There's one fundamental statement that underlies everything the world tries to sell us, tries to convince "deconstructing" Christians of, and that statement is this: "I know the truth."
That's it. That's all it takes. The world comes along and tells a young person, "I know the truth," and the young person's eyes grow wide as he or she "discovers" this truth and decides, "Wow! This really sounds great!"
From that point on, that young person takes the truth that the world offers as fundamental and establishes it as the starting point for every other thought and idea. And, of course, once the world's truth is fundamental, then the church and the Christian faith can never measure up.
Somehow, in the parallel universe in which this all happens, Christianity ends up being the "stupid" thing, the thing that claims truth but doesn't really have it.
These young persons rail against Christianity for even claiming to have the truth when, obviously, it doesn't even start with the same basic fundamental facts that the world, which really has the truth, does.
Do you see what has happened? Using exactly the same fundamental statement as the church - "I know the truth" - and, as we saw yesterday, the same basic expository forces - books, authorities, curriculum, coloring pages, etc. - the world has shifted the burden of proof from itself to the church. It has demanded to hold the church to account for its claim of truth...by the standards of the world's...claims of...truth.
What we don't hear, at least by far not as often as the "deconstruction" group, is young persons who go out and encounter the world's truth for the first time and say, boldly, "Prove it."
We don't see Christians, trained by books and authorities and teachers and curriculum, going out into the world and encountering other books and authorities and teachers and curriculum and putting the burden of proof on the world.
Doesn't that strike you as strange?
It's not a new phenomenon by any means. But it's more widespread in this generation than it has been for a long time. I'm not sure to what we can attribute that; it is more complicated than to just say that it's one thing. But what's important for this discussion is that we acknowledge it, that we recognize that this generation of young Christians has not been raised with the strength or the courage to stand up to the world and make it declare itself. Rather, for whatever reason, they just take the world at its word and turn their back quickly on God and His Word.
See, just to put this all in perspective, these young persons were raised in a church that said, from the very beginning, "I know the truth." They were then taught what that truth was, what it means, how it works. They were shown how to live knowing this truth. And then, someone else came along and whispered "I know the real truth" and they just up and walked away.
They are, as the Bible would say, lukewarm. Or as my vernacular would say, wishy-washy. They don't have a firm foundation anywhere. They're just running around trying to land on truth, having had it and turned away from it, and they follow it almost anywhere...except back to where it all started. (Some do, we must say, find their way back to the church and discover that it had the real truth this whole time. But man, they are so loud in their wandering and their foundness is this really strange, quiet thing. It's bizarre.)
There's one piece of all of this that we haven't really touched on yet, and we must. So let's hit one more thing tomorrow.