Churches are empty in part because “for some young people, Christianity is associated less with love than with hate,” writes columnist Nicholas Kristof. Their unwillingness to address political issues such as climate change and racism, their stubborn refusal to work with the social justice movement, and their eager acceptance of Trump and his policies have all contributed to the growing unpopularity of Christianity – specifically Evangelical Christianity – among the younger generations, Kristof claims.
I’m distrustful of those sects also. But how can conservatives communicate about why they distrust these sects without rubbing people the wrong way?
Political hypocrisy is certainly a problem, but it’s not the reason young adults are fleeing the church. Kristof and many others on the Left would like to think so because then, finally, the narrative that Christianity is incompatible with conservatism would be true.
Christianity, just like any other religion, is full of hypocrites and blowhards. Some of them are politically liberal; others are politically conservative. Political affiliation in the church isn’t that important. What does matter is genuine faith, theological soundness, and personal ministry. A church that lacks these things will act as a repellent to believers in search of a faith that matters, regardless of whether the pastor is a Republican or Democrat.
For Kristof’s sake, perhaps we should add one little caveat to Jesus’s teaching in Matthew 7:16: “You will know them by their fruits” — not by their voter registration.
What people see via the media does affect their views. If the media portrays the bad apples over and over, people get the idea that religion is about the bad apples.
Even my conservative father saw hypocrisy in the church when he was young and it seemed to have stayed with him for the rest of his life. Therefore, to his dying day, he preferred drinking a six-pack to religion – LOL.