There were two big issues when I was a member of my church’s youth group: abortion and evolution. My church focused on the latter, going to great lengths to show us Kent Hovind’s Creation Seminars, material from Answers in Genesis, all about intelligent design, the world-wide flood, how there could have been a layer of water just outside the atmosphere, and teaching us everything we needed to know to Biblically defend a literal 6 Day creation against evolution, the day-age evolution, creation-guided evolution, and other theories and teachings.
Ten years later, the big issues are: marriage equality and feminism. So the churches seem to be doing the same things, training up the youth to defend biblical marriage and biblical priciples against the evil and destructive teachings of feminism. I can’t imagine whose teachings they’re relying on but it doesn’t really matter at this point. I’ve been seeing blog post after post about the evils of feminism as it is the easier target of the two.
But aren’t we fighting the wrong battles with the wrong warriors? Did Jesus call Christians to: “Train up your children to carry the Christian flag, teaching all that is just and true by fighting lies wherever they may be found!”? I think much of my generation realized that they just don’t want to fight. If it’s always going to be ‘the world vs church’, then why perpetuate a battle nobody can win? When you stop teaching from the Bible and teach from the Hovinds and the Hams and who knows who else is it still Christianity? Aren’t all kids just being taught somebody else’s interpretation of a scripture from some other book and not to think for themselves on these subjects?
I know from experience that when the winds rage, the waters rise, and times of spiritual testing comes along – the ability to explain what’s wrong with the day age creation teaching isn’t enough to see you through. You will have to ask far tougher questions about what you believe and why you believe it. Faith isn’t like a test with ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers, but it is a challenge to find the answers that are right for you. We say that Christianity is a relationship, is there only one right way to have a relationship with Jesus?
I know a lot of young Christians are enthusiastic to blog about what they learn, they can Biblically explain what’s immoral about feminism and why the Bible’s teachings are so much better – but I hope that’s something they have come to personally believe. I hope that they’re not just accepting what somebody told them without investigating for themselves everything they were taught. Ten years from now, it’ll be some other issues – but it’s up to each of us to decide to play our part as Christian soldiers or to be conscientious objectors in a never-ending battle.