By Pastor Rasheed Z. Baaith
The thinking in the Body of Christ (Black, white and otherwise), at least among those who claim to understand social and religious trends of the day, is that the Church is losing touch with the Millennial generation. The current belief is that today’s Church is too restrictive, too judgmental, too out of touch with the young people of the Millennial generation.
As a result, churches and church leaderships and others want the Church to become more and more liberal in their thinking and in how worship services are conducted. Ministries are bending over backwards to attract more young people to church, no matter how far over they have to bend. In regards to major moral issues of the day, many in the Church want to accommodate the LGBT community, welcome same sex marriage, those who are sexually active without being married and want little or no mention of the word “sin.” Just accept people as they are is the new mantra. The Church, they say, needs to push love and not transformation of spiritual character.
I find that thinking convenient, inaccurate and unbiblical.
Especially in lieu of the fact that Islam is making tremendous inroads with young people of every color, description and culture. Even more, Islam is not prepared to be “liberal” in how it views homosexuality, immoral sexual behavior, same sex marriage, the consumption of alcohol and illegal drugs no matter what the rest of the world’s religions are doing or who says Islam is too judgmental.
And not only are Millennials converting to Islam and the very restrictive requirements of the faith, but are willing to die for their new belief. We read on a daily basis about young people from America, Great Britain, Australia and other Western countries being recruited by Isil and other Jahadi groups for the purpose of dying for Allah.
If that be the case, and it is, how can we believe that today’s Church is too conservative and too restrictive for this generation? If they are attracted to Islam and radical Islam at that, how can we fool ourselves into believing that the foundation of the Church as taught by Jesus Christ and the Apostles needs to be compromised?
It is my belief that the moral code of the Church is not the problem. The problem is the leadership of today’s Church. It is out of touch with young people in particular and most people in general. Far too many of the “leader-ship” is self centered, money driven, celebrity seeking, and title grasping. Their behavior is in direct contradiction of the behavior of Christ and a betrayal of Christian ethics.
We have another conundrum to consider. We know that young people are among the most judgmental people in the world. They are forever speaking of the hypocritical behavior of pastors, preachers and church leaders. Mostly about the feigned morality, the give to me to receive from God theology some espouse and the sexual avarice of some of our better known television church leaders. Concerns many of us share.
Yet they are prepared to follow men who kidnap children, women and men; who sell the children and women into slavery or forced marriage; men who believe no one is too old or too young to be tortured and/or murdered. Men who say convert to the way we think or be prepared to die. Are we to believe they find that behavior more tolerable than that of a thief or an adulterer? Whose value system are they using?
All of this means the Church does need to change but not in the manner most think. The Church does not need to compromise its standards of holiness or it’s desire to have the mind of Christ mind instead of having a worldly mind. Nor does it need to continue this frantic push to make church “user friendly.”
We don’t need to be hip, we just need to be real. What we need to do is to reevaluate how we present Christ and the Bible, be unafraid to be labeled uncompromising when it comes to the expectations of Christ and to preach the truth, even when it hurts. Finally we need to refuse to let our children be spiritually and theologically kidnapped. We are supposed to contend for the faith revealed by Christ and the Apostles. The Church needs to understand it is in the fight of its life and we need to start swinging.
Next: How disunity in the Body of Christ is helping to turn young people away from church doors.