Millennial Christians and their parents have a great challenge before them, one that churches in inner cities across the fruited plain are either discovering if they so choose, or ignoring because it’s simply easier to turn a blind eye to it.
Millennials who are Christians who attend inner city churches are more likely to vote for Godless liberals like Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton and Barach Obama than any number of Republican candidates who are more likely to espouse Christian beliefs and ideals that any of the above mentioned liberals.
More than one millennial who attends church (and that I have listened to talk about politics and political candidates) that preaches the Bible followed Steven Colbert, his nearly daily mockery of Pres. Trump, and seemed to know nothing about the behavior of the Clintons or Obama.
In the presence of other Christians, after a church service, he proceeded to repeat a joke that Colbert told on a recent show about Trump and his personal attorney, Cohen. Most Christians who follow politics know that Trump is far from a perfect human being, and even at times feigns knowledge of the Bible.
And yet, they seem to know nothing of the personal or public beliefs of Hillary Clinton or Barach Obama. In some cases, they don’t know that Pres. Trump, as a president, has supported Christian churches, organizations, more than any other president.
This should be distressing to church pastors in inner cities, like New York, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and other large cities in the U.S. Bright young people, college graduates, people in their 20s and 30s, flock to inner cities, especially these cities and often attend churches there.
The challenge is that inner city churches, those pastored by white (non-black) pastors, either ignore issues that are directly related to the Bible, or adopt liberal, Godless ideals that have been adopted by liberal, progressive wings of the Democrat Party.
There are other examples of this behavior. One woman said a pro-life speaker, the former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic, Abby Johnson, came to her school to speak. But instead of voice support for the pro-life movement, she took an amoral, libertarian, stance, says that each person has to make their own choice where they work.
This is like saying that there is nothing bad or good in the world; nothing wrong with working as a prostitute or with working at a gas chamber that kills people. It’s a skewed way of thinking, one that begs the question: what influences young Christians to think this way, to miss reasoned thinking in politics. Why would someone think one way about Christianity and another way in public life about politics.
It’s a dangerous line of reasoning that pastors in inner cities are ignoring, to the detriment of our society.
One man said he could not believe that Franklin Graham, a Christian leader would endorse Pres. Trump as president. The problem for him is that he is not the only Christian who supports Pres. Trump. He has met with black pastors and even prayed with them in the White House.
The problem is not Trump. The problem is that skewed view that people like these see in their culture, in the news, news that provides hyper examination of Trump, his family, and expects perfection of him, while liberals, Godless public figures like the Obamas and the Clintons are lionized as mythic public figures who must be revered.
It was like this during the entire Obama administration. Any reporter who fact checked the president, or even asked a difficult question of him, the kind of question that Trump gets at every press event, would have been called a racist. They would have been ostracized as have the reporters have been ostracized and even investigated, tracked, or had their cell phones and computers tapped. They would never be able to get a reporting job at any new organization. They would have been labeled a bigot, intolerant, a racist, you name it. They would never be able to work in news again.
For millennials, the problem is that they rarely get their news from news organizations that are not objective in their reporting. This includes nearly every cable TV, newspaper, web site, etc. There are in fact few Christians working for liberal leaning news sites, like CNN, MSNBC, CBS, Huffinton Post, Slate, Salon, New York Times, Vox.
The problem is that the majority of millennials, including Christians, have been influence by secular culture that more and more does not allow for reasoned, rational thinking. Instead, it excludes some thinking.
Some of the thinking and propaganda is similar to what Adolf Hitler did in Nazi Germany. First he labeled people, he labeled them as worse than other people. Then he repeated the labels so that anyone who did not agree with the label was wrong, was an idiot, was stupid. Then he took away that rights of those people, because they were on the wrong side of his campaign. Then he trashed their businesses as public policy. He ostracized them. He destroyed their livelihoods.
We see this happening today by leftists. First they label them as evil and wrong and not deserving of the same rights as others. They don’t deserve to eat at a restaurant. They don’t deserve to go home and sleep in peace. They don’t deserve to assemble peaceably or speak freely at an open forum, like a college campus.
The unfortunate and dangerous aspect of this is that young millennials are adopting the same attitudes of those of Nazi Germany. Some of them are Christians - misguided Christians, but still Christians.
It happened to Christians in Germany as well. They adopted attitudes are supported policies that labeled Jews as people who did not deserve to live and work in society with others. Eventually, they didn’t. Eventually they were killed.
This kind of thinking should remind us all of the quote from Martin Niemoller about what happened in Nazi German because Christians did not speak out:
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
We see this happening today. Christian bakers are attacked and forced to close because they choose to demonstrate their faith in all areas of their lives, including what cakes they bake and what they are used for.
After Ferguson, a group of young black activists verbally assaulted white people in a restaurant in Jefferson City, MO. It was recorded by a young white film maker, then shown in a church service. Blacks who were evidently attempting to correct white behavior, walked en mass into a restaurant in Jefferson City and started to yell at customers because they were white.
The pastor of the church where it was shown didn’t say anything about it, that attacking people because of their race was the wrong thing to do. It was violating the rights of people who have nothing to do with Ferguson. This is where it starts. It starts when people who should say something about people doing something wrong don’t. They stay silent, like they did in Nazi Germany.
It starts with accepted a culture that decides to denigrate certain people. These people, people who support Trump, don’t deserve to have rights. I’m just going to repeat a joke told by Steven Colbert, because it’s fun to make fun of a public official who supports Christians at every turn.
Let’s hope that Christian influencers in our culture wake up. Let’s hope that pastors in inner cities wake up to the ugly fact that many young millennial Christians don’t know how to think about issues like freedom, tolerance, the right to life, from a Christian perspective. What are we going to say to keep from having to repeat Martin Neimoller’s confession?
© 2019 Larry Ingram
Based in St Louis,
Larry Ingram writes about the news media, movies and culture, as well as topics like race, privilege, Christianity, religious expression and tolerance.
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