Millennial notes on equity, social justice, and inclusion in the evangelical church
1. I feel most included in the delivery of church sermons when the referenced quotes don’t come from only white males and (occasionally) Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
2. I nod in agreement when the vision of America’s Founding Fathers is taught as one piece of a prophetic roadmap and not an infallible statement of where we are today in this country. The revolution of 1776 is yet incomplete.
3. I grow uncomfortable when church leaders elevate scripture’s cultural context above the principles of Jesus to justify one group’s priority position over another’s. For instance, we are told that women can’t share God’s truth from the pulpit although a woman – Mary Magdalene – was the first forerunner of the message of the resurrected Christ.
4. It frustrates me when calls to prayer for our nation only surround the appointment of a Republican party representative or advancement of a conservative position. I don’t recall many prayers going up for the Obama and Biden families or for health care access for citizens of this nation.
5. I am most confused when church members cast asides about certain sectors of society that they’ve never been in, interacted with, or influenced. Have you visited an inner-city? Have you mentored a millennial?
6. I love worship. I do. Can we put some songs in rotation that will allow me to clap on the second and fourth beats?
7. I don’t fully understand current conflicts in the Middle East and the church’s priority position to support Israel. Some info-lessons would be nice.
8. I don’t believe that every ambitious woman is possessed by a Jezebel spirit.
9. I believe that small groups can be strengthened by equipping leaders to recognize signs of depression and loneliness.
10. I don’t think we’re ready to receive – i.e. minister to – the members of society we believe are part of the great harvest. Are we ready to reveal the Father’s heart to former victims of sex trafficking? Can we deliver practical messages about revitalizing hope to men and women who were once suicidal? Do we have generous processes for moving people from poverty to prosperity? [One church body can’t do it all — so are we even connected to other bodies of believers who can fill in the gaps where we fall short?]
What are some of your moments of contemplation or consternation concerning your membership in today’s non-denominational (evangelical) church? Tell us in the comments below!
Throughout the year, I’ll be expounding on these thoughts – offering both concession and assertion arguments – to strengthen today’s church and my role within it. Hint: To make things more “millennial friendly”: pay tribute to diversity and chisel us with God’s truth so that we can change the world!
Post-edit: Look at what Johnny Enlow posted on January 20th!