Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Communicating the Relevance of the Gospel in a Changing Culture (II)


Here is where I think we stand today.
After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. (Judges 2:10)

We are reaching out to a new generation. I think we can look back at three stages.

1.    We’ve been through a generation where, for many, the default was to go to church every Sunday.

2.    We’ve been in a generation where many of those, and their children, have left church but still claimed to be "spiritual but not religious."

3.    And we’re entering a time when many now don’t even claim that! Don't even seem to think it matters.

Our culture no longer even has what Tim Keller calls a, “ghost memory” of Christianity – where people perhaps attended church or Sunday School as kids then drifted away. We are in a generation where many of the people we want to reach have no Christian memory and therefore absolutely no Christian knowledge or awareness.

Yet, because our culture was built, generations ago, on Christian values and a Christian worldview, we are still living with a Christian residue, so to speak. It is like the air around us, or water to a fish. We breathe it, taking it for granted, without really giving it much thought. We are still breathing Christian air, even if we may be living in an ex-Christian society. People are enjoying the benefits that Christianity brought us with no awareness that it was Christianity that gave them to us.

People will say, “I’m a good person,” remembering somehow that it’s important to be good, but not remembering what it means to be good; the definition of good, or where the standard for good came from. Christianity gave us the concept of the dignity of every human being. It is the basis of the idea of human rights. But that concept has been perverted; it has been applied to selfish ends. The concept has been turned inward – so that it has become about my rights… and those I think are right – and those who agree with me. We’re seeing this especially in the area of sexuality. “I have rights but if you disagree with me, you don’t.”

Bruce Jenner, a former Olympic male athlete “became” Kaitlyn and was hailed as “courageous.” But anyone who expressed misgivings about this story was instantly demonized. If any Christian questioned it they were not only dismissed as deluded but derided as intolerant. Frankly, it takes more courage to disagree with the current sexual agenda than to be part of it. Try expressing publicly that Jesus is the only way to the Father and see the reaction you get.
 
(to be continued...)
 
Blessings,
 
John

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