What Can Youth Do To Prepare For The Clash Of Worldviews They Will Inevitably Face?
Written by L.W. Bilkes
|Reformed Worldviews - Postmodernism|
What can youth do to prepare for the clash of worldviews they will inevitably face?
1. Don’t be surprised.
The Word of God anticipates the postmodernism of our age and for the church to ask the profound question of Psalm 11:3: “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Our whole postmodern era has been engaged in destroying foundations and trying to live on without foundations. How can the church that claims to have one exclusive foundation function in an age in which all foundations are being destroyed?
The church must stand firm on the two foundations under attack: morality and truth. Proclaiming God’s Law can bring conviction of sin; at that point the church is to proclaim the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ.
2. Take God’s truth as your only guide.
The apostle Paul refers to the church of the living God as the “pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy3:15). The church is a “pillar”. That is, it must support “the truth” and hold it up by its teachings and actions. The truth is not merely the knowledge of human reason, but it is the far richer truth of “the mystery of godliness”, namely the totality of Christ’s redemptive work (1 Timothy 3:16), who is himself “the Truth” (John 14:6).
Psalm 11:3: “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” They can take God’s truth as their guide. That truth shifts the issue away from what human beings can do, to a confession of faith: “The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven…” (Psalm 11:4). Truth confesses that as human beings destroy the foundations, God reigns. He is on his heavenly throne and He is in His holy Temple. No matter what the culture does, the children of God may know that God reigns and is present with them.
3. Resolve not to defile yourself with this world’s propaganda.
In exile, Daniel was faced with many defiling practices and worldviews. He resolved not to be defiled by the king’s meat (Dan 1:8). But we should not only stave off defilement. We also need cleansing. Psalm 119:9 asks: Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?” Notice even that here he refers specifically to “a young man”. The noun used here is in the masculine, used for lad,boy, child. “The perils to young men are even greater than to young women.” Yet in the O.T. the girls are often included in with the boys, even if only the boys are mentioned.
Think also of the words of the apostle Paul to Titus to “exhort … young men … to be sober-minded”, to be seriously-minded (Titus 2:6). The reason that the Scripture gives this degree of attention to young men is just because this period of life is the most critical of all periods. The attitudes and habits we form at this age, everything about that period is liable to become our permanent attitude and character. To be sure, God can intervene at any age to change our lives. But normally it is true that what people are when they are young they remain.
Much of the attraction of post-modernism is because it allows young people to do what their heart leads them to do. It is no secret that Satan tries to influence especially this age-group. The devil knows that young men of today will be the leaders of to-morrow. He knows that what society will be is largely the result of what its youths are today. The devil therefore comes with many temptations to young men, to prevent them from taking the Word of God seriously, to prevent them from taking their souls seriously. The devil does his utmost to stop young men from being thoroughly committed to the Word of God and to Jesus Christ. The devil says: ‘Youth is the time for pleasure and entertainment and amusement. Death and eternity are a long way off when you’re young. It’s not a time to be serious. This is the time to amuse yourselves, entertain yourselves, waste your time, and forget your soul!’
This is happening in our day and generation. The culture in which we live, the society, the education, these are the spheres in which the devil is pre-eminently concerned to work so that this age-group might be diverted from the service of God and become rather, leaders in unbelief and sin.
4. Make sure the word of God is rooted in your heart.
Postmodernism makes an appeal to your heart. Follow your heart – it says.
Yet the great need of the church is for young people to turn their backs on the world and to determine by the grace of God to serve Him and to put His Word first in all that they do.
A real Christian says: “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light upon my path” (Ps 119:105). Your walk in this world has to be controlled and directed by Scripture. It’s not having the Word beside you that’s going to help you, but having the Word within you. Psalm 119:11 says: “Thy Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee”. By ‘hiding’ you are to understand ‘guarding’. The Word of God is especially valuable. Valuable things we store away somewhere in a safe place. That’s the meaning here.“Thy Wordhave I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee”. ‘I’ve stored it somewhere safe. I have stored it in my heart.’
This hiding has many aspects. You need to understand Bible history, the contents of the books, the system of doctrine, the practical injunctions for living.
5. Be careful how you choose your friends.
Daniel kept close associations with his Hebrew friends, people that shared his worldview. Be careful the persons you make friends with. That becomes especially important when you are old enough to think of getting married. That becomes especially important when as a young man you desire a girlfriend, to court her and one day to marry her. That's a good thing. However, if you fear the Lord, desire and court a lady-friend and marry only a young lady who fears the Lord. If you marry a non-Christian, you could spend the rest of your life regretting it. You may think that you will be able to make him a Christian. It is something you will not be able to do. There are very, very few times when such a person will become a Christian, indeed by God’s grace. Make sure that the man or the woman you marry is a person who fears the Lord.
6. Order your life so that God’s Day sets the tone.
Postmodernism does not like you to prioritize one thing over another. The Bible, however, says: Order your life according to his Word: six days of labour and one day of rest and worship - isn't that fair? God has given us seven days every week. It's not too much for God to say, 'Six days are for you to use, and one day is for Me to have.' That's not too much. 'A Sabbath well spent brings a life of content'. That is something the Bible tells you. Don’t do homework on the Lord’s day. Attend the worship services. And not just to please men or your parents. But remember, the Lord sees and knows; He will take a judgment of what you are doing.
7. Take heed to God’s Word when it comes to television and the web.
Postmodernism is promoted not just in university and colleges, but especially in media and culture. When it comes to TV and the web, be very careful what you watch. TV as well as the web are easy ways to get involved in sin and become defiled. Know when to switch it off. If you hear the name of God blasphemed, it's time to switch it off. If you see something which is sinful, switch it off. Don't allow these things to get into your mind.
Dear young people, this is the way God speaks to you. There is nothing in the entire world as important as the Bible, nothing as important as knowing the Word of God.
Take heed to your life, young man, young woman, according to the Word of God.
Dr. L.W. Bilkes is an emeritus pastor in the Free Reformed Church. This article was previously printed in the FRC Youth Messenger and has been republished here with permission.
 S. Plumer, Psalms (Geneva Series), 1026.