Rev. Steve Foss, First Baptist Church
Recent past generations have been described as:
* The Sixties, “If it feels good, do it” generation;
* The Seventies, “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with” generation;
* The Eighties, “Peter Pan” generation (they never wanted to grow up);
* The Nineties, “connected” generation (through cell phones and the Internet).
It appears the earliest generation of the 21st century is the “It’s all about me” generation, a generation embracing any belief about science, politics, and self.
At the end of any day, it comes down to the truth: about oneself, science, our world, history, and eternity. Each is essential to a healthy view of oneself.
Historical truth is necessary for developing one’s social value systems. Even though many historians tout the common theme that “to the victor belong the spoils” (including the narrative that is written), the truth of history comes out in the long run—as evidenced by the stories that surfaced after World War II and the Nuremberg trials. The truth, like cream, rises to the top and will not be ignored.
Many post-moderns reject the ideas of generationally revered ideas on faith, family, and nationalism. One’s family is often the truer source of one’s identity than constructing one from personal preference. It is through the family that one is first presented with the idea that we’re in this petri dish of life together … we need each other.
For me, the real test of faith’s validity was evidenced through the Bible. The biblical record does not try to hide dark secrets, but is actually pretty raw … revealing both the good and the bad. The good is easily seen in the beauty of creation, the rescue of Moses by the Princess of Egypt, the great exodus, Israel’s return from exile, the birth of Jesus Christ, Christ’s resurrection from the dead, and the promise of eternity. The unexpected ingredient in the record is that of the less pleasant side of history: rejecting what God had said was true in the Garden of Eden, the fracturing of the family through polygamy, the further dysfunction of incestual relationships, the crucifixion of Jesus, and the final judgment of the world.
Jeremiah provided counsel for the nation of Israel, a nation that had lost its way, when God breathed into him to write:
“This is what the Lord says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.’” (Jeremiah 6:16, NIV)
The ancient paths are found in the sacred texts of scripture. In them you will discover:
* God exists;
* We are made in His image;
* Our purpose is to reflect God’s beauty, love, and wisdom.
God’s way results in good benefits for the world, a nation, a region, a city, a family, and the individual, not about you … no matter what generation you come from … it really isn’t. It all comes down to one finding significance in God, His purposes, His ways, His will … and His Son, Jesus Christ. It is Jesus Christ Who makes His purpose all about you, which is why He suffered a cruel death on a cross to reconcile you to God. He is The Truth, and for that matter, He is The Way and The Life … nothing else really matters.