The New Millennium


(Matthew Mingus) #1

Ravi Zacharias quoted the following in one of his books. It has always struck me as one of the clearest depictions of how the past few decades have led up to what we see in the world today. Especially today, I have seen how this applies and how it has shaped our new millennium. Being in a college setting and listening to what they are teaching in their classes to the new generations has only shown me how much further we can go in this deception. I have added my own thoughts in at the end of the quote to continue to add clarity to the picture, and to give an idea of what I have seen in my life. I welcome any thoughts that you all have on this and thank you for your time. God bless you all and thank you.

The New Millennium

“In the 1950s kids lost their innocence.
They were liberated from their parents by well-paying jobs, cars, and lyrics in music that gave rise to a new term —the generation gap.

In the 1960s, kids lost their authority.
It was a decade of protest—church, state, and parents were all called into question and found wanting. Their authority was rejected, yet nothing ever replaced it.

In the 1970s, kids lost their love. It was the decade of me-ism dominated by hyphenated words beginning with self.
Self-image, Self-esteem, Self-assertion…It made for a lonely world. Kids learned everything there was to know about sex and forgot everything there was to know about love, and no one had the nerve to tell them there was a difference.

In the 1980s, kids lost their hope.
Stripped of innocence, authority and love and plagued by the horror of a nuclear nightmare, large and growing numbers of this generation stopped believing in the future.

In the 1990s kids lost their power to reason. Less and less were they taught the very basics of language, truth, and logic and they grew up with the irrationality of a postmodern world.

In the new millennium, kids woke up and found out that somewhere in the midst of all this change, they had lost their imagination. Violence and perversion entertained them till none could talk of killing innocents since none was innocent anymore.”

  • Ravi Zacharias, Recapture the Wonder

My personal thoughts -

In the new millennium, mankind has lost their sense of awe and wonder. The great majority have succumbed to the beliefs of a deceived age. Since now science has explained everything, or has at least promised that it can explain everything, no mystery is left to the grandness of the universe. In this mankind has declared that there is no need for a creator and falls back on the original deception that we can be God. Governed by their own hypocrisy, they continue blindly forward into greater and greater depths of corruption. They believe that nothing is certain, except for the certainty that nothing is certain. They believe that there are no absolutes in life, and are absolutely certain of it. All around them, the foundations crumble away, yet they stand as firm as they are able and declare that there is nothing to fear. Dedicated to their belief that God does not exist, despite monumental evidence to the contrary, they have thrown all their faith into scientific proofs and boldly declared that only those things which can be scientifically proven are true. In this belief they have been given over to debased thinking and evil desires. Desperate to justify their own immorality, they scream for tolerance, and will tolerate no one who will not give it to them. Through it all, this new generation has created the mirror image of a world that should be, where now all that is bad has become good, what is wrong has become right, and what is evil has become divine. Desperate for the meaning that only a creator can provide, they silence any who posit the idea of one, and continue in rebellion against the reality that they truly desire.

Pray for this generation and always be ready to defend your faith to a generation that is quickly losing faith in the truth. This generation needs Christ and we must be salt and light if we are to help them find Him. God bless you all and I look forward to hearing from you. - Matthew Mingus


(Andi) #2

@mmingus36, Matthew, thanks for this. Really insightful. I have observed a significant shift in culture particularly with young people and faith over the past 23/30 years. In once sense society (millennials) have become content with a bit of everything and anything. Pluralistic thinking and living, I’ll have a bit of everything and whatever works for me. I recently finished several books that I found really helpful relating to the content in your post. Fools Talk by Os Guinness, recovering the art of Christian persuasion. The other is Saving Truth by Abdu Murray. Both fascinating reads, longing for truth in today’s modern world. A recent concern for me was the interesting conversation where during a youth encounter, several of the young people stated they believed more in the tooth fairy than Jesus Christ. How did it get to this? It would appear the starting point with particularly young people nowadays is further back than previously thought. Often there isn’t even the basics known, taught or pass down through family relations. How do we engage people positively using non Christian sources proving the historical existence of Christ? How do you see recapturing the awe and wonder of the Christian faith in a modern secular and plurality society* (*my own observations)

Andi


(SeanO) #3

@mmingus36 Those are some deep thoughts. What are some practical ways that you think we can reach out to this generation? How can we help people see the value in swimming against the current of culture in pursuit of Jesus?


(Matthew Mingus) #4

Sean,

Thank you for asking. That is one of those questions that I always find myself analyzing and reassessing in my life. Especially with the influence of science and its effects on each generation, it can be hard to convince people today that going against the current is a profitable prospect. I can only speak from my own experience, and I know that I am still learning more every day, but I find that one of the most important things that we as believers can do is be the ones who stand out.

G. K. Chesterton once said, "A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.” I think that is one of the most important things that we have in the efforts we make to share the gospel. We as true believers and followers of Christ stick out like sore thumbs, or at least we should. We should inspire the curiosity in those around us to say, “I do not know what you have, but I want it.”

Matthew 5:13-16 tells us that “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."

One of the most practical ways that we can show the value of swimming against the current, is to show its effects in our lives. Speaking from personal experience, I know what it feels like to go with current. It is often easy to look at going against the current as undesirable, even unthinkable. I have thought “I will lose friends, I will be mocked and looked down upon, I may even lose opportunities in my life, or even my life.” But if my friends left me for that reason alone, what friends did I truly have in the first place? If I am mocked or looked down upon, what small price is that to pay for what Christ offers? If I lose opportunities, what value did they hold that was greater than eternity with my Lord? And if I lose my life? Well what life do I truly have when I am dead in sin?

These are things that I think abut now and that led me to a changed life in Christ, but I did not even consider them when I was not saved. It took many years of people providing me with an example that made me see the value of changing before I decided to make the change in my life that I so desperately needed. Truly we can never change anyone’s heart, only the work of the Holy Spirit can do that, but we can plant the seed, through our example, of what a Christ centered life should look like.

I believe that having answers for this skeptical generation is the next part of it. Those who do not believe in God have really good questions, but good questions are many times a sign of the desire to find the truth. We should be prepared to provide answers that help fill in that truth. Even if we do not convince them then and there, we may plant a seed that will grow through the working of the Holy Spirit.

These are two of the most practical ways that I have found to reach out to this generation, and also to show the value in going against the flow. I hope that this will help and I welcome anyone to add their own experience here so that we can continue to grow. The better equipped we are and the more we work together, the better we can reach this generation and help them to find the truth that only Jesus Christ can give us.

Thank you Sean for asking these questions and I look forward to hearing from you again and hearing any thoughts and insights that you may have into this subject. God Bless you and thank you.

Matthew Mingus


(SeanO) #5

@mmingus36 That is a great quote from Chesterton - how can we who are alive continue to float down stream like dead fish - no way! We who are clothed in Christ are compelled by His Spirit within us to pursue the Eternal City which shall never fade and where righteousness dwells.

I also like how you pointed out the need for patiently answering those who ask us about our faith, trusting that the Holy Spirit will grow the seed that has been planted. Sometimes it seems as if the Gospel is having no effect, but some plant, others water and still others harvest - but God gives the increase. So we should not grow weary in sharing our faith or in well doing.


(Matthew Mingus) #6

Sean,

That is so true. I have sometimes found myself discouraged because I have felt that i did not win someone over right that minute. But slowly I realized that even though i did not get an instant reaction, sometimes the Holy Spirit plays the long game and changes their hearts through multiple encounters with other believers. That was a truly encouraging and refreshing thing to learn and it helped me greatly.

Patience is most definetely a must. That is one thing that we as believers get called out on the most is when we lose patience in sharing our faith. Love is patient and if we want to share the love of Christ, then we must do so with much patience. Thanks Sean and God bless you. I appreciate your questions and insights and look forward to continuing to grow with you.

Matthew Mingus


(Theja Tseikha) #7

Yes @mmingus36!

That is what we are called to be- stand out!! Like a city on the hill!
I remember hearing uncle L.T. Jeyachandran (RZIM, Singapore) saying, “We cannot understand the seriousness of sin until we understand the magnitude of the fall.”
No wonder the Bible calls sin as ‘falling short of the glory of God.’ We were made for so much more than not just ‘not eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil’. But the fall came in and we couldn’t reach the fullest potential we were created to be- of reflecting the glory of God. But thanks be to God, redemption came in and through Jesus Christ! Now, we who are saved are called to ‘Let our light so shine before men, that they may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven.’ What can be more valuable and attracting and awe-inspiring in any culture than the ‘glory of God’ revealled.

I recently saw this Q & A by Michael Ramsden in which he was asked if Christians can use swearing words. He replied saying as Christians we are called to something higher and better than that, something more intelligent, more creative and he gave an example.

Also, I think the admiration and idolization of celebrities in this present culture, especially among the millennials, can tell us something about the present mentality.
If the present pop culture can convince the people of lies by their confident, flamboyant, hollow, celebratory attitude; we who know the Way, the Truth and the Life, let us also be more celebratory, open and creative about our faith and live it out with conviction and love. I think the mentality of the unbelieving millenial towards the Church is more about what we don’t like, what we don’t do rather than what we love, what we enjoy doing and why.

Last but not the least, though this may come out simplistic, I think inorder to live such a life as mentioned above, we need to be confident in our identity in Christ. We need to have an honest personal relationship with God in Christ through His Word. The gospel is so powerful in this that- all we need in life is to have the right relationship with God and the gospel opens the way by offering forgiveness of our sins(the only thing which hindered our relationship with God) and freeing us to a life of freedom and peace and of glorifying God.

2 Corinthians 4:6-7-
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our heartsto give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.


(Pat Finley) #8

Sad so many were not raised within a Christian family; their absence of reason and hope is clear. I see no reason to go on with a lengthy opinion. I can only say that they ‘should’ have had Christian teaching, guidance, choices, and consequences when very young. Imagine kids with no faith, having children, who are born into a cold existence with no hope or reason. All I can say is ‘shame on parents’ like this. Life without knowing God is equal to building a house on no foundation, and with no structure.