American Youth: Kaleidoscope Kulture

When you were young, did you ever look at a Kaleidoscope? You could hold a little camera in your hand and adjust the slider to move the shapes and make your own design. A million different colors and patterns. I have been thinking about diversity for a week or so and found this pattern. And it reminded me of four things about American Youth and the Kaleidoscope Kulture.
1. The Kaleidoscope resembles the diversity of young people in America today. Different shapes, sizes, colors, personalities, attitudes, backgrounds, and even faiths. It wouldn't be fair to squeeze teens into one shape and call them 'American'. Over the weekend I posted on racism and my thoughts on extremists who label an entire society with 'something', because of the speck in culture's eye. The whole time they are living with a beam in their own eye. If you want to live on Racism Road, go ahead. If you want to live on Drunken Drive, that's your choice. If you want to live on Adultery Avenue, you have the right. But, that doesn't mean that everyone else is living there.

2. The Kaleidoscope leads us to a love balance in Youth Kulture. If you have read any of the Millennial studies that have identified this generations traits, you would know that diversity and acceptance is par for the course. To be honest, I have seen more teenagers display a hatred for racism and a love for diversity than I have seen bigotry and prejudice. In the communities we have lived, and the places I have traveled to, we have witnessed young people embracing diversity as if it were normal. And shunning racism as unacceptable. Are they perfect? Of course not. But, far less likely to be as prejudice as the activists trying to hang onto an era of racism that most young people today simply do not embrace. And, the truth is, even a review of the race balance in marketing and advertising, or an educational review of our schools, would support the love of diversity in this generation. Maybe a better way to protest those racist feelings would be to create a new Kulture instead of promoting an old one.

3. The Kaleidoscope is proof of a diverse Creator. What I have found working with young people in 4 decades now (a total of 30 years in the 80's, 90's, 00's, and the 'teens), is a diversity of design. We used to sing an old Sunday School song that had a line that said, "Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight". That song is an anthem. And for all of our views in regards to racism, drug/alcohol abuse, marriage, or faith, as biblical leaders we must encourage our Kulture by reinforcing the kind of belief and behavior we want to see. That just like the Preamble of the United States, "all men are created equal". To build a Kulture of honor, you have to respect everyone. To build a Kulture of equality, you have to honor everyone. I have personally seen every kind and type of young person in my Youth Ministry over the years because we promoted a Kulture of respect and honor. While at the same time never compromising our biblical values. God has shown us no preferential treatment of humans in His word and He isn't going to tolerate us showing that kind of treatment to anyone today.

4. The Kaleidoscope models to us effective evangelism. It takes all kinds of people to reach all kinds of people. God has a plan for MY life. For all of us. It's how the Kingdom of God works. Christianity is not a 'cookie-cutter' Kulture. An inter-racial and an inter-generational thinking is how we reach every tribe or people group. And that is why The American Teenagers that I see on a regular basis are much more diverse and accepting than their parents or even the aggressive activists of the last generation. The love crusade between race, religion, economic, and social Kultures is alive and well in the teen world. It involves the young people of this generation and how they are going to reach our planet with the gospel of Christ. 

When people are willing to bury the past and plant new thinking and mindsets for the future, they will create actions and behavior in line with that planting. When I look at a Kaleidoscope, it is easier for me to see the value and the intentions God has for each one of us. Maybe we should all buy a Kaleidoscope and take a long look into one every day.