Karl Marx came to church today. But, he was much younger than I imagined. A man in his early twenties, Karl didn’t look like the political theorist I read about in the history books. Far from an orderly-attired Prussian dignitary, Karl dressed more like a roadie for the Grateful Dead. His tie-dyed t-shirt with Social Justice Warrior embroidered on his heart, his faded blue jeans with empty pockets, and his tattered birkenstocks made him look more like a victim of a revolution rather than an instigator of one.
In learning to love someone like Karl, we must remember these individuals came into the world in a confusing time in history. Unlike we Gen-X’ers, Karl’s generation grew up in a culture of affluence, participation trophies, postmodern philosophy, and political correctness. (And, oh by the way, it is our generation that parented Karl and all the others in his little-snowflake peer group).
We must show Karl that his problem is not oppression but sin and his solution is not revolution but redemption. With care, we must communicate these truths with gentleness and respect not harshness and disdain. We must confront Karl with the gospel, but let that confrontation occur in the context of a loving relationship where the fruit in our lives stands in sharp relief against the meaninglessness of his own. It is in this type of relationship that God tills the ground making the heart more receptive to the gospel.
So, as you worship this Sunday, search for Karl, engage him, love him, confront him, and show him by your actions the reality of the gospel in your life. Karl might dismiss your overtures now, but by God’s grace, he will thank you in eternity.
Do you struggle with the millennial generation? If so, where does God want you to grow and change? What does he want you to do?