I’m a baby boomer, born in 1961. As the oldest of my generation has moved into retirement and the rest of us begin to think in that direction, we’re all aware of some of the failures of our generation. I know I can’t paint the entire generation with one brush, but I confess here some of our sins – and pray that we’ll spend the rest of our lives correcting them.
- We’ve taken our blessings for granted. As a generation, we’ve been deeply blessed, beginning with the post-World War II boom that marked America. We’ve given ourselves too much credit for what we’ve gained, though, having forgotten that God alone gives blessings.
- We abdicated our responsibility to do social ministry. Evangelicals in particular left this work to others. We feared losing our focus on evangelism (which hasn’t been that strong, either), and we consequently failed to do much that Jesus commanded us to do (Matt 25:31-46). Today’s young generation is filling the void we left.
- We failed to invest in the next generation. Just now are we beginning to hear the cry of young people who’ve been asking for guidance and mentors for years. We’re behind in this critical task of Christian growth.
- We’ve allowed our Christianity to become cultural Christianity. Somehow, we’ve taken New Testament Christianity and reduced it to, “We need to attend church because it’s the right thing to do.” Too often, life transformation isn’t the goal; social acceptance is.
- We have never fully dealt with our prejudices. I was a child during the tumultuous days of the Civil Rights Movement, and I was a teenager and young adult during the Cold War. So ingrained were our political feelings that some of us have, frankly, held on to our prejudices rather than let the gospel change them.
- We allowed marriage to become something less than what God intended. I will never forget the first time I learned about a family member getting a divorce. I was shocked, thinking such things never happened. Now, the “norm” is something much different than a man and a woman committing themselves to one another under God as long as they live. Much of that change has come on our watch.
- We’ve failed to model evangelism for others. We grew up in the days of Billy Graham and televangelism, and we left the evangelistic task in the hands of those doing mass evangelism. We’ve taken the word “personal” out of personal evangelism.
Give me your thoughts – have I missed it here? Are there other sins we need to correct?