Hate is a strong word… Let’s use disdain instead.
hate disdain being labeled a millennial Christian.
Good grief, where do I start?
The Millennial generation is the most self-victimized generation in decades. We’ve coined terms like “triggered” “safe-space” “selfie” “white privilege” “body shaming” and any number of endless “phobias”
Millennials are chiefly responsible for the shift toward social media interaction as opposed to actual social interaction. Hashtags and anonymous internet outrage take precedence over actually doing things.
They’ve bought into the “find your truth” moral relativism movement, Eastern spiritualism, and narcissistic immediate gratification with things like Amazon prime 2 day shipping (okay, I concede, I love this one) and are 3rd behind Gen X and baby boomers respectively in having the most non-mortgage debt.
But the thing that makes me most upset is what millennials have done in the Church. We’ve brought so much of the secular into it, we’ve lost a lot of the sacred. To paraphrase Ravi Zacharias, the opposite of sacred isn’t secular, it’s profane. I’m not one of those people who thinks worship music has to be only hymns on the organ. Nor am I one who believes only the KJV Bible is acceptable. But what I don’t understand is taking the beauty and artistry and awe out of our worship– Jesu Meine Freude; Ein Deutches Requiem, Op. 45; virtually any Bach composition…– and we’ve reduced our worship to forced and contrived emotional pseudo-rock ballads with repetitive, hollow lyrics, and the same 4 chords over and over again… looking at you, Chris Tomlin… I’m not saying that music can’t be simple, nor that we can’t strive to reach the masses with singable tunes. But we’re talking about the God of the Universe here!! Is he not worthy of a little more artistry? A little more reverential awe? A little more decorum than our hipster flannel and skinny jeans with ankle boots and latte in hand on a Sunday morning?
As we make more casual and common the things of God, we lose sight of who He is and who we are by comparison. We were lost, now we’re found. We were forsaken, and now through Christ we are dearly loved. We were wretched, evil, dead in sin. And by the grace of God through faith in the blood of Jesus Christ, we’re made clean, imputed with His righteousness, victorious over sin, hell, and the grave!!
That’s bigger than me. That’s bigger than contemporary worship music. That’s bigger than making church attractive and comfortable. That’s bigger than Millennials.
What’s more disconcerting is the that the generation after Millennials, Gen Z, is actually the most unchurched generation… I know a handful of millennials who think no one cares about them…blah, blah, blah… The fact is, Millennials are in the position now to be passing on the torch of faith to the younger generation, and we’re failing. Hard. According to Barna research, atheism is doubled among Gen Z from that of millennials.
And what are we doing to reach them?
We’re watering down the Gospel, idolizing celebrities, worrying more about our Instagram and Facebook images than being God’s image bearers, and asking how the church can serve US, instead of reaching our juniors with the love of Christ, Gospel-changed lives, and the truth of the Bible.
Do I have a solution?
Yes and no.
It has to start outside of us; our focus has to truly become Christ and His Word. We have to unapologetically, unashamedly preach the truth of the Gospel, standing on the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God, the Bible. And we have to live it. That means forsaking our comfort, convenience, for Gospel hospitality, generosity, and genuine love for people. This is hard for me. I think it’s challenging for most people, because it’s not our nature. That’s why it has to begin with Christ.
Then it has to move inward. Faith has to become a deeply penetrating humility and reliance on objective truth as revealed in the Bible, regardless of our feelings or emotions. It has to impact every area of our lives and draw us into deeper relationship with God and His people.
No, this isn’t something we can fix overnight. And no, I don’t claim to have all the answers; but I do claim to know the One who does. And the Bible says, “His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1:3.
Christians– ALL CHRISTIANS, not just millennials this time– have to prioritize their relationship with God, passionately pursue Christ, and genuinely live the Gospel.
That is our challenge to die daily in our culture that prioritizes self first, and to hold one another accountable in love.