Years ago, I remember when I first heard the term “baby boomer.” It was referring to my generation, born in the twenty years following World War II. We were grouped into the category of those born to men returning from the war. My father wasn’t quite old enough to have fought in the war, but that reflects one of the many differences in the group categorized as “baby boomers.” I grew up in a rural setting. In the early years of my school experience, we separated ourselves into two groups, frats and greasers. I was from the greaser group, who dressed like the people we emulated in pop culture. We loved Motown and dressed much like the Motown groups, except for the hair. Since many of the early Motown ladies wore wigs, the greaser girls had similar hairstyles.
As I got older, the influence of the Beatles changed our world. First, they brought in fashion from Europe, but then came the hippie revolution. Most everyone seemed to buy into the styles, but I was not one of them. I associated blue jeans with farmers, and I did not like the look. During this season, there was a great move of God among the youth called the Jesus People movement. I was part of that movement. Style-wise, it reflected the hippie culture, but certainly had a different agenda. As time progressed, I set about looking for my wife. I had my eye on my wife Bonnie. She loved the hippie look, reflected by her long hair, jean skirts, and no make-up. I counseled with my sisters, who saw her potential, and figured they could help her in the style department to be more appealing to me. One day, I called her on the phone; as we talked about our past, I realized how similar we were. The instant I heard Motown music in the background, and realized she was a Motown girl, I knew we were a good fit. Best of all, she was a Motown girl on fire for Jesus! What is my point? Based on appearance, it seemed like we were from different worlds, but we were, in fact, from the same world. As with most of the young people of that time, my future wife bought into the style of the time, even experiencing some of the prevailing influences before she found Jesus, but it was not at all reflective of the truth of who she was. It was not long before her style changed and she transformed more into the person of her upbringing.
Let’s Start a Revolution!
The reason I share these things is because people tend to categorize a generation of people in one group based on the influence of the popularity of styles, but each person is different based on their genetics, family experiences, and of course, the religious influences on their life. There are multitudes of other influences that form us as well. Growing up in a rural, urban, or suburban area is indeed very influential, and ethnic influence also plays an important part. The major cities are filled with ethnic groups that become cities within the city. The level of affluence and education play large roles as well.
As I listen to conversations, I often hear people accepting generational groupings as a fact of life; trying to market our messages with this in mind. However, we are only dealing with very superficial things when we do this. For instance, this might be very helpful if we are selling something insignificant like clothes or technology, but it requires great caution on behalf of those of us who are sharing the message of the gospel. I am convinced that a superficial gospel message will produce superficial Christians, and I can see evidence of this truth everywhere I look.
Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully. 5 He shall receive blessing from the Lord, And righteousness from the God of his salvation. 6 This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, Who seek Your face. Psalm 24:3-6 (NKJV)
When the message of the gospel came to my generation, it produced counter-culture Christians who became the backbone of the pro-life movement, the pro-family movement, the civil rights movement, and produced a harvest of lives for Christ in unprecedented proportions. I am looking for God to do something similar today. We need to produce counter-culture Christianity again. The present-day secular culture is destroying the fiber of our Christian culture, as well as our history. I intend to be part of a movement to change that! My confidence will be in the Word of God. It is only the Word that will bring the “born again” experience and give each person the opportunity to find out who they are. We are not just part of the generation of man, we are of the “gene” of God and it is time to raise up the generation: the generation of Jacob, those who will seek His face!
Have a topic or questions about Christianity, or your Christian walk, in today’s world? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you and address topics that will help you in your journey.