In the Trump era, the word “evangelical” has made a roaring comeback in the American vernacular. But just because the buzzword is there doesn’t mean faith is flourishing.
On Thursday, author and financial guru Erin Lowry, known on social media as the “Broke Millennial,” asked if younger Americans are experiencing “burnout” because they were “over scheduled” as kids:
Does anyone else think the often cited "burnout" sensation with Millennials could be because many were incredibly over scheduled as kids?
— Broke Millennial (@BrokeMillennial) March 28, 2019
That answer, though, is missing the mark. Our faith isn’t flourishing, and now we’re experiencing the consequences.
Millennials are a lost generation burned out by the search. We are a group of people who have abandoned God, a wandering generation in desperate need of purpose.
Numbers don’t lie
Close to half of American millennials describe themselves as religious “nones,” those who identify as atheist, agnostic, or nothing at all, according to the 2018 American Family Survey.
In total, religious “nones” claim 44 percent of those aged between 18 and 29. To put that into context, in 1986, only 10 percent of young Americans claimed to have no religious affiliation.
The fastest growing religion in the U.S. right now is no religion at all, and millennials are the driving force behind that shift.
So their — our — “burnout” shouldn’t come as a surprise. Scripture warns that a lack of vision and the absence of purpose would be a our downfall.
There is hope
Proverbs 29:18 declares, “When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful.”
In the absence of purpose and vision, we lose our way. But there is hope, because we can find purpose, meaning, and value in God. His Word gives us that promise.
The Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:10 that those who trust in Jesus are “God’s handiwork” — the psalmist described us as “fearfully and wonderfully made” — created “to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Asked in 1646 what the “chief end” of humanity was, the Westminster Assembly — a group of Scottish and English theologians — replied: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.”
Their answer, immortalized in the Westminster Shorter Catechism, was twofold.
Paul urged Christians in 1 Corinthians 10:31 to do all things — “whether you eat or drink or whatever you do” — “for the glory of God.” Earlier, in Romans 11:36, the apostle said all things are “from,” “through,” and “for” God’s ultimate glory.
And in Psalm 73:24-26, the author wrote the earth “has nothing I desire besides” God. He continued, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
The word “evangelical” has made a comeback in American politics, but if we want the “burnout” Lowry’s talking about to come to an end, millennials are going to have to change course, and embrace the faith they’re abandoning.