Cooper takes a shot at “complacent” parents 26

As I’ve said before, the efforts to peel children away from their parents is one of the most troubling aspects of NewSpring’s youth ministry.

Pastor Cooper is at it again.

I love hearing about parents who get uncomfortable with the radical passion their student lives out… Exposure of complacency?? Hmm?

A complacent parent would be one who wouldn’t care what kind of spiritual guidance his or her child was receiving at church.

If Cooper is producing “radical” life change, every engaged parent should be concerned and uncomfortable. A parent who really cares might be quite worried about pastors who train young people to be more loyal to a church or pastor than to their parents.

Cooper is building a generation of rebellious, uncorrectable kids. When a father counsels his child about proper Christian behavior, Cooper’s given the child permission to punch back and tell the dad he’s being spiritually complacent.

I don’t know how that would make you feel, but, for me, it wouldn’t be complacent.

26 thoughts on “Cooper takes a shot at “complacent” parents

  1. JT Oct 27, 2009 4:18 pm

    I’m not sure how you got that Cooper is trying to “train young people to be more loyal to a church or pastor than to their parents.” and “Cooper is building a generation of rebellious, uncorrectable kids.” from that tweet.

    • James Duncan Oct 27, 2009 4:31 pm

      Context, JT. Read it in light of the first link in the post.

      Cooper’s audience is his kids. He’s telling his kids that if their parents push back against the things that Coop’s encouraging them to do, it’s because they’re complacent.

      That’s the seed of the rebellion I’m talking about. Cooper is publicly rebuking any parent who might try to moderate or correct Cooper’s teaching.

  2. Paul Oct 27, 2009 4:53 pm

    What is just as problematic is that the parents of Newsprings youth like what is Noble and Cooper are doing. The sermons (if you can call them that) that I have heard are always filled with applause. If Noble and Cooper are producing spiritual rebellious teens with their teaching, parents are just as responsible for pacifully letting them do it.

  3. Mike Oct 27, 2009 5:06 pm

    how many times have we heard “at least the kids like to come here”. As if that somehow proves that it is a good environment profitable for their salvation.
    my wife worked in the public school system for 12 years, as many parents as students asked that there be no homework, because “the kids don’t like it, and that makes them hard to live with”.
    It is past time for us parents to love our children enough to give them what they need, and not just what they want. That is what our father in heaven does, and the way we are going, we will definitely not like what we need.

  4. Corner Coffee Oct 27, 2009 5:50 pm

    Duncan,
    I really don’t get the objection. If a kid loves Jesus more than they care about what their parents are comfortable with, I want Jesus to win.

    There are parents who don’t like it when their kids share the gospel with a waitress after a meal at a restaurant. It embarrasses them. There are parents in traditional churches that have encouraged their children with sub-standard singing voices to sing less loudly during the “congrgational” songs. And evidently, some parents at NewSpring might not be comfortable their kid raising their hands when they worship.

    It happens. You might think that’s OK. I don’t.

    A child’s worship and service to Jesus should never suffer or be impeded by a grouchy parent.

    • James Duncan Oct 27, 2009 5:55 pm

      God regulates the way we worship him; therefore, parents do have the responsibility of regulating how their children worship God.

      No parental authority = anarchy.

      Anarchy ≠ worship.

  5. Corner Coffee Oct 27, 2009 6:01 pm

    Duncan,
    Here’s a question for ya …

    Is it possible for a complacent parent to get angry at or try to stifle their child’s passion or service for Christ because it might rock the boat a little?

    OK, that was a rhetorical question. Of course it’s possible.

    If it’s possible, then why the disagreement with what Cooper said? If it’s ever Jesus vs. Your Parents, Jesus wins. Period. Case closed.

    • James Duncan Oct 27, 2009 6:46 pm

      Jesus told children to obey their parents.

      I think Jesus would rather have children obey complacent parents than to disobey them in his name.

      In spiritual things, the child should be subject to the parent. If the parent tells a child not to witness at the restaurant, the child sins if he witnesses.

      Shoot, I’d even say that if a parent tells a child to go to Fuse or NewSpring, the child sins if he doesn’t go.

      Heh.

  6. Mike Oct 27, 2009 7:10 pm

    parents within the church should submit to the leadership, unless obedience conflicts with the word of God,
    children are to submit to their parents, unless obedience conflicts with the word of God,

    don’t find much evidence of God calling His children to be self indulgent in worship, in opposition to parents and leaders who also sought to worship God.

    anyway stuff like this should be taken in the larger body of evidence. is this an oddity in an otherwise responsible God fearing God honoring ministry, or just another among many.

    you who know the setting better than i, judge that spirit, and seek God and Hid glory.

  7. Paul Oct 27, 2009 7:44 pm

    I once heard a very sobering statement from a preacher once. “if a child is old enough to understand that God calls them to obey their parents, and they do not, they will go to hell unless they repent and believe in Christ for salvation.” Unless a parent is telling a child to do soemthing that is clearly contrary to God’s Word, we had best tell them to obey. They will answer to God for their disobedience.

  8. Tommy F Oct 27, 2009 8:50 pm

    The evidence is not overwhelming here, but I read the tweet as undermining parents for the benefit of BCoop. The tweet elevates him above the parents. It’s not a call to love Jesus. It’s a call to impress BCoop. Here’s how:

    The tweet gives the students the basis to make parents uncomfortable. He begins with the motivation “I love hearing….” Now, his audience can impress him while showing their passion. How? By making their parents uncomfortable. This is basically a call for youth to have a contest in who can embarrass their parents and impress BCoop the most.

  9. Corner Coffee Oct 28, 2009 1:15 am

    There are conflicting opinions among some of you, I’ve noticed.

    Duncan says:
    I think Jesus would rather have children obey complacent parents than to disobey them in his name.

    Mike says:
    children are to submit to their parents, unless obedience conflicts with the word of God
    (emphasis mine)

    anyway …

    Duncan,
    I went back and re-read what Noble said, then what Cooper said. I find it interesting that in both cases, they were specifically addressing the parents, not the kids, telling them to not stifle 1) the children in passionate worship and 2) radical passion (presumably, passion for Jesus).

    Neither tell the kids to disobey. Both are specifically addressing the parents. Yet you make it seem as if they were telling the kids to disobey their parents.

    Just curious as to why you felt the need to do that?

    So to revisit our example, the question is not whether the kid is sinning by witnessing despite their parents objections, but whether the parent is sinning by restricting a willing child from sharing the Gospel with someone who needs to hear it.

    I’d say we have a sinning parent. I’d say we’d also have a sinning parent if they tried to smother their child’s expressive worship for the sake of avoiding embarrassment.

    Paul,
    Your comment is ridiculous. No born-again child should ever fear the threat of hell, not even for disobeying their parents. Please, whatever you do, don’t try to feed that garbage to kids. You’ll set them on a lifelong path of trying to earn their salvation by doing right.

    Tommy,
    That’s a bit of a stretch.

  10. Paul Oct 28, 2009 8:54 am

    Coffee,

    Did I say born again kids are eternally damned? hmmm…you must have me confused with someone else. I don’t see it on my comment. I’ll repost it for you…

    What is just as problematic is that the parents of Newsprings youth like what is Noble and Cooper are doing. The sermons (if you can call them that) that I have heard are always filled with applause. If Noble and Cooper are producing spiritual rebellious teens with their teaching, parents are just as responsible for pacifully letting them do it.

    I will clarify for you since maybe you did not take the time to read it. The Bible teaches that those in CHrist are saved including children. My reference is for children in general who have not understood the gospel. Plus, I am aware of the theological issues in the quote i made. the point is not to debate those, but to emphasize the sobering thoughts when one does not trust in Jesus and submit to his Word. Rebellious children, men, women, etc. better listen.

  11. Corner Coffee Oct 28, 2009 11:11 am

    Paul,
    1. If I misunderstood you, I apologize.

    2. I wasn’t referring to the comment you re-posted. I was referring to your 7:44 comment.

    3. Yes, the quote has major problems. Don’t you think it might be a little confusing for a Christian kid to hear that disobedience to your parents can send you to hell? Likewise, there is no need to repent, trust in Jesus, AND obey your parents (submit to his Word) to be saved. Many people have been saved without ever reading his Word, much less submitting to it.

    The purpose of saying something like that (not you, necessarily, but the person you quoted) is to get kids to obey their parents … do it, or you’ll go to hell. I’ll say it again … please don’t repeat that garbage to kids. You might permanently confuse them.

  12. Mike Oct 28, 2009 1:00 pm

    there is one part of that quote that is absolutely true, “They will answer to God for their disobedience.” we all will. we are so very good at pointing out others deficiencies, probably to distract from our own at times. however, we were all instructed to get the plank out of our own eye, THEN help get the splinter out of our brothers.
    there is far too much of only A or only B, not so much of both as i see it, in a way i almost make my own point here:)

    all that to say this, telling children that the gateway to heaven is through obedience to their parents, has the potential to be about as damaging as telling children that the gateway is in “freaking ” their parents out.

    neither is really profitable

  13. JT Oct 28, 2009 1:04 pm

    >>Duncan: “I think Jesus would rather have children obey complacent parents than to disobey them in his name.”

    What about the clause “in the Lord” in Hebrews 6:1?

    Yes, I know that this clause is not present in some esteemed manuscripts. But even if “in the Lord” is not in the original inspired writing, isn’t it still logical that God’s command for parental obedience does not apply when parents ask their children to sin?

    >>Duncan: “In spiritual things, the child should be subject to the parent. If the parent tells a child not to witness at the restaurant, the child sins if he witnesses.”

    Let’s take this a little further. What if a parent tells their child to stop reading the Bible? Does the child sin if he secretly continues reading God’s word? What if a parent tells a child to stop praying? Surely there are limits on the parents’ spiritual authority.

  14. JT Oct 28, 2009 1:05 pm

    Oops.

    That should be Ephesians 6:1, not Hebrews.

  15. keitho Oct 28, 2009 4:55 pm

    From Paul earlier,

    “If Noble and Cooper are producing spiritual rebellious teens with their teaching, parents are just as responsible for pacifully letting them do it.”

    Right on.

    The definition of a complacent parent is one that let’s the church separate the kids from the parent in the parking lot against the parent’s better judgment and wishes. It would also be complacent to not go to the room with the kid and at least see who has the child for the next 1 to 1.5 hours. Parents allow it, so that’s why NS can get away with this tactic.

    Ultimately, it is the parents responsibility to see to the spiritual needs of their children. Church staff are just that, hired help to that end. So it’s either parents leave it to someone else, or they drive the process to the outcome they wish, one of the two.

  16. Ben M Oct 29, 2009 4:32 pm

    I get what you are saying but do you think that Brad is telling kids to disobey their parents? When I was in a youth group I remember parents being uncomfortable with the passion their kids had for Christ and Church because it was more than they had themselves. Seems like that would make a parent uncomfortable but is that a bad thing if that’s the situation?

    Question, and this is not a setup to another question I promise, what should a teen do if their parent tells them NOT to share their faith or talk to others about Christ? The Bible tells us to honor and obey our parents but it also tells us to share out faith.

    Mike: Is there something wrong with kids enjoying church? I agree with you that it is past time for parents to give their kids what they need but not all do.

    Tommy: I don’t see anywhere that Coop tells kids to disobey parents. Please show me where that came from. I have one son at Fuse. If I ever hear Brad or anyone else say that it will be the last time my son is there. I’ve personally attended several services myself and I’ve not heard that.

  17. Tommy F Oct 29, 2009 10:27 pm

    Ben,

    For someone who wants us to read BCoop more closely, I wish you had returned the favor (to me).

    If you will reread my post you’ll notice the word “disobey” is not present. In fact, I chose BCoop’s preferred term, “uncomfortable,” which might = disobey, but wouldn’t always.

    I think, though, that you’re right on target (accidentally).

    What if BCoop’s post said: “I love hearing about students who wear orange t-shirts to USC games”? Do you think this would result in students doing this more to impress BCoop? If so, then you see how the logic I used earlier works. If not, then I’m not sure why he posted it. He’s calling them to behave in this way.

    If he was trying to motivate parents (as CC says) to be comfortable with their youth’s passion, then he could have just said so. Like: “Parents: Be glad your children are passionate about Jesus. The alternative is much worse.” Instead, my original conclusion still stands. He wants his youth group to be so passionate that it makes their parents uncomfortable. He’s challenging them. I’d bet he tells his youth this personally and often. After all just a few months ago PNoble said as much from the stage, when youth returned from their FLA trip.

  18. Ben M Oct 30, 2009 12:20 am

    Tommy, Not sure I ask anyone to read BCoop more closely. Not even sure what that means. I referenced your post meaning to reference all the posts about obeying. No, you didn’t say disobey.

    I’ll not speak for BCoop. How about this…

    I both love and am saddened when students are more passionate about Christ than their parents to the point it makes the parent uncomfortable.

    * love the fact that a child can grow in Christ beyond where their parents might be (and saddened that their parents aren’t there)

    * love the fact that a child is willing to love the Lord sometimes inspite of their parents (and saddened that their parents have not been the ones leading like they should)

    * love the fact that a child is so bold in their love for Christ that it makes others around them uncomfortable.

    * Sad that the parents aren’t the spiritual leaders in the home like they should be. Unfortunate that the parents are leading but glad that the child isn’t being limited by where his/her parent is spiritually.

    There are kids that come to Fuse whos parents do not attend and/or aren’t Christians. Of course those parents are going to be uncomfortable with the passion their kid has for Jesus and I see that as a good form of being uncomfortable.

  19. Kevin Nunley Oct 30, 2009 12:31 am

    luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.

    re

  20. keitho Oct 30, 2009 8:21 am

    Ben,

    I like what you said: “love the fact that a child can grow in Christ beyond where their parents might be (and saddened that their parents aren’t there)”

    My child growing beyond my passion is what I would want. This isn’t a competition for me. To the extent God allowed me to play a part in my child’s development, would be a blessing.

  21. James Duncan Nov 2, 2009 12:48 am

    Surely I’m not the only one who has noticed that the same people who claim that Cooper isn’t advocating that children disobey their parents then proceed to apply Cooper’s instruction in ways that require children to disobey their parents.

    Now, they say that it’s good disobedience, but at least we all agree that it’s disobedience.

  22. Mike Nov 2, 2009 11:25 am

    Christ followers were and are still called to righteousness and holiness, passion has no true value outside of that.

  23. Corner Coffee Nov 3, 2009 1:00 am

    Duncan,
    All that means is that you were wrong twice 🙂

    1. Cooper never advocated disobedience in anything you quoted above.
    2. Even if he did (which he didn’t) there are some instances where disobeying your parents would be the right thing to do.

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