SAVING A LOST GENERATION
By Pastor Dan Gayman
More than seventy-five million Americans make up the millennial generation born between 1980 and 2000. This large segment of America’s population is smart, well educated, and on the cutting edge of the digital age. Millennials are a driving force in all areas of American society and will remain so for the next several decades. Sadly, Millennials are also far more liberal than previous generations. In both 2008 and 2012, Millennials voted for President Obama in droves. They have discarded the transcendent God and simply do not regard God’s Word as the absolute basis for truth. Consequently, they are disregarding Christianity and leaving institutional churches en masse. As a unit, they favor freedom of choice, from abortion, to sodomy to race-mixing to same-sex marriage to decriminalization of drugs. If you are the parent or relative of a millennial who has lost his way, heads up! Engage yourself to help save a lost generation. Certainly we must praise God for those Millennials who have not thrown away the values of former generations and do regard God’s Word as the ultimate authority for determining truth! But for those lost souls who need rescuing, ladies and gentlemen, fathers and mothers, we dare not become complacent in this urgent call to action!
--Pastor Dan Gayman
More than four thousand millennia ago, the one, true, and living God looked down from heaven upon the children of Adam and could find but one man, Noah, who was righteous in his generation. On the basis of this man’s faith and the headship under which his family had been governed, Noah and his family were chosen to build an Ark by which they were saved from the greatest catastrophe ever. “And the LORD (Jehovah) said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation” (Genesis 7:1). Imagine the Living God looking down from heaven to measure the ethical status of His children in the Twenty-first Century. What do you suppose our Creator would find among the children of Adam?
The United States is a country with a population of some 313 million people, not counting the 20 million or more illegals. Gallop and other pollsters have consistently turned in about the same percentage (approximately 40%) of our population as attending church services in recent years. The Evangelical Covenant Church (covchurch.org) began collecting religious data in the late 80s and expanded this research to encompass overall attendance trends in the church. This intense research revealed that the actual rate of church attendance from head counts is less than half of the 40% the pollsters report. Numbers from actual counts of people in Orthodox Christian churches (Catholic, mainline Protestant, and Evangelical) show that in 2004, for example, 17.7% of the U.S. population attended a church service on any given weekend. A 2005 study made by C. Kirk Hadaway and Penny Long Marler of The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, known for their scholarly research on the church, backs up the previous cited findings. Their report reveals that the actual number of people worshipping each week is closer to the 17.7% figure cited by the Evangelical Covenant Church study, or 52 million people instead of the 132 million (40%) reported by Gallop and other pollsters. These researchers believe that what is at play is the “halo effect,” i.e., the difference between what people tell pollsters and what people actually do. People tend to over-report desirable behavior such as voting and attending church, while under reporting undesirable behavior.
The primary concern in this lesson is with the Millennial or Y Generation’s (born between 1981 and 2000) growing disconnect from God, the church, and biblical morality. This generation totals about 76 million and is becoming a powerful force in this country. We cannot dismiss the importance of any of the other generations, including the last survivors of the GI Generation born between 1901-1926, the Silent or Mature Generation (1927-1945), Babyboomers (1946-1964), or Generation X (born 1965-1980). Nor do we dare neglect the importance of the Boomlet Generation, born 2000 to the present. They will become more important as the days pass. However, the Millennial Generation is the one to which this article is devoted and to which we must give our full attention at present.
This study is not intended to give a pass to any of the other generations, because there is more than enough spiritual apathy, moral lapse, and indifference to God and His Church to go around. No generation is exempt from “spiritual backsliding.” There is a compelling need for repentance on the part of every soul from every generation. But, the focus of this study is the Millennials, who are and will continue to be the driving force in this nation for years to come. This is the generation that we are losing from the church in record numbers.
Based on statistical figures available, no generation in American history, from Jamestown (1607) to the present, has ever disconnected from the church, God, and biblical morality in the numbers and percentages that the Millennial Generation is mounting. Roughly 80% of all Millennials are disconnecting from the church and leaving the faith of their parents in unprecedented numbers. The problem is massive, systemic, and permeates the culture and spirit of this age. The problem crosses all segments of the church world, with no denomination exempt. It has even impacted the rank and file of remnant Christians who do not identify with any established churches.
The fruit of this spiritual disconnect from God, biblical morality, and church attendance is evidenced by the moral reprobation that afflicts America at large. The plunging moral standards of this generation are sufficient to cause every blood-washed, Spirit-filled, Bible-believing Christian to run to the altar of God and cry out to Him for help. The evidence for the moral lapse, or should we say collapse, in the U.S. is reflected in the fact that on December 19, 2013, New Mexico became the seventeenth state in the U.S. to legalize same-sex marriage. The U.S. Government already protects the sin of homosexuality. Churches are becoming more accepting of homosexuality as our Government inches closer to making discrimination against sodomites a Civil Rights issue. How shameful that the horrific sin of homosexuality is becoming “mainstream” in contemporary America!
The “Pink Invasion” of America has eroded the foundations of marriage. For six thousand years, marriage was defined as one woman and one man of the same flesh (race) joined for life. That definition has been so compromised that marriage in reality means nothing.
Historically, marriage was the one institution that held a civilized people together. With the dissolution of marriage now, the entire social fabric of the United States is unraveling. In the U. S., the majority of Millennials have stamped “approved” on same-sex marriage and the inclusion of the sin of homosexuality into mainstream America. Older generations, primarily the Silent Generation (1927-1945) and the Baby Boomers (1946-1964), represent the only real “push-back” to this tsunami of immorality sweeping across America. The radical moral makeover of America is finding wide acceptance among Millennials.
Further evidence of the moral lapse underway in the United States is the tragic story of abortion. Abortion on demand has been legal throughout the U. S. since Roe v. Wade, 1973. Since that time, some fifty-five million children have been murdered in the U.S. This represents one of the most barbaric, inhumane, and sadistic crimes in man’s history on planet Earth. This river of innocent blood reaches to the very heavens: you can be sure this sin will not remain unpunished! In fact, the fifty million Hispanics that have come into this country since Roe v. Wade represent only the beginning of the consequences that will follow our wholesale murdering of innocent children.
In the United States, about 1.3 million children are aborted each year, which is about 25,000 children every week. Between 3,500 and 4,000 abortions occur every day in the U. S, with about 7,440 of those occurring in the state of Missouri alone. What happened to the Bible Belt? Can you imagine what the statistics are for the more populated coastal areas and the entire northeastern, liberal sections of America?
Consider some of the reasons why Millennials are leaving the church all across America. This list is by no means complete, but it outlines some of the reasons why Millennials are exiting the faith into which they were born! Again, praise God for those Millennials who are not leaving the faith. May Jesus Christ be praised for those Millennials who appear as bright stars in the constellations God is gathering for His Kingdom!
Millennial Distractions and Exit Strategies from Their Childhood Faith
1) Assimilation into the Twenty-first Century Culture, the “spirit of the age” into which they were born, and victims of the great “spiritual falling away,” a prophetic characteristic of the Time of Jacob’s Trouble.
2) Unbelief in the transcendent God and His revealed Word from heaven (the Bible)…riding on the spiritual coattails of their parents without personal core beliefs and conviction.
3) Rejection of moral absolutes. Having rejected God and His Word, Millennials have no North Star or moral compass to guide them. They see the church as being too exclusive and too hostile to sodomites, lesbians, bi-sexuals, and transgender people.
4) Millennials want to call a truce between Creationism and Evolution.
5) Millennials want the church to be more concerned with social justice, equality of income, etc.
6) Millennials do not want to suffer persecution for their belief about God and moral absolutes. It is much easier to blend in with the crowd and become “mainstream.”
7) Millennials have confused the biblical definition of love (“fear God and keep His commandments”) with an emotional, feel-good, user-friendly religion of love everyone and ignore sin.
8) Millennials tend to be anti-authority and have minimal respect for authorities, including ministers.
9) Millennials believe that too much hypocrisy exists in the church.
10) Millennials take up third party offenses as their excuse for exiting the church.
11) Millennials are often childhood victims of parents who nit-pick, scorn, and judge others in the church, building in the child’s mind a rejection of both the congregation and the minister.
12) Millennials do not understand the nature of “spiritual warfare” or that they are fatalities in this warfare.
Those working to rescue Millennials need some understanding of what core values and convictions we Christians need to embrace. These are absolute necessities for belief in a transcendent God and the Bible as His revealed Word.
CORE BELIEFS OF A CHRISTIAN
1) Salvation: Regarding salvation, Millennials need to recognize the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, Who was born of a virgin, crucified, buried, resurrected from the dead, and ascended into heaven. In Him dwelleth the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Christ will return to render judgment on the wicked, raise the dead in Christ to resurrected glorified bodies, and establish His Theocratic Kingdom in a new and regenerated earth (John 3:3-5; Rom. 10:9-10; Mk. 6:16; Gal. 3:27).
2) Discipleship: A Christian is duty-bound to personally identify with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Consequently, our lifestyle should be a reflection of the lifestyle Jesus Christ lived (Luke 9:23-26; Gal. 2:20; 6:14,15; Col. 3:1-4; Rom. 6:1-10).
3) The Person, Work, and Office of the Holy Spirit: Just as Jesus Christ is our advocate with the Father in Heaven, so the Holy Spirit is our advocate on earth. He is the “Spirit of Truth” guiding us as our advocate, counselor, sanctifier, and comforter (John 16:7-13; 15:26; 14:15-21; 26-27; Rom. 8:11, 14-17, 26-27; I Cor. 2:9-15).
4) Scripture: A Christian must believe that the Bible is the absolute source of truth revealed from God. The Bible is the inerrant, inspired Word of God, both Old and New Testaments, and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness (II Tim. 3:16). For English-speaking people, the Bible of record is the Authorized King James Version (Deut. 4:2, 8:3, 29:29; Psa. 12:6,7, 119:89, 147:19,20; Prov. 30:5,6; II Tim. 3:15, 16; I Pet. 1:23-25; II Pet. 1:19-21; Isa. 59:21).
5) Ten Commandments: The Ten Commandments together with the statutes and judgments of God’s Law comprise God’s moral compass for life on earth and serves as our schoolmaster to lead the unsaved and lost to Jesus Christ for salvation. The Ten Commandments are God’s moral roadmap. When these are legislated into statutory law, man’s wickedness is checked, ensuring that people live in a state of civility (Exodus 20; Deut. 5; Mt. 19:16-30; Lk. 18:18-30, Mk. 10:17-31; Rom. 13:8-10).
6) The Biblical Sabbath: The weekly Sabbath of the seventh day of the week, together with the holy days of Passover and Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles, complete God’s religious calendar and allow Jesus Christ to become the epicenter of our lives. These holy days provide the model for prophetic study and establish God’s priority over time, makes time relevant to God, and is a guide to public worship, enabling revival, spiritual renewal, and reformation of God’s redeemed people.
7) Who Is Israel? Who Are the Jews? Any Christian or congregation that does not distinguish between Israel and Judah and between real Jews (Judeans) and pseudo Jews (Revelation 2:9, 3:9) cannot rightly divide the Word of God and walk in Bible truth. They will be “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (II Tim. 3:7). “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31).
8) Racial Separatism in Marriage, Family, and Worship: It is imperative that every race maintain its unique, God-given distinction and reproduce according to the Law of Kind after His Kind established ten times in Genesis 1. This command is designed for the benefit of all distinctly and separately created races. It can be obeyed only when racial separatism is practiced in marriage, family, and worship.
One of the primary problems facing Christians, particularly those of the Millennial Age, is translating core beliefs into a biblical lifestyle. The following points may help to punctuate this fact and present a basic outline for establishing a biblical lifestyle.
BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW AND LIFE STYLE
MORAL STANDARD: Purpose to live by the unchanging and ever-relevant moral absolutes of the Bible. Give special attention to the biblical definition of marriage and vigorously speak against abortion, sodomy, miscegenation, adultery, fornication, etc.
CHILDREN: Believe in the multiplication of children, and let the sovereignty of God determine when and how many children He wishes each married couple to have. Those who multiply children will own the future! America’s practices of abortion, birth control, and contraceptive use are morally repugnant to God.
SEPARATISM: Be convicted to practice separatism in your marriage, family, and church. Limit your exposure to other races to necessary interaction in the work place, shopping malls, university classrooms, etc. If you make friends and worship in racial diversity, you can bet that interracial mixing and marriage will follow. Preserving the ethnic integrity of every race is one of the most compelling imperatives of this generation. The covenant people of God must bear full responsibility to lead the way and demonstrate our love and obedience to God and His command Word to practice separatism in marriage, the family, and in worship!
VOCATIONAL TRAINING and WORK: Pursue vocational or educational training that will allow you to work in a rural location apart from urban areas. Purpose to get vocational skills or an education that lands a living wage job.
FINANCIAL PLANNING: Live debt free as much as possible. Go into debt only for a home, business, land, livestock, tools, or equipment. If you cannot manage a credit card, cut it up and throw it away.
HOLINESS: Be convicted to remember that your body is the temple of God. He owns it, and we should not decorate it with tattoos and body piercings or use addictive narcotics of any kind, including alcohol, to give that which only God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ can give you!
CITIZENSHIP: Exercise an informed vote in all elections. Be zealous for conservative causes including limited government, free market, low taxes, minimal government regulations, self-reliance, personal responsibility, and self-initiative. Zealously oppose every form of socialism! Become an activist and run for public office when you can.
HEALTH: Take good care of the body you have. You are what you eat! Observe biblical dietary habits, and take charge of your health. Drink plenty of water and avoid sugary drinks such as sodas and artificial drinks. Eat fresh food, organic as much as possible, and live free of guilt with daily repentance. Nurture a positive and happy outlook, keep smiling, and bless as many people you can every day for as long as you can.
DOMINION: Be zealous to exercise dominion in every area of life, with both a near and a far vision. Your near vision is to be ready for the return of Jesus Christ at all times, while the far vision should encompass a vision that includes at least five generations!
FIVE REASONS WHY MILLENNIALS STAY IN THE CHURCH
1) Millennials who have a relationship with one or more adults who are firmly anchored in the faith tend to remain in the church.
2) Millennials need to respond and adjust to the culture around them. When adults in the church take time to communicate and help them understand how to respond to the culture around them, they are more certain to remain tied to the church.
3) Millennials need a sense of mission and to feel needed. They want to be more than just a generation of exiles in a “digital Babylon.” Young people need to be actively engaged.
4) Millennials need help with connecting their vocational calling to God’s gifts and passions. Young adults need to know how their vocation integrates with God’s call to exercise dominion.
5) Millennials need help in facilitating a personal connection to Jesus Christ. They need to be able to translate their belief in Jesus Christ to the reality of this fallen world.
GOALS PARENTS CAN WORK THROUGH TO ENCOURAGE THEIR CHILDREN TO REMAIN ACTIVE IN THE CHURCH
1)The most important goal parents can set is to remain a living, positive example for their children in their own life choices. Does a parent’s behavior reflect biblical Christianity and a living faith in the Person of Jesus Christ?
2) The father is the single most important influence that shapes a child. Fathers who fail to take the spiritual leadership of the family inside the home set in motion a pattern that will be repeated by their sons. When fathers fail to be the spiritual leader, wives and mothers often are left to fill the void; but it will never achieve what is lost when the father is absent from His role as priest of His home and activist in His church.
3) Fathers must take a leading role in evangelizing their sons and daughters. Fathers need to have open communication and confirm their interest and concern for the spiritual and moral development of their offspring. The instruction of the father must become the law of the mother. Proverbs 1:8 reads, “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.” (See also Proverbs 2:1; 3:1; 4:1; 5:1; 6:1; 7:1).
4) Fathers need to be front and center in their children’s lives, taking a leading role in determining with which friends their sons and daughters spend time. Parents need to understand that peer pressure is extremely powerful. Proverbs 1:10-15 is a sample of the instruction fathers are called to give their sons and daughters.
5) As children grow older, fathers need to take time to instruct them and communicate how and why moral values are to be shaped by the Bible rather than the surrounding culture. Young people need to grow in their understanding of the nature of God, His Word, and how both God and Scripture relate to our daily lives.
It is imperative that everyone gives their full attention to the Millennial Generation, for they constitute the primary body of people that will guide America in the coming decades. We must rescue the Millennials from the Secular Progressive Humanist worldview and help them return to their Christian roots and biblical worldview. The belief in a transcendent God Who has revealed Himself in human form in the Person of Jesus Christ and has given His children an unchanging and absolute Word of truth (the Holy Bible) represents the core of what Millennials must rediscover, believe, and transmit into a lifestyle that will save themselves and their country from the certain judgment of God.