RENJE: Destroying the Pillars of Permissiveness

“The single greatest reason why we are losing a generation is because the home is no longer the place of the transference of the faith. We live in a day of ‘outsourcing’…Today, we have a generation of people that outsource their kids.” – Dr. Tony Evans

Dr. Evans hits on a key point. Historically, parents were the primary sources of where children looked for as they developed their values and character. We can blame the loss of the culture wars on so many things, but ultimately Christians have lost the culture wars as well as the standing of being the dominant molder and shaper of American Culture because we’ve outsourced our children’s upbringing.

Whereas the parents and family were once the primary pillars of information flow, control and transference of values. That pillar has rotted, decayed and crumbled over the last fifty years, giving way to four new pillars – the Pillars of Permissiveness.

The entertainment industry, mainstream media, education and political systems are now the dominant pillars of information flow and control with Christianity and conservatism being increasingly marginalized, while becoming completely ineffective within these pillars.

For the short run, we’re not going to regain our standing of influence within the culture. The predominant pillars will continue to influence culture while marginalizing Christianity. But long-term, we do have a chance to regain our footing — not through trying to change the pillars of information control through legislation. We need only to look back over the last 40 years at the futile and disastrous attempts to win the culture wars through legislation.

Rather, we need to rely on God and abide in Him (John 15) to strengthen our marriages, families and thus our communities. We must seek out young men and women to invest in, to break the chains of their chaotic and dysfunctional pasts, to help them make better decisions than their parents.

While getting disheartened at times, I know there’s hope and that through Jesus Christ, the chains of the past can be broken, the wounds healed with families once again becoming the dominant pillar for a stable, functional if always imperfect society.

I’ve seen it over and over again as I minister alongside men who grew up without fathers who acknowledge they should be in jail or at the very least absentee fathers themselves if not for a living, viable relationship with a Risen Savior. I close this introduction with a recent experience and revelation that gives me this hope in how we can break the chains.

Here’s but a glimpse of why we do what we do at Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) in ministering to young people.

Among our speakers at a recent event attended by hundreds of students, were two young men who, although they sat only a few feet away, are from opposite ends of the socio-economic spectrum. One young man had to be picked up and driven to the event. His mother never showed up and I’ve never heard him speak of his father.

The other young man had his grandparents, parents, uncle and cousins in attendance. What’s the difference between the two? The second young man’s grandfather broke the chain of neglect and abuse brought on by the evils of alcohol. His dad was a neglectful, abusive alcoholic in the 1950s as was his great uncle in the 1920s (who raised his father). The neglect, abuse and dysfunction was generational.

But as a teenager in the early 1960s, he gave his life to Jesus Christ and the fruits of that decision were on display in his family and grandson last night. It is my prayer that in 50 years, the young man (with no family representing him last night) will be at an event with his wife, kids and grandkids to watch his grandson speak about giving God the glory in all things.