Friday, January 31, 2014

The Relevant Generation

Last week I came across an article by Malcolm Gladwell, How I Re-Discovered Faith,  that impressed me so much that I impulsively decided to buy a subscription to the magazine, Relevant. Now I did that because I could see that even though it was covering topics that seem geared to young adults, it did it with an open degree of faith mixed in.

I'm wondering if I was being too impulsive or if this is going to give me an insight in what the young generation is thinking and seeking. Right off the bat that seems pretty clear - they want to be Relevant.

There are things that are relevant to you when you are in your 20's that just aren't when you are in your 60's. Not that you have disengaged from having relevant issues in life, but the direction of what you deem relevant has shifted. New priorities come into focus as we age.

The generation that probably makes up the readership of Revelant is engaged in things that I no longer have any interest in, like the Grammy's.

My life used to be wholly occupied by the music business. Now while I still appreciate great music I do grieve over what has become of the music business. Probably the thing that disturbs me the most is how most female artists seem to believe they have to perform group lap dances to keep a following.

Another thing that I will surely be exposed to is the social justice that this generation finds vitally relevant. That's good that there is a great desire to see social justice. Actually, we didn't phrase it with those terms, but that is what we were looking for in my generation coming up in the 1960's and 1970's.

The problem with that is that, from my perspective, the radicals of the 60's and 70's are the bunch that has put this nation in such jeopardy today. They remained entrenched in the vision of their youth and rather than maturing in perspective, they hardened in a mindset that justifies a radical hostile takeover of the direction of America.

So the main issue that I see with a generation that is seeking social justice is that the vision of what social justice is, is being provided by the vision of the radicals from my generation who remain in godless rebellion.

If you mention "social justice" to most American Christians today you get a a huffy reaction back because of what the term means politically today in the United States. They don't realize that God is the One who initiated the concept of social justice. The Bible, especially the Hebrew scriptures are full of God presecriptions for attaining social justice.

Now if we let the Bible define social justice there would be no problem. Letting those who cut their teeth on Saul Alinksy's rules for radicals determine the meaning and means to social justice will only result in the great grief we are already witnessing as the USA is being dismantled.

 One of the most important areas of conern to me is how social justice is being defined to this generation in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Shane Claiborne is one of this generation's most venerated social justice preachers - but his vision for justice in this issue is not biblical. Of course, neither is the vision of Tony Campolo, Lyn Hybels, Rick Warren and others.  [A little more investigation into what other positions on social issues that, for instance, Shane Claiborne preaches convinces me that he takes a major departure from biblical standards on many issues.]

Probably it is good that I was impulsive in getting a subscription to Relevant. It is always good to see what is brewing among the young - especially when it is not adequately grounded in biblical truth.

I'm sure that many will think that what I've written here has a major blind spot to the good things that American social justice seeks, or even ministries like Claiborne, Campolo, Hybels or Warren are trying to accomplish. So be it. I know that any Christian who cannot see in the Bible God's eternal promises to bring Israel to salvation, and therefore rejects the idea that the Jews have a Divine destiny and attachment to the land of Israel, can only be the blind leading the blind in this critical prophetic matter.

Many Christian Zionists are over-zealous toward unsaved Israel, but at least they are not blind to God's stated purposes to restore the Jews to salvation. In this, Christian Zionists are only blind to the reality that salvation of Israel is already in progress.

I do look forward to what topics will come from Relevant magazine over the next year.