Of course, Millennials have the same spiritual needs people have always had, including the desire to worship something or someone bigger than themselves, and to do so with others who have similar inclinations. In other words, Millennials need church.
But not just any church, and not the churches their parents built. Millennials are used to a high-quality experience in everything, and they won’t settle for less. In addition, Millennials don’t want a big Sunday morning stage show as much as they want genuine intimacy and relationships.
I don’t expect A&F to make gospel-centered decisions since they are a worldly business enterprise (although I’d be happier if they chose to show respect to all people). I do expect churches, church leaders, and Christ-followers to be gospel-centered in all matters, including the messages we send through our decisions about clothing, body size, and attractiveness.
The reality is, there are few people who can preach longer than 30 minutes without losing their audience. A good philosophy is to leave them wanting more, not wanting to get out!
But my concern is that we are tempted to compartmentalize when it comes to the foreign mission opportunities in our own backyard. It’s not uncommon to hear Christians complain about immigration, about the changing culture of America. A few years ago I had a conversation with a Christian gentleman who expressed to me, in serious tones, his concern that, “In a couple decades, whites will be a minority.” As if this is a problem.
But the gospel calls us to something different. Rather than viewing our changing demographics as a problem, we should welcome them as a “Pentecost moment,” where God is sovereignly bringing the nations to our doorstep. Perhaps today’s undocumented teen will be tomorrow’s Billy Graham to his country of origin.
And, almost as an accidental by-product, he loaded our speech with more everyday phrases than any other writer before or since. We still use them, or varieties of them, every day, 500 years on.
Here are just a few: “under the sun”, “signs of the times”, “let there be light”, “my brother’s keeper”, “lick the dust”, “fall flat on his face”, “the land of the living”, “pour out one’s heart”, “the apple of his eye”, “fleshpots”, “go the extra mile”, “the parting of the ways” – on and on they march through our days, phrases, some of which come out of his childhood in the Cotswold countryside, some of which were taken from Anglo-Saxon and Hebrew, all of which he alchemised into our everyday language.
There’s no question that the United States has stronger protections for free speech and the rule of law than repressive regimes like China or Iran. But it’s also clear that our courts defend constitutional rights less zealously today than they did in Ellsberg’s day. Snowden wasn’t crazy to question whether he’d be treated fairly by the American justice system.
Other recent studies have linked moderate coffee drinking — the equivalent of three or four 5-ounce cups of coffee a day or a single venti-size Starbucks — with more specific advantages: a reduction in the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, basal cell carcinoma (the most common skin cancer), prostate cancer, oral cancer and breast cancer recurrence.
The officer takes the purse, runs around the gas station. As he’s running, an off-duty FBI agent is pumping gas. He witnesses the whole thing. He gives chase. He pulls his weapon, and as he turns the corner around the gas station, he’s stopped by another officer, who identifies herself as a police officer and don’t shoot, don’t shoot, this is a scenario.
Not even Chewbacca and his light saber get a free pass with airport security before being cleared to travel.
Transportation Security Administration agents in Denver briefly stopped ‘‘Star Wars’’ franchise actor Peter Mayhew recently as he was boarding a flight with a cane shaped like one of science-fiction’s most iconic weapons.