here's another quote from walt mueller about dealing with young people in a post-modern culture:
"Be in but not of the world. We must avoid the extreme of pulling ourselves out of the culture, and the opposite extreme of becoming so closely aligned to the world that we uncritically assume values and behaviors that are contrary to God’s will. The church has been guilty of both for far too long. We must learn to walk the tightrope of living for God in the context of the postmodern culture. By maintaining the proper balance, we are maintaining a transforming and redemptive presence in their culture and modeling true, biblical discipleship for all those young people who come to faith."
i grew up in an era and a church culture that preached "...be in the world, but not of it" regularly. all that meant to me was "don't do what you're friends do"... don't, don't, don't. so that's what i did...or didn't. i stayed as far away as i could. there is no question that my life as a christian was defined waaay more by the things i didn't do, rather than by the things i did do. where i didn't go. what i didn't say. what i didn't see. who i didn't go around.
i know it's a dangerous proposition to encourage our young adults to get out, into the world. it's scary out there. bad things happen out there. there's ugliness and perversion and darkness. but light has got to be in the darkness to illuminate the darkness.
if redemption is ever going to become a reality to those that are lost, somebody's got to find them. that's going to be pretty hard to do if your existence is defined by "don't".