Millennials struggle to understand who a Christian is and why they should be one. Will the real Christian please stand up?
Christian church membership is declining. Westernized society has a tainted view of Christianity. Millennials are choosing other religions over Christianity. Christians have integrated themselves so far into the secular world that it’s difficult to know where Christians stand concerning God. How does a real Christian look?
One Millennial’s Point of View on Christianity
These questions evolved from a conversation with my daughter. She’s nineteen, a millennial, and grew up active in the Christian church. She attended three days a week, was in the youth group, choir, and volunteered with the elementary. However, after some hardships, and broken trust among Christian friends, leaders, and families, she left the church. She is a Christian and loves God. However, she struggles to find a church body that is genuine.
My daughter said millennials need a Christian church that won’t condemn them but come alongside. To love them through their ups and downs, confusion, sins, and mistakes. She needs a Christian church that loves millennials who struggle living in a cannabinoid, free love society. A society where marriage has declined and families are no longer nuclear.
According to a recent survey:
- 47% of evangelicals believe Christianity is what you make it and not based on fundamental truth.
- 44% of evangelical Christians surveyed believe that the Bible’s views on same-sex relationships are antiqued.
- 53% of millennials believe that the Bible is fallible.
- 46% of millennials believe that gender is a choice – not a design by God.
- 67% believe that God accepts worship from all religions.
- 59% believe that worshipping alone replaces worship with other Christians.
- 53% think it is not their concern to reach others for Christ.
This data reveals that while evangelical truths are believed by millennials in about the 50-percentile range, fallacies about Christianity have crept into their world views. With the change in world-views comes a decline in church attendance. Is it because the evangelical Christian church is judging millennials instead of reaching out?
What Does a Real Christian Look Like?
Many Christians today are Christians by default. They believe they are Christians because they grew up in the church. But they never came to salvation. Many Christian millennials live a lifestyle that is difficult to decipher from an unsaved good person.
There are Christians who are saved and choose to live casually. Also, Christians who are pious and judgmental. Where is the happy medium? Where is Christ?
John 13:35 states, “By this, all men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” However, many religions believe in loving one another, so what sets Christianity apart?
Philippians 4:5 says, “Let your gentleness be evident to all.” According to Miriam Webster, the word all means every individual.
Naturally, this means kindness to the senior citizen next door, the toddler you’re holding, or your Christian friends. It also means loving millennials, the girlfriend your daughter brings home. Loving your grandchild that abuses drugs. Loving the homosexual couple. To love others is not to compromise your Christian faith.
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” is a calling to the sinner to come to salvation. It is also for Christians to remember who they are – sinners. I am a sinner. However, I am a saved sinner.
I will sin again and so will you. The basic truth that Christians have is that we are “sinners saved by grace” (Ephesians 2:8), and “where sin increases, grace increases even more” (Romans 5:20). God calls us to love all people. Shouldn’t we extend the same grace to others that God extends to us? That question isn’t up for debate. The answer is yes!
While my viewpoint may be debatable, a real Christian is a sinner who is saved. However, that Christian will sin again and admits it. A real Christian doesn’t hide behind a facade of spiritual perfection.
The authentic Christian loves the sinner. Stop calling millennials “snow-flakes.” Stop calling them ignorant or weak while hovering over them like a helicopter. Stop judging and start loving. Show them that we Christians are all sinners.
I am leaving you with a statement made by my daughter. “Christians are real people who commit real sins. They admit they need Jesus. They don’t try to be perfect. They try to love. Those are the real Christians.” This was the most insightful comment I have ever heard about Christianity.