A few days ago it was the delete button. Today it is the reset one.
This week end has been devoted, unintentionally, to the 18-25 year old crowd. For one, my 24 year old son and his new girl friend came home for the week-end as did my 20 year-daughter. My 22 year old son played in a big concert this morning. But these things are all related because my out of town children came in because of the music festival my one son performed in.
The festival is just ending with the finale . . . which is Kimya Dawson (voice of soundtrack of Juno). She is actually still playing but I came down from the concert, with my 18 year son, to the coffee shop to put down some thoughts . . . or at least the start of them.
All week end I've been listening to the voices of the next generation. This morning, four of them (including my son's girlfriend) and I sat in the coffee shop and talked for an hour and a half in lieu of church. It was a good time.
I went straight from there to the outdoor concert area. My son's band was the first to play. The name of his band is Caulfield and His Magic Violin. My son wrote the lyrics to most of the songs. His friend, Mike (another product of our Evangelical church) wrote the others. They created the title based, of course, on The Catcher in the Rye. It is their statement about rebelling (too strong of a word here) against the status quo of the phonies . . . which would mean my generation. It was when I was trying to understand the name of the band that my, now, 18 year old suggested that I start to read fiction. I did and I started with J.D. and the Catcher.
I will be back and I want to take this further but I can tell my 18 year old is getting bored sitting here and I'm about to become brain dead from his long day.
But my question has to do with how to we reach the next generation with any kind of sense of truth? I'm thinking about Michael Spencer's book, which I read a couple of weeks ago, and his sense of the demise of the Evangelical Church. I'm thinking about HUG's statements today about Evangelicals are making the same mistakes that the old Church made fifteen hundred years ago. Is there anything that we can do? Do we need to hit the "reset" button to our cultural Christianity and start completely over?
I want to come back and share some of the lyrics, which I've heard today. I will just mention one by Mike (who was a Christian child prodigy at our evangelical church a few years ago and his dad is still one of the most conservative leaders). I wish I had all the lyrics to the song as I could not hear all of them. I asked Mike for them after the concert but he didn't have them.
I know that Mike has a powerful influence on my son. I know that he fights with his dad a lot over issues such as global warming and evolution (his dad does not believe in either concept). So the song describes how he had bought into the Christian story until he was 16 then it didn't make sense with "no answers for his brother's pain" and the "crazy ideal about all his friends being destine for a lake of fire."
I've had several talks with Mike. In his view, the conversation is over. He did the Awana thing, the years of youth groups and etc. So now, to even try and speak to the topic is hard. That is when I started feeling hopeless in trying to communicate anything with the next generation I started thinking about a reset button. There are days I would love to throw away everything this next generation has ever heard about Christianity . . . and start all over.