Paul left me a note this morning, recommending a piece from a 2005 issue of Vice magazine, an alt-pub definitely targeting the Gen-Y market. He thought it would be "an excellent supplement" to my recent piece "You know your plastic from your cash..."
I wouldn't say the magazine earns points for intellectual rigor, at least not on the surface. But looking past the narcissistic fashion ads and the crude depictions of alternative lifestyles, there are islands of substance. One example is from the series "Hey you kids! Get off my lawn!" which appears to be devoted to the hypocrisy of their baby-boomer parents still trying to live the drug-induced vision (and I'm glad I'm not one of them). The piece brought to my attention, penned by the Rev Chuck de Groat of Chicago's Reformed Theological Seminary, is entitled "Me-sus Christ." (WARNING: Obviously, it helps to ignore the other stuff.)
They've stripped churches of anything historical or traditional and replaced it... in favor of "personal experiences." It's all about how Jesus makes you feel.... I think the main problem is they trivialize real problems people are going through... I'm a counsellor and I see a lot of baby boomers coming out of these churches saying, "They're telling me everything is OK, but it doesn't feel OK..."Well, that's the real trick, isn't it?
It was easy for mainstream Protestantism to make "the Lord's Supper" expendable, since it was peripheral to the cult of personality anyway, dating back to the Reformation. Catholics have the Sacraments, and that is our edge -- an edge that's hard to see past the "Welcoming Committee" and Father Feelgood's preoccupation with everything but What Really Matters.
My generation grew up promising ourselves, that we would be different than our parents. Now we're only different in all the wrong ways, and we wonder why our kids want to be different than us.
For what it's worth, Paul was raised as a Byzantine Catholic, his mother's rite. By now he should know why.