“Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, ‘May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we want to know what they mean.’ (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)” Acts 17:19–21 (NIV84)
My community is faced with a significant rise in teen depression, self-mutilation, bullying, and suicide. Countless young people in recent years have brought guns to school and shot their fellow students and teachers. I can sense in the people I talk to a disgust over what is happening, but at the same time, I can sense a helplessness about what to do about what is going on. What does this have to do with today’s verses? Well, to put it bluntly, I don’t believe that we think about things anymore — especially the important things! There was a time that the most noble pursuits were the pursuits for truth about origin, meaning, morality and destiny. Religious people and philosophers would dedicate their lives to the pursuit of truth. They knew that in the heart of every person on the planet there was the deep desire to know the answers to questions like Who am I?, Why am I here?, What is my purpose?, How should I live?, and What happens when I die?
We inherently have the same questions stirring in our hearts, but we have listened to our secular world tell us that there are no answers. We no longer delve into these types of conversations because we have been convinced that there are no true answers. Now listen! If there are no true answers to these questions then we must realize that the conclusion must be that life is meaningless. What do you think happens when a frail teenager finally understands his society’s conclusion that life is meaningless? Just because we don’t talk deeply like the Greek philosophers of the past doesn’t mean we don’t have deep-thinking young people asking the really important questions.
It is time for us us to begin to think and discuss again! It’s time to throw the important questions of life back on the table. We need to find answers to these questions for ourselves and then help our families and communities discover answers, too. The Word of God supplies us a worldview that corresponds to reality and is coherent with our life experiences. It is my prayer that we begin to have these types of philosophical discussions. We need to prevent the destructive path that our youth are on!