My friend and I knocked on your door and you told us that it is the younger generation that we should be telling about God. I completely agree with you.
When I look around at my generation, it breaks my heart. School friends constantly show off images of their wild nights, proudly displaying packed timelines of ex-boyfriends and doting updates on the progress of their infants. Others wallow in their empty success — unemployed, but at least they made it to graduation. And some of my friends, unable to bear the turning of the years, cut them short and I could not stop them.
You are right, sir, they need to know God and I will tell them, I promise, again and again and I will not give up on them. Yes, we need to tell the younger generation about God.
But may I take a moment to tell you what else I can see?
There is a young generation who are in danger because they do not know God, but there is another generation too and this generation does not realise the precariousness of their position.
There is a generation who were born into the kirk and raised to a high moral standard. They read their Bibles from cover to cover and graced the pews with admirable devotion and thought themselves the better for it. They knew everything there was to know about their religion.
That generation is also in danger. Sir, the generation of which I speak thinks itself safe because it follows the rules and attended the kirk and never broke a law in its life nor harmed an undeserving soul.
I cannot tell you how it pains me but it must be said that this older generation is in as much danger as the young. It thinks it has pleased God, but it does not know him.
Reading Scripture is not enough. Good works mean nothing. The Cradle Roll is not the same as the Lamb’s Book of Life.
What matters is that Jesus was sacrificed for your sins. He took all of the anger of God that should have been directed at you. Then, after three days, he was raised from the dead — God’s stamp of approval. What matters is not your upbringing and reading habits but that you understand the gravity of what you have done by disobeying God; that you realise what Christ has done to remedy that; that you recognise that you are not a good person; and that you repent and put your life in Christ’s wounded hands and trust and serve him.
But you said yourself that you do not believe this to be true and so you are in as much danger as the drunken teenage mother that you look down on. You told our parents that Jesus was just a good man and that God likes kids that go to Sunday School and do what they are told. Our parents told us that there is no God, or that he is judgemental and obsessive about his rules. So my generation know nothing of God.
The self-righteous man is in as much danger as the ignorant one. Or perhaps he is worse off because he thinks that he is safe but never stops to wonder if this is actually true.
Dear sir, today my friend and I knocked on your door and your eyebrows shot up when I said you need to know God, that knowing about him isn’t good enough.
You said to begin with that it is the younger generation that we need to tell about God (and I promise I am telling them) but sir, as I stood there in the cold and the rain outside your six bedroom house with the marble hallway and glass panelled door, it saddened me that what you said is true.
And yet you never told us. It was we, the younger generation, who brought Christ to your door.