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Dear Millennial Christians: An Open Letter

I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.” – C.S. Lewis

Postmodernism and its effects on philosophy, religion, and society as a whole have been incredibly profound, no less in the church. Since the turn of the century, we have increasingly become a culture revolving around self-desires, self-beliefs, and self-truth. And yet, I cannot help but wonder if we’re all going in a million different directions of morality, yet heading nowhere of substance…

I have heard it said that the belief in absolute truth is a myth. And yet, regardless of all the errors in such an “absolute” statement, we have clung to a philosophy that fits our self-centered desires and cravings, regardless if truth actually exists independently of our approval.

Millennial Christians have become increasingly unified with such philosophy, contradicting the difficult teachings of the very Jesus they profess.

In the 80’s and 90’s we had legalistic religious nuts pushing regulations and restrictions on Christian youth to help them avoid being “polluted” by the world. Mind you, these were regulations never mentioned in Scripture, but often derided as great evils, none-the-less. This ultimately resulted in many of those same youth rebelling against the faith, becoming even more opposed to Christianity than those outside the church. Trust me, I’m a expert in this field. In the effort to refrain from secular society, Christians abandoned culture completely, basically saying, “To hell with you, world. We’ll stay at a distance – in our safe little bubble – while we wait for God to get us off this stupid rock.”

Since the turn of the century, we have seen a different narrative – one that, thankfully, is dislocated from legalistic isolation; and yet, the new narrative is still driven by incredibly destructive and self-serving ends.

“What’s true for you isn’t true for me.” We hear that often, don’t we? “I answer to no one!” Heard that too. YOLO (For you folks not in the know, that means “you only live once”). Basically, “Do whatever you want, because life is just a game that has no ultimate meaning.” That is such an absurd fallacy that has destroyed many lives with great potential to make a lasting difference.

Are these statements true, or are they simply driven from an ego-centric heart that is completely in error?

I think you know which one I’m getting at, but please amuse me anyway…

We live in a world where we applaud celebrities who possess numerous criminal records, and yet, we turn our backs on similar (yet, less fortunate) law-breakers in our own back yards, refusing grace to such “scum”. They’ve missed their chance at a good life, right? That’s what I consider hypocrisy. But go ahead, put your headphones back on and pretend we weren’t having this discussion.

I like to consider hypocrisy to be another form of relativism. If you say you believe one thing, then act on the impulse of a contradicting belief, then are you not saying that truth is flexible according to your needs?

The millennial generation within Christianity is becoming more and more disturbing to me. Maybe it’s simply me overthinking. And yet, these questions keep circling through my mind…

Why are Christians incredibly comfortable about so many different pop-culture causes, and yet, when asked if they believe in Jesus, they hesitate. Then they follow it up saying, “Well, Christians give Jesus such a bad name…And ya know, I don’t like talking about the whole topic since it will probably turn people off.” Let’s get real; they’re basically saying, “The hypocritical Christians who give Christianity a bad name have given me an excuse to not identify with Jesus for fear that I’ll be rejected and I want to be cool and I want to be liked and I want to be considered socially aware…Basically, I’m ashamed of Jesus.”

But can’t we be followers of Jesus AND socially aware individuals, providing hope, mercy, and grace to a world desperate for substance? When did becoming “liked” become more important to Christians than becoming Christ-“like”? Thanks for everything, Facebook…You and that ridiculous “like” button. You even tarnished Twitter (Completely different discussion…Tweeters, you know what I’m talking about…).

What happened to belief in morality? When did we become afraid to walk the difficult path in the ways of Jesus, rather than the easy one that leads to an eventual demise?

“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” – 2 Timothy 4:3

It amazes me how many pastors and teachers will talk about God giving us our best life, helping us achieve our dreams, and getting us through difficulty…They have become more like self-help gurus than teachers of the Way. And yet, they completely refuse to engage in the difficult questions of the Kingdom, for fear that they will lose members. We all get our beliefs from somewhere…If not from the church, then another source will surface. For whatever reason, Lady Gaga came to mind…

In the book of Revelation in the Scriptures, there is a passage regarding the Church in Laodicea. Here is the stern warning found within chapter three, verses 15-16:

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” – Revelation 3:15-16

Yikes.

Are you hot, cold, or lukewarm? Be honest. God knows, so you’re not hiding anything from Him.

Welcome to Millennial Christianity. The land of big buildings, confused Christians, billboard topping worship bands, celebrity pastors, and an insubstantial message.

Pastors often appear to want more members (with more money) than they do about teaching the truth about Jesus. They write books on leadership and church growth, but often remain silent about the hard teachings of Jesus. It’s becoming such a joke that the world wants none of it.

Youth who profess to know Jesus – yet know nothing of the teachings of Jesus – are increasingly choosing what they believe as if they were at a Chinese buffet.

We have Christians proclaiming to follow Jesus, and yet, refusing to believe in the idea of absolute truth and morality. Remember, Jesus called himself the truth. We humans can be so oblivious to our contradictions…

Dear millennial Christians: what if we began seeking after the Jesus of the Scriptures? What if we began loving the homeless, the lesser knowns, the losers, the failures, and the misfits, regardless of how others might believe we’re wasting our lives? I’d rather be a fool for believing in Jesus than someone professing to be “wise”, yet completely missing the redemption that Jesus proclaimed. When I die, I may find that I completely wasted my life…But then again, I won’t be alive to feel such regret, so screw it. My hearts simply can’t deny the fingerprints of God within the human spirit.

I could go further into this forever…As I watch the progression of postmodern Christianity, I see so much potential for hope, life, and growth of the Kingdom of God. However, we must choose the difficult path of Jesus if we are to make any difference within the hearts of those surrounding us.

But that’s just my opinion.

2 Comments

  1. Good read!
    I agree with you, I wish we Christians would spend less time focused on what people do and more time seeing them the way God sees them.
    If we could get back to the feeding of the hungry and quenching the thirst of the thirsty we could see the perceptions change.
    Thanks for your post!

    • Absolutely agree with you John. Focusing on what really matters is what the church has always been about at the core…I hope we return to that core. Thanks for reading man!

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