This is a fascinating read to understand the minds/hearts of many college students:
An Open Letter to the Church from My Generation – a blog post by Dannika Nash, a college student in South Dakota.
The post contains many insights on Millennials, including:
- How deeply they are influenced and shaped by media (music, TV, Twitter) – especially in the new flat world
“So many of us were brought up in churches and Christian homes, and even if we weren’t, we’ve experienced the traditional Christian culture that just resonates from South Dakota’s prairie land. We know conservatism; we know tradition. But we also have Twitter, we watch SNL, we listen to Macklemore, and we read Tina Fey. We’re more in touch with the rest of the country than the Midwest has ever been.”
- Their aversion to the culture wars (and hollow rhetoric)
“We want to hear about equality and love in a gentle way. We’re sick of the harsh words of both sides. Say what you want about my generation, but we can smell fake from a mile away.”
The bulk of the post deals with Dannika’s plea to the church to not make Millennials choose between God and equality for gay people.
“I was forced to choose between the love I had for my gay friends and so-called biblical authority. I chose gay people, and I’m willing to wager I’m not the only one.
So, my advice to you, the Church: You CAN have a conservative view on gay marriage, or gay ordination. You can. But I want you to have some serious conversations with God, your friends that disagree with you, and maybe even some gay people, Christians or not, before you decide that this one view is worth marginalizing my generation.
We want to stay in your churches, we want to hear about your Jesus, but it’s hard to hear about love from a God who doesn’t love our gay friends (and we all have gay friends).
A College Kid Who Misses You”
I know Dannika doesn’t speak for every college student. But I would venture to guess that she speaks for a majority of them.
Over the last year (really since the uproar over Chick-fil-A last summer) I’ve been intrigued by the rapid shift in public opinion on gay marriage, especially among college students. The latest polls show that, among young people, support for same-sex marriage is at an all-time high of 70 percent.
I agree with Matt Morton: “Most of us aren’t eager to go to war over moral, political, or cultural issues, when our primary purpose is to make disciples of Jesus.” But for those of us in college ministry, we NEED to be thinking through how we respond to this colossal shift in the audience that we serve.
For many college students this is a defeater belief – a “consensus belief that automatically makes Christianity seem implausible” – Tim Keller.
I haven’t formulated many answers yet. I think Matt’s response is a good start: asking students “would you be willing to first consider Jesus Himself before asking me about homosexuality?”
What are your thoughts?
How do we affirm an orthodox Biblical view of marriage and homosexuality while still loving gay students (and the majority of students that have gay friends)?
How do we address this issue without making it THE issue?
photo courtesy of UMaineStudentAffairs