Survey: 60% of Millennials Don't Believe in Right and Wrong

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“Older Americans grew up at time when ideas about morality were more stable, he says. That’s no longer true for younger Americans.”

Hmmm

Are we sure they're right about that ? . . . Smile

TylerR is a former Pastor. He lives with his family in Olympia, WA. He blogs here.

Historical reference

The senior citizens of today--keep in mind the Baby Boomers are now entering retirement if they can afford to--are the same people who grew up during the sexual revolution and went to Woodstock.  Historically speaking, Beaver Cleaver was wearing tie die (or less) and covered in mud while listening to Jimi Hendrix and taking very seriously the warning not to use the brown acid.

For that matter, two generations before that abandoned the corset and became the "flapper" generation in jazz clubs.  So really, social mores change, and what we see today is that not only have mores once again changed (bringing a fair reduction in abortion and premarital sex, if studies can be trusted), but people are admitting what everybody knew all along.  Mores change.

Murder?

For those millennials who do not believe in right and wrong, a simple question can be asked, "Would it concern you if someone pulled a gun on you and threatened to kill you?"  If they reply "Yes," then they obviously believe that at least some things are right and others are wrong.  If they say, "No," well, what do you do with that?  The world is left with no boundaries to behavior at that point.

Robert P. Pruitt

R PRUITT YOU ARE RIGHT ON THE MONEY

It is that simple as far as right  and wrong go. So simple a circus chimp could figure it out. No spouting scripture or bibilical texts need to be applied.  Yet the millennials don't get it.  

Although they don't get it they have had some good teachers from the Fundy/Evangelical Ranks to show them.    I won't mention any names but widespread calling obvious wrong right even in biblical terms has been done by our community.  So can you blame the millennials for going down this path even the ones leaving our churches in big numbers. 

You think they haven't seen the Eastern Orthodox Christians dying in mass and remembering that Pastor from the pulpit calling them apostates and unbelievers.  Just as example where we have taught them well by our hypocrisy.  

So the idea of Right and wrong becomes less applied once they reject Christianity.  It's all relative and we have done such a great job in pushing them that way.  

Although even those churches

Although even those churches which still believe the Bible have made mistakes and portrayed wrong attitudes at times, that is not the reason for these changes. People are adopting relativistic beliefs because those beliefs fit very comfortably with their sin nature. The mistakes and hypocrisy of some Christians is only the outward excuse. The real reason is selfish, hard hearts that want their own way and rebel against any authority. Every Christian and church could be perfect and you would still have this problem because the fundamental problem is not the mistakes of churches but the rebellion in the heart.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

A Further Thought/Illustration

A problem I see more & more among "Christian" young adults which perhaps illustrates some of the point of this survey:

Yesterday a young woman and her boyfriend attended our church. Both had visited before (the young man's family has attended our church for about 4 years), both were homeschooled in Christian homes, she graduated Saturday from Grace College (Elementary Ed degree), grew up in a large independent Baptist church (which uses a lot of CCM). Neither of them brought a Bible to church, neither sang with the congregation (the songs we sang were well-known songs - Bow The Knee, Love Lifted Me, Amazing Grace, O For A Thousand Tongues), both came in late for the service. They did seem to pay attention to the message. I see these characteristics a lot.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

1 Peter 1:13

Wally - I think everybody knows exactly what you're describing, and has seen it themselves.

Churches need to prepare their minds for action by being sober-minded, so they can fully set their hope on the grace that will be brought to them when Christ returns. If Christians are raised in an environment (both at home and at church) where Christianity is not serious, where the faith is not something to be sober-minded about, where the relentless focus is not completely on Christ's return and the grace He's bringing with Him, then people will get that message loud and clear - Christianity isn't serious, so why should I care?

Churches and Christians must wake up, and begin to take their faith seriously. I am less and less inclined to coddle people the more the years go by. I don't have time for uncommitted people. I really don't. I hope they come, and I'll do everything I can to reach them with the Word. But, if they like to flit about like little butterflies without any commitment or care, then, "bye, bye!" Don't have time for that silliness. A quick story, to illustrate my point:

  • I recall a couple from my last pastorate. They visited a few times. They asked to meet, to talk about the church. I could tell they weren't serious. The man was a mute, a shy guy who wouldn't look you in the eye. The wife ran things. I set a meeting. They canceled at the last minute. I set up another meeting. I was working a fulltime job at the time, at night. I got up early to meet them, had perhaps three hours of sleep. They never showed. Never called. Never texted. The wife sent me an email the next day with some lame apology about how their dog got sick. I texted back, told them to meet me at church after a Sunday service if they wanted to talk, and wished them a good day. They never showed up again, and I didn't care. Why should I care? They're not serious people. Other Pastors would have run after them, like a starved dog chasing a bone. I was glad they didn't come back.

Many "Christian" millennials have this worldview because they weren't raised in a serious church, with serious Christianity, with serious teaching, with serious questions about making sure their calling and election is sure. Many of these "Christians" aren't Christians. How do I know? The fruit, or lack thereof. If you have a pagan worldview, and react angrily when confronted by it, then you likely aren't a Christian. I won't believe you are until you begin to prove it by your actions.

This is me being mean and hurtful. Or, it is Pastoral? So many people are so "touchy feeley" that I really don't know anymore. But, I do find myself less and less inclined to be warm and fuzzy. Perhaps it's Washington State. The people out here are . . . strange. The Christians are different, too. More wishy-washy. Or, maybe I'm just meaner? Sad

TylerR is a former Pastor. He lives with his family in Olympia, WA. He blogs here.

TylerR wrote:

TylerR wrote:

Or, maybe I'm just meaner? Sad

That must be it!

Or, you are becoming more and more a fundamentalist.

heh

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Our blame

WallyMorris wrote:

Although even those churches which still believe the Bible have made mistakes and portrayed wrong attitudes at times, that is not the reason for these changes. People are adopting relativistic beliefs because those beliefs fit very comfortably with their sin nature. The mistakes and hypocrisy of some Christians is only the outward excuse. The real reason is selfish, hard hearts that want their own way and rebel against any authority. Every Christian and church could be perfect and you would still have this problem because the fundamental problem is not the mistakes of churches but the rebellion in the heart.

Yes, the faults of churches can be an excuse for people to indulge their sin nature, but what if many churches got distracted from preaching the Gospel and what's really in the Scriptures and just went off on theological hobby horses/rabbit trails?    If we believe good preaching reaches hearts--and I think we all agree on this--we would simultaneously conclude that one possible reason for people not believing in absolute truth and morality is that many people in such churches never heard a sound Biblical argument for these things.  To build on my earlier comment here, part of the reason Beaver Cleaver went to Woodstock was disgust at the externally impelled conformity of the suburb and church he grew up in.  If you doubt this, look at some of the lyrics of popular music at the time--say "Signs, Sings, everywhere a sign" by the Five Man Electrical Band or "Cats in the Cradle" by Henry Chapin.

Certainly God gives the increase, but at the same time, I think we all need to look in the mirror and see if there's something we're doing that contributes to the problem.

I would think that a young

I would think that a young woman (or man) who has been through Christian homeschooling, preaching at an independent Baptist church her entire life (the preaching itself at this particular church she went to would be better than many), and now earning a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Ed from Grace College would have, at several points in her life, have heard sound Biblical arguments for many topics. So the reason cannot be that she has never heard sound Biblical teaching and explanation. I submit that in her case, and many others, the problem is not hypocrisy in the churches they have gone to but much deeper in their heart. I submit that many of our "Christian" teenagers and young adults (and older adults too) have been so influenced by the ungodly culture that there is, to some degree (maybe a large degree) just plain apathy and worldliness in their life. This is more than tragic, considering the opportunities our rapidly changing culture is giving us for the gospel.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

Wally

I was trying to pull things back to millennials; specifically Christian millennials.

  • Sometimes it is because they've never been exposed to sober-minded Christianity. They've just been entertained to death.
  • Other times, they deliberately infect themselves with such an infusion of pagan filth that their entire perspective becomes warped. School and church can't compete with Netflix and Game of Thrones. Proportionally (with regards to time spent in the activity), church is a drop in an ocean of filth.
  • Other times, Christianity is not modeled in the home. There are no family devotions, no family prayer, no discussions, no family Bible study.
  • There could be a whole host of things wrong.

This is, as you say, more about heart. One thing is clear - each of the things I outlined above have an influence on the heart. If they're not in place, there are more opportunities for the heart to turn to other things. This is why the Christian life is one of watchfulness; a continual cleansing. A war, not a single battle.

It grieves and frustrates me that so many Christians don't have a Christian worldview. They have a pagan worldview. Perhaps the best thing we can do is to encourage families to do family devotions, and point them to resources that can help them. But, you can't make them do it. How many men take responsibility to lead their families in this area? As far as resources go, my family just goes sequentially through books of the Bible, verse by verse. That's hard work. I have a lot of training that allows me to do it this way. Many people don't. It doesn't mean they can't, with a good, free short commentary (e.g. Matthew Henry, Barnes, etc.) to help light the way.

TylerR is a former Pastor. He lives with his family in Olympia, WA. He blogs here.

Sadly, it can be....

Wally, I'd agree that the majority of the teaching I've experienced in the past 20 years in GARBC and IFB churches (about half the time in each category) has been good, and while I'd agree that the majority of what I've experienced as a homeschooling dad has been good, at the same time I've got to state that there's a certain portion of what and others have heard that simply isn't worth hearing, and I can point to people where that's left a mark. 

From what I've seen, at times it certainly is the world's influence, but at other times, it's actually more a discrepancy between what the Bible says and what their pastor says.  We can quibble over what portion is which, but again, a bit of introspection is a good thing here.  Might be worth your time to invite that young lady and her gentleman friend to lunch and get to know them.

I had already planned on

I had already planned on doing that, but he attends another church, and she lives 45 minutes away. They came only because it was Mother's Day, and he came for his mother. However, even if both of them have seen & heard what should not have been seen & heard (and some of your argument assumes they may have),they still came to church and past experience does not justify or excuse coming to church and not bringing a Bible, not singing at all, etc. Coming to church and then refusing to participate at all is illogical, but then, sin is usually not logical or rational.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

Wally

You're just so . . . mean, to expect Christians to, you know . . . act like Christians. I guess it's losers like us who "drive young people away" from the faith. We should both repent. I'll bring the sackcloth.

TylerR is a former Pastor. He lives with his family in Olympia, WA. He blogs here.

WallyMorris wrote:

WallyMorris wrote:

I had already planned on doing that, but he attends another church, and she lives 45 minutes away. They came only because it was Mother's Day, and he came for his mother. However, even if both of them have seen & heard what should not have been seen & heard (and some of your argument assumes they may have),they still came to church and past experience does not justify or excuse coming to church and not bringing a Bible, not singing at all, etc. Coming to church and then refusing to participate at all is illogical, but then, sin is usually not logical or rational.

Were they using their phone app to read the Bible?  66% of millennials get their Bible reading on the internet, 51% on an app/e-reader as opposed to reading the Bible in book form.  Even though I am 48 years of age, I follow the preaching of the Word at my church on my iphone, mainly due to my failing eye-sight.   Almost all of the 20 somethings that attend our church (about 2/3rds of the church) follow along with their phones and don't bring a Bible to church.  

I'd worry less

about them not bringing a Bible to church and be more concerned about their not singing.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

On not singing

I remember a dear friend staying planted in his seat when we were in college (just a couple of years back), and when I asked him about it, he simply noted that he had some things to deal with, and he'd have felt like a hypocrite standing up and singing.  We need to be careful about judging by appearances that way.   I've done a bit of song-leading in my day, and quite frankly, there are generally a LOT of people not singing.  If you've only got one couple in that category, and that only on Mother's Day, count your blessings.

Same thing as what Joel says as well about having one's Bible; we need to remember that not only do people have other ways of having Scripture at their fingertips, but many churches are also putting the verses up on screen and the like.   It's also worth noting (hopefully not the case at Charity Baptist) that a lot of pastors use their passage more or less as a springboard to jump into what they really wanted to talk about--why bother carrying a Bible in that case, really?

Finally, I think we have to remember that we've only had mass produced Bibles that could easily be taken to church for about a century--so while it's nice and a great convenience to be able to double check what the pastor is saying (or quite frankly read elsewhere if he's just wasting time), I can't get that worked up about it as if it were a sin not to bring one's Bible to church.  19 centuries of Christians simply didn't have that opportunity.

Good point, Bert

I can't get that worked up about it as if it were a sin not to bring one's Bible to church.  19 centuries of Christians simply didn't have that opportunity.

That, Bert, is a great point.

This thread reminds me of a podcast I listened to last week - "The Massive Problem in the Church Few People Are Talking About" or "Jesus lives in your bones, but does He live in your heart?".  It's all about people who are active, who are well trained, who attend church and are involved, but they have no idea what or how a living relationship with Jesus works and don't have one themselves.

I think that's a huge problem that we've largely missed out on and need to look at.  

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells


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