These two words are very heavily used in “minority” communities. Millennials have specifically adopted these words to reflect their mindsets. Are they really more accepting of others than the previous generations? The media would have you believe so, but is it true?
As Millennials, we need to filter out the noise of what is told to us in everyday life. I have said that before in previous posts, but let me expand on what I mean. This generation has been bred to be skeptical of everything that revolves around certain ideals. Ideals that mostly belong to previous generations. The biggest one is Christianity, of course.
The skeptic narrative is selective, however. We are supposed to believe everything that a scientist or a doctor tells us because they have that degree. To an extent, I can understand this. There is merit in recognizing the years of work that have gone into medical school or a Ph.D. in Marine Biology. Chances are they know many more things than the average person in their respective field. That doesn’t mean they can’t lie for money.
Not to digress too much, but to finish, you shouldn’t blindly believe anything on either side. As I’ve said before, we should question both sides of an argument.
So, how does this tie into the two title words? Just as our skeptical nature is being groomed in a selective way, so too is our understanding of acceptance and inclusiveness. The truth is that the media’s idea of acceptance only goes as far as people who agree with them. This goes for both sides of the political spectrum. It is mostly slanted, however, towards not accepting Christians.
Why is it that Christians have been put in this position where a large portion of the United States outright hate us? Some may say that it is because they don’t want to hear the truth. They don’t want to be accountable to a higher power. That does make sense. Who wants to be accountable to anyone else? This might be a piece of the puzzle, but I don’t think it’s the main reason.
God says something very important about restoring our land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV) says, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. “
When Hurricane Katrina happened, Christians were infamous for telling New Orleans that it was their fault because they advocated very sinful practices. Maybe they were correct. That doesn’t matter to me. They just lost their homes and some family members and you want to publicly denounce them as sinful people? Where is the love of God in that? If you thought that was going to turn people to Christ, well guess what? Survey says: not a chance!
In my opinion, the harsh truth is that a vocal minority of Christians is heavily to blame for where they are at in the public view. It may have been a minority who preached fire and brimstone to everyone. That’s all it took. Because there were so many professed Christians in the world, a small minority is still in the realm of millions of people. Unfortunately, there are countless testimonies of people who grew up Catholic or Protestant that turned away because of how they were treated.
Of course, it also doesn’t help that the whole Catholic Priest thing happened. Nice job, guys. I’m sure they played a bunch of violent video games in the 1950s that caused them to turn into pedophiles.
Many of these groups that have formed in the past two decades use words like inclusive and accepting in their credo, but they all share a hatred for Christianity. Meanwhile, they condemn any opposition as “hate speech”. The irony is palpable.
We as Christians have every right to call a spade a spade. We can call out certain groups as hate groups or as being hypocritical. But at the same time, we need to understand where this all came from.
Matthew 7:3-5 says, ““Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
It looks like many Christians skipped over that part of the Bible. As humans, we are not perfect. There will usually be a plank in our eye when we believe there to be a speck in someone else’s. We should have been trying to help these people that we turned away by humbling ourselves. When Jesus walked the earth, he never condemned people for their sins. He got angry when he needed to, but he directed it at the sin of selling in the holy place. He didn’t flip the bird to the Pharisees and hold up a sign that said: “Y’all goin’ to hell!”.
People who have been turned away by their churches found other groups that were willing to fill that void that God fills. As Christians, we understand that God loves us for who we are. He sacrificed the Son so that we can have eternal life. This is all despite the fact that we fail to live up to God’s standards every single day. Those who fled the church have found what they believe to be that same sensation elsewhere.
The problem is that it’s not immutable. As it turns out, humans are really bad at playing God. Many of these groups say they love you for who you are, but will cast you out at the first sign of trouble. Just look at Hollywood, for example. Over the last few years, they have all tried to oust each other as sexual predators while trying to take the moral high ground.
“They need you right now, but when they don’t, they’ll cast you out. Like a leper. See, their morals, their “code”… it’s a bad joke, dropped at the first sign of trouble. They’re only as good as the world allows them to be. I’ll show you. When the chips are down, these uh, these “civilized people”, they’ll eat each other. “
This is a quote from “The Dark Knight” when Batman is interrogating Joker. I’ve felt for a while that this quote perfectly describes Hollywood and many groups that consider themselves as accepting.
Tying the 2 Chronicles verse back, this is how I believe we should proceed. We need to get right in our own sins and then extend a hand to everyone. Millennials who are Christians should be especially active in being accepting. If we are the ones who show the most acceptance, it will be the game-changer. “We’re sorry for how you were treated. I promise, God still loves you and wants to have a relationship with you.” It’s not up to us to decide how each other needs to change. We don’t need to play God to nonbelievers. There’s a far more capable being that is ready to do that.
If you are reading and you grew up in the church only to be turned away by how you were treated, this part is for you. The community is getting better, I believe. One church may not have been willing to accept you, but I promise you that there is one out there that is more than happy to accept you as you are.