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March 2019



March 2019

March 3   


   No generation has managed to find real solutions for the general conflict between generations, and especially for the conflict between parents and children. The older generation is constantly complaining that the younger generation is irresponsible, and youth in their right, speak of the outdated practices of their elders. The changing of generations and the contrast between them is a natural phenomenon, a historic reality that has and always will exist. Every generation is unique; it has its own characteristics, specific ways of life and thinking, set of values, etc that differentiate it from its predecessors and those who will come after it. Each generation’s system of values is constructed and influenced by the cultural, political, religious and social contexts that surround it.
   The sociologist and French thinker Alexis de Tocqueville mentioned approximately 200 years ago in his celebrated book, “Democracy in America” that every generation is another nation. It is another nation in the sense that they have other habits and mentalities, a specific way of viewing the world, and a different way of looking at the past, present and future of humanity.
In the year 1993, Samuel Huntington published an article titled “The Clash of Civilizations”, and in the year 1996 he developed the same theme in his book “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order”. In his book, Samuel argues that the principle causes of conflicts among generations are the differences in cultural disciplines and religion. Older generations and the younger generations, or rather the generations of parents and children, have a couple of common goals:
1. Freedom – of expression (physical, moral, etc.)
2. Spiritual satisfaction – psychological comfort, happiness, pleasure.
3. Material and professional achievement – the differences between parents and children appear not in the identification of the goals, but in the practice and priority of carrying these out. For example, young people desire the fulfillment and manifestation of these goals in a larger measure than their elders – if possible, to a measure of 100%. In addition, older people prioritize these goals in a different order than younger people.
The principle causes of conflict among generations are 1) difficulties in relating, 2) lack of communication, and 3) raised aggressiveness. The wrong methods used for reconciliation can amplify the existing conflicts among generations:
1. Imposing, rather than negotiating rules
2. Controlling, rather than analyzing the situation
3. Moralizing, rather than arguing
4. Threatening, rather than explaining consequences of actions
There are several factors that accelerate the differences among generations:
1. Technology and digitization
2. Detachment or even abandonment of culture under the pressure of multiculturalism and religious pluralism.
Are there solutions? If so, what are they?

 March 10


    The difference in generations has become a deep intercultural canyon in the last few decades. Psychologists, beginning with Sigmund Freud, hypothesized that our inclinations are for the most part, formed around the age of five, and any kind of changes in these attitudes necessitate enormous effort. American historians Neil Howe and William Strauss, beginning with the premise that our inclinations are formed in childhood, understood that the historical period of time we are born in will have a decisive role in the modeling and development of our perspectives. Cultural influences that are manifested upon us in childhood, the role models that inspire us and the challenges we need to face determine the way in which we will approach life. In accordance to these suppositions, we can split the population into groups of generations, consisting of people who were born in the same time period. 

    This means that every generation had similar experiences, and therefore, developed similar inclinations. For example, the family, despite being a universal experience, manifested differently in one time period as opposed to another, depending on the generation. Every generation is formed by people born during a given period of time of approximately 20 years. Similarly, every generation goes through usual phases of life: childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. Every generation will dominate society during their middle ages, between 40 and 60 years of age, and then slowly begin to exit the frame, ceasing their zones of influence to the next generation. When a generation nears its end of life of approximately 80 years, the cycle repeats itself. Every generation is unique, has its own characteristics, ways of life and specific mentalities, being characterized by a set of values that differentiate it from the previous or future generation. Each generation’s system of values is built and influenced by the cultural, political, religious, and social contexts. The main causes of conflict among generations are the differences in cultural norms and religion.
   In the last 20 years, the rhythm of change has accelerated massively because of industrialization, technology, virtual reality, digitization, multiculturalism, emigration, media, plurality of religion, etc. In turn, the ideologies that have paraded through the stage of history in the last hundred years have influenced many generations of their time: Enlightenment, Liberalism, Communism, Feminism, Socialism, Fascism, Zionism, Nationalism, Anarchism, Ecology, Islamic Fundamentalism, Sexism.
   In every church there are four categories of generations that are extremely different from each other, but we will present the ones from the last hundred years:
1. THE GREATEST GENERATION: The generation of heroes (those born between 1901 and 1924) are those who grew up in the Great Depression and fought in the second World War.
2. THE QUIET GENERATION: The artists’ generation (born between 1925 and 1945) are those who survived the second World War, but were too young to fight in it.
3. THE BABY BOOMERS/TRADITIONALISTS: The generation of Prophets (born during the demographical explosion, 1946-1963), ages 55 to 75 years old.
4. GENERATION X: The generation of Nomads (1964-1979), ages 39 to 55.
5. GENRATION Y / MILLENIALS: The Heroes Generation or Generation Net (born 1980 – 2000) are those who are 20 – 40 years old.
6. GENERATION Z / DIGITAL: (born 2000 – 2020), youth under 20 years of age.




 March 24

Our lives are made up of stages and each one is a new beginning. There are situations in life when, following newly acquired information or an experience, we are on the brink of a new beginning. Today we are encountering a new beginning, even though it is not the beginning of a new year, but rather the beginning of a new mandate, a new era of serving in Bethany Church. Bethel is an example of a new beginning in the life of the patriarch Jacob. With the exception of Jerusalem, Bethel is mentioned the most in the Old Testament with 65 mentions. Bethel means “the House of the Lord” and is 19 km north of Jerusalem. Bethel is the place where, like his grandfather Abraham, Jacob meets with the Lord two times. Between these two meeting times in Bethel is a period of approximately 20 years, during which the flight to Haran, marriages, accumulation of wealth, conflict with Laban, and return to Canaan take place. For Jacob, Bethel is the House of the Lord, the place where his name and his life are changed.
The beauty of this new beginning was the result of many influences:
1. LABAN’S INFLUENCE - God heals Jacob of deception through the experience of 20 years of life with Laban, who was a bigger deceiver than Jacob. At this stage, Jacob learns to work rather than steal; he learns to rely on God rather than the naivety of others; he learns to establish honest agreements that he respects with dignity.
2. ESAU’S INFLUENCE - God heals Jacob of superiority and theft, exposing him, his family and his properties to Esau’s revenge, who was stronger than him. In this stage Jacob learns that everything you do in life has consequences; he learns that whatever you do is regarded in equal measure to your family; he learns that admitting mistakes and asking for forgiveness are the keys to resolving conflict.
3. GOD’S INFLUENCE - Jacob is healed of individualism, materialism, and greed. Jacob learns that blessing means more than wealth, that life is a battle that must be fought honestly because God sees all things, that in life, crises are inevitable. He accepts a wife that he did not choose and did not love, but he lost the wife he wanted and loved. He accepts having a boss who lies to him and steals from him, just as he stole and deceived the members of his own family. He accepts that he has to bury Rachel, the wife he loved, respecting God’s right to choose each person’s birth date and death date.
4. DEATH’S INFLUENCE - Jacob separates himself from his past:
a) He buries gold, earrings and the strange gods of his wives (Genesis 35:40).
b) The nurse Deborah dies (verse 8).
c) The name Jacob is changed to Israel (verse 10)
d) His wife Rachel dies (verse 19) because of his curse (verse 32)
e) His father Isaac dies when Jacob arrives to see him (verse 29)
Through all of these events, Jacob is prepared for a new beginning. Just like him, we also are facing a new beginning. We too have joys and disappointments behind us, all of them serving as a school of life that prepares us for this new beginning. We being with trust in God, with love for people, with passion for ministry, with zeal for holiness, and avoidance of what we know is wrong.

  March 31


   Generation Z, the i-Generation, are those born between the year 2000 and 2020, young people aged 0-20 years. Generation Z has grown into a world of limitless possibilities, where they can have everything on demand. They are a connected, digitized generation, always with a smart device in their hand. They spend at least three hours a day in front of a screen, online and feel alienated. They use a symbolic language, a phenomenon that produced the so-called "short attention span". The studies show that the maximum attention span of the Z generation is 8 seconds compared to the 15-second span of the Millennials. Also, they have moved from the relationship phase to the techn-relation phase, from the written to the visual text - Youtube and Netflix. The virtual world's risk is also the fact that it idealizes life, presenting it as perfect: vacations, travels, restaurants, expensive clothes, homes and cars, thus creating expectations that are not fulfilled.
   A study of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh has shown that the more time a person spends on the internet, the morehe becomes depressed, stressed and lonely. Statistics show that depression will become the illness of the century. Due to the dynamics of virtual life, they expect everything to be short, concrete, expeditious, hurried and technology-related. They do not prefer professions, and when they get a job they prefer to work remotely and have a flexible schedule, thus moving from an exploitative to an integrating type of working. The most unpleasant professional activities for them are in construction, transportation, acquisitions, logistics, accounting, chemistry and petrochemistry. Three out of four do not want to work, and those who work are looking for jobs they ca do from a computer. If things continue at this pace and in this direction, technology and digitization will replace inter-human relations and common values.
    At the same time, the Z generation is more empathetic and very mobilizing. Even if they do not know each other, they are easily mobilized for a need through the Internet. Honesty and respect are among the most important values ​​young people are looking for in the church and in their relationship with leaders. This generation begins school earlier, finishes it later, comes from families with higher financial stability and fewer siblings. They are an adaptive, neutral, tolerant, volunteer generation. Sociologists believe that this generation will be the most educated and flexible generation ever. The truth is that the violent redefinition of the values ​​that have governed human society so far could only take place in a generation of highly permissive people. The number of serious, violent crimes has dropped in generation Z by 83%. Z-generation youngsters are more realistic and pragmatic than the previous generation, more career-oriented and more adaptable to digital innovations, combining technology and work. They are less inclined to criminality and substance abuse (drugs, alcohol...) but are more prone to depression. They are more interested in following their passions and doing what they like than making money. They greatly value transparency and authenticity and prefer individual rather than team work.
   We presented this information not in order to emphasize strengths or weaknesses but differences which we must deal with wisely, maturely, patiently and with a lot of communication.