I know the title of this post is exaggerated. However, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s worth admitting a certain thing that many evangelists know but are afraid to say out loud. However, before I go into the details, I would like to use an example.
Let us imagine that we are in a Polish language lesson. On the blackboard, the teacher writes the topic: “A discussion of Aeschylus’ drama Prometheus Scaled”. The pupils politely write down a short note in their notebooks and the teacher begins the lecture. In a monotone voice, she introduces the author, the profiles of the characters, the message of the drama, its impact on literature of all ages and finally sets the students the task of writing a short essay on the significance of the Promethean myth in Adam Mickiewicz’s ‘Dziady’. At the end of the lesson, delighted with her own words, she encourages the students to read other works by the master Aeschylus and hopes that after the lesson is over, the youngsters will run to the library and borrow an anthology of ancient works, because, after all, nothing more wonderful can be imagined. The lesson ends and the pupils get up and go to the shop for a yeasty snack and a bottle of Coke. Nobody remembers Aeschylus anymore or even the great myth they heard. They have never been interested in it and no amount of reassurance will change that. They respect their teacher, but the belief in the importance of myths and good literature is a fiction to them. They may even feel that something important has been said, but this is not the time for such things. The mundane of life can defeat even the greatest ideas and good intentions. In two years’ time, they will have their school-leaving exams, after which no one will ask them about Aeschylus, Prometheus or even the beautiful Antigone, who died a tragic death. The teacher will share the fate of the hero she spoke so passionately about. In a year’s time, another generation will hear about the rebel who brought fire to the people. From Prometheus he will eventually become Sisyphus, who continually rolls his stone up the mountain.
The same is true of the evangelisation of the young. Those who claim that the power of the word convinces others of their own ideas are mistaken. Modern man sees more than he hears. However, it is not in listening that the problem lies. The man of the 21st century is uninterested in thinking, in ideas, in the supernatural. He has become a man of grey everyday life laced with tic-tac-toe videos and entertainment that acts like a drug. He does not concern himself with religion because he considers it superfluous, unnecessary. Moreover, he often regards it as harmful and enslaving.