Jesus is not for [I]my[/I] generation

The message of Jesus is not the message for my generation… it is, but more so, its the message for the next generation. It will always be a message primarily meant to reach the next generation. As you are coming out of childhood, it is your time to take hold of the meaning of life and seek your creator. He wants to teach you how to be a person of substance in this time of your life, so when you get older, its not so easy for you to slip back into your previous way of thinking/living. He wants to teach you how to walk close to Him, so when you are older, you’ll remember how to find your way back more easily. He wants to rescue you from a life of illusion, so he can reveal real life to you.

The hardest thing about this is that you have to be willing to cooperate – you have to be willing to walk with Him and let Him be God. Something within us wants to be in control and refuses to accept Him as trustworthy. Maybe it has something to do with having been “made in His image;” if we are like Him, then maybe it’s the way we’ve been socialized to think that we can be God and we can have everything if we want it bad enough… but we can’t have everything unless we can let go of our desire to be God. We have to trust Him as our King, that He knows what is best. What He deserves is full devotion, but He doesn’t even ask for that. He invites us to walk with Him, to “taste and see.” He wants us to go through a process (a taste test) and when we have tasted a little, He wants us to trust Him and walk further. I have learned that it is a continual taste test and that as I trust Him and call out to Him, he continually reveals more and more of Himself. So, in that way, the taste test goes on and on and I am continually tasting and seeing that God is good. He hasn’t set up our relationship with Him in such a way that blind devotion is every required. Over time we begin to realize that He deserves our blind devotion, but that He doesn’t want it. He doesn’t want mindless followers – He wants us to know how good He is and that He hears us and provides for us when we call out to Him.

God’s goodness is “new every morning.” Its not old; its meant to be life giving. One of the basic points of being a Christian is learning to live sacrificially; the goodness of God is not something that is meant for me to hold on to and keep to myself. The goodness of God is something that is intended to be shared. When something is really good, you don’t keep it to yourself, you have to speak about it. Its not that you have to, but that you want to and you find yourself wanting to, to the point that it becomes compulsive – you must. So, at this point, when you come to this stage in your relationship with God, the message of Jesus is for you, but primarily, it becomes something meant for the next generation.

In various denominations it is easy to get caught up in the way we do things. At one point the specific way of doing church in any given church was really effective and meaningful and we should celebrate that and intentionally seek to find what was meaningful for people at various times so we can learn from our brothers and sisters in Christ. We have to ask, in that time and place, what did that mean and what was God saying to them and what can it mean for us in our place in history. In a similar way we can see how God spoke through Paul’s various letters to the churches and to individuals in a specific time and place. One difference between Paul’s letters and the traditions of various denominations is that Paul’s letters were divinely inspired and it may be that some of our traditions were not… or maybe some of them started off as being useful and inspired, but over time, like many things, they were corrupted. If salt loses its saltiness, what is it good for (Matt. 5:13-16)? I think a good number of the traditions of various denominations were divinely inspired and can be very useful to us, but digging through the past to resurrect or maintain traditions of various denominations is not the calling of the church. We might find ourselves doing this and learning from the past, but we should not get lost in the past.

Here, in the present, we are called to be relevant and to speak to the present and emerging generations. If what we do is not a blessing to the present and emerging generations, then we should either refurbish our traditions, or scrap them entirely. A pastor friend of mine was talking with me about change and said, “We can’t just let go of it so easily; We have to respect (or honour) our 150 years of heritage.” I don’t think we owe anything to the traditions of previous generations in the church so much as our attention should be on the generations of the church that have not yet come to be. We shouldn’t be concerned about maintaining a level of comfort for generations that are passing away; we should be consumed with sharing what we have with the next generation so they may find their voice and it can be their own. Me? Don’t worry about me and my preferences – I’ll be gone soon enough. What about generations that haven’t found their way yet? Be concerned for them, that they may find the richness, the vast, wonderful beauty that is in God. His beauty isn’t found in building silos and storing up grain for ourselves. His beauty is found in being like Him, being love in the world and letting His love pour out of us.

A healthy church is one that is continually forming, or becoming. A healthy Christ follower is one who is continually forming and being constantly redeemed. This has nothing to do with eternal salvation. This has to do with present/immediate salvation – in this moment, we need rescue from ourselves and losing our way. Imagine being slaves in Egypt. Moses emerges and warns Pharaoh to “let my people go.” They witnessed the plagues and Passover and the death of the first born of all those who did not put the blood of the lamb over their doorways. Finally they get let go and the waters part to open a way for them to escape – they saw God’s hand. How could they ever turn away from Him again? Not much further into the story they begin to worship a golden calf instead of the God that freed them from slavery in such dramatic fashion – we easily lose our way. If we are to be healthy, we have to be continually seeking Him and surrendering, both individually and as a church.

We need to be inspired with what God has done and let that passion fuel us to join Him in what He is doing. Our connection with the past should challenge us in the present and drive us into the future.

Scriptures used in writing this piece:
Psalm 71:14-24
Ecc. 12:1-7
Jer. 33.3
John 10:10-18 – v.10 – “…I have come so they may have life and have it to the full.”
Psalm 34:8, Psalm 119:103
Gen. 1:26
La 3:23
Matt. 5:13-16
Exodus :wink:
Psalm 145
Psalm 102:16-28

(John 14 – 16) Key’s For Healthy Ministry/Walking With God

Its tricky being human. We see what we should do, so we tend to depend on our own wisdom to get it done. God isn’t interested in us seeking our wisdom (walking in the flesh). What would we need Him for then? God is interested in us seeking His wisdom in the way we live and the way we do ministry (walking in the Spirit). Ministry, if it is not surrendered to the leadership of the Holy Spirit, is not ideal. God may use it to some degree, but the people involved do not connect with God as He desires us to. Ministry in which we surrender our plans to the leadership of the Spirit is ministry that can be powerful, in which we see God moving. Being human, we desire to control the flow of things, but in ministry, we need to learn to be a people of prayer and seek His direction in each moment.

I must not be the brightest bulb in the bunch. I am not sure what exactly you mean by the next generation’s message. Eternal salvation is brought about by how one lives and does on this pitiful planet. Jesus died 2000+ years ago to wipe our sins away. His Passion and Crucifixtion were for each person and not for the next generation. If what you say is correct, then it does apply to you because you are a generation of your family. So it does pertain to each and every person. In the Catholic Church we are raised from infancy to understand that our place in eternity is a direct product of how we live our life here on earth.

Please let me know if I am off track from what you’re getting at.

God Bless!

Same theme, different thread eh swplan76?:shrug:

The whole, “I’m non denominational and I’m all hip and new, and we Catholics are just tired and old and stayed in our ways” is going to get old real quick…:rolleyes:

I’m not a moderator here or anything, but I think your subject matter belongs in the Non-Catholic Religon forum. This forum is for those seeking a vocation. You will get all the responses you can handle there…

I already asked that the topic be moved to the “non-Catholic” forum. :slight_smile:

I’m not sure I understand what you’re getting at here. Is there something you perceive that is wrong with the Catholic Church, or other Christian denominations that we’re not passing our faith in God on to the next generation? Isn’t that what traditions are for? How, in your view, would you suggest it be done? :confused:

I’m sure you are quite intelligent! :smiley:

What I’m saying is that as we mature as Christians, there is a point where we develop the need to share… where we begin to envision generations to come and are filled with desire to see them experience the same connection with God that we have - our passion is not meant to be bottled, but to be poured out. (In the first sentence I do say that the message is for me) For all believers it has to develop beyond infancy into passion for His purposes.

I think its sad. You seem antagonistic and opposed to the whole idea of growth. I have a long way to go - I’m not saying I have things all figured out - I think it is through discussion and asking hard questions that we can become stronger, not from attempting to shut conversations down. I don’t think its healthy to encourage this kind of attitude among people.

Hi Kathy,
Yes, I think there is something wrong with all people and so there is also a problem with all denominations/branches of the larger church. We are all imperfect. We all need to grow and change.

I guess I’m saying that many traditions are reminiscent of an age long gone by. Our services are not targeting people who are non-churched, or generations that are emerging within the church. We are catering to the trail of history. We live in strange times - “an accelerated culture” - I think the church should be in prayer about how to respond to this time we live in - and I think we should respond sooner than later.

Many traditions do not speak to people in the modern age and so they are ineffective.

I think each community should respond to the needs of the people around them, seeking to be relevant and practical in meeting the needs of parishioners.

Religion can seem like halloween, the tooth fairy or santa claus to people. They look at it and it just seems weird to them.

I’m suggesting that individually and corporately we are all in need of re-envisioning/renovation.

Hello!

If I am not mistaken, every religion is built on tradition. Our whole history is built on what has happened in the past. If we forget the past, we lose the futrue. We come from God-past, present and furture.

As for how to reach people of this age. It seems to me that the Catholic Church is attempting to “keep it real” through Youth Day, teaching stewardship and such. It is the responsibility of the individual family to pass on its own faith to each member. Without the family, there would be no reason for children to be interested at all. It ultimately is the stories of the past, living a Christian life, and encouragement of each parent in the family to form the basis children need to develop a heathly faith.

This is what I see lacking in the society today. We have become Sunday believers for the most part. The other six days are devoted to everything else under the sun. We have to teach our kids what the cateschism says from the onset of the infancy. This is done by example and through teaching of the old ways and how to incorporate these ideals in to todays world.

I have a 26 year old daughter who I did not do this with and now she is lasped. This is my fault, because her formation should have started at home. It is not to late for her, I am guilty none the less. If I had not lasped myself, her life would have been different.

I think that the Church may seem out-dated on first glance, when actually it teaches the same message as it taught 2000+ years ago.

God Bless!

Are you saved?

I tend to agree with your assessment. I think the Church does a pretty good job of reaching out to youth and addressing issues that are relevant to them. I think traditions are important (capital ‘T’ and lower-case ‘t’) as they help us see where we came from, and give us a sense of belonging in God’s family. Of course, no one is perfect, we all know that. We can all stand a lot more of God’s grace to help us strive to be everything He wants us to be.

This verse came to mind as I was reading this thread:

Hebrews 13:8 “Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

Possibly what makes people “Sunday believers” is that they do not come to any maturity in their relationship with God. Maybe various branches of the larger church do not convey the message in a way that speaks to people of this age.

I think you are right, it starts at home. You are right, there is always hope. Prayer changes things. The changes God makes in you will also lead to change (2Cor.1:3-5). I am teaching my son that God is present with us today and that the message of the gospel is relevant and makes sense in our modern age - I do this at home and I try to spend time with believers who also know this (for my own growth, but also for my son, so he can see what the living God is doing in people’s lives). I try to make as much of who I am and how I behave influenced by the message of Jesus. For us, this doesn’t have a lot of connection to church history, or formal religion. I am increasingly becoming more and more aware of what the church has been over the years, but am not consumed with it… We worship a present and living God and I think He wants us to be impassioned about what he is doing in the present and what He will do. We go to church and are involved in ministry.

Studying church history has made it crystal clear that in some seasons the Catholic church was attempting to be authentic in their relationship with God and in other seasons it was corrupt (of course not through and through, but the leadership of the church did some terrible things and in some places priests act on their own and do things that are terrible still). The message of Jesus has remain regardless of various points of corruption (with in me there are likely various points of corruption that need working out, yet the message of Jesus remains). Maybe the answer isn’t becoming more religious, but becoming more personal in our passion for who God is and what He is doing. If we depend on religion to keep us on track, the religion may fail us, a priest may fail us. I think we have to go deeper and stay connected to the church, but as we grow in Him, turn everything over to Him to be made new. In that way, if our local parish goes down, we won’t sink with it and as it struggles to heal, we can be part of the process because our spiritual health will not be dependent upon the health of the church.

Your whole attitude seems to be saying to Catholics and even other mainline Protestants in nearly all of you posts, that there is no possibiltiy of growth in our Church’s, our traditions should be abolished, our monasteries closed, priests should marry and that our Church cannot speak to the times, etc. etc… So I apoligise if I sound antagonistic, but you offend me and nearly all Christians when you say things like this.

My faith continues to grow all the time. I am not perfected yet and I may never be, but I strive to be. And that’s what the Catholic faith gives me, it push’s me to perfection every day through so many of our traditions. We have devotions, novenas, prayers to the saints and angels, our Blessed Mother and our sacramentals and our sacraments, *all which lead us to Jesus! *

I could easily offend you and tell you that Sola Sciptura is wrong, but I havn’t. Being that that is your sole source of faith and salvation, you would probably find it very offensive if I did. But you have no problem telling Catholics that we are so incapable of growing through our faith and that our sacred traditions are played out.

And please know, that our Church does speak to the times. It is the only Church that does on every issue of our time, such as abortion, pre-marital sex, gay sex/marriage etc. We are the sole institution that speaks out against the secularism of our times. Where do the non-deonominationals stand on the issues of our day? Where is your voice? Does God not want you to stand up for his laws? The world would be a dark place if it weren’t for His Church. Could you honestly picture the world without the Catholic Church and all Mother Church does for it? Could the non-denoms, like yourself, take it’s place? Do you my friend, speak to the times?

Steve, I believe that you are looking for dialogue her, not conversion, and I believe your heart in the right place, but you should tread easily when you step on peoples faith and traditions. You came right in here and did that with your first post/first thread about getting rid of the monasteries in the other forum. Folks would like to get to know you abit so they no know where your heart truly is before you post such things…

God Bless…:slight_smile:

Hey Jim,
No, I’m not saying there is no room for growth in our churches. I’m saying that there is a lot more room for growth if we are interested. I’m not saying that our traditions should be abolished or that monasteries should be closed, or that all priests should marry, or that all churches do not speak to the times we find ourselves in. I’m saying that these things should be open to being re-envisioned and if we find that among them are some impostors or some that have lost their way, they should be renovated.

Jim, I’m sorry you’ve been treated so harshly by others in the past. I’m not them. I’m not saying what you think I am. You couldn’t “easily offend” me. I’m more than happy to disagree with you and am not offended by finding myself among people who see things differently than I do… I find that I grow as I explore what I believe and what I don’t …and that is partly what I am doing here. I have been direct with my perspective, but I am not uninterested in hearing from others about what they believe - I am interested to understand why people believe what they believe. Many Catholics are incapable of growing because they aren’t interested in knowing God, or turning their lives over to Him, but many are. As I’ve said previously, I know some Catholics who are very solid (but I have known a lot of Catholics who use the religion to gain leverage over God - they go to mass a few times a year, get married in the church and have their kids christened and they believe this is what Jesus died for because they have been taught that. Many Catholics I know understand that God is interested in much more than our limited adherence to rituals and ceremonies. Please don’t mistake my directness for a desire to offend you. If what I’m saying isn’t true, then it can be easily deconstructed …and even then, I am just a man, I’m not God, at the end of the day, what power do I really have? What power do I have over the influence God has on us? If there is any truth in what I am saying, may God bless it; if I have missed the mark, may God protect you from any confusion that might form as a result - we are in His hands.

Yes

In these kind of forums there is only so much of yourself you can share. I can share my ideas here. I don’t know how else people can get to know me here…

I can understand how my ideas have felt abrasive to you… I’m not altogether opposed to that. I like being challenged. I understand that others don’t. I guess, if you are finding me difficult to deal with, maybe its best to ignore me… I’ve enjoyed the discussion - its helped me think through things.

Thanks,
Steve

Hello!

I believe that if family values are built on God’s word and that the family worships together, then church is a place for deepening your faith. Church isn’t just a mass or a baptism. It is a place to worship God, the Father, and His Son, and the Holy Spirit. We also venerate Jesus’ Mother, Blessed Mary for Her role in the salvific plan. We venerate the Saints for their instructions on how to futher our relationship with God. The church is a depository of many people who we have a respnosibility to serve. If this means teaching and reteaching the dogma and traditions of the church to over and over, we do it. If one does not have a set of “rules” to teach by, then things are not taught propperly. The Catholic Church re-examines what it teaches through many ways. This is too keep our heritage of God fresh in our hearts, minds and souls. Each person has at their disposal many means of study provided by the Church. All of this is to help strentghen our understanding of God.

How people use this instruction depends on how their life with God grows. Any Christian who goes through the motions of loving God and not practicing what they preach, woe is them. No certain religion is at fault for this. I have seen lapsed everything. If a person is practicising what they are taught and what they believe, you will know this upon meeting them. They are a different breed. We all are human, therefore one who is laspsed today may be a saint tomorrow. You can’t judge a book by its cover, for then you are as guilty as they seem to be.

If there were not Churchs or for others, meeting places, where would one get the basis of instruction? Each religion that I have heard of goes through the same thing within their congregations. If you are talking about all faiths and their relationships with God in today’s world, we have a much more solid ground to debate. This is as opposed to picking out certain religions.

God Bless!

Steve,
What are you proposing? Are you looking for a world-wide “seeker-friendly” church?

Have you taken a good look at Rick Warren lately? Is this what you would want the Universal church to look like?

in Christ
Steph

Hey Vicki,
I am a Christ-follower and in my journey I have found that across the various Christian churches are scattered real believers and people who could be termed: Churchians - they love church and religion and believe that church and religion will open a door for them into heaven. I attend church - I think it is very important, but I have come to see that for many people church/religion can be a distraction from knowing and seeking God. Some denominations have this built right into their theology, to go through the motions of religion and as we do this, God is made happy and then lets us into heaven - this is not what Jesus came to do. Even among these denominations, God draws people to Him - some how God uses our brokenness and foolishness to reveal the truth to us. Even if our theology is on sideways, if we reach out to Him, God is there, calling us to Him. There are things I disagree with about Catholocism, but I know God uses it nonetheless. There is no perfect church - we are all broken and in need of the healer.

Read John 14-16
Jesus came so that we could experience God in a way that has never been had in human history (except maybe in the garden of Eden). This is done through the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

My experience has given me personal proof that Jesus is who He says He is, so I have no doubt about who God is… In the same breath, other religions, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc… do not lead us into connection with God (which can only be done through Jesus).

I never heard this before from a Christian.
I guess you are not living by what Jesus says in the Bible - it is all for other generations. :smiley:
Why do you call yourself Christian?

What chapter of John do you paraphrase?

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