A study from Pew Research showed that millennials seem less likely to believe in God than previous generations. But even if some do believe in God people also seem to be less likely to attend religious services (Lipka, Michael, 2015). Millennials are also less likely to pray, with about a third of them "seldom/never" praying. This goes hand-in-hand with the fact that the majority said religion is somewhat or "not too/not at all" important in their lives. (Leins, Casey 2015)
I have heard and read a lot of reasons why the youth seem less religious than their parents, or at least the generation before them. Some blame the media. And of course we know that what we watch and expose ourselves to influences our behavior which is why we are warned in the Bible “Carefully guard your thoughts because they are the source of true life.” Proverbs 4:23. I am sure there are a host of influences that can affect us negatively that we can have more access to with modern technology. But I doubt that is the only problem, because media also provides access to many good things. So the root issue goes deeper than the mere opportunity to do wrong or right things, it is what you do with the opportunities you have and why that we should be considering.
The Torah says something else interesting that we should not ignore. “‘In the future your children will ask you, “What is the meaning of these laws, decrees, and regulations that the Lord our God has commanded us to obey?” ‘Then you must tell them, “We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with his strong hand. The Lord did miraculous signs and wonders before our eyes…so he could give us this land he had sworn to give our ancestors. And the Lord our God commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear him so he can continue to bless us and preserve our lives, as he has done to this day. For we will be counted as righteous when we obey all the commands the Lord our God has given us.”’” Deuteronomy 6:20-25
Maybe the reason teaching younger people or anyone else about the God of Israel is so hard these days is because most of us who should have more experience walking with God have never left Egypt spiritually ourselves. We want to hold onto the outward observance of laws and regulations when they have no meaning to us personally so we cannot tell others how God as set us free from the slavery of sin. Outward observance is not enough if you really want to encourage others to follow the Lord we need a personal experience with God.
Of course this is not to say that others are not responsible for the choices they ultimately make for themselves but we are accountable to God for our influence. Anyone who has less knowledge or experience with God are spiritual children regardless of age and we who claim to know the Lord need to be able to teach others about God in a way that makes a difference. People can tell when someone is fake and it is not convincing to claim faith in God when nothing in your life has really changed. If your profession of faith in God does not change you personally God is not really important in your life either regardless as to if you are faithfully attending religious services or not. We have to see God in our own lives before we can expect others to want God in their own.
Leins, Casey 2015 “Millennials Are Slowly Taking America to Hell” US News received from http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/data-mine/2015/11/03/americans-becoming-less-religious-thanks-to-millennials
Lipka, Michael, 2015 “5 key findings about religiosity in the U.S. – and how it’s changing” Pew Research received from http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/11/03/5-key-findings-about-religiosity-in-the-u-s-and-how-its-changing/
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