Yesterday we discussed the substance issue (http://wp.me/pFnzm-dS). Today we will be discussing the problem of apathy and how apathy is killing my generation. I truly see apathy deeply penetrating my generation from several angles. The first is the one we discussed yesterday in the substance issues. The issue of relativism/nihilism has created a generation without any real foundation and belief system. The second problem comes from the hypocrisy we see in the Church and how the media portrays the Church. And, lastly the overall issue of hopelessness in our lives that is creating deeper apathy towards life in general.
When we talk about Relativism/Nihilism, the truth is at polarized ends. Either truth doesn’t exist. God doesn’t exist. Life doesn’t matter. Nothing holds meaning and everything is meaningless. Lets create a life of absolute pleasure to make up for this desolate thing we call life. Or, Truth is everything. If can be true for me, but, it doesn’t have to be for you. And, what’s true for others may not be true for me. Somewhere, everything is true. My generation doesn’t have any real identity in any form of truth. This identity loss creates a loss towards any form of ethics and morality. As well, Relativism and Nihilism also doesn’t allow us to have an form of Christian identity if Buddha is equal to Jesus. And, Atheism is as much true as God. All of this is creating apathy towards the Church.
There is a great deal of apathy towards the Church. When the media portrays Christianity through the lens of CNN’s interview of Joel Osteen, through the animosity they hear about Rob Bell when they themselves are asking the same question, when they see groups like Westboro Baptist and pastors like Terry Jones, it doesn’t create a very welcoming attitude and a desire to be apart of something that seems so violent and so hypocritical when they see Jesus as perfect love, serving those who have nothing and healing diseases. UnChristian did us all a favor in helping us see that the world doesn’t see Christians as Christians. We are viewed as Judgemental, Homophobic, too political, etc…. The sad truth is, is that I know many Christians who feel the same way towards Christianity. Being part of the Church feels like a hopeless endeavor when the image of Christianity is having the need to be right and hating others.
The unfortunate circumstances surrounding my generation has created great hopelessness. My generation will forever be the generation shaped by 9/11. We will be the generation that has endured the second worst economic crisis in American History. I have friends who are refusing to go to College because they like it’s a pointless act because what they want to do, they can’t because of the job crisis. This crisis, and, facing the fallen nature of our homes has created a very depressed and anxious generation. Suicide is the fourth greatest killer for my generation. We are becoming increasingly more apathetic to our political systems because Politicians seem like crooks who are being bought off by the companies they are bailing out or are serving, or, we are left with completely inept candidates like John Kerry and George W. Bush in 2004. We are apathetic towards our career opportunities. We are apathetic about starting families because there are so many broken homes. So if we are this apathetic towards our own lives, why should we care about the Church.
The hope is this: My generation, despite its depression and anxiety has great self-esteem and great dreams. If the Church is able to tap into the dreams and gifts of my generation, my generation can truly be a generation that changes the world with how much it is changing.
How can the Church invite others to seek Truth, to seek God?
How can the Church reshape its image so that it is not seen so negatively?
How can the Church pour hope into my generation?