Warning! Godless philosophies coming to a cell phone near you. As Christians we know that all worldly philosophies are in direct opposition to the scriptures and the Christian faith. However, Post-Modernism has been proven to be the most hostile to true Christianity.
Phil Hunt works through what Post-Modernism is, how we should react to it as Christians, and more particularly as Christian parents.
A Christian’s primary parenting responsibility is Christian discipleship. As Christians we believe that truth is not a social construct; it is not subjective. In fact, we know that truth is a person – Jesus. Discipleship means we teach our children to obey this person who embodies truth.
The question is – how? In this talk Phil Hunt gives us clear and applicable ways to disciple our children faithfully – and effectively – in our current context.
“Theology is not a hat that you wear on your head. It’s shoes that you strap on your feet! When are we supposed to disciple our children? All the time!”
This talk was delivered online at The Zambia Annual Reformed Family Conference, 2020.
Below is a summary of several points that Phil touches on in his talk.
What Is Post-Modernism?
Post-Modernism (which emerged in the early 1980s) is a Western value system that views each individual person as a final authority for truth. It is based on how we view or experience things.
Prior to this movement, the prevailing philosophy in the West was Modernism. Modernists believe that ultimate truth is found in science and human logic apart from God (rejecting the supernatural). However, the Post-Modernist says this: There is no objective truth. The supernatural is accepted, but has no authority. Indeed there is no external, institutional or supernatural authority. Every man is his own authority.
Post-Modernism is characterised by broad skepticism and a general suspicion of human reason. There is no objective truth. Rather, reality and truth are constructed by different cultures and sub-cultures that share a language or context. “Your truth can be your truth and mine can be mine. They may be opposite but both are OK and both are fine.”
How Post-Modernism Affects Society
Post-Modernism works itself out practically in society in some distinct ways. For example gender identity. A Post-Modernist view of gender is “I look like a man. But if I feel like a woman, I am one. It does not matter what my biological gender was at birth.”
Equally, we have examples in current-day views on marriage. Marriage can be whatever I feel it should be. A man with a woman, or a man with multiple woman, or a man with another man, or a woman with another woman. Or even with children.
How Should We React?
We as a culture in Zambia have a strong negative reaction to this. But that reaction needs to be based in scripture – not based on our culture. Otherwise we will lose the battle for our youth before it is even begun.
People who think this way are still made in the image of God. We should not persecute them. However, we must clearly, truthfully and lovingly stand against the false belief system and the sin. We speak the truth courageously – regardless of the cost. And we do this in love.
Why is this important in the context of biblical parenting?
First, what we believe determines what we do. The things that you value and believe in the depths of your heart shape the decisions that you make and the actions that you take. These values are being shaped in ways that we many not be fully aware of.
There are values that are being promoted to our children right here in Zambia every single day. Many of these reject the truth and authority claims of the scriptures. The primary vehicle being used to promote these values is technology – social media, video clips, the internet in general.
Popular culture has become the main tool through which our urbanised youth learn about themselves, society and the world at large. It pervades the music they listen to, clothes they wear and entertainment they enjoy. These choices reveal what a person values.
You want to know what pop culture looks like in Zambia? Go online and look up your kids’ favourite music artist. Or go on Facebook and google the latest popular Zambian prophet – and you will see how African religious pop culture portrays success with flash!
The Focus of Post-Modern Parenting
In Post modernism the parenting goal is to develop a child’s self esteem. Thus parents see themselves as facilitators of their child’s hopes and dreams. Children on the other hand view themselves as equal with their authorities. Their desires and opinions are just as valid as those of their parents, teachers, pastors or other authorities in their lives. The results? It is eroding confidence in and submission to the word of God.
Priority is given to my experience and the way I feel. But we are called as Christian parents to stand and refute false ideas with the truth.
So What Should Christian Parents Do?
Talk to your children. Talk to them about biblical authority and the authority of God’s word. Do they see in your life that you view this book as authoritative?
Talk about the Biblical roles in society and the home. Talk about Biblical gender – that god created in the beginning. And the role of women and men.
Talk to your Children about sin. Immorality is sin. Not culturally cute or expected as a Christian. Rebellion and disobedience against authority is sin. And talk to your Children about grace. That God came into the world and lavished his grace on sinners so that we can know him and follow him.
And tell them that we should give grace to other sinners. By speaking the truth and loving them – by praying for their salvation.
Demonstrate your own submission to the authority of scripture in every area of your life. Why? Because every disciple, when he is fully trained, will be just like his teacher (Luke 6). And that is our ultimate goal.