With the theme, “Truth in a World of Mixed Messages,” we consider what the most prevalent messages to teens are in today’s culture. In these talks, we will seek to engage the messages of the culture with wisdom, grace, and truth, as a means of better equipping ourselves to help form students who faithfully follow God in the current climate.
What is underlying the current trend of dystopian-themed movies, shows, and books? There is a growing sentiment that things are getting worse, and there is no hope for our culture – so survival is soon to be our M.O. How does the Gospel offer hope in light of these themes that emerge from this despairing, fatalistic culture?
In 2013, Joaquin Phoenix starred in the provocative movie, “her”, where a man attempts to engage in a real, romantic relationship with a device. What does God have to say to young people about the nature of relationships in a technologically drive world?
“Who says you’re not pretty? Who says you’re not beautiful?”
Selena Gomez once asked this pivotal question that cuts to the core of the definition of beauty, a concept subject to strident voices. This question tortures young women, in particular. What does God have to say about beauty to teenagers?
“I’m So Damaged: How You Gonna Fix It, Fix It, Fix It.”
In 2008, Danity Kane sang about her “damaged” heart and asked the question, “How you gonna fix it, fix it, fix it?” Along the way, teenagers tend to make huge mistakes and walk away with the label that they are damaged goods. What does the Gospel have to say to the teenager, who was busted for sexting?
“Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth.”
Pharrell Williams’ peppy anthem, “Happy,” declares that life is all about being happy. What do kids need to know about the centrality or insignificance of happiness in the Christian life?
“Let It Go, Let It Go”
Grammy Award winning song, “Let It Go,” from the movie Frozen celebrates the value of self-expression. Can teenagers trust their feelings? In what ways does the Bible agree or disagree with the notion that they are slaves to their desires?
“Just do it.”
Nike’s iconic slogan continues to embody the motivation thrown at athletes and non-athletes alike. Performance-based identity runs rampant among the “get-to college, get-a-job, be-successful” high school culture our students are steeped in. What concepts of identity, motivation, and purpose does Scripture offer us?
“It doesn’t matter if you love him, or capital H-I-M.”
Lady Gaga offered these words on the elusive nature of truth in her 2011 song, Born This Way. Do young people believe that there is no truth or just that we cannot know it? How do we engage the foundations of relativism with clarity and wisdom?