Analysis. The latest midterm election showed that younger people broke hard for liberal politicians and liberal policies like abortion and LGBT advocacy.
Who is praying on the wall?
This political shift coincides with a steady decline in church attendance nationwide. Fewer than half of Millennials and Gen Z attend church weekly, and Gen Z is the least religious generation in America.
Meanwhile, many are embracing liberalism with religious zeal.
Why are younger people departing from a Biblical worldview?
How did this happen?
This is a complex, tragic problem with many layers, but there is at least one lesson we can take away to do better with the next generation.
See, the Enemy had a strategic plan to disciple an entire generation in his ways:
- Sow lust through easy access to pornography.
- Through TV, teach them worldliness, rebellion, witchcraft and dishonor to parents.
- Through school teachers, sow unbelief into their hearts.
- Convince parents to send their kids, totally untrained and unprepared, to universities full of debauchery.
- Fill professors with pride and unbelief so they will tear down every aspect of their students’ faith and fill them with their own intellectual pride.
- Create hookup culture and extended adolescence so kids never have to “wake up” to face the consequences of their choices or consider what they truly believe.
- Make the church powerless to address true bondage by having them ignore inner healing, deliverance, and freedom ministries.
Satan had a plan. What was the church’s plan to combat all this?
Youth group once a week.
For most kids, it wasn’t enough.
Parents have discipled their kids in character: how to be kind and generous and humble and hardworking, etc. They have disciplined their kids in life skills like keeping a clean room and working hard at school and being polite. But when it came to spiritual matters and the biblical worldview, too many parents outsourced that job to a youth group or a pastor.
But parents are called to teach their kids how to think biblically.
Discipleship must be daily, and not just in life skills, but apologetics, theology, prayer, the power of God, and missions. If kids were taken by their Dad to volunteer at the pregnancy crisis center, they would think differently on abortion. If they had been taught how to walk someone through freedom from same-sex attraction, instead of just avoiding the topic, they would have more conviction on the LGBT issue. If they had been taken on a family mission trip to a country ravaged by communism or socialism, they would have first-hand evidence of how socialism kills and impoverishes.
And while fathers must take the lead, too often mothers are alone in their discipleship efforts.
I have a very close friend whose father led the family in an extended Bible study every night during dinner. This blew my mind when I heard it, but I see the fruit. This woman is one of the most biblically-rooted, mature Christians I know.
Sadly, I hear most fathers speaking more passionately about sports than the Bible. Were their dinner tables any different?
I hope I don’t say this in arrogance. I was an eldest brother who did little in this regard. Now, I humbly hope I can heed my own advice.
For this column, I asked a member of Gen Z to provide some insight into this question: why is the younger generation departing from church and a biblical worldview?
The first thing that came to mind…why Gen Z is embracing liberalism and abandoning biblical values is… it is easier. The narrow road is really hard, especially in a world where social media and so much sin is so readily available. In a lot of liberal ideals, a lot of those sins are normalized, and in the Christian world, it’s a sin. It’s a lot easier, and it’s a lot more accepting. All people want to be accepted.
She went on to say people want to have an identity, and when they don’t have it in Christ, liberalism gives them that identity and acceptance. I asked how we could be praying for Gen Z:
For prayer, just true revelation that our generation can’t ignore, true encounters with the Lord, whatever that looks like. And that they would realize that life devoted to the Lord is genuinely so much better than anything this world can offer. Whatever it takes. Ask the Lord to revive us back to Him, to show our generation our true first love.
This is a good point. Ultimately, children are responsible for their decisions and relationship with God. Parents do not take the full blame, nor do I intend to blame them, only to learn what we can do better going forward. To me, parents are the answer, not the problem.
Thankfully, God will bring many of these kids home to Him, but let’s not make the same mistake again. Let us not be ignorant of the Enemy’s schemes. Let’s not outsource discipleship to a weekly church event.
There was a time in American when culture helped parents disciple their kids, but that time ended with the sexual revolution. Now, culture is working full-time to disciple the next generation into the ways of the Enemy.
If the Enemy is discipling full-time, let’s not have our discipleship be part-time.
We can do this.
With that in mind, let us pray:
-Father, bring the next generation into a biblical worldview. Bring home the prodigals, and let your Word take its proper place in society again.
-Father, don’t let us lose this next generation! Release grace for true discipleship in our churches, especially for the youth.
-Father, empower and embolden Christian fathers to train up their children in your ways and your Word.
Verses to press into as you intercede on this issue:
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28:19-20).
“and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:2).
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it (Prov. 22:6).
How are you praying for gen Z? Please share this article with someone who will pray for the next generation.
Casey Harper is a writer in the Washington, D.C., area who covers national politics. He has worked for The Daily Caller, The Hill, and Sinclair Broadcast Group. Casey’s work has appeared also on Fox News and Fox Business, and in Washington Examiner and USA Today. He is a graduate of Hillsdale College. Follow him on Twitter: @CaseyHarper33. Photo Credit: Simon Maage on Unsplash)