The Millennial Generation’s Acceptable Sin

There is danger brewing in what 20-somethings in the Church believe is acceptable. Those of us interested in maintaining orthodoxy in the Church as well as enriching the spiritual life of our young people should take note.  Below begins what I think is an excellent article discussing this danger. It is written by Bart Gingerich, research assistant at The Institute on Religion and Democracy posted on their blog, Juicy Ecumenism.


The Millennial Generation’s Acceptable Sin

By Bart Gingerich (@bjgingerich)

Every human institution and society has its own list of sins and virtues that contradict the law of God. With the rise of the Millennial generation in evangelical churches, a vice is creeping up into the realms of acceptance, indifference, or at least resignation: fornication (i.e. extramarital sex or unchaste living).

A few decades ago, this was one of the main issues that evangelicals hammered in their social witness. The skeptical news cycle and entertainment industry mocked this often; they saw pleas for chastity as a laughable result of pietistic sexual repression and no small bit of hypocrisy. Theological leaders and other influential voices chided their fellow believers for obsessing over a select set of sexual taboos.

Now, however, the exhortations have eased off. Commentary from Tim Keller at the latest Q Conference in New York is quite telling. “We’re not doing well on the sex side,” he confessed. Talking about his church, Keller said, “We’re just like the rest of the city. If I preach like that [on sexual ethics], everybody gets real quiet.”

Similarly, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy discovered 80 percent of unmarried evangelicals between the ages of 18 and 29 had engaged in sex. Using a more stringent definition of “evangelical,” the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) recently reported that 44 percent of millennial evangelicals had sex outside marriage. Of course, just because Christians oppose sexual immorality does not mean they never struggle with it. Nevertheless, in this sort of moral environment, harping on moral sex lives is analogous to starting an abolitionist church in the antebellum South. Thanks to the public liturgy of Hollywood and our own human inclinations, fornication has been normalized and poses a massive obstacle to effective pastoral ministry.

Please continue reading this article at Juicy Ecumenism ~ The Institute on Religion & Democracy’s Blog



3 comments on “The Millennial Generation’s Acceptable Sin

  1. Thanks, Daryl, for re-blogging this. Great article — I’m surprised it has only drawn 3 comments on the IRD site. That’s probably an indication that they’re a voice crying in the wilderness. Sadly, I think this battle was lost 10 years ago, and the reason why homosexuality is now on the verge of social acceptance is (in part) because the church sees it as a case of “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” Hard to call someone out on homosexual misconduct when one is participating in heterosexual misconduct.

    • Greg, I find many good articles at the IRD site. Few of them get many comments. I’m not sure if it’s because of low interest or low readership, but I’ve enjoyed their blog very much.

      I think you are spot on with your analysis of our struggle with homosexuality. We have a long way to go!

  2. Daryl, Thank you for sharing, and God bless you.

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