Years ago I was part of an apostolic team of fathers who mentored, equipped and empowered radical youth. We believed then and still do now that we are to help define and lead a countercultural movement. It is our passion to upset the sinful status quo of society and the church. Youth are key!
In 1933 Hitler said, “If I can separate the youth of Germany from their parents I will conquer this nation.” He started a movement called “The Brown Shirts” in which 100,000 youth stood in Berlin with their right hand raised and screaming. “Hitler, we are yours!” Imagine our youth pledging that kind of allegiance to King Jesus!
It is rumored that, around that same time period, the Communist leader Joseph Stalin made the following statement concerning youth: “If we can effectively kill the national pride and patriotism of just one generation, we will have won that country. Therefore, there must be continued propaganda abroad to undermine the loyalty of the citizens in general and the teenagers in particular. By making readily available drugs of various kinds, by giving a teenager alcohol, by praising his wildness, by strangling him with sex literature and by advertising to his and her psycho-political preparation, create the necessary attitude of chaos, idleness and worthlessness.” If demonically inspired men can affect our youth this way, imagine what divine inspiration will do!
Sin has wasted our youth. We’ve not given them something worthy to live for, and something worthy to die for. To do anything below what they were created to do will bore them. That is the reason many of our young people turn to drugs, alcohol, immorality and other sensual thrills. That is why they need to be awakened to their ultimate purpose in Jesus Christ.
In revolutionary countries youth are trained in combat and weapons. They are taught principles of Communism and the tenets of militant Islam. They give themselves wholeheartedly to the goal of world domination. Someone once said that Satan is preparing his army, but the church is entertaining her children. We need a radical departure from the standard method of training young men and women for ministry. We need a touch of wholesome extremism to launch a counterculture JESUS revolution!
Yes, just as a certain kind of passivity limits the ministry of God’s kingdom, a certain kind of extremism will expand it. The Bible is a book of extremes. Extreme acts of God and history-changing events (like the dividing of the Red Sea and the resurrection of Jesus Christ among so many others); extreme characters (men and women who changed the world); extreme demands to follow the Lord (denying yourself, taking up your cross daily, etc.); extreme blessings for obedience (Mark 10:29-30); extreme consequences for unrepentant sin and disobedience (Luke 13:3, Matt. 7:21-23).
— Bert Farias, CHARISMA News, Extremism: The Key to Launching a Spiritual Revolution, January 30, 2015
Bert Farias is the founder of Holy Fire Ministries
NO. The reason why young people turn to drugs, alcohol and other self destructive behaviors is NOT because the church hasn’t given them enough to do or because it’s boring for them. They are doing these things because they are made by the church and their parents to think that they will never, ever be good enough. They are told they are sinful, dirty creatures. They are told that everything that feels good and is enjoyable is a sin, and that every stray thought makes them a horrible reprobate worthy of hell. They are taught that their sexuality, the very basic biological urges and drives of humanity, are inherently dirty, disgusting, sinful, and worthy of eternal death. They are made to feel that they can never truly win. They are never good enough.
Is it any wonder that they self-medicate? And if you’re going to sin by having a drink, why not have an entire case and a bag of weed while you’re at it?
I agree with this guy that if you want youth to be ‘on fire for Jesus’ you need call them to a life of extremism. This especially appeals to young men who are attracted by macho appeals to live a radical and disciplined life. Words like ‘battle’ and ‘army’ appeal to young men. I have seen it first hand. Tell them that impure thoughts need to be ‘killed off’ and that we are all in this ‘battle” together and suddenly they get all fired up to start fighting sin. Inevitably behind closed doors they fail which only leads to more ‘manning up’ and repentance before other guys before the whole cycle starts again.
But the author of this post should consider – do we really want to emulate Hitler, Stalin and Co??? He is basically saying that the youth can be brainwashed and manipulated… so why not brainwash them for God.
As I was reading your description, I realized it sounded like what ISIS does…appeal to young men to repent and sacrifice for God. Pretty damn scary.
In the circles I grew up in, appeals to fanaticism were quite common. We were encouraged to read missionary biographies, stories about men who were resolutely devoted to God, willing to sacrifice everything — including their lives — for the cause. These stories played a big part in my own acts of (foolish) self-denial, leading to, at times, severe financial deprivation. My motto was: better to burn out than rust out for Jesus.