Millennial individuals are, according to several articles online, the least religious group, especially considering previous generations. Personally, I think that religion is a very important thing. Our country was created on the very foundation of religion.
Reader: In this article I’m not going to tell you what religion specifically you should be converting to, or shame you for not being religious in the first place. However, I am aiming this article towards the Christian churches: we need to get our act together.
According to research articles online, there are a lot of potential causes of the sharp drop in religious belief –some don’t believe there are higher beings; some feel that the “information age” with the internet is like another enlightenment period in our history, only with the reverse effect, etc.
However, taking a look at some of the people I know, some of it is the church’s own fault. There are divisions within the church sometimes, and other times, people “walk in the flesh” and are cruel and judgmental instead of welcoming people with open arms.
Denominations within the Christian religion tend to cut a rift between believers as well. One denomination believes in doing one certain thing, take a specific something metaphorically or literally in the Bible;, while another believes something else.
This is the problem with denominations: they’re basically human interpretations of what the Bible means and what we should be practicing from it. If a teenager or someone struggling in their faith sees the divisions within believers themselves, it doesn’t send a good message at all. They want stability and solid reasoning, and we should be focusing on what God and the Bible say, not “I think.”
Christians should also be more careful of the line between tolerance and the tolerance society wants. Tolerance is being polite and entertaining someone else’s ideas or beliefs, even if you don’t agree with them. Society’s idea of tolerance is wholeheartedly accepting and practicing someone else’s ideas or beliefs, especially if you don’t agree with them- and you’re a generally horrid person if you don’t.
There are some Christians–as there are in any religion, that take everything the wrong way, to the point of attempting to physically beat demons out of people, and then there are some “lenient” Christians, who think the Bible and the church should be altered to accommodate today’s societal shifts. However, neither of these are right, and these two groups are the most popularly viewed.
Those who think the Bible needs to accommodate today’s society need to remember that the Bible itself warns against altering God’s Word; the overly literal ones (who are likely more stuck in the Old Testament than looking at both of them, since most mention of violent acts are from the Old, not the New) need to, probably, reread the Bible and realize that killing [whatever group of] people because God told me to’ is probably more of a ticket to a psych ward than anything else.
In order to save the church and bring congregation numbers up, Christians should make popular this single, tricky thing: show kindness toward everyone regardless of who they are or what they practice, but stand firm in the Biblical truths you know. Kindness goes a lot further than being critical.
This does not mean we should just keep quiet about our beliefs to avoid hurting someone’s feelings; instead, we should try to practice what we preach and do it in a graceful manner. Think of the song “Ceasefire” by For King & Country. I’m not going to quote any certain parts of it for this, because the entire song is rather keen on this topic and is worth a quick search online.
I suppose the bottom line of this is that the church has been divided a lot lately, granted that there are various political and societal changes and tensions. Churches are under stress and their congregations are becoming so as well; we tend to show our crummier side instead of the side we should be showing.
Perhaps we focus on earthly problems and conflicts moreso than we do on giving God the glory and serving the highest honor anyone could have-leading an example that could draw people to Christianity. Division and negativity will not draw people in, and perhaps this is one reason why the millennial generation is turning away from religion as a whole.
Churches and congregations need to remember why we go to church on Sundays, become united once more and reinvigorate the purpose in a godly manner. We need to understand the Bible, pray about it and step forth wearing God’s armor, not just bits and pieces of it that the majority agrees with.