Now, if any of you had read my previous post on Suicide, you’ll know that I’m pretty much what you call a Second Generation Christian. I’m not going to go into too much of a debate on definitions, but 2nd gen Christians are those that succeed the 1st Gen. First Generation Christians are those who came out of the world, and had experienced what I term the “conversion experience“. It necessitates that these Christians accepted Christ and seek to serve Him wholeheartedly after hearing the gospel. Whereas, you can find Second Generation Christians growing up in churches from an early age, going through the whole she-bang of Sunday school, youth fellowship etc.
I’m one of those that grew up accepting Christ as a natural course of action. I know that it does not necessarily mean an exhibition of the life of a disciple if you’d ended up as one of the 2nd Gen. Yet there are some pointers that had been worrying me that had been recurring especially within the community of the 2nd Gen people. Now, I could talk a lot about it, but I won’t. So, allow me to derive this tiny list of troubling things that I believe, plagues the church as it is.
1) We 2nd Genners are generally cowards in witnessing
We believe that those who are converted through street witnessing etc, have this special experience where they are very aware of their sinful state and the need to believe and be saved. Yet, for us who grew up accepting Christ at as young an age of 4/5 years old, we grew up learning that we were being sanctified of sin. It was a constant renewal of self within the new creation rather than seeing a difference of old to new. Without such conviction, we splinter apart into this husk where we refuse to share out of fear or even out of doubt of self or of the gospel. Going by “emotions”, we believe that someone else will do it or that we can continue on fearing with no active action taken to understand and overcome our fear of witnessing. We shy away, being too focused on other things rather than witnessing. Things like studying, working etc, calling it “our God-given responsibility to do our best for God” yet ignoring one of the clearest commands in the Bible.
2) We 2nd Genners face the risk of being “churchian”
We take our faith for granted. Believing we’re saved and growing up where we are, we’ve learnt to live a life of a disillusioned and non-discerning sheep! We read our bible but don’t meditate on it. We go to church out of habit or respect for parents. We accept every sermon on the pulpit and every material coming our way without really trying to understand the reason for using such and such verse nor bringing up problematic questions which relates to the topic. We’ve allowed worship to fall into this pathetic mumbling upon our seats and pews while professing to be praising an awesome God. Living in our parent’s shadows, we refuse to stand up and make a stand for the ministry nor accepting any proper responsibility. We shy away from too much hard work or work with no glamour. Church becomes a bore when it causes us to feel uncomfortable and when it finally gets too much, we leave. When others try to help us and pull us back into fellowship, we hide under the general excuse of “Not going to church doesn’t make you any less a Christian” with no sincere desire to even understand the Bible’s take on church-going.
3) We 2nd Genners are judgmental
Growing up in a church with listed rules of rights and wrongs and not much maturity to understand the shades of grey in between, we suddenly become one of the great Judges of Israel. When a fellow believer comes to church in a singlet, we huddle up and whisper in disgust and horror, forgetting the command to Love Thy Neighbour (and that means understanding our priorities and emulating Christ’s love). We run away and hide under our umbrellas, at the fear of being tainted by poor weak Christians who allow themselves to be ravaged by the temptations of the flesh and worldly desires forgetting that we too are fallible men. We shake our heads by comparing them to our little list of right and wrongs and forget that Christ did not come to seek the wise but the lame, the foolish and the weak. You say, “We know all this already! We don’t judge! I treat them as how I would like to be treated.” I reply then, “Share in love. Rebuke in love. Correct in love.” Rather than standing there hushed up in secret glee when someone breaks one of your little laws, go and help and serve those who need help! The Harvest is plentiful but the workers are few!!
4) We 2nd Genners are spoilt
We refuse to take up the baton left from the previous generations. Every open arms extended to us are shoved away or causes us to recoil in horror. Pampered as we are by our close fellowship with brethren and with our own protective community, we refuse to take up the hard work needed to secure such peace. We live in our own world, refusing to stand up and continue on in the blazing trail that the previous generation left for us in their stead. We smile and joke with our friends, forgetting ministry work after service as we enjoy a pie or two. We grow up in cliques that we stay in for life. A new believer is seen with curiosity or disdain and ignored. Circles of friends become impenetrable fortresses that the young believer or even non believer cannot break into. Church soon becomes a beautiful club that childhood friends end up going to, with one or few outside fishes brought in by the faithful few. Refusing to see the potential of the ministry due to the strenuous work it comes with and refusing to take the ministry as our own, we leave it in the hands of capable “adults” (even though we reach the young age of 30 over, we are still youths) who seem immortal till the last one stands with gray hairs at the corner.
5) We face the risk of being nominal Christians
Not being hot nor cold for God, we become lukewarm. Refusing to take this relationship with God personally, we smile at the idea of a loving God. We profess to praise him. We cry at worship services, hands outstretched. We feel heightened emotions at the clanging of the drums and the high notes of a keyboard aria, and once out of that four walls, our personal relationship with God dissipates into a forgotten memory of a sermon preached. Only when we fall or when our biggest dreams comes true for a moment, do we call upon God. And how gracious God is to not smote us like the Israelites. Thank God for Christ and our redemption! For as soon as “Help me, God” and “Thank you, God” leaves our lips, we forgets once more our fear of a Very Real Lord.
Not all follow this way of living, but it is a tendency for 2nd Genners to fall! It is of no wonder if we do fall, but I brought this warning up for your attention. For how sad would it be that we fall due to our own laziness. Our willingness to tolerate our mediocre behaviour. Shameful, even for me! Wake up!! There’s more to be done and there are people to save!!
One of your fellow Workman!