I am a millennial. I’m also an assistant pastor who grew up in a pastor’s home. I have grown up in the Independent Baptist movement. There’s a problem within our movement that is stemming from millennials. I wish every millennial christian could read this short essay. What inspired me to write this was an open letter that was written by several millennial pastors.
I cringe as a Christian at several things I see in my generation.
1. The lack of reverence for and fear of God in church, lifestyle, and service.
Hebrews 13:28-29 “Wherefore we receive a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:  For our God is a consuming fire.”
When I was in Bible college, I was sent along with other bus captains from my division to visit several churches in the area where we ministered to get ministry ideas because we were going to start a church in Chicago. We walked into a church probably running 500+ people. As soon as the service started, all the lights went out. Spotlights hit the stage. Smoke machines started pumping smoke on the stage, and a praise team of twenty or so women dancers came on the stage with rock music so loud it shook the building. These women, wearing immodest clothing(Cleavage showing, midriff shirts, skin-tight skinny jeans), started a sexual choreographed dance that would have made a stripper blush. Needless to say, we walked out of the service. We couldn’t subject ourselves to such a wicked display anywhere, much less in a church service.
The sad thing is that this is the trend in the modern millennial Christian church. Maybe not to that extreme, but definitely that flavor. No reverence. No fear of God. The modern Christian serves God because it feels good. If it feels good, do it. Modern culture has tossed out holiness. We’ve exchanged godliness for modernism and worldliness. Then almost immediately I will hear that crowd say back, “New does not equal bad.” I agree, but everything new is not good either. We’ve got to get back to reverencing God in church. Having women showing their nakedness and dancing on stage is irreverent and wicked. Instead of asking God what he would want in a church, we have reached out to the world to see what they want in a church. As a result, we have huge churches with shallow Christians; or as the founder of the seeker sensitive movement put it, “We have created churches a mile wide and an inch deep.”
2. The false perception of grace.
Modern Christianity has thrown away the law because of grace. The only law that was done away with when Christ died on the cross was the law of ordinances and the Levitical law such as animal sacrifice, dietary laws, etc. The Mosaic and the moral law are still in effect, like the abominations, ten commandments, and tithing (which predates the law). In fact, Paul put it like this in Romans 6:1-2: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?  God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” He also said in Romans 6:15, “What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” Grace is not an excuse to sin. God forbids it.
God’s Grace can be taken in vain. Jesus said he did not come to do away with the law but to add to the law to make it stronger. What we have in American Christianity is grace that is taken in vain. When we live how we want because of grace, we are taking God’s grace, and His name, in vain. First Corinthians talks 15:10 talks about how God’s grace can be taken in vain. Churches are telling their congregants that they can drink, smoke,and dress how they want because of God’s grace.
God’s grace can be turned into lasciviousness. The preachers teaching their congregations to participate in these ungodly activities have turned the grace of God into lasciviousness. Jude 4 says, “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” The definition of lasciviousness is as follows: “To describe a person’s behavior that is driven by thoughts of sex.” We have churches that have sexually driven music, that teach it’s ok to dress however you want (sexually immodest or not) because of grace, and that have women dancing and gyrating on a stage in a sexual manner. The Bible says that these preachers are denying the Lord God when they promote this.
Jesus did not do away with morality. What was once moral is still moral. God’s morality does not change. What you’ll hear these modern preachers say often is “We don’t live in the 50′ anymore.” Well, in the ’50s, the crime rate was way lower. Pornography was not rampant. Homosexuality was not acceptable. Transgenderism was a clinical medical disorder. Rape was way less common in comparison to today. God and the Bible were still taught in public schools. There were only two genders. Abortion was not socially acceptable. Work ethic was taught. The family unit was uplifted. Hollywood wouldn’t even let an unmarried man and woman sleep in the same bed (Lassie), and the Andy Griffith show was the most popular sit com on TV. The ’50s sound pretty good to me. Look at the filth we have today. We’d be a much better country if we had the morality of the ’50s. If you ever hear a preacher or Christian criticize those Christians who “are living in the fifties”… run away from that person or church as fast as possible because they are probably turning the grace of God into lasciviousness.
3. We’ve allowed outside influences to mold our beliefs.
Many men with whom I went to school or even former teachers in the Bible college I attended have allowed liberal theologians in the SBC to change their beliefs. The New IB movement is Southern Baptist-lite. The reasons that the men of God of old left the Southern Baptist Convention were modernism and worldliness. Because our culture does not want holiness, we’ve sacrificed it on the altar of larger crowds in church even though both are possible to have simultaneously. Large crowds in church can be attained by carnal means, pandering to culture, or by the holiness and the power of God. By the way, not every pastor is meant to have large crowds. Large does not necessarily mean better, and small does not mean bad.
4. These liberal pastors have progressively gotten worse.
First it was, “Let us worship how we want.” Then it turned into, “You should worship like us.” Now it is,”Your way of worship is wrong.” These millennial pastors are now condemning the King James Bible, are condemning old-time Christianity, and are trying to get us to accept their sinful carnal ways. It’s no longer, “Let us be us.” It’s now, “You better accept us or else.” In other words, they are a throwing a temper tantrum because we keep preaching the truth of the Bible.
5. They want to only preach the loving side of Jesus and ignore the rest of the Bible.
They say, “All we want to hear at church is Jesus.” That is great. I’m all for preaching on Jesus, but the Bible commands us to preach the whole counsel of God. That means we preach on Jesus, morality, love, wrath, grace, redemption, sin, hell, heaven, the law…everything!
So what now?
If you are a millennial reading this now, I want to encourage you to get into a good Bible preaching church. I also want to tell you that we don’t hate those liberal pastors and liberal churches. We hate sin, but we also know that the Bible says to contend for the faith. We will never stop fighting for what God says to fight. We will never accept worldliness because God doesn’t. We will love them, but not their sin. We preach against this sinful trend because we love Christ. We love the Bible. Don’t cave. Don’t be discouraged. There are still seven thousand that have not bowed the knee to Baal. There are many preachers who are still preaching the old paths of Christianity. The haters will come. The scoffers will scoff just as Jesus said they would. Let’s keep winning souls. Let’s keep building churches through soulwinning rather than worldliness. Let’s keep preaching hard. Don’t get distracted by these liberal preachers. Let’s keep our eyes on Jesus, for he is the main thing!