The Most Dangerous Idol of the Next Generation

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I’m a Millennial, born sometime between 1980 and Y2K (the day when all the computers and the universe imploded), and my generation has a lot going for them.

Some call us the “Hopeful Generation” because few generations to ever walk the planet were more mission-minded and cause-oriented. I have friends who use vacation-time to serve in third-world countries, who won’t buy coffee from anywhere but direct-trade vendors, who run fundraiser 5Ks every weekend. I even have friends who’ve shaved their heads and cut their beautiful beards because they saw on Facebook a friend of a friend raising money for another friend with cancer (and that’s a big deal, because nothing gives you instant authority in life like a great beard or stache).

Some call us the “Relational Generation” because there’s never been one more connected. Sure, some people (including me) hate on the false-intimacy that social-media provides. Sure, some people need to be given read-only accounts to Twitter and Facebook based on the sheer number of selfies and “look-at-me” posts they publish hourly. But that doesn’t change the fact I communicate with loved ones across the country daily on my iPhone through e-mail, text, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Skype, and Facetime (sometimes I even use my phone to make calls too!).

Some call us the “Educated Generation,” as already our rate of receiving undergraduate degrees has surpassed all other generations. My generation thinks college degrees are sweet and a prerequisite to life-advancement. So even if we spend our college days doing everything but college work, we still think it’s important. That’s why we’re there on the 6-year plan.

Are you swooning yet? Because you had yearbooks. We have Facebook! You had K-Mart. We have Target (boom!). You had hula-hoops. We have X-Box. You had mass-media. We have personal media, a social platform where we can talk about how awesome we are (on our blog). And let’s not let the one word that shuts the whole “best generation” conversation down go unmentioned… Netflix. Need I say more? …Pandora! Oops, that slipped out.

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No Doubt? – Why Having Faith Isn’t Always Being Certain

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Faith isn’t always certainty. Actually, if you think about it, faith inherently implies a degree of uncertainty. It implies room for discovery and reflection, margin for debate and growth. Otherwise, it would be called certainty, not faith.

Now this isn’t to say faith can’t be fact or trusted. It isn’t to say one can’t be confident in their faith-based worldview. (Really, everyone’s worldview is faith-based, religious or not, whether they admit it or not, because no worldview has complete certainty.) It’s just to say that faith and certainty aren’t necessarily the same thing.

Yet, far too often, the faithful crusade that any degree of uncertainty is un-faith. Many venemously argue: A person’s faith is as strong as they are free of doubt. But this causes so many problems on so many levels.

1. This is why many people choose not to follow Jesus.

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A Great Mystery of History – The Church

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To be honest, the success of Jesus’ church is absolutely unfathomable.

You don’t have to be a Christian, you don’t have to be nice, you don’t have to be easily amused, you don’t even have to like history to be dumbfounded at its success, then and now. In terms of organizational growth, there’s been no business, no corporation, no organization, that has exploded like this. Against all odds, this movement, 2,000 years later, has influenced and permeated all aspects of history in unimaginable ways. Morality, ethics, education, government, economics, art, music, architecture, philanthropy. Heck man, their book has been a bestseller since they started printing it.

I would venture to say that The growth of the church is one of great mysteries of history. It is absolutely undeniable but absolutely unexplainable (outside of dumb luck or divine intervention – though books like this help). In fact, the circumstances surrounding the birth of the early church stand against the reality of its explosive growth.

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Questions? Doubts? Hmmmm…

Dr. Tom Thatcher sat down with me a few months back and explained why he thinks doubt is a healthy, natural, and necessary byproduct of faith.

I know I’ve posted this several times in several venues before, but it is really that good. There are few things that frustrate me more than when “mature” Christians brush off skeptics or newbies for their “irreverent” questions or “oh-yeeeee-of-little-faith” ponderings. Mature dialogue is possible. Love is required.

Take six minutes and watch.

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