“Whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father…” ~ Matthew 10:33
Recently, a few different news stations conducted some research about Millennials. The main topic was how much Millennials are changing the world that we live in. Different economies are struggling based on the millennial population’s life style. Many of you may have noticed that department stores are slowly dwindling. Commercials now advertise organic and vegan products instead of purple ketchup and Cheeto Paws. The millennial “ideal body” has gone from being skinny to being curvy. Each generation has it’s “fads”. Some are good for society, and some aren’t. One fad for the millennial generation is being an atheist. So why are Millennials so quick to turn away from the church? What makes this generation so different than the rest?
The relationship we recognize with God closely resembles that of an earthly father. Sociologist Mary Eberstadt states in her book “How the West Really Lost God” that the “fortunes of religion rise or fall with the state of the family…” If a person has never known the care of an earthly father, how will they know what the love of God is like? For most people that fall into this category, they don’t have an earthly father as an example, so they don’t feel like they are missing out, or even worse, that they need one. Maybe they had a bad experience with the only person they considered to be a fatherly figure. Without the proper guidance, a young person can easily assume they are better off alone. God created the love of a family to mirror his love he has for us. It’s a little bit of heaven here on earth. Unfortunately, not everyone is privileged to have one…
Many adults represent a lack of spiritual authenticity. I could venture a guess that anyone reading this blog has probably met, or knows someone who lacks spiritual authenticity. They preach “holiness” and “purity”, but turns around and slanders their neighbor for living a life different from their own. It always stunned me when I met someone like this. To be truthful, it would actually make me angry. These people are representing God, and are so hypocritical! To be clear, I am not saying christians are without sin. The root issue is authenticity. We can’t judge someone just because they sin differently than you. Everyone sins! Christians should be authentic people who hold each other accountable, in a judgment free community. That sounds lofty, but that should be our goal. That’s the image I wish people could see. But the sad reality is, very few people do. More often than not, millennials come in contact with judgement and ridicule. And frankly, I wouldn’t want that either. That’s not who God calls us to be.
“Tolerance be Thy Name..” – Dr. Alex McFarland. This generation has been built on the wild notion that truth is relative. To be specific, anything can be the truth, so long as it is true to me. If I said the sky is green, you would obviously say I’m wrong. But I could say that I believe the truth is the sky is green, then you can’t argue with me. That’s just my opinion (And i’d probably have some color receptor issues). In the same way Millennials use this relative “truth” to justify anything, making it virtually impossible to find the black in the gray. Often this is used in arguments about religion. “Well to speak my truth, I’ve never had a parental figure in my life and I turned out fine.” It’s no longer about finding the real truth, it’s justifying opinions to tolerate the current behavior. We as a generation are no longer trying to see other points of view, but are more interested on only seeing ours as the one “truth” to us.
So what does this mean for Millennials? As a Christian Millennial, it is becoming increasingly hard to defend our faith. But beyond defending, its even harder to share our faith. Our culture is so focused on what divides us, that they’re missing out on everything that joins us. My heart breaks everytime I watch the news or see a news post on my phone. I have a challenge this week: I challenge each person who reads this to go out and be the “good example”. Maybe that’s mentoring a child in a big brother/sister program. Maybe it’s reaching out to the person in class that claims to “hate christians”. Maybe its going home and spending 10 extra minutes with your kids before bed. I challenge you to start making the difference in this generation.