From John Reid:
Disclaimer: While most of my material is soft in delivery, there is a time and a place for a strict and assertive approach. I found this to be an appropriate time for such.
Recently a video went viral with a message about what Christians are not. Typical trendy rhetoric followed that while perhaps had good intentions in breaking down the barrier between the Church and the world, the message was very problematic: “I’m a Christian and I’m queer. I’m a Christian and I like Beyonce.” A very well written critique to the video can be found here.This piece is not a critique of the video but rather a holistic response to young Christian millennials who often sacrifice their Christian values for the sake of being relevant to the world. I will remind you, oh beloved children of God, that Jesus himself said that the world will hate you because of your love for Him. You can love the world like Jesus loves the world and still be hated. It’s not your fault, so don’t change your method. Your advocacy for Christ should never come at the expense of your relationship with Him. Here are 5 ways that many Christian millennials are hurting their delivery of the gospel to a world that desperately needs it.
Tolerance flies in the face of the gospel because it is apathetic both to brokenness and holiness, and when we don’t recognize our brokenness then we will never recognize our need for holiness…and thus Jesus becomes, at best, superfluous. Millennials have it in their minds that hating people’s sin means hating the individual. This message is due in part to the liberal media but many young Christian millennials sing the same tune. Instead of hating sin for the separation that it causes between us and God, they accept the sins of others in the name of “loving them for who they are.”
But the problem with that is when we accept people for who they want to be, we neglect the people that Jesus made them to be.
Jesus was the prime example of love, but never does He display an ounce of tolerance. (see: Jesus, The Epitome of Intolerance) Indeed the cross was proof of His intolerance. What type of tolerance prompts a king to step off his throne to die for his people? Tolerance was never part of the story! The gospel does not boast “come as you are, stay as you are” but rather “come as you are TO BE RESTORED!”
We don’t get to make up the narrative here, folks! The story has already been written- and it is beautiful!
2) Neglecting Theology
Consider the etymology of the word theology; theo- God, logy-study: the study of God. A trendy message among young Christians these days is “theology is good, but loving like Jesus is better.” The problem here is that the two are not mutually exclusive. Not only are they not mutually exclusive but rather they are dependent on each other. The more we know Jesus, the more we love Him and the more we love Him the more we want to know Him and so the cycle continues. Our desire to know him (theology) should be an implication for our love for Him. And the more this continues the more we will desire to live like Him and thus love His people AS HE loves them.
You wouldn’t show your love for a spouse simply by how you talk about them, you’d show your love by knowing them, spending time with them, and serving them.
But when theology is neglected, the ramifications are made known in the way we treat others. Even with a Christian label we only love on them with a wishy washy love that promotes no agenda for change and restoration. When theology is neglected Christian millennials succumb to weak cultural ideas and defective scriptural interpretation such as “Jesus just said to love people, so why should we be opposed to gay marriage?” and “the Bible says not to judge, so don’t tell me that I shouldn’t be sleeping with my boyfriend!” when the Bible actually tells Christians to judge each other (Matthew 7:24, I Corinthians 5:9-13). A good theology will inform the individual that not only are they wrong in their sin, but that Jesus wants so much MORE for them; more joy, purity and intimacy with Him.