CONTEMPORARY YOUTH AND POSTMODERN THEORY
We are in a new era. Though there are primordial, modern and postmodern eras. The first two has come and gone while postmodernism is what we have now. This era comes along with a lot of vices which corrupts and pollutes reality. Currently, several futile life styles pervade everywhere, churches not exempted. Postmodern philosophy or theory has gained prominence in our communities. Friend, the force behind the messages on our media, culture, politics, and even religion at present is nothing but postmodernism. The era in view is full of criticism among other things. The trend of this era is largely a reaction to the assumed certainty of scientific or objective efforts to explain reality. One of the common issues of this trend is that it seeks to set rules or theories for all group, race, tribe, culture etc. It even seeks to raise its ideas over and above the scriptural ageless truth. This in turn makes the contemporary young people skeptical. Hence, they inquisitively question every bit of kingdom principles given to them. While this article attempts to project some of the postmodern philosophy, it also speaks on its effects on the contemporary youth. Understanding this will help us to know how to jealously hold unto the scriptural truth in our present world.
The following are few of the theories of the postmodern age which is, of course, the brain behind the behavior(s) of people these days – especially, the young people. I implore you to follow on steadily as we explore it one after the other.
- There is no Absolute Truth: This particular theory proposes that truth is in strata. It is not a whole – it is scattered everywhere; and thereby subject to location. This claims that what is acceptable as truth in a location may be considered heretic in another place. Hence, there’s no universal truth. This is a lie from the pit of hell. And unfortunately it has made the word of God to be conflicted among the youth and adult alike. They scrutinize and even attempt to edit every bit of the scriptural truth. Meanwhile, this doesn’t appear to be too strange. It has been foretold in the Holy writing (the Holy Bible): “For the time will come,” the scripture predicts, “when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desire, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers, and will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4 NKJV). The predicted time is here. It is the postmodern time that was spoken of. Contemporary youths, and even some adults have not even an ample interest in scriptural truth any more. Turning away from the wholesome truth, they wonder off into myths and fictions. This is what contemporary young people are bent on pursuing. The effect of this has led many to tread the destructive path. I want to submit that, the truth is not localized. It is not regionalized, rather it is universal. This I say to establish the fact that the truth of God – the truth of the Bible – (as enshrined in the Bible) is for all human race; men’s sentiment notwithstanding. Young people should beware of this philosophy lest it snatches them away from the kingdom.
- Fact and Falsehood are Interchangeable: This is the second theory of postmodernism. Facts are data, information, evidence, etc. of an event or happening. At times, it is needed for substantiation. Facts are information considered to be true of a particular situation, while falsehood is the opposite. The proposition under view suggests that a data or information which is considered to be correct of an event or situation now may later be condemned and proved incorrect. Similarly what is considered as falsehood in an environment may be taken as true in another. Hence, fact and falsehood are interchangeable. The effect of this is confusion. A lot of youths are thrown into confusion about life. They tell them, for instance, that the information of a particular matter is correct today, and tomorrow they are told that the information of the previous day isn’t correct any longer. “Which one should we believe?” The young people asked. This confusion happens in religion and all other fields of human life.
- Absolute Freedom and Independency: Postmodern theory canvases unlimited freedom for people. “You are a reasonable being, you are at liberty to do whatever appears reasonable in your own context,” says postmodern theory. And that’s without considering what implication it could pose to his/her neighbor. This is absurdity. This particular school of thought has made contemporary youth irresponsible. It makes them to refuse guidance, rule and authority. They restrict the authority of parents, elders, pastors, mentors, government etc. They don’t want to be under guidance and tutelage of anybody – they want to live alone without any interference. They don’t want to be under watch – they restrict and refuse supervision. This is the current trend of events in our world today. Therefore, when you rebuke a youth for a wrong committed and he reviles and retorts you “I own my life.” You should know by now that that’s postmodernism spirit. The same inspires them to question the authority of the scripture. They don’t want anything that can short circuit their so called liberty.
- Morality is Individualistic: Morality has to do with the sense of right and wrong. It deals with what is generally acceptable or unacceptable behavior in the society. Postmodernism presupposes two issues here. First, it supposes that the matter of morality should be based on each person’s disposition. Here, it is believed that what a person considered to be wrong may be right for another person. Consequently, each individual should live by his own moral standard, and shouldn’t impose it on others. For instance, if lady A considers premarital sex as a wrong thing to be avoided, it should be for her alone. She shouldn’t teach or impose it on lady B to who is just a normal way of life. Secondly, the ideology asserts that the matter of morality should be determined by each society. For instance, if a society considers theft an aberration, she shouldn’t impose it on another society that does not see it same way. Sequel to this, no government of religion should impose moral rule on anyone. Dear reader, this is the picture of the world we are now. Many young people are hiding under this umbrella to commit atrocities. This is why immorality and lawlessness are spreading in our world today like winter fire. Many youths who hid under this theory had turned out to be humanizers, drug addicts, drunkards, rioters, rapists, gays, lesbians, fraudsters, porn actors and actresses, etc. Through this, they bring trouble on our world. May God deliver us. Amen!
- Rationalization is the Norm: Here postmodern philosophy exult reasoning; exercise of human thinking faculty in deciding issues. Because of this, anything called the leading or guidance of the Holy Spirit in deciding matter is fizzling out of the world system. This theory presupposes that you are free to do whatever appears logical to you. And on the other hand, anything that does not appear reasonable should be thrown to the dustbin. Whereas, the scripture already says, “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Cor. 2:14 NKJV) Spirituality is no longer celebrated. Why? The leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit appears foolish in postmodern world of ours.
- Making the Internet Source of Inspiration: Postmodernism makes young people, adult and even some pastors to trust the information offered on the internet than the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Our generation had pushed the third person of the trinity into the trash can. In fact, instead of reading the Bible, listening to messages of trusted men of God and praying to receive inspiration and guidance from God, youths and some adults now rely on the facts presented on the World Wide Web (WWW) and social networks. To worsen the matter, some so called men of God no longer have time to read, study, fast, pray and wait on God to know His mind for His people; they now rely on “pastor.com” and Bible commentaries. That’s why evil befalls us without any foreknowledge. Our generation now has unguided shepherds as her spiritual leader. May the Lord arise for our rescue.
In conclusion, while postmodern philosophies are undeniable, yet it is certain that lots of its ideas are unscriptural. Should we because of postmodernism forbid living by the principles of the Living God as stated out in the Bible? Contemporary youths, and even adults should ponder on this. Why must we be causing confusion on earth, projecting ill-behaviour, committing crime…; making the world a dangerous habitat? Why should we be bent on grieving the mind of God continually? Shouldn’t we turn and repent to make God happy for creating us into the world? Know this: any generation that grieves God perpetually will receive its due recompense. The generation of Noah which sold itself to wickedness and violence was recompensed with flood without mercy (See Genesis 6:1-7, 12-13; 7:1-24). Sodom and Gomorrah were repaid with unquenchable fire that consumed them to ashes in the pool of their grievous sin and wickedness (See Genesis 18:16-22; 19:24-25). Why should we adhere to this current trend and suffer divine damnation? Let’s turn to God, each of us, and forsake the wickedness of our hands like the people of Nineveh. When we do this, our generation will obtain mercy just as Nineveh. (See Jonah 31-10).
Living by postmodern philosophy instead of divine principle is like forsaking the reality for that which is unreal. Against this we are instructed thus: “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” (Colossians 2:8 NKJV) Shalom!
By Solomon Oladipupo