Urban Dreams and Bondage Breaking

Cities are in big trouble. Sinful patterns of life lead to broken families, absent parents, and unloved, undisciplined children. These children usually grow up insecure, short-sighted, irresponsible, insubordinate, self-absorbed and unscrupulous. These traits do not make for sustained employment or committed relationships. Therefore they lead to frustration and hopelessness. This hopelessness leads to violence and irrational chaos. This chaos threatens anarchy. And the “solution” is found in utopian Big Brother government that institutionalizes the hopelessness with gun-guaranteed work and food without freedom.

In 1960, 5% of American births were illegitimate. In 1988, 26% were, including 63% of black babies. This is one example of what I mean by “sinful patterns of life”. One result of this rise in sin is that about 30% of all children are born into poverty. In the last decade the number of families headed by single women rose 26%. Fewer than 41% of the children in America will grow up in a two parent family which God designed for the good of children and parents.

This make’s Patrick Moynihan’s words increasingly ominous: “There is one unmistakable lesson in American history: A community that allows a large number of young men to grow up in broken families, dominated by women, never acquiring any stable relationship to male authority, never acquiring any rational expectations about the future—that community asks for and gets chaos.”

Add to this that 25% of all children in America are born to teenagers, with 40 teens every day giving birth to their third child. And worse, in one eastern city 70% of the children born show drug withdrawal symptoms.

Abortion undermines the collapse of the family and society further by promoting death as an alternative to deprivation. It thus feeds the anti-child irresponsibility of absent fathers while preying on desperate women.

Politicians, educators, business leaders are without answers. But Jesus is not without an answer. “It is not the well that have need of a physician but those who are sick.” This is the kind of society Jesus came to claim and heal.

Urban Ministries in the Manse will meet at 7:15 p.m. Friday (Oct. 4) in our house. It is for all of you who dream with me of doing something for the glory of God to touch the misery and sin of Minneapolis. It is not just for those who live downtown, but for those whose hearts carry her pain.

The third Prayer Training Seminar will take place at the church Saturday (Oct. 5) 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. Learning to pray with bondage-breaking power is utterly crucial in our urban and mission strategy. The evil powers we face, the depth of sin, the seriousness of wounds will not yield to casual requests. “This kind only comes out by (a certain kind of) prayer.” We will watch a video based on Neil Anderson’s The Bondage Breaker. We will pray.

Seeking the good of the city
and its wayward, wounded people,

Pastor John

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