Millennials don't care about religion

Lämmchen

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I've seen a couple stories now in the news about Millennials caring less about patriotism, religion and having children.

As a former substitute teacher I can confirm that among my previous students this is very true. I'm friends with some on Facebook (out of the thousands I met in my 5 years of subbing) and they are anti-USA, atheist or agnostic and only the ones who accidentally got pregnant and didn't abort their babies are having children. It's a sad state of affairs really.

Here are the 2 articles:
Millennials Aren’t That Into God, Patriotism, or Having Kids: Poll

Millennials care less about patriotism, religion and family than previous generations, study says
 

MennoSota

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Millennials have been raised in a society that endorses therapeutic moral deism. (Oprah is the high priestess.)
 

jsimms435

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This is the result of relativism, godlessness and materialism of our society as a whole. You reap what you sow
 

Josiah

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I've seen a couple stories now in the news about Millennials caring less about patriotism, religion and having children.

As a former substitute teacher I can confirm that among my previous students this is very true. I'm friends with some on Facebook (out of the thousands I met in my 5 years of subbing) and they are anti-USA, atheist or agnostic and only the ones who accidentally got pregnant and didn't abort their babies are having children. It's a sad state of affairs really.

Here are the 2 articles:
Millennials Aren’t That Into God, Patriotism, or Having Kids: Poll

Millennials care less about patriotism, religion and family than previous generations, study says

As a Millennial myself...


1. This is GENERALLY true. There are powerful exceptions, but the generality applies. Particularly in Europe. My generation may be the first in some 1600 years to NOT be raised in some faith, NOT knowing the church or the Bible or really much of anything about religion (Christian or otherwise). Um... our PARENTS mostly had that, but...... Someone once said, "Christianity is always one generation away from extinction." Well, I wouldn't disregard the Holy Spirit here but there's a point there.


2. From the 4th to the 20th Century, the VAST majority of Christians were brought to faith by their parents (and often extended family). Yes, there were missionaries in foreign countries... yes there were traveling evangelists and their crusades, but the vast majority were "born" into the faith. It's still true - I recall seeing a stat of something like 80% of church goers have at least one active Christian parent whom they credit with their faith. Problem is: there's a lot fewer of those Christian parents.


3. Not long ago (probably before the 60's in most of the USA, a century ago in much of Europe), pretty much everyone believed in God.... sin..... heaven and hell. There was a FRAMEWORK to work with, a fundamental interest in where they would go after death. People prayed even if they never went to church. THAT HAS CHANGED. Among MANY my age, there is no presumption about God - they are generally Agnostic ("no convincing evidence either way") and generally deny any literal "after life" ("after life is our remembering them"). Some idea of sin remains but only because Millennials acknowledge this world doesn't work the way it should, but this has nothing to do with violating some rules of some God or having some eternal consequence. As a result, they just see church and religion in general as largely irrelevant; they lack the "anti-church" feeling that SOME in the older generation felt, they just see it as irrelevant.


4. This means outreach to Millennials is different. Theological and Biblical starting points just aren't going to matter. Asking how they know they will go to heaven (the "Kennedy Question" so effective in the 1950's and 1960's) is just going to get you a "WHAT?" BUT Millennials care about life.... they seek meaning and purpose in life.... they care deeply about relationships.... they seek a sense of peace in their lives. AND when they see people who seem to have those things, they take notice. They may NOT be attracted to a church because of sound biblical/theological teachings (sorry my fellow Lutherans) BUT that doesn't mean they are not interested in your church. Is there care? Embrace? Love? Meaning/purpose? Peace? It's pretty pragmatic, but not in a materialistic (prosperity gospel) sense of the older generation, but in a relational/personal sense. IN TIME they may become very interested in the teachings but at first, it's likely to be off their radar.


5. ALL THAT SAID, don't loose track that this is a very diverse generation! I KNOW the is Roman Catholic Church working hard to reach out to college students, with a VERY theological approach, and having some success. I think of my Lutheran congregation (small as it is), nearly all the new members are converts BECAUSE OF THEOLOGY (about half from the Catholic Church, the other half mostly from Evangelicalism). I think we have a few Millennials here at CH who have come to faith as a young adult because of teachings. Don't write this off; it still happens. But I'd put the emphasis on CARING and CONNECTING, and realize the memorizing of the Catechism will probably come later.



.
 

Andrew

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Im technically a millennial but I agree, kids my age and under have no interest in God and the Gospel. The OT shows a pattern of degeneracy that follows after a good run of a blessed season in community.
In our times it's not even so much that they are unbelievers but that they believe in "Do what thou wilt" and new age peace which to me is more difficult to convert than atheist.
 

tango

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Im technically a millennial but I agree, kids my age and under have no interest in God and the Gospel. The OT shows a pattern of degeneracy that follows after a good run of a blessed season in community.
In our times it's not even so much that they are unbelievers but that they believe in "Do what thou wilt" and new age peace which to me is more difficult to convert than atheist.
The belief in "do what you will" and "don't judge others" is the sort of thing that leads into all sorts of conflicts everywhere it goes. "Do what you will" turns into moral relativism and a lot of people quite like that until it shows its dark underbelly. I'm sure we're all familiar with the way the absence of any form of objective right and wrong means the actions of Hitler and Stalin cannot be regarded as objectively wrong because they were just following their own path. "Don't judge" is a great idea in theory and up to a point but it doesn't take much observation to see that the most vocal proponents of non-judgment and tolerance are often the most judgmental and the least tolerant of anyone with an opposing viewpoint.

Arguing for the acceptance of anything from a stance of moral relativism is a totally lost cause because the same moral relativism that says one can do whatever they want means another can do whatever they want, including executing the former for living as they do. Sadly the lack of critical thinking these days refuses to see the weakness in moral relativism and howls about bigotry instead, sending the irony meter off the scale as the people who speak a message of not judging switch sides and decide that judging is perfectly OK when it's someone with a different view.
 

tango

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I've seen a couple stories now in the news about Millennials caring less about patriotism, religion and having children.

As a former substitute teacher I can confirm that among my previous students this is very true. I'm friends with some on Facebook (out of the thousands I met in my 5 years of subbing) and they are anti-USA, atheist or agnostic and only the ones who accidentally got pregnant and didn't abort their babies are having children. It's a sad state of affairs really.

Here are the 2 articles:
Millennials Aren’t That Into God, Patriotism, or Having Kids: Poll

Millennials care less about patriotism, religion and family than previous generations, study says
Sometimes I think a move away from the kind of rah-rah patriotism may be a good thing. It's one thing to love your country but another thing entirely to do, as some from the US I've known demonstrate (and I don't recall meeting people from any other country who do this) in which they assume their nation is the best in the world and any way of doing things other than their way is, almost by definition, an inferior way if not the wrong way. The trouble is when that drift shifts away from a considered acceptance that maybe other cultures have merit as well and towards an assumption that anything your own country does is bad. A young woman I know (in her early 20s) considers so many things to be racist it's just not funny. She's got white skin and blonde hair so it's not as if she's a victim of anything at all, she just sees racism behind every corner. I wouldn't be remotely surprised if she considered an end of year test racist if the black kid who didn't do any work failed it while the white kid who worked hard aced it. Because, you know, it failed the black kid but not the white kid.

It's easy to see why many millennials might be disinterested in children. If you can't afford a decent place to live and the most likely outcome is that you will never be able to afford a decent place to live, would you want to be dealing with having to move every couple of years when your life is made more complex by children? Not only does it mean you have to find a bigger place but you can't realistically spend a week or two couch surfing if you've got a partner and child(ren) to bring with you. And if you want the kind of life where you can put everything you own in the back of a car to make moving easy (because renting means you are probably going to be moving fairly regularly) it doesn't work very well if half of the back of the car is taken up with all the paraphernalia considered essential to raising a child these days. That's before you even consider the idea of seeing climbing divorce rates, the difficulties of raising children as a single parent and the reluctance of young men to enter into a marriage knowing that any dissolution is likely to favor their ex-spouse.

I've mentioned critical thinking and its growing absence a few times now, but I also can't help wondering to what extent the problem is kids going through school being taught what to think rather than how to think. If all you've ever been taught is what to think, what happens when you encounter a historic body like the church that has a different stance on most of the progressive, right-on issues of today? If people have been taught to think abortion is little more than the last line of contraception and that the bundle of cells don't matter, that there are as many genders as anyone can think of at any given time, that it's perfectly normal to deny a 12-year-old boy a beer but equally normal to pump him full of puberty-blocking hormones if he muses that he might really be a girl and that sex is nothing more than a biological jigsaw puzzle that feels good, what response should we expect when they encounter an ancient organisation that disagrees with most if not all of what they have been taught? Throw in a bit of generic teaching that some folks are "stuck in the past" and we don't do that sort of thing any more, and it's easy to see why people fall into line behind the concept that the church is an anachronism, a dinosaur, a dated relic long overdue for extinction.
 
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