What is a generation? One dictionary defines it as “all of the people born and living at about the same time, regarded collectively.” Often Scripture speaks of generations in those terms.
However, at times Scripture identifies “generation” with a certain set of characteristics, and we do the same. Tom Brokaw in speaking of those living during the World War II era as “the greatest generation” was linking those living during that era with characteristics such as courage, responsibility, and patriotism.
We find Jesus applying this perspective on “generation” when He came down from the Mounts of Transfiguration and was informed by a father that His disciples could not heal his son. Jesus responded by lamenting, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you?” (Matthew 17:17 ESV)
An analysis of American culture reveals that beginning in the 1960s our society adopted a certain set of characteristics that has persisted since then. Cultural observers speak of the Baby Boomer generation, Generation X, Y, and Z, etc., and it is true that minor variations have occurred within our society between the 1960s and the present. However, the post-Christian cultural orientation introduced to America in the 1960s has dominated our culture since then. Consequently, we can legitimately refer to that span of time as a generation.
An objective evaluation of the characteristics of this generation reveals it to be predominantly evil. It has discarded honesty, fidelity, responsibility, and virtually every other expression of morality, replacing it with endless manifestations of wickedness. It is difficult to identify any redeeming aspects of this generation. Not only is it evil, but because it is evil it is also vastly destructive. It has destroyed our marriages and families, our government, our economy, our military, our educational system, and virtually every other dimension of our society. For a half-century it has served as a cultural wrecking ball bringing to ruin what Americans have worked so hard to build across several centuries. The few advances that have been made during this period can be traced to the remaining influence of our previous Christian-oriented culture.
Of course, not all Americans have bought into this destructive generational culture to the same degree. Americans in the heartland have resisted its onslaught of evil to a greater extent than those in the North East and West Coast. Conservatives have resisted more than liberals. Evangelicals have shown greater resistance than those of some other religious orientations or those possessing none at all.
That said, however, we must face the hard truth that all of us have been infected to some degree. I remember reporting for duty at Fort Hood, Texas, during what might legitimately be labeled as a grasshopper plague. They were everywhere. You could not walk down the street without crunching them under your feet. You could try to keep them out of your house and might succeeded to some degree, but no one living a normal life could entirely escape their presence and influence.
Likewise, our culture imposes itself on us in newscasts, commercials, dress, music, politics, and in common discourse. Think in terms of mom, dad, and three children as they try to find family entertainment on television encountering a commercial dealing with “ED.” “What is that, mommy?” Then there is Target that opens its fitting rooms to all comers. This immersion in moral filth pollutes us all to some extent.
The solution does not reside in designing hermetically sealed cultural bubbles in which we seek to shield ourselves from this wicked environment. Rather, the solution resides in identifying this evil, filthy generation for what it is and purging ourselves of it. We must recognize that from the Summer of Love and Woodstock on, its concepts, its attitudes, its values, its music entertainment, and virtually everything else about this generation is comprised of unmitigated wickedness. We must acknowledge that it has no redeeming value. We must see it for the rot that it is.
As such, we must cut it off at its root. We must purge America of this generation, obviously not in terms of the people, but of the vile ideology that drives it and the wicked behaviors that result from it. There is no substitute. There can be no accommodations, no compromise. It offers nothing that is salvageable.
Hope begins by diagnosing this generation as an aggressive cancer and identifying our objective as surgically removing it. That surgical procedure must include identifying and removing aspects of this wicked generational cancer that have metastasized into the evangelical community. My new book, Counterattack, identifies this cancer and the related contemporary evangelical malignancies.
Only as evangelicals adopt this objective of removing this generational cancer and aggressively seek to achieve it will America have hope of survival and restoration to wellness.