You bring up an interesting thought, @gnslaser. I once took a school trip to South Africa, and our tour guide told us, “in America you are comfortable. In South Africa we pray because for many of us It is all we have.” That stuck firmly, and indeed a crisis of food production or society is often a way God can direct our eyes upwards. I think this is why so many in the agricultural community are Christians and pray so intimately, as they experience life and death of crops and animals first-hand. It’s pretty humbling to work an entire growing season without knowing how good market prices will be in the fall.
I’d like to suggest, though, perhaps the younger generation isnt willfully rejecting Christianity because they don’t like it. Maybe they don’t know such a love is possible? While previous generations of Americans were generally raised in a setting where Christian knowledge was discussed, I encounter many in my generation who are just grabbing straws in an attempt to find the peace God has hard-wired our souls to search for. Most of my friends have maybe gone to church twice in their lives, and I can still remember a hunger in their eyes even though I haven’t seen some of them for years. While frivolous lifestyles may have been an attempt to openly rebel against God in the past, i think its more of an attempt of my generation to find meaning and peace at all.
Someone told me recently they remembered a wedding where the bride and groom just had an indescribable peace that they couldn’t figure out. I asked if the couple was Christian, and the person answered affirmatively. I had just read Saving Truth and the section on marriage and explained how that’s God’s way of reminding us daily of His unconditional love for the Church. The person was so shocked, “You mean that kind of love is actually possible and real? It’s what Christians can experience?” I can’t imagine the torment in that must have been in that person’s heart to have a longing for unconditional love and yet not really believe it was possible.
While I was running this morning, I thought about the Desire Against Materialism thread and how many opportunities that argument could open in everyday conversations. As we show the world God’s love as a church through our self-sacrificial service, it’s important to also tie in our apologetics learnings to show there is more to this world than meeting someone’s worldly needs
I do want to add that I appreciate this whole thread. In an online conversation this very question came up and I just didn’t respond, unsure how to handle it in a way that could point them to Christ instead of away. I now feel more prepared from reading through everyone’s posts. Thanks!!