Advertisement

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

In Defense of the Millennials

Never before have people been so well-connected and self-absorbed at the same time.

Never before have people been so well-connected and self-absorbed at the same time.

If you tune in to one of my favorite blogs, Andrew Sullivan’s The Dish, you’ll find an ongoing conversation there about the occasional promise and (more commonly) perils of the generation that follows mine: the “Millennials.”

Advertisement

This demographic is of great interest- mainly because one in three Americans under the age of 30 now goes by the self-description of “None” (meaning “not religious” or “spiritual but not religious”), and this number is growing. The Millennials comprise at least one big pocket of readers I’m writing for (the other being those in the church who share a similar spiritual restlessness for “the More” they’ve not found in church). Together these restless souls may embody the stirrings of a new birth for the church, if the church is able to listen and respond.

If truth be told, I grow a little weary hearing complaints about Millennials- that they’re selfish and self-absorbed, materialistic, consumeristic, nihilistic, and so on. They may be all these things, but it is also true that they have come of age in a day when our religious, political, economic and familial institutions have failed or disappointed us, when joblessness among young people is at an all-time high, and when movements for change, such as the Occupy movement, still derive their strength from the participation of young people.

Advertisement

“Self actualization” is a word that often gets thrown around somewhat negatively in relation to this generation, too, and while it is possible that Millennials are more obsessed with self actualization than previous generations before them, there is also tremendous opportunity here in this quest to discover oneself and “be all that you can be” (to borrow the U.S. Army’s slogan). If Jesus’ Incarnation (God becoming a human being and walking in skin like mine) teaches me anything, it is this: that every person contains within his or her self a whole world of possibility and that every person is of inestimable worth. In Jesus we are becoming all that we can be, as uniquely and wonderfully made, even if paradoxically we must lose our lives to find them. If in our quest for “More” we seek to find the More for ourselves first, this “selfishness” or path towards “self-actualization” is to be commended rather than scorned.

But what do you think about any or all of the above? Have you been tuning in to the conversation about Millennials?

Previous Posts

Life Is Short. Seek Faithfulness.
Within a few hours of its appearance here at this intersection between God and life, my last post on the Ashley Madison scandal had a total of one share. "It must've been something I said," I told my husband later that night, as we were ...

posted 10:01:05am Aug. 31, 2015 | read full post »

3 Quasi-Spiritual Lessons from the Ashley Madison Scandal
For those of us saints and sinners who even remotely have been following last week’s Ashley Madison scandal, I can think of at least three lessons it offers (and you may have more, in which case feel free to leave them below): 1. Chances ...

posted 6:14:59pm Aug. 27, 2015 | read full post »

John Oliver vs. Televangelists and Their "Big Seed" Prosperity Gospel
If you've not seen it, you must: John Oliver on "Last Week Tonight" offered the most brilliantly funny rebuke of televangelists and the prosperity gospel I've seen to date. Oliver doesn't mince words, including the four-letter ones, in blasting ...

posted 2:21:12am Aug. 18, 2015 | read full post »

How the Latest Revelations Re: ISIS' Systemized Sexual Violence Against Girls Remind Me I Am Not a Pacifist
As if ISIS had not already convinced us enough of its total depravity ... the latest revelations by The New York Times —(be forewarned, they are disturbing to read) — remind me why I am not a pacifist. As if turning small boys into child ...

posted 5:54:37pm Aug. 14, 2015 | read full post »

Mustard Seed Faith and a Mustard Seed Kingdom of God, Via Mary Oliver
Last ...

posted 1:47:32pm Aug. 12, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.