Friday, September 5, 2008

Young and unashamed

I am encouraged. Over the last month or so, I have been noticing a common theme. The theme is in a group of young people who are not ashamed of the Gospel. When I say the Gospel, I am speaking of the message of the Gospel that Paul talked about in Romans.
The message that says that all are sinful.
The message that says that all deserve punishment.
The message that says that Jesus died to save sinners.
The message that says that God is sovereign and in complete control of past, present, and future.
This is the Gospel that I am speaking of.

The people that I have been noticing are people who I have been around the most lately. I have listened to them. I have conversed with them. I have observed their passion.

This group that I am talking about is for the most part under thirty years of age. Some of them are just teenagers. They are almost all from the city. Most grew up “poor”. All lived or live in the “hood”. Many of them don’t have a relationship with their earthly father. Most of them are black. Some of them are Hispanic.

They are actually all individuals. All of them have names and individual stories. Each have their own personality. Some are very soft spoken and others are bold. A lot of them know each other, but some of them have no earthly connection.

But they have a so many things in common.

They share a common commitment to the Gospel as I began with. But they are not postmodern in their gospel like many of their white suburban counter parts.
They may dress more casual then their “modern” parents.
They may not be bound by a sense of strict rules like no dancing or no rap music.

But they are committed to the traditional Biblical Gospel.
They are committed to the authority of scripture and sound doctrine.
They believe in pursuing holiness as a lifestyle.
They care deeply about the lost.

They are not looking to follow the trends of “enlightened” new theology. They care about the poor because the poor are in many cases their family, their neighbors, and their friends from childhood. But they have not put concern for the poor ahead of the centrality of the gospel like many of their white urban counterparts.
They still talk about Hell.
They still say that there is only one way to God.
They call abortion and homosexuality sin.

I could list their names, but the list would be long. Most of them will never receive worldly recognition. But their faith and their stories are an encouragement to this quickly aging urban Christian.

I am inspired by these urban prophets, reformers, evangelists, and servants.

“Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”

Has anyone else seen this younger generation of reformers?

Any thoughts? Sound off.


Aaron said...

ABSOLUTELY!!! I feel the same way man. I have seen some pretty radical young people beginning to cast off the chains of tradition and begin to worship the Lord in spirit and truth! It is cool to see.

How do we now get the supposedly "older" folks to catch on to this?

KG said...

I think that often the older will be inspired by young faith. I know that in our church it has always been the zeal and passion of our young people who have fanned the flames of faith in those of us who are a bit older. I get excited by seeing another generation of faithful followers of Christ.

Steve said...

These are my college-age kids!!!

It's very exciting.

Jelani Greenidge, a.k.a G*Natural said...

ummmm.... thanks? =)

(I feel weird saying that because it feels self-congratulatory, and as Paul would say, "are we commending ourselves again???" ... so I don't want to go there, but I must confess that description does apply to me and many of my closest friends. So even if you weren't thinking of me specifically when you wrote this, I am glad that someone is recognizing another thread in the tapestry of young postmodern theological thought, a thread that ventures outside the typical Rob Bell / Mark Driscoll archetype. And no disrespect to either of them, because I have a tremendous amount of respect for RB and Driscoll I don't know that much about but I've heard good things about his ministry too. It's just that, well, we're not them, and our stories, while connected by the commonality of our Christian faith, are still very different.)

And I'm sure that was a ridiculous use of parentheses, but I don't care.

God bless.

KG said...

Keep it up. I know that often the world and even the American "Christian" church overlooks the influence of many of your generation and context, but some of us are noticing and we are excited.
Grace and Peace.