Generational Temptations, Pt. 1


I'm reading a new book called "Generational IQ," by Haydn Shaw. It's about the four generations in the church and the strengths and temptations of each. I am technically a Millennial, which spans those born from 1981-2001. But those who are on the border of generations — as I am being born in 1981 — often vacillate between two generations. That's certainly how I felt in reading the book. I identified with traits of both Generation X (Born 1965-1980) and Millennials. Over the next two posts I'm going to look at the temptations of each generation and how I related.

Generation X (1965-1980)
Temptations:
* They Build Their Own Truth
* They are Cynical

They Build Their Own Truth:
This isn't one that I've personally struggled with. I was blessed to have been raised in the faith — a conservative faith at that — and I have no trouble seeing the Word of God as the absolute truth. But I've seen this struggle plenty in some of my friends and peers. It's born of the idea that we each have our own personal truth that can guide us. I think, personally, this is what's led to some of the fracturing of the church and the fracturing of Biblical truths.

I've seen peers that are on the border of the generations — or just a bit older — drawn into the trap of believing they can pick and choose to build their faith. Even those who claim to be Christians seem to get drawn into the trap of choosing what parts of Scripture are relevant, creating, in a sense, their own faith.

Worse yet, I see these ideas being passed on to their children — the as yet unnamed next generation. Who can tell what effect that will have on the future of the church, or more importantly the future of the faith.

They Are Cynical:
This struck a chord with me. I am definitely a glass have empty sort of person. That's my personality, and has been as long as I can remember. I think that's led to some cynicism in my life, especially when it comes to institutions, including the church. This struck home in thinking about a recent conversation with my mom — a Baby Boomer — about the upcoming Presidential election. I think my utter disdain for the process, and skepticism that it will even matter as we circle the drain as a nation was upsetting to her. It should have been upsetting. But I think it's easy for me to get pulled into cynical thoughts about the world.

This is certainly a hallmark of many of my peers, too. We are the generation who watches "The Daily Show" and "John Oliver" to make sense of the world. In fact, I watch "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver" weekly and often find myself resonating with his dim view of politicians and the world.

When it comes to the church, this can lead to a distrust of the intentions of institutions of faith. While I don't personally feel that struggle, even in my own cynicism, I've seen peers who are distrustful of the church. That, too, is being passed on to their children, and it remains to be seen what lasting effect that will have on the future generations.

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