THE NEGATIVE IMPLICATION OF THE SOCIETY ON THE CHRISTIAN YOUTH
1.1 Background to the Study
The term “society” which came from the Latin word societas generally designates persons belonging to a specific in-group. In anthropology, the term is used to refer not only to a group of people but also to the complex pattern of the norms of interaction that arise among them. Men express their nature by creating and recreating an organisation which guides and controls their behavior in several ways. “This organisation, society, liberates and limits the activities of men, sets up standards for them to follow and maintain: whatever the imperfections and tyrannies it has exhibited in human history, it is a necessary condition of every fulfillment of life”. (MacIver and Page, 1987). Society exists only where social beings behave toward one another in ways determined by their recognition of one another. The more complex a society is, the more varied the social relationships are in the Society. The features of either a human society or an animal society are a certain level of association, a level closer and more intricate than a mere aggregation but looser and less complex than an organism. Further, the units they bring together on this level are not cells or organs but individuals. However, the society in which man lives has been distinguished from that of animals due to its government by culture. Man’s social life is governed by culture and family is often regarded as the first form of society.
Different scholars have defined society in various ways. The definitions given by them are either functional or structural. From the functional point of view, society is defined as a complex of groups in reciprocal relationship, interacting upon one another, enabling human organisms to carry on their life-activities and helping each person to fulfill his wishes and accomplish his interests in association with his fellows. From the structural point of view, society is the total social heritage of folkways, mores and institutions; of habits, sentiments and ideals. The following two definitions view society from its functional and structural aspects respectively.
According to MacIver, “Society is a system of usages and procedures, of authority and mutual aid, of many groupings and divisions, of controls of human behaviour and of liberties. This ever-changing complex system we call society. It is the web of social relationships”.
According to Giddings, “Society is the union itself, the organisation, the sum of formal relations in which associating individuals are bound together”.
The society we live in referred to as civil means it’s a free world where anything goes irrespective of the religious set ups in it, Satan has made it look as if there is no God anywhere, there is no eternity anywhere and life goes on as people just come and go at will. This kind of society is characterized by stealing, cheating, corruption, idolatry, fornication, adultery, scamming, ritual killings, kidnapping, lying, lesbianism, gayism, marriage to pet animals, aristocracy, among others.
We live in this society also even as Christians, go to same hospitals, schools, offices, markets, banks, live around each other and exhibit power of influence within the society, it’s either we are influencing society or they are influencing us Christians youth, that is why as a Christian youth we need to know our identity.
A youth is anyone whose age falls within the teens and forties. A youth is anyone who is agile and active. A youth is anyone who is young at heart irrespective of their age. A youth is anyone who has ability to grow and builds capacity for growth. A youth is anyone who is growing up and not just growing old.
A Christian is anyone who at one time or the other has surrendered his/her life to Jesus’ ruler-ship and control. A Christian is anyone whose life is practically lived according to the teaching of Jesus Christ. A Christian is anyone who is a prototype of the apostles who lived exemplary in Antioch where the name Christian came into being. A Christian is an in-depth follower of Jesus Christ day, noon, night, dawn.
A Christian youth is a youth whose life is total example of Christ follower in speech, action, thoughts, relational, dressing (an all round living for Christ Jesus irrespective of the challenges around).
What then is the Church? A Church is a building? Is it the place where believers gather to worship? The purpose of the church is two-fold. The church comes together (or assembles) for the purpose of bringing each member to spiritual maturity (Ephesians 4:13). The church reaches out (scatters) to spread the love of Christ and the gospel message to unbelievers in the world (Matthew 28:18-20). This is the Great Commission. So, the purpose of the church is to minister to believers andunbelievers (christianity.about.com). According to Augustine of Hippo and others, the church was to be likened to a hospital–a place in which broken, wounded and frail people came for help, in order to find healing and renewal (McGrath 148). For me, the church is a place where people can pray and be with God. The church is also a place about friendships being forged and social get-togethers, a place of great spiritual refreshment, renewal and support.
The African Youth Charter defines “youth” as “every person between the ages of 15 and 35 years”. The 21st century is characterized by both positive and negative tremendous changes. The youths are the major victims of the negative impacts of the changes in society. Some of these changes spell out destiny truncating and destroying challenges to the Christian youths. The Word of God enjoins us thus: “This know also, that in the last days, perilous times shall come” (2Tim3:1). The realities of our time show that indeed the perilous times are here for the Church in general and for the Christian youths in particular. We are witnessing the fulfillment of the scripture: “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold but he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved”.
Something very valuable is at stake here. That is your destiny, which is what gives meaning to your existence. Your destiny is the reason why it was necessary for you to be created. It is therefore supremely pertinent for us as youths to understand these society and then take heed to the way out in order to secure our destinies and the future of the Church of God.Without this, our destinies and Christian life will end up as failed projects. They arc enemy of man, the devil and his kingdom are acting fast and using every possible means take as many souls as possible to hell because he knows that he has but a short time (Rev.12:12).
The negative implication of the society on Christian youth cannot be over emphasized this led us to some of the challenges facing Christian youth in our society.
Information and Communication Technology: The advent of ICT made several things that were unimaginable some decades ago not only possible but very easy. With these possibilities, one can get virtually any information one want with just a click of a computer mouse or a tap on a smart phone. The challenges brought in by these are numerous.
Pornography: With the advent of ICT, youths now have easy access to internet through cyber cafes and smart phones. With these, youths can easily surf the internet including pornographic sites where ladies of easy virtue pose nude or even in the very act of fornication. What is the outcome of these? Sweeping proportion of immorality on humanity especially youths! Rape has become the other of the day. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find virgins among both male and female youths including Christians.
Chatting through SMS or any of the social media such as whatsapp, Facebook, among many other:
These are fast and cheap electronic means of communication. Some youths use these media to pass immoral and worthless messages to gullible fellow youths and lure them into vices such as boy friend/girl friend relationships without the knowledge of their parents.
Time wastage: Some youths can spend several hours chatting through SMS, Yahoo messenger, facebook, Whatsapp and the like. Also included here are the Computer games. Valuable time that youths in the past were not as such, which shows that the use their precious time to study is by this means being wasted by the 21st century youth including Christians. This is a tremendous distraction to the youth and translates to poor academic performance. Its effect on the spiritual life of the Christian youths is far reaching. They can spend unending hours chatting but have no time for personal prayers and careful study of God’s Word.
Entertainment Industry: The entertainment industry is also posing great challenge to Christian youths. The TV, home videos, and music have strong pulling effect on the youths. These are charged with erotic audio and videos materials which pollute the minds and lives of the youths. By these they are made captives of sin of lust, masturbation and the demons behind them.
Materialism and financial wastage: A youth can purchase a phone ranging from N15, 000 to N80, 000 and above which could have been invested gainfully in small scale business just to keep up with what is “in trend”.
Examination malpractice:This has become a norm in Nigeria. How many of our secondary school leavers and graduates from tertiary institutions including Christians who celebrate with their parents that they “made all their papers” can sincerely say that they were not involved in examination malpractice? This is a big challenge and temptation to Christian youths as they prepare and write their exams. Little wonder we have graduates who cannot write a phrase or sentence. The most fearful issue here is that the standard of God is not negotiable. The wages of sin remains death (Rom.6:23).
Unemployment: It is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain white-collar jobs. Every year our universities, polytechnics and Colleges of Education turn out graduates. Most of them stay for years without jobs. Christian Ladies are faced with the temptation of defiling their bodies if they must secure white-collar jobs. The Christian young men are faced with the option of giving bribes if they really want white-collar jobs.
Involvement in cult: This has become a nationwide epidemic and the Christian youths are not exempted. Even children in primary schools are getting involved in cult activities.
Drug abuse, Smoking and Alcoholism: No generation has been involved in drug abuse and alcoholism as it is in this 21st century. Youths including professing Christians are also part of this.
Ungodly Dressing and hair styles: This is one of vices derived from the West and has been given seat even among Christians. Dressing that expose sensitive parts of the body, tight fitting dresses, phone snatching, drunkenness, smoking of Indian hemp, putting on of trousers by females, make-ups, attachment of artificial and natural (Brazilian) hairs by girls and ladies are all forms of “attire of harlots” such could be seen in the young girls sating lately at night and hanging with the elderly ones, due to the syndrome of they want to be like other girls. In (Prov.7:10). “Low-waist or sagging” and worldly hair styles by boys and young men are common sights even among Christian youths of our time. These were considered ungodly some decades ago but are now accepted among Christians as modernity. It is on this background the study examine the negative implication of the society on Christian youth in Sabon Tasha community of Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In Nigeria today, it is evident to see how the young ones are indulging in all kinds of negative vices, this cannot be overemphasized as the society is polarized and this as it is has taken the center stage in in the 21st Century with the emergence and consolidation of different societal ills. But couple with all these, we still have some positive vice that the youth exhibit that shows that it not all the youth that indulge in such behaviors. This phenomenon has been on the increase in both the rural and urban communities which is detrimental to the society. However, this study wants to examines the negative roles of the Christian youth in the Society: the case of Sabon Tasha community, Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State, with particular emphasis on how these vices have affected their characters and correspondingly in-turn affected their groups and evident through previous research shows that these young ones spend more time with little or no supervision and monitoring. This is really a source of great concern to see that they spend most times outside, instead of been at home which is supposed to be their primary based of learning . Some of the vices ranges from theft, domestic violence, electoral violence, consumption of illicit drugs and other hard substances, just to mention but a few; in the community.
The influence of these vices might not be easily discernible in most cases, which is at times difficult to understand, thereby having the tendency to have done more harm, before it is identified. The more they expose themselves to their peer groups the greater the chances of them becoming more out of control and this have affected the family and the Church. There is a need to understand the dynamics of these vices and address them squarely in the interest of the society. The Christian youth are facing a lot of challenges. In the society which is increasingly becoming skeptical about anything related to God. A young Christian, for example, is unable to reconcile the ideas of evolution taught in school and the creation story they learned in Church. There is also the pressure to conform to fit in a group. Preteen, teenage, and early adulthood years is the period when we strongly crave affirmation from our peers. The problem for the Christian youth is that conforming means abandoning Christian values in part or wholly. A sense of being untrue to our values may later bring regret or shame, which is detrimental to emotional wellbeing. At this critical time, therefore, it is important for Christian youth to look for guidance to avoid problems later.
Christians are daily confronted by issues that pressure us to conform. When this happens, our initial reaction is to avoid the problem, but later, though, we start asking ourselves questions. For example, if all our peers are having intimate relationships, why not me? Why not smoke? Why should I go to church when everybody else seems to be having fun somewhere else?-and so many other questions. Asking these questions is the initial step in overcoming challenges. The second step, which is the most important, is looking for the right answers from a Christian perspective.
As true Christians, we are not called to conform, but to a renewal in Christ Jesus. That is what St. Paul told Christians in Rome in Romans 6: 3-4. The act of baptism is a sign of new life all Christians, including Christian youths, are called to. The bible says clearly that we should strive to be right with God, as opposed to pleasing our friends or striving for their affirmation.
As a Christian youth who is under pressure, most at times conform to sinful practices, the meaning of baptism should not be lost to them. But in a very fast world, it’s easy to compromise. The solution lies in commitment to faith. One way of growing in faith and reinforce defense against harmful peer pressure is becoming a member of a bible study group. The bible itself contains answers to the problems that youths face. Studying the bible in a group is a useful way not only on learning the word as written, but also offers a forum where Christians can openly discuss the challenges they face daily, how they overcome them, or how one can overcome in reference to bible teachings.
Often, the Christian youth as in the case of Sabon Tasha think that the challenges they face are unique to them. The truth, however, this can be seen in other localities within the State who face the same problems during their youthful days. Talking to them therefore, is a great way of learning how to overcome the challenges. Lastly, it is very important to keep the right company. Writing to Corinthians, St Paul said that “good company destroys good morals.” While it is good to have non-Christian friends, hanging out with them all the time may cause more harm than good.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The general objective of this study was to examine the negative implication of the society on the Christina youth as a case study of Sabon Tasha community in Chikun local government area of Kaduna State.
- To examine the effects moral delinquency on the Christian youth in Sabon Tasha
- To assess the position of a Christian youth in relation to the changes brought within the Society.
- To investigate the moral and spiritual implications of society on Christian youth.
- To proffer solution to the problem facing the Christian youth in Sabon Tasha and how best to ensure a change in attitudes.
1.4 Research Questions
This study was guided by the following research questions:
- What are the effects of morality on the Christian youth in Sabon Tasha?
- What is the position of Christian youth in relation to the changes brought by Society?
- What are the moral and spiritual implications of society on Christian youth?
- What are the solutions to the problem facing the Christian youth in the community?
1.5 Significance of the Study
Considering the negative implication of the society on the Christina youth, this study would be of benefit to parents, pastors, Christian youth, and researcher.
The study would enlighten the parents on important of training their children in the way they should go and ensure closeness with their children so that when the children are deviating from the ways of the God, they can easily correct them. The findings of the study would enable pastors to preach and encourage Christian youth to always take their study as a Christian in the society. Emphasizes must lay on the fact that youth are in the world but not of the world and that they must take their stand.
The findings would also be of benefit to the Christian youth by educating them the negative implication of the society to their Christian life and why them must take heed. The study would also serve as a guide to researchers who may want carry out research on the same topic or similar one.
Finally, the study would add to existing literature and serve as a reference materials.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The scope of the study would only cover the negative implication of the society on the Christina youth using Sabon Tasha community of Chikun Local Government Area of KadunaState as case study. 120 Christian youth would be selected within the locality for the purpose of this study.
1.7 Definition of Terms
The following terms are operational define as used in this study
Christian Youth: is a youth whose life is total example of Christ follower in speech, action, thoughts, relational, dressing (an all round living for Christ Jesus irrespective of the challenges around).
Christian: Is anyone who at one time or the other has surrendered his/her life to Jesus’ ruler-ship and control. A Christian is anyone whose life is practically lived according to the teaching of Jesus Christ.
Society: Society is the union itself, the organization, the sum of formal relations in which associating individuals are bound together. Society referred to as civil means it’s a free world where anything goes irrespective of the religious set ups in it
Youth: is anyone whose age falls within the teens and forties. A youth is anyone who is agile and active. A youth is anyone who is young at heart irrespective of their age. A youth is anyone who has ability to grow and builds capacity for growth. A youth is anyone who is growing up and not just growing old.
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