Ad Gloriam Dei

"Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." - 1 Corintians 10:31

"Let us pursue the things which make for peace and those by which one may edify another"- Romans 14:19

"As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend." - Proverbs 27:17

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Goths 'More Likely to Self-harm'

The BBC recently published an article on this subject here. Astonishingly a recent study in Glasgow showed that 14% of all teenagers in the survey self-harmed, but what is worse is that "belonging to the Goth subculture... was strongly associated with a lifetime risk of self harm (53%) and attempted suicide (47%)."

Some of these Goths are very much anti-Christian and have in some cases come from a hypocritical or oppressive Christian background. This has led to a philosophy of despair and nihilism. Many are young people who have been bullied at school or feel rejected, and have reacted to this by adopting a "look" to keep others at a distance, maybe even to scare bullies away. (I've seen this with a young person I know.)

The music and general culture of the Goths is obsessed with destruction and death. Given their backgrounds and their worldview, is it any wonder that they have a strong tendency to self-harm?

The psychologist who carried out the survey comfortingly said, "I don't think parents should be worried if their children identify with Goths. Rather than posing a risk, it's also possible that by belonging to this subculture young people are gaining valuable social and emotional support from their peers." There is some truth to this, but ultimately they are seekly to deal with their problems by looking to man, and is a culture devoted to themes of destruction something that parents shouldn't be worried about?!

Often these young people look to their peers for support because they're not getting it from their parents. Christ turns the hearts of parents to their children, and vice-versa, but a rejection of the Gospel (or ignorance of it) leads to alienation within the family. What a sad sight it is to see so many young people hanging around street corners on a cold and wet night, instead of being in a warm home with their family! Why can't they bring their friends there?

How we need to reach out to young people, including the Goths who are so needy! May God give us grace to take every opportunity to reach out with the life-giving and life-transforming Gospel!

On a different note, are young people alienated within any of our Churches due to cliquishness and self-centredness among our young people? Are youth leaders, parents and, indeed, converted young people seeking to combat this? Do we as Christian parents engage with our children, or do we either follow our own selfish needs or allow the prevaling peer-oriented culture to rob them from us? We need to often consider Solomon's example of communication with his son in the Book of Proverbs, and practise it.

"But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; all those who hate me love death.” (Proverbs 8:36)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting comments re Goths, GB-style. I get the feeling that it's getting passe here in the states, but I may be wrong. I didn't see that much of gothism in Scotland in Summer-2005 when we were there, but I may not have been looking in the right places.

In talking to these kids myself, I have always approached them sympathetically. In a sense, they see the world -- as it is! -- if we are without Christ.

Their dress reflects that which they see, namely, a world without light and color. What did Jesus say about darkness and light? Was it, "I am the light of the world!" etc.

In our witnessing to these kids, I don't think we can "out-tough" them. But I do think we can "out-love" them. Most of them know little of love. It shocks them when we simply love them and witness to them, if we witness to them from a real affection. And we ought to have affection. Just think of how bright and colorful they could be WITH THE LORD OF GLORY TO INSPIRE THEM!

I really feel bad for these kids. They are slaves of sin, completely overpowered by the deadly worldview of the devil at present. I cringe when I think of myself, locked up in such a prison.

Yet the Lord is ever so much strongr than they -- if He so wills! That is our hope in witnessing to them: that they too might be of the Elect!

Thursday, April 27, 2006 11:13:00 pm  
Blogger Timothy Davis said...

Good comments, Dick. Thanks for expanding the thoughts on this subject. This is the point of the blog.

"Iron sharpens iron", as my father-in-law always says!

Thursday, April 27, 2006 11:53:00 pm  
Blogger Joël said...

Interesting comment, but I'm unclear where you draw your substance from when you say "Most of them know little of love". I'm assuming you've not met most of the people of the world who associate themselves as goths, and so I wonder upon your authenticity. Many goths that I know (and I certainly don't profess to know most of the goths in the world) dress to conform amongst other people to whom they socially identify (as the original post also mentioned). To say that the social element is insignificant (or worse, as you say, that it doesn't exist, and that these people lack love) is to speak out of ignorance, I'm afraid.

Monday, May 15, 2006 4:18:00 pm  

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