Week Thirteen, 2020
By Florida Senator John Grant, Retired
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word” (Psalm 119:9).
Love ’em or hate ’em, this much is true: one day soon, millennials will rule America. This is neither wish nor warning but fact, rooted in the physics of time and the biology of human cells.
Millennials – born between 1981 and 1996–are already the largest living generation and the largest age group in the workforce. They outnumber Gen X (born 1965–1980) and will soon outnumber baby boomers (born 1946–1964) among American voters.
Their startups have revolutionized the economy, their tastes have shifted the culture, and their enormous appetite for social media has transformed human interaction. The millennial wave is coming: the only questions are when and how fast it will arrive.
Time Magazine recently did an in-depth study into the changing trends in America coming from the millennials. They are reshaping our culture, even in religion in a way that is not encouraging. They have exchanged spirituality for astrology. Millennials have earned a reputation for reshaping industries and institutions — shaking up the workplace, transforming dating culture, and rethinking parenthood. They’ve also had a dramatic impact on American religious life. Four in ten millennials now say they are religiously unaffiliated, according to the Pew Research Center. In fact, millennials (those between the ages of 23 and 38) are now almost as likely to say they have no religion as they are to identify as Christian.
Any leader working with the youth of America can attest to the fact this generation is different than all others before it. Today’s youth speak in a language we don’t always understand, run circles around us with new technology, and think differently when it comes to religion and social issues.
This new generation interacts with the world very differently from previous generations, and that has spilled over into how they interact with the Bible. Even more than previous generations, Millennials desire authentic relationships and yearn for a deep sense of belonging. Younger generations desire to engage the Bible in new ways.
Some older churches and pastors are stuck in the rut of traditionalism and want to write the younger generation off if they don’t want to follow traditionalism. But I say we shouldn’t write them off…. We should write them in and welcome new ways of involvement.
I am an old traditionalist. I like to hold a hymnal in my hand and sing the hymns of yesterday. I don’t care for loud music, disco lights and fog, but I know I have to be open to newer ways that are open to younger people, just like my parent’s era had to be open to me.
The Word of God is inviolate and the message of salvation is unchanging. Within those parameters the way it is presented and the way we worship has to be relevant to the times. That’s how we have to relate spiritually to the Youthquake of today.
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
There were 862,000 abortions in the United States in 2017. This is the lowest number since abortion became legal in 1973. However, abortion remains the leading cause of death in our country: that same year, 647,457 Americans died from heart disease, the second-leading cause of death.
Worldwide, abortion is the leading cause of death as well, killing forty-two million people last year. By contrast, 8.2 million people died from cancer in 2019, thirteen million from other diseases, and 1.7 million from HIV/AIDS.
Pro-abortion forces in America are conspiring to do everything they can to protect the threat. Planned Parenthood in New York is pressuring doctors to violate their conscience by performing abortions or leave medicine. The Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) is working to fight abortion restrictions and to help states enact legislation protecting the practice.
There are two popular arguments cited by pro-choice Christians:
The first is the claim that they oppose abortion personally but are not sure they should “impose” their beliefs on others. Many pro-choice people, many Christians, believe life to begin at conception based on her understanding of Scripture. They consider this position to be their personal religious belief and have been taught by our culture that the “separation of church and state” means we should keep her religious beliefs private.
Let’s work with the logic of this position for a moment. If you believe that human life begins at conception, you will view birth as merely the movement of that life from inside the mother’s body to outside. Prior to this movement, the law allows the mother to abort the baby’s life. After it, the mother and her doctor must do all they can to protect the baby’s life.
Nothing has changed about the baby except its location. We are not “imposing our beliefs” to protect the baby after its birth. In fact, we are preventing infanticide. Why are we imposing them to protect the baby a moment before its birth?
A second assertion by some pro-choice Christians is that we cannot be sure in scientific terms when a fetus becomes a human being. They believe life begins at conception, but fear “imposing” their theological position on others. If we cannot be objectively sure when the fetus becomes a human, the abortion decision should rest with the mother rather than the state, or so they claim.
Once again, let’s consider the logic of this position. Imagine that you heard a noise outside your front door in the middle of the night. It might be a person, or it might be an animal of some kind. Would you shoot through the door before you were sure it was not a human being on the other side?
One incontrovertible fact is that every fetus, left to develop naturally to full term, will be born as what we know to be a human being. If we have to err on one side or the other, should we not err on the side of life?
Every person is a miracle. David’s testimony is ours: “You formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:13–14).
As a result, each life is a story. Perhaps the most effective way we can defend life is to tell such stories.
Let’s pray and work for the day when our nation values every life, from conception to natural death, as passionately and practically as does our Father.
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
Jesus’ message is both personal and present to us this day. Kelly Knouse
The Word of God is for the people of God. Max Wilkins
Takers live better, but givers sleep better. Ken Whitten
Our lives and our resources are limited—so how we spend them matters.
Rather than bringing happiness into life, possessions often distract us from it.