My Teen Won’t Go to Church | Watch This Episode on YouTube


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My Teen Won’t Go to Church.

Sermons to help with applying and living out these biblical truths shared in today’s podcast can be watched and listened to from the following links:

God’s Gift of a Godly Wife

Submitting One to Another

The Great Correction

Time for Correction


Living for the Will of God

The Beautiful Life & Marriage – Pts. 1, 2 & 3

Difficult Marriages - Pts. 1 & 2

Dealing With Disobedience in Marriage - Pts. 1 & 2

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My Teen Won’t Go to Church

This week on the Straight Truth podcast Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot talk about the role of a parent in relating to a rebellious teenager who lives at home. Dr. Philpot tells us that a parent has written sharing that their teenage daughter refuses to come to church on Sundays. The teenager tells her parents her relationship with God is personal and that she doesn’t need to go to church to be a Christian. The parent asks how do you bring children in rebellion under your authority, and how old is too old for a parent to force their children to go to church?

Dr. Caldwell says that there are two things come to mind when he hears these questions. First, the daughter is using language that reveals a lack of understanding of the gospel. He would really aim at explaining the gospel to this young person.  The statement that she makes, “my relationship with God is personal”, is not true. It is true that we each individually come to faith in Christ, and in that sense, we do have a personal relationship with God. But nowhere in the New Testament do you see people living a private, individualistic, secretive kind of relationship with God, that’s just not found in the New Testament.  The second issue, additionally, is related to the statement she makes saying, “I don’t have to go to church to be a Christian.”. 

Going to Church Does Not Make You a Christian

Dr. Caldwell says it is true to say that going to church does not make you a Christian. But also, nowhere in the New Testament do you find Christians who have no relationship to the Lord's Church. He goes on to share an example from Scripture in the book of Acts chapter 2, on the day of Pentecost. He explains how those who are saved after hearing Peter's sermon are added to the number of disciples (of the Lord Jesus Christ). 

He further explains in that regenerative work of salvation, brought about by the Holy Spirit, that each individual is placed into the family of God. That placement is not just in the universal, invisible body of Christ, but also in a local physical manifestation of it. So it’s important to take this young woman and talk to her about the gospel, asking what she actually understands about it.

Dr. Caldwell says the issue of church attendance, and of what is required by the parent of their children, is related to biblical authority, responsibilities, respect, and submission. The answer is as long as your children are in your home they are under your authority. You the parent(s) are responsible for what takes place in your home. It is not wrong for the parent(s) to require their children to be with them in worship. At what age should parents stop requiring this? Whenever the child no longer lives in your home, where you, the parent(s) are no longer providing the care, provision, and support for them from your household. But until this takes place, they are responsible to be submissive to you and to do what you desire them to do.

You Have Responsibilities Before God

Another issue Dr. Caldwell points out,  is you want to make clear to this young woman that by no means do you believe that in taking her to church has made her a Christian. Explaining clearly that by just attending or being in church does not make one a Christian or bring about salvation, only the Lord changes hearts and brings about conversion. What you, as the parent(s), want her to know is that you have responsibilities before God. Share that those responsibilities include teaching your child(ren) about God and raising them up in the admonition of the Lord, that they might know God and His Son Christ Jesus.

Share that you earnestly desire and pray for her to know and love the Lord. Taking her to church with you, it is part of working towards that goal by continually putting the gospel before her. In doing this, you are not asking her to pretend to love the things you love, you are asking her to be respectful.  So that as your family attends church, your child(ren) go with you, respecting your authority, and that they would also show respect in the way that they attend the Lord's Church. The clearer that we can be with our children about what salvation is and how it happens, the better we serve them.

About The Straight Truth Podcast

The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at

The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo.  The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.

The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.

The Straight Truth Podcast is the perfect podcast for those seeking to strengthen their faith, to be informed on how to broach difficult topics with a Christian point of view, to share their faith with unbelieving friends, to challenge the status quo of their own beliefs by viewing them under the lens of the Scriptures, to interpret current news events from a Biblical point of view, and more.

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Season 10 Credits

Produced by
Juan Carlos Claveria

Executive Producers
Joshua Philpot
David Anders

Hosted by
Joshua Philpot

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Michele Watson

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Samantha Claveria

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David Navejas


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