Here is this week’s thermometer–this week is a mixture of interesting, ridiculous, concerning, and tragic articles. My takes on these articles are brief, so if you have a take on one of these stories, please leave a comment. Also, feel free to leave a question in the comments section.
1. The “Millennials” Are Coming”: This article from CBS News reports that America’s 20-somethings, also known as “millennials” are changing the American workplace. The article reports that millennials are self-centered, tech savvy, and incredibly sensitive. They need to be coached in their jobs rather than commanded–after all, millennials grew up getting trophies just for showing up and constantly being told by their parents how great they are no matter how they perform in a given area. Thus the article reports that the millennials’ work ethic is different from his baby boomer forbears–millennials think all they have to do is show up and when things get difficult they just float to a new and easier job. Millennials are also refusing to grow up, the article reports that more than 50% of college seniors move back home after graduation!
These critiques of my generation (I am a 20-something, after all) are not new, but it ought to cause us pause to think about how much of the self-centeredness and lazy work ethic of our generation has affected us. We are probably more influenced by these things than we are willing to admit. This article represents an important cultural shift in the 20-something generation and is a good example of why I wrote the article “Winners NEVER Quit!”
2. Rob Bell on Tour: Rob Bell is currently traveling around the country delivering a message titled “The Gods’ Aren’t Angry.” Mr. Bell said, he will present an “anthropology of religion,” looking at where humans first got the idea of gods, goddesses and deities and why people often feel that “some god or goddess somewhere” is angry “and needs to be appeased,” he said.
I have no idea what Rob Bell is saying in these messages (it doesn’t really sound good but I can’t say more than that) but what I do know is that every venue on his tour is sold out except for New York. Further 56,000 people download his sermons every week, 1.1 million people have purchased his NOOMA videos, and 500,000 copies of his two books have been sold. I am not exactly sure how influential the emerging church is right now, but if Rob Bell is any indication, its influence isn’t going away any time soon.
3. Stone Age Feminism?: This is a ridiculous article–I really scratch my head at some of the things that manage to make America’s “elite” newspapers (this one is from the Boston Globe). This article sites a new theory, based on “research,” on why Neanderthals went extinct–stone age feminism! Seriously . . . stone age feminism. Here is an excerpt from the article:
Among Neanderthals, hunting big beasts was women’s work as well as men’s, so it’s a safe bet that female hunters got stomped, gored, and worse with appalling frequency. And a high casualty rate among fertile women – the vital “reproductive core” of a tiny population – could well have meant demographic disaster for a species already struggling to survive among monster bears, yellow-fanged hyenas, and cunning homosapien newcomers.
Just for fun, lets pretend this article is accurate . . . what would that say about feminism? Clearly these scientists must be male chauvinist pigs!
4. Teen Sex is Not Linked to Delinquency?: According to this Washington Post article, new research on teen sex indicates that previous research about the link between teen sex and delinquency is inaccurate. In fact the article asserts that “youngsters who have consensual sex in their early-teen or even preteen years are, if anything, less likely to engage in delinquent behavior later on.” After reading the article I think that is far too bold a statement.
This research is being used to oppose abstinence only sex education. Suppose for a moment that the claims of this research are true–does that mean that we should not teach abstinence in sex education? Of course not, abstinence only sex education is based on moral principles and you cannot call moral principles into question simply by asserting that society has misappropriated or abused those principles. This article not only promotes a immoral sex education in our schools but also calls for the ‘relativizing’ of moral principles based on societal circumstances!
5. Should the “Lord’s Resistance Army” be Forgiven?: The Lord’s Resistance Army, a rebel group in Uganda responsible for the killing thousands of Ugandans, is asking for forgiveness for the crimes they committed against their countrymen. The LRA “terrorized and killed thousands, mutilating civilians, abducting children and displacing over a million during its 20-year rebellion in the east African nation.” Now that the rebel group has been overthrown, they are touring the country asking for forgiveness from the citizens of Uganda. Uganda called in the International Criminal Court (ICC) to try them for war crimes, the ICC would consider dropping the charges if Uganda could establish a “competent tribunal to try them.” Thus the LRA is campaigning across the country for an “‘alternative justice system’ — one based on traditional forgiveness rituals.” In other words this Rebel group, that is guilty of thousands of murders of their own countrymen, is trying to get off easy. There is no telling what will happen–the situation in Uganda is far from stable right now.
Here is a challenge for you, take 2 minutes right now and pray. Pray that God would bring justice and pray that God would use the Christians in Uganda who have faced persecution from the LRA to maintain a consistent and faithful witness to the gospel in the midst of this difficult situation.