The April 2016 issue of the AFA Journal, referenced a Barna research report from January of 2016. The report highlighted a disconnect between young Christians and Biblical morality. One statistic stated that 76% of Christians between the ages of 18 and 24 actively seek out pornography. The report also noted that 52% of young Christians say that not recycling is morally wrong, while only 32% say porn is wrong.
As I read this report it became obvious that we have a problem. Our young people are separating Christianity from the Bible. Without the Bible as a moral reference point, young believers are adopting a cultural value system that appears more pagan than Christian. The concept that our faith and our actions are to be consistent, seems to be fading quickly.
To what can we attribute such a negative trend? Is it that our culture has gotten that good at pushing its agenda and values? I think that is part of it. Immorality has been normalized, morality has been marginalized and Christianity has been vilified. Television, radio and print are ready peddlers of pagan propaganda. But, I think there is more to it. Weeds don’t grow in occupied ground. Nothing has been taken that wasn’t up for grabs to begin with. It is completely logical to assume that if one generation chooses to separate faith from actions, the next generation may consider it normal to separate Biblical truth and Christian values. This explains why I can meet people who claim Christianity as their faith, support abortion, and see no contradiction. This explains why “65% of altar-bound singles – many of whom identify as Christians – now live together before marriage” and see no problem.
The partition that many use to clearly separate their “faith” and their morality is woven together with threads of ignorance, rebellion and selfishness. They do not recognize that any separation of faith and actions or Christianity and Biblical truth is not Christianity at all. Any separation we erect will only serve to separate us from God.
So what can we do? Below I have listed 5 things that we can do to help unite Professing Christians with Biblical values.
- Stop believing the cultural narrative about Christianity and Christians. We have bought into the lie that Christians are mean, condemning, judgmental people who only want to forcibly convert people so that they can control their lives. Believing this foolishness causes us to spend our time criticizing and scrutinizing other believers, afraid to share the truth at the risk of being perceived in a negative way. True believers are the salt of the earth, good people with enough love in their hearts to care more about others than themselves.
- Share the truth. In speaking with many young Christians I have discovered that more often than not they have no clue concerning their error. Often they are just following the lead of someone they respect. Once they hear what God has to say they often repent, imagine that!
- Be authentic. The really cool thing about being authentic is that it produces incredible boldness. Being real in a godly way is incredibly refreshing, to believers and non-believers. Living a Biblically consistent life eradicates fear.
- Know the truth. People are looking for answers and the Bible is full of them. There is very little if anything it does not cover. We are instructed by God to study and to have an answer concerning what and why we believe.
- Be persistent. This is not a sprint, we must adopt a long term strategy. Think legacy, think generationally.