This morning I gave a presentation to the Women’s Missionary Union of Second Baptist Church. I chose to speak about reaching out to a post-podern generation. I called the message “A Domestic Foreign Culture” because, even though post-modernism is now ever-present in our society, it is like a foreign culture to so many, who are rooted in modernism.
Towards the beginning of the presentation, my mentor Bill Baer helped me in a reading of a dramatic dialogue I wrote to introduce the post-modern mindset to those present. Bill read the part of “Mod”, the Modern Evangelist. I read the part of “Post-Mod”, or the stereotypical Post-Modern guy. Let me head off a few comments by pointing out that these are both stereotypes, and I know that they do not necessarily represent even a simple majority of Moderns or Post-Moderns. But I do think their conversation is informative… and hopefully interesting. So here it is:
A Failure to Communicate
Mod: Hi, I’m Tim.
Post-Mod: Hey. Lucas.
Mod: So… do you… go to church anywhere?
Post-Mod: Hm. I’m at church right now, man.
Post-Mod: You know… I carry the divine spark within me… and so do you. So you and I are sitting here at the bus stop… and we’re at church.
Mod: OK, well… what do you know about Jesus?
Post-Mod: Oh, dude! I love Jesus, man! He was this killer peace-loving rebel. Hardcore, man.
Mod: So, have you ever accepted him as your Lord and Savior?
Post-Mod: Um… never said it like that.
Mod: Would you like to?
Post-Mod: OK… I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. How was that?
Mod: No, I mean… do you want to pray to accept him?
Post-Mod: I just did.
Mod: Excuse me?
Post-Mod: You know… the divine is in me, in you… in that half-empty bottle of Bud Dry on the curb. All those great mystics and gurus of the past are listening in, man! I’m talkin’ with Buddha, Mohammad, Jesus, Confucius, all those guys! So why do I have to close my eyes and use all your Thee’s and Thou’s… your churchy language?
Mod: I don’t use Thee’s and Thou’s.
Post-Mod: Well, you know what I mean… Big, Bible words, I don’t know, uh… idoltery, and… versimilitude. You know how you all talk.
Mod: Well, you can speak to God in your own words.
Post-Mod: Great! Cause I already did that.
Post-Mod: Look, man… I know where this is going, ok? You don’t just want me to pray a prayer. You want me to quit drinking, quit smoking, quit cussing, quit foolin’ around. You want me to dress like you, talk like you, and go to Bible studies every week.
Mod: Well, that’s not…
Post-Mod: Hold up, man… You know what? I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to stomp on your spirit like that, right? You’ve obviously got something that works for you… and I think that’s great, you know? I mean… you’re workin’ that cardigan, dude. I’m happy for ya.
Mod: You like Jesus, right?
Post-Mod: Yeah, man.
Mod: And you believe you have God inside you, right?
Mod: Well, do you know Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to God except through me.”?
Post-Mod: That is awesome, man.
Mod: So… don’t you want to just follow Him, and not Buddha, Confucius, et cetera?
Post-Mod: You are so CERTAIN, man! I love that. Don’t ever lose that.
Mod: Well, don’t you want to be certain, too?
Post-Mod: Nah… I’m down with uncertainty. Y’know… mystery, searching, questioning. That’s really more my bag. Wup… here’s my bus.
Mod: Oh, yeah… mine, too.
Post-Mod: Where you going?
Mod: Uh… Kearney… Street?
Post-Mod: Then why don’t you take that Camry you drove up in and stop pestering me… Before I lose my…you know, karma.