Thursday, October 23, 2008

It Really is Different Today

The Judeo-Christian framework no longer prevails in the world beyond our homes. We can no longer guide our young people in the area of sex by simply saying, “It’s sinful; don't do it!” or “It’s wrong; don’t do it!” They want to know—and deserve to know—why. Differences always exist between generations which make communication difficult. But today, when teens actually live in two cultures at the same time, communication may be close to impossible—particularly if parents are unaware that two cultures exist.

How can we adults ever understand how different things are for young people today from what they were when we grew up? At home and at church their environment may be similar, but at school, with their friends, and when they watch and listen to media, it’s a totally different world. Different languages are spoken. Words even have different meanings. No one is more vulnerable than Christian teenagers who live on the “cutting edge” between the parallel cultures.

What can the church do? We should provide not only wholesome activities but clear teaching to counterbalance the totally unchristian emphases our young people are exposed to every day. We need to do more for our church young people than “socialize” them. Our purpose in church should be more than just giving them some place to go on Sunday or Friday nights. I agree with Tony Campolo that we must give teens something worth living and dying for.

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