This has been a rough week. I have been speaking to a group of youths at a church camp. Youths are not my usual target group. I normally speak to groups college aged and older. This was a group of folks aged 12 – 18. And this guy, who has been speaking to groups since 1972, is tense and nervous.
The youth ministry team was very positive. They prayed for me a lot. They must have picked up the scent of my nervousness. Which wasn’t too difficult since it was basically the scent of my perspiration. In my first session I told the youths about the original blue pill pedlar.
The imagery is from the movie the Matrix. There is a scene where the hero Neo, is offered two pills, one blue, one red. The blue pill would have returned Neo to a world of illusion. The red pill would free him to see the truth and to ultimately discover and fulfill his destiny of freeing others from the world of illusion and death.
I told the youths that Satan comes to them, indeed to all of us, offering his red pill of freedom. Satan will tell us that God is the guy dishing out the blue pills, wanting us to be His slaves. But Satan wants us to be free from that bondage. If only we would swallow his red pill.
I told the youth that Satan has been giving us this pitch since the Garden of Eden. There Satan told Adam and Eve that God was holding them back by prohibiting them from taking the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If only they were to disobey God, if only they were to eat the banned fruit, they would be like gods. They would be free. [Genesis 3:1-5]
Our forefathers believed Satan. They took his red pill only to discover that it was actually blue. And they were in bondage to Satan, sin and death. Without hope. But for Christ and the cross.
Ok, the youth may have found my references to the first Matrix movie so yesterday. I don’t care. You want Soo-Inn to speak to youths he will use illustrations that he knows.
But my heart went out to the youth. I knew the true blue pill pedlar would be working overtime in their lives. After all you are young only once and youth is the time to spread your wings not to cut them off. And non-Christians seem to be the ones having all the fun.
The church has to take some of the blame. More often than not we have presented the Christian faith to our young as a religion of do’s and don’ts, mostly don’ts. We have not let our young know that the Christian faith is a rich feast of life, mostly because we have often forgotten that that is what it is. And Satan waits for the opportune time. [Luke 4:13]
I looked at out at the faces that filled the room. I had some idea of what temptations they faced at this chapter of their lives. I also knew that the blue pill huckster would be back with the appropriate pitches for every phase of their lives. And my heart cried out with the hope that none of these precious ones would ever buy into Satan’s lies, ever.
I hoped the ramblings of a speaker who is not quite confident speaking to youth, would somehow get through to this group of youth. I told them that the next time Satan comes by trying to hawk his pseudo red pills, to tell him: “Don’t bluff-lah.” I told them to trust in the Lord and it would be ok. [James 4:7]
It has been a rough week. I am very tired. And I have one more talk in the series to give in the morning. But somehow I feel that this series of talks with this group of youth has been a significant time.
They have been kind. Most of them have kept awake during the sessions. They have actually laughed at my corny jokes. The youth ministry team has been great. And as always the importance of the messages far outweigh the abilities of the messenger.
But the word must get through. Satan will come claiming to be able to give life. But he is a liar and he is only able to take life.
But Jesus is the one that comes saying:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” [Luke 4: 18-19]
We get the red pill from Him.
Your brother, Soo-Inn Tan