What can we do with the complexities young people are facing today?
Help them understand the times. The new secular worldview informs all types of stances on things such as sexuality, abortion, assisted suicide, homosexuality and transgenderism. This “new orthodoxy” is being taught through all major social institutions, including academia, the media, public schools, Hollywood, private corporations and, increasingly, the law.
One thing that helps young people is to see the ideas which drive the new secular view on ethics. Learning the core ideas under their claims allows young people two benefits. First, it allows a needed truthful response, for only truth sets free. Secondly, it also allows us to have a compassionate response by seeing them as “prisoners of war” captivated by the lies of the age.
Another good starting point to equip our young people and young adults is to see under the agenda of these secular moral theories and their implications. They ultimately devalue human beings and thereby destroy the possibility of human rights. We must also equip them with the knowledge that any time they dissent from this new “public orthodoxy” they will be labeled as intolerant and falsely accused of things like discrimination. They will be branded as bigots, homophobes, racists, sexist, classists, etc. Then they will be targeted in these public venues for campaigns of shame and intimidation. Being aware of this is critical because they must know the context of America has changed, and they are going to see more pressure because of their stands. That’s okay; the first century Church thrived under increased pressure and so will we. But more than that, truth is critical to helping people trapped in these lies and is the only thing that can set them free and bring true peace into their lives.
If a view on any of these moral issues is true, then it must move past the arena of ideas and ultimately be livable. Or to say it another way, it must match reality. Lewis said, “The Christian and the materialist hold different beliefs about the universe. They can’t both be right. The one who is wrong will act in a way that simply doesn’t fit the real universe. Consequently, with the best will in the world, he will be helping his fellow creatures to their destruction.” Giving our young people the confidence to face this moment and arming them with truth, as well as Spirit, will enable them to bless their world.
Passing to our young people the confidence that the baptism of water and Spirit is God’s answer to the human dilemma for living out truth is essential. But so is teaching them to cooperate with God’s reality in all of life! These two things provide confidence for the moment God has, in His providence, trusted them with. We shouldn’t merely rant against the day. We must not assimilate. We should not bunker down due to intimidation. We should see these challenges in light of God’s provision. Spirit and truth are always enough to produce true worshippers in any age. What a moment God has trusted both us and them with!