Sunday, July 2, 2017

Do Millennials Delay Adulthood Because We Have Been Told So Often About How Terrible Adulthood Is?

It is no secret that those in my generation, the millennial generation, have been known for trying to extend adolescence and the simple joys of youth well past the point where past generations would have settled down, married and had kids, and otherwise started doing things we associate with being a real grownup.

Of course, this is by no means universal and is probably overplayed. But it does seem true that it is more common for people in my generation to delay things like marriage, child-bearing, home ownership, and other milestones of adulthood. The trope of men in their late twenties or early thirties who go to work in the day to pay the bills and then return to the apartment or house they share with multiple roommates and play video games until bed is not based on nothing.

The other day I saw something, a meme specifically, that got me thinking: could part of the reason millennials aren't so quick to fill the traditional roles adulthood (marriage, kids, demanding career) is because older generations have been so quick to tell millennials how terrible life is when you get older? From our pessimistic parents lamenting how life is just always out to get you, to older adults taunting younger adults about life only gets way harder, could it be that somewhere along the line, younger people just got to thinking that if older people seem so unhappy, maybe it makes sense to not live like older people do? If all you hear about marriage is how much married people don't like each other and either tolerate each other or get divorced, might that take some of the luster out of marriage? If all you hear about having kids is how hard and draining and life-consuming it is, is it crazy to think that maybe it isn't for you? If all we heard is how much it sucks to adult, then is it any wonder why we aren't so quick to start adulting?

I mean, there are surely other factors to take into account. The great recession and broader economic declines that began even before it have made it much more difficult for millennials to get a real job and get their lives going. Helicopter parenting and participation trophy culture have created more and more young adults who have trouble dealing with disappointment. The decline of Judeo-Christian values and religion in America surely comes into play. Marriage seems less necessary when pre-marital sex is acceptable - although we can largely thank baby boomers and to some extent their parents for making this so. And there's also simply the fact that as people live longer and the world changes, it makes sense and isn't necessarily a bad thing that people don't jump fully into complete adulthood at as young of an age. In ancient times, it was normal to marry and have kids in your early to mid teens because life expectancy was low and the world was a different place. But no one is stressing about women being old maids because they are unmarried at age 20 because what worked then isn't what works now.

Nevertheless, I think the pessimism and negativity of baby boomers plays into it as well. Why wouldn't it? If all you ever hear growing up is how life will just make you miserable, how the best days of your life are when you're young and can play video games all day, how being an adult with kids and responsibilities to others sucks, why would you be eager to jump into that world. The same people in their 50s and 60s who think they are so clever with memes addressing young people saying "life hasn't even begun to f**k you over yet" are the same people who lament that people in their mid-twenties choose to live a different life than they did. If life is so much better when you have no kids and live with roommates and play video games after work, why should we be shocked that people in their mid-twenties do that instead of marrying the first person who will take them and start having kids at age 22 because of some vague societal expectations that don't even really exist anymore?

Of course, perhaps life isn't actually better living with roommates and playing video games. Although that life is easier and more fun, maybe being a real grownup and getting married and having kids and following that path actually makes life more worth living. Maybe just because life gets harder when you have kids and get married doesn't mean that life doesn't also get better. Some older people (older than me at 28 I mean) have said as much to me. Maybe if the attitude was more along the lines of "the best things in life take work and sacrifice to have" and less "you may think life sucks now but this is the best it will ever be," millennials might be more willing to follow int he footsteps of past generations. Maybe if the same people who lament millennials waiting to grow up more than is necessary weren't the same people taunting millennials with how life only gets worse as you grow up, maybe millenials would be more eager to grow up?


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Prolepsis and the Bible: When Future Events Are Spoken of As Current Reality

There are times when future events are described as being present realities. This is true in life and in the scriptures. And this is especially important when evaluating any argument made that because the Bible speaks of something in the present tense, it therefore is saying that whatever is being spoken of is in fact a present reality.

The technical name for this phenomenon is prolepsis. The idea behind prolepsis is quite simple. Merriam-Webster defines it primarily as “the representation or assumption of a future act or development as if presently existing or accomplished.”

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

How To Be Convicted Without It Being Meaningless

If you've been in church for a while, you may be familiar with people talking about being convicted about things. Rather than describing part a criminal proceeding, it refers to when someone has a deeply felt moral view, regarding a specific issue. Sometimes it comes with feelings of guilt leading to repentance. Other times, it is less a matter of guilt and more a strong, heart-felt sense that God has opened your eyes. Whatever the case, people talk about being convicted all the time after hearing certain sermons, reading certain books, having certain experiences etc. Last Sunday at my church, there was a sermon on the book of Amos so I can only imagine how many times the word "convicted" has been used int he last 24 hours by people I know.

Sometimes, people getting convicted is great. Sometimes, it leads to repentance of sin, spiritual growth, righteous deeds, and other very good things. Who knows what good fruit will arise from Sunday's Amos sermon?

And sometimes, people feeling that they are convicted is meaningless. Sometimes it is little more than guilt for the sake of guilt that doesn't lead to any fruit at all. In some cases, this so-called conviction, which is supposed to be from God, never could lead to any fruit in the first place - at least not fruit that resolves the underlying issue which the person was convicted about.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Are You Even Trying Not to Sin?

"For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith" (1 John 5:3-4, NASB).

If you are a Christian, are you even trying not to sin?

This question was originally going to come up as part of a larger series on theology of sin. However, I don’t think that whole piece will be finished anytime soon, and I realized this was a question worth asking even before all my ducks are in a row on that front.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Joyce Meyer, Forgiveness, and the Ungodly Way that Too Many Christians Deal With Sex Abuse

I usually try not to comment about controversial things in social media environments. It usually is fruitless and it ends up just being a stressful, frustrating waste of time.

But sometimes, people hit a nerve and cross a line with me. 

In the linked article on faithit.com, we are told about Joyce Meyer opening up about her father raping her when she was younger. Many comments I could relate to. But some I found outrageous. And they weren't outrageous in the normal social media way. No one was telling her that she probably wanted it or was making outlandish and blasphemous statements about human sexuality that incorporated religious imagery. There weren't even any Christians chiming in that she's a heretic, which surprised me.

No, the comments that really made me mad were comments that were in some way really trying to be godly and biblical. That probably is what made me detest them the most.

While it is no secret that the Roman Catholic Church has rightfully gained a reputation for being shockingly bad at dealing with sexual abuse, the rest of Christendom doesn't exactly have a stellar reputation to boast about either...

I left a lengthy comment, and with the background info I just gave, I think the comment I left does a good job of saying what I needed to say:

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Sensitivity Is Needed When Utilizing the Old Testament

Since the early days of Christianity, when we no longer had apostles who could authoritatively answer questions, believers have debated exactly how to handle the Old Testament. With the exceptions of heretical groups like the Marcionites (whose beliefs about the OT have unfortunately resurfaced some in recent years), it was acknowledged that it was the word of God. 

However we as Christians are in this tension where certain parts seem to contradict what we believe as Christians. Of course, the skeptic or the liberal or so-called red-letter Christian would simply say that the Old Testament does indeed contradict the New Testament, as well as itself, but we aren't in a position where we can agree. This tension between Christianity and the Old Testament, the bulk of the very scriptures upon which Christianity is based, is nothing new.

Friday, November 20, 2015

A Common and Problematic Attitude Towards Big Business (And Someone Else's Brilliant Response To It)

It's no secret that Americans are pretty distrustful of big business. And who can blame us? Every day we hear horror stories of what big, heartless corporations do. And this is despite the fact that things are 100x better than they were 100 years ago!

Of course, as I have written previously, we need people to follow their self-interest in producing goods and making money in order to have a functioning society. The reason we even have blogs is because some people realized they could make a profit by investing large amounts of money to build a factory that produces computers. When done properly, everyone benefits. Just as businesses use consumers to their advantage, so consumers and society at large uses businesses to their advantage. It's a symbiotic relationship of everyone pursuing their own self-interest and everyone ending up the better because of it. That's why capitalism works.

But capitalism also only works for society when its excesses are curtailed, and I'll be darned if we don't still have problems in the US with how big business does things. And in response to a Cracked article on the way banks mistreat their customers, a fellow with the internet name mickeyten brilliantly summed up the attitude that way too many Americans have. This attitude makes it that much harder to solve the problem because it wrongly attacks consumers and wrongly justifies businesses who do wrong.