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Location: MInneapolis, Minnesota, United States

I am now a simple Grandpa who's life is made richer as each grandchild is born. My wife and I have raised five children and the 30 year love labor of raising them has begun to yield sweet fruit..... And then there are fruits of 30 years in ministry ... I am a satisfied old man full of the joy of the Lord.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Who is Training the Next Generation?

Why We Must Break the Cycle of Apathy and Indifference
by Dr. Jeff Myers

Last year I was gathering information about the history of
leadership for my class at Bryan College and came across a few
facts about how Constantinople fell to the Muslim invaders in
the 1400s. My question was this: how could the strongest city
in the world--spiritually, economically, culturally, and
militarily--come to the point of collapse?

Through research the pieces fell in place and a chilling
picture emerged of parents who chose to let someone else
"pass the baton" to their young.

In the 1400s a weakened Christian culture found itself under
constant attack by a growing Muslim culture. As Amurath I,
ruler of the Ottoman Empire, conquered more and more
territory, he decided that if one-fifth of the spoils of
battle were the Emperor's share, he should also have a right
to one-fifth of the captives.

Amurath instructed his troops to choose the smartest and
strongest of the sons of Christian families he had captured.
These boys--as young as seven years of age--underwent training
in everything from agriculture to statesmanship.

Many Christian parents voluntarily turned their sons over,
treating such slavery as a "scholarship" that would guarantee
food, supervision, and education to their children.

What they didn't seem to realize--or just ignored--was that
the young men were being indoctrinated in a fanatical ideology
and shaped into a brutal fighting force. They were called the

Over time, the power of the Ottoman Empire grew, while that of
eastern Christianity declined. In 1453, hordes of Muslim
Ottoman Turks surrounded Constantinople, the seat of the
Eastern church.

Sultan Mehmet II, a ruthless and shrewd commander just 23
years old, led the siege with 100,000 troops, including 70,000
trained infantry and cavalry, 20,000 skirmishers known for
their love of raping and looting, and 10,000 Janizaries.

A mere 7,000 troops rallied to the defense of Constantinople.
They were well trained and desperate to protect their families,
but weeks of pounding attacks made Mehmet's victory inevitable.

Just as the exhausted defenders steeled themselves for Mehmet's
final onslaught, they were frozen by the blood-curdling screams
of thousands of young voices: Mehmet had unleashed the elite
Janizaries. These young warriors swarmed against the walls,
found a breach and charged through, wreaking havoc and slaughter.

The Janizaries had no idea--or didn't care--that their swords
were drenched with the blood of their own families.

Someone will train the next generation. The question is who,
and for what purposes.

This is primarily a call to parents, since God holds parents--
not the government, not schools, not the church--accountable
for the raising of their children.

But it is also a call to those to whom parents sometimes
delegate this responsibility--pastors and teachers--and to
the body of Christ, the community of faith that comes along-
side young people to demonstrate the wisdom of living a
godly life.

Passing the baton of faithfulness is the most important thing
one generation can do for the next generation.


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