Young people today are very quick to pick up on the incredibly hypocritical way in which we portray the Christian life. We have perhaps become much like David (1 Sam. 11.1-15). Our thoughts and minds are permanently placed on the pleasures of our hearts rather than on the life that God gives us in Christ. It is no wonder that we do not have young people as part of our faith journey when we ourselves cannot and fail to live to the heart of the Christian message in our parishes, dioceses and denominations. We only have to look at the last few years to see this truth with the Royal Commission and the stories that are told of faith groups and their leaders / followers. If they or any other who feels themselves outside the community are not allowed their voice then they will not be found within the established community. Rather they will become lost pilgrims looking for reliable guides in the wild places but finding only ephemeral links to solace. Only when we begin to find Christ in our lives and move to the fringes will we find those that have received their leaving certificates. The deep roots of Christ-likeness need to settle into our hearts so that we can truly mirror Christ to those who come to us and those we go out to (Eph 3.17).
Hear the fringe voices not the voices of the brainwashed (from Fake Tattoos)
In baptism we are called to ministry in the community, we are called to bring the light of Christ into the hearts and minds of those around us. In doing so we are called to live as Christ and in so doing we preach the word of God. Unfortunately, some believe we are asked to preach the word and everything will be alright. This is not God speaking this is human brainwashing to sustain power and authority. If we are unable to learn from and hear God speak in the tongues of the youth who are confirmed and then leave the organised Church then we are truly unable to hear God's word. If we are unable to listen to dissenting voices on the fringes of our societies that are embedded in the hearts of those who are confirmed and leave then we are doing God and our faith an injustice. If we want to hear the true voice of the young we need to listen to those who feel themselves marginalised by the church and not those who are brainwashed by organised religion.
Christ found himself among the poorest and reached out with an open heart to succour them (Jn 6.1-13). He did not turn his heart away from them he listened and fed them. Too often we organise ourselves in accordance with what we like as "adults" in faith. We are loath to hear discontent and angst. We want to hear what is good not what is wrong. Unlike Christ we are not prepared to hear the voices from the fringes of society that live in our own families and our own homes. We sometimes look to far to bring Christ home. Christ is in our midst in the tortured voices of our missing youth and we often act as yr 8 classroom children in response.