AN ARTICLE FOR THOSE WHO ARE 13 TO 35 ONLY!
by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.
Your generation is now about thirteen to thirty-five years old. My generation, called the "Silent Generation," is fifty-seven to seventy-seven, and is now beginning to pass from the scene. The "Baby Boomers" (or old Hippies) are thirty-six to fifty-six. The "Silent Generation" passed by silently! We produced no president, and few leaders. The "Baby Boomers" are now in control of things - the Bill Clinton generation. But the Boomers will soon begin to move into retirement - and off the scene. America has not yet heard from your generation.
I am cautiously hopeful that the X-generation will do better things than my generation, or the old Hippies. But you Xers need a new emphasis if you hope to turn our nation around and see revival.
The old Hippies think they can attract and hold you by bringing in snare drums and taking off their ties. This appeals to them, as Baby Boomers, but I don't see it attracting many of you. X-generation kids in the churches don't seem very excited with a recycling of Hippie "Jesus Movement" attractions.
Let me talk straight to you kids (only the Hippies will resent an old man calling you "kids"). A number of you kids read this web site, and respond to me, so here is what I think. I think the old Hippies are trying to attract you with the things that attracted them - and I don't think you are buying into it. I think you are looking for something else, something different - and I don't blame you one bit!
I'm an old man. I've been around a long time, and I've seen a lot of fads come and go. And I think your new generation is looking for something stable and real, not just a few more choruses on an overhead projector, and yet another feeble Bible translation. Am I at least partly right? You know it!
Here's my suggestion: start reading the Puritans. Don't let Calvinism scare you off. Not all of them were five-pointers. Baxter wasn't - and he's considered "Mr. Puritan." Richard Baxter wrote 168 books, and you should read most of them! They will set your soul on fire! Then read everything you can get your hands on about George Whitefield and John Wesley.
You will find that Baxter, Whitefield and Wesley were speaking to a world very much like the one you live in. You young people have been given a dirty, broken, heartless world - just about like the one these three men ministered in.
Baxter, Whitefield and Wesley were not "decisionists." They gave no "altar calls." They passed out no tracts door to door. They prayed no "sinner's prayer" with the lost. Yet they turned the world upside down - and saw the greatest revival since Pentecost!
The methods used in most churches today come out of the changes which occurred in evangelism in the mid-nineteenth century. Charles G. Finney and his followers dismantled the older evangelistic message and methods of men like Baxter, Whitefield and Wesley. I believe that your generation needs to go back - and reevaluate the older message of these men. Interested? Then why not order a copy of my book, A Puritan Speaks to Our Dying Nation? Phone me at (818)352-0452. I'm waiting to talk with you!