Thursday, July 30, 2015

An Open Letter to My Fellow Millennial Christians - "Don't Throw Out the Baby With the Bath Water"

Dear Fellow Millennials,

I am a Christian Millennial. I graduated in 2007 from High School, and I have seen a lot of changes take place in the U. S. since I graduated. And I've seen even some big changes take place since I graduated from college in May. Since I graduated from High School God has done so much in my life to change my view of the world. To change my view of what Christianity is.

Growing up I often saw a lack of love and community taking place in the churches I grew up in. I saw a lot of "Cultural Christianity" that I thought was genuine Christianity...but when I went to college God opened my eyes to what I think is a more Biblical view of Christianity. Much of the things I thought were wrong growing up I began to see that they weren't necessarily wrong. I could have alcohol once in a while (always in moderation and never getting drunk), I could listen to CCM (because the Bible never says it's wrong), I could be a Calvinist and still be Gospel loving and evangelizing Christian, and the list could go on. I began to see that there was more freedom in Christ than I had previously thought there was.

But I also became increasingly concerned with some attitudes and beliefs that I was beginning to see in my fellow Millennial Christians. I saw it in college among my fellow students...and I continue to see it in some friends since graduating. This attitude appears to be a rebellious and angry reaction to the wrongs done by the Christians we grew up interacting with. We saw the bad that could come out of a particular belief they had, and so we reject it because of their wrong handling of it. Some are even going so far as to reject clear teachings of Scripture on particular matters because the previous generations believed these and held them often times with anger and judgment.

I'm tempted to give examples of particular beliefs that some of my friends seem to have rejected for this reason, but I want to avoid controversy...and I want to avoid narrowing the message of this letter to one particular belief...I think all Millennials need to examine their hearts, and think about how and what emotions they are using to guide them toward their beliefs about different matters.

So, to offer an alternative to these issues I've seen...let me expound on the conclusions I've come to.

I would love to see my generation of Millennial Christians holding tightly to God's Word. To study God's Word closely, and allow it to guide us. To be passionately committed to it's truths. But always and ever holding to them with grace and love. Reaching out without judgment to our alcoholic neighbor to share the Gospel with Him...doing the same with our homosexual neighbor as well. Let's be counter-cultural, but in a compassionate and culturally engaging way. Let's not be afraid to sit down and talk with our unbelieving friends about the truths found in the Word. Let's hold tightly to the truths of God's Word, regardless of what the world tells us we should believe. But always and ever speaking these truths with love and grace.

We can hold to the fundamentals of our faith that were held to so tightly in the previous generations without repeating their mistakes. And who are we to arrogantly think that they got everything wrong and we have gotten it all right? The previous generations of Christians were flawed, and we are flawed too. Let us go forward relying on Christ and holding onto His Word, trusting Him to guide us.

And one more thing...let's always and ever hold onto our beliefs without a bitter and angry attitude about the previous generation's mistakes. When we get bitter and angry, we might be dangerously close to having a similar attitude that they often did...but our mistake is we're directing it at fellow Christians, rather than at the world. Let's lovingly and respectfully speak the truth to both believers and unbelievers alike. We should honor and respect the previous generations of Christians, and recognize that they were flawed...just like we are.

I hope these words were helpful and understandable. I'm not the greatest writer, but these thoughts have been on my mind and I felt the need to speak them.

By His Grace,
A Concerned Christian Millennial

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