Sunday, March 30, 2014

Desperately Seeking Relevance

Desperately Seeking to be Culturally Relevant:
The Very Worst Mission

Ageism has been on my mind a lot the past several weeks. I'm 62, but my husband is 70, so I tend to think of the issues of aging from perspective of his age more than mine. Granted, few people can believe Tony is 70 because he is still working in a physical trade, though becoming less and less physically able to be the actual laborer.

We often see things that younger generations do, and even though we came from the notoriously rebellious Baby Boomer generation, we often comment to each other that we would never have dreamed of saying or doing something so disrespectful to our parents or grandparents. We were disrespectful - don't get me wrong - but not in ways that we have witnessed this generation.

This morning I was reminded of what the apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:1-5, how "in the last days" the times would be perilous because of the way people interact with others they are in relationship to. You know the verses:
  • "For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."

By the last thought expressed we can know the apostle meant that he was not speaking of the unsaved world, but of the believers.

For the past month my thoughts have been returning to the dangerous pattern that I am seeing among the young adult generation of Christians who are going their own way. I've been reading that they believe their Christian parents views are too conservative on social issues and despite what the Bible says, they believe, for instance that the time has come to accept homosexuality. They also do not like their parent's support of Israel, so they have gone in the direction of undiscriminating support of the Palestinian cause that is marked by anti-Israel-ism.

One of the good things about being young is the willingness to see things through new eyes, but when the new eyes do not regard clear Bible statements as more relevant than what is trending culturally, those eyes are being deceived.

I was looking for what the Bible has to say about a generation that does not give due honor to the elders, which is how I was led to 2 Timothy 3. I decided it was worthwhile to see exactly what Paul meant when he wrote that one of the traits that would make the last days perilous was that the younger generation would be "disobedient to parents".

It was worthwhile to dig deeper because this phrase goes far beyond a kid not minding mom and dad, it speaks exactly to a generation that cannot even be persuaded by the Word of God:
  • Looking at the word apeithes (disobedient), it literally means "unwilling to be persuaded (by God) which shows itself in outward disobedience (outward spiritual rebellion); disobedient because unpersuaded.
  • G545 /apeithe-'s ("unpersuaded") begins with the decision to reject what God prefers, with His offer to persuade about His preferred-will (cf. 2307 /théle-ma). See G543 (apeitheia).

This is exactly what this generation is doing on the issues of homosexuality and Israel. They claim they are the ones who are really being like Jesus, but the truth is their claims are hollow. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Jesus is the Word of God made flesh.

We cannot claim to hold the high ground of being more like Jesus than our parents when we reject the Word of God as the truth we adhere to.

These young people desperately need prayer, for they have decided they are more socially just than God. They see themselves as a new generation of the faithful, when in fact, they have left the narrow path.

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