Thursday, March 17, 2011

My Generation

I was thinking about the Keller video we watched last night before breaking off into small groups. Keller speaks with 6 people mostly in their 20's and 30's. Most of them are not believers, all of them are highly intelligent, and they are a part of my generation. 

If you came up in the 70's 80's and 90's, then independence, individualism, and your right to happiness were the goals set on the top of your list. You may have watched 'Free to Be You and Me' every year through middle school, like I did. You know, the movie with Marlo Thomas and her uber liberal friends like Alan Alda, Rosey Grier, and Tommy Strohers sang songs encouraging us kids to break free from and stereotypical gender confines. The movie did it's best to encourage boys to cry and play with dolls...and do whatever made us feel individualistic and happy, despite typical and historical norms. It was more than a feel good movie that encouraged self esteem, I understand now that there was a subversive indoctrination going on there. It encouraged the message popularized decades later by a product of the Free to Be generation, Ben Harper.

Harper sings this in his song Burn One Down:

my choice is what I choose to do
and if I'm causing no harm
it shouldn't bother you
your choice is who you choose to be
and if your causin' no harm
then you're alright with me

This mantra completely sums up the only creed I knew to adhere to for the first couple decades of my life. I didn't dare have a contrary opinion as to someone's behavior, because that may have made me intolerant or bigoted in some way. Those things were labels that needed to be avoided at all costs. So as long as it didn't hurt anyone else, I supported any lifestyle choice. And the Harper creed certainly let me off the hook for many of my own behavioral issues too. It worked out well for me, for a while.

But back to last night. I'm watching the video of Keller's small group. And it's gotten so bad, that half of the dialogue is slowed by all these intelligent young professionals asking each other what they mean by the word they chose. What do you mean by evil? What do you mean by truth? How are we defining suffering? My generation has slid so far, that everyone has begun using their own individual sense of rational instinct to determine reality, and the meaning of language. No one knows for sure what the other person is saying, even though they're all speaking english. The teaching of my generation was so insistent upon pluralism, that no one can even make sense to one another anymore.

And if that isn't a modern version of the Tower of Babel, I don't know what is! If you decide you know best, and treat yourself like a God, pretty soon you won't be able to understand any one else around you.

Good Night All.

The Well Reason For God Study

We had a great chat last night on Chapter Two, why does God allow such horrible suffering? Why doesn't he do away with evil? Some interesting points that arose:

1) Does evil exist and if not, is suffering simply a part of life? Maybe suffering isn't bad per se, maybe it just is. Can God exist if evil does not?
2) Christianity is the only world religion that has an interpersonal God who bore the same suffering that we do...and worse. This is a source of comfort.
3) Besides simply being a source of comfort, the cross has a deeper meaning. We all deserve that punishment. We all fall far short of the glory of God. Christ took the punishment for us, and by doing so has placed a cloak of righteousness over us so that we can be in right relationship with God.
4) If evil does exist, and God wanted to wipe it out completely, wouldn't he have to wipe out all of us too? If evil doesn't exist, but God does, and he wanted to wipe out suffering completely...wouldn't he have to get rid of all those who cause suffering? Wo would be left?

I think it was a good talk and I hope our small group got something out of it.

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