Believers… That is a term that not only identifies us with Christ but defines us as His followers. I have the privilege of working with teenage believers on a daily basis. I have spent numerous hours talking, counseling, praying, and believing with them for God’s will to come to pass in their lives. It has become very apparent that we are living in a “lost” generation. That is a bold statement and there are exceptions, but this generation is lost on many different levels, particularly spiritually and morally. As I look back over the course of previous generations, many things were done to foster change in this current generation. Unfortunately, change is not always for the better.
Generation X, my generation, disconnected from church. I have had the opportunity to speak with many of my peers regarding this subject who cited several reasons why they no longer attend church. Two of the most notable examples revolved around these concepts: the church cared more about their appearance than their spiritual health, and the church was irrelevant to their modern life. Jesus Christ’s primary concern was people, and it saddens me that some people in my generation feel disconnected from religion. Because of this great disconnect, my generation did not see the importance of keeping their family plugged into church. As a result, most of the teenagers that I spend time with have not had the joy of growing up with a church family.
Without the Christian influence in the family, children are raised with increasingly inappropriate materials. Consider a modern prime time television show. If a television network decided to broadcast a modern program back in the 1950’s, it would have shocked the television audience. The Federal Communications Commission would swiftly fine the network for broadcasting borderline pornographic content. The standard for what is appropriate for families has dwindled over the course of my generation. John Wesley said “What one generation tolerates, the next generation will accept.” We tolerated the demise of public moral standards, and because of this, this generation has grown up exposed to PG-13 and R-rated content. It is common for a teenager to go on a neighborhood killing spree on his XBox, followed by an hour of profanity-laced music and internet porn. Because of this saturation, this generation has become morally numb.
My generation was more concerned with tolerance than standing up for its beliefs. This was the believers’ greatest tragedy on the modern stage of humanity. No matter the activity or the statement, you will offend someone out there. Just because someone does not agree with the popular opinion, it does not mean that they are wrong. Alex Hamilton once said, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” My generation became so concerned with the voices of activists and philosophers that we “toned down” the gospel. By watering down God’s word, we have done the world a great injustice. Generations have witnessed Christians retreating on their beliefs, denominations accepting lifestyle practices that were once considered abominations, and ministers changing the gospel to conform to their choices, rather than conforming their choices to the gospel. Because of this example, believers are championing causes that are contrary to what the word teaches.
The world is looking for answers and guidance. The greatest things we can do is to take a stand for Jesus Christ regardless of contrary opinions, take a stand against anything that goes against our moral convictions, and to forsake not the assembly of one another. The greatest example we can set for this generation is to let our actions speak louder than our words, and to live for Christ, unashamedly.