Wednesday, August 09, 2006

About My Generation: Passion Excites Us

I would add one more thing about my generation: we are ignited by passion. I suppose that this is true of most youth cultures: passion attracts. But it's especially true in an age when many--most?--don't trust authority figures. Sure, young people rebelled in ages past, but more voted, more went to church, more went to college than my generation. No, merely holding authority does not cut it with us. You need a driving force behind you to catch our attention.

There's not alot of passion to spare these days. We live in a cynical age, and my generation heads the cynical pack. When a passionate person flares their head, people notice. Look at Barack Obama. He doesn't have a strong political platform. He's a fairly bland Democrat. But he speaks and acts and moves with passion, and young people have noticed. Or look at the attention Bono has garnered in the last few years. He's not a brilliant mind, but he is passionate about African aid, and the world has reacted. My generation is galvanized by passion. We see it as the antidote to the dull dreariness of our world. We also trust it. We read some measure of honesty in it, and follow it as a result. It's no different in the church. The men who have captured the attention of my generation--take John Piper, for instance--are passionate. Fellow Christians my age have flocked like moths to Piper, who exudes passion and purpose. That last clause is important. My generation links passion and purpose, going so far as to disbelieve that people without passion stand for anything. That's not the way it should be--but that's the way it is.

Christians should breathe Bible and exhale passion and purpose. Why would we not? We have found the key to life, the solution to our problem, the means to joy. How can we help but give off the aroma of purposeful passion? We can't, if we let our doctrine shape our life. This is why the emerging church has caught the attention of so many young people. Their leaders speak with charisma and energy and act as if they have found something worthwhile. Meanwhile, far too many Christians of conservative stamp simply punch the evangelical clock, believing the right doctrine, doing the right things, but without any zip in their bones. Who wants to follow that? Not my generation.

Live with passion. Christ didn't walk around as if He had other stuff worth doing. He breathed His cause, and gave His life for it. So too should we. If you want to reach my generation, you don't have to change what you believe. You simply have to do yourself the favor of being excited about it. It'll make a difference--trust me.


Blogger Marcus Rose said...

Thanks for the inspiration, Owen. :)Marc

8:50 AM  

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