Connecting to present generation needs us to be authentic and yet flexible - flexi-form & hard truth. Breaking spiritual vs secular divide. Have a righteous heart and be freed to follow your heart. Connect to nature to cleanse our dirt of hypocrisy, phoniness, pride and 1-up-man-ship.Have been reading book titled 'Ancient Chinese Wisdom 中国智慧" written by 易中天, a highly acclaimed professor and guru on the subject in PRC. In it, he described a period of Chinese history that was seldom covered in Chinese Wisdom literature. It is the period of Wei-Jin 魏晋 220-420 AD. It was the period of the Three Kingdoms (like the warring periods of Spring and Autumn and Warring Nations 700-200 BC where most of the Ancient Chinese Wisdom was developed) and the subsequent unification in Jin Dynasty. Unlike the Han and the Tang dynasties, Jin dynasty was not a glorious time for the Chinese. It was still a turbulent time which led to more splitting and wars later.
It was a period of political darkness, hypocrisy and phoniness (pretension and falsehood), complex customs and norms, hopelessness and uncertainties. The future is unknown and uncertain. What is certain and real is the present time. There is little hope and future to look forward too. Live out what you can today.
The author said that the generation seek after the following five values:
- Yearning for freedom 向往自由
Freedom from war, oppression, famines ... freedom to do my things (see point 4).
- Desire for Authenticity (True Feelings) 渴望真情
Freed from the hypocrisy and phoniness. Take off our masks and be our true selves.
- Contempt for Secular 蔑视世俗
Free from the superficial and complex customs and rules; forms without meaning and true content.
- Following Your Heart (True Inner-self) 服从内心
Expressing the real you and doing what you feel. Don't care about they think or say. Don't be a hypocrite.
- Love of Nature 热爱自然
Freed from the darkness of the society to nature of truthfulness, naturalness and freedom.
- authentic expression of true feelings - being your true-self, is better than
- high intelligence, is better than
- great beauty or style.
What I find shocking is that those values precisely describe the cry of our present generation. But the generation described by the book was about 2000 years ago. This tell us clearly that despite the technology progresses and change of life styles over time, people don't change. The Bible of thousands year old is as relevant then as as now. Don't believe in the argument that the old Bible is not relevant now because it is old.
Lessons for Us - Connecting to the Real Desires of Present Generation
- Keep the Authenticity and Truth of the Bible.
See Salvation is Devotion to Christ.
- Simplify and be Flexible with the Form.
Good discipline of practices, like quiet time in morning, attendance at worships etc, become the focus rather than original objective, e.g. intimacy with God, and standard of measurement of spirituality and resulting in legalism, self-righteousness and hypocrisy like the Pharisees of old.
- Break of the concept of the divide between spiritual and secular.
See Secular vs Spiritual Jobs.
- Have Christ within and then Follow Your Heart.
We must first be rebirth with Christ in us, in our heart, in our inner-self. Then we can follow our heart and live out the Christ within. See What is the meaning of Yielding to the Spirit?
- In our midst of business, take time to connect and appreciate Nature - the creation of God, revealing some faces of God. Consider the Lilies of the Field Per Matt 6:28-30. The stars, Ps 8, 104, our birth Ps 139.
as representing the thought of the very best of this current generation.