Tag Archives: Millennials
I don’t like talking about debt. But I spend a lot of time talking (and writing) about debt. Mainly because our nation is drowning in debt. From the recent college graduate with $80,000 in student loans, to the middle-aged working class adults that are still paying off student loans but have added a mortgage, car payments, credit car balances, and a home equity line; our nation has a serious debt crisis.
According to an article at Business Insider that published the results of a Trading Economics study, out of 30 countries, America ranks #10 for having the most debt. Americans have a collective $1.14 trillion in auto debt, $1.28 trillion in student loans, and $8.82 trillion in mortgage debt. The total household debt of Americans is up to $8.82 trillion (as of the third quarter of 2016).
These numbers give America a household-debt-to-GDP number of 78.8%; making us the country with the 10th highest debt.
The reality is that the churches’ silence on many of the difficult, controversial topics of our day has created a vacuum that is being filled by secularists and others that see the Bible as a book of fairy tales. Because more pastors are not willing to address tough topics – they don’t produce warm fuzzies – many young believers are left to fend for themselves when it comes to being educated about these topics. The drive inside many churches to avoid conflict is a misguided attempt to produce unity. Pastors believe if they only focus on the main issues in Scripture that the church will be united. Two decades of this mentality has proven otherwise.
I’ll be the first to say that issues such as abortion, gay marriage, gender identity and immigration are tough. Some of these the Bible speaks directly to; others are not so clear. But the one thing I am absolutely convinced of is that clear guidance can be gleaned from the pages of Scripture. But it takes a man dedicated to clearly communicating what the Bible does say about these topics, and a willingness to teach the biblical principles concerning each topic regardless of public opinion.
I was just talking Sunday night with some folks in my church about how the church is failing our younger generations on the issue of homosexuality. To my surprise, they agreed with me. We all agreed that the popular church strategies of either ignoring the issue or of being soft and not fully addressing the issue is not helping; and is doing more harm than any intended good.
There is a number of ways that I believe the church is failing on this issue. As I told my friends I was discussing with after church Sunday night, the world believes Christians are in one of two camps: the Westboro Baptist camp, or the we’re-all-God’s-children camp.
In other words, people think Christians either hate all homosexuals and want to see harm come to them; a la Westboro Baptist. Or that we believe we’re all God’s children (a heretical lie) and that God made people gay.
Either of these two positions is false and problematic. But there is one particular reason why I believe the church is failing millennials on this very critical issue.
Much has been said and written in the last decade concerning the troubling trend of Millennials leaving the church. Those that were born between 1980 and 2000 have been the subject of much speculation as they walk out of the church doors and appear to abandon their faith. The alarm has been sounded so loudly that it has reshaped the landscape of the American church as young pastors and seasoned veterans of ministry seek to retain the Millennials they have and reach the ones down the street.
A recent article titled “5 Possible Reasons Young Americans are Leaving Church and Christianity Behind” explores this topic with analysis gained from the vast resources of groups like Focus on the Family and the Barna Resource Group. It’s an interesting read.
While several of these reasons are suspect, to me, at least two of the stated reasons were easy to guess; and I would have been surprised if they were not on the list. The two are: Politics in the Pulpit and Sex.