Inoculating Christian Youth

by N.P. Sala

“We must train our youth to be soldiers of Christ as if they were preparing for war, because they are.”

Last week I came across an interesting article at The Christian Post entitled: “What Makes Young Evangelicals Less Conservative?” On the surface it appears that the article is simply trading in political issues like social policy or philosophy of values. An excerpt from the article reads:

“White Millennial Evangelicals who did not know any non-Christians or non-whites among their closest associates were more likely than white Millennial Evangelicals with diverse social networks to agree that ‘religion causes more problems in society than it solves,’ ‘under God’ should be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance, and disagree that ‘it is important for children to be brought up in a religion so they can learn good values.’”

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A couple of things strike me as odd about this. First, whether they realize it or not, these Millennial Christians are disqualifying their own, professed faith system when they affirm blanketed statements like “religion causes more problems in society than it solves.” Okay, perhaps they are thinking of all world religions on balance. Or perhaps they are thinking of the perceived awful things men do in the name of Christianity. Of course, that’s not what the statement was actually saying. Religion itself is the problem, not what men do in the name of it.

Notice that it is white Millennial Evangelicals that have no close association with non-Christians that are affirming this statement. To me, this reveals something much more interesting; especially when considering that white Millennial Evangelicals with “diverse social networks” break with their peers, i.e. they take traditional, conservative Evangelical stances on morality and culture.

So what’s going on here? The authors of the study “reasoned that Evangelicals with more exposure to the Evangelical subculture are reacting negatively to that subculture.” Perhaps they are. But that doesn’t sufficiently explain why Millennial Evangelicals with more diverse social networks are more traditional or conservative.

Here’s what I think is going on…

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Inoculating Christian Youth | A Clear Lens