He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction. Malachi 4:6 (NIV)
Our church is starting a new sermon series entitled, “ALIENS: Helping Christians Navigate Todays World.” Today’s sermon focused on what is truth.
Some years ago our small group watched the video series, The Truth Project, where we explored many of the areas that were discussed today. But the word post-truth was new to me. Oxford Dictionaries selected “post-truth” as 2016’s international word of the year. The dictionary defines “post-truth” as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”
It’s not surprising that 2016 was the year it was chosen since the race for President was so contentious. I am part of the baby boomer generation and truth was never subjective but always objective: one truth that’s the same for all people. I am also a conservative Christian and the basis for all truth is the Bible. But that standard seems to be changing in this day and age.
I read with interest a post on Facebook this morning, “A Letter to our Conservative Parents.” It was challenging for me to read as my children are in the age group of the author. I wouldn’t be surprised if they hold similar beliefs. We talk all around the edges of these subjects when we get together…I know better than to ask directly. It’s not that I totally disagree, but rather I wonder if the changes have been helpful or hurtful to the Gospel. Sometimes it feels like we are speaking a different language, one that I thought we all knew. But now, I don’t know.
I do know that the church needs to change to meet the needs of those coming up — from style of worship, music, dress, commitment, and sermon presentation. We can readily find surveys of church attendance and it’s dismal. But who is going to stand in the gap of leadership and forge new ways to meet the very real needs of the next generations? I feel like I come from the horse and buggy days only to find the parking lot filled with Teslas.
So what is my role in this new generation of church? The author of the letter ends it with: Please don’t quit on us! No, you can count on it. I have too much invested to walk away. I want you to succeed. I want Jesus to be the most important person in your life. I want your children and my grandchildren to grow up to be available for “such a time as this.”
I will be in the cheering section. I can’t do the acrobatics that my granddaughter does at her football game. I don’t even really know the rules of the current game. But I love you. God loves you. And I hope you can make it work.