Solid Sin and Solid Forgiveness

Originally published October 2004.

Nearly every music artist with a Christian upbringing says something similar to this. "We do have a lot of faith in God, and I attribute everything we have to Him, but there's no way that either of us could do with going to church on a regular basis. We are not your typical Christians by any means at all, but I do try to do good by people. That's my religious effort." --Benji Madden of Good Charlotte (Blender, May 2003). Of course, Good Charlotte's (and others) lifestyle choices would make you wonder why they bothered to say that at all. The Stuffed Culture Collection is full of such quotes and the same sort of thing can be heard time and time again when talking to youth (and adults for that matter). Some may say that this is postmodern thinking with more and more believing that there is more than one way to God and as long as you are good, you will make it to heaven. Surely a good God would not send a good person to hell. But in actuality, these are not new postmodernistic thoughts at all. This kind of thinking has been bothering many many philosophers and writers (and me and I'm sure you) for many years.

Oswald Chambers said in My Utmost for His Highest (that's not a postmodern book by the way),

The Hip-Hop Youth Movement

Originally published March 2004.

"There's a huge movement of young people getting involved in Christianity. The culture that those young people are up in is hip-hop. Yet in their creative art forms, they want to express their faith in God." --Ken Pennell, president of EMI Gospel, Vibe, December 2003

Did this guy say there is a Christian youth movement going on? Are you seeing any form of this youth movement going on?

In Mark Senter's book, The Coming Revolution in Youth Ministry, he briefly outlines the seed plots of a youth movement as being the increase of secularization, times of social unrest, and the birth starting in the middle class. Current events like the Ten Commandments debate (secularization), the fear of terrorism (social unrest), and the soccer mom phenomenon slowly taking a turn where families are saying no to overscheduling (middle class) can be the set ups for a youth movement. The changing high school system (see The Changing High School) is certainly a bright red flag. Now this president of EMI Gospel identifies a youth movement in the hip-hop culture.

Wearing Our Colors and Living on the "Other Side"

Originally published in September 1996.

“Out of the corner of her eye, Lena Horne saw what looked like a small, dark-brown bag falling from the window of the 14-story apartment building at 3833 South Langley Avenue.It hit the ground less than 20 feet from her feet and lay there motionless amid the debris scattered around the courtyard.Lena thought it was a bag of trash.As the thirteen year old walked to the rear entrance of the building and banged on the door, a boy rushed up and begged her for help.‘Somebody just threw my brother from the window,’ he pleaded. Lena ignored him.