If there is one accusation which could be levied against the post-WWII generations is an ignorance of history. Specifically, the landscape of Christianity and the church is desperately in need of a better understanding of where we are at and the battles and ideas already espoused in light of history. When I say history, I mean going back hundreds, if not thousands of years throughout the church age-not just back to the American 1950’s Christianity. A couple of months back, I taught a series on historic Baptist doctrines here at North Country. One of the reasons I pursued this series on this topic was the disturbing reality that Baptist churches have been known for and identified by many other things, rather than the historic doctrines that men fought and died for hundreds of years ago. Sadly, man-centered ministry, ministerial big shots, and an unwillingness to think and wrestle with what the Bible teaches have all caused many to be unaware of what a Baptist church is. The premise of the series was this:
While the Bible provides for us directive, history always provides us with perspective.
I say all of that for this purpose-study history. For one reason or another, the post-WWII generations (Boomers, Busters, X, Y, and the Millenials) all have pursued “new ideas” and “new philosophies of ministry” and a “new way to do the family”, yet in the light of history the “new way” of doing things is not new at all.
For some reason, there is a pervasive arrogance that comes with doing something “new” or “different” than the current cultural norm, yet in light of history our forefathers yawn with boredom because they saw this once before.
Believe it or not, the church in times past has had an emphasis of ministries of mercy, the church has in times past wrestled with incorporating new music and new hymns into their worship services (just ask Isaac Watts how this worked out!), parents have heard new ways to discipline or seek out the spiritual heart of a child. These aren’t new or uncovered truths.
Seek to learn major lesson of history-our lives and impact is such a brief vapor and there are many vapors that have already gone through the air you are now going through. There’s little to be proud and arrogant over. We aren’t discovering anything new, we are just fighting battles and recovering truths that were already fought and discovered. Sadly, I sense a growing pride which stems from a mentality that says: “No one has done it like I am”.