Some thoughts gained in part from a talk by Gabe Lyons
The society that we were born into in the 1950’s was very different from the one that we are now living in. Being connected to a faith community was not only accepted, but expected most of the time. As kids we would ask each other “What are you, Christian (protestant), Catholic or Jewish?” Two parents were the norm and getting married when you grew up was a given. Job applicants might be asked about their church affiliation -- and a pastor, priest or rabbi was often a reference. Marriage and faith were seen as indicators of good moral character and stability. (Statistics bear out that both add to a longer and more affluent life.)
This is not the world that Millenials (roughly 1983-2000) have been born into.
I won’t go into an explanation of the characteristics attributed to this generation, other than this group is rising in power and influence, but does not rest on the same foundational principles that I inherited. The current culture is described as postmodern, pluralistic and post-Christian. In a nutshell that means nothing is absolute, truth is open for interpretation, all religious paths are equally valid and Christianity is no longer the dominant force in religious thought.
What this results in is a lot of confusion and uncertainty. What can be trusted? Who can I believe? Does life have any ultimate meaning? Does it matter that I exist? Is this life all that there is? Anxiety and depression increase as these questions float around without any way to answer them.
It has been suggested that Christians have moved from the Moral Majority to the Prophetic Minority.
This means that a smaller group of people are carrying the messages that have the power to transform our culture. The good news in this is that a small group of intensely committed people have always been able to accomplish great things.
I see this as a mandate to support and encourage those of current and future generations as they cling to the values of marriage and religious freedom. It will become progressively more difficult to oppose the deconstruction of these institutions and maintain a Christian worldview. Some will likely go to jail in the struggle.
Yet people still yearn to be known deeply in a way that only marriage can satisfy. And when death and destruction and trouble comes, people look heavenward and hope that a merciful and powerful God exists and hears their prayers.
This is why I fight hard against divorce and the destruction of families. Families are often the best conveyors of values and positive traditions. Kids feel more secure even in a troubled or conflictual family than they do in a broken one. Just sit in a counseling room for an extended period of time and you will realize this.
It is important that we speak up and not be afraid of communicating our beliefs and not allow ourselves to be bullied into silence. How many times in the Bible are we commanded to “Fear not”? It is difficult to tell someone what they need to hear rather than what is popular. But don’t miss those opportunities. You may be the only one willing to speak the truth and be Jesus to them.
I know this post is a bit different than usual, but I just had to get it out while it was rolling around my brain. Love compels me to be a watchman on the wall at times. I would love to get some feedback from you. Use the comment box below and say yay or nay.