Thankfully, my parents and other mentors were committed to speaking all of God's truths in love to me. I finally recognized how I was snuffing out portions of the gospel in order to maintain popularity among my peers.
My experience is not unique. It is the growing trend among millennials raised within the evangelical community. Beyond being a millennial and analyst at the Institute on Religion and Democracy, one of my most important roles is Sunday school teacher to middle school-aged kids My students are bright, funny and bold. But I often hear them explain how many around them—in and outside of our church—bombard their heads with messages of "don't judge," "tolerance," "coexist," and "political correctness." These buzzwords intimidate them.
Seasoned conservative Christians have heard all these empty words before and remain unfazed. But for young kids who have seeds of confusion planted about Scripture's clarity coupled with the fact that they love their non-Christian friends, these words cause fear. So they shy away from mentioning their faith in God and His Word that is inherently offensive to a fallen world. So when popular Christian culture leaders tell young evangelicals that they can appease both the world and Jesus, then, of course this distorted theology captures their attention.
But the Christian Left's damage doesn't end with simply a misguided generation. Their distortions lead back to the "millennial problem" I mentioned earlier. Once young adults buy into the lie that Scripture is not authoritative, then they find themselves drifting toward questioning, doubting and abandoning the faith altogether. After all, why believe in words that hold no tangible or applicable value?
There is good news. Like the art gallery's steps to preserve and protect the Mona Lisa, Christians too can take precautions to guard God's Word. Read your Bible and commit it to memory. Next, ask questions about the theological beliefs of your church leadership, seminary instructors, and the millennials you know. Their answers may shock you. Then finally pray for wisdom and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the absolute truths contained in God's Word.
Popular culture, inside and outside of the church, will try to damage and distort Scripture's value and its authoritative role in Christians' lives. But as followers of Christ, we can stand up and protect all of its contents with good conscience.
Remember that the countercultural messages found in the Bible were not crafted by conservative evangelicals. The Bible is not our words but the divinely inspired work of art produced by the one true living God. Scripture certainly deserves to be protected.
Chelsen Vicari serves as Director of Evangelical Action at the Institute for Religion and Democracy and is the author of Distortion: How the New Christian Left is Twisting the Gospel and Damaging the Faith.
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