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The 1990s: Decade of a New Generation

By Jay Rogers
Published December 22, 2007

As we enter the 1990s, a new generation is appearing on the horizon – and the whole world is taking notice.

What is it that makes this generation so distinct?

It is no coincidence that this generation has come on the scene at the present time. The whole world is in a state of transition. As we close out the millennium, entire nations are in a state of upheaval. The social, economic and political landscape of the world is fast changing. This is a generation that has come of age “for such a time as this.”

The most talked about, most written about generation of our time, which is described loosely as the “under 25 generation,” has been raised in a new and often bewildering world and has attitudes and ideas which are radically different from those who preceded them.

The “tribal” cultures of the late 60s and early 70s gave way to the self-gratifying “me-generation” of the late 70s and 80s, with the flower children trading in their youthful idealism of peace and love for a more materialistic “yuppie” lifestyle.

And now a new generation emerges. And everyone is asking, “What are they like?”

Author and youth specialist Winkie Pratney, a New Zealander who worked for a teen drug abuse program during the 1960s, now observes, “In my thirty years of ministry, I have never experienced a better time to work with young people.”

Rich Wilkerson, another veteran of the 60s era and founder of Mainstream, a youth ministry, comments on the coming of a new generation:

“What I see happening as I travel around this country is that the children of the so-called ‘yuppie generation’ are coming of age. The older generation, who were products of the hippie culture of the 1960s, championed themselves as the generation who were opposed to the Viet Nam war and materialism. Now they have become the most materialistic generation this nation has ever produced.

“This new generation,” according to Wilkerson, “struggles with trust and has a tendency to disbelieve authority. These offspring are being raised by the most bona fide group of hypocrites in American history. Because authority is so hypocritical, it is viewed by these young people as threatening.”

Yet, it is this generation, according to many youth experts, who have the greatest potential to attain greatness. One trend that contradicts all the trends of the past is that this generation has a deep desire to believe and hope and trust. In the midst of a spiritual vacuum that has been left by the selfishness and materialism of our society, young people have been asking questions in a search for meaning, love and purpose.

Historian Vincent Harding comments, “Parents are bankrupt spiritually. We have more technological advancement, more creature comforts, more opportunities than ever before, but no hope.”

Consequently, more young people than ever are turning to God in hope of making some sense out of a confusing and often threatening world. Dr. Frederick Price, a Los Angeles area pastor, estimates that that 70% of his Crenshaw Christian Center congregation are young people.

“I’ve seen this upsurge for several years,” claims Price. “As I travel around the country, I see young people coming forward, hungry to know about the things of God. They’re coming by the truck loads.”

One of the most obvious reasons for the spiritual hunger of this new generation of young people is the many new problems they face. These problems include the rapidly escalating threat of AIDS, the drug problem, and the pressure to succeed.

Threat of AIDS

Even with the threat of AIDS, the number of sexually active teens is significantly higher than ten years ago. According to Newsweek magazine, by March of 1990, the Centers for Disease Control had counted 1,429 cases of AIDS among teenagers, which is fewer than one percent of all AIDS cases.

Yet teenagers fear AIDS more than any other illness. There is, in fact, a need for concern. Although relatively few teens are diagnosed with AIDS, nearly a fifth of the people with AIDS are in their twenties. With a nearly ten year period between infection and the onset of symptoms, this would place many victims who contract the disease in their teenage years.

Drug Use Down

Although sexual activity is up, the use of illegal drugs is down among the “new teens.” Use of alcohol, marijuana and cocaine fell significantly in the last ten years. The greater dangers of the modern world are perceived by many of these young people. Drugs are scarier to them than the group who widely experimented with substance abuse in the 60s and 70s.

Part of the reason for this decline is that parents may be as likely, in some cases, to be substance abusers as their children. Among this new generation are many of the offspring of the 1960s psychedelic drug culture. With a dizzying array of frightening options, drug use is less appealing to them than the revolutionaries of 20 years ago. However, many of the new generation who use drugs, do so earlier, especially those who start because of a parent’s habit.

Pressure to Succeed

Life in the 1990s has become stressful to young people. As the percentage of the teenage population decreases relative to the adult world, the numbers of teenage pregnancies continue to rise; there are a growing number of minorities living at the poverty level; and there are a growing number of single parent households.

The most serious cause for concern, however, is the rise of suicide. The rate of 18 suicides per 100,000 teens in 1987, places this problem at an epidemic proportion. Social scientists, therefore, are studying teenagers more closely than ever in order to trace the problem to the source.

The pressure to succeed seems to be at the root of all of these problems. Pressure at a younger age to find a job, to choose a career, to do well at school, to have a good marriage and family life, to pay for college, and the fear of contracting AIDS are all concerns that plague the minds of young people.

A Quest for Purpose and Meaning

In their quest for finding a purpose and meaning in life, there is more of a thirst to tap into spiritual values than any of the previous generations. They hunger to fill spiritual voids and solve the problems of the world created by the apathy and self-centeredness of their parents.

It should not be surprising, therefore, when the current generation hits the college campuses and there is a social revolution that surpasses that of any generation of the modern times. The campuses will be the center of an outcry for peace of mind and stability that will ascend to the heavens. This will be a generation that calls on the name of God.

The campuses will become the subject of news reports. The growing consensus among the news media will be that a spiritual revival is occurring among university students. Daily reports of unprecedented numbers of students attending prayer rallies on campus will become commonplace.

For a period of time, it will be as if heaven had touched earth. It will become normal among students to talk about the experiences they have had in prayer. As they touch God, the answers to many of the problems that plague our world will be revealed to them. This is a generation of world changers. It is a generation that has come on the scene “for such a time as this.”


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The Four Keys to the Millennium (Book)

Foundations in Biblical Eschatology

By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.

All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?

These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.

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Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

Running Time: 257 minutes

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Abortion Clinic 911 Calls (DVD)

Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!

These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.

Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.

Watch these pro-life videos on-line.

“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California

“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter

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A Revival Account: Asbury 1970 (DVD)

What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?

Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.

Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!

“This simple video does a wonderful job of conveying something of God’s heart and power, Everyone we have ever shown this to has received an immediate impartation of faith for revival and the power of prayer.”
— Bob and Rose Weiner, Weiner Ministries Int’l

Running Time: 40 minutes

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The Beast of Revelation IdentifiedThe Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD)

Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?

Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!

Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.

Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)

Running Time: 145 minutes

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