The real reason Millennials are leaving Christianity

WP_20141002_003Rev. Darryl Bowdre has spent much of his adult life serving the community in north Tyler, Tex. He serves as pastor of the South Central Church of Christ, advocates for the community’s schools and students, mentors young men, and at one time had a radio show on the now-defunct KZEY 690 AM.

Once, Rev. Bowdre spent an entire episode of his show addressing the crisis with young people. Rev. Bowdre lamented that the younger generation was being seduced by violent music, drugs, peer pressure and sexual immorality. These temptations, according to Bowdre, were even overtaking what we would refer to as “the good kids.”

When Rev. Bowdre recorded that show, America was in a time of unparalleled prosperity. It was a prosperity that blinded many to their responsibilities to guide their children, and to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

“One day, when this party is over,” Rev. Bowdre stated, “We will stand before our Lord, and answer for what we didn’t do. We will answer for why we didn’t save the children.”

The day we stand before the Lord has not yet arrived. However, the party is over, and we are seeing the results of not having “saved our children.”

A recent article from Fox News offered 10 reasons why millennials are abandoning Christianity. Among those reasons were the breakdown of the family, lack of spiritual authenticity from adults, and the cultural abandonment of morality. These three reasons, along with the other seven, are symptomatic of the central disease diagnosed by Rev. Bowdre almost two decades ago. We didn’t teach our children. We didn’t intervene in their lives. We didn’t save them. Now, those children are young adults, and we are seeing the fruit of our inaction.

With the breakdown of the family, fathers have not been there to teach the children about their heavenly Father. Furthermore, with no functional family present, children have not been taught values, virtue and faith. They have been left to teach themselves.

The children have been teaching themselves using Hollywood, atheistic professors, and personal pleasure as their curriculum. This problem is compounded when they see the adults in their lives being hypocritical; being one person at church, and a completely different person at home. The lack of leadership and guidance from their parents has breed contempt for their parents’ generation, and all the traditions and values that go with it, including religion.

Meanwhile, millennials seek purpose apart from God. They want their lives to mean something, while turning away from the One who designed life itself.

As a result, there are riots at Berkeley, riots in Ferguson, Mo., skyrocketing STD rates, and a willingness by many western youth to join terrorist organizations like ISIS.

Most adults today are horrified at what the millennial generation has become. However, we only have ourselves to blame. In the party of the 1990s and the early 2000s, we abandoned our children, allowing them to raise themselves in society, opening the door for Satan to steal their hearts.

Rev. Bowdre warned us. One day, we will answer for the fact that we did not save our children.

The good news is, if you woke up above the grass today, there is still time to change.

Historically, Christians have been in the minority in the world. We have never really steered the world agenda, although we enjoyed a lot of influence in the founding of the United States of America.

Being the cultural minority leads to revival in the Christian community. Being culturally dominant often leads to complacency, which leads to surface-level faith and weak theology. Being in the cultural minority challenges our faith, which forces us to learn more about God, strengthen our faith, and stand on truth even when it’s not popular to do so.

And on that note, the millennial generation is ripe for a soul harvest. Millennials crave meaning, and desperately want their lives to have an impact. Once they take up a cause, they will follow it no matter the consequences. Which means, if you lead a millennial to Christ, you have not only led a soul to salvation, but you have created a super-evangelist, apologists, author, speaker, and disciple-maker.

When millennials accept Christ, and conform themselves to His image, and not a man-made Christ-like image, they totally sell out for the Lord. The result is more millennials being won for Christ.

It’s not easy. You will not win millennials to Christ by talking about the ABC plan of salvation, or by asking them to say the sinner’s prayer. You have to be the embodiment of Isaiah 1:18 (Come, let us reason together.) You have to be able to discuss your faith, what salvation is, and answer the hard questions. However, if you are sincere, the millennials will see it, respect it, and may even repent and believe.

That’s not to say that the majority will be reached. You may only reach one in a thousand.

However, before that happens, you have to settle your faith in your heart. Authenticity is the highest virtue to millennials. And to have authenticity, you have to be authentic.

Therefore, make your calling and election sure. Study your Bible, learn all you can about the Lord. Settle your faith in your heart. Then get busy reaching these young people for Christ.

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