Editor's Note: This article was sent to us by one of our readers. In 1996, Nathan was a student at David Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, and edited the Student Life Ministry section of the school paper.
I am 23, and without my consent, am placed under the heading of Generation X. My generation, from what I've been told, cares for nothing and stands for nothing. The god of the generation before us was money, and our god is pleasure. Everything is nothing, and nothing is what everything is about. Our lives and the world around us are worthless. The things that surround us are there for our immediate pleasure and nothing else. Seize the moment, live it to the fullest; soon, all else will be over. With the older generations as role models, we have ceased to believe in hell, they say; a loving God could not create such a horrible place. And yet, in following our elders' path, we have taken that next step; for without the presence of hell, there is no longer a consequence to our actions. With no consequences, there is also no place for reward, with nothing to live in fear of, there is no longer anything to live for. A loving god could not exist, for what deity would support such one-sided chaos?
It's a scary stance to see a generation take, yet it is not Generation X alone. Those beliefs are not my generation's; they are the world's. Generation X, then, is not a generation; it is a belief. It is not contained within a particular age bracket; it is found at every age and at every level of life. Generation X is nothing but an excuse. It's an excuse for the condition of this world, the condition of our lives, and the sorry way in which most Christians give back those lives to the God who saved them for us.
I am 23, and by choice belong to that which I claim to be the Joshua Generation. My generation stands for everything for which Jesus died on Calvary. We believe in God as Deity, Father, and Friend. We believe in the boundless blessing of his grace, and that this world and all the material things contained within it are meaningless; our lives, though, are not. Our lives do not belong to us for worldly pleasure or waste, but for joy and service in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are made in his image, and we are special!
My generation sees the great sickness in the world and wishes to cure it with the words of Jesus just like the generations before us, but we also see a great sickness within the Body itself; and we shall not pretend that it does not exist. Denominational division will not paralyze Christ's Body during this generation. In believing in heaven, we also believe in hell. We respect the power of the Devil, but we will not cower nor ignore him. We have not forgotten that we are at war; not a war in the human realms, but a war of the spiritual nature. When our Lord returns, our victory will be complete, but until that day comes we shall resist the Prince of this world and we will take back as much as we can. We will stand and we will stand opposed to the chaos of this land, because our God is a God of boldness and not one of timidity.
For some, my generation's stance is just as scary as Generation X's. We challenge the status quo and the balancing acts that the churches of this world have developed over the centuries. Our religion is not tradition--it is a living, breathing organism that must be embraced, and lived, and exalted. The Joshua Generation is not made up of people of a certain age, but of a certain heart. And in so being it, too, is not a generation at all, but a belief. We don't search for excuses, but for answers; and we live only to serve the Father.
This is our call--but only if we can all learn to serve and stand together can this world be taken back and the lives of countless millions be saved.
This is what I would have my generation stand for, and this is what I would rather we be called.
Back to Contents Does God Exist?, SepOct97.