Are Young Evangelicals Kissing the Culture Wars Goodbye?
I agree with some (note I said “some,” not “all,” or even “most”) of this writer’s conclusions, but why do these sorts of articles only ask about “young evangelicals?”
How about Christians over the age of 30? Is the writer not aware that many Christians over the age of 30 are also tired of the culture wars and burnt out on Christianity due to Christians and Christian culture, not from secular society?
I’ve read many interviews in books and online by Christians in their 50s, 60s and older, who say they’ve stopped going to church for various reasons, one of which is that most churches now fixate on youth (those under age 35).
As I said in a previous post or two, the Bible nowhere instructs Christians to engage in “culture wars.” Apostle Paul ministered to Christians in the ancient world that were based in cities that were moral cess pools, but he told them to mind their own business, live quietly, help each other, and share the Good News. At no time did Paul tell them to march against homosexuality or abortion in the city streets to effect change.
I am not saying Christians don’t have a right to publicly demonstrate or march against abortion (or whatever issue), but is it really the best use of their time, money, attention, and energy?
Will it not help more if a Christian takes a pregnant teen under their wing and ministers to her, buys her food, clothing, pays medical bills, etc? I would think that would deter an abortion more than screaming anti abortion slogans in a rally in a city.
- BY CHELSEN VICARI, CP OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR
January 27, 2014|11:46 am
“The Religious Right is dead,” proclaim political analysts on both the conservative right and liberal left. Phrases like “Post-Christian America” and “Post-Evangelical culture” abound. Yet, a mere two decades ago, these accusations would have gone unspoken. Perhaps it is time to consider if something, indeed, has gone wrong within the Evangelical community.
It is true that a fast-growing separation between the traditional moral values of Evangelicals and their twenty-something kids – the Millennial generation – exists. An Evangelical identity crisis is certainly underway, but that does not mean it is time to write our eulogy just yet.
Evidence pointing to a fast-growing spiritual and moral decline cannot be ignored. Baptists are America’s largest Evangelical bloc. Yet, many young Baptists are abandoning their traditional values, largely admitting that they no longer see church as a relevant part of their lives. During his remarks to the 2001 SBC Executive Committee, SBC Vice President at the time, T. C. Pinckney, made an astonishing admission. He stated that research revealed approximately 70 percent of teens involved in a Baptist youth group were leaving the church within their first two years of college.
… The reason for this Evangelical spiritual decline is not solely due to the influence of a Leftist sitting President or moral-less reality TV culture, as several analysts would say. The problem is not just politics. Nor is it merely secular society. No, I am sorry to say that the causation of the Evangelical identity problem is unraveling within the walls of our own sanctuaries.
… Out of fear of being falsely dubbed “intolerant” or “uncompassionate,” many young Christians are buying into the theological falsehoods from popular liberal Evangelical writers and preachers.
However, their “feel-good” theology sidesteps all Biblical principles that are exclusive or constricting.
In order to market their distorted version of Christianity to the masses, liberal Christian elites stress the importance of salvation from poverty, inequality, and oppression rather than forgiveness of sins through Christ.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian whose Christian convictions against the Nazis cost him his life, called this type of Christian theology “Cheap grace.” In his book The Cost of Discipleship, Bonhoeffer wrote, “Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession.”
… Although this new brand of liberal Evangelicalism deters young Evangelicals from engaging in the contentious culture wars, there is still hope.
Despite what some might tout, the culture wars are not about political partisanship. They are ignited and driven by faith convictions. And faith in Jesus Christ still permeates through the United States – among both the young and old.
…The take-away here for Evangelicals, is that America and our churches have rarely – if ever – faced the degree of exodus from traditional values as we see today among young Evangelicals. But that doesn’t mean the Religious Right is dead, merely in need of a revival.
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