27 January, 2009

The Quest to Reach a Generation

In recent weeks I have had the opportunity to speak to several folks who were high school to college age, who profess themselves to be atheists or agnostic. Last week I was talking with another pastor about these young folks, and he commented that they were just being rebellious. The more I have thought about this, the more it has upset me. I believe that when we who are followers of Christ simply dismiss and cast off these young people as "rebellious" then their blood is on our hands. I think many of my contemporaries would do well to go hang out with some of these kids for awhile, and not talk, but just listen. They need to discover what this generation has been taught in school. They need to try to come to terms with the world view that has shaped these kids. Try to comprehend this: 50% of them come from a broken home. A large percentage of them have either experienced or witnessed physical and/or sexual abuse. The vast majority have been raised in the first generation where both parents worked outside the home, thereby decreasing the influence of the parent on their lives, which means the education system has had a much greater impact on the framing of their mind. Add to this the fact that this generation has been raised by the first generation to have the Bible and anything to do with God removed from their education; so this second generation has by and large been taught nothing of God or his word, and had a humanistic philosophy poured into them for 12-16 years in our education system.

Are they being rebellious? Not at all. They are living what they have been taught.
Those of us who are in Christ have our work cut out for us. We've long been told that over 90% of all those who ever receive Christ do so before the age of 20. Now, our system has removed God from their education during these formative years, so when they reach young adulthood and we present them with the Gospel and the Word of God, they are not likely to receive it because it is foreign to them. For all practical purposes, they have been framed to believe only what fits into the framework of what they have been taught, and they have not been taught anything of a spiritual realm, other than what they see in the movies, and Hollywood has slanted that education in such a way that biblical teaching is laughable and foolish and those that believe in God are mentally imbalanced. Folks, we have an uphill climb to reach this generation.

This generation has been taught evolution as a fact and told that creation or intelligent design is foolishness. The biblical view has been painted to be so out of touch, that this generation has never been given permission to think it through for themselves, and told that they were being more intellectual by renouncing the creationist theory. I listened to a college professor in an interview who was asked why creation was an impossibility and his only argument was "It's silly. It makes no logical sense." Let's think on this a minute. The idea that nothing became something and somehow fell into the right alignment to form a living being... that makes sense to them. When questioned as to where those first particles came from, one PhD argued, "those first particle just always were there." But the same man thought it just ridiculous to believe that God could have always been. Kind of hypocritical there, don't you think? Stop and consider how illogical it is to think that just the right particles happened to fall together to make everything we know. The odds are beyond comprehension. Everything that is cries out to us and demands that there was a designer. This same PhD actually argued that maybe aliens seeded the earth to set evolution into motion. OK... you can believe in aliens who "set it in motion" (helllo? a creator?) but you cannot believe in the possibility of a God? How whack is that? This man just indicated he could believe in an alien (no explanation of where he came from) but no way he could believe in God.

The question then must be, "Why can you not believe in God?"
To me, it is obvious. To admit that there is God, an intelligent designer, admits that there is someone or something that is higher than we are, and therefore makes us accountable to that being.... and that, to these intellectuals is unacceptable to those who are so wise.
"Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools."

Folks, let's not write off this generation as rebellious. They have been indoctrinated to think the way they do. They are worth saving. We must take time to hear, really listen to what they are saying, because they are empty inside and looking for something that is void in their lives. There is a God shaped hole inside of them, because they have never been told that they were created to walk in fellowship with a loving God.

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