New Conservatives – Needs
New Conservatives – Needs
Most of these people are not true millennials. The world has influenced them but has not squeezed them into its mold; at least not to that extent. There are, however, some absolutely imperatives if they are to survive. What do they need?
1. Bible teaching and study – have been part of their training but most of it has been too shallow to be useful. It is just enough to be dangerous. It is enough to immunize them against real, diligent, life-controlling Bible study of the sort that began the Swiss Brethren in 1525. The new conservatives must make serious Bible study a part of their lives. There is nothing that will replace that. There is nothing that can replace that.
2. Foundations of Anabaptist History and Confessions. Relative to our history we have two choices: either learn from it or else repeat it. Too few of us know enough of who we really are. That is found in the heritage and in the confessions that have been written by our people. From Schleitheim to Dordrecht and many more, our people have written what we believe and confess. Those documents are irreplaceable in protecting our heritage. Anabaptist has become a culture. Business and farming have become the religion. That has to be changed if we are to survive.
3. Philosophy. The Anabaptist movement was/should be something of an “un-philosophy.” Nevertheless, people live by philosophy. Choosing the Biblical approach in the midst of a smorgasbord is no simple matter. The Biblical philosophy is determinable by a study of the Scripture, directed by the Holy Spirit as the Godly people have been led through out time and finally in the Anabaptist movements of the 1500s and the Pietist movements of the 1700s.
4. Ideology. Ideology is in opposition to truth. It would not need to be that way but that is the way it works out. It is critical to be able to determine the difference between truth and ideology. If we cannot tell the difference, we will adopt good-sounding and mind-deadening and truth-replacing ideologies. Ideologies come in packages. It is very difficult to buy a part of a package. But, it must be done if we are to survive. Maturity provides discernment to make those choices. The new conservatives must learn to detect the difference and to reject any and all total ideologies as life patterns. They must be able to reject erroneous parts of any packages that have become accepted.
5. Prayer. “Teach us to pray.” The “Lord’s prayer” is the most beautiful of all prayers. It is “our Father” who we worship and who forgives “our” debts and who gives “our” daily bread. The New Conservatives will need to learn to depend on prayer as life depends on it – because it does. Prayer is our connection to Father. Prayer transcends matter and accesses Spirit. Prayer makes us Godly.
6. Wisdom. Wisdom comes as a gift from God and as a gift from the older, wiser persons. Here is where they need us. Here is where we are God’s gift to them. Those of us who care must help them deal with the inherited problems that we have made for them. We must refine their thinking with God’s model.
7. Church. Can the new conservatives get a grasp of what it means to be the Church? Can they worship and teach and fellowship and love each other and their neighbors and, and, and ……….. The obedient Church is collectively filled with the Holy Spirit and is made up of Spirit filled persons. That is the culture that is produced by The Holy Spirit in every age.
8. Media and purity – Can the new conservatives understand the negative impact of movies, games, and pornography? This may be the most profound negative impact on the new conservatives. Unless they can come to grips with controlling their passions in these areas, they really have no future. Innocent beginnings lead to Spiritual strong holds in the heart and life. Some things can be useful in moderation. Some things must be eliminated. These must be eliminated or death awaits.
Can the New Conservatives make the needed adjustments? Can they live a life of Spiritual discernment? They can and they must and really, many of them are. There are many young men and women who are diligent about making the Scripture live in their own lives. They are experiencing the freeing passions that free from passions. They are forfeiting systems to bow to the Scripture as it comes alive by the Holy Spirit living in and through them.
God bless these wonderful people. Their focus on truth and their focus on changing self while changing the world; their willingness to risk their lives, their training;,
their willingness to focus on meeting needs, transcend materialism; their skills, their internal compass, their willingness to speak for the unfortunate, their rejection of the negative aspects of postmodernism, their heart-worship. They are standing for truth without bashing the older generation. They are patient – waiting for others to join them in God’s Church.
God is preparing them for a future that none of us can anticipate. God is preparing them for a future that He alone knows.