- Tuesday, April 18, 2017
- By Mike Gordon
Taken from mikesmindblog.wordpress.com
I remember Boxing day of 2004 quite vividly. It was the year that a huge earthquake struck in the Indian ocean causing tidal waves in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. I still recollect watching videos in horror as the world viewed up to 20 meter waves pound unsuspecting people along the coast lines of these countries. I recall the thoughts running through my mind as I saw all of the carnage and watched the devastation in disbelief. “They didn’t have a chance!”, I was thinking. Then I began to ask myself … “What would I do? How would I react? Would I have the foresight to have recognised the brief warning signs before tragedy struck?” One thing is for sure, a person caught in such a situation would certainly have to think quickly and soberly. Even if I was lucky enough to think and react quickly, how would I help those swept up in the strong currents with debris and mud; how do you rescue those clinging on to trees and things that you would have thought would have been immovable objects. Obviously the almost 240,000 people who died that day and the countless injured were oblivious to this attack of nature. The tide just simply drew back for a short time as people curiously looked out at the sea and then the cry, “tidal wave!” was shouted as it was too late but to frantically run. I don’t know if you have ever watched the 2012 movie, “The Impossible” with Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts, but it was one of the most realistic renditions of the event. The drama is based on a true story and is a depiction of a family that survived the famous tsunami.
The reason I am pondering these events, and this movie, is because of a reoccurring conviction that challenges my approach to ministering to people as well as influencing my young adult children and future grandchildren. As I look at the upcoming horizon of our culture, I think it is obvious that we see a secular tide quickly drawing back on the church and the Christian faith and a devastating tsunami like deluge it brings resulting in huge casualties on our friends, family, and world. I see a great many of our young adults, youth and children being swept away by a current that is overwhelming. Many people I have considered deeply devoted followers of Christian faith, seem to be shrugging their shoulders obliviously as they see the tides recessing and the wave approaching and upon us. I have never been much of a dooms day guy, but the more I look, the more I observe that we are up against something we have not seen before and my biggest concern is that the spiritual fatalities will be our children and their children. You may say that this has always been the way things have occurred. A battle between the church culture and the secular culture has always existed. The prior generation always complains about the younger generation being to loose with their lifestyle; and that we seem to lose the importance of living pure and holy lives. Believe me, this is not the time I plan on pulling out my banjo and begin singing, ”Give me that Old Time Religion”. All I am saying is that I believe this time it is totally different. I think the seismic shift that is arising, and has already occurred, is wreaking havoc and will blast us over if we are not willing to recognise, look to God and adjust. I am also convinced that what is happening today is the tip of the iceberg. Since the continuing advancement of cyberspace and our society’s voluntary walk from Christian values, our world has changed dramatically. The way we receive information , communicate, socialize, and process life has changed like no other time in history and at warp speed with no signs of slowing. Add to that, the fact that we are now a few generations steeped into a post Christian outlook that has blurred the lines of morality and a veritable sense of right and wrong. Our world has become very small. Our culture no longer holds the moorings of Christian influence. Pluralism and hedonism rule the day. Even Christ followers seem to have a hard time distinguishing their values as they become swayed by our culture and a lack of knowledge of the absolutes of our faith.
So what is the solution? A question like this certainly can not be answered in a short blog. I think there are many things that we as the church can do and that many are doing. There are also many changes in attitude and direction that need to be deliberated contemplated and pondered. I additionally realise that there are many people who appear to be a lot smarter than me, that are ruminating and making efforts that are far more effective than mine. So, in short, I am continuously learning and seeking to effectively reach this generation with the love of Jesus whatever way I can. But here is one thing that I have discovered for sure… we can no longer say that if we teach our children well, and show them the right way, and breathe a devotional prayer over them, that they will eventually find their way. Not that I am not an advocate of these things, I am just convinced that it is no longer that easy. To take a casual stance towards protecting the faith of our kids is equivalent to reassuring ourselves that our children are safe from the tsunami because when they were younger we taught them swimming lessons. Nothing against swimming lessons, but even the best breast stroke has little effect on a 30-meter-high tsunami wave and it’s aftereffect and all the carnage it is pulling with it. I need to pray that God will begin to deliver my kids and my friends kids against an onslaught that threatens to drag my offspring (and their kids) away. Seeing my children in heaven is just too important for me! In short, I believe that my generation needs to be militant in praying for, and interceding on behalf of, and “standing in the gap” for, and engaging in spiritual warfare for our emerging generations. If we don’t, we are in a very real threat of entering another dark ages. I have come to find that the fate of a generation many times rests on the militant intercession of the generation before them. The challenge is that it will require us to get off our lounge chairs and hammocks and take a realistic view as to what is upon us.
God please begin to move on our emerging generation and equip them to engage the culture they are currently in. Because it is not all bad news. The further our culture travels from God the hungrier they become for something real. And when that happens there better be somebody present with and answer they can understand from a representative of a loving God who has been ferociously pursuing them.