“You Say You Want a Revolution?” – the Beatlesby Mark Gungor on January 13th, 2012
We need a revolution.
When I grew up in the 60’s, young people rebelled against materialism and morality. We said “Enough!!” and fought back against the establishment – an establishment we regarded as corrupt and clueless. When it came to a war we thought unjust we chanted, “Hell no, we won’t go!!” When it came to materialism we said, “We don’t want it!!”, and walked about with no shoes and holes in our jeans. And when it came to traditional morality, we rejected it and gave ourselves to free sex, drugs and rock and roll. It had an enduring impact on our nation. And while the rejection of materialism was a positive reminder that there are more important things to life than possessions, the plunge into immorality has been devastating.
Today, four decades later, as I look at the Evangelical Christian Church (now as a pastor, husband, father and grandfather) I can’t help but believe we are in need of another revolution. This time, however, we need a revolution among Christian young people – those who will go against the narcissistic thinking of their unspiritual Christian parents, a thinking that only leads to selfishness, materialism and a high divorce rate.
Our Christian young people are being destroyed today by a culture of sexual impurity – a poisonous trend that is not taken seriously enough by their clueless parents. Our daughters rarely lay claim to being virgins on their wedding night and we have helped to produce an entire generation of young men who are porn addicts. Our divorce rates are skyrocketing and, as a result, our grandchildren are being traumatized.
Sadly, biblical illiteracy is at an all time high. As a result, most Christians are unaware that the Bible’s solution to sexual immorality among our young people is to simply encourage marriage (1 Cor 7). But rather than obey the Bible, we have been polluted by a pagan culture that has convinced us that young marriage is a terrible thing. Despite the fact that studies show the single greatest contributor to divorce is sexual activity before marriage, we foolishly ignore the dangers of sexual promiscuity and ignorantly treat it as no big deal. “Don’t worry, Jesus will forgive you later…” Rather than encourage purity, Christian parents encourage – no, they threaten their young people that if they marry too young they will punish them with all their strength: refuse to pay for college, refuse to pay for any wedding or even refuse to attend any such weddings. These corrupted guardians, having been sufficiently polluted by the poison of the lust of this world, deliberately insist that their children first obtain what the Bible clearly warns them against: money, things, and the cares of this life.
“Don’t you DARE marry too young!! You need an education first!! You need an established career first!” Despite what Jesus taught, “You need to secure the cares of this life first and at all costs!!”
Follow Biblical teachings? Ridiculous.
Make purity our highest priority? Foolishness.
Serve God?? No way!! Unless, of course, one considers money their true god. In which case we need our education first. Our careers first. Our insurance plans and 401Ks first. Our big house and flat screen TVs and BMWs first. After all, we don’t want to offend the god of money…
Many Christian parents today have virtually zero concept of encouraging their children to put God first in their lives. Are you kidding?! Most Christian parents don’t even tithe to their church. Good grief, if we can’t even give a decent percentage of our money to God, why would we encourage our kids to put any effort towards putting God first in any other area?
Mormons put Evangelical Christians to shame. Right out of high school, they encourage their young people to spend 2 years in service to God before pursuing their dreams. Can you imagine an Evangelical church doing that? Can you imagine the hell a pastor would pay if he encouraged the young people in his congregation to delay their plans and serve in the mission field first? Delay college?! Delay gratification?!! Actually put God first?!!! Outrageous!!!!
I fear most Christian parents today have been so poisoned – by the love of money, by the pride of life, by the cares of this world – that there is little hope of getting them to do the right thing concerning their young adults. Most, if they were to read this post, would dismiss these thoughts almost as quickly as they could read them. No, our hope does not lie in their potential enlightenment and eventual repentance. Our hope lies somewhere else. We need another revolution. We need a revolution from the young. But this time, rather than rebelling against materialism and morality, we need them to rebel against materialism and IMMorality.
This is not to say that earning a good income is not important. And a college education may be the right path for them. But the thinking must be God first, morality first, service first. Besides, if there is one lesson people should be learning in the present economy is that certain career, savings, investments, and 401Ks are an illusion. Better our young people pursue those things that can never be taken away from them or lost in a bad economy.
We need young people who will have enough of God in them to say “Hell no, we won’t go!” “We don’t need all this stuff!!” “We are going to take time and put God first.” “Instead of losing our virginity and becoming porn addicts, we are going to marry young.” “If you won’t pay for college, fine. You won’t pay for the wedding, so be it.” We need young people who will rise up and as respectfully as possible, tell their clueless Christian parents to “stick it”! (Again, as respectfully as possible.)
Jesus warned that on judgment day many would say “Lord, lord…”, but will be shocked when he responds, “Sorry, I don’t know you.” (Matt 7) I can’t help but think that at the very front of that line will be 21st Century, so-called Christian parents who are more concerned that their kids make money than stay pure and honor God.
Jesus asked the question, “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18) He never answered the question.
Will there be faith when Jesus returns? I am not sure the answer will be yes. Unless our youth rebel against their spiritually cold, materialist and morally clueless parents, I fear the answer may well be ”no”.
We need a revolution.