There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their father. There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.
Does the imagery above in any way disturb you? Does the troubled rapper Eminen and his depressing songs and imagery of bathing in a bathtub of blood in any way affect you? Does the scantily clad pornographic promo images of Rhiana bother you? It may not do. We have become culturally desensitised to abhorrent imagery that we are no longer affected. With the moral fibres of society being slowly eroded away, where can our youth run to for a place of refuge and solace, when even our churches, which are meant to be a solace for the outcasts and the weak, are also turning into entertainment centres, instead of being a place for spiritual healing.
There is a major attack on our youth. When we see the covert and overt nihilistic imagery which is being imposed on the young generation, we truly have to get on our knees and earnestly pray to God to deliver our youth from the strongholds of post-moderism. There is definitely an intense war for their soul, a desperate attempt to lead the young generation astray and to indoctrinate them with the poison of atheism. Our hearts should be crying out daily for the preservation and protection of our youth, who are extremely precious in the sight of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 19:13-15), but whose lives are constantly being invaded by the deceptive lure of complacency.
From antiquity the power of imagery has been able to construct one’ identity. In most, if not all civilizations, some of the most horrific images were plastered around the nation to strike fear and to keep the inhabitants in line. Many images were a reflection of man’ idolatrous, degenerate, state. Some promoted masculinity, others feminity, but the idolatrous imagery greatly affected the people in those societies. When the children of Israel were to enter into the promised land, God told them to ‘destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images’ (Num. 33:52), for many of the Canaanite dieties were sexual in shape and design and the LORD knew the seducing power idolatrous images had and the effects it would have on Israel.
The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the LORD thy God. Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing.
Deuteronomy 7:25, 26
Are not the Christians of today being ‘snared therein’ with the idolatrous, celebrity obsessed West, whose immoral cultural icons are elevated as demigods, who now make more of the front pages of newspapers than the real news stories and have an instant fan base with shows like Britain’s X-Factor and U.S.A.’ American Idol. One man who saw this coming a generation ago, was an ex-Catholic priest by the name of Leo H. Lehman, who documented in the 1940s how Hollywood entertainment icons were even seducing professed Christians into their drug induced empty lifestyles.
“The natural heart of man is prone to the worship of images, is attracted to the tangible creature that in the end completely takes the place of God. No one can fail to notice how much idolatry is flaunted in the faces of Christains today. Pictures of people suppliant before images abound in the secular press, and on tens of thousands of movie screens idolatrous displays and worshipping before images have become the regular diet of the American public. Protestants have become so accustomed to these things that they are beginning to lose the sense of shock to their Christian sensibilities.” (1)
The youth culture of today is known as the MTV generation. People over the age of 35 were a part of the print based culture, where they got their information through print (books, magazines, newspaper, etc.), but those under 35 are the image based culture, where they are constantly bombarded with images and no room is left for any form of escapism or immunization. These images definitely construct youth identity, with many of them being unaware of it, where what was once viewed as distasteful is now accepted as good and what was once seen as good is now seen as distasteful.
If we carefully assess the youth pop-rock-rap culture of today, we can see that there are no boundaries. Not only Christian youth are affected, but all youth, for the enemy wants to attack all of God’ creation. From the click of a button on the internet, they enter into the information superhighway, where subtle, cryptic, nihilistic messages are opened to them and many youth enter into a world that they are not mature enough to handle. It is sad and scary to see the direction youth culture is going in, especially where in 2006, ‘According to Department of Health (DoH) figures, the past 10 years have seen a tenfold increase in prescriptions for Ritalin in Britain to combat a range of perceived childhood and adolescent problems’ (2) and in 2008 Time magazine reported that ‘Britain is one of the most aggressively secular societies on the planet’ (3) where ‘violent offences by British under 18s rose 37% in the three years to 2006’ and ‘English girls are the most sexually active in Europe’. (4) But it’ not just Britian. Even though it has been noted by the United Nations that Britain is one of the worst places on earth for childhood, youth culture is growing out of control everywhere. In an interview in a Hip-Hop magazine called ‘The Source’ in 2008, a former African-American gang member who turned his life around and wanted to undo a lot of the damage that he did in his community, described the carefree youth culture of today. He saw that a society which has no real moral leaders or positive cultural icons for youth to look up to is abslutely doomed and heading for destruction.
A disturbing, but truthful statement like that, should be a strong wake up call to all the watchmen on the towers, to sound the alarm and wake up those in the churches who are asleep, to take care of our youth and to protect them from the dangers of the world. We need strong men and women, true soldiers of the cross, fearless warriors, that are committed in saving and restoring our youth into beautiful, God-fearing people. Is this a task too challenging? Does it in any way affect you that in our apostate, Laodicean state, our youth are spiritually dieing before our very eyes? God has given us a divine command to help those who are struggling on their spiritual journey and in looking out for others, you will totally forget about self.
We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the week, and not to please ourselves.
Self is the disease that is killing us all, because we are so caught up in our own lives, seeking after mammon, that we forget that other people need our help and are probably worst off than us and we need to die to self so we can help a soul in need. Though we can look around the world and see that things are not too right, there is still hope. It may be hard to believe that, but time hasn’t run out on us yet. Christ is pleading to our hearts, please let him in (Rev. 3:20). Please pray for our youth of today, they need all the divine assitance they can get.
Source: (1) Out of the Labyrinth by Leo Lehman pp. 82, 86; (2) The Sunday Times Magazine, Nov. 12, 2006 p.17; (3) TIME, June 9, 2008 p.28; (4) TIME, April 7, 2008 p.38; (5) The Source, July 2008 p.46