A Word from Josh
I believe we are about to face “the perfect storm.” There are three critical storm systems that I believe are converging to create a youth crisis of massive proportions. Today’s kids, in evangelical homes and churches, are confronting: (1) an intellectual storm—a crisis of moral and spiritual truth because they do not know why they believe what they believe; (2) a moral storm—a crisis of morality because they are not equipped or prepared to resist the onslaught of the immoral digital age; and (3) a relational storm—a crisis in relational connections because they are not understanding spiritual and moral truth within the context of relationships.
We as the church have encountered various crises of young people over the decades, but what I see taking place eclipses anything I have seen in my lifetime. I believe if we do not face these three converging storms now beginning with the intellectual storm, it will soon be the greatest youth crisis of the 21st century!
A Vision for Heroic Truth
The Heroic Truth emphasis is a series of intergenerational events designed to equip youth and their Christian gatekeepers (parents, pastors, youth and children’s workers, Christian educators) with a Christian apologetic.
The message as outlined in Josh’s quote above is defined more extensively in “The Perfect Storm” White Paper. The first storm characterizes why today’s young people need to intellectually know and defend why they believe what they believe about God and his Word. We are experiencing a marginalization of the Christian faith because of our increasingly anti-Christian culture that considers those who believe in a universal truth to be hateful, bigoted, homophobic, and intolerant. This is devastating the faith of our kids.
Today’s young people are growing up, heading off to college and not returning to the church. David Kinnaman of Barna Research Group claims that within ten years of adulthood, most teens professing to be a Christian will walk away from the church and put whatever commitment they make to Christ on the shelf. Kids from good Christian homes and churches are not embracing the faith of their fathers and mothers. And studies show that one of the primary reasons kids say they are rejecting the tenets of Christian faith is due to intellectual skepticism.
When kids were asked why they were skeptical about Christianity their answers included statements like: “It didn’t make sense to me;” “Some stuff is too farfetched for me to believe in;” “I think scientifically there is no real proof;” and “There were too many questions that can’t be answered.” But the most prevalent comment was, “No one would answer my questions.”
The Heroic Truth Experience is designed to answer our young people’s questions. Kids are feeling defenseless amidst the onslaught of atheistic claims that Creationism is baseless, that the Bible is an outdated and unreliable document, that Christ was simply a man with illusions of grandeur, and the accusation that if there is a God he is a monster.
The Heroic Truth Experience is designed to equip young people and their parents with why they believe what they believe. “Always be prepared,” Peter said, “to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15, NIV). We must not allow the world to reason our kids out of their faith. Our kids need to be equipped with clear answers to false atheistic claims about Christian, they deserve to know there is overwhelming evidence of a loving Creator who left his footprints of design in creation, that the Bible is a reliable document that gives us solid answers to who we are, why we are here and where we are going and substantial reason why Christ is who he claimed to be—God in human form who came to redeem us and restore all things to his original design.
The purpose of the Heroic Truth Experience can perhaps be stated as follows:
To equip youth and their gatekeepers to become Heroic Truth Champions who know why they believe what they believe and in turn take a stand for God and his truth, defending their faith in confidence, living it out with courage, and passing it on with loving conviction.
The Heroic Truth is defensible, relevant and transferable. It is God’s Kingdom worldview. It is a way of knowing and being and living in the world. Heroic by definition is “courageous and determined in the face of great difficulty.” The Heroic Truth Experience is a tool in the hands of gatekeepers to help a generation stand firm in the face of an anti-Christian and antagonistic culture.
There are past champions of the truth who defended their faith in the face of ridicule, scorn and even death. Hebrews 11 lists many Heroic Truth Champions who endured great hardship for what they believed, yet “trusted God and were tortured, preferring to die rather than turn from God and be free” (Hebrews 11:35).
The Heroic Truth message is one of hope designed to equip, motivate and challenge the hearers to become Heroic Truth Champions.
- Heroic Truth Champions are those equipped to defend the truth with confidence because they know why they believe what they believe (1 Peter 3:15).
- Heroic Truth Champions are those motivated to live out what they believe with courage, becoming a reflection of God and his ways (Matthew 5:13-16).
- Heroic Truth Champions are those challenged to pass on the truth with conviction from a heart of love to those around them (2 Corinthians 5:18-21).
Every child needs a hero. When it comes to truth, that hero needs to be mom or dad. You can become part of a movement to raise up a new generation of Heroic Truth Champions, “so [they] may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which [they] shine like stars in the universe” (Philippians 2:15, NIV).
God’s call is clear.
The need for Heroic Truth Champions is real.
The time is now.