Last week it was announced that Stone Cold Steve Austin would be the face of the new WWE’s 2K16 edition of their video game. While there were a lot of positive responses to the WWE’s choice, there were many who did not understand why they chose an out-of-date performer.
Stone Cold has grown cold with the present day wrestling fan. The new faces are Brock Lesner, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns.
Of course some of us are still hanging on to the Hulkster (Hulk Hogan) and the Nature Boy (Ric Flair). I hate to break it to you, but Hulkemania is over, and the “Natche” is sixty-six years old.
BTW, the American Dream died on June 11, 2015.
It’s a new era
Generations come and go. What was, is no more. Your preferences and pleasures will be passé. The question that we all have to wrestle with is whether we’re willing to index forward by engaging the here and now or are we going to commiserate with our old friends, in our rectangular, red brick, church buildings about how things used to be.
Adam and Eve wore fig leaves. We dress differently today. Things do change. The unfortunate thing is that the one people group who seem to be the most unwilling to change are Christians.
We seem to be always looking backward, holding on to what used to be, while being pulled into the next iteration of what our culture has become. What makes this disastrous for our culture is that we are not the pacesetters who are showing others how to live well in an evolving culture (John 14:6).
It is the secular world that determines how we are going to live, while we kick against what they are offering. Our best move has always been to be reactionary to their cultural installments.
While it may be sentimental to wear Hulkemania bandanas or to yell, “Whooo” at the top of your lungs, the truth is that Terry and Ric are history. We now live in a Brock Lesner world—at least until he is replaced by whatever the next storyline is in the WWE universe.
Change is good
The problem is that too many of us equate change with compromise, which keeps us bogged down in the past while simultaneously losing ground to the encroachments of paganism.
The wiser response would be cultural engagement. Keeping up with the times by staying relevant should be intuitive and pneumatic because we are the only ones who can bring clarity and common sense to cultural evolution.
Therefore, we have to decide if we are going to lead or follow.
This generation does not know who Hulk Hogan is, unless they have gone on Wikipedia. Their heroes are different from ours, and if we do not understand and accommodate this truth, then we will continue to lose them.
Adam and Steve
Stone Cold getting the video game cover was not the only thing that happened in the past few weeks. The gay community capped off a 40-year plan to legalize gay marriage in June, 2015.
While Christians have been yelling at the gays for decades, they have been strategically and methodically dismantling an entire culture’s world view regarding homosexuality. Now the world is convinced that God made Adam and Eve, and Adam and Steve.
The gay community had a more layered and intellectual plan to marginalize the Bible. Of course, we have helped them mock God’s Word by our quirky sayings and bumper sticker theology.
In the meantime, there is a generation of Christian youth who do not have a problem with the gay problem. There are at least two reasons for this:
- Their chronological starting point (when they were born) was different from our starting point.
- Their predecessors (old Christians) have not engaged the gay world view well.
A “gay response” timeline
- Prior to 1960: Many people hated gays.
- 1960 to 1980: My generation thought gay-ness was odd, but we did not necessarily hate them.
- 1980 to 2000: The next generation became tolerant of gays
- 2000 to 2015: The current generation says, “What’s the big deal? God is love.”
We are not in Kansas anymore, and if you are not willing to accept that things have changed, while humbly engaging our current culture according to the way it is, then you will not add any Gospel value into the world in which we all live.
The thing that is missing in the timeline above is sound, humble, and practical biblical engagement. All four of the response patterns have this one thing in common: they were reactions to what the gays were doing.
My dad hated them. I reacted to them by thinking that being gay was weird. Those who came behind me became more tolerant as the gay community blitzed our minds to their way of thinking through a multimedia approach.
The result was not surprising: It was a short step to vote “yes” to gay marriage, and that is where we are today. We can feel defeated, afraid and angry about this, or we can rethink how we are to engage the gay issue.
- How are you engaging your community regarding the gay problem?
- How are you talking to your children about gays, sex, and sexuality?
Our discussions must be more than calling it sin, while separating ourselves, in an illusionary way, from the encroachments of the culture.
No one is righteous
If you think you can separate yourself or your children from this problem, then you are living in an illusion. That method may have “worked for you” when the world was smaller and Amish-like, but it does not work that way any longer.
The queerification of America was a success. If we continue to bury our proverbial heads in the sand, then we and our religion will become fossilized—at least until Jesus returns. In the meantime, it would humble and wise for us to rethink how we engage our culture.
The sex talk, like all other talks, begins with the Gospel. Though the Gospel is one thing—the person and work of Christ–the practicalization of the Gospel is many things. You could think about the practical Gospel like a multi-faceted diamond: with each turn you see a new facet—a unique way to apply it to your life.
For this piece I want to deal with two of those Gospel facets:
- Humility (attitude)
- Courage (conviction)
Your attitude about gays will determine how you talk to your children about gays. If you hate them or if you are angry with them or if you have any other kind of detestation toward them, then you must change your attitude before you open your mouth.
The Gospel is clear: we’re all the same in that we’re equally rotten to the core (Romans 3:10-12). Nobody has a righteous advantage over any other person. Though your wickedness may be different from my wickedness or their wickedness, there is no difference in any of us—for all have sinned (Romans 3:23).
If you stratify righteousness or wickedness, then you have already begun outside biblical boundaries. You, me, and the gay guy are the same in the eyes of God. It is only the penetrating and transforming power of the Gospel that makes us different from any other sinner.
And that power comes to us as a gift, not because of any special merit that we inherently possess or have accrued through moral living (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Our attitude toward gays should be loving because, as we say, “There I would be too if it were not for the grace of God.” Your children should not hear hate or anger from you when you talk about the gay community.
If you do hate them, then your children will either (1) emulate your anger or (2) embrace the gays version of love—a love devoid of biblical conviction. Therefore, your starting point should be a level playing field: there are no righteous people, no not one (Romans 3:10-12).
No spirit of fear
With a broken heart for sinners as your starting point, then you are positioned to bring a God-glorifying, theologically precise answer to the gay problem. You are ready to engage your children and give them a lens through which to view their world.
My point here is not to present an argument on why being gay is a sin. There are many places on the net where you can find sound, biblical responses for why the gay lifestyle is wrong, e.g., here, here, and here.
The point of this piece is how and why we should have more biblically intelligent conversations with our children, who either do not know how to think about the gay problem or they have bought the lie that being gay is okay.
This is where parents need courage to sit down with their children and walk them through how to think about sex and sexuality. (As for the sex talk, I have written over 6000 words on how to have the sex talk with your child.)
The “sex talk” begins when your children are around one to two-years of age. The “sex talk” begins with your husband and wife example of what sex and sexuality looks like from a Gospel-centered world view.
Every parent models the sex talk years before they talk about it to their children. Your modeling of sexuality will set the earliest and most powerful stage for how your children will think about sex and sexuality.
The husband/wife union is a picture of Christ and His church (Ephesians 5:25-31). That is what your children will see and react to. You will either be a good and transforming model of what sex and sexuality is like, or you’ll be a poor one.
If you are a poor model of Christ and His church, then by the time you have the actual sex talk, if you choose to have it at all, your children will already be confused about sex and sexuality.
Your children should see and experience in your home your proactive, loving, reciprocating, unique gender roles. Each couple has nearly a decade to present proper sexuality to their children, and if done well, then the sex talk becomes added affirmation, plus a natural continuation of what they have been observing.
If your marriage modeling has not looked like Christ and His church, then your children will be susceptible to the world’s message, which is heavily dosed with gay confusion.
Your call to action
This article is not an exhaustive talk about sex, sexuality, and the gay problem. You could say we’ve only just begun.
If you are interested in continuing to think about how we are to live in a gay world, while leading the next generation through it, then here are some question for your consideration–to keep the conversation going.
- Which world do you live? (Hulkster is passé. So is the Nature Boy and Stone Cold. And the American Dream passed away in June.)
- Have you indexed forward to this generation, or are you living in fear of or anger over what is happening in our culture?
- Are you biblically and practically engaging this culture? Do you know how to do this?
- Are you biblically and practically engaging your children? Do you know how to do this?
- Are you angry with gays, or do you see yourself as equal with them, apart from the transforming power of the Gospel in your life?
- Do you know how to be loving toward the gay community, while presenting a sound and biblical message regarding their sinful lifestyles?
- If you are married, how has your marriage presented a clear and loving example of Christ and His church to your children? (If your marriage has marred the picture of Christ and His church, then what do you both need to do to change?)
- What has modeling the sex talk and talking the sex talk to your children been like? Do you need to change something? If so, what is that thing? Be specific and detailed.
- If you need some help regarding these things, will you get that help today? Go here.
- If you are interested in continuing this discussion, will you do so on our private forum? This is where I hang out; let us serve you that way.