It’s the classic story that you’ve heard your entire life. It’s a question you are asked in small groups, and from the pulpit. It’s an issue that you swear is important to you.
The story I’m talking about, is why college students, millennials, are moving away from the church.
I was in church before I was a week old. I have gone every week, three times a week, since then. I have plaques and trophies from Awana. I read the Bible all the way through my junior year of high school. I’m a Deacon’s kid. My mom has played in the orchestra since she was 13. My dad is not only a Deacon, but also a Sunday School teacher.
And I can’t stand to go to my church now.
The catalyst for my feelings has been the 2016 election. I don’t pretend to hide my opinions. I don’t try to agree with everyone. It may be wrong that I’ve gotten so caught up in the election, but don’t pretend like you haven’t.
My biggest pet peeve is intentional ignorance. When people choose to follow those implicit biases that we all have. When they choose to only believe what certain people or groups tell them. When they refuse to learn, grow, and mature.
Being a business student, I have learned that a major part of success, in business and in our personal lives, is constant learning. It’s imperative to constantly be learning, because in order to survive we must be flexible. We must adapt. We must change. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. Change is not an option. The world changes. People change. Perspectives shift. Life is about change. The only thing that you can choose, is how you react to those changes.
I try to see the world from the perspective of others. I really do. This is a way that I learn. Sometimes, however, I cannot understand the thought process of others. I don’t understand how someone could commit murder. I don’t understand how someone could cheat on their spouse. I don’t understand how people could mock others for no reason other than to just be mean. I don’t understand how a Christian could vote for Donald Trump.
I know that those of you who read my posts just to have something to complain about are probably rolling your eyes right now. I realize that my entire social media is dedicated to his opponent. But keep reading, part of maturing is learning to listen to someone else’s perspective, and then respecting that point of view. If you can’t do that, maybe you should go and experience a few new things.
I don’t understand how a Christian could vote for Donald Trump because this man goes against nearly every principle that the Bible teaches. You say that you’re voting for Supreme Court justices, or that you’re voting for the platform. But I hate to tell you, he is not going to be the champion of the American people.
He doesn’t have a religious background. Yes, he claims to be a Christian. Do we really see that in his actions? It is so abundantly clear that he believes that he’s better than everyone else. He has attacked numerous groups of people. He doesn’t understand how Congress works. He doesn’t have respect for others, or for our institutions of democracy. He wants to build a wall. Nearly every word that comes out of his mouth is a blatant lie. He has bragged about sexual assault. He has said that he never asks for God’s forgiveness, or even brings God into the equation. Is this what Christianity is all about now?
So you say that you’re voting for supreme court justices, and Donald seems to be pro-life. However, he did not take that stance until the middle of this Presidential campaign. He took this stance to manipulate people into thinking that he’s the better choice. He adapted in order to be successful. This tactic is so transparent, and yet, it’s still working.
You attack Hillary because she believes in a woman’s right to choose. I can’t say that I agree personally, but who am I to tell a rape survivor that she must give birth to her attacker’s child. Who am I to tell anyone else, what they should and shouldn’t do. That is why the Founding Fathers created the separation of church and state. They understood that many people, with different faiths, would be coming into this country and making decisions. Their genius saw into the future in a way that we can’t even imagine. They understood that there would be differing perspectives and that the United States would not be a place where one religion is seen as more important than another. It’s why they gave us the freedom of religion in the first amendment. However, it seems that us Christians pick and choose which amendments, which issues, and which institutions of government we support. But just like we can’t pick and choose with the Bible, we can’t pick and choose with our government. The Bible actually tells us to respect our authority, to respect our government and to follow the law.
While I am all for standing up for what you think is right, I see so many Christians doing this in a condescending way. It’s an attitude that is not going to bring anyone to God or to church. You are attacking people, and making others feel as if they are less intelligent, and less important than you. But the Christianity that I learned from taught that we are no better than anyone else. That we are all the same in God’s eyes.
This election parallels the election of 1800 so much that it is shocking. In 1800 the race ended up being between Aaron Burr and Thomas Jefferson. You see, the problem with Burr was that he was too malleable, like Trump. His beliefs changed depending on who he was talking to. He was never consistent. Jefferson was more like Hillary. You may disagree with her, many disagreed with Jefferson, but they could never doubt that he had beliefs.
I would rather have a President who has had 30 years of experience in public service, than one who has spent his recent years in entertainment and creating businesses that help no one, but himself. I would rather have a President who has changed her opinion on some issues because life has taught her that sometimes we need to change our perspectives, than a man who has no foundation of beliefs.
So why are millennials leaving the church? I can’t speak for all of us. But I know for this millennial, there is a gap between what the Bible teaches, and how Christians act. You say that you love everyone, and that we are all equal, but that doesn’t translate to your daily lives. You pick and choose which parts of the Bible to believe in. You truly believe that you are better than everyone else because you are involved with a church.
I hope this makes you stop and think, because these words and feelings aren’t coming from a strong Atheist. They’re coming from one of you. Someone who has looked up to you for almost twenty years. However, even if you’re still reading, this won’t be important enough to you. Because just like what happens with the victims of gun violence; you think that your second amendment right is more important than a life. You will think that your pride, and your reputation are more important than my life and my relationship with the church. I see it every day. I will continue to see it. Because no matter how biting my words are, they will be forgotten because you have been told, by the church, that you are “the choir”, that you’re the most faithful, and you will not change no matter how obvious it is that you must.