thou and forget where we came from.Remember, when you publicly proclaim you’re a Christian, people who are not Christians, already have an idea in their head of how you’re supposed to behave.They automatically know what the bible says, which is amazing considering most of them have never read it. It’s up to us to shatter those misconceptions.How do we do this? By practicing what Christ preached. By reaching out to our fellow students and friends. Not to get them into the fold, but to let them know that there are people out there who do care about what happens to them, and want to be their friends, whether their Christian or not.We have to interact with society, not avoid them. We have to lift them up in prayer and support, not bury them with scripture and doomsday prophecies. We have to love them, just like Jesus loves us.

  54. Reading these comments makes me understand the title of this blog. Does any of this heat not make a mockery of unity. I’m not talking about disagreeing, but the lack of civility and love here is saddening.

  55. <><>“I’m not going to apologize if I came on too strongly with my ideas or what I believe we need to do. I feel very passionately about them.<><>the pharisees knew the scriptures well and were also very passionate about their beliefs.eddieO

  56. <><>“I guess I just respond better to people like Steve and Ninjanun, while they might not agree with what got me motivated to get off involved in teen ministry; Their approach was alot better than yours. I felt love and genuine concern from them.”<><>hangout at church and places like this and i’m sure you’ll <>feel<> plenty of love and genuine concern from other believers. whether you like it or not, i’m just calling it like i see it. whether or not it is true is for you to decide. however, just because you don’t like what you’re hearing doesn’t mean i don’t care about you… but, you can believe whatever you want.<><>“So now that we all know what you don’t want, why don’t you enlighten us as to what you do want”<><>i don’t “want”… i try to do. what do i do? not nearly enough.<><>“Is it my idea of the great commission you have a problem with or Jesus’? He’s the one that gave the order to spread the gospel to all the nations of the world. I didn’t come up with that? You’re problem is obviously with Jesus, not with me or any other Christians.”<><>i realize this might be hard for you to accept, but unless you are god, <>YOUR<> interpretation of jesus, his teachings and the “great commission” are just that… <>YOUR<> interpretation. don’t kid yourself, people aren’t turning their backs on god so much as they are running away from people who call themselves christians. eddieO

  57. I’ve been reading all these comments and I’m seeing truth on both sides. I think each “side” gives too little credit to the other’s interpretations and views.When I read Acts, I think it shows that there is a public display aspect to the church. This MUST go hand in hand with the quiet, holy living.SYATP does have a big “show” about it. As a youth pastor, I neither discouraged nor encouraged my youth to go. But those who went, I encouraged to remember that they are now “known” followers of Jesus, and that their actions would now be viewed with that thought in mind.I don’t think we should “rub” our faith in people’s faces. I do think we should live our faith daily. I also think that a public gathering is acceptable (even for the Muslims :-D).If you are willing to live your life for Christ, why shrink from standing up and saying so? OK, that question was antagonistic, let me rephrase it, why shouldn’t Christians gather publicly? Lydia’s group did it. Peter proclaimed Christ in the Temple. Paul told Athens that he was a follower of Jesus. Stephen preached to a VERY hostile crowd.I agree that the pole conflates religion and state. I agree that it can be pointless vanity. But I also think it can be a bold identification with Jesus, and a personal challenge to thereafter live a holy, inspiring life.Just my $0.02.

  58. <>My understanding of the devil’s mission is to separate as many people from God as possible. I believe that it’s not a physical war, but a spiritual one. If we as Christians can be led by the Holy Spirit to do what is good, why can’t another person, doesn’t matter who, be led by Satan and his minions, or followers, to do what is evil?<>I would be interested to hear exactly what “good” the Holy Spirit can lead us to do (and are we doing it?) and what Satan leads others to do that is “evil.”Also: can a Christian be led to do evil?Can a non-Christian be led to do good?What do you think of prevenient grace?Do you think it’s possible for God and Satan to be working on more than an individual level, but also on a corporate level; infiltrating and influencing the powers, systems, and structures of this world?I don’t know if you just decided to side-step my other points and parsing of the scripture passages you quoted, or if you agree with me on my other points, but to get back to the main point: why do America’s youth have to gather around a <>pole<> to pray in order to make an “impact for Christ?”I agree, we need more prayers being lifted up on behalf of our kids, schools, and nations, but I don’t think it’s necessary or even beneficial to do this in public. Jesus certainly didn’t seem to think so.

  59. hey ninjanun,i know i dropped the ball and i’m terribly sorry it took me a couple of days to get back to you. however, i did respond to you by email earlier today and hope to hear back from you.sincerely,eddieOp.s. sorry steve for using this thread as a message board πŸ™‚

  60. Hey eddieO, did you get my e-mail (and were you planning to respond? I could use some internet support, if you don’t mind)?Topic: Why do christians feel the need to proclaim they are Christians? Do they think God won’t get the credit if they don’t?

  61. <><>“It’s obvious that you want a flame war, and to hurl insults and spread hatred. That’s not what I’m about, regardless of what you think you know about me.”<><>last i checked, you’re the one waging the war and <>words<> can only be insulting if there is truth to them. as for what i think about you… your words speak for themself.<><>“I do have to wonder though. If a faceless person such as myself can scare the shit out of you by saying a couple of things on a message board, what’s gonna happen when you’re face to face with God?”<><>the god i know is a loving god…. christians like you love to <>talk<> big about love but then turn around and wage wars against people like me. i know you think you’re somehow special, but christians like you come dime a dozen and truth be known, i’d rather burn in your hell than to believe in your scary idea god.eddieO

  62. <><>“Do you think that non-religious aka secular society doesn’t do the same thing? Who’s trying to get all mention of God taken out of public places?”<><>last i checked, this is a pluralistic nation, why should your brand of religion be forced onto everyone else?<><>“I guarantee that if you put a statue of Buddha or Mohammed in a public place, there wouldn’t be any outcry, but post the ten commandments and all hell breaks loose. Why do you think that is?”<><>are monuments and statues in public spaces the only way you can express your faith?<><>“Yes, my heart is filled with His teachings.”<><>really? you had me fooled.<><>“I’m trying to get the word out that there’s a problem and we all need to help our kids in crisis, not just our Christian kids in crisis. We have to let them know that there IS a choice. But it’s still their choice to make. They don’t have to follow Jesus.”<><>actions speak louder than <>words<>.<><>“I am living like it. I’m getting the message out that the current generation of teens and kids is under attack.”<><>really? seems to me that you just like to do a lot of angry talking about it.<><>“I’m getting involved in with them at my church.”<><>why only at church?<><>“I post a message on here about kids in trouble and how there is a real battle going on for them, one that you’re apparently ignorant of.”<><>yup, that’s me. i’m just an ignorant and stupid parent.<><>“I give you links so that you can find out for yourself just how high the stakes are.<><>the graphics were nice but was i supposed to be impressed by anything else there?<><>You have the audacity to get on here on tell me how to live my life.”<><>if suggesting you live your life with jesus being the “driving force” behind it is somehow offensive to you, i’d have to wonder just what jesus it is that you believe in?eddieO

  63. <>Brandon:<><>Jeff, it’s not your opinions that catch you flack around here. It’s the way they’re packaged. People would be much more open to hearing you out if you didn’t come off so beligerently.<>Dude, I appreciate your opinion, but you’re full of crap!!!πŸ˜‰ < -- (this means I was joking...) Seriously though, my perceived ‘beligerence’ was only matching the tone of the original article. Are phrases like <>“filled with disgust and outrage”<> any less confrontational? I don’t think so. Therefore, I believe my original rhetoric stands on it’s own.Oh yea, and Steve’s still wrong. πŸ™‚

  64. I really don’t understand what all the fuss is about. So some Christian kids make a public declaration of their faith by praying in public. Isn’t that what you do when you get baptized? Aren’t you shown to the whole church? There’s nothing wrong with a public display of faith. It lets people know we’re still around and a force to be reckoned with.The youth group I was involved with years ago in Connecticut used to join hands and pray before eating a meal. Did we do it for attention? Did we do it to stand out? No, we did it because that’s part of who we are and we weren’t ashamed of it.Sounds to me like you want us all to be closet Christians and ashamed. It’s akin to what fathers tell their sons about crying, “don’t let ’em see you cry son. You can do it, but don’t let anyone see you.”

  65. Steve, I’m going to have to disagree with you in this one. While I agree with you that SYATP could be viewed as a violation of Matthew 6:5-6, I see it differently.There is a war on! I’m not talking about Iraq, I’m talking about the war for the souls of the next generation. I see SYATP as a declaration of faith by a group of people who are told they can not have faith.Look at the uproar praying in school has caused. Secularists say we can not pray in school because it violates the separation of church and state clause. However, the Supreme Court has ruled that any student initiated prayer group or bible study, that is independent of the school administration and is totally student led, is perfectly legal.What the enemy doesn’t understand is that as Christians we are to pray incessantly, without ceasing. They believe for us to pray, we have to close our eyes, fold our hands and get down on our knees to do it. We can pray with our eyes open, hands unfolded and while walking around!So yes, a public display like See You at the Pole, may on the surface be seen as hypocritical, I see it as an army of Christians uniting and mobilizing to fight a common enemy. Because let’s face it, today’s kids are bombarded with confusing messages, and ideas that are very anti-Christian. Some of the lies they hear “It’s okay to have pre-marital sex, in fact you’re weird if you don’t. Hey you got pregnant because of that pre-marital sex, check this out! You can have an abortion and not even have to get parental consent!!! You wanna smoke, drink, do some X, that’s cool, I can hook you up with all that. Sure by the time I’m through with you, you’ll have no sense of self worth, no morality, and nothing but a lifetime of hurt, despair and broken relationships, but hey, it was fun while it lasted.”They can’t fight this war alone though. They need the support of the church from the senior pastor on down. That includes youth pastors, parents, caring and concerned adults and their friends.You seem to want to turn your back on them because you’re tired of the hypocrisy, and would rather just go to bed. They’re ready to fight. They’re ready to sacrifice everything they have to take back what’s been taken from them, the right to choose to live a life according to Christ’s principles and teachings, and you a youth pastor don’t wanna deal with it. Talk about hypocritical.Ron Luce wrote a great book called Battlecry for a Generation: The Fight to Save America’s Youth. I suggest you read it, when you’re finished with God’s Politics.Bottom line, we need to take these committed believers that are gathering at the pole and teach them how to fight the good fight. It’s their generation, they can take it back and we all should be chomping at the bit to help them do just that. Secular society knows just how valuable they are, it’s time we did too.YBIC,Zecryphon

  66. <><>“If you see a classmate in trouble, reach out to them. Invite them to join you at the pole, so you can pray for them and their problems.”<><>here’s an idea, why not just skip the pole and the prayer and just take the time to get involved, be there for them and help out in any way you can?<><>“Don’t preach at them about how what they’re doing is wrong and they’re going straight to Hell. Respect them and listen to them. Why should anyone want to belong to a faith that treats other people like crap? Let’s face it, our faith has a history of treating people like garbage. We get saved, act all holier-than-thou and forget where we came from.”<><>wow, something we agree on.<><>“Remember, when you publicly proclaim you’re a Christian, people who are not Christians, already have an idea in their head of how you’re supposed to behave. They automatically know what the bible says, which is amazing considering most of them have never read it. It’s up to us to shatter those misconceptions.”<><>people who feel the need to “publically proclaim” anything usually do so to hide the fact they really <>do nothing<> at all.<><>“How do we do this? By practicing what Christ preached. By reaching out to our fellow students and friends. Not to get them into the fold, but to let them know that there are people out there who do care about what happens to them, and want to be their friends, whether their Christian or not.We have to interact with society, not avoid them. We have to lift them up in prayer and support, not bury them with scripture and doomsday prophecies. We have to love them, just like Jesus loves us.”<><>again, i agree…. but what does any of this have to do with praying in front of a flag pole?eddieO

  67. Honestly, I don’t really care either way about the event itself; if people want to pray in public for an hour one morning out of the year… go for it. It does strike me as kind of obnixious, but I don’t have a problem with organized, public prayer, per se. What really makes me cringe though was the language on the national site itself: it basically reads, “If you push hard enough, you can deliver the move of God for your campus! If He’s not working, you’re just not begging enough! Scream! Yell! More passion! We need to get God’s attention to get some saving done!” Ugh! He’s already here, people. We don’t have to move him to work through our righteous, public, passionate prayers… we just need to ask “what are You doing right now – what do You want to do.” That whole “your will be done, your kingdome come” thing wasn’t just a joke.

  68. This is the first time I have visited this blog, I felt confused reading the title. At first, before i had read any of the posts, i thought it possible that this was a cynical atheist reporting on his/her arbitrary disgusts of the Christian faith, based principally on the title of this blog. I guess you could say I was sad when I realized the opposite was true. It is titles like “Stupid Church People” that make me question our approach of changing church and its traditions. I have caught myself too many times smothered in my own arrogance believing that I my ideologies, and philosophy could change “Stupid Church People”. Its something i have been very convicted of over the past two years or so. I want to see change but my arrogance has to change.

  69. No Eddie, you didn’t hurt my feelings. I didn’t call you out by name because I was talking about other people as well.It’s obvious that you want a flame war, and to hurl insults and spread hatred. That’s not what I’m about, regardless of what you think you know about me.I do have to wonder though. If a faceless person such as myself can scare the shit out of you by saying a couple of things on a message board, what’s gonna happen when you’re face to face with God?Well guys I think we’ve beaten this issue to death. I can’t wait until the next podcast to see what Steve and Josh throw our way.

Leave a Reply