Caring About the Soul of the Next Generation

Anybody who is unconcerned about the next generation’s spiritual wellbeing simply does not know what is going on.

Start with news stories like two this week:

One. According to the study released Wednesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the vast majority of TV shows 70 percent include some sexual content, with an average of five sex scenes per hour. On the top teen shows, the number is higher: 6.7 scenes an hour.

Two. Sex acts ON-CAMPUS at High Schools are becoming more common.

Then add the study of teen spirituality by Christian Smith in which he reports that teens generally embrace a Moral Therapeutic Deism: Good moral, kind, nice, pleasant people, will receive therapeutic benefits, like a happy life, from their religion, while believing in a relatively uninvolved and undemanding God who is “watching everything from above.”

Listen to keen listeners to youth culture like Chuck Palahniuk whose (fictional character) Tyler Darden said “Our great war is a spiritual war. Our great depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’ll be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. We’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”

Listen to Michael Stipe (REM). “We are floundering more–culturally, politically, spiritually–than I can imagine anyone has been in several centuries. It’s hard to imagine that so many people are confused about who they are, what their dreams, hopes and aspirations and desires are–and who’s pulling the strings.”

Better yet–listen¢â‚¬¦really listen to any teen who will be honest about their deep, private thoughts, fear and confusion.

Help is on the way! I just finished the pre-publication draft of a new book by my friend Walt Muller titled “Engaging the Soul of Youth Culture.” It will be out in a few months. In the meantime visit The Center for Parent and Youth Understanding and get out there and start loving today’s teens!

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

PS 2. If you haven’t yet done so, register for our daily updates. You won’t regret it!

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