Listening to millennials

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We need to start listening to millennials. They are sensitive to things that are near to the heart of God, but have been overlooked by evangelicals for decades. 

Take just the single issue of justice. I grew up dead center of an evangelical environment and the whole idea of justice is foreign to me. We simply didn’t talk about it. 

As Rob Stutzman pointed out on our BlogTalkRadio interview last night, “As long as we weren’t racists, we were okay.” Our problem was: we were racists without knowing it. Our churches were all middle to upper middle class white people. We weren’t racists because there was no one around but us. 

There wasn’t any injustice I was aware of in my neighborhood because I was totally separated from any of the places or any of the people where injustice was felt and experienced. How could I be a racist when I didn’t even know a black or hispanic person, an Asian or an immigrant? It just never came up. As my wife says, you don’t become aware of injustice until where you live determines whether you live. Racism was so deeply imbedded in the system in which I grew up that you didn’t see it because it had created your environment. Unspoken, unacknowledged, but part of the air you breathe. 

And yet, justice and injustice are consistent themes throughout the Bible. Justice is mentioned in almost every book, but we just read on past those verses. They didn’t apply us. Things like, “Give up your wicked ways. Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the orphan. Fight for the rights of widows.” (Isaiah 1:16,17)

What? What was that about the oppressed, the orphans and widows? Those verses must be for missionaries. We say this as we drive by skid row, the homeless, and blocks where blacks are trapped in the “hood” in an unjust economic and legal system.  

Millennials have grown up in a much more diverse world. If not in their own neighborhood, they find it on the internet and in the programming and the music they listen to. 

They see injustice through the eyes of a friend who is afraid to drive a car through fear of being pulled over for no other reason than the color of their skin. They see abortion not through the eyes of a boomer intent on saving babies, but through the eyes of a friend who got pregnant and doesn’t know what to do. They see climate change not through the eyes of a boomer who sees it as strictly political, but as someone who has 50, 60, maybe even 70 years ahead of them and wonders if the planet can survive that long.

We need to listen to millennials. It’s their world, tomorrow.

And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)

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12 Responses to Listening to millennials

  1. Julie DeSear says:

    i grew up during the 60’s. I saw the race riots and heard the speech of MLK. Our nation woke up to the hatred for blacks in America. As a middle school child I first experienced the integration of schools. I remember making friends with black people for the first time in my life. I had not been around black children before that. Our nation has changed and I do believe we have grown up and changed. I do believe that as a nation we are a fair and just society. We do want to give opportunity to all. We are seeing a polarization in our country because we are allowing political division to define us. We are better than that. While I think we should listen to the next generation’s concerns, I think we also should teach them about where we have been and how far we have come. Ben Carson is someone who understands what it means to take responsibility for one’s own life, whatever circumstances we have in front of us. While our history has been an ugly one regarding race, I believe today that most Americans understand where we once were and how far we have come. Maybe it would be good for Millennials to listen to the people that lived through those dark years and begin to recognize actually where we are today.
    As far as the legal killing of the unborn….I think we need to understand that not only the unborn child but the mother of that child are suffering because we have disregarded the value of every person made in the image of God.
    God help us as we seek to share his love and truth with a lost and dying world!

    • Mark Dennis Seguin says:

      Amen, Julie DeSear LOVED reading your Common Sense comments!

      If Pastor John would like to think of himself as a racist b/c the color of his skin & there wasn’t any other race in his Church he grow up in – that’s fine with me! BUT calling & judging me or ANYONE else as being racist b/c their white or any other color of their skin IS IN FACT BEING A RACIST!!!

      I in fact DID attend a Baptist Church that had black families and drove a Sunday School Van / Bus to pick up MANY Afician American children and often heard from the pulpit the TRUTH that Jesus Died for ALL!

      Also, I grew up in a suburb of Detroit, MI in n the 60’s and experienced the race riots & the stupid & jackass Democratic decision of Busing! (please do yourself a BIG favor Pastor John and look up the 12th street Riots there in ’67) And I too heard the speech of MLK.! And hopefully some day we learn to judge others by the continents of their character – NOT by the color of their skin, Amen!!!!

      And please pretty please educate yourself Pastor John by reading DISC Method of Understand Personalities! (I sincerely believe NOT only will it enlighten you, but will be seen in your writing of the Catch!) Also, I could be wrong here, I SURELY have been before, yet you may want to consider turning off MSNBC, which is easily to see / tell is spoon feeding you Critical Race Theory and read MLK Great speech!

      And as I learned from my Mexican / American Ph.D. Philosophy Professor it’s so sad that too many white people have “white guilt” b/c their told by others they should!

      PS And it’s sad common sense ISN’T very common!

  2. John A Fagliano says:

    .
    How does God really feel about justice? Consider this passage from Amos:

    “I hate all your show and pretense—
    the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies.
    I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings.
    I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings.
    Away with your noisy hymns of praise!
    I will not listen to the music of your harps.
    Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice,
    an endless river of righteous living.”
    Amos 5:21-24 NLT

  3. Toni Petrella says:

    I have always believed the Lord is here for all of us and that meaning each one of us no matter how diverse or who lives where. We should all be proud to walk with our Lord and serve him as best we can.

  4. Toni Petrella says:

    I will write a comment again not much because most likely the one I already did will be posted with this one so here goes.

  5. paul sonkowsky says:

    As a “boomer”, I totally agree that we need to listen to the younger generations, keep our hearts open, and even learn from them. In fact think it’s critical! If we want them to hear the Gospel through us, we also need to hear them.

  6. Janet Shalinsky says:

    The foundation of our country was built on white supremacy and manifest destiny. Until that is acknowledged, repented of, and reparations made, our country will continue to crumble, in my humble opinion.

    • paul sonkowsky says:

      Yes. It’s easy to think, “I don’t use the N-word, I don’t put on Klan robes, etc, so I’m not racist.” But that ignores both the deeper issues of sin in my individual heart, and the bigger picture of our national sin of racism and systemic injustice — evils I have benefitted from.

    • Julie says:

      When we classify an entire race of people guilty of racism for being a certain race (white), in my humble opinion, that sounds exactly like racism.
      These are CRT talking points that are further causing the divide in our nation today.
      We are one and all, whatever race we belong to, made in God’s image and deserve the respect of our fellow man.
      I’m growing weary of these accusations against what scripture teaches us is true, what our nation is built upon, and the laws that have been afforded us as a nation made up of diverse races, with unique gifts and abilities. Our nation provides equal opportunities but not equal outcomes. Our laws afford protection to individuals no matter what our skin color might be.
      Please take the time to listen to minorities who are offended by this racism being promoted through the Marxist rhetoric of CRT!
      God help us to become truly one nation under God!

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