Stephen, the first Christian martyr besides the Lord, whose death redeemed us, was greatly impacted by the lives and preaching of the early apostles.
Years ago, I was part of an apostolic team of fathers who mentored, equipped, and empowered radical youth. We believed then and still do now that spiritual fathers must define, exemplify, and lead a countercultural movement. It must be our passion to upset the sinful status quo of society and the Church. Youth are key!
INSPIRING OUR YOUTH
In 1933, Hitler said, “If I can separate the youth of Germany from their parents, I will conquer this nation.” He started a movement called ‘The Brown Shirts,’ in which 100,000 youth stood in Berlin with their right hand raised and screaming, “Hitler, we are yours!” Imagine our youth pledging that kind of allegiance to King Jesus!
Around that same time period, the Communist leader Joseph Stalin made the following statement concerning youth: “If we can effectively kill the national pride and patriotism of just one generation, we will have won that country. Therefore, there must be continued propaganda abroad to undermine the loyalty of the citizens in general and the teenagers in particular. By making readily available drugs of various kinds, by giving a teenager alcohol, by praising his wildness, by strangling him with sex literature, and by advertising to him and her psycho-political preparation, create the necessary attitude of chaos, idleness, and worthlessness.”
If demonically inspired men can affect our youth this way, imagine what divine inspiration will do!
Sin has wasted our youth. We’ve not given them anything worthy to live for or something worthy to die for. To do anything below what they were created to do will bore them. That is the reason many of our young people turn to drugs, alcohol, immorality, and other sensual thrills. That is why they need to be awakened to their ultimate purpose in Jesus Christ.
In revolutionary countries, youth are trained in combat and weapons. They are taught principles of Communism and the tenets of militant Islam. They give themselves wholeheartedly to the goal of world domination. Someone once said that Satan is preparing his army but that the Church is entertaining her children. We need a radical departure from the standard method of training young men and women for ministry. We need a touch of wholesome extremism to launch a counterculture Jesus revolution!
Yes, just as a certain kind of passivity limits the ministry of God’s kingdom, a certain kind of extremism will expand it. The Bible is a book of extremes: Extreme acts of God and history-changing events (like the dividing of the Red Sea and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, among so many others); extreme characters (men and women who changed the world); extreme demands to follow the Lord (denying yourself, taking up your cross daily, etc.); extreme blessings for obedience (Mk. 10:29–30); extreme consequences for unrepentant sin and disobedience (Lk. 13:3, Mt. 7:21–23).
“There has to be an extremism to move things. We need the extremist to start things moving, and we need the balanced teaching to keep them moving in the right direction. We need extreme fervor to launch a movement, but we need the repudiation of extremes to save it from self-destruction. It takes Pentecostal genius to know when and where an extreme doctrine or practice must be modified to a more balanced view — and where, on the other hand, the broad lines of truth must temporarily be narrowed into an extreme emphasis upon one point to ensure a dynamic powerful enough to move things for God. The possession of that uncommon genius marks the God-sent leader who emerged in truly great periods of revival.” –
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