To be perfectly clear, I want to let you know upfront that this isn’t a parenting how-to guide that, if followed, will lead your loved ones to salvation. Instead, what I can offer you is a glimpse into the world of a twenty-something who sees thousands of young evangelicals being spiritually and emotionally targeted on Christian university campuses, in college ministries and at churches nationwide by a growing liberal movement cloaked in Christianity.
This will have a direct effect on the spiritual and moral values that will shape the nation in the coming years. That is why it is urgent that concerned Christians start acting now before the situation gets worse.
Faith and culture will continue to collide in America. The culture wars, the growth of family, the success of missions, the prosperity of our great nation-the future rests on millennial evangelicals’ worldview. And that is cause for concern, because something has gone wrong with young evangelicals’ theology.
The millennial generation’s susceptibility to “feel-good” derica’s moral decline. Millennials’ religious practices depend largely on how the actions make us and others feel, whether the activities are biblical or not. For example, we only attend churches that leave us feeling good about our lifestyle choices, even if those choices conflict with God’s clear commandments. Or we contribute to nonprofits that exploit and misuse terms such as justice, oppressed and inequality because tweaking the language makes us feel more neutral, less confrontational.
Out of fear of being falsely dubbed “intolerant” or “uncompassionate,” many young Christians are buying into theological falsehoods. Instead of standing up as a voice for the innocent unborn or marriage as God intended, millennials are forgoing the authority of Scripture and embracing a couch potato, cafeteria-style Christianity all in the name of tolerance.
Popular liberal evangelical writers and preachers tell young evangelicals that if they accept abortion and same-sex marriage, then the media, academia and Hollywood will finally accept Christians
This contemporary mindset is what Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian whose Christian convictions put him at odds with the Nazis and cost him his life, called “cheap grace.” In his book The Cost of Discipleship Bonhoeffer wrote: “Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”
It is not that millennial evangelicals were not taken to church by their parents. It is that their training has been hijacked by ineffective and sometimes intentionally distorted doctrine.
We dismiss old hymns that focus on God’s transforming salvation, love and mercy and opt for “Jesus is your boyfriend” songs
As constant and pervasive as the attacks on Christianity are at public universities, it is important to remember that millennials’ worldviews do not start taking shape after they move out of their parents’ houses. Their understanding of Jesus’ teachings and cultural convictions begin to form while they are still at home and under the influence of their local church.
What I hope and pray evangelical parents and leaders come to realize is that the church has been too trusting. In our jampacked lifestyles, parents have treated Sunday school as they do softball or ballet class-drop off the kids for an hour then pick them up and hope they learned something.
Early on in my Sunday school teaching days, my co-teacher and I followed the curriculum pretty narrowly, the exception being that my co-teacher had an outstanding knowledge of biblical history that he imparted to the kids.