Going Liberal: The Church’s Magic Bullet for Keeping Millennials

Written by Jeff Wright Jr. on August 11, 2013

Evans continues, “We want to ask questions that don’t have predetermined answers.” Read: free to hold whatever view one wishes apart from any judgments of right or wrong, orthodox or heretical. “We want churches that emphasize an allegiance to the kingdom of God over an allegiance to a single political party or a single nation.” Again, Evans gets to vote Democrat, hold liberal views, and struggle for the advancement of her principles just as strongly as conservatives do, but when she does it it’s non-partisan. “We want our LGBT friends to feel truly welcome in our faith communities.” So abandon traditional biblical understandings of sex, marriage, and family in order to attract new members. Question: those who don’t hold to progressive views of LGBT are “truly welcome” to be leaders in their faith communities, right?

“Like every generation before ours and every generation after, deep down, we long for Jesus.” Do we? Her theological understanding of humanity is very different than mine unless she’s talking about Christians specifically. If so, this is a version of Love Jesus But Hate the Church / Red Letter Christianity that doesn’t really take the entirety of Jesus’s teachings very seriously.

Even while mocking a seeker-sensitive approach to church, Evans concludes with this advice: “I would encourage church leaders eager to win millennials back to sit down and really talk with them about what they’re looking for and what they would like to contribute to a faith community. Their answers might surprise you” (drops the mic!). But, wait, wasn’t that the approach of the seeker-sensitive movement that she criticized earlier?

In “Millennials and Leaving Church: Really?,” Scot McKnight offered a helpful counter-perspective to deflate some of the “myth-making and fear-mongering” over millennials abandoning the church: “there is no compelling evidence for a cataclysmic change.” McKnight points out: “Young adults have always been less affiliated; when they get married and have children they return to their faith. Part of the life cycle is reflected in this.” Nothing to see here, move along.

Evans’s article is a dusted off version of what she and others like her have been complaining about for a long time: people are totally in love with Jesus and would fill our churches to overflowing except mean ol’ conservatives won’t stop being judgmental against gays. If we can rid the church of conservatism, people will apparently flock to the church. More millennials may embrace the church by molding it into the image of the culture but it won’t be a church that has much to do with the Jesus of Scripture.

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Jeff Wright, Jr. is a grateful husband, blessed daddy, and long-suffering Redskins fan. He is a Prison Chaplain in the "city of lost souls" and is the co-creator of Evangelicals for Liberty. Jeff holds a ThM from Dallas Seminary, and is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society. Jeff is a civil liberties activist on behalf of the "sacred order of freemen" and minister of the "fellowship of twice-born sinners."