Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Generations

Yesterday we saw China's draconian solution for adult children not visiting regularly or taking care of their parents.

In James 5, verse 27, it says,

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction...

Here in the United States we are tending to see the Baby Boomers putting parents into convalescent hospitals. In previous days, this would be unknown, mainly because these places didn't really exist unless they were "poor houses" for those who had no one to take care of them and had no money to hire anyone. Why do they do this? Well, yes, families are smaller and women are working. But couldn't they work out some solution? I did. But I really do think this is part of a larger problem. There is and has been for the past 40 years a huge generational war in this nation (USA). And, this war has spilled over into the church

WWII Generation (70+)
| Gap Generation (62-69)
Baby Boomer Generation (42-60) |
| Baby Busters (31-41)
Generation X (Postmoderns - 18-30) |
Generation Y (1 day-17)

Descendant Group 1
The WWII generation begat the Baby Boomers. The Baby Boomers turned as a group to rebellion against their parents in the 1960's (but not everyone in that generation) . This infiltrated the church. Now, the Boomers' spawn, Generation X, is doing what their parents did...rebelling, athough passively and quietly. In the church this is showing up as non-attendance.

Descendant Group 2
Meanwhile, there was another descendant grouping. The Gap'ers, which are the smallest generation of the 20th century, were confused. The older ones tended to align with the WWII'ers while the younger ones tended to align with the Boomers. However, some older Boomers and younger Gap'ers were more aligned with the WWII'ers. The Gap'ers begat the Baby Busters who were more conservative (like their parents) as we saw in the late 1980's-1990's when these came of age to join business. Remember "dress for success?" Their children are the Generation Y and in about 10-15 years we shall see what they are like as adults - especially in the church - if they are there at all.

OK, now all of that said, here goes today's post theme. Rebellion. Rebellion in the society. Rebellion in the church. Most of this is a backlash of rebellion of the Boomers against their parents. Sadly, the other generations are caught in the middle this war. In the church, I am pretty convinced that the worship wars really don't have to do with music as much as this rebellion. And now sadly, Generation X is taking up their parents' mantle in rebellion against them because they (and every other generation) are rather sick of the Boomers' antics.

For years now on this post I've talked, warned and cajoled about the heresies coming into the church. If you listen to the seekers, emergents and Third Wavers, sometimes this is what you will hear:

"This isn't your father's church."

My point exactly.

It's the spirit in which this is said that bothers me at times. The Boomers as a group said essentially, "anything goes." And now in the evangelical church we see this being played out through loose and at times aberrant theologies; "Christian" rock and rap music; unBiblical organizational structures; fuzzy moral and theological boundaries; and, man's methods instead of God's holy methods being employed.

And who are doing these things? Most of the evangelical church leaders, or in the case of the emergents, the leaders' mentors, are in their late 40's to early 60's. A few are 70+. Hmmm. Now what generation would that be for the most part?

I rest my case.

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