Is the Church in America hostile to millennials? Possibly. But probably not for the reason you think.
- Nobody’s Listening to Us
No one needs to listen to millennials. They are by far the most miseducated, stupid, frivolous, petty, and useless. This isn’t entirely their fault, but I’m not going blame their parents for the shift to discivic societies in the west. They’re complicit, and everyone knows it. Millenials want to make a difference, I won’t deny it. But where are the cries for virtue? Humility? Empathy? Love? We don’t have those; we have cries for tolerance; ironically the only virtue measured by the others millennials have thrown to the side. Millennials have total interest in top-down enforcement of their views and little to no interest in fostering change by example. That’s Anti-Christian. If you create a special version of morality that always puts you at the forefront of virtue devoid of criticism, then your interests simply don’t align with the church.
- We’re Sick of Hearing About Values & Mission Statements
Oh give me a break. Am I to believe every church is suited to the exact same task, or even the exact same multiplicity of tasks? No! Certain churches are better positioned by location, IQ, education, etc for certain tasks than others and to deny that is to spit on reality. We’re creative creatures and find different solutions to different problems that many of us aren’t even aware of. A church for the disabled is not equipped to develop irrigation systems in Africa. Deal with it.
- “Helping the Poor Isn’t a Priority”
This in particular is a disgusting lie. The author complains about how “Americanized” the church has become. America happens to donate rather absurd amounts of money to charity, often leading the world in that area as a matter of fact. Millennials care so much about the poor, now do they? Where are “Millennials Against the Welfare State”? “Millennials Against Authoritarianism”? “Millennials Against War”? Based on the last election we know they don’t exist.
- We’re Tired of You Blaming the Culture
Did she not just whine about Americanized churches? Our modern political dynamic stacks you with either an amalgamation of people attempting social reconstruction at the point of a gun or war-hungry wastrels, and the line between those two are often blurred. Our art is worthless, our stories boring and tired with not-so-subtle political messages. Our education system is a revolving door of worthless teachers paying dues to the same people their miseducated students pay their debts. Older generations have a habit of critiszing the new because our civilzation is in decline. If you’re not smart enough to assume you’re not impacted by the cultural rot of decades, you’re not thinking. You might regard yourself as heroic far beyond the average human being, but thanks to the aforementioned electoral map I have no reason to believe any such claim.
- The “You Can’t Sit With Us” Affect
I will be kinder with this one. I agree that churches are cliquey, but that’s not because of the Church. People have natural (and I would argue good) in-group preferences. Cliques form naturally because people with common interests and talents attract each other. This fosters specialization, honing people’s skills for dealing with more specific problems and situations. It’s a good thing! Granted, people may feel like this is exclusionary, but if one desires to talk to people in a clique, why not explore their interests? You’re not going to find a terribly large number of religious Jews in church because their interests don’t align with the purpose of the institution. It’s similar with the cliques. I’d note this isn’t a justification for animosity between groups within the church, however.
- Distrust & Misallocation of Resources
I don’t see this as a bad thing on its own, but given the author makes the claim that “Millennials, more than any other generation, don’t trust institutions” I’d invite the reader to re-examine the aforementioned electoral map. No, they most certainly do not distrust institutions. Quite the contrary, they worship them. The institution of college in particular is idolized, as I’ll explore more in the next paragraph. I’d note Churches being more efficient in the realm of finances would be lovely, and that community influence on those decisions (given that they fund them) would indeed be proper. A means of tracking these finances as the author proposes wouldn’t be such a bad thing in practice.
- We Want to Be Mentored, Not Preached At
Yeah, this is a lie. All the craze nowadays is going to college to get a degree, any degree and on someone else’s dime. Professors do not hold your hand (try looking for compassion if you disagree with them politically). Lecturing is all they do! I’m absolutely in favor of church leaders and elder members setting the example and making a personal investment in the lives of the young. But this idea that the function of exploring some truth in the Bible, some fact or nuance relevant to current events, displaying the character of God, or better preparing church-goers to defend the faith is somehow worthless because millennials find it disinteresting is a travesty. This is the disgusting response of the stupid to the sacred, nothing more.
- We Want to Feel Valued
The author complains here of feeling drained by the reliance on youth in ministry. I thought the church neglected ministry? Ah, but this was written by a millennial so I suppose consistency is just optional. Sad! “We desperately need the church to tell us we are enough, exactly the way we are. No conditions or expectations.” The problem with this it’s anti-Christian. You’re not enough! You’re flawed, corrupt. You don’t need a church that believes in you; you need a church and a God that molds you into something worth believing in. Your big crazy dreams are not the purpose of church. They’re not even the purpose of life, outside how they glorify your creator.
- We Want You to Talk to Us About Controversial Issues (Because No One Is)
As long as they match with your preconceived notions of what’s acceptable, right? If they come to a different conclusion than you, then what? People talk about controversial issues all the time. The millennial response is playdough and safe-spaces. You don’t want the church to “talk” about controversy; you want the church to talk about your beliefs concerning controversy, and the moment they step out of line you’ll abandon them. The church is not your political platform, clear off if you don’t like it.
- The Public Perception
I thought there was nothing wrong with the culture? Seriously, I can’t help it at this point. The church is doing a great deal in our communities to better life. The church will appear to be a force for good when people who don’t believe any such thing stop intentionally spreading the lie that they are not, or better yet simply have no platform with which to do so unchallenged. It’s that simple.
- Stop Talking About Us (Unless You’re Actually Going to Do Something)
No, I don’t think we will. You will continue to be mocked, ridiculed, and criticized in the public arena until you stop acting like a spoiled mass of left wing zombies. We’ll continue watching your ever move and will critique it incessantly, because no matter what those who came before us will likely die before us; and many of them have no intention of letting you destroy what they built. If you insist on following in and even increasing the severity of their mistakes, you deserve to be criticized for the sake of those who will follow you.
- You’re Failing to Adapt
You’re failing to comply.
If you think yourself so god-like that you can warp the human consciousness to create some new sort of culture as opposed to the one forged in blood, sweat, and tears over 2,500 years to afford us the rights and duties we have today, go right ahead and try. You’ll fail, because you nor any other creature on this planet can do that. We have tradition because it sent us forward, that which did not already died out. We on the planet have the unique ability to disregard that which keeps us alive in both malice and mad idealism. You are no different and you will fail if you try to change that. You are here to serve the church: not the other way around.
The traditions of man and God run deep in our hearts and souls; they came long before you or I and will last beyond you and I.
There is nothing you can do to change that, and in that I find relief.