By Jason Soucinek
In case you hadn’t noticed (and how could you not?), the content, ideas, and communication of our culture is evolving at a rapid and explosive rate.
That crash you just heard? That was probably a shift in the space-time continuum as Pamela Anderson announced that pornography is slowly destroying the lives of individuals and families.
It could have been all the negative shrapnel hurling around our social media feeds as battle lines are drawn and fiercely defended during this election season.
Or, it could be as simple as Marvel vs. DC, Superman vs. Batman, or a civil war between Captain America and Ironman.
Any way you spin it, the last several months have both shocked me and made me contemplate moving to Canada.
I am consistently amazed at the pace at which our culture is moving. As someone who watches and examines what the culture does, specifically youth culture, I’ve been absolutely shocked with just how much change has occurred in such a short amount of time.
Throughout the summer Walt Mueller and I have been examining and analyzing many of the trends appearing in our culture through our podcast, Youth Culture Matters. The conversation is both heavy and insightful; I am thankful to have this space to explore some of the many things happening in our culture, including transgender issues, pornography, and self-harm.
But most people don’t have spaces like this to explore the evolving world around them. I believe this is why we find a growing frustration among people: instead of civil discourse we are feverishly defending our position while refusing to listen to the other side.
As a Christian living during these times, participating in these podcasts have made me realize three things:
First, we need to be students of scripture.
The book of Joshua declares that we should mediate on scripture day and night so that we might do what is written. When we meditate on something it becomes a part of who are and not just something we speak, but the way we live. If all we read is the angry or critical social media posts of Facebook or Twitter, this too will influence how we live and what we dwell on.
Second, we must become better at observing the world around us.
This means going further than scrolling through social media or only taking in (whether through reading or viewing) the perspective we already agree with. We must desire cultural discernment, and this is a process that takes time, humility, and critical thinking. Paul himself practiced this in Athens and Lystra so he could use elements of the culture to aid his declaration of the Gospel.
Finally, we need to recognize we are all broken.
Often I see the problem with others before I see it in me. However, when I begin to recognize that I am part of the problem it changes both my posture and my response towards a person or issue.
It also challenges me to remain in the U.S.