One of the most powerful workshops I ever attended was taught by my good friend Dick Crider several years ago. It was about the changing of the very words we use. When we talk to young people today, we THINK we are saying one thing, but the very words we use have been redefined to have completely different definitions.
This is intentional, and it is devastating to the Church and to Truth. These are the pictures I took of some of this slides as he taught. Let them sink in and realize that when you talk or teach today, you have to be extremely intentional in how you communicate. We have to make extra effort to be clear about the Truth.
Definitions may change but the Truth remains constant. How each person responds to the Truth hasn’t changed either. (Hebrews 9:27)“Tolerance” doesn’t mean the same thing to us, as Christians, as it means to the secular World. We are the most tolerate of all people… they would disagree.
We also are very accepting. But the World has a different definition for accepting. You must not just accept the person, but endorse and even praise their actions. We separate the person from the actions – we can be friends with someone even if we disagree with their values/choices – they can not. You ARE your values/choices.
We believe in an ultimate standard set outside of ourselves. The World says WE are the standard. We are our own god.
As Americans, we love our freedom! But we understood limits to freedom and limited our to freedom to what was good or right… now freedom is self-centered, self-focused and self-promoted for one’s own benefit, regardless of morals, standards or others. The standard is only myself.
Truth has been completely replaced with Opinion. The two most dangerous words in our culture today are “my truth.” Truth, again, revolves around the individual – devoid of any external authority or consideration. There is no one Truth, only what one chooses. Again, the Self is the god.
What is the result of these shifting and fading definitions? Truth suffers and with it, faith itself.
Everything is questioned. If it is uncomfortable, it is rejected. If it requires obedience or contradicts self-direction, it is abandoned. We no longer have a battle of religions… it is the Religion of Self vs. Any Religion set up against ME.
The impact of this in young people is staggering. God, Jesus, the Bible – Faith as a whole is nothing more than an intellectual concept, rather than a personal pursuit or relationship with God.
And this is probably the most powerful slide. What starts as EXPOSURE, becomes what is FAMILIAR. Then it is COMFORTABLE and finally it is PREFERENCE.
To save our kids we must start with limited exposure. As “old-fashioned” as that sounds before evil is so familiar it comes comfortable and slips into being preference.
Consider your own life. What did you allow yourself to be exposed to that eventually you were familiar with and not too soon after were comfortable with that perhaps in the past, you would have never been? Has it become yet a preference? Will it soon?
This isn’t just a battle for the hearts and minds of our youth. It’s a battle for our own.