Lately I’ve been attending a leadership class at church and we’ve been discussing a variety of interesting issues and what not. Yes I am a Christian and speak from a Christian perspective. You may have your own views yet us not argue so that this may be a fruitful blog entry that will challenge or lead to interesting thoughts for you!
I do not claim to be a goody-goody and even more so do not claim to be a nice person; although I am trying out of love, and do certainly hope to have achieved being so in any way. However, what I do claim is:
-I am a child who has failed in many aspects in life- and I need a perfect God’s help.
-I am a selfish child who has felt the weight of selfless love and have been moved.
-I am a liar, a thief, etc and I am in desperate need of forgiveness.
-I am hopeless and I need God’s hope.
-I am limited and I need God’s unlimited-ness, and by God’s grace I am granted full access to such greatness.
-I have realised that there is SO MUCH more to life than what we can all taste and see.
Now onto the topic of discussion. What does it mean to be living in this day and age?
In the following much of the thoughts were inspired by the respectable S.M Williams (aka Stuart Murry), a religious lecturer from the Morling College in Australia and also a personal friend and mentor of mine, Pastor Derrick Hooper, a master’s graduate from the school. Let’s jumpstart our brains with a couple of questions:
1. What are the characteristics of Post-modernity.
2. What does it mean to be a person living in the age of Post-modernity.
3. Where will it take us?
To understand the place in where we stand now we must understand a little bit of our context and where we’ve come from. Without taking it too far back we should look at modernism. Characteristics that define modernism, and I quote from Pastor Derrick Hooper, is shaped by,
“the Renaissance, Reformation, industrialization, urbanization, age of science. Characterized by: Big ideas/ambitions; big stories; progress and development; pragmatism (e.g., “Greed is good!”); institutionalism (i.e., working for the man, or company men).”
So granted the obvious that post-modernity is… well the age after modernity- meaning that the concept of modernity and all the others prior had failed miserably. Hence now we’re stuck in this undefinable situation- confused but not confused but confused yet again because we have so much knowledge of the world; but confused in the end again because we’re not all too sure what to make of it all. Hence post-modernism is,
Shaped by: failure of modernist ambitions; failure of modernist ideas; discovery of different stories; stalling of progress and development.
Characterized by: prevailing pessimism; rejection of mega-stories; valuing relationships; truth is considered personal not objective/universal; skepticism; anti-institutionalism.
In a nutshell the youngster generations with people like me (i’m only 21), are very open to listening to stories and thoughts- we like a challenge but may not necessarily take it to action. On that note however, big stories and big ideas is a different issue. As we have been taught and seen for ourselves that these big movements have failed- then every other big issue we move onto as a humanitarian group will surely fail also; therefore there is no point and no hope in trying. Let things go with the flow and let that be as how it should be. Our minds tell us to mind our own business and not try to have a sticky beak at anyone else’s problems because society tells us that they’re not worth our precious time or that no-one wants a random’s act of sympathy- or so to say. (Sounds a bit like you or your teenage kid? Well it definitely sounds like me) We believe people can be opinionated and can do what they feel is right or whatever makes them happy- but nobody really cares because… we’re all opinionated and subject to our own beliefs.
We like what modernism brought over- science proving things but we realise that science still cannot prove everything and as a result- we let occasional things slide when the problem cannot be resolved. This has brought to our attention that people are not perfect and that many things have gone ‘cray-cray’ in society. We recognise that there are many issues in society thus finally realise that people matter. Relationships matter. -but… not that we really truly care.
Hmm. Interesting. Our lives when put together as a group seem kind of glum? Especially when we can see many things go pummelling from hero to zero. eg. rates of teenage women getting abortion (it’s a big topic to discuss in depth but you get my gyst for there is not much time on this post to talk in full detail) We don’t know what we are and we don’t know where we’re heading towards. What we do know is what we aren’t and what we don’t like.
The majority of popular society fights for many rights for different minority groups. In the end, the minority groups aren’t heard anyway although they are entitled to whatever they believe in. (I’m sorry i’m getting tired of typing and am in hope to end this quickly… Hopefully I have been entertaining enough to this point in this post) The problem with this is that nobody in these minority groups are every really heard, respected- or even if they are; the big group of popular society will not give a damn.
For one, the Christian group, and I write from my own experience, is greatly ignored. I’m not quite sure why. Perhaps people have experienced bad memories from a christian or well… i’m quite sure what it may be. At the very least what we claim to believe is belief in an eternal God over a dying world. What I can say though is, it is cruelly hard to be ignored and even have people make jokes about what one holds on dearly. For example when one says “JESUS CHRIST!” as a replacement for a curse word, I feel deeply offended for this is my King’s name which means everything to me, that has been reduced to a meaningless bypass word in a matter of milliseconds. Take heart though for all of you brothers and sisters whom are also Christian that like Paul I find that this is also a blessing in its own way. Being in the minority or the rejected group means that we too understand what it means to suffer. May this be of encouragement to you that you are not alone and that you know how it feels so that if any person you may meet during your journey of life you could be of encouragement to them for you can empathise with them what they are going through.