What does it take to win the souls of young people, and then keep them committed followers of Jesus Christ once they leave home? If we’re to win the culture it seems to me that winning the hearts of young people needs to be high up on the list of priorities. Right now, we’re not doing so well.
The reason I’m thinking about this tonight is twofold. My research project for my theology course is on “Christianity and Culture.” I’ve been doing some studying and thinking on this, and have narrowed down my thesis with Lombardi-like focus: “Gentlemen, this is Genesis.” If Lombardi could say at the beginning of every season “Gentlemen, this is a football,” thereby returning to the basics as the foundation for the season, we can get back to the basics as Christians to lay the foundation for our new season. But more on that later.
The second reason I’m thinking about young people’s faith is this. I know of two young men who both have Godly parents, fundamentally Godly in one case. Both are what could be called in the secular sense “fine young men.” One was raised in Christian schools until his senior year, at which time he was allowed to go to a secular high school. He then determined that everything was a shade of gray, and has since gone on to community college, and penis worship. The other is off on his own, married, and gives his spiritual outlook as
“Happiness,” of course, represents learning to live in contentment with any collected “potentially despair inducing beliefs,” … the belief that the notion of meaning in life is meaningless, the belief that free will is an illusion, or the belief that there is no higher power governing existence. Such contentment, I believe, may come through discovering the exact or approximate opposite of each potential despair within the despair itself.
This might be called despair worship, if it is anything at all other than the cry of the lost.
So what happened? Culture won. That’s the superficially obvious answer. The other part of the answer is that the Gospel as presented to them didn’t have anything to capture their hearts and keep them. Add to that a Christian culture that is so much like secular culture that it has nothing whereby to recommend itself.
How do we win and keep the hearts of our young men for Jesus? As go the men, so go the women.