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What Is the Culture Wrestling With?

In your opinion, what are people wrestling with today?  What are the issues people are struggling with?  The media would have us think it’s all about the election or the financial crisis.  But I have some doubts.  I think there are more eternal challenges – identity, purpose, meaning.  Some issue transcend economic or political problems.  What do you think?  Let’s create a list.

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  1. You hit the nail right on the head, Phil. I think everybody on the planet wrestles with three questions at some point in their lives:

    1. Who am I?

    2. What’s my purpose?

    3. What am I capable of?

    Regardless of what happens with the election, the financial crisis, the War or pop-culture, these questions will always be around. As a side note, these questions play a major part in NBC’s Heroes, which is why the show has been such a phenomenon.

    In addition to these questions is the Issue of Death.

    I went to a funeral Tuesday night. And as I looked at the man in the coffin, I couldn’t get away from the fact that one day I will die – we all will die. Regardless of who we are, where we live, the color of our skin or the amount of money we make or don’t make – we all will, one day… die. Death in a sense is ‘the great equalizer.’

    So this causes me to wrestle with how I live my life and what kind of impact will I make on those around me? Because one day I will stand before God and as the scripture says, I’ll have to give an account for everything I’ve said, thought and done. I think everyone wrestles with this as well, even those who don’t want to admit it.

    The issue of how one can truly make a difference in the world – I believe – is etched on all of our hearts, even if it becomes hidden under the covers of comfortability, work schedules, the love of money, technology or any other cultural trapping of 21st Century living.

    Allen Paul Weaver III

    Author, Transition: Breaking Through the Barriers


  2. I would say an almost universal struggle is the question, "will I ever be acceptable or good enough?" So few find their sufficiency in Christ and everybody is a people-pleaser to one degree or another. There's a huge eternal implication here that I see evidenced in people's lives. Will I ever be good enough?

  3. Good question. I think a more universal struggle but one that's still tied to our time is reality. What is real, who defines what is real, and how have our definitions of what is real led us astray? Another way of saying it is, what's most important, and is that good? From a more internal angle, I would say we are struggling with loss of faith, loss of community, and the desire to re-enchant our lives with mystery and wonder in the aftermath of modern rationalism.  Gosh, all this sounds pretty way out, but I hope there's some truth to it.

  4. A lot of people are really struggling with identity. People (especially young adults) are longing for others to notice them. This can be seen through the success of social networking. The purpose of social networking is to get people to want to be your friend. So people want to have cool pages, cool comments, etc. People are way more excited when they have several comments on their wall than if their friend does.

    People want to be known. So much so, that they'd rather be famous than be wealthy.

    They are longing so desperately for an identity that can only come from Christ. 

  5. The prevailing issue is much more down and dirty. Easy, cheap and even free access to high “quality” pornographic images and movies is pervasive. And it is all undetectable for a smart person. Access to very professional high end prostitutes is easy and relatively cheap for a reasonably successful pastor/evangelist or ministry executive. You never need to leave your room. Moderate travel makes it way too easy. No man is safe, few are strong enough to resist, even fewer are honest. Even many of our helpers and healers, I fear, drink from this fount. The secret life of the Christian pastor, leader/executive is one of the gravest issues facing our culture. What do you think, guys? Am I overstating the issue?

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