“There are no absolutes.” Or so they say Part II by Jane at The Elizabeth Company
Yesterday I started Part One of a Four Part Series entitled "There Are No Absolutes" addressing one of the overall mindsets of young people (Gen Y) today. Yesterday's blog named the five distinct "generations" and the keywords that briefly describe the prevalent mindset of each. Today's blog zeros in on Gen Y in an attempt to understand and answer the original question, as stated below. Feedback is welcomed.
Now back to my friend’s question: How do you get young people to live for Christ and how do you keep them motivated? It helps to understand their mindset. Today’s young people are tech savvy. They spend more time on a smartphone, ipod, ipad, laptop, than probably any other generation. They are the app developers, the social media platform gurus. Gen Y generally does not develop very good in-person social skills while their technological skills and social media presence will astound many older people. They are the generation that will not settle for the status quo. They are critical of everything that has been established. They seek to permanently stamp their own identity by commanding media and marketing to cater to them by way of customization.
What disturbs many about this generation is that for the most part, they exemplify the mindset that “there are no absolutes.” This is a direct contradiction and rebuttal of original Christianity which is founded on absolutes. Such as the absolute existence of a Creator/ one true God; the absolute validity and truth of the Bible; the absolute of heaven and hell; salvation; sanctity of human life; sanctity of marriage between one woman and one man; eternity; and so on. For these, original Christianity has little or no relevancy. What is more relevant to them is what they see, hear, experience and read in video, audio, texting, social media, streaming and podcasting. This is why they can sit in church while the service is going on and text, send Facebook messages, status updates and tweets, download game apps and play, and never tune in to what, if anything, God is doing in the church service. They have their headsets, their bluetooths to block out all the "noise" except for what they want filtered in. They are accustomed to instant gratification, so they don't always understand the reality of patience and waiting. They are either inventing or waiting impatiently for the next big technological advance that will awe and wow them, and they are not afraid to be the first to try it out. If there are absolutes in the "world" of Gen Y, it exists in the parameters of cyberspace and media. But in real life - more specifically, when it comes to God - they have more of an agnostic or athiestic approach, even while they sit on the pew in someone's church unmotivated.
So what do you have if you take away the absolutes in life? Absolutes are considered foundations on which you build your life. For instance, a person who is absolutely certain that there is one God (Deuteronomy 6:4) may not live a spotless life, but he is convinced in his heart of God’s existence, and it will be reflected in how he lives. Someone who is absolutely convinced that the Bible is true and relevant will live his life in a way that expresses this belief. Someone who knows that all human life is sacred will not make excuses for abortion, euthanasia or suicide, no matter the situation. Without fundamental absolutes, life itself, including one's own, loses value.
What does a generation have who do not embrace Biblical foundations? They get a value system that is based on nothing concrete. Everything is acceptable. Everything is right, depending on the circumstances. There are no boundaries. Core beliefs are dispensable. They tend to mimic what they see and hear in the media and in sports and entertainment. These – music, sports and entertainment and the people who excel in them - are held up as the icons to which they aspire.
This is the stronghold/mindset that holds true with many of our young people. The foundation is flimsy because the value system is not concrete. Even the icons in the sports, music and entertainment arena need core values, a foundation on which to build their lives. With all these elements in place it’s no wonder many young people aim at what outwardly appears to be what is good and right, but the inside and the foundation is just an empty shell. You don’t have to be a building contractor to know that if you build on a shaky or absent foundation, the house is coming down.
Visit this blog tomorrow for "There Are No Absolutes" Part III. Jane welcomes any and all input on this subject as we attempt to present truth as it has been revealed.
Jane is Founder and Facilitator at The Elizabeth Company, a small Christian media and publishing business. Check us out at http://www.theelizabethcompany.com/
About: Jane Ward has been involved in ministry for 30 years. Most recently she became director at a pregnancy resource center. Jane is an author, publisher, teacher, whose passion is to connect with young women in order to share Jesus Christ with them and empower them to the abundant life Christ has made available for them. "Abundant life starts within through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It manifests itself outwardly through godly character."Back to Blog | Add to Buddy List