We are a generation that is able to pick and choose the best ideas and aspects from many different groups and systems and embrace them in our own lives and thinking. And this has never been a possibility for any other generation in the history of humankind. This does make us a generally skeptical generation. We don’t just drink the Kool Aid. That doesn’t mean we lack commitment to a community, but it does mean millennial communities will look radically different than those of previous generations.
This doesn’t mean millennials are against structure, but rather against structures that dictate how one must think…. We’re not against authority, only against structures that uplift one group of people or ideas above all others and forcing people to conform in order to belong. That’s not what first century discipleship looked like and it’s not how we want to function either. We’re not just a bunch of relativists either; we are realists and we know that no group, category, or system has ever succeeded in capturing God or Truth. And because of that, we are a generation of seekers, explorers, questioners, and drifters. Not because of fear of commitment, as Keller suggests, but because of the freedom that comes from existing within a community of authenticity and Love.
Fear, I would argue, is what keeps many squarely in the box of “Gospel Coalition-Evangelicalism”. Fear that any divergence from what the magisterium of Evangelical leaders teach is akin to heresy and would lead to rejection and excommunication (which we have seen dozens of cases of over the years). Fear forces conformity, but it’s only Love that can create common-unity (community) among diverse perspectives. And that’s what most of us in the Millennial generation are yearning for.
It is truly unfortunate to see so many leaders whom we have learned from and are highly esteemed turning and beating an entire generation down because we see the world differently.
Like many past generations millennials, those between 18 – 33 years of age, are frequently attacked because they don’t necessarily think the same way as their elders. The quote above is in response to several Evangelical leaders who are attacking Millennials because they are leaving those organizations in number not seen before.
I was at the front end of the Baby Boomers generation and I am very familiar with this sort of treatment by past generations. We were all blanketed as pot smoking hippies by previous generations. Maybe for that reason I feel somewhat of a kinship with this new generation.
I have made similar comments to the quote above in previous posts. Millennials are the first generation to have so much information at their fingertips. With the click of a virtual button we are now able to see a myriad of different views on almost any topic. You no longer have to adopt someone else’s worldview. You can finally invent your own. In that respect, I envy this generation.
My personal exposure to Millennials although somewhat limited is akin to the author of these quotes. They seem to be more connected with society and social and economic justice than many past generations. Many are volunteering their time and energy to causes they believe in.
Here is to all you Millennials out there. Keep on asking questions and looking new ways to solve age old problems. I hope you find them.