Black millennials are experiencing economic and social benefits that previous generations only dreamed about. As a result, a need for faith in their lives may not have the same pull as it did in the past. Feeling judged and being told to check their generational habits at the door does not necessarily create a want for religious life either.
Christianity and young people’s culture have always clashed. More than ever– the digitalized, global community we live in demands that the church constantly elevate how it will be relevant to this and emerging generations. As the church seeks to preserve tradition, it constantly will be faced with resistance from rebellious young people. The church continues to alienate young people with old stagnant ideas that young people don’t view as innovative enough to keep up with their lives in the digital age.
Millennials long for faith communities in which they are safe asking tough questions and wrestling with doubt. Up to one-third of young people say the church is out of step on scientific developments and debate.
Slavery is one of the biggest atrocities in human history. Yet slavery is rampant throughout the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments. The Bible clearly speaks of slavery in many passages, and it goes so far as to tell how to obtain slaves, how hard you can beat them, and when you can have sex with the female slaves.
Young people are now waking up to the fact that Christianity and the Bible was used as a tool to control their ancestors, and that’s not a narrative they want to be a part of.
The church is perceived as simplistic and judgmental. For a fifth or more, a “just say no” philosophy is insufficient in a fast-paced world. According to researchers at Yale and Columbia University, young Christian singles are as sexually active as their non-churched friends, and many say they feel judged.
Young people want to be challenged to live lives of holiness, not only when it comes to sex, but also when it comes to living simply, caring for the poor and oppressed, pursuing reconciliation, engaging in creation care and becoming peacemakers.
They Are Tired of Pretending
Some segments of Christianity suggest that being a Christian removes all struggle from life. But that message rings hollow for many kids who try to serve God and continue to face difficult challenges … or who see their parents teach a similar message while succumbing to anger or depression themselves. Many youth feel Christianity leaves no room for authenticity.