Millennials Most Godless and Politically Independent Generation

Millennials Most Godless and Politically Independent Generation

Added by Matthew Stinson on March 8, 2014.
Saved under Matthew StinsonOpinionU.S.
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Millennials – people aged 18-33 – are often described as entitled, coddled, and whiny, most notably by people who are not Millennials. Whether the previous labels are fair or rubbish is up for debate, but a study by the Pew Research Center has added a new list of adjectives for the Millennial generation: godless, politically independent, distrustful, broke, and optimistic.

The survey was conducted Feb. 14-23, 2014, among 1,821 adult Americans, including 617 Millennials and compared to previous studies dating back to 1990. The two other groups compared against Millenials were Gen Xers, aged 34-49, and Baby Boomers, aged 50-67. An important distinction for Millenials is that demographically approximately 43 percent of them are non-white, the highest share of any generation.

Millennials are easily the most godless generation of Americans, with 29 percent saying they are not affiliated with any religion and 11 percent saying they do not believe in any god at all, as compared to Gen Xers who are 6 percent atheist. As faith goes, only 58 percent of Millennials are sure of their beliefs, compared to 69 pecent of Gen Xers.

In addition to being the most godless generation, half of Millennials identify themselves as politically independent. “It’s not that they don’t have strong opinions,” said Paul Taylor, co-author of the report, but rather that they stray from party affiliation. While perhaps not labeling themselves as liberals or Democrats, Millennials tend to vote that way, especially on social issues.

Same-sex marriage continues to be a hot-button issue for Americans, but not so much for Millennials who now support its legalization by a whopping 68 percent. The two biggest factors standing in the way of same-sex marriage becoming legal under federal law in the US are tradition and the Bible. Being young, which Millennials are, makes it easier to detach from tradition, and if Millennials have a tendency not to believe in the Bible, it must follow that they are more accepting of marriage equality.

Millennials are also the most “plugged-in” generation. They are linked to each other through social media and they spend a large portion of their time online exchanging ideas and gathering information as the internet expands everyday. This may explain why they are also the least trusting generation. Gone are the days when celebrities, politicians, and world figures could escape the scrutiny of truth. All humans are flawed in one way or another, and those flaws are now broadcast on the 24-hour news cycle and are constantly going viral online. Books, like people, can also be flawed, which might explain why Millennials just aren’t as into the Bible as older Americans due to readily-available information.

Readily-available information might also explain why Millennials support the legalization of marijuana by 69 percent, as they are unburdened by false claims and retro paranoia. However, their views on gun control and abortion are nearly identical to older generations.

Millennials also are coming into adulthood in one of the worst economies in decades. They are also burdened by incredible student loan debt, as the fight to land and keep a job is a brutal one. Perhaps this is where the “whiny” label comes from. After all, Millennials grew up being told that they could do whatever and be whoever they wanted if they worked hard. For many though, the American dream is becoming harder and harder to capture. A side effect of being broke is that most unmarried Millennials (69 percent) say they would like to get married, but lack the finances to do so.

With all that being said, Millennials remain optimistic about the future, with 49 percent of them saying America’s best days are ahead. For that to be true though, the economy must drastically improve. The Millennial generation being politically independent and not overly bound to specific beliefs in God might go a long way to aid in that endeavor.

Opinion By Matt Stinson

Sources:

Palm Beach Post
Christian Post
Detroit News

Source: http://guardianlv.com/2014/03/millennials-most-godless-and-poltitically-independent-generation/

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Let Us Be Peacemakers

After watching the new movie, “Son Of God” at the evening of the Ash Wednesday, I think more  and more about what Jesus taught us on the Mount (Beatitudes). Jesus commends us to be poor in spirit, thirst for righteousness, merciful, be peacemakers, and joyful as sons of God. Let us remember what Jesus did and wants us to do as His true disciples during the Season of Lent.

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Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

– Matthew 5:1-12 ESV

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From the Underside

Office of the General Assembly

NEAL D. PRESA
Moderator of the 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA

We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Rom. 6:9–11, NRSV)

Little portions of soil and grass are appearing underneath the glacial thawing of the snow and ice that have covered us in central New Jersey these past three months. The brown dirt is signaling for me the arrival of spring and the advent of the holy season of Lent.

In a few days, we enter the holy season by receiving the cruciform in ashes, “From dust you came, and to dust you shall return.” Those words, the gesture of offering and receiving the sign of the cross on the forehead, and the hushed tones of the gathered assembly lend to the sacred hour we assemble—ushered to remember that we are dust, that God has fashioned us from the earth in our mother’s womb, and we live our days in the presence of our Creator and the Lord Almighty, underneath the shadow of God’s wings. We can sometimes act like we are kings and queens of our respective spheres of influence, lord of our tongues, princes and princesses of our decisions—but there, with the ashes, under the cross, in life and in death we belong to God.

The subsequent seven weeks of the Lenten season has us pondering the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. His was a journey of living in the presence of the heavenly Father, in the midst of his disciples and the people’s anxieties, fears, and hopes; it was a life of joy, trial, travail. It was being with and entering in the messiness of life, and the beauty that goes with it.

Then we are brought to the final days when the Lord washes the disciples’ feet, with the word and action to go with the moment, “Love one another as I have loved you.” His ministry was lived in the specter of the cross that loomed ahead. There, on Calvary’s cross, the weight of humanity’s sin becomes His burden, becomes our joy. The Lord Jesus’s body is pierced. He breathes His last. He is placed in the underside, in the belly of the earth. In utter darkness. In the underside of death.

But, death could not hold Him. The power of God raises Jesus Christ from the dead. Death will not have dominion over Him. Sin, evil, death, Satan—they don’t have the last word. In and with Christ, we die. In and with Christ, we rise to newness of life.

In the freedom of the Lord’s resurrection power and life, we dare to speak a word to the world, we dare to live in such a way that tells all persons, all powers, all principalities that seek to thwart, stifle, diminish, demean, or set aside the power of God in Christ—Death, be gone!

Then, when our days here are expired, and we return to the dust from whence we came, are buried in or scattered into the underside once more, our baptisms having been complete, we will be ushered into the unending and unceasing glory of God’s presence. There, in God, we will abide, in the underside of God’s embrace.

Lord, lead us, your disciples, in this Lenten journey.

Source: http://www.pcusa.org/news/2014/3/3/underside/

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What is the 10/40 Window?

What is the 10/40 Window?

by Bryan Lee     Brian Zunigha

If the command given by Jesus is to make disciples of all nations (or ethnic groups), then common sense would tell us our job is to find those nations (ethnic groups) that have not been discipled (taught to be followers of Christ). People desiring to fulfill the Great Commission need to know where these “unreached” groups of people are, so that our efforts in completing the task will not just be busy but productive.

The vast majority of these unreached people live in an area of the world nicknamed the “10/40 window.” The 10/40 window is simply a term used to describe a region of the world within 10 and 40 degrees latitude from Western Africa to Eastern Asia. If you were to draw it on a map, the top would go from Portugal through Japan and the bottom would go from Guinea through the bottom tip of India all the way to the Philippines. This is an important region to think about as a World Christian because most of the people who have not had an opportunity to hear the gospel live here. The 31 least reached countries in the world are in this “window.”

The people who are lost in the 10/40 Window are not “more lost” than your neighbor or family member who does not know Christ. But, they are “unreached” in the sense that they have not had an opportunity to hear the Gospel. The issue is not their lostness, but their access to the Gospel. People can be unevangelized without being unreached. There are people in the United States that have not heard the gospel, but they could if they wanted to. Most people living in the 10/40 window couldn’t find out about Jesus even if they wanted to! These are unreached people who do not have access to the gospel.

There are over 3.6 billion unreached people in the world today. Of those 3.6 billion people, 88% live in or near the 10/40 window. Only 2.17% of these unreached people live in North and South America combined!

This area of the world is so unreached for several reasons. First, these people do not live in a spiritual vacuum. The world’s major religions began in this part of the world and are firmly entrenched there. In the 10/40 window there are 724 million Muslims, 787 million Hindus, and 240 million Buddhists. Along with that, many of the countries in this region are oppressive to Christianity. Regardless of these facts, Jesus declared that, “the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” The biggest reason this part of the world is so unreached is because there is a lack of Christians willing to go to these places.

It is estimated that only 4% of foreign missionaries today are working to reach these unreached people. The other 96% are working in unevangelized, but not unreached areas. According to the World Christian Encyclopedia of all the money designated for “missions” in the U.S. only 5.4% is used for foreign missions. Of that 5.4%, only 0.37% is used to take the gospel to unreached people who don’t have access to the gospel. That’s about two cents out of every one-hundred dollars given to missions! The rest goes towards efforts to further evangelize reached people.

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance,” and that proves true in our global strategies for advancing God’s kingdom. We must take the time to educate ourselves on what the world looks like and evaluate our efforts in line with God’s command to make disciples of all people groups.

Source: http://www.thetravelingteam.org/stateworld/1040-window

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Critical Moments: 4 Occasions When You Should NOT Respond to a Critic

Critical Moments: 4 Occasions When You Should NOT Respond to a Critic
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If you are a leader, you will be criticized. If you are not being criticized, you are probably not a leader. The issue is not whether or not you will be the subject of criticism; the greater issue is how you should respond.

As a general rule, leaders should respond to criticism. I do my best to do so, or at the very least, ask someone in my organization to respond. Critics, more often than not, deserve a response. They need to hear from the leader who can give them his or her perspective. They need to hear from a leader in the event that the response can be an opportunity for reconciliation.

But there are times when leaders should not respond to critics. These times are rare, and should be the subject of prayer and counsel. Nehemiah is a biblical character that is often used to define principles of leadership. Look at this passage from Nehemiah 6:2-4. See how Nehemiah, in this case, chose not to respond to a persistent critic.

“Sanballet and Geshem sent me a message: ‘Come let’s meet together in the valley.’ But they were planning to harm me. So I sent messengers to them, saying, ‘I am doing a great work and cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?’ Four times they sent me the same proposal, and I gave them the same reply.” (HCSB)

Nehemiah offers us both biblical and practical principles about those rare occasions when you shouldn’t respond to critics.

  1. When you have already repeatedly responded. For some critics, a response is not sufficient. They will not stop until they have gotten their way. There comes a point where further communication becomes an exercise in futility. It’s time to move on and do “the great work.”
  2. When the critic intends harm. An occasional critic is not so much interested in communicating his or her issue as causing you harm. Their issue is not actually the issue. They want you hurt in some way. Further communication will only cause problems.
  3. When the critic will not reason. Many critics have very valid points. Whether we agree or disagree, we need to listen to their perspective. Other critics simply want to rant. There is rarely a good outcome when meeting with the very unreasonable and ranting critic.
  4. When the criticism becomes an ad hominem attack. An ad hominem attack takes place when a person attacks your character. The issue is peripheral, and is only used to assail you personally. There is often no need to deal with the critic because he or she really doesn’t care about the issue.

Criticism is painful for most leaders. It is for me. But most criticisms are good for leaders. We can learn from our critics, and we can grow as leaders. But there are a few times when we simply should not respond. In those cases, any response only exacerbates something that is already bad.

Sometimes we need to be like Nehemiah. Continue our work and ignore the critic.

More from Thom Rainer or visit Thom at www.thomrainer.com

__________________

Thom S. Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources (LifeWay.com). Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam, Art, and Jess; and six grandchildren. He was founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism, and Church Growth at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His many books include Surprising Insights from the Unchurched, The Unexpected Journey, and Breakout Churches.

Source: http://www.churchleaders.com

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God Seeks Faithful Servants

As a church planter, I can no longer tolerate with “not-so-faithful” leaders filled with pride and negative criticism.

Church planting is all about exercising faith and sacrifice.

Faith without action is no faith.

God seeks servants who are filled with proactive mindsets, passionate hearts, good characters, fruits of the Holy Spirit and positive perspectives to plant His church.

“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” – 1 John 3:18, NIV

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Fellowship of Mosaics

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The Fellowship of Mosaics is meant to bring the Good News of the Scriptures to people born between 1980 and 2002 living in the Greater Sacramento Metropolitan Area. They are the Mosaic or Millennial generation. Although we are targeting mainly for Mosaics but we will welcome everyone (including their children and parents) in any ages. We are aware that many Mosaics drop out of regular church attendance (through the “Silent Exodus”); they are wrestling with their identity as church-goers.

In the midst of the Mosaics’ social context, which is defined by myriad technological channels of communication, we will strive to bring the clearly relevant message that is the Good News of the Gospels. We have a strong passion and desire to reach this lost generation who are more vulnerable than previous generations and under threat of becoming lost to the church. We understand that the “context” of this generation is unique in many ways. To authentically connect with Mosaics we must begin by reaching out through the latest communications technology and software. This means connecting with them through social media, blogging and email on a constantly updated basis. We feel blogging is an especially effective way to reach out because the content of blog posts is transferable to other networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

“Ultimately,” says Mark Brooks, “Millennials want to lend their knowledge, expertise and time to help nonprofits.”

At the Fellowship of Mosaics, we will help them do just that.

Mosaics may tend to interact with nonprofit organizations impulsively as they “surf” the Internet. Thus, we will strive to involve them in the Fellowship of Mosaics through offering opportunities for them to get involved in the Midtown Sacramento community by creating one-time commitments for them to provide their skills and knowledge to help their fellow humans.

In Sacramento, Mosaics are drawn to the Midtown District for a variety of reasons. It is where the cultural activities (coffeehouses, trendy restaurants, art galleries, musical performance spaces, multi-ethnic cultural festivals) take place. Also it is where there is great need for volunteers to help in many ways. This is why the Fellowship of Mosaics will be planted and, we believe, thrive in the Mosaics’ Midtown context. From here we will reach out and evangelize based on an authentic koinonia (Acts 2:42-47) by reaching out for the lost ones to extend the Kingdom of God (2 Cor. 10:15).

“Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our sphere of activity among you will greatly expand.” – 2 Cor. 10:15

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Community of Faith, Hope & Love!