Every generation goes through events that change everything. I was a kid in the 1960s and a teenager in the 1970s. I vaguely remember President Kennedy’s assassination. I had just turned four. Honestly, if it had not been for the fact that it was the first time I saw my dad cry, I doubt if I would remember the event at all. But, I have heard a lot of people say the nation lost its innocence the day we lost our President.
When Neil Armstrong placed his footprints in the sands of the moon, we all knew the world would no longer be the same. We were not sure of the what or the how, but we all knew.
Then along came Watergate. Before Nixon’s scandal, the vast majority of Americans trusted the government. Now a vast majority of Americans think there is no such thing as an honest politician. Watergate changed America.
Moving forward to Sept. 11, 2001. Before 9/11 American’s believed terrorism was something that happened only in Israel and the Middle East. 9/11 was big, it wasn’t one guy, it was a group of men that did this. It wasn’t one suicide bomber killing a half dozen people at a restaraunt, it was a group of people killing a number in the thousands, bringing our magnificent Twin Towers down to rubble, attacking our military brain thrust, the Pentagon, and thankfully a third attack thwarted by those in the airplane over Pennsylvania. 9/11 changed the world.
For my parent’s generation the Great Depression, Pearl Harber and the Enola Gay changed everything.
Our church had Vacation Bible School this past week. The oldest kid involved was 16 years old. She was barely a year when 9/11 happened. No other child here this week was alive that fateful day.
To them, 9/11 is something they will read about in school, hear older people around them talk about, and see some clips of it on tv in early September every year. Much like Hiroshima and Nagasaki were for my generation.
Our closing program was Sunday evening; only a few hours removed from the shootings in Orlando. After the service, we had a weenie roast. Once the marshmallows had been devoured, the kids were running around playing, some were flying kites, others playing some sort of tag. It reminded me of simpler times long ago and the carefreeness of childhood. Someone brought up Orlando, and I thought of the children playing in the church yard. What would be the events that change everything in their lives?
There are children in parts of the world that are not worried about what they will eat tomorrow; they are worried about if there will be a tomorrow. The children of Israel will know how to dawn a gas mask before they know how to read. Where and when will the next mortar round or sniper bullet strike is more concern for a 10-year-old in Syria than how high they can fly their kite.
There have been 82 shootings resulting in deaths since Columbine (April 20, 1999). Newspeople and politicians describe school shootings as, “far too common.” One is way too many, but the optimum word here is, “common.” Common is something that happens a lot. Those events I described as changing things for mine, and my parent’s generations were things that never happened before. The fact they had never happened before is one of the main reasons they caused change. What about this generation of American kids? What is coming down the road for them that will change their lives forever?
The closer we get to the return of Christ the worse it will get. The Bible speaks of “upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity” (Luke 21:25). Nations will have problems they will not know how to solve.
The answer to man’s problems is faith in Jesus Christ, but from the first day of school we put doubt in a child’s heart. By teaching evolution, by default, we claim the first chapter of the Bible is in error, therefore taking away any credibility to the rest of the book. We teach our children prayer may be offensive to some, therefore discouraging any prayer life at all.
If we fail to look toward “the way, the truth, and the life” for our answers then we will lose our way, believe only lies, and have a life not worth living.
Preacher Johnson is pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County, Ind. Visit his website, [email protected] All scripture KJV.