I can’t tell you how many blog posts or news stories I have read lately about the millennial generation. They aren’t getting married. They aren’t going to church. They want a “real” church. They can smell a gimmick a mile away. They are techie but relational. They like authenticity.
Please make it stop.
I honestly don’t care. We have coddled and held that generation as if each person was a tender, tiny snowflake. We wanted to make everything right for them. We wanted things to be easy. We thought each one of them was a brilliant scholar just waiting to emerge, and if that scholar didn’t emerge, it was someone else’s fault. If they didn’t like something, we didn’t make them do it. We told them there was no right answer. If it doesn’t hurt anyone, it is fair. There are no absolutes. And so on, and so forth.
How do I know this? I have a child at the tail end of this generation. All the “mommy books” that I read preached this nonsense. Affirm the child. Never say “no”. Just redirect. Blah, blah, blah.
Now we have all these questions and want to know why the millennial generation is behaving the way they are behaving. It is learned, and really, why are we shocked?
So many of the articles want to discuss the millennials and church. How do we minister to them? Why aren’t they coming to church?
I will tell you why they aren’t going to church. We have told them that there is no absolute truth. Truth is where you find it. Wait. Isn’t that a Madonna song? All roads lead to the same place. You are forgiven whether you know it or not. Why would you need Jesus if you don’t need saving?
Because that is Satan’s greatest lie. Did God really say? It was his first lie, and it is still his favorite. Did God really say that the fruit would bring death? Did God really say not to take His name in vain? You don’t mean it that way, right? Did God really say not to have sex outside of marriage? But loving each other is the same thing. He wouldn’t want us to be unhappy.
I can write about this honestly because I am a self-righteous hack. I tell my kids that sometimes the people that have the easiest time believing are the ones that have committed the gravest sins because they know that they can’t save themselves. I try to be a decent person. Am I really that bad of a person? Of course I am, but sometimes I try to convince myself otherwise.
Anyway, so we have raised this generation to believe that they are “good” people no matter what they do. You can make church a happy clappy, coffee drinking, band concert, and they still aren’t going to want to come if they are told that they are sinners. The churches are trying this bait and switch technique. If we just gets their butts in the pew, then we can give them the good stuff. Sure. Sure. Any way you can get them in the door, right? Maybe. I remain unconvinced.
All the while, we push out the older generation. The generation that built the church with their sweat and their hard earned money. My parent’s generation. They have to sit back and take it. The church is changing they are told. We have to get with the program or the church will die.
When it truth, nothing is changing. People are still sinners. We have always been sinners committing the same sins generation after generation and needing the same Savior. Our trouble is not that church is irrelevant. Our trouble is that we have not taught our children that they are sinners, or we gloss over their sins. We make excuses for our children. And now, this generation is very good at it. Teaching the Law is good, but we shouldn’t just use it as a rule book. We should also use it to remember how we have failed. No one can keep the law. Not one person. Jesus is our only remedy. Oh, how sweet is the Gospel. But, if you don’t think you need Him, you aren’t going to find church or the Gospel all that necessary. And if we know anything, we know that millennials do not do anything they don’t want to do. I have certainly read enough articles on that lately.
Whether or not the millennials come to church, God will preserve his church. He promises that. Do I want them to come to church? Yes. Should the church change its message to get them in there? No.
All right. That was my rant for the night. I feel better.