Young Life: Doctrine Divides Staff?

There has been an internal disagreement that has caused all 10 staffers of Young Life at the Chapel Hill, NC office to leave voluntarily or otherwise. It seems that more than disagreements were heating up as the article on CT Gospel Talk was having a server overload earlier. You may also read an article about this subject over at The Christian Century just in case CT goes down again.

The dust up is over six non-negotiables on the manner the Gospel is presented put out by the Young Life leadership. Their is a link to the Non-Negotiables of Young Life’s Gospel Proclamation or go directly to their .pdf file where the positions are more fully explained.

A summary of the six non-negotiables are as follows with pithy comments by me.

1) We proclaim the Person of Jesus Christ in every message.

Sounds good.

2) We proclaim the reality of sin and its consequences – that apart from divine grace, we are estranged from God by our disobedience and incapable of a right relationship with God.

This is the point that it seems caused the most trouble. My summary of their summary. Salvation is by grace through faith, all have sinned, the wages of sin is death and this also escapes pelagianism by declaring the necessity of God’s grace. IMO, the objections probably come from today’s graceless, hyper-freewill Gospel.

3) We proclaim the crucifixion of Jesus Christ as the ultimate proof of God’s love and the only solution to our problem of sin.

Even with today’s Gospel presentation this should fit in perfectly since so many people seem to think the whole canon of Scripture starts with “For” and ends with “life”. Anyone figure out this “canon”?

4) We proclaim the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Yep, no resurrection no life and we witness in vain.

5) We proclaim the risen Christ’s offer of salvation by inviting our middle school,high school and college friends to confess Jesus as Lord and Savior.

This may be another point of contention because Jesus is proclaim as “Lord” and not only “Savior” since there are certainly those who believe Jesus being Lord comes later. I say this because the decentors don’t seem to believe repentance and faith go hand in hand based on the above articles. They see repentance as a gift from God. Yes, but so is faith.

6) We proclaim God’s call to discipleship by encouraging all who respond to grow in their faith.

Discipleship seems to be what is missing in many congregations across this country. Another good point.

An interesting point is that in the .pdf file the YL Leadership supported their position with quotes from their statement of faith. And if they’ve correctly applied the statement of faith to this position then why the objections?

This is not an endorsement of Young Life, but just some observations. I pray these actions will wake-up the young people and parents involved in this ministry and those like it to look more closely at doctrine. It doesn’t have to be a negative thing. I actually wonder if the objectors will actually end up drawing negative attention rather than helping the situation.

I guess these non-negotiables were non-negotiable for either side so why all the uproar?


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